Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 November 2021 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.     Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh my people, on this bright and sunny but chilly Tuesday morning, let me greet you as Bruh Paul liked to greet his fellow believers. ‘Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.’ And I believe that’s one of the best greetings we can ever get, for what’s greater, more important and soul-satisfying than grace, mercy and peace from our Creator and our Saviour eh? Nothing! Absolutely nothing…well except for salvation and a place in heaven with them. (smile) But then, we only get that through His free gift of grace anyway. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! And with His marvellous breath of life still flowing through us on another brand new day, means that He expects big things from His marvellous children! Ah friends, I think I’m getting excited here, and likely to be carried away on the wings of that excitement, so I guess had better handle it with a modicum of circumspection. (smile) But that’s what happens when the goodness and grace of God gets into your spirit. 

And that’s as it should be too, otherwise, what’s the use of those goodies eh, if not for us to live the abundant, excited life in Christ? Like He so faithfully promised in that famous verse. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And that doesn’t mean only eternal life when we die and go to heaven, but a good life right here on earth too. And we ought to be excited about it, otherwise Christ’s death was in vain. 

And I believe that this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately expresses how our excitement in living for Christ, ought to show out. It’s aptly titled ‘You Cannot Be Hid.’ Please read with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered that it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. 

When You are the Great First in a home There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own Word says it so vividly: ‘It was known that He was in the house.’ 

And that’s how every Christian home should be reflecting Christ! People shouldn’t have to ask if we’re believers in Christ Jesus, they should be able to see it from our behaviour, from the acts of LOVE, prayer and kindness that exist in our homes. Unfortunately though, too many supposed Christian homes do not show these attributes, so others don’t know that Christ lives there. Remember what Christ said, that those who reject Him before humans, He would reject before His heavenly father. (Matt. 10:33) 

And not being able to see Christ in us, in the way we live our earthly lives, is indeed tantamount to rejecting Him before men. For some of His most important words to us was in the Bible Promise on which our poem above was based. Namely: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (a lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (a lampstand); and it giveth light unto the whole house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

And right there lies the crux of our problems friends: unbelievers are not seeing our light that comes from having Jesus within us, they are not seeing our good works, meaning that we are not doing enough of them to make a difference in this evil and ungodly world, otherwise it would not be so evil and ungodly. There’s no way for us to dispute the less than satisfactory Christ-like walk that we supposed Christians are taking in the world. Too many of us are either ashamed or afraid of showing out to others that Christ is a major, if not the most important person in our lives. 

Therefore, if our light isn’t shining in Jesus’ name, then it’s obvious we cannot do a good job for Him down here on earth. However, that’s our essential mission as believers in Christ. As the scholars explain. ‘The Christian 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.’ 

Glory to God my people! And that last sentence says a lot about our incompetence and lack of shown excitement for Jesus. I mean that if we had shown even a little light, there would not be as much darkness in the world today as it is. And please note the recently completed Halloween celebrations, where it was all about darkness and ugliness and evil accoutrements! That ought not to be in a world full of Christ’s light. 

Anyway, we will all answer individually for our actions and non-actions come the judgement day, but please, it is not too late for us to step up our Christian activities and try to do better in whatever time is left to us down here on this troubled earth. And I’m asking that we do just that. Remember that we don’t have a spirit of fear, but of power, LOVE and a sound or disciplined mind, so let’s put them to work in God’s behalf, like we are supposed to nuh! It would be to the benefit of all mankind. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do our best for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, blissfully letting the whole world know who and whose we are, to whom we most definitely belong. As one, strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having said that so vociferously, (smile) it is now our bounden duty to go out and actively and joyfully share that awesome LOVE and amazing friendship of Christ with all those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christ gave up everything for us…why can’t we shine a little for Him eh… that isn’t too much to ask…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 October 2021 John 14:6.

John 14:6.     I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And then it was Tuesday; another bright sunshiny, though somewhat chilly day in my area. But who cares what the physical day looks like eh, when we’ve got our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to brighten it up in all circumstances eh? Ah mih people, I do hope that we are realizing just how important Jesus is to us, especially in these dangerous and unprecedented times, for without Him, we don’t stand a chance of defeating the numerous problems that are currently facing us. 

