Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2021 John 3:3.

John 3:3.     ​Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Well here comes Saturday; that lazy, hazy day! And with the worldwide lockdown, there’s even more reason to have a lazy and hazy Saturday since you can’t go anywhere and do much of anything! (smile) But God is good, and He operates on both the good and bad days, so there’s nothing to fear if we have Him uppermost in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Yeh friends, if we want to make it through all in one piece in these treacherous and perilous times, then the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob definitely has to be our rock, our anchor, our place of safe refuge, our Good Shepherd. 

And as we always do on Saturdays, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank God it seems like he’s stopped putting that unwieldy preface before each quote! (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is truth to that statement, although I don’t believe that intelligence is only the ability to adapt to change. It’s also a whole lot of other things. But you do need intelligence if you’re going to successfully adapt to change. You need to first be intelligent to know that you must adapt in some things and places, and then be intelligent enough to know which things and places to adapt to. If you don’t, the world will quickly leave you behind. 

But for heaven’s sake, don’t just adapt for adapting sake, or because everyone else is doing it. You just have to look at the state of social media nowadays and see how it’s sucking so many people into bad habits with its ever expanding tentacles and reach! You have to be intelligent enough to know how far to let it take you. 

And the next quote tells us that ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I think that’s somewhat contradictory. Granted, foolish people might never want to change, but a wise man, because he is wise, ought to know that change is sometimes very necessary, even though we may not want to make it. So personally, I think that part is wrong. And I can say that from personal experience. (smile) I’m not a great believer in change, especially just for change sake, but I do think I’m wise enough to know that at times I do need to change, although I may not want to. 

And that’s where I think wisdom becomes very necessary. Yeah, they used to tell me that I was living in the 18thcentury, but now I’ve moved up to halfway in the 20th. So you see, I was wise enough to recognize the need for some change, though they had to drag me screaming into it! (smile) And change is especially important if you want to be a true believer in Christ. A couple of scriptures will show us that. 

The first comes from Jesus Himself, when Nicodemus came to Him by night, afraid of the wrath of the Pharisees, and asked how to gain salvation.‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’(John 3:3) Yeh friends, that’s the first and wisest change we need to make if we want to follow Jesus! 

And it doesn’t mean entering into our mother’s wombs again, but ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) And once you’re born again of water and the Spirit, then you need to hear Bruh Paul’s words 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) 

Now that’s another time when change is oh so necessary! We have to put away the old, worldly things of our lives and pick up new spiritual practices that fall under Jesus’ guidelines. And I believe that this next quote addresses our problem with all that change very adequately. ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ 

Oh,  all your problems definitely won’t become tiny, but with Jesus as your main man, with His divine help, they will become manageable. But we must have Jesus as our special purpose, a purpose bigger than us, if our problems are to become manageable. That’s just the way life is friends. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus as He talks about the vine and the branches. ‘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 that isn’t telling it like it is, then I don’t know what is nuh? 

Bruh Paul also corroborated Christ’s statement in his second letter to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And if you don’t make that change and start depending on God, then you’re not wise! (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ Oh friends, there is much truth in that statement, but the crux of it is the second part. Many of us see visions, know what we ought to do, what the Lord wants us to do, but for whatever reason we refuse or hem and haw until it’s too late to work on it. 

That’s the whole thing about being a Christian my brethren; we not only have a new and different way to live, but we also have to diligently work at it, since we are servants, workers, ambassadors of Christ on this evil earth! He is depending on us to bring about the necessary changes He desires. And truly working at being a Christian is no easy matter since the devil and his evil cronies delight in putting obstacles in our way. That’s why we need to read and know the word of God so that we can put it into use when the enemy comes against us, as he undoubtedly will. 

As Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith…’ (1 Tim. 6:12) As believers, we all have to daily fight the hardships and adversity that comes with the Christian life, show the true nature of our faith, as we daily grow and mature in it, until we can accomplish that balance between faith and works that James talks about. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:17-18) 

Oh precious people, it’s great to have faith, but faith is useless if it isn’t put to work. Jesus didn’t come to earth to just have faith, He came to do works, and we are called to do likewise, in His name. So let’s get to it seriously nuh, the world is anxiously waiting for us to show it our true and lasting faith by our sincere works! Much LOVE!

