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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2015 Jeremiah 31:33

Jeremiah 31:33   But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts (mind), and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Well my brethren it’s the first day of the week, Sunday! And we all know what that means? It’s time to get ourselves out to God’s sanctuary, whether it’s a big cathedral, a secret basement hiding from persecution, or simply in the open air, under the blues skies of heaven. And there, in whatever physical space we’re located, however large or small our numbers, we praise and worship Him as one body; that of Christ’s church. 

Remember Jesus promised ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)  And He is indeed a faithful keeper of His promises. So Friends, it’s time once again to renew the strength, faith, encouragement and passion for Jesus that we get when we come together to sing and praise Him in all sincerity and truth. 

It gives us the spiritual wherewithal we need in the upcoming week to face the evil world in which we dwell, and fight a good fight of faith for Jesus. Without God’s grace propelling us on my people, we will just be sitting ducks for Lucifer, since we are unable to do very much in our own frail human strength. 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of two things – I think it’s time to trot them out again. (smile) The first is that ‘The Bible is God’s word to us; still fresh through all the ages. And if we read it, we will find God’s wisdom on its pages.’ It’s hard to argue with that eternal truth my brethren. 

But how will we ever know what it says and gain the wisdom it details eh, when in too many cases God’s Word simply sits collecting dust somewhere in our homes; that is if we own a Bible at all? 

And the second revelation is that ‘One truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man.’ And there’s simply no disputing that indisputable truth, (smile) although many try to and fail miserably! 

But the point I’m trying to make is that we definitely need to do more Bible reading my fellow believers. And not simply reading, but more like studying and meditating, so that the Word of God can filter into our innermost beings and raise the level of our faith in and knowledge of God, two things we desperately need to live successfully down here on planet earth. 

And all that rambling eventually brings us to our Bit. (smile) ‘But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts (mind), and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ 

Ah Friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Here the prophet Jeremiah is declaring to the Israelites that God was going to make a new agreement with them to replace the old one made at Mt. Sinai, when Moses received the law on tablets of stone. However, this time, the law would not be written on stone tablets but in their hearts, so that everyone could know and reckon individually with Jehovah God. This will be the biggest and the best covenant; the one that will last for all time.  

And as the scholars explain: ‘the new covenant assimilates the elements of the promises made to Abraham and channeled with progressive light through David, and brings them to full realization. Thus the final blessing of Abraham’s seed will find fruition in Israel’s possession of the Promised Land in perpetuity under the rulership of Christ, the Greater Son of David, the Seed par excellence. 

Further, by faith in Christ, Gentile believers also become the spiritual seed of Abraham and members of the family of God. Although the new covenant is now operative, and is attended by the ministry of the Holy Spirit who is resident in believers’ lives, the full realization of the new covenant, as the capstone of all covenants, awaits the second coming of Christ. 

He will give to Israel the promises distinctive to that nation, and will rule over the earth in an unprecedented period of universal peace, prosperity, and the full knowledge of the abiding presence of God’ 

Yes my people, that new covenant now just awaits Jesus’ second coming for it to be fully realized. Aren’t you grateful for all that? We surely ought to be. Note I didn’t mention any references in the scholars explanations because there just too many, and I know that most people would not check them out anyway. (smile) But a lot of it you can find on your own, if you are interested, through diligent checking, studying and meditating on the Word. 

And we’ll continue with the verse after our Bit. ‘And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer.31:34) 

And all God’s people loudly and boldly declared: Oh what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship!’ That’s for certain sure my brethren! 

Oh Friends, there’s no other deity who is as interested in the lives and welfare of His people like Almighty God, and who wants everyone to come to salvation and eternal life through faith in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And it’s all so wonderful that I just want to stand up, jump and shout for joy! (smile) 

Yes Friends, Christians ought to be the happiest and most joyful people on planet earth, given all the stuff; the promises, the grace, the mercy, forgiveness, compassion and unconditional LOVE that the Most High God has for us. Wow! 

So please let’s show that joy nuh through the way we talk and live our lives, so that we can encourage others to come to Jesus and be born again into a new spiritual life. That is the epitome of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…truly following Jesus…transforms our hard hearts of stone…into soft ones of flesh…like His…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2015 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And then my beautiful Friends and neighbours, it was Friday! The day that so many of us around the world can’t wait to come around, because it signifies the end of our labour for two, big, whole days. (smile) That’s why the joyful cry of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend’s here at last!’ rings out all over the land every Friday.

 
However Friends and neighbours, just to see Friday come around should not be the uppermost fact or factor in our lives. It does have its importance, but that’s certainly not at the head of the list.
 
Our main priority should always be our focus on the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One who created the universe and all therein. The One who LOVED us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us on a wooden cross at Calvary’s Hill, so that we could be reconciled to Him.
 
Now that’s a more worthwhile focus, especially in this upcoming last week of the Lenten season, Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, where we recreate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem. Then during the week, we feel with Him the anguish of waiting for His betrayal, crucifixion, and burial.
 
And finally, the greatest moment of all in man’s history, when we celebrate His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday morning! For that’s what entitles us to promise of eternal life! If Christ had not arisen from the grave, having defeated death, then there’d be no after life for us to celebrate today, two thousand years later.
 
Now that’s where the Christian mind should be focused in these difficult and trying times. And to help us get into that frame of mind, rather than the ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ one, let’s chant our Friday Chant with much conviction.
 