He is the ONLY One who can bring us some sort of peace and comfort within the depths of the storm! He is the ONLY One who can help us to carry the back-breaking burdens so many of us bear! And He is the ONLY One who can offer us the free and marvellous gift of salvation, of resurrection from the dead and a glorious life with Him in heaven when our feeble and fragile earthly body returns to the dust from whence it originally came! So, bearing in mind all of that, how important is He to you eh? I hope your immediate and most emphatic answer is ‘Mucho, Mucho Importante!’ (smile) 

And if you claim to be one of His followers and He isn’t very important, or rather of the utmost importance in your life, then something is seriously wrong with your belief system. Please remember this conversation that Jesus had with the disciples. He told them: ‘And whither I go ye know (talking about His return to heaven), and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:4-6) 

And don’t forget this other attribute, when He said to the disbelieving Pharisees: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Therefore friends, if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light, how can anything or anybody be more important than Him in our lives eh? No way! Not if we are His sincere followers. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that certify that Jesus was indeed all those things He claimed, beginning with the Way. Before He came sins were paid for with animal sacrifices, and the high priest entered the holiest of holies once a year to offer prayers for himself and the people. But after Jesus was crucified and the veil was torn down that separated the holiest of the holies from the other parts of the temple, Jesus became the Way, the sacrifice, once and for ALL time for ALL sin! 

No more sacrificing of animals for forgiveness, or the high priest going into the holiest of holies once a year. Forgiveness and salvation were now accomplished through Christ! As Hebrews tells us: ‘Having therefore brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.’ (Heb. 10:19-20) Yes friends, Jesus is indeed ‘the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God.’ With Jesus seated at God’s right hand, we don’t need anybody else to intercede for us. We can personally go in His blessed name. 

And as per the Truth, John tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth… For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ (John 1: 14, 17) Yuh see that people, grace and truth only came with Jesus. before that there was only the law, which was abused by man for their own evil and selfish purposes. But grace and truth could not be used thus. 

And Jesus Himself claimed truth came from Him. Listen as he speaks to the Jews who believed on Him. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ (John 8:31-32) Oh people of God, only if we abide in the Word of Jesus can we ever know the truth, and nothing but the truth, for He is the truth, and if you don’t know Him, you won’t know truth! It’s not complicated at all. (smile) 

And furthermore, hear Jesus as He talks to Pilate. ‘Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest (rightly) that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.’ (John 18:37) That means, if you don’t know Jesus and hear His voice, then you don’t know the truth! 

And per the Life, listen to Jesus talk to Martha before He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. ‘Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:23-26) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘11:25. I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ Consequently friends, if you’re seeking eternal life, then you must go through Jesus, for that’s the only way to get it! (smile) 

And if you want to dispute about ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,’ then listen to these pertinent and most decisive scriptures. This one from Bruh Paul’s first letter to Timothy. ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:5-6) Jesus died at the right time, giving proof that God wanted all men to be saved. 

Now listen to Jesus as He spoke the parable about being the Good Shepherd and the people not understanding Him. (John 10:1-6) ‘Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:7-11) 

And that’s exactly what Christ did friends; He gave His life, as the Good Shepherd for us sinful sheep! And if we don’t appreciate it and consequently live for Him, then we’re only fooling ourselves and headed down the path of destruction and eternal separation from God. There’s no more that I can say to convince you of Jesus’ utmost importance in your life. 

However, for those of us who do believe and are trying to live a suitable life, then let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

That means we must now go out and share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do, because He is ever so essential in everyone’s life! Much LOVE!

…to put it simply…without Jesus…we are nothing…                                                                                                      

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 October 2021 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And is it ever a beautiful looking day out there today my people! Sunshine, blue skies, with the leaves on the trees displaying a myriad of amazing fall colours; red, green, yellow, gold, russet and numerous combinations of them all! It is indeed one of those days when we have to raise our heads, hearts, eyes and hands, and sincerely declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Yes friends, it’s one of those days that’s so beautiful, that despite our many problems, rejoicing comes naturally to our soul! Glory be! 

And when we add the wonder of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to all that, can you imagine the fire that’s set a burning in our spirits and souls! Wow! It’s what really makes life worth living! It’s the abundant life that Jesus spoke of when He said: ‘The thief cometh only but to for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Oh my people, only with Jesus as the cornerstone, the foundation of our lives can we ever hope to attain and enjoy that abundant life which we all so desire. And the abundant life is not just one filled with good earthly things, but even more with wonderful spiritual and heavenly things, like salvation and forgiveness of sins, peace in the midst of the storm, unconditional LOVE, reconciliation to God the Father, justification through the Son and a transfer of His righteousness to us through His demise on the cross. 

Now how can you ever desire or acquire a better life than that eh? No way! And that’s what Jesus’ brings to our lives when we put Him first in all our dealings. Not second or third, but a faraway first! He doesn’t play second fiddle in any band, that’s any life, but always first. And that’s where so many of us fall down; we try to relegate Christ to the least or less important positions in our lives, but still expect to enjoy the abundant life that He alone can provide. That’s utter foolishness friends! 

