Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2019 Hosea 8:7.

Hosea 8:7.     ​For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk (the stalk has no bud): the bud shall yield no meal (it shall never produce meal): if so be it yield (if it should produce), the strangers (aliens) shall swallow it up.
 

(Scottish brogue please): ‘It was a drizzily day…a drizzily, drizzily day!’ (smile) Let’s hope today is not the same nuh, spoiling the Labour Day holiday. Yes, we can always move the celebrations inside, but it just doesn’t seem right when this is our last long weekend of the summer. We ought to be celebrating labour’s partial freedom in the bright sunshine outside. And yes, we’re only partially free because the employer has wrested back many of the benefits our forefathers won on the picket lines and serious physical clashes with the goons of the advantageous power-brokers. 

And they are still doing their best to take us back to those long-ago days when they could do whatever they wanted and we had no voice or say in the matter. Please don’t allow them to do it, else our grand- children will find themselves right back where we were a few generations back. It won’t be easy since the employer has most of the leverage, but they had it back then too, and we were able to break their advantageous hold because we stuck together and fought together through thick and thin. And that’s what it will take to best them again! So let’s stand strong together nuh and put up a good fight like our forefathers did, although those who control the means of production are doing their best to divide and conquer us. 

And now, our society has become so big and commercially inclined that even on Public Holidays we can’t afford to shut it down completely, which means some of us have to go to work on this Labour Day holiday Monday, and that is never easy when everybody else is at home having a good time. So it’s understandable when those unfortunates grimace and complain about the unfairness of life. (smile) Anyway, let’s help them by leading them in prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which drives away all the doubts and fears and whatever is ailing us on a Monday morning. 

In strong, sincere 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!’ 

And as always, the voices of those not going to work are the loudest and most gravelly, ostensibly from all the celebrating they’ve been doing over the last couple of days. But please remember Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business!’ And that’s exactly what I’m asking us to do; celebrate, but watch your p’s and q’s as the enemy is excitedly lurking around for us to give him just a toehold of opportunity so he can jump into our souls and begin creating the havoc for which he is famous. 

That’s why friends in these last days, these utterly troublesome and difficult times, it is ever so important for us to carefully watch the way we live, both as individuals and as a society as a whole. We cannot afford to be like Israel, who, back in the days of the prophet Hosea, had forgotten where their bread was buttered, and had gone a whoring after other gods. But the One, True and Living God will not be played for a fool my people. Hear His response to the Israelites folly. ‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk (the stalk has no bud): the bud shall yield no meal (it shall never produce meal): if so be it yield (if it should produce), the strangers (aliens) shall swallow it up.’  

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘8:7. They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: They have sown the wind (Heb. ruach), but they will reap a hurricane (Heb. supah). They will be swept away in the judgement of God, and any benefits that they desired would fall to the hands of strangers to whom God would deliver them.’ And it happened to the Israelites several times friends. Each time they turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they suffered serious calamity. But they didn’t seem to learn. Please, please, I implore us not to be like them, although that’s the direction in which our evil and ungodly world is currently headed. 

Oh yes, our God is patient and longsuffering, but only up to a point, and if we continue to ignore Him and push Him out of our lives, don’t think He won’t retaliate. And believe me, we don’t ever want to feel God’s wrath, because we simply could not handle it. As Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod of his anger (wrath) shall fail (perish)’ (Prov.22:8) 

So today let’s contemplate our lives seriously nuh and see if we’re sowing the wind, sowing iniquity, and if so, wisely and quickly come before the Lord in sincere repentance, asking for forgiveness, so that we don’t reap the whirlwind. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…you can only reap what you sow…you can’t plant sin…and expect to reap righteousness…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2019 Acts 1:5.

Acts 1:5.    ​For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
 

And the Caribana celebration is still going strong this Monday morning, though many have gone back home or are in the process of doing so. In fact, today’s the day when a lot of the big parties will be held, but unfortunately, or otherwise, (smile) the ole fella will not be a part of any of those celebrations. I’m just going to spend a quiet day of rest and relaxation at home with the duchess. Yes, we getting old, and we value our quiet time at home now, much more than we ever did. (smile) 

However, some of us do have to go to work, and when we read about the partying and the rest and relaxation, only to realize that we’re not a part of either one of those preferable situations, understandably, we liable to get somewhat jealous and irritable. But fear not working friends, we have the antidote for whatever’s ailing you this Caribana Monday morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a mighty prayer of praise, of asking, of seeking and knocking on heaven’s door. 

