Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2019 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.
 

Well it seems like another ‘riney’ day is in the offing! Brother, when is it going to stop eh? Doesn’t look like anytime soon. But who cares eh? Oh, how I dislike that term that’s so popular in our current parlance! Because we all ought to care, since too much rain means flooding and a whole set of other problems. Some places up around the nation’s capital of Ottawa are still flooded, and some parts up there recently received a telling blow from a powerful tornado! 

So why don’t we care eh? Because we’re selfish and greedy and not truly Christian-like! Let’s try and change that nuh by praying for those who are suffering from the recent ravages of the unpredictable and contrary weather, while helping in any other capacity that we can. That’s the Christian thing to do. And to help us do that, here is a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled, ‘I Will Move…’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you Lord! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, therein lies the true way of life…in sincere partnership and cooperation with Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! He made us, with a plan for every life, and He still controls them even though we have free will. Nothing happens in our lives without His knowledge and acceptance. 

Granted, some of the things He allows to happen are tough and burdensome, but those things are just tests and ways and means of building our faith, since we only grow during times of adversity. So if He didn’t allow adversarial things in our lives, we would just stay as Christian babies, forever drinking milk and not being able to eat solid food. (smile) 

And that’s not His plan. His plan is to have us all become strong and mature and adult in the faith – as Christ-like as His Son. But in keeping with that desire, our God is so wonderful that He never gives us more than we can bear, or if it seems so, He is always there to help us bear it. That’s why it’s ever so important to have meaningful and constant communication with Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Listen to Jesus tell it nuh: ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. 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.’ (John 15:1-4) 

Oh friends, don’t you like how Jesus just puts it out there, without any fuss or fancy! And then He rubs it in further: ‘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 that’s oh so true my brethren! Without Jesus first and foremost in our lives we are incapable of producing much, if any positive fruit. But with Him taking a meaningful part in our lives, we abiding in Him, and He in us, oh, we’re capable of producing enormous amounts of good and wonderful fruit! 

And Jesus does not leave us wondering about what happens if we don’t abide in him, and He in us: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) And the scholars tell us that that verse ‘refers to the judgement of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

So basically speaking, ‘Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

So the disciples would have understood exactly what He meant. That’s another wonderful things about Jesus; His analogies are always about things that we can understand, things that are prevalent in our lives, so we don’t have to go wondering what He’s talking about. 

The long and short of the story friends, is that walking with Jesus involves constant movement and growth, no sitting on one’s laurels admiring one’s earlier successes. If you’re not bearing good fruit, then the Father will cut you off and throw you away. But even if you’re bearing good fruit, He will prune you occasionally so that you can bear even more fruit! So you’re in a no win situation! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t! (smile) 

The Father requires constant growth and the bearing of much fruit, and He pursues His plan with great conviction and sense of purpose, therefore we need to pull up our britches and get with the programme, if we say we are, or want to be true believers! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, let’s be wise and keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus nuh, and know that the future with Him will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…oh Jesus…oh Jesus…what would we do without you eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

Well it’s a brand new day and brand new mercies are being noised abroad by our wonderful God! Give Him plenty, plenty thanks nuh people, for the grace and unadulterated LOVING-kindness He shows to us when we absolutely don’t deserve it. But that’s the kind of God He’s always been and will always be! 

Look at how while we were still sinners He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us… Does that tell of an unmerciful and angry God? No way Jose! So let’s be wise and grateful and give Him thanks for ALL that He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us in the future. 

In the meanwhile let’s pray for those unfortunate people undergoing the volcano situation in Hawaii, and also in Guatemala where the Fuego volcano exploded a couple of days ago, causing much loss of life and many injuries. I tell you friends, a volcanic explosion is the closest thing we can come to hell here on earth. And remember too the people in Colorado and New Mexico where the first wild fires of the season are blazing away. 

Brother! The natural disasters are beginning to pile up already. But friends, there is no need to panic, because our great and mighty God is still on the throne in full control of things! 