For only when Christ is truly Number One in our lives, will the abundant life ever flow our way. It’s a built-in requirement of the Father, and who can say Him nay eh? None of us, since He’s the Creator and controller of our universe. And I believe it’s right and wise and proper (smile) that right here, in these turbulent and dangerous times, we should consider the words of the prophet Isaiah as he long ago spoke of the majesty of the Lord. Yes my brethren, it’s in serious times like these that we need to remember who our God really is, so please listen up to Isaiah, when he asks? 

‘Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted (measured) out heaven with the span (9 inches), and comprehended (calculated) the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his councillor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgement (justice), and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of (in) a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance (in fine dust on balance): behold, he taketh (lifteth) up the isles as a very little thing.’ (Is. 40:12-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, NO ONE assisted the Lord our God in creating the universe and all therein! He is the SOLE CREATOR AND RULER of the universe! And until we, mankind, His creation, wake up and realize that awesome fact, we will forever be holding the proverbial short and heifer dust end of the stick! 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars re the Freedom of God. ‘40:13. God is the only Being in the universe that possesses independence from the Creation. The only limits to God’s freedom are in His own nature and attributes. He is unlimited in His existence. Because His existence relates to His nature rather than His will. God will exist forever. He who exists by reason of His nature rather than His volition (will, choice), must have existed – and must continue to exist – forever. 

Illustration: When God revealed His name to Moses at the burning bush, He called himself “I AM” (Ex. 3:13-15). This name emphasizes God’s self-existence, the fact that He has always existed and always will. Application: Neither anyone nor any outside force will affect God’s relationship to us. He will deal with us according to His nature because He is free from outside influence. (First ref. Gen. 6;17; Primary ref. Is. 40:13; cf. Rom. 12:1).’ 

Yes faithful saints, NOTHING, or NO ONE, will or cannot influence our God, re His dealings with us, or anything else, for He is a law, or rather, the LAW unto Himself. And I don’t know what it will take for us to fully realize and appreciate that fact nuh, so that we can revere and be obedient to His dictates, and thus stay in His good graces. 

And it’s not like we don’t have the example of the Archangel Lucifer trying to overthrow Him, but fought a losing battle and was unceremoniously kicked out of heaven with his foolish minions. So, I just can’t understand why we are allowing that once powerful Lucifer, who is now the powerless Satan, to turn us against our Creator, the same way he deceived our forefathers Adam and Eve. It’s totally non-understandable, non-comprehensible, in fact, totally foolish and stupid, since he has nothing better to offer us. All his glittering stuff is just that, glitter, with no gold! A façade, or frontispiece with no inside. 

So please, let’s ignore his deceitful entreaties like the sickness and plague they are nuh. Instead, let’s look to our heavenly Father who in His LOVING-kindness, bestows numerous blessings on us to do His earthly work, which we refer to as our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it is declared, let’s declare them in strong voice right now: 

Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And now that we have been so generously blessed, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, so that they can come to know and LOVE Jesus just like we have! Much LOVE!

…regardless of what the world says…the good and abundant life can ONLY be found…in Jesus…                                                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2021 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And as we move on through life with another new day, I do hope that we are appreciating and enjoying the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. What? You don’t know anything about the abundant life Christ died for us to inherit. Oh, poor souls! Please listen to Jesus, as He talks about His role as the Good Shepherd. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, Jesus didn’t die only so that we could go to heaven, but that we could also enjoy life down here on earth. Our heavenly life doesn’t begin when we physically get to heaven, but when we receive Jesus. That’s when all the good things kick in, like the entrance of the Holy Spirit and all its wonderful fruit and God’s goodness and mercy that He lavishes on all believers in His Son Jesus Christ. 

So, although life on earth can be rough, with Jesus in our hearts and souls, we can still enjoy what we have down here, boosted by the promises of what awaits us in heaven. Why do you think the psalmist wrote these marvellous words way back when eh? ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) Because God gives us a new day every 24 hours so that we can awaken fresh and bright and enjoy it. He wants us to leave the old day behind and enjoy the new one. 

Why yuh think Jesus told His listeners: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow); for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof. (Matt. 6:34) That’s because we ought to concentrate on the day in front of us, today, for everyday has its own problems, most of which you can’t control, or even know about until you come to it. So, we should not place as much emphasis on tomorrow as we do on today. 

And just a gentle reminder; (smile) you know tomorrow never comes, because we call every new day ‘today.’ That means we are always living in today, the present, not yesterday, or tomorrow. That’s why the Lord only allows us to live one day at a time. We can barely handle today, much less to worry about tomorrow, or be overly concerned about yesterday, which we can do absolutely nothing about, since it’s already long gone. 