…a believer must be responsive to change…but wisely… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2020 Matthew 5:48.

Matthew 5:48.     ​Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

So it’s Saturday; that lazy, slouchy day again! And do I ever want to laze and slouch about… But it’s just not possible right now, cause I have the Lord’s work to do, and we can’t afford to laze and slouch when God’s work needs to be done! Amen! The problem though is that we talk a good talk about doing God’s work, but half the time that’s all we do; talk! If there was more truly Christian action from supposed believers, our world would certainly not be in the mess that it’s currently in. 

So why don’t we stop talking and start doing eh? As James says, ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22) Yes friends, only by showing our faith through our works will our world get out of the turbulence and calamity in which it’s now engulfed. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now it’s time to check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And yes, the preface is still there: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but that’s the only time we will write it. And please remember that you can ONLY do those things contained therein if Jesus Christ is truly your Lord and Saviour! 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I’m worthy of respect and acceptance.’ And that’s the God awesome truth my brethren! All God’s children, all His creation is worthy of acceptance and respect, for we are made in His image, with the breath of His life flowing through us and His Holy Spirit indwelling us! So how can we not be worthy of respect and acceptance eh? 

So please, let’s put all the tomfoolery about race, religion, power, wealth and all the other negative stuff we use to disrespect and refuse acceptance to each other aside so that our world could be a better place nuh. I don’t know how we can ever think that our world will be a better place with all that nonsense so prevalent and destructive in it. 

The next quote tells us: ‘I can absolutely do anything I put my mind to.’ Now that’s definitely not true, for as a mere mortal, who perishes like the grass in the noon day sun, you cannot do anything you set your mind to because of your own strength. However, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you can do anything, through Christ who strengthens you.’ (Phil. 4:13) Glory be! Can you move a mountain in your own strength? Certainly not! But with Christ in your corner, you can, because as the Creator and Controller of this universe, ALL things are possible through Him! Wow! 

And don’t forget too, this special statement Christ made the last time He visited us in human form: ‘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) Now that’s certainly telling it like it is! And having said that, this next quote should follow on from it: ‘My life becomes richer as I get older.’ 

Yes friends, as we get older and deeper in Jesus, our lives ought to get richer, not necessarily in money and earthly wealth, but in bearing good fruit for Christ, for as he says above, if we consistently hang out with Him, we will bear much good fruit. And He has no cause to lie about that. So yes, as we increase in age, with Christ in our lives, we get wiser and more peaceful and relaxed, less anxious and all those good things. The cares of the world don’t trouble us as much, for we have reached a stage where we can accept Christ’s truth in a practical manner in our lives. 

‘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) Now how can we have good cheer when our world is falling apart? Again because of these awesome words of Jesus: ‘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 14:33) And you’re wondering how you can ever do that with the wicked storms that are continuously howling around you? 

Simple. Because you have the peace of God working in and through you. ‘The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Yes, the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard us. Oh, how wonderful it is to experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand! But that only comes with age and maturity in the faith. Now, when we can accept all of that without necessarily understanding it all, then the last two quotes become even more important. ‘I make a significant difference to the lives of people around me,’ and ‘My contributions to the world are valuable.’ 

Ah mih bredrin…how I wish that I could truthfully say that we are all making significant differences, or rather positive significant differences to the lives of the people around us, because too many of us, including believers are making no difference, or instead negative differences that are causing more harm than is necessary. Yes, many of us are doing much worthwhile work, making plenty positive significant differences, but the truth of the matter is that it’s just not enough! Way too many of our fellow men are suffering either because of our many evil, inhumane thoughts and actions, or because of not enough compassionate and merciful ones. 

Precious people, there is only ONE way for us to climb out of the disgusting and life destroying mire in which we’re now engulfed, and that’s through LOVE! It’s the only way! We must learn to LOVE even our enemies. Let’s listen as our Lord and Saviour puts it in its proper perspective nuh. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. 

That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

And that’s it in a nutshell! (smile) Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible with Christ helping us. And as the scholars explain, ‘perfect here doesn’t mean sinless perfection, but “complete,” that is possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (vs. 45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ I guess the best all-round definition and/or summation would be Jesus’ words which we characterize as the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…’ (Matt. 7:12a) Much LOVE!

