Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2018 2 Corinthian 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.   For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And then it was Saturday; the day so many of us use to sleep in. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work, the aches and pains were too powerful. Hn! I went out yesterday evening, came home tired and went to bed early, so the body responded by being up early too. But them’s the breaks! What’s the saying? Early to bed, early to rise! 

So here we are, another week of work is over and we need to recuperate in just two short days. And it’s only if and when we’re walking wholeheartedly with Jesus that we can accomplish such a miraculous task. So please check Him out. He’s anxiously awaiting your call for help. 

And you can see that by the wonderful offer of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah people, what an invitation! There’s never been any like it, and will never be another like it, because Jesus is the only Being who can promise such stuff and actually provide it. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, we ought to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, but unfortunately I only received one this week. But it certainly is interesting and good enough for us to build around. So here it is: ‘The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But you know why? Because as true believers in Christ: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Glory be mih people! It’s our faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to see the things that are not as the things that are. We don’t first have to see something to believe it. We believe it and then we see it! Glory to God! 

That’s why we have those magnificent verses of scripture from Hebrews that tell us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb.11:1-3) 

Yeh friends, it’s faith that moves mountains; faith that allows us to believe what we don’t see, it’s through faith we believe that God spoke the world into existence from nothingness! And when we have great faith it can be counted to us for righteousness, like it was for Abraham. 

And then later on in Hebrews 11, we have that other famous verse on faith: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Oh my brethren, only through faith can one believe that God, the ephemeral, spiritual, almighty Being exists, because you can’t see nor touch Him. And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the scholars’ thoughts on the subject. 

‘11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does. (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament  (cf.3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. 

The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah friends, I hope (smile) that that li’l treatise on faith helps you to understand it better. And to end, we’ll get some more immortal words from Bruh Paul, this time to the church at Rome, on the subject of hope. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (wait eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Exactly my fellow believers! If you can see something, there’s no reason to hope for it. But if you can’t see it physically, then there’s all the reason to hope for it! So let’s wisely hope for all the good things we can’t see nuh, and through faith, believe that we have them and with perseverance wait eagerly for them! That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith…unless you first have hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah mih Scrip-Bit breddren another hot summer’s day is in the offing… But what do we expect eh? It’s summer! It’s supposed to be hot! We’re just a bunch of pampered, selfish people, who only want it to be the way we want it! It’s a good thing though that our God thinks differently. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get going with some really interesting quotes this week from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ And that’s no lie friends, for all the material wealth in the world cannot be compared to the figurative wealth, talking about wisdom and experience and simple joy that one gets from living a full and productive life. 

That brings us to this next quote that’s tied up with the first. ‘Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.’ 

And is that ever so true! When we’re young, energetic and supple, we feel like time is there waiting on us, like we have oodles of it. But the older we get, the more restricted our bodies become and we realize that time’s not waiting on us, and we need to use whatever we have left in a big way. The old fogies like me, will recognize the ultimate truth in that statement. (smile) 

Therefore, one has to ‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ That also relates back to our first quote, because we all know that a life lived on the safe side does not produce any real joy and excitement, just a bland, so-so existence, and that’s not the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have. 

We were put down here to experience life, not merely go through the motions. That means we need to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks every so often; for that’s the only way we will ever grow, both in Christ and in the living world. 

And the last quote is rather eye opening: ‘Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.’ 

Yes friends, if we could only see life through another’s eyes, we would not be as judgemental and cynical and repulsive and repugnant as we are. And only when we try to understand another’s position or circumstance can we have that wonderful trait called empathy, which is just another name for compassion. 

That brings us right to our Bit. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

h mih people, it’s the Lord’s empathy towards us that has us breathing and experiencing another day in His world! That’s what Jesus had for us, that’s why he came and died to pay for our sins, and it’s the same thing we need to have for others, even though they may be different in many or all respects from us. And I want to finish the scriptures on compassion today, so let’s get right to it. 