But that doesn’t stop so many of us living in the past, allowing the things that have already gone and been forgiven and forgotten by the Lord to haunt us, make us miserable so that we cannot enjoy today. Remember the words of Isaiah on the Lord’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ (Is. 43:25) And Psalm 103 graciously informs us: ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he (God) removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps. 103:12) 

So why can’t we remove our own sins too eh, instead of allowing them to cloud and clog our hearts and souls and stop us from enjoying the abundant life Christ died for us to have? And remember too, God’s promise through Jeremiah of a new covenant, to put His law in the hearts of the people, so everyone will know Him and turn to Him: ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer. 31:33-34) 

And that’s what God did when He gave His Son’s life for us, made Him pay for our sins, then placed the Holy Spirit in the lives of all those who choose to believe in Him, that they could have close and intimate communion with Him. What’s the purpose then of Christ dying on our behalf, if we refuse to enjoy the things He died for us to have eh? None whatsoever! 

Now here is an interesting question, one commentator asked. ‘Does God really forget our sins?’ The answer is not so much He forgets, but more like He chooses not to remember. God is omniscient, so He knows everything, and truly forgets nothing. He just chooses to forget our sins because Christ has already paid for them. Just like when we forgive, we choose not to remember the wrongs committed against us. But until we learn to let the past that currently burdens us, dwell in the past and live in the present with great hope for the future, we will never be able to enjoy what Christ has died to provide us. 

Oh my people, our great and wonderful God desires great and wonderful things for us in this earthly life, but we have to let go of the old things before we can get those new ones. We need to take these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth very seriously. ‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

Yes friends, when we come to Christ, we need to become a totally new person, throwing away old bad habits and taking up new godly ones. And that’s the job of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, but He cannot do anything on His own, He needs our participation to bring about those new godly changes. And they don’t happen overnight either, that means patience is necessary. But it’s most definitely time to be wise and begin throwing away all the baggage that’s weighing us down. And we can do that if accept Christ’s invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that are labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) 

That’s right precious people, Christ is the answer to whatever ails us this Tuesday morning, and if we sincerely turn to Him, He will indeed give us rest from our problems. And the great thing about Christ is, that although our problems might not disappear, we can still have His peace in the midst of the mightiest storm! Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! And that’s the gospel truth! With the peace of Christ circulating in your body and soul, you can be peaceful even amid serious calamity. But to get it, you have to go to Him and ask for it. It won’t come to you by osmosis or simply wishing for it. (smile) Now, for those of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour and are revelling in His constant communion, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

Altogether now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ Glory be mih bredrin! 

And it now behooves us to go out and share that awesome friendship and amazing LOVE of Christ, so that others will want to know Him by the good example we set. Much LOVE!

…when you become a new creation in Christ…life becomes…oh so exciting and adventuresome…                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2021 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     ​I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

So it’s finally Saturday, and we’re either sleeping in, getting ready to do piled up household chores, or getting ready to go out and do the grocery shopping that we also couldn’t do during the work week. But whatever it is we’re doing, even if it’s just nothing, please remember that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is always right there with us, leading, guiding, encouraging and LOVING us, through the indwelling power of His amazing Holy Spirit! 

And for that, we ought to be eternally grateful, because no other faith is guaranteed what we Christians have: the LOVE, mercy and grace of Jesus, that brings forgiveness of sins, and eventually leads to eternal life in heaven with Him. We indeed have the best of all worlds! So let’s give sincere thanks and do our best to walk holy as we go about His business today nuh, so that others can see Christ in us and be encouraged to come to Him, because that’s what He desires of us, His ambassadors, His agents, His foot soldiers! And all God’s children said ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.’ Yes friends, you can be pretty sure that if you don’t veer away from your current direction, you will end up where it’s leading. For you certainly can’t be going in one particular direction and expect to end up other than where it’s headed. 

Consequently, this next quote puts it all into the proper perspective. ‘We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Too many of us prefer to stay in our comfort zone rather than step out of it and risk disappointment or trouble. But trouble and disappointment can, and will find you wherever you are. That’s for sure. 

The problem with staying securely in your comfort zone is that you will never really see the beauty and treasures that life really holds. That’s because life only opens up to those who truly seek it, who step out and look for it. Remember what Jesus said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.’ (Matt. 7:7) Yes my people, that’s also what life expects of us; to come seeking it. All its beauty and treasures won’t just drop in your lap if you stay safe and comfortable. The same thing goes for our Christian beliefs; we have to step out and show others Christ in us. 

And that brings us to this next quote: ‘The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.’ Now that’s no lie my brethren! Ofttimes, the change(s) we are most afraid of are the ones which hold the best end result for us. But that’s just life; the best things are usually the hardest to do and achieve. For whatever reason, life just doesn’t do easy as much as we would like it to. So we can’t run from it, if we want to enjoy it. We have to join the fray; get involved, handle whatever comes against us with a good attitude, with God’s help obviously. 

