Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 November 2022 Psalm 139:17.

Psalm 139:17.       How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

And if I ever truly desired a lazy Saturday, today is it! The ole bones are aching, though the weather is sunny and reasonably warm. And although, by my standards, I went to bed early, my sleep wasn’t of the best quality, unable to find a comfortable position, with all kinds of annoying dreams. But I guess that’s par for the rite of passage called old age. (smile) Anyway, it’s time for us to be about our heavenly Father’s business, we’ve lazed around enough for the morning. 

Now, since it’s Saturday, we need to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. There were only three this week, so that should make the Bit shorter…I wouldn’t count on it though. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look.’ And that holds a certain amount of truth, for only the bold and courageous will dare to look in unthinkable hiding places for good stuff. 

I only wish I knew the unthinkable hiding places of a couple of things I’ve been looking for over the last few weeks and simply can’t find them anywhere in the house. They’re not extraordinary, but they are important enough that I would like to find them. Seriously though, some of the most exciting finds and adventures are to be found in places where most people would not look. The unbeaten path, though often difficult, and sometimes dangerous, always provides new and exciting finds. That’s because all the good finds on the beaten path have already been found. (smile) 

And if you are truly looking for extraordinary things in unlikely places then Jesus is the One you must turn to, because that’s His specialty, His forte, His strong suit. Now, being in league with Jesus can be very difficult, unless you seriously put your mind to it, for He expects you to surrender your heart, body and soul to Him. Hear how He explained it to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall save it.’ (Matt. 17:24-25) 

Yes friends, that’s a tough row to hoe, but Jesus expects His followers to sacrifice themselves on His behalf, like He did for ours. But the beauty of it all is that when we do surrender our own desires and accept His, He leads us on adventures to extraordinary, exciting places and things like we’ve never imagined! However, they usually require strong faith and some belly and backbone. 

But ask anyone who’s been doing Jesus’ will for any length of time, and they will be able to regale you with extraordinary stories in unexpected places. I can tell you a few myself. And when I think of some of the unexpected places Christ has led me to and brought me out of, I just have to shake my head in awesome wonder and simply say, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And the next quote says: ‘I will not let anyone scare me out of my full potential.’ Now that should be a given. We should never allow anyone to scare us out of our God-given destiny, out of the desire to fulfill it completely. Ofttimes our friends and families try to talk us out of what we believe the Lord’s put in our hearts, but if we sincerely believe it, then we must follow the road set before us, despite negative criticism and naysayers. Remember the Lord has a definite plan and destiny for each life He creates. 

As the prophet Jeremiah reminds us: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) So you know that whatever desires God’s put in your heart, they are for good, and He will enable you to bring them to pass. But you have to step up to the plate and do your part. 

And these verses from Bruh David’s magnificent Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ought to add to our belief that the Lord has a very significant and meaningful appreciation for His most magnificent creation. ‘Thou hast beset (enclosed or hedged) me behind and before, and laid thine hand on me…How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:5, 17-18) 

Oh my people, please, let’s never allow the devil and his evil cohorts to make us believe that our Creator and God doesn’t care deeply for each and every one of us, because it’s a total lie! He only has good intentions towards us! 

And the last quote tells us: ‘If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.’ To a certain extent yes. If it is within the strength of man to do it. But most things our mind conceive of are not doable in our own strength, because our mind is such a powerful and far-reaching instrument. It’s God’s greatest invention, and even after thousands of years of serious and continuous scrutiny, we still can’t fathom its true workings. That’s because the Lord has gifted us with the imagination of things that can only be achieved through His intercession, through us working with Him. 

Now, remember how Jesus, after telling the disciples it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, turned around and told them: ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) And likewise, this verse from John says it all. It comes from Jesus’ discourse on the branch being unable to bear fruit unless it’s attached to the vine. ‘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) 

Oh my fellow saints, I just LOVE how our Saviour doesn’t mince words, how He tells it just like it is! And I believe that on this lazy Saturday, it’s wise for us to take some time to ponder those true and down to earth sayings of His, and see how they sit, or reverberate in our own hearts, minds, souls and bodies! We can’t help but benefit from that exercise. Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we do great exploits… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 October 2022 John 14:15.

John 14:15.         If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. 