And the first scripture comes from a parable of Jesus, one we all know and talk about but don’t practice nearly as much as we ought to, else life would not be as bad as it is. (smile)  That’s the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Levite and the priest, supposedly good and religious people, passed by the wounded man on the ground with nothing but a mere glance. 

Regardless of what excuses they might have had for their behaviour, in Jesus’ eyes, they were heartless, unsympathetic people. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’ (Matt.10:33) And we all know the story of how he looked after him, took him to an inn and paid for his recovery. 

And the scholars offer a good explanation of the situation surrounding the parable. ‘10:33. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partially Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 (B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20). 

Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27) (LOVE thy neighbour as thyself), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and to the rest of the audience.’ 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that’s exactly how a lot of us supposed believers behave, while unbelievers offer more empathy, sympathy and compassion to their fallen brethren. And just like it shone a poor light on the priest and the Levite, it likewise shines a poor light on us. So let’s try and be more supportive of others nuh, regardless of their race, creed or class, because that’s what Jesus asks of, and expects of His followers. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on compassion with the most important scriptures of them all on the subject; Jesus’ Great Invitation to a suffering mankind. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, my people, what a magnificent offer! No one else has ever offered such an invitation besides Jesus, because NO ONE else had, or has the ability to keep it! So please, I implore us, in these crazy times, let’s turn to Jesus and accept His invitation nuh, it’s the wisest decision we can ever make. And furthermore, let’s also try and get others to do the same, for it’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is all about…compassion…compassion…compassion…as per Jesus’ example…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Brother! Everybody was early this Wednesday morning but me. I opened my e-mail and saw all sorts of messages there from an early hour, meanwhile I am just beginning to write the Bit at 10 o’clock. Hn, hn! But as they say, better late than never! 

I just had a long day yesterday with a doctor’s appointment in the city and that usually takes up the whole day. Had to do much waiting to see her too. But she was happy with my recovery schedule. That made it all worthwhile! 

Then, on my way home, I went to a church meeting and barbeque, more barbeque than meeting (smile), so by the time I did get home I was all bushed out. And the old bod doesn’t seem to recover as quickly as it used to, because this morning I had to fight it to get up. 

Tell me though, why is the early morning sleep so much sweeter than that of the nighttime eh? Perhaps it’s because we know that we have to get up, but deep down we don’t want to. 

Anyway, it’s Wednesday, and many of us are breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that we’ve reached the hump, the midpoint of the weekly work cycle, and we can now see some daylight ahead, while still yearning for Friday and the weekend. 

And I have to share these interesting and ever so true words from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. And it says: ‘Prayer is the place where burdens change shoulders.’ 

Wow people! What inescapable truth! That’s one of the reasons why we pray. But please note, it is not the only, or even the most important reason for prayer. However, when we do pray for help from Almighty God, oftimes we can feel those burdens just lifted off our shoulders. That’s why Jesus offered His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

Oh friends, I know we recently did that scripture as our Bit too, but that’s where the Lord led me this morning. It’s as though He was saying that we are a stubborn and hardheaded people, so we need to hear the truth, the real truth, over and over again before we accept it. 

But my people it’s such a wonderful truth! Why do we have to hear it over and over before we accept it eh? We don’t have to hear lesser invitations from our fellow man over and over again before we rush to accept them. So why this reticence in accepting the greatest invitation ever eh? 

And that’s not all: Jesus explained why we should come to Him in prayer with our burdens. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:29-30) 

Oh friends NO ONE else has ever ventured to offer such an exceptional invitation because they just didn’t have the ability to keep it. But Jesus did, and still does have that ability to take our burdens and give rest to our souls. If He bore ALL of our sins on the cross, why can’t He bear our lesser burdens too eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And hear Him (Jesus) later on, reinforce those words to a crowd of unbelieving Jews nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out.’ (John 6:35-37) 

And why would He cast us out, if He first invited us to come to Him eh? That makes no sense whatsoever! But friends, we first have to believe in Jesus and the role He came to earth to play, and believe strongly, so that we are able to surrender our all to Him. 