It’s the only way to live the abundant life that Christ says He came and died for us to have. And if you don’t believe me, listen to Him tell it. ‘The thief (that’s Satan) cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And that abundant life is one filled with a heavenly perspective, trusting and surrendering to Jesus, walking in the Spirit, and letting its fruit blossom forth in our lives as we journey on to heaven and eternal life. And we can only do that if we are not afraid of change. 

So we move on to the next quote that says: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’ And that’s true to a great extent since life changes whether we want it to or not. For example, we grow older and more infirm every day, although we don’t want to. (smile) But the ones who handle aging the best are those who realize the predicament and make the necessary changes so that they can still be productive. You eat as healthily as possible, get as much exercise as possible, pray and show LOVE as much as possible. 

Now that doesn’t mean we must change just for change’s sake. And that’s why I have an issue with our last quote. ‘We must be impatient for change. Let us remember that our voice is a precious gift and we must use it.’ I thoroughly disagree with the first statement. We should not be impatient for change, because all change is not necessarily good or timely change. And that’s one of the major problems in our world right now: everybody’s hollering for change! But look at all the problems that change has caused us in the last little while nuh, especially with the worldwide explosion of social media, where so much negative stuff is now being disseminated. 

Change is good to the extent that it improves our lives, and that does not mean making us fat or fatter and lazier, as has been the case in the last few years. We have so many helpmates nowadays, that we end up doing very little for ourselves, and that’s no good for the species, for as the saying goes, ‘if you don’t use, it you’re going to lose it.’ And that’s exactly what’s been happening to the human race. We haven’t been using all of our faculties and bodies, thus we are steadily losing the ability to function without all of our helpmates. 

And with the hasty pursuit of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) we’ll soon lose even more, as we are required to do even less. You can see it already in platforms like what’s app, where after a few messages, they can almost write one for you. So, soon, we won’t even have to think any more, the machines will be doing it for us. And what do you think will happen to our minds and brains eh? They’ll simply atrophy. We’ll lose the ability to use them. Now is that what we desire for our species? Certainly not! 

Too much easy life is no good. That’s why societies fall into disarray and ruin, after having reached a pinnacle of work and productivity. Then they just sit on their fannies and enjoy the good life. But if everyone does that, the society crumbles. Life is strange that way. We work hard to rise to the heights, and when we get there, thinking there’s nothing left to achieve, we just allow it to fall apart. 

But that’s not what Jesus expects of his people, of His church my brethren! Our voices are precious, and He expects us to use them to be productive on His behalf right to the very end, even to our last breath, encouraging others to come to Him. So please my fellow believers, let’s stand up strong for Jesus nuh! Let’s allow our voices to be heard loud and clear for what we believe in, and don’t pursue change just for the sake of change. It’s not good for our species, or what God desires for us. Much LOVE!

…change is necessary…but not all change is good… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2020 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Oh friends, the Lord’s Day has rolled around once again, but sadly, this time His house, His sanctuary is desolate because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean He can’t bless us and make His face to shine upon us, because we’ll still be gathering to sing and praise and worship Him, though through virtual means, through the wonders of technology. 

And because of all the strife, confusion, upheaval and discontent that’s currently running rampant in our world, I decided that we needed a real thankful and joyful song to open our worship today, something to lift our spirits and remind us of our God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that there could not be a better song than this one to do it. I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

Yes mih people, up on point today is that 1967 gospel music arrangement by the Edwin Hawkins Singers of the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Philip Doddridge, which in the intervening years has certainly become a gospel music standard. Just check out YouTube and you’ll see the many different versions. And today we’re really going to get into it, giving it the full gospel treatment, with lots of hand clapping, the music rich and soulful and scintillating, with the tambourines jangling and the call and answer response right up front, for that’s what really lends the song its verve and chutzpah. (smile) 

So altogether now, in full voice, letting heaven know that we’re serious and sincere: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes mih bredrin, that was an awesome version! Heaven had no doubt that we were sincere! And this time, Jesus couldn’t just sit smiling shyly by the Father’s side…how could He when all heaven was dancing, singing and clapping too eh…including the Father? Jesus had to get up and do a li’l two step to acknowledge the praise and worship. And believe me precious people, Jesus deserves all of that adoration and reverence for the willing sacrifice; crucifixion on the old rugged cross at Calvary, that He made on our behalf! 

Wow! What a day it truly was when He washed our sins away, when He paid the Father’s steep price to cleanse and save us from hellfire and damnation! It was indeed the happiest day that mankind had ever experienced, and the best gift ever given to us after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our forefather Adam’s nostrils! As Jesus so rightly said of Himself: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did; gave His life for us on the cross, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and live…live forever! Glory be people! 