Well, well, well! If we haven’t opened our eyes to another wonderful day on God’s great earth! That’s always the best gift of every day! (smile) And hopefully, we’ve all given our heavenly Father thanks for that magnificent opportunity He’s so unselfishly and lavishly bestowed on us. And yes, it’s a somewhat cloudy and definitely chilly Tuesday morning in my area, but the surrounding scenery is indeed beautiful. What with all the many varied colours of the leaves in this autumn season, you can’t beat it for artistic excellence. I believe God put His best artistic talents to work when He created autumn. (smile) 

And I’m sorry for those of you who live in a constantly tropical climate, because it’s a work of God you’ll unfortunately never see and thus won’t ever totally appreciate His amazing craftsmanship. Oh, I know you’ll claim that after the beautiful autumn season comes that awful time called winter, but then again, if you’ve never experienced winter, you’re also not going to have the full experience of God’s outstanding creativity, since a winter landscape is also incredibly beautiful. (smile) Now, you don’t have to like living in the four seasons as experienced in the northern climes, but as an aficionado of art and change, they can be truly eye-opening to God’s majestic and superb powers of creativity. 

Enough though on the artistry and beauty of the seasons, listen up to this amazing sight I witnessed last Sunday morning as I came out of church. As I was about to head over to the parking lot on the far side of the church where my car was parked, I found my way blocked by a long line of Canada geese stately stepping across the parking lot in front of me, actively blocking the path to my car. And for those of you who know Canada geese, they always take their own sweet time, except when they are running you down for some infringement they believe you’ve committed. 

But here was this long line, at least a dozen of them, slowly moving along before me, behind a leader who obviously knew where he or she was going and was not in any hurry to get there. It took a couple minutes for the main party to cross over to the bank of the parking lot and totter down the side onto the paved roadway at the bottom. But thankfully, as always, there was a party of five stragglers bringing up the rear of the line, so I finally slipped between them out to my car. They didn’t seem to care much as they went about picking and checking the area for any scraps of food available. 

Some of the others had also remained on the grassy bank seeking sustenance, but along the roadway, there was still the long line of geese dutifully following their leader, in all trust and faithfulness, physically acknowledging their trust and faith in his or her leadership. And it suddenly struck me that the whole scenario was a rather appropriate simile for our faith and trust in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Many of us acknowledge Him as our leader, and a fair amount of us follow His awesome lead, but just like with those Canada geese, some of us straggle and stray far behind, while others pick around at the edges. 

Now those two latter sets, remind me of the supposed believers, who are bent on seeking fulfillment in their own wisdom, despite the divine anointing of their leader, Christ Jesus. But please my fellow believers, let’s remember some of the comments our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, the Son of God made about not staying close to Him. And the most important is probably this first remark. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) Yes friends, we cannot truly belong to an organization unless we sincerely follow the rules and regulations as set out by the leadership. 

As John in his first epistle points out. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome)’ (1 John 5:3) And that’s the gospel truth, God’s commandments are not burdensome. They just feel so because we have free will and thus believe we should do what we want. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that my brethren. Here’s why not. 

After telling the disciples to keep His commandments, Jesus explicitly announces to them: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) Oh my people, Jesus didn’t mince words there! He told it just like it is. Without Him, we are unable to live this earthly life successfully. And the sooner many of us believe that, the sooner many of us will be so much better off, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But such is the ‘own-way’, hard-headed and stubborn nature of mankind, that we just like to do our own thing, even if it’s not getting us anywhere. Doing our own thing seems to build our ego, despite it keeping us on the bottom rungs of the ladder of life. And it’s a strange phenomenon of life, that you are not fit to lead, until you learn to follow. Exactly what Jesus did when He came to earth. The Good Book clearly tells us, that though He was God, He didn’t behave in an arrogant, snobbish manner, but became humble and obedient, even unto death on the cross. (Phil. 2:6-8) 

So, it makes sense that we are not fit to lead our own lives until we learn to follow the leadership of Jesus. (smile) And even then, on our own, we will still be always behind the eight ball, because we just were not made to be on our own. Our Creator, Jehovah God made us to live in fellowship, in sincere communion with Him. That means He did not give us the parts that are necessary for living a good and true life on our own. And you’ll notice that regardless of the wealth and power you accumulate in this earthly life, there will always be something missing in your soul and spirit, there will always be a li’l empty pocket, a li’l empty space in our souls that can only be satisfied when it’s filled with the LOVE, compassion and power of Christ Jesus. 