He doesn’t want just the parts of our lives that we are prepared to give Him, but EVERYTHING; our whole lives! From the simplest aspect to the most important Jesus wants to be involved in, otherwise He can’t do justice to His invitation. 

That’s why Jesus highlighted in the Beatitudes, in His Sermon from the Mount that you cannot serve two masters at the same time: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly wealth).’ (Matt.6:25) ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

So friends, I don’t know what else to say to make us consider putting ALL our trust in Jesus Christ, the ONE who sacrificed His sinless life on the Cross at Calvary, took ALL of our sins on His shoulders, so that we could be set free from ALL of our sinful baggage, for ALL time. 

But here are the words of a sinful man just like us, Bruh David, who even before Jesus came to earth wisely advised. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps.55:22) And we do know how Bruh David lived up to that wisdom and was very successful in life. Maybe his staunch and faithful example might sway us this Wednesday morning. (smile) 

Now for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our position in Jesus Christ. Let’s wail mih breddren, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 as always, that glorious future ahead, just boggles the human imagination! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t accept God’s invitation without worry…whose then will you accept…man’s…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

One more day mih people, one more day on God’s great earth with the setta ice covering the land in my area! Chuh! It’s pure ice all around…but that doesn’t stop us from joyfully declaring, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) 

A li’l bit of ice can’t stop us from enjoying God’s mercies and graciousness…No way! What does the Good Book say? NOTHING can separate us from Him and His LOVE! Because we are all more than conquerors through Him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:35,37) Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! Christ has already given us the victory, so there’s nothing really for us to worry about, just to live a righteous and godly life in His name. 

And a couple of quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional remind us of two important aspects of Christian life and character. The first is that ‘ Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.’ And secondly, ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’  

Yes friends, we have no other real hope but the trust that God’s promises, mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE inspire in us. Without those things we’d be truly lost. But even more importantly, we need to remember that each and every day we awaken, we need to seriously recommit to Christ, His way of life, and His plans for us. That’s the only way we can keep Him fresh and vibrant in our lives. 

And since yesterday we talked about going out and doing Jesus’ work as established in His Great Commission, today I thought it would be more than appropriate to look at how He hopes to accomplish His purpose; through the Great Invitation, a part of which is our Bit for today. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’  

My people, my people, what a wonderful invitation; the BEST that has ever been offered to mankind! Glory Be! No other supposed deity has ever proffered such a simple, but yet awesome and astounding invitation. That’s because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can keep that kind of promise, and who is also seriously interested in lightening our burdens! 

And that’s what we, as His disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives need to point out to the unbelievers, so that they too can embrace His glorious free offer of salvation and life eternal. Now that’s not all that Jesus offers in His Great Invitation. Hear how He continues after out Bit. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ (Matt.11:29) 

Just imagine that nuh my brethren; Jesus is also inviting us to take His yoke and learn from Him, for He is humble and lowly of heart…Wow! Though He is the great God, the great I AM, Jesus is not proud and stuck up, like He could be because of all His numerous attributes and power. But no; He is very simple and easily approachable, and when we sincerely approach Him, call out to Him, then we can truly learn from Him and find peace and quiet for out souls. 

And that is something which the majority of our world decidedly lacks, and which many are desperately trying find, but unfortunately are looking in all the wrong places. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is also the ONLY ONE who can bring true peace and rest to the human soul and spirit. And why is that so? ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:30)  

Oh precious people of God, what a reassuring ending to Jesus invitation! And that’s gospel truth! For He has already borne our burden of sin upon the cross at Calvary and set us free from its cruel and unholy bondage by paying the enormous price with His selfless sacrifice. 

And as Bruh Paul so astutely and correctly says in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory Hallelujah! 

So when we come to Him truly repentant, acknowledging our sins and also what He’s done for us, He doesn’t condemn us, but just enfolds us LOVINGLY in His warm and tender embrace and begins to teach us how to walk like Him.