How amazing and sacrificial is that eh! And hear Him later on nuh: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Mama Mia! What beautiful words of reassurance? 

And the scholars express it thus: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Can any other faith sincerely promise that? Absolutely not! And what’s so great about Jesus is not that He just washed our sins away, but He also taught us to how to watch and fight and pray! Glory Hallelujah! What a giant He is! 

And to add to all that, He taught us how to live rejoicing every day too! So why wouldn’t we proud of Him eh? And revere and adore and worship Him; as well as call Him Lord and Saviour? No reason whatsoever to do otherwise my fellow saints in Christ! 

But unfortunately I have to muddy the waters here, cause not all of His followers walk the talk that they talk. Too many of us don’t watch and fight and pray, nor live rejoicing every day, although our sins have been washed away and we’ve been guaranteed eternal life. Now isn’t that a crying shame, because it just makes Jesus’ sacrifice of no account if we keep on living that joyless, ungodly life. Remember what He also said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means we’re supposed to enjoy our earthly lives if we’re true believers, not live downtrodden and dismal existences. 

Oh my people, heaven begins here on earth if you’re a follower of Jesus, and we ought to be the happiest and most joyful group of people on the planet because of all that He’s done and promised to do in the future. So let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s change our attitudes, lift our heads and give God the glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that’s why He sacrificed His sinless life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a true believer…then you ought to be joyful…for the joy of the Lord is your strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts! ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh friends, it’s so good to finally awaken to a li’l sunshine after all the wet, dreary mornings of this past week! I believe this is the first time all week, although some of those days have eventually morphed into sunshiny ones. And just for your info, yesterday the sunshine won the victory! Glory be! It turned into a warm and windy day. So warm that I couldn’t sit on my porch in my shirtsleeves in the afternoon for very long because the sun was actually burning me. (smile) 

Imagine that nuh, in late October, in these northern climes. I guess it’s what we’d call a true Indian summer’s day. But the rain did come back late in the evening, and the dark clouds are now tussling out there with the sunshine for superiority, so it’s another watch and wait and see, just like we ought to be doing with our faith in Almighty God. (smile) But enough with the weather scene, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And it seems like Anselm was on a positive affirmation kick this past week, (smile) because every quote begins with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are,’ which is then followed by the positive affirmation. So we’re not going to repeat the first part, just the affirmation itself. And just as a gentle reminder, you are an awesome being if you are a follower of Christ Jesus, meaning that He is in you, and you are in Him! Glory Hallelujah! 

And the first positive affirmation of your awesomeness is: ‘I’m in control of how I react to others.’ Now that should be a very true statement, especially if we’re followers of Christ, because Christ was always in control of His reaction to others, and we need to follow His example. Look at how the Pharisees and other groups mocked and jeered and harassed and finally killed Him. But you never heard Him react with the same venom that they hurled at Him. And what were some of His dying words on that old, rugged cross? ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

And these words from the website Gotquestions.org, provide an interesting explanation of that particular situation.‘Jesus looked down from the cross upon a scene that must have been distressing to Him. The Roman soldiers were gambling for His clothing (John 19:23-24); the criminals on the crosses to either side of Him were reviling Him (Matt. 27:44); the religious leaders were mocking Him (Matt. 27:41-43); and the crowd was blaspheming Him (Matt. 27:39). 

Surrounded by this most unworthy lot, Jesus prayed for them. “Father, forgive them” is a prayer of unmatched mercy and LOVE. It is important to note that Jesus’ prayer, “Father, forgive them,” does not mean that everyone was forgiven, unilaterally, without repentance and faith. It does mean that Jesus was willing to forgive them —forgiveness was, in fact, the reason He was on the cross. The words “Father, forgive them” show the merciful heart of God.’ 

Are our hearts as merciful, do we show that forgiving and graceful attitude? That brings us to the next positive affirmation. ‘I’m courageous and stand up for myself.’ Yes, we ought to be courageous and stand up for ourselves. But again friends, we can only do so much on our own. We need Jesus as our backer, our titanic force that stands beside us and victoriously confronts all who come against us. What did Jesus say? ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Without Jesus, there’s not a whole lot we can do successfully. Remember too, the Lord’s admonition to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. Having told him that only through meditating constantly on His word, could he be prosperous and have success, (Josh. 1:8) He followed it up with: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Yes friends, we can stand up strongest and be the most courageous when Jesus is an integral part of our lives. And along with that comes this next positive affirmation: ‘I choose peace.’ Oh Mama Mia people! That’s a glorious truth! For when we are imbued with the spirit of Christ, peace becomes a natural by-product. Yeah! And the peace we find in Christ is not only awesome but also incredible, and it’s a kind of peace that we can’t find anywhere else. Wow! Here how Jesus characterizes it nuh. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:26) 