Now that’s a space God left for Himself in our souls, and only when we fill it with Jesus, will our souls ever enjoy true peace and happiness. My friends, please, let’s remember that we are not our own, never were and never will be. We were first made by God for Himself, and then when we sinned and fell out of His good graces, He later purchased us back with the sinless blood of His Son, shed on Calvary’s Hill. As the Good Book says in no uncertain terms. ‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ (1 Cor. 6:20) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one sincere 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And now my faithful brethren, let’s go out and put all those words into action nuh, by sharing the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…some of us like to play the game follow the leader…but following Jesus is no game…it’s for real…and the stakes are high…hellfire and damnation…or eternal life… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 October 2022 Proverbs 16:1.

Proverbs 16:1.       The preparations of the heart in man, (man’s plans belong to him), but the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

And finally it’s Saturday; our lazy day, our day to wind down from a week of hard, exhausting, much travelling and plenty sitting in traffic jams work! (smile) Yes, sadly, for many of us, getting to and from our workplace is more difficult and stressful than the work we go there to do. Unfortunately though, that’s the way our supposedly enlightened, intelligent system is set up. We can’t afford to live close to work, so we live in the cheaper, more distant places, then spend an inordinate amount of stressful time getting to and from work. 

How brilliant! We don’t seem to think that the actual time lost commuting, plus the energy and stress it produces, detracts significantly from our work ethic and enthusiasm for our work. But it certainly does! No wonder so many of us are miserable and short tempered five days of every week, and are just dying to have Saturday come around. And that’s my rant for today! (smile) Most likely it will go unnoticed by the powers that be, because it makes sense, but the current system works for them, so they don’t have to worry about all the stress and strain involved in our ungainly and self-defeating work set up. Awright! Done now! (smile) 

So what of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week eh, which is supposed to be our Saturday chore? Well, he sent us a bunch, so let’s see what we can do with them. The first one tells us: ‘Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.’ And although there is some truth to the statement, I still contend that it all depends on what beliefs you hold. And judging from the crazy, mish-mash, dysfunctional, misguided, strife-filled world in which we’re currently living, where there are so many existing belief systems, with everybody trying to advance their own system, it holds to reason that something is significantly wrong with how we’re trying to live. 

I believe that our beliefs can best be boiled down to two major ones, that’s good versus evil, and anything in between is a waste of time, because those two systems don’t leave any room for any others. And obviously, the good system is far superior to the evil one, because the sinless Jesus Christ is the Leader of the good one, and the despicable Satan, the ruler of the evil counterpart. And no two systems could be totally different and opposite. The evil one doesn’t harbour a whiff of good, while the good one doesn’t encourage a whiff of evil. 

And that’s why the rules of the good system strongly advise its followers to ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. (Rom. 12:17) And then it builds on that rule with this one. ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 17:21) Now that’s the belief system I think our world ought to totally adopt if we desire to see goodness spread all over it, not the evil system that’s so powerful right now. 

Then there’s this next quote that says: ‘Nobody’s built like you. You design yourself.’ The first part is true, because our Creator, the Lord God Jehovah didn’t make any two persons totally alike. We might look alike and behave alike in some situations, but all of us have our individual difference(s), our unique DNA, as it were, that defines who we are in God’s eyes. But as to the part that we design ourselves, that’s not all true. The Lord does give us some leeway in what and who we become, but in the long run, He it is that decides what path we tread. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Cousin Sol, the wisest man who ever lived. He said quite clearly: ‘The preparations of the heart in man, (man’s plans belong to him), but the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.’ (Prov. 16:1) Yes friends, the Lord God is sovereign over a man’s thoughts and words. Then later on Cousin Sol revisits the subject. This time he declares (steups!!!): ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Oh my, my! The Lord is also sovereign over our scheming and planning. (smile) 

And if you still believe you have total autonomy to design yourself, then listen to this quote from the prophet Jeremiah, who was only trying to do God’s bidding, when tribulation befell him. Therefore, he finally understood: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgement (justice); not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jer. 10:23-24) Yes my fellow believers, it is certainly within the Lord’s ability to bring us to nothing if He so desires. So please let’s stop believing that we can do whatever we want with our lives nuh. 