So as time is of the essence, let’s get right to it nuh. All together now, in strong voice, sincerely believing, for though Jesus said ask and you shall receive, (Matt.7:7) He also specified: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) So yuh see friends, the asking part is important, but the believing part is even more so. Therefore, let’s ask and believe and receive nuh. 

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

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, you can tell those who not going to work today, because their voices were the loudest and hoarsest; residual effects from a lot of partying. But I’m sure that for those of us who sincerely prayed and believed, our attitude and perspective has now changed. Our batteries are suddenly fully charged, and our energy level is much higher than before, and we just dying to get out into the evil world and give the enemy heck in Jesus’ name! (smile) 

Oh my people, it’s so good when our spirits are raised and we are in full Jesus mode, because our lives run so much better and smoother. We’re not as short-tempered and irritable. Kindness and forgiveness come to us more readily and easily, and we’re not ashamed or afraid to share the gospel and LOVE of Jesus with others. And it all comes when we follow the leading and wise advice of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

Consequently, Jesus warned the disciples to remain in Jerusalem after His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And when, in their impatience, they asked: ‘Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ He calmly replied: ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (authority). But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:6-7) 

Yeh friends, Jesus just reiterated what we know as the Great Commission. (Matt.28:19-20) Our raison d’etre is to spread Jesus gospel to all parts of the world and the Holy Ghost is our lead and guide for doing that. And we all know how Jesus’ words came to pass on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Ghost invaded the souls of the believers in the upper room, appearing like cloven (divided) tongues of fire and sitting on each of them, giving them such supernatural power that they were able to speak in other languages of which they previously had no knowledge. (Acts.2:3-4) 

And after that the Holy Spirit began indwelling EVERY believer, so that they could have the intimate and personal power of Jesus living with them. It couldn’t get any more personal or intimate than that my people! That’s the kind of hands on, always right there with you kind of person that our Jesus is! So how can we not do His bidding eh? 

We not playing fair if we don’t put out our best on His behalf because He gave His ALL; His very life; sacrificed it for us, so His blood could pay our sin debt in full. And now, so many of us want what He offers, but refuse to do what He asks. That just doesn’t compute my people. So sometime today, let’s take a moment or two and ponder our situation nuh, our relationship to Christ and see whether we are doing the best we can for His kingdom. Remember, there will be rewards for good work with good motives! Much LOVE!

…after all Jesus has done for us…how can we not LOVE Him eh…and strive to do our best for Him…

 

  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2019 Obadiah 1:4.

Obadiah 1:4.    Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, then will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.
 