…LOVE in action is tough…but when times get tough…the tough (Christians) get going… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     ​…for without me ye can do nothing.

And then it was Saturday; that lazy crazy day of the week, where we laze around doing nothing for much of it, then in the evening we hit the party trail! But I think that this Covid-19 business has put a spoke in our party wheel, (smile) and it has probably made us even lazier than usual. Yes my people, this 2020 is the year of change; a year of change like no other most of us has ever seen, and I believe 2021 will be just as chaotic and confusing. 

But enough with the predictions, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And as is his wont these days, he prefaces them with: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But let me remind us that we are all those things ONLY if we have Jesus Christ as the mainstay of our lives! And also, we won’t repeat that preface again. 

So here then is the first quote: ‘I have the power to create change.’ And that’s true to some extent, if we’re willing to invest the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make and create significant change. Now that change can be good or bad, big, or small, we still have to take time to make it, and unfortunately, in this modern era, too many of us want change but are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort to make it happen, because we are a society of whiners, complainers and entitled. 

And furthermore, especially when it comes to changing ourselves, it’s impossible for us to do it alone; we need the divine power of Jesus! Remember His immortal words? ‘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) Now if that doesn’t tell the whole story, then I don’t know what does! (smile) 

And the second quote says: ‘I’m doing my best and that is enough.’ Well we’re certainly glad to hear that! And it is in fact enough, because your best is the best that you can do, and that’s all Jesus asks of us. But I doubt that many of us are indeed doing our best, because if we were, our world would not be in such a terribly evil condition; filled with so much hate, envy, strife, poverty, sickness, inhumanity, economic depression and suppression, etc. etc. 

In a time of so much plenty, sadly, there is so much lack and want. So fellow believers, can we up the ante, and begin doing our best for Jesus, so that our world could be saved, be renewed, because that’s the only way it won’t sink into the mire of hell. 

Now hear this next quote: ‘I’m in charge of my life and no one will dictate my path besides me.’ Wow! What a boast! But generally speaking, it is true. In most cases we are the pilot of our good ship, me, myself and I. The problem though is do we have the right equipment to guide our lives in the right manner? That’s the million-dollar question. And unfortunately, the answer is that most of us don’t have the parts necessary for such a big and bold task. But we think we do…and the enemy, Satan, encourages us to believe we do. 

But let me remind us here of a small verse of scripture that the Lord our Creator and Maker and Provider and Controller, had the prophet Jeremiah say to his people Israel many moons ago when they were in captivity in Babylon. ‘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) 

Yes friends, our great God has a powerful and great plan for each life He creates. He doesn’t just create vikey-vie, but with a sense of purpose. And the truth is, though He has given us free will to do as we generally please, we will not fulfil the extraordinary plan He has set out for us, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, unless, and until we turn to Him and His word, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, and follow His commandments to the best of our ability. That is until we make Almighty God our Number ONE Priority! 

So the long and short of the story is that we can indeed do all sorts of things in our own strength, but they will never amount to what we can do with Jesus as the Guide and Leader of our lives. And this last quote proves it even more forcefully. ‘I know exactly what to do to achieve success.’ And the wise ones amongst us indeed do! Here it is in spades, in black and white, straight from the horse’s mouth: 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any clearer than those immortal words the Lord said to Joshua when He made him Israel’s leader after the death of Moses! 

Reading God’s word, meditating on and studying it, then putting it into practice is the best and only way to achieve lasting success. The world may inveigle you to do other things and give you some of its corruptible wealth and power, which don’t last, and which you cannot take with you when your body returns to the dust from whence it was formed. 

However, the incorruptible wealth you amass when you sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His dictates, those my people, you can take with you to heaven, where you already have more treasure stored up through the goodness, from the magnanimity of our heavenly Father! So let’s remember that without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing. But with and through Him,ALLthings are possible, and He is the one who causes us to get wealth and true, everlasting success!Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would turn his back…on everlasting life through Jesus… 

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 17 October 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.      …​for without me ye can do nothing.