Oh, we do have a certain amount of free will, but if God sees us getting outside of His plan for us, He can and will put a stop to it. And thus, the next quote is very interesting. It advises us to ‘Wake up determined, go to bed satisfied.’ And that’s what we all aspire to. However, the only way to make that aspiration come true is to be obedient to the will and plan that God has for our lives. Remember He has a good plan for our lives, one to give us a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) And though, in this sinful world we will undoubtedly encounter trials and tribulations, the Lord has promised to eventually work everything out for the good of those He’s called and those who sincerely LOVE Him. (Rom. 8:28) 

That’s why these two next quotes are so important. The first one says: ‘Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness.’ And is that ever true. You need to have an attitude of gratitude when there doesn’t seem to be anything to be grateful for. But to do that, you must have strong faith in God, and totally believe those two promises we just mentioned above, as well as the fact that He will never give us more than we can handle, in the sense that He will always give us the necessary grace to escape, or otherwise help us through our tumultuous situations. (1 Cor. 10:13) 

Consequently, the corresponding importance of this other quote: ‘It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.’ Boy oh boy! Truer words were never spoken. It’s when times get really bad that we need to seriously and sincerely focus on Jesus who is the light of this dark and evil world. It’s only with Him, His encouragement, LOVE and compassion bubbling up serenely in our souls that we are able to withstand the darkness and eventually walk out into His bright shining light. Remember His memorable words: ‘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) 

That’s why we are so enamoured of Jesus, and believe that He is the Real Deal, for without Him, we cannot do anything worthwhile in this world. He also spelled that out to us. ‘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) Hn! Jesus certainly didn’t mince any words there my faithful brethren, and if we want to bear much fruit and see the light of life, then we can only do what the first part of this last quote says, not the last part. ‘I’m not going to continue knocking on that old door that doesn’t open for me. I’m going to create my own door and walk through that.’ 

Oh, we do have to stop knocking on any doors that seem closed to us, but it’s a fallacy to believe that we can successfully create our own door to walk through, especially if you are a sincere believer in Christ Jesus. Remember what we said at the beginning of the Bit; we make our plans, but it’s God who directs our footsteps. So, if one door seems closed to us, then we need to go to Jesus and seek the door that’s He’s opened elsewhere for us, because whenever He closes one, He opens another. 

And He did tell us to keep on asking, seeking and knocking, and it will be given to us. (Matt.7:7) But He means asking, seeking and knocking on His door, from His righteous kingdom, not of anyone else’s. And with that in mind, let’s go home this lazy Saturday morning feeling encouraged, refreshed and renewed in the service of Jesus, by all the good and enlightening things we’ve spoken about through the quotes of our friend Anselm. Much LOVE!

…only through the light of Jesus…will this world shed it’s darkness… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 September 2022 Proverbs 6:4.

Proverbs 6:4.       Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

And it’s the first of September, meaning, soon back to school and back to work from the summer vacation, as well as the beginning of the cooler weather, with ever fewer trips to the cottage for the weekend breaks. We have to start thinking of and preparing for the cold and dreary winter months ahead. It’s a pain in the rear end for us all, and does cut down some on our enthusiasm, but that’s just the way it is if you live in the northern climes. (smile) 

Consequently, we need to have strong shoulders with a good head on them, one that plans with God’s help, doing whatever needs to be done. As Cousin Sol so wisely warns of idleness and falsehood in Proverbs 6, where he solemnly advises: ‘Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe (gazelle) from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler (bird trapper).’ (Prov. 6:4-5) 

Yes friends, we need to be very wise and careful in our dealings with the world, especially in these very fraudulent, culpable and ever so dangerous times. We can’t waste time in sleeping or idleness, because the world will either pass us by or snap us up in its devilish and ungodly schemes. We must do as the old people say, make hay when it shines. Or as Cousin Sol continues: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov. 6:6-8) 

Ah mih people, for the many sluggards, the habitually lazy persons in our society, the ant teaches us two very important lessons. Firstly, it doesn’t have a leader or taskmaster, but it goes out and does what needs to be done to secure its livelihood. And secondly, it’s wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances like an upcoming winter season, where it goes out and collects food during the summer and stores it for the lean and cold winter months. That means the ant is a self-starter, it doesn’t need anyone or anything to be continually prodding it to work, especially on its own behalf. 