Unfortunately friends, it’s once again time to begin a new week of work! And we all jump up in shock, crying out in frustration and disbelief: ‘What! Yuh mean to say is Monday already? But it was just Saturday…and I haven’t done a blooming thing around the house all weekend because I was so bloody tired from working two days overtime last week! Steups! This working for a living going to be the death of me yes! Anyway, since I’m up already, I might as well get up and get moving oui.’ 
Yeh, it’s amusing, but also saddening re what goes on in bedrooms all around the world on a Monday morning. But as we keep reminding you, we have the marvellous antidote for whatever ails you on a Monday morning; simple, sincere prayer, that we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So please join us as we go to the throne room of our heavenly Father, with humility, but strong faith and belief, asking for His help to overcome whatever is ailing us this morning and preventing us from getting ourselves together to go out and do His work. 
As one humble but confident 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!’ 
And you know it works every time my people! We soon feel the peace of God coming into our souls, and a supernatural energy just rises up from nowhere, and the light in our eyes is a joy to behold, as we begin to move with a sense of purpose; that of getting ourselves together to go out and fight whatever battle comes our way in our current ungodly and evil world, obviously with the help of our shotgun rider, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Yes friends, you just can’t beat that Jesus Christ connection and godly communication! It’s the best connection in this whole wide world! And I can attest to that through personal experience. 
But this Monday morning I have some telling news for you; if you’re a believer it’s good news, but if you’re one of Satan’s host, then it’s dreadful news. And believe me friends, there’s nothing fake about this news, (smile) because it comes straight from the horse’s mouth, the Lord God Almighty, Creator and Controller of the universe.
He said it long ago to the Edomites, descendants of Esau, who lived in a mountainous, desert part of the land. And according to the scholars, “enjoyed the security of their mountain stronghold and the prosperity obtained by taxing caravans travelling through their territory.” 
But that same prosperity got them in trouble with the Lord, just like it’s getting us in trouble with Him today. Thus He said to them through the prophet Obadiah: ‘Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen (nations): thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ (Oba. 1:2-3)
You know it’s the very same thoughts that are going through the minds and hearts of the wealthy, wicked and ungodly and prideful folks in our current world. And, unfortunately, the same words the Lord used to the Edomites are the same ones He’s saying to those who are following the wide and divergent path to destruction. ‘Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, then will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ 
Powerful words indeed friends, but from a divine Being who has the power to do it. And He has done it many times down through the ages with recalcitrant nations and people. But possibly the most notable time was when His Archangel Lucifer tried to overthrow Him. 
Hear how Isaiah puts it nuh: ‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (Day Star), son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the (farthest) sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell (Sheol) to the sides (lowest depths) of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon (gaze at) thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house (would not release) his prisoners?’ (Is.14:12-17) 
So friends, if the Lord could kick out His most powerful creation, or helper from heaven, why do you think He’ll have any trouble keeping His promise to us, mere mortals eh? Please friends, the only sensible alternative is for us to be wise and accept the Lord’s warning, for you know that one of the things He thoroughly despises is pride or haughtiness in mankind, which intimates that we don’t need Him. And there’s a great lot of that taking place currently in our strife-filled society and He’s not about to let anyone or anything steal His glory. Please remember that, and let Satan’s downfall be a lesson to us. Much LOVE!
…he who doesn’t hear…he will surely feel…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.    ​If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 

And the alarm goes off…and suddenly you are catapulted out of a sweet dream…and you steups and get up grumpily mouthing: ‘Chuh Blast! And just as the so and so dream was starting to rock yes! This blooming alarm and work nonsense going to be the death of me yes!’ Ah friends, in how many darkened bedrooms are those kinds of scenes playing out right now eh? Too many! 

Welcome to the real world my people! It’s Monday morning and work is a calling. That place where you earn your daily bread; where you make the dough to keep a roof over your head and food on your table and clothes on your back…oh and the place that enables you to send your children to that expensive and elite private school. Yes, that place is crying out for you to get up and get in your new, expensive chariot and hit the traffic jam, so you can get downtown to the concrete jungle jaded and tired, to begin a new week of the never-ending rat race we so glamourously call work! (smile) 

And so many of us are tired of it, would rather retire to the peaceful and quiet countryside. But that’s somewhat like a pipe dream if we want to keep on enjoying our current lifestyle. And the pressure has become so much that we can no longer handle it all in our own strength. Yes friends we need help, supernatural help!  That’s why we have this antidote for whatever ails you on any workday morning, but particularly on a Monday, which is usually the hardest day of the week to get up. We simply call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we cry out to out wonderful God for grace and mercy to get out there and fight in His holy name. 

So all together now, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence and sincerely pray: ‘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 mih people, how can our compassionate and considerate God ever turn down such a sincere prayer request eh, especially if it’s prayed in His Son’s name? He just can’t! That’s why you’re now feeling the rush of adrenaline and the belated enthusiasm to go to work! The Lord has ordered our guide and helper, His Holy Spirit, which dwells within each believer, to activate the necessary controls to make us bright eyed and bushy tailed, so we can go out into the evil world full of spunk, full of…whatever and vinegar (smile) and fight victorious battles on Jesus’ behalf. 