Well a good Saturday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, wherever you are! I know that by the time some of you get this it will already be afternoon, but we hope that you’ve had a fine morning and will be having and even better afternoon. (smile) Yes, we wish nothing but peace, LOVE, joy and prosperity for us all this beautiful fall morning, when all the multi-coloured leaves are bathing in the glorious sunshine of our Creator, and thus exhibiting a cornucopia, an abundance of beautiful eye-pleasing, heart-warming colour. (smile) 

Anyway it’s Saturday, so let’s get on with our Saturday task; that of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here’s the first one: ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I am smart enough to make my own decisions.’ Now that’s certainly a situation that can only lead to confusion, especially if you’re a true believer in Christ Jesus. 

Yes, we ought always to positively affirm our worth and wisdom, but in Christ Jesus, not in ourselves. For remember His immortal words re our earthly abilities. ‘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) 

Yuh see that last phrase friends: ‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ Well that’s the living, daylight truth! Without Jesus we can do very little, but with Him in us, and we in him, we can move mountains, anything’s possible, that’s when we become truly awesome! 

And this next quote leads us to delve deeper into our association with Jesus. ‘If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only ONE thing: you can become better yourself.’ 

Ah friends, bettering oneself is what Jesus majors in! The quote itself contains much truth, to improve anyone or anything, we ought to begin with ourselves. Improvement ALWAYS begins with us! But who has the best improvement plan eh? JESUS! Yes mih people, you can’t beat Jesus’ plan for improving souls and selves, because He takes you at whatever state or level you are at and transforms you into a brand new person! 

Wow! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh: ‘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 mih bredrin, when you become a follower of Christ, your old sinful life is discarded, thrown away, and Christ offers you a brand new start which certainly improves the standard of life that you had before. 

And that’s exactly what’s wrong with our current society; not enough people have thrown away their old lifestyles and taken up the new one that Jesus offers, no wonder our world is in such ungodly turmoil, featuring abundant strife and heart-breaking calamity. That only shows us the error in our first quote, that we’re not smart enough to make our own decisions. (smile) 

But having said all of that, this next quote further defines our awesomeness in Christ. ‘Not everyone will be happy when you begin to better yourself. Those who are for you will not just celebrate your triumphs, but they will also pray with you through your tribulations.’ Oh my, oh my! What words of indisputable truth! 

Unfortunately, when we try to better ourselves, be it in Jesus or any other way, not everybody will be pleased, for one reason or another. But that’s just the way life is. Some people are never pleased to see others trying to improve. However, those who are pleased with your improvement decision will go to any lengths to help you, even standing strong with you through the trials and tribulations we all encounter when we decide to improve. 

And there again, that’s what you gain when you become a follower of Jesus; a whole cloud of witnesses to help you work through that improvement! You’re never alone when your Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ. Even in the most difficult times, He is there with you, walking alongside, and ofttimes He also encourages a living friend to walk with you through it all too. Sorry, that should be a living human being, because the three parts of our Deity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – are ALL living beings. 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘Your past is not a reflection of your future.’ And is that ever so true, especially when you become a follower of Christ! Remember we said that you become a new creation when Christ comes into your life and all the old things are thrown away? That means your past doesn’t have to affect your future anymore, because Jesus will give you a brand new life with a brand new future! Glory be! Regardless of how evil or sinful or poor or sick your old life was, a new life with Jesus washes all of that away, cleanses you and makes you whole. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to this Great Invitation from Jesus Himself nuh. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Mama Yo! There’s no better invitation to be found in all the world my people! And though others might offer all sort of stuff, ONLY Jesus has the true power to transform, to improve lives. We can’t even do much on our own. So please don’t listen to any falsehood or false doctrines from other false teachers. If you truly want to improve your life, in some particular area, or in all areas, the ONLY ONE to turn to is JESUS, because He holds ALL the answers to ALL the questions of life, even the very breath of life itself! Much LOVE!

…the only sensible way to live this earthly life…is with Jesus as your Lord and Saviour… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2020 Psalm 100:1.

Psalm 100:1.    ​Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). 
 

Well it’s not as bright and sunshiny in my area as it’s been the last several days; it’s somewhat cloudy… And we could really use some rain, to cool down the heat and nourish the parched ground. But we’ll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind for our area. And on that computer problem I encountered halfway through writing the Bit yesterday morning, it’s been fixed. And I have to laugh because it was a simple problem; my keyboard needed batteries. Hn! 