I wish the same could be said for many of us in this entitled society in which we now live. And that’s why these following verses are ever so important in these trying times. Cousin Sol first ponders the question: ‘How long wilt thou sleep (do nothing), O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep (start doing something constructive)?’ Then he provides the answer. ‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 6:9-11) 

Now that’s wisdom we should all pay attention to, for constant laziness, or too much sleep, without productive living is anathema, an abomination to the human soul. Why? Because it eventually brings dire poverty, with little or no warning, like a robber who suddenly shows up unexpectedly and robs you of all your belongings. 

And sadly, there are too many people, especially of the upcoming generation, living like that nowadays. They possess no work ethic, no self-discipline or self-control, they just know that they want as much of the currently in-things as possible but refuse to put in a fair day’s labour to achieve them, ofttimes thinking that they are entitled to whatever they desire. And a lot of the blame for that mentality must be laid right at the feet of the parents. For our generation figured that because we had it somewhat rough, our children must have it easy. 

But the truth of the matter is that having life easy only breeds laziness, dissatisfaction and entitlement. The only thing that breeds wisdom and common sense is some difficulty in our lives. That’s what made us, the parents strong; we didn’t have everything handed to us on a silver platter, we didn’t have as many amenities as we now have, which breeds laziness, especially in those unaccustomed to anything else. Many of us grew up with very little, but that’s what made us the strong people that we turned out to be! 

And in the comparison of the wise and foolish, Cousin Sol continues the advice. ‘He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack (negligent) hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in the harvest is a son that causeth shame.’ (Prov. 10:4-5) 

There’s no getting away from it friends, an unproductive life will leave us poor as the proverbial church mouse. (smile) And if you consider yourself, or claim to be a follower of Christ Jesus, then slackness, negligence, too much sleep and laziness cannot be numbered amongst your traits, because Jesus demands excellence, diligence and productivity from His followers. 

Remember what He said to the disciples? ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) 

That says it all my fellow believers! Without Christ as the leading light of our lives we are unable to do much of anything. But with Him, running the show…oh my brethren, we can do amazing things; things we can’t even ask or imagine, like bringing forth a hundredfold of fruit! (smile) And our God is so wonderful that He’s bestowed awesome blessings on us, blessings we certainly don’t deserve but are necessary to help us do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

So, let’s declare them now nuh, so they can take a hold of our souls and spirits and raise them to higher levels. Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, with those blessings under our belts, let’s get out there and use them in Christ’s name, being diligent, excellent, fruit-bearing examples of His amazing LOVE, grace and mercy. Much LOVE!

…laziness will get us nowhere…but hellfire, death and damnation… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 July 2022 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.      It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

One more time around the block friends! Yes, if you didn’t know, it’s Monday, time to get out there and labour, labour as unto God. (smile) And I do hope that we are all ready, willing and able to handle our nemesis, our constant opponent, this first day of the work week, who consistently upsets our apple carts, simply because we are not ready to handle it. 

We have not made the necessary preparations to engage in the battle of wits and spirit that Monday always throws up at us, meaning too much partying and worldly things; not going to church and being spiritually refreshed through fellowship with other believers and hearing the Word of God, also not enough physical rest. But those are both essential if we want to present a good, strong front on Mondays and give the enemy a run for his money. 

And that is only possible when we acknowledge these facts that Bruh David lays out in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when he confidently proclaims: ‘It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’ (Ps. 18:32) Oh friends, that is the absolute truth, and until we sincerely believe it and put it into action, we will not be able to conquer anything the enemy sends against us. 

Why do you think we can make the authoritative boast of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors: through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) Yes, it’s only through the wonderful LOVE of our great and wonderful God that we are made strong, made conquering heroes in Christ! 

And Bruh David ramps it up even more when he continues: ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet (the feet of the deer), and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms (a bow of bronze can be bent). Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held me) up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps. 18:33-35) That’s more absolute truth my people! It is indeed the Lord God Jehovah who enables us to first resist and then defeat the enemy. 

And Jesus reiterates that truth when He says to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) Now that says it all my fellow believers: without Jesus we can do nothing! And if you don’t believe Him, then try doing stuff without Him nuh, and see how far you’ll get. (smile)  

Then Bruh Paul puts it very nicely in his second letter to the church at Corinth. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Glory be, ye saints of Christ! And remember what Bruh Paul also said to the Ephesians. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) Oh my people, until we realize, recognize and understand that who we are, most of what we have come from the goodness of God, we’ll never live up to the plan He has set out for us, or reach the pinnacle that He desires us to reach. 