As one powerful chanter now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yeh mih people, we need to concentrate on rejuvenating ourselves, so that we can continue our pilgrim’s journey with zest and panache next week. (smile) And an important part of all that is doing what our Bit advises. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Unfortunately though my brethren, a lot of us don’t seem to believe that and we just go on constantly toting the heavy load that is sin on our frail human shoulders. That’s not wisdom nor common sense my people, for long long ago the Lord promised to forgive our sins if we turned to Him in repentance.
 
Listen to these beautiful, uplifting and encouraging words of the prophet Jeremiah nuh. ‘And they shall teach no more every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer.31:34)
 
Oh Friends, we all know the faithfulness of our God, so why is it so difficult to embrace that promise eh? Why do we insist on letting our sins weigh us down, when it’s not necessary?
 
Bruh David is a great example of not letting his sins weigh him down too much. He did his thing, but when times got rough, he wasn’t afraid to cry out to the God of his fathers for mercy and forgiveness. Hear this cry of his from Psalm 27 – A prayer for guidance and protection.
 
‘Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy LOVING-kindness; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
 
The meek (humble) will he guide in judgement (justice): and the meek (humble) will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity; for it is great.’ (Ps.25:6-12)
 
Ah mih people, we don’t have to wax as poetic and philosophical as Bruh David, but we do have to bring our sins to Almighty God for forgiveness as often as possible, so that we can shed the heavy load that they bring to bear on us. Please remember Jesus’ great invitation to all and sundry.
 
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
Oh Friends, there we have it in living colour, straight from Jesus Himself! What shall we do about it eh? Shall we foolishly reject such a wonderful invitation? Or shall we embrace it with joy and gratefulness?
 
I beg to advice that the latter option is the only wise and sensible one. So today, let’s ponder our true relationship with Jesus nuh, and hopefully come to the conclusion, that He is indeed the Truth, the Light, and the Way in this dark world of evil and sin. Much LOVE!
 
…the greatest wisdom mankind can embrace…is that of truly and faithfully following Jesus…

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2014 Jeremiah 31:31

Jeremiah 31:31.   Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. 

Well Friends, we’ve finally reached that day for which we’ve all been waiting and longing for – Friday! 
 
But it’s a cold and snow filled one for those in and around the Greater Toronto Area. That means it will be a longer, slower and more miserable drive this morning.
 
So please leave home a little earlier and be very careful in your driving, if you want to get to work on time and in one piece, that’s bodily piece, because your mind might be very frustrated after this morning’s commute. (smile)
 
But that warning fell on deaf ears, it didn’t stop some of us from still declaring, ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And snow or no snow won’t stop me from giving thanks that the last day of the workweek is here. Glory Hallelujah!
 
My time will soon be my own, to do what I please with it during this upcoming weekend. No more listening and kowtowing to slave driver supervisors! Let’s give God some more praise nuh. Thank God is Friday yes! Wow!’
 
Ah mih people, Friday has such an appealing and restorative function in our lives that we care less about the inclement weather conditions than the end of the workweek.
 
But remember though, the weekend is not ours to do completely as we please; we have to have a bit of circumspection about our time and our doings. So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which helps to give us a better perspective of our insufficient two days off.
 
As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes my brethren, that’s the way we ought to spend our weekend. I know though, that this close to Christmas, the weekend will be filled with a flurry of activities, like shopping, wrapping presents, putting up lights, and all the other necessities we feel the season ought to have.
 
But just be sure to get enough rest, relaxation and fellowship, so that you can go back out on Monday bright and fresh to battle the heathen to a standstill. (smile)
 
And today we have a beautiful, heartwarming and ever so wise quote from the recently passed away Leader of the Opposition New Democratic Political Party in Canada, Jack Layton (1950-2011). Jack is reputed to have said: ‘Cherish every moment with those you LOVE at every stage of your journey.’
 
And that’s heavenly wisdom Friends! For life is so finicky and uncertain that our LOVED ones could be here today and gone tomorrow, either to another earthly place or to the big house in the sky. So we do need to cherish any time we get to spend with them. And this Christmas season is one of those times.
 
Around the world, a lot of us don’t see our friends and families except at holiday time like this upcoming one. I therefore encourage us to just enjoy each other’s company, forgive and forget old hurts and disappointments, live in the now, not the past, because that’s already gone, neither in the future, for who knows what the future holds for each of us.
 
So please enjoy the present, not the material gifts now (smile) but the time spent with those we cherish, for this might just be the last opportunity to do so.
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.’
 
And my brethren, this Christmas season, or rather, the first one, two thousand years ago, is when our most wonderful God decided to implement that new and forever covenant, beginning with the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ.
 
And the Good Book details it thus: ‘Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord.
 
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts (mind), and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
 
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer.31:32-34)
 
Oh Friends, what a mighty promise! One that we all know has been fulfilled by the coming of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit amongst believers.
 
And the scholars explain this New Covenant thus: ’31:31. In this prophecy Jeremiah foresees the new covenant (testament) that God will make with mankind by extending His grace to the Gentiles. Under this new covenant, God will call out a people for Himself from all the nations of the earth to form the bride of Christ (Rev.21:1-9).
 
This new and unconditional covenant is better than the old covenant because it rests on the efficacy of Christ’s atonement for the sins of mankind (Heb.8:10-12). (First Reference, Jer.31:31; Primary Reference, Luke 22:17-20; cf. Eph.1:10.)’
 
Oh Friends, please take a few moments and check out those references, because they will help us in better understanding the scriptures.
 
And now may the Lord bless and keep us, guide us safely and give us His peace that passes all understanding, till we meet again tomorrow, Him willing. Much LOVE!
 
…nothing on earth compares to the joy and other positive human emotions…that resonate between true and LOVING friends and family…