And it was actually one of the first things I thought of when the problem occurred, but for some reason I never followed up on it, and even later in the night when my young D  and I were trying to brain storm the problem, that never occurred to either of us. It’s only when I contacted the support department which suggested it, that I remembered that possibility. And as soon as the new batteries were put in, the computer worked like a charm. 

Oh, the ways the enemy finds to get into our hearts, bodies and souls and disrupt our lives eh! But thankfully, he didn’t make me lose my joy, but nonetheless I fell behind in all the stuff I had planned to do yesterday. And I guess in his books that is still a win. (smile) But yuh know what? We are not going to let the ole geezer disturb our peace today, because we’re going to be talking about ‘Newborn Ecstasy!’ found in a poem in our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

So please pray with me: ‘O Lord, When I resolve to come to You Amid the chunks and cracks Of all my mundane days – When I resolve to listen Really listen to Your gentle voice Suddenly I know anew That you are life And life is joy! Like a singing brook Joy splashes over All the common “dailies” Until each empty space Of my hungry heart Is touched with newborn ecstasy.’ 

Oh friends, it is indeed when we walk sincerely with the Lord, are obedient to His will that we find true ecstasy! Yes, it’s not always easy walking the straight and narrow path, but you can bet your bottom dollar that as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Your worst day with Jesus is better than your best day without Him!’ Glory be! And isn’t that the gospel truth! Oh brother, you all just went and got the ole fella excited and now he can’t control the excitement. (smile) So let’s continue being excited in the Lord nuh, for there’s nothing better than that! And we’ll show that excitement by reciting, singing or whatever way you choose, Psalm 100; a psalm of praise or thanksgiving. 

It’s also the Bible verse used for our poem above. So let’s go nuh: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves (his we are); we are his people, and the sheep of is pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:1-5) 

Wow mih people! What encouraging words of indisputable truth! It’s only when we worship the mighty and merciful Lord God Jehovah, come before Him with praise and thanksgiving that our souls experience real joy, real ecstasy! That truly euphoric state cannot be experienced in any other way! So let’s try and open up our hearts and souls to Him today…and everyday nuh. When He comes knocking let’s allow strong and overwhelming faith to run to the doors of our hearts and joyfully greet Him! Then open our whole body and soul to Him, so that He can fill us with the peace, the joy, the LOVE and comfort that just naturally exudes from Him! That’s how we experience ecstasy of soul! 

And consequently, we are able to successfully navigate all the storms and fires and floods and evil circumstances that this devilish world desires to inundate us with. Yes friends, wisdom and common sense dictate that we hang with the Risen Christ if we want to have enjoyable and successful lives, both here on earth and in heaven above. Please remember…better yet, let’s write these memorable words of Christ indelibly in our hearts so that we won’t ever forget 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) Mamacita! Yuh hear that mih bredrin! Jesus spells it out loud and clear: without Him, we can do NOTHING! Please, let’s keep that first and foremost in our consciousness. 

And as Bruh Paul reminded the Corinthians: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And yuh know friends, that’s our problem right there: we think too much of our blooming petty, greedy, power hungry but oh so frail and fragile, mortal selves. We believe we’re such hot shots with the li’l knowledge that we’ve acquired down through the ages, that we can now toss God, our Creator, our Deliverer and Provider aside. And very conveniently we seem to forget who made the heavens, the earth and all therein! Well let’s see us toss this coronavirus aside nuh! End of sermon! 

Now for the wise ones amongst us, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so generously granted us to do his earthly work. All together, in strong, voice with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

So let’s go out now, while physically distancing, and share those blessings just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s His ardent desire! Much LOVE!

…until we come to Christ…there will ALWAYS be…a lonely and empty space in our souls… 

P.S. I hope you all enjoy reading this and get excited like I did while writing it. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2020 Psalm 63:3.

Psalm 63:3.    Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
 

And then it was Monday… a new day and a new week, but the world was still in panic and pandemic mode. However, true believers in Almighty God were calm and peaceful, as they faithfully declared like Bruh David did when he was running in the wilderness of Judah from his many enemies: ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps. 63:1) Ah friends, many of us figuratively feel like we’re in a wilderness without water today because of our many unsolvable problems, some of us might even be literally in a dry desert. 