Remember what Jesus said: ‘I am come that they might have life; and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b) That means if we don’t live for Jesus, abide in Him, and have Him abide in us, then we won’t live the abundant life He died for us to have, thereby negating His sacrificial death, making all His pain and ‘sufferation’ of no use. And what I can’t understand is why in tragic and disturbing times like these, we aren’t turning back to God in greater droves than we currently are, since our own efforts are not helping to diffuse the evil and ungodly situations we’re now facing. 

In fact, our efforts are only making them worse. One would expect in a time like this a revival of God-fearing proportions would be taking place. People would be waking up, like the Israelites used to do, when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place after turning away from the God of their forefathers. But it seems the contrary thing is happening; people are turning away from God, more than they are turning to Him. Unfortunately though, there’s no wisdom in that. Wisdom dictates that if all our efforts are failing, then we try something, or somebody else…like Jehovah God. 

And I guess these words of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, echo the sentiments that populate our world today. ‘For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor. 1:22-25) 

It couldn’t be said any better my friends! That’s why, for those of us who believe, it’s essential to go to God in prayer asking for divine help and guidance. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one sincere voice. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And what must we do after we pray? Wait with eager expectation, while keeping whatever promises we’ve made. Much LOVE!

 In Christ alone my hope is found…He is my light, my strength, my song… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 June 2022 Proverbs 20:13.

Proverbs 20:13.      LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Oh brother, did we ever have some savage winds blow yesterday… all day and into the night. It seems like they wanted to blow away everything, and it did do some damage, but the strange part is that through it all, the sun shone brightly with not a cloud in the sky and people went about their business as usual. And that strong wind looks like it wants to continue today as the trees outside are still having a rough time of it. 

This makes me think that it’s just another factor in the climate change scenario, because I don’t remember ever having so many strong windstorms, especially in the summertime, until the last few years. But recently an intense wind system has become the norm. Anyway, as Cousin Sol says so wisely in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.’ (Eccl. 3:1, 11:4) 

So, let’s not observe the wind or regard the clouds, but do what it’s time for under the heaven this Saturday morning, (smile) that’s checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one tells us that ‘In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.’ Yes, there are 1440 minutes in a day, and when you put it like that, it appears like we have plenty time available to make a good impact for Christ. 

However, in reality, it doesn’t work that way because we need time to sleep and do other functions that aren’t conducive to making positive impacts on others. That means, to be a good ambassador of Christ, we have to use the time left very wisely, we can’t afford to waste even a minute of it, because every minute lost, means a soul possibly lost to Christ. That’s why we have wise sayings like ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ and Cousin Sol’s words from Proverbs; ‘LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.’ (Prov. 20:13) 

In other words, don’t be lazy or procrastinating, but be up and about, actively producing a positive impact in the world for yourself and Christ. And the next quote says: ‘There is no advertisement as powerful as a positive reputation travelling fast.’ Now that’s very true, but not very easy to do, especially in a slanderous, evil, greedy and strife-filled world like that in which we currently live. But thankfully our friend Anselm has given us some useful pointers in the other quotes that he’s sent us this week, so we’ll just use them to paint a beautiful picture…all for Jesus Christ. 

Before we get to those quotes though, we must make one definite pronouncement, remembering that we can’t do anything worthwhile without Christ in our lives. He said it as plainly as it can be said. ‘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 if the Son of God, who is the way the truth and the light, the only way to the Father, says that, then it must be true. So the basic foundation of creating a positive and fulfilling reputation is by having Christ in our lives. 

Then, as Anselm says in the next quote: ‘It’s most important that you surround yourself with positivity always, and have it in your mind at all times.’ Yes friends, we can’t do positive things if we are not filled with positive thinking, but positive thinking based on the word of Christ. That’s the crucial aspect of it all. Christ is the most positive thinker there’s ever been, therefore, to think like Him, His word must always be uppermost in our minds. That brings us to the next quote, the next step in the building process. ‘I surround myself with positive, productive people of good will and decency.’ 

Now, that’s possibly the most essential part of the whole building process! Why? Because, although we personally have all the parts necessary for the purpose, we can’t build anything strong and worthwhile by ourselves, without good material, without good folks around us. And though we might prefer them to be Christian like ourselves, they don’t have to be, since there are good, decent hard-working folks out there who are not believers in Christ, and likewise, plenty supposed believers whom you don’t want around you at all. If you get my meaning. (smile) 

That’s how Christ desires us to build our lives and consequently His church; first on the strong foundation of His word, and then with good, positive, productive helpers, for nothing good is ever constructed with poor, negative, lazy help. And I like this last quote, because it is the sum of all that we’ve spoken about so far, it brings all those things into a Christ-like fulfillment. It says: ‘When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.’ 