And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! They are indeed the best guardians a human being can ever have!’ And all His saints shouted a glorious ‘Amen!’ So be it!’ But friends, please realize that truly and sincerely serving Jesus is not all wine, song and roses. The test of true discipleship is indeed rough, as Jesus said to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ 

Tough words those my brethren, but that’s the reality of the situation. If we really want to follow Jesus, we’ve got to sacrifice our wishes and dreams and take up our cross and follow Him. And the scholars have an interesting explanation on ‘Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38 – “And he that taketh not his cross…’ – and implies a lifting of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ 

Yes fellow saints, we can’t serve Jesus only in private and expect to get any citations. Remember He said whoever is ashamed of Him and denies Him in public, He will do the same to them before the Father. (Matt.10:33) And sadly, a lot of supposed Christians try to hide their faith through fear of the consequences, but as Jesus also said to one fellow who wanted to follow Him, but desired to go home first and bid his family farewell. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Ah mih people, that refers to the way to plough a perfect furrow (row). Once you’ve begun to plough it, you can’t look back or it will not end up in a straight line. As the scholars say: ‘One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ Similarly, you’re not ‘suitable’ or ‘usable’ in God’s service if you keep looking back instead of forward. 

And it’s something we say every week in our Wednesday Wail: ‘We’re not looking back, our hands are securely on the plough. We’re looking forward to a glorious future with Christ.’ Now let’s go out and prove that this Monday morning nuh my fellow believers! Let’s show them that we are fit for service to Christ, as we lift our crosses high and honour Him! Much LOVE!

…the true disciple… doesn’t mind sacrificing his desires…for those of Christ…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefor come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

And all the early July Independence parties done now! Time to get back to some hard work that’s good for the spleen and the soul. (smile) As they say, a li’l hard work never kill anybody. And that’s the gospel truth! Just wish most of this current society would acknowledge that and put it into practice. Our world would be so much more productive and conducive to better and richer living in Jesus’ name. But as believers, we can only talk and lead by example. 

So having said that, let’s get up and get ourselves together this Monday morning nuh, and get out there and do our best for Jesus, because He is our Guiding Light! And because we’re only human, some of us will obviously not be up to scratch, possibly tired, depressed, troubled, or just blooming lazy! (smile) But whatever it is that ails us this morning, we have the right antidote for it; prayer, in the form of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s come humbly, but confidently to the throne of grace to ask for help in our time of need nuh.

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

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

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

Glory to God my people! Feel the Holy Spirit moving in our souls nuh, enlightening and encouraging and strengthening us as we asked! What would we do without prayer eh? Hn! We’d be lost like the Israelites were in the wilderness for forty long, dragged out and troublesome years. But our wise and great God instituted prayer as a means of communication between Him and us. A way that we can both praise, worship and exalt Him, as well as pour out the most personal and troubling details of our souls, hearts, bodies and minds, trusting Him to help us. 

And on top of all that, He has sincerely promised to answer our prayer if we live obedient to His will. Listen to His encouraging word. ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yeh friends, calling on the Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is of the utmost importance, if we want to enjoy a joyful and fruitful life down here on earth amongst all the natural troubles and tribulations that are so rampant in these trying times. And Jeremiah, in his Lamentations, said it this way: ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. 

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) And if he could say that after suffering a whole lot of problems bringing the Lord’s Word to his people Israel, then there must be some truth to it. 

Meanwhile Bruh David said it thus in Psalm 31. ‘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. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities (vain idols): but I trust in the Lord. 

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles); and hast not shut me up into the hand of (given me over to) the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room (wide space).’ (Ps.31:3-8) 

Oh friends, what better witness declaring (yeah!) God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness can we get than from those two men who suffered so much in doing the Lord’s bidding, yet still pledged their undying LOVE and devotion to Him? Job was another righteous man who suffered much unfair and unjustified tribulation, but he also unequivocally pledged his loyalty to the God of his forefathers when he made these bold statements: 

‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Fighting words those, my brethren! But that’s what happens when we have supreme faith in our God despite our troubled circumstances here on earth. 

And we’ll end with these wonderful, inspiring and reassuring words of the author of Hebrews, re The sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (faith). For we have not a high priest  which cannot be touched (sympathetic) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:14-5) 

Oh my people, Jesus knows all about temptation in this evil world, because He suffered it just like we are doing, but He was without sin. So He understands what we’re going through. That’s why the author ends this passage with these encouraging words. ‘Let us therefor come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ 

And that’s exactly what we did when we prayed our Monday Morning Battle Hymn…And yuh saw the positive results. So please, let’s just keep trusting and stay strong and steadfast in the Lord. It’s the best option available to us! Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet to keep on praying…that’s the Christian way…

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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