But please take heart, the Lord knows our situations, and He’s in the process of fixing them, we just have to remain faithful and stick close to Him, as Jesus so powerfully and truthfully declared: ‘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) He couldn’t have put it any plainer than that. So there are two basic things we need to do this early Monday morning, in fact every morning. The first thing is to stick close to our great God, then the next is to seek His face early with prayer; hopefully as soon as we are consciously awake. 

Yes, we don’t even have to get out of bed, before we offer some thanks and praise, and asking for health and wisdom to have a good day while being obedient to His will. And that will usually set the tone for our day; allowing the Lord to get into our soul and spirit first, rather than give Beelzebub the first chance to corrupt our fragile and tender souls. For as Bruh David continued, two verses down: ‘Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.’ 

Wow mih people! What a powerful, and oh so truthful statement! The Lord’s mercy is indeed better than life…in fact it is life giving, in the sense that without His abundant mercy, we wouldn’t have any life at all, since we have all sinned and come short of His glory, and the penalty for sin is death. But because mercy is not receiving what we deserve, He’s been merciful to a fault and allowed us to have salvation and eternal life! And yes, I did digress a tad there, (smile) but I thought it was important to point out that small matter. Hn, hn! 

So where were we? Oh yeh! We were talking about sticking to Jesus like white on rice, and seeking His face in prayer early everyday. Now assuming that we’ve already stuck to Him, let’s seek His face in prayer through our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn nuh. As one body now, with sincere hearts: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. 

Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, 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 yuh know what friends, because the Lord judges us by the state of our hearts and not our mouths, and our hearts just now were truly sincere, we know that the Lord will answer our prayer, just in His own time! And that’s the part that gives us trouble; the waiting for His timing. But as He says, His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so if we’re smart, we’ll just wait with a good attitude, until He achieves whatever He desired to achieve when He allowed the deadly virus to proliferate in such a worldwide manner. 

Consequently, wisdom decrees that we declare and behave like Bruh David continues after our Bit. ‘Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best; lit. fat) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after (close behind) thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.’ (Ps. 63:4-8) 

And that last clause is the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ – the Lord’s strong right hand is what upholds us in this earthly pilgrimage. And when we remember all that the Lord’s already done for us, is now doing, and has promised to do in the future, then ought our mouths to loudly sing His praises through joyful lips, and our attachment to Him, never falter, as we constantly seek His face, early in the morning, during the day, and late at night. That’s how true saints, true believers ought to live my brethren! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.    ​Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 
 

Yes, it’s Tuesday, the penultimate one in this contrary and unpredictable month of April, in this disastrous year of 2020! And weather-wise, today looks like it’s going to be rather unpredictable too. The sun’s shining but there are some dark clouds hanging around, and the ground’s still wet from rain that obviously fell earlier on. However, the crazy wind that’s been causing an unholy ruckus during most of the night appears to have now settled down. So like everything else, who knows what will happen to day eh? 

Only the Lord God Jehovah! Thus it is imperative that we stay close to Him; in fact cling to Him for dear life! Jesus said it so well: ‘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’s telling it like it is friends! Jesus laid it all on the table right there; without Him we can do nothing, we’re helpless to bear any good fruit! So why are we so reluctant to get close and stick to Him like stick-to-itis, like white on rice eh? Because we’re either foolish, high-minded and stubborn, or severely led astray, or even all of those things! And that’s why our world is in the mess that it’s currently in. 

But what we ought to be doing is listening to, and putting into action these wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. 

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver thee.’ (Prov. 4:1-9) 

Oh my people that’s more exceedingly wise advice from the Good Book – the Book of Life! What don’t we understand about ‘keep my commandments and live’ eh? Likewise, what don’t we understand about wisdom being the principal thing eh? If we don’t have wisdom we can’t live this ofttimes cruel and deceitful life wisely. But we have to seek it, and get it, and then hold on to it tightly for goodness sake! 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘4:3-4. Three generations are linked together in the transmission of wisdom: (the one that’s going out, the one that’s currently in ascendance, and the one that’s coming up). Note too that it is (wisdom) transmitted by personal influence, especially in the home.’ 