And there’s also no greater privilege and praiseworthy attitude than to walk like Christ. Please remember that our heavenly Father’s most noble and consistent intention is to have all believers walk as Christ-like as possible. 

And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows how we’re getting on with 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 I implore us friends, as we walk with Christ today, let’s keep a picture of that glorious future in the back of our minds, so that it can encourage and reassure us when the going gets tough, as it no doubt will at some time or other. Much LOVE!

…to Jesus…to Jesus come…when your heart is heavy…and your soul weighed down with burdens… 

P.S. Sorry for the Bit being a tad late, but the playoff hockey game was too interesting not to watch it to the end, which meant a late night, and thus a late morning too. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2018 Psalm 69:30.

Psalm 69:30.   I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Sunday once again, but a white one. I thought now was spring with all the beauty of nature set to erupt from the cold ground. But that’s not the reality of the situation, for from yesterday morning we’ve been grounded by an ice storm. And like it’s hit some of the U.S. Midwest too. 

All day long I could hear the ice pellets hitting against the windowpanes. And don’t be fooled by the covering of snow on top. It’s a solid ice foundation, which is even worse than the pure snow, very deceptive like our spiritual enemy. And it hasn’t stopped as yet. So please be careful if you venture out there today. 

I know that I’m not venturing out there for LOVE nor for money. Not in my mash-up state. (smile) I’m not even going to church this morning, I doubt my car tires can handle the traction, or lack thereof, and I know that the Lord will understand. They haven’t even cleaned the roads in the area. Saw one truck go up the road a while ago cleaning one half of the road. 

But friends that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and praise our wonderful God and hear His reassuring word. And today I have a special treat to open our praise and worship, it’s an old Soca song from way back in 1985, called Magnificat, by the Calypsonian Penguin. I think it’s rather appropriate to be played in churches as what nowadays they call Contemporary Music. 

Google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And though you may not like the music, you can’t find any fault with the words, which are very appropriate for this Easter Season. So without further ado let’s burst into praiseful song with the ‘Magnificat’, in an easy rocking Soca melody. 

Listen to the intro of bells, organ and crackling guitar…then shout out: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ Now sing it again: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s extol the praises of our God: ‘With joyous voices, my spirit rejoices. And my soul has soared, to magnify my Lord. For He took me so humble, And He made me His vessel. Oh yes, He chose me from all the rest. Nations from east and west will know I have been truly blessed.’ 

(Chorus: For He that is mighty has done great things, I can claim, Oh yes, He is risen, mighty, glory is His name. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah! (2)} 

From generation, unto generation, He has been the same, to all who hear His name. Never vengeful nor angry, He keeps showing His mercy, a mercy that comes from up above, filled with His precious LOVE. It’s a mercy I can tell you of. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

And pride and conceit, from right in their front seat, with His arm so strong, the Master pull them down. Those who rich and have plenty, He send them away empty. But from the poor He don’t turn His face, Fills them with LOVING grace, And raise the humble to high place. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

He has received well, His good servant Israel. If you serve Him true, He will receive you too. Just like he spoke to Jonah, Abraham and Elijah, He still talks to us everyday, In His own special way, Listen and you’ll hear what He says. (Chorus: For that he is mighty…. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah…!’  

Oh friends, what beautiful music and words of exaltation to our wonderful God. I know heaven was dancing and singing along with us. And I was listening to the song and rocking along while I was typing it. (smile) Now that brings us to our Bit; exciting words from Bruh David: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’ 

Ah mih people, although I believe we might have used that Bit recently, I thought it was the most appropriate one for the ‘Magnificat.’ For our God LOVES nothing more than to hear us praise Him and give Him thanks for all He’s done for us, since that’s one of the reasons He created us. And I don’t think we do that sufficiently, or when we do, with a sincere enough heart. We seem to take Him and His LOVING-kindness too much for granted. 

But that’s wrong my brethren, because it’s only by His great mercy and precious LOVE that we still exist in this sinful, ungodly world. That means we ought to pay much more attention to our praise and worship if we truly want to reap the fruits that the Lord has set aside for us. 