Oh my people, that’s the gospel truth! When we’ve taken what Christ has given us, the fruit of the Spirit, and used it wisely, there’s a heavenly joy that rises up in us that nothing or no one can take away from us, and people see and recognize it and want to be continually around us; ‘like a sun in the centre of every constellation!’ Wow! I like that analogy because it blends in beautifully with what Jesus asks and expects of His followers. 

Remember these poignant words of His in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the 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) 

Oh my fellow saints, that is what Jesus expects of us, especially in these times of so much fear and confusion! He expects us to be the ones showing a positive outlook to the world since we have all the good things that He’s bequeathed to us, that He’s died for us to have, like forgiveness of sins, peace, LOVE, joy, salvation and eternal life! 

But we are not doing such a good job, because, if we were, the enemy, the purveyor of darkness would not have the death-like grip he currently has on the world. Instead, the harbinger of light; that’s Jesus, would have been in the ascendancy. So please, let’s get to work nuh. Since we claim to be true believers, it’s high time we do as Jesus desires of us, to bring forth much good fruit. We have all the tools, all the necessary credentials…so what’s holding us back eh?  Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruit…ye shall know them… (Matt. 7:20)   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 June 2022 Colossians 3:2.

Colossians 3:2.      Set you affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. 

And then, finally, it was Friday… and numerous shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rise to heaven. Sadly, many of us don’t acknowledge God or His presence except on Fridays when our work week is winding down. But that’s just why our lives are in such a sad state, for without our Creator guiding our lives, in total control of them, we can never have real prosperous, peaceful and LOVING earthly sojourns. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote thus to the Colossians about the new life in Christ. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ (Col. 3:1) 

Yes friends, if we have found Jesus, have suffered, died and risen with him, then our lives ought to be headed in a different direction than that of the world. If we’ve been freed from sin, through His sacrificial payment of our sin debt, then a new life must be in our future, with all the old ways, habits, values, vices, interests and sins left behind. And it’s also the reason Bruh Paul said to the church at Corinth: ‘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) 

And the scholars explain ‘that 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.’ And that new way ought to be a continual way until one sees Jesus in person, because if we continually abide in Him, He will continually abide in us. As Jesus so plainly said to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Without Christ playing a significant part in our lives, we are unable to do very much. But with Him in our lives, ALL things are possible through His omnipotent power and strength! Yes my brethren, we can conquer sin when, and because Christ lives in us. But first, there are a few things we need to do. Like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Colossae. ‘Set you affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col. 3:2-3) 

That means, as the scholars tell us, ‘not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (3:5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, anything or anyone that takes priority over Christ in our lives causes problems. And believe me, we are being bombarded with so much stuff right now, that it’s not very difficult for something or things to rise up and replace Christ as NUMBER ONE in our lives. The sad part is that it can happen unconsciously too, that’s why we have to be very careful of what we think on and what we do. And since our life now belongs to Christ, having bought us with His precious blood shed on the cross of Calvary, and who now sits in heavenly places, our concerns should be more about heavenly than earthly things. 

That doesn’t mean earthly things are not important, but we are not to put greater emphasis on them than the things that relate to Christ and heaven. As Jesus said: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:16-21) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! As an article on the subject on the website gotquestions.org rightly explains. ‘Whatever we focus on dictates our actions. When we focus on earthly success and wealth, we will expend our energies on earthly matters. However, when we focus on God’s priorities, our actions will reflect different priorities—and our reward in heaven will last forever.’ 

That’s more gospel truth! And no wonder our world is in such a confused and strife-filled state; our priorities have been out of focus, with a greater concentration on the things of earth rather than those of heaven. So let’s see if we can correct some of that poor focus nuh, by going to God in prayer through our Friday Chant, asking for divine help to get twenty-twenty vision. 

As one confident but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to keep our promises so that God will help us to change our focus. Much LOVE!

…focus on earthly treasure means total eventual loss…focus on heavenly things…means treasure safely stored up for eternal life.. 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, we are to stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘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. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and confident 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!’ 

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful 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!’ 

So now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

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

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