Ah mih people, when the peace of Christ reigns in us, we’re neither troubled nor afraid, we can go through all sorts of troubles, like we doing right now, and yet still be at peace, because Christ’s peace is one that passes all understanding, all human reasoning. It’s a divine peace. And you know what that brings with it? This positive affirmation: ‘I deserve to have joy in my life.’ Yes precious people, joy is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise in our lives. Remember His immortal words? ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) 

Oh my fellow saints of Christ, having life and having it more abundantly means enjoying our earthly life, hard though it may be at times, and not waiting until we get to heaven to enjoy it. What’s the purpose of Christ sacrificing Himself for us eh, and reconciling us to the Father, if we don’t enjoy that bountiful blessing down here? And remember too these marvellous words: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy is always seeking to steal our joy, cause he knows that without it we can be easily defeated. Like Samson when Delilah cut off his locks became weak, so we become weak when we lose the joy of the Lord. 

And all of the above leads us to this last positive affirmation: ‘I am worthy of LOVE.’ And isn’t that the most glorious, awesome, indisputable truth? It surely is! As sons and daughters of God, heirs of God with Jesus, how can we not be worthy of God’s greatest attribute, LOVE, eh? Remember the main reason Jesus gave for coming to earth to save us? ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

Yeh mih bredrin! It’s LOVE that moved God’s heart toward us while we were still sinners, and it’s LOVE that makes the world go round, and it’s LOVE that we don’t have enough of in this current world, why our society is in such shambles and steadily going down into the mire of hell. So let’s perk up, be courageous and stand up, for and with Christ, and show LOVE, for the devil cannot defeat us when we’re joyful and strong in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE, sweet LOVE…not just for some…but for everyone… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2015 John 14:27

John 14:27.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well mih lovelies, it’s the first day of the week, Sunday!  And would you know that all the church bells are tolling, inviting the faithful to come and sing and praise and worship the Lord, to fellowship with those of like belief, and receive the many blessings which come from engaging in those activities!

Wow! What a mouthful Friends, but nonetheless, very true sentiments. So let’s put on our Sunday best and get us hither to the sanctuary and rejoice with loud voice in our Creator and our God, for it is indeed the wise thing to do.

And speaking of Sunday best clothing, I remember the olden days when everybody dressed up to go to church, some possibly overdressed too.  (smile) You wouldn’t be caught dead in church with shorts and jeans and sloppy attire.

Now it’s true that back then there was possibly too much emphasis on your clothing, and technically speaking, the Lord cares more about the state of our hearts than our dress, but I’m sure He still appreciates and prefers to see a congregation praising and worshipping Him looking good. It does say something about the people’s prosperity and reflects well on the Lord’s largesse.

If you see people gathering to worship a Deity and they are all looking sloppy, poor and downtrodden, why would you want to join them eh? All I’m saying though is that when we go to church we ought to look as decent as we can.

Now yesterday at our church, St. Francis in Meadowvale, we held a celebration for peace around the Peace Pole on the lawn of the property. Or as the bulletin put it: ‘The Diverse Voices in Meadowvale United in One Voice for Peace.’ We prayed for Peace in our World, our Country, in our Community and in our Families.  And then we set free some painted lady butterflies to commemorate the occasion.

We were also graced with the presence of City Councilor Pat Saito celebrating with her annual barbecue and answering the many questions her constituents had. All in all, it was a very pleasant and successful venture.  

Now here is one of the quotes from the peace service bulletin that I never knew, but which took my breath away and captured my heart. It’s attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) the Indian peace activist and leader of the fight for Indian Independence from Britain. He reputedly said: ‘The day the power of LOVE overrules the LOVE of Power, the world will know peace.’

Mama Mia! I like it! And it’s also very true.  The only problem though, is when will that blessed day come eh? Most likely not before the majestic return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who spoke the most celebrated words on the somewhat ephemeral and hard to capture or attain subject of  peace.

Listen to our Messiah in today’s Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’

Wow, mih breddren! What encouraging and reassuring words! And please notice the most important words in the promise ‘not as the world giveth…’ Yes Friends, our Leader is not of this world, so the peace He offers is way different to that which the world acclaims. And because His peace is different to that of the world, we don’t need to be worried, anxious or afraid of anything or anyone in the world.

Now how do you like them beans eh? (smile) I LOVE them, and sure hope you do too, because if you don’t, then your life here on earth will be miserable and fearful. And that’s definitely not what our Saviour came to give us. He said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Yes my people, our Saviour came that we should enjoy this earthly life, not to live it cowed and broken. That’s why when we are filled with the peace that He offers, we won’t be terrified of life, but will take the bull by the horns and run life, instead of letting life run us.