And to help us handle whatever comes against us, here are these encouraging words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘I Will Move…’  I’ve shared them before, but I think we need to share them again. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, is there any other way we can come up higher than through the Lord’s help? Absolutely not! So I implore us this morning to turn to Him for help in whatever situation or circumstance that we’re going through. Now he might not change or ease up the situation, but He will certainly give you the strength, wisdom and whatever you need to come through it successfully. That’s the magnanimous and magnificent God we serve! 

Yuh see what he says in our Bit, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah? ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, what marvellous promises! And did the Lord keep them? Of course He did! Just look at how He parted the Red Sea for His people to cross over on dry land, while drowning Pharaoh and His Egyptian army behind them! Then check out how He backed up the Jordan River for them to cross over into the Promised Land! 

And if you say that’s only water, He can’t handle fire, then think again and see how the Hebrew lads, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when they refused to bow down to a golden image, survived the fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than normal, and came out not even smelling of smoke! 

Mama Yo! That’s the amazing and awesome power of our God my brethren! And He is still in the business of doing miracles and such amazing things for His people, if we turn to Him and sincerely and humbly seek Him. As He said again through Isaiah: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) Are we doing that my brethren? For all our sakes, I sincerely hope so. 

But just in case we aren’t, listen to the following verse, which expands on the first. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is.55:7) 

Oh friends, I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us to follow the Lord’s guidelines nuh, since He spells them out so plainly and simply! Especially when we’re in dire need of mercy and pardon! But we can only talk; talk till we’re blue in the face (smile), everyone still has to come to their own decision; to accept, or not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in their individual lives. 

Let’s hope we ALL will make a positive decision, sooner, rather than later, for a time will come when it will be too late. Now for those of us who have already made it, let’s go home positively declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now: ‘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 let’s go out and share all of that with other unfortunate folks, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t need your Maker…then who else do you need eh…Lucifer…hn, hn!…what a joke…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2017 John 3:17:

John 3:17.    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Ah friends, on this somewhat damp and dreary looking June morning, it’s ever so important for us to have the unique and exquisite LOVE of Jesus flowing sincerely, briskly and securely in our hearts, so that we can have ready access to the wherewithal to face whatever may befall us today. 

Yes my faithful brethren, only the overwhelming, the ever abiding and abundant LOVE of Jesus has the power and the spiritual mystery to carry us through each and every day of our lives. 

Therefore, as we open our eyes to greet each and every new day, we ought to give Him thanks and praise and ask for his wise guidance as He accompanies us on our earthly journey. 

And that He does friends! Having promised never to leave nor forsake us, He walks beside, before and behind us each and every minute of each and every day, once you accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. 

As the psalmist says, He’s our shield and guiding light. NEVER forget that! 

Now here is a simple but stirring and heart-moving prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s also simply titled; ‘I Will Move…’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those prayers that are certainly worth sharing again and again. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. 

In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank You Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, that is ALL so true! It’s only with the promises, the power, the pardon and providence of Almighty God that we can truly move from death to life, abundant life that is, and have lasting success in this evil world. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

And if you believe that with all your heart, soul, body and mind, then you’re on your way to a great life in the wonderful and unique company of Jesus! 

Wow mih breddren! It couldn’t get any better than that! Hanging out with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being! And if you already know Jesus, you’ll know that what I’m saying is absolutely true! 

Oh, I’ve just got to say it again: ‘Wow, mih breddren! Walking with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being!’ (smile) 

He’s so sweet, and kind, humble, LOVING, generous, forgiving, merciful and gracious…etc…etc! And once you truly get to know Him, every so often, you’ll sit down and ask yourself, ‘how ever did I live before He came into my life eh?’ 

Well you simply weren’t living before that, just existing. But once Jesus entered your life, He made you a brand new person, regenerated you, made you to be born again spiritually…and everything changed…your mindset, your view of life, your habits and behaviour, all began to change for the better. That’s the saving power of Jesus friends! 

As our Bit says, He didn’t come to condemn but to save. However, it doesn’t happen automatically; we need to accept His saving grace, that free gift of God. 

As Jesus says after our Bit: ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:18) 

So you see friends, it’s a conscious decision that every one of us has to make; to either believe or not believe in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. This verse answers the question, “Why do people go to hell?” It is because they do not believe in Jesus.’ 