And that’s where we’re falling down badly my people. The Word of the Lord is no longer taught in our schools or written in public places, and neither are we teaching or practising it sufficiently in our homes, so how can the young people learn wisdom eh? And yuh see the good things wisdom and understanding will do in our lives when we adhere to their wise ways and commands? They’ll promote us, bring us honour, give us a bundle of grace, and a crown of glory! Now who wouldn’t want those things in this crazy and confusing life eh? All of us obviously. But it doesn’t just happen by osmosis my brethren, we have to make it happen. 

And how do we make it happen? Cousin Sol also gives us that info: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) And isn’t that the awesome truth! Wisdom comes from the Lord, and it’s oh so important in our world and life, because it’s the same wisdom the Lord used to create our universe. Hear Cousin Sol again: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) 

So friends, if the Lord God Almighty used wisdom to create our world, why wouldn’t we, in heaven’s name, need it to live in that self-same universe eh? No reason whatsoever! Except that we’re stubborn and hard-headed and like to do what we want to do, figuring that with our puny minds and free will, we know best. And perhaps to disavow that false thinking, is why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs Here is it’s stated purpose: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding (understand or discern); To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; to give subtilty (prudence) to the simple. To the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov. 1:2-4) 

But unfortunately too many of us shy away or simply refuse to accept those provisions for earthly living, and therefore we fail badly at it. Now let’s look at some explanations the scholars provide on the words used. ‘1:2. Wisdom is the key word of the book (of Proverbs), and basically means “skill in living.” It refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to the moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

‘1:3. Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same word as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealing with others.’ ‘1:4. The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge mean the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So there we have it friends, some basic descriptions on the basics of living this earthly life in a Christian manner! (smile) 

Let’s hope that these disastrous times will help draw us closer to those precepts and principles from which we have too long and too far gone astray. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 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!’ 

Now we need to go out, or stay in social distance (smile) and action those sentiments! Much LOVE!

…simple common sense dictates…the created must reverence the Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2020 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​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.
 

And yes, I know some of you are patting your chests, feeling self-satisfied and proud as a peacock, because you have now darkened the church doors on your usual two occasions for the year; at Easter and Christmas. And I still don’t understand why you go at all because twice a year is certainly insufficient if you consider yourself a true believer in Jesus Christ! Church ought not to be a sometime thing. The Lord planned it to be a regular occurrence, and if you think twice a year is sufficient, then you are totally fooling yourself and seriously suffering from the sin of pride, which the Lord abhors more than most others. 

Church was made for fellowship, so believers could gather together and enjoy each other’s company, encourage each other, sing and praise the Lord and hear His enlightened Word, thus refreshing and renewing our tired minds, bodies and spirits from a stressful week of work, so that we can begin the cycle all over again on Monday. Anyway, mine is not to judge, just to point out the inadequacies. (smile) So let’s get the show on the road with today’s song of praise. And since we’ve all resolved to have a closer walk with Jesus this new year of 2020, I figured the most appropriate song would be the old faithful: ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ 

But before we get into it, here is something from the website Hymnary.org, which gives us food for thought as we sing. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, 10b ESV).’ 

So as we sing, as we raise our voices to high heaven in perfect harmony and true sincerity, let’s contemplate the sentiments we utter in that light nuh. All together now: ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] 

(And Anne Murray inserts this chorus here: ‘Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain] (Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through.) Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be. Just a closer walk with thee, Dear Lord let be…let it be…’ 

Ah mih people, the only way to walk this earth successfully is to be continually in close proximity to Jesus; the One who bore all our sins on Calvary’s cross, then rose triumphantly from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. Glory Hallelujah! And if you don’t believe me, then hear it from Jesus Himself: ‘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 if that isn’t telling it in plain and straightforward language, I don’t know what is nuh! Yes friends, if we don’t stay tightly attached to Jesus then we’ll be lost like sheep without a shepherd, headed straight for naïve and innocent slaughter by falling for the enemy’s lies and deceit. That’s the gospel truth! Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can provide us with the strength and the wherewithal we need to make it through these dark, dismal and turbulent times! 

And Bruh Paul puts it thus to the Corinthians in the last chapter of his second letter, when he speaks of his coming to them and warns of prevalent sin in their church: ‘For though he (Jesus) was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (unless you don’t stand the test, are counterfeit Christians)?’ (2 Cor.13:4-5) 

Ah mih people, in this new year, these trying times of history, it’s ever so necessary for each and every one of us to examine ourselves and make sure we’re not fakes, counterfeit believers! If we’re true believers, then Christ ought to be in us. And if Christ is in us, then we have the awesome responsibility to act and behave in a manner that is worthy of Him. That means bearing the fruit of the Spirit: LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control). 