Oh Friends, like the ole fella’s in fine form this Sunday morning, obviously being led by the Holy Spirit. Glory to God! Now let’s look at some scripture passages that deal with the very elusive term called peace. And we’ll set the scene with the well-known words of Cousin Sol in his role as the Preacher or Teacher in Ecclesiastes.

‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven… A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ ((Eccl.3:1, 8) There’s no disputing those facts Friends, the only problem is that the time for peace seems to be taking rather long to come.

Then we have this very wise advice from Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:14)

Yuh see my brethren, peace is something we ought to actively seek out, to pursue, for it doesn’t just come about automatically. It is a lifestyle that we definitely have to be actively interested in and then get actively involved in. And the peace we’re talking about here is the peace of Jesus, not that of the world.

And we’ll end with the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. He’s talking about Christ being the only judge, therefore we should not judge each other, in this case in the things that we eat. ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost… Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify (build up) another.’ (Rom.14:17, 19) 

Oh Friends, with those wise words and thoughts uppermost in our minds this Sunday morning, let’s ponder them as they pertain to our individual lives nuh, and then make the necessary improvements, of course with the help of our magnanimous, gracious and merciful God. Much LOVE!

…if we have no peace…it is because we have forgotten…that we belong to each other…  (Mother Teresa)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2015 Romans 12:2‏‏

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So Friends, it’s Saturday! What’s cooking? No I don’t mean what’s on the fire literally cooking, like pigeon or gungo peas soup, or callaloo – the T&T kind made with dasheen bush, or the Jamdown kind made with spinach, or even some rice and peas and curry goat, a roti or bread and shark… 

And what about some ackee and saltfish, some patties, or even a big cooking oil tin filled with curry crab and some big, cartwheel dumplings, or even some flying fish eh… Mama Yo!  

But that sounds like a rather good West Indian menu though. As I keep telling these northerners the best tasting, the sweetest food in the world comes from the West Indies. And you better believe that they have come to realize that I was right, because if you see them nowadays in the West Indian restaurants and food stores, buying up we food.

And just talking about it, I know that mouths are watering for a taste of one, or many, or all of those delicious meals! (smile) And why not, is excellent food!

But that’s a different story for another day. I meant what’s happening in our lives, how are we handling the situations that currently exist, be they good, bad or indifferent? Are we anxious, fretting and stressing ourselves over them, or are we calmly going to Jesus with our problems, and being prisoners of hope, waiting with expectant faith for His answers? I do hope it’s the latter scenario, because that’s the only one that befits a follower of Jesus Christ.

Yeh Friends, we all know that putting that stuff into practice in this selfish, evil, ungodly world is much easier said than done, but as Christians we are expected to do it, because it’s all a part of our faith, our pilgrim’s journey. That’s why Christ came to earth and died, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin that this world has us locked up in.

As Jesus says, when referring to the sheep of His pasture and His role as the Good Shepherd: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Oh my people, that is such a mighty statement, but to have life like Jesus gives it, one must become a whole new creature by shaking of the shackles of sin that’s keeping us in total bondage. And to do that we have to start in our minds, like our Bit says. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Ah mih breddren that’s gospel truth, for we can’t make any serious or lasting changes in our lives without first processing it through our minds and then keeping the other stuff out of them. But please note that all of that can only happen with God’s help. So why don’t we start making those changes right now eh Friends?

That’s provided you truly and seriously want to be freed from the shackles of sin that now bind you. But you have to go to Jesus in faith and believe that He, His precious blood spilled on Calvary can cleanse you, and then do your part, for it’s a two way street.

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17)  

As the scholars further explain: ‘5:17. When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom.8:1,9; Gal.6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way, making a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation, bringing new things into being.’

And Peter puts that transformation thus: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.’ (1 Pet.4:1-2)

Yes Friends, that’s how a follower of Christ is expected to live his or life; by the will of God, not by the lusts of men!

And in closing, let’s listen to Bruh Paul tell the Ephesians about living the new life in Christ. ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32)

And there we have it Friends, a general guide of how Christians ought to live. Now do we live like that, or anywhere close to it? I’d say no. That’s why we have such a bad reputation amongst the heathen. We spout a whole lot of scripture, but then live a completely different life style.

But it is possible to live much closer to those ideals than we currently do. So please my people, let’s wake up and get our act together nuh, if we want to bring others to Jesus, rather than drive them away as we’re doing now. Much LOVE!

…for Christians to bring people to Christ…we have to begin living more Christ-like lives…practice more of what we preach…

 

 

 

 
 

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