That’s straight and to the point people! It couldn’t be any simpler. Believe and you’re saved; don’t believe, and you spend eternity separated from God, the worst thing that could ever happen to a human soul. 

And we’ll give one more example of the saving grace of Jesus, His words after He had lunch with the tax collector Zaccheus. 

After Zaccheus repented of his sins, ‘Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as the kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ 

Truer words were never written friends! And since we believe it all, we can go home joyfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice and confident humility: ‘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!’ 

All glory and honour to our most kind and LOVING Saviour! Now let’s go out and share His LOVE and friendship as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…when Jesus comes into our hearts…His light and LOVE…will faithfully lead and safely guide us…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2015 Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Aye Friends, welcome to another day in the unfolding of God’s great universe! It is unfolding as it should. We might not think it logical or understand it, but all we need to know is that God is still on the throne, and still in control of what He made. His thoughts and abilities are way higher than ours, so our small, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend all that’s going on.

Be not afraid though, for everything is working to plan; God’s plan that is. Just rest in the comfort and reassurance of His tender, forgiving and merciful embrace and allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within you to lead and guide you on the straight and narrow path that leads to our heavenly Father. End of sermon. (smile)

And now, on this wet and cloudy Tuesday morning in my area, here’s a simple but powerful prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Shuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I WILL MOVE…’ I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, because it doesn’t even look familiar to me. Hn! And I’ve been reading the book for several years now.

Anyway, please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’

Oh my people, what true and wonderful sentiments! That’s just what I was saying earlier; putting your hope and trust in Almighty God is the only wise and sensible way to proceed in this mish-mash thing we call life. Without His involvement in our lives we are simply powerless and rudderless, aimlessly drifting on a tossing sea of sin and sinfulness, which augurs no good whatsoever to anybody.

But with Jehovah God in our lives, as Gramps Schuller so rightfully declares, we keep moving ahead in an exciting life, filled with hope, glory, strength and success!

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Praise Him for His wonderful LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ Yes Friends, that we certainly ought to do, for our God does deserve much reverence and thanksgiving! 

And talking about reverence and thanksgiving, listen to our Bit, which details it marvellously for us. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’

Without a doubt my brethren, the wise way is always to bring everything to God in prayer with much thanks for all that He’s done and still doing for us.

And the scholars offer this information on our Bit. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) (‘The Lord is at hand’) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern.

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in everything, “in every matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’

Ah Friends, unfortunately too many of us don’t put that advice in to action, therefore we are worried and anxious about all sorts of things. I guess it depends on the level of faith to which we have attained; meaning the greater our faith, the more we submit or adhere to the programme.

Consequently we need to build our faith so that going to God with EVERYTHING in prayer with thanksgiving becomes an automatic action in our lives. And I can tell you from personal example, it works my brethren, it truly works!

You might not always get the answer you want, or even deserve, but if you follow the leading of God’s Spirit that dwells within you, you will seldom go wrong. It won’t always be an easy row to hoe, but it will be definitely interesting and worthwhile.

And in support of our Bit, let’s look at some defining scriptures. First up is Jesus’ profound pronouncement from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ (Matt.6:25)

And the scholars offer this splendid explanation of that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions.

To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. That’s why so many of us are so insecure. We place too much emphasis on the material things of life; worry too much about them, and work too hard to acquire them. We do need them, but listen to Jesus further on the issue.

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And if you are a person of faith, a true believer in Christ, then you will understand that if you do the will of God, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, will indeed provide for all our material wants and needs.

It’s all a matter of faith, my brethren. Believe and you will not worry, and will be amply provided for. Do not believe, then you will worry, be anxious and stress yourself out, and still not be sure of having all your needs met. And on that most important note, we’ll end today’s message.

Oh Friends, I implore us to have faith, or to raise the level of our faith, so that we won’t have the unnecessary worry and concern that comes with lack of faith. That is the wisdom of both heaven and earth. Much LOVE!

…why walk in worry…when one can walk worry free in faith…