As Bruh David says in his prayer for God’s help: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

Oh friends, we can perform no greater oblation to our magnificent and magnanimous God, than giving Him endless thanks and praise.

And we’ll close with some more appropriate words from Bruh David. ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) 

And that’s no lie my fellow believers, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with all of us, so let’s praise Him joyfully nuh and rejoice in His salvation, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…from the mouths and hearts of believers…ought to come unbidden…oodles of praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.  I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

Oh my people, what else is going to mar the joy of this 2017 Christmas season eh? I’m talking about the rampant wildfires that are currently raging through Southern California with a renewed vengeance. As the old people would, say, when it’s not one thing, it’s another. And that’s the truth. 

The heartbreaking pictures of the sprawling devastation show us just how fragile and momentary our lives are. Can you imagine the terrible Christmas those people affected by those fires will spend? Ah Lord eh! Thankfully though, the loss of life doesn’t seem to be a major problem, for which we are very grateful. 

Friends, please, let’s do what we can to physically help them, but most importantly, let’s get on our knees and sincerely offer prayers on their behalf, as prayer is the greatest power on earth. 

And you know I wasn’t planning on using the Bit from the past few days today, but after writing that stuff above, I found that it was just so appropriate, that I had no choice. ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

That’s the best, in fact it’s the first thing those people should do; call on the Lord God Jehovah seeking His grace, LOVE and mercy in their devastating time of need. It’s first thing WE ALL should do when we find ourselves facing difficult situations, but oftimes it’s the last thing we do. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us to turn to the Lord first nuh; if it’s a matter of trust or simple disbelief, but that’s what His word says. 

Listen to His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, who else has offered such a magnificent and welcoming invitation eh? NO ONE ELSE! But yet we have problems in accepting it, and I really can’t understand why. All I can surmise is that we don’t truly believe God’s word, our faith isn’t strong enough, and we prefer to first put our trust in man, and leave God as a last resort. 

But that’s utter foolishness my brethren! For as the psalmist so strenuously warns and reminds us in Psalm 118, a few verses after our Bit: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9) 

How much clearer can that be eh friends? Not much. But what’s our usual first response when trouble comes? We run to the phone or text a friend, or google the problem on the Internet. And if none of that works, then we cry out to God for help and expect it to come immediately. But unfortunately friends, our great God doesn’t work like that. 

He expects to be FIRST and FOREMOST in our lives, at ALL times, and in ALL situations! Anything other than that is unacceptable! Our first reaction should ALWAYS be to call on God, like Bruh David did in the opening of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. 

‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress: have mercy on me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’ (Ps.4:1) 

Oh my fellow believers, as I keep reminding us, despite all his sinfulness and troubles, Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered, thus he continually called on the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

And please note how he opens his prayer by acknowledging the righteousness of God, and then remembering all the times that the Lord had previously helped him, and then on those bases, pleading for help in his current calamitous situation. 

We should be doing likewise in our time of adversity, but all too conveniently and foolishly we forget the times when the Lord helped us, and get angry when His help is not immediately forthcoming. 

Friends, we can’t want a better example than Bruh David in terms of prayer and praise. He was a man just like us with a sinful nature, but he kept crying out to God in ALL situations, and wonder of wonders, the Lord called him a friend and a man after His own heart. 

If we sincerely trust and rely on the Lord God Jehovah in ALL that we do, we too can look forward to being called a friend of God, and a man or woman after His own heart. To me, that is the greatest accolade we can ever receive in this life, and is something I’m trying to work toward. 

But in the meantime I’m also going to enjoy the blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, as listed in our Thursday Blessings. And since there is power in our words, let’s declare them with much enthusiasm, sincerity and truth nuh. 

Loud and proud 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!’ 

Oh friends, what a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve! Give Him the thanks and praise He so rightly deserves, and follow His desires, as we go out and share those wonderful blessings with others today. Much LOVE!

…who is Number ONE in our lives…and who are we going to call on FIRST…the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…


 

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