Today, let’s take a few moments and examine ourselves to see if we are bearers of such fruit nuh. And whether we are or not, let’s sincerely ask the Lord to help us bear such fruit so that we can exalt and glorify His most worthy name through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…not that we are sufficient of our selves…to think any thing as of ourselves…but our sufficiency…is of God… (2 Cor.3:5)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2019 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.
 

Ah friends, yesterday was beautiful; bright and sunshiny…and as always, also filled with the illuminating and reassuring presence of Jesus! Wow! That surely made it an extraordinary autumn day. (smile) The good thing though is that we’ve been promised another one like that today… Glory be my people! Let’s hope the weather forecasters are not wrong nuh, because Sunday is the worst day for any kind of precipitation, because we then conveniently use it as an excuse not to join other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise, worship, give thanks and exalt His holy name.

And it is indeed a very handy and common excuse, so please don’t deny it. But yuh know what; rain, sleet or snow doesn’t stop us from going out to party. That just shows how high the Lord is on our list of priorities. He should be at the head of the list; as Jesus wisely advised: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…’ (Matt. 6:33) And if He’s not, then we will eventually have to answer, why not? Let’s stay in the moment though, we’ve come to praise and worship Almighty God and hear His Word, so lets commence in our usual fashion with a song.

But first, listen to how it became today’s song nuh. A couple of days ago, as I laid me down to have an evening nap, the thought of what song to use this Sunday suddenly flitted through my mind, and just as suddenly the answer came: ‘Because He Lives!’ That wasn’t even on my radar of possibilities, but it seems like the Lord wanted to hear that one today, and who am I to say Him nay eh? (smile) So let’s get it all together nuh and sing those wonderful words, penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither, outlining and praising Jesus amazing work on our behalf.

Now, in soulful, heartfelt and grateful harmony, let’s raise our voices to heaven on high, where Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand, advocating for us, and let Him know without a doubt, how much we truly LOVE and appreciate Him! ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus. He came to LOVE, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus)

How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living…Just because He lives. And life is worth the living…Just because He lives, And life is worth the living…Just because He lives.’

Oh friends, oh friends, that was such a moving rendition that it caused tears to well up both in the Father’s and Jesus’ eyes! And it just boggles my imagination to think that people don’t take Jesus seriously, but still abuse and blaspheme His holy name like they did way back  when He came to earth and gave His sinless life as a sacrifice for us, so that we could be reconciled to, made right with the Father!

That’s the major reason that He came, as He so eloquently declared in the scripture that we all know and cherish, but still don’t take seriously enough, otherwise there wouldn’t be as much sin and unrighteousness still existing in our world. ‘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.’ That’s it right there in a nutshell friends! God’s LOVE and compassion for us sinful children was so great that He sacrificed the sinless life of His only Son to pay for our sins, for always and ever.

Jesus became the official sacrificial Lamb for ALL mankind, and that’s why the words of our song are so true! We can live now, without fear of the future, because His death and resurrection opened up a bright new, righteous world for us! He defeated hell, death and the grave so that we could be pardoned, and an empty grave and a downtrodden Satan are there to prove it! And it’s gospel truth that He came to LOVE, to heal and forgive, because we see it all in living colour in His ministry, both here on earth, and continuing in heaven above.

As He further declared: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And so said…so done! And is it ever mightily reassuring to know that because Christ lives, our children don’t have to fear the uncertain circumstances of this life either? But the greatest part though friends, is on that fateful day, when we cross over to the other side, when we’ve left pain and war and all negative things behind, He’ll be there waiting for us with opened arms, sincerely declaring (steups!): ‘Oh welcome thou good and faithful servant…welcome home!’

That’s certainly worth all the negativity, all the ‘sufferation’ down here on earth my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh; let’s do as He says and abide in Him, for His reasoning is flawless: ‘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) Matter done! Much LOVE!

…to experience true victory…and real glory in eternity…one must hook one’s cart to Jesus’ horse…

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