Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 December 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.       If any man will (desires to) come after me (be my disciple), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Well, here’s another ‘Can you believe it’: On Thursday 29th December 2022, the sun is shining and the weather is fine! The temperature is about 8 degrees Celsius. That’s in the middle of winter. Rain is expected not snow! As the old people would say, what  en’t reach you, en’t pass you! In other words, you won’t believe it until you see it! So it’s obvious that times are a changing; both in weather and the nature of man, and thus in our society. Mankind is certainly becoming like Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy so long ago. 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be loves of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), highminded (haughty), lovers of pleasures more (rather) than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (mere religion without the power of a spiritual life): from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Oh friends, it seems that Bruh Paul is in our midst today writing about the sorry state of our world. For, unless you are blind, deaf, dumb and totally not involved, you have surely noticed the decline of our society, debased to the level of all the things Bruh Paul spoke to Timothy about. I don’t know if there’s ever been an angrier and more strife-filled time in mankind’s history across the whole known world at the same time, like we’re now experiencing, where everybody is in an uproar over something, and nobody’s satisfied about anything. 

I daresay the last days can’t be far ahead. But until that time, it is the bounden duty of we believers to fight tooth and nail to keep the world for Christ! This is the time for which we were created. We have all we need to change things, but we are just fearful and lazy, preferring to enjoy the pleasures of the world rather than do the world-changing work of God. 

Yes my people, please, let’s remember Jesus’ parting desire, His Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Now my fellow believers, please tell me what aspect of that is rocket science eh, that’s so high that we don’t understand it? It’s simple and clear forward like everything else Jesus says! We just don’t want to make the sacrifice it entails to do His work. But please remember these words of Jesus also; the requirements for being His disciple. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me (be my disciple), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Oh my brethren, the life of a follower of Jesus involves daily sacrifice if necessary. It is a good, abundant and prosperous but also sacrificial life, like Jesus’ was. He never asks us to do what He never did, or will not empower us to do. The problem is that we need to raise the level of our faith, the level of our trust and surrender to His faithfulness. We can’t just lie down and play dead before the evil doings of the world. No! We need to put on the armour of God that we recently spoke about and join the spiritual battle that’s taking place for the soul and spirit of our world, our children and our families! 

Unfortunately though, most of that fight is being conducted by a handful of believers. And when Christ’s church should be so deeply involved in this fight, it’s not, because it’s divided, disunited and torn apart by selfish, petty disagreements. The enemy has successfully divided and conquered it. Yesterday we saw where Bruh Paul spoke to the Colossians about putting off the old man.  Today though is a different day, one where we desperately need to listen and do as he exhorts: ‘And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.’ (Col. 3:10) 

Oh friends, that’s what we need in our world today; the new man, the new person we are supposed to become after accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour. And to paraphrase the scholars, that’s a man with a new nature, a Christ-like one, ‘with new values, aspirations and a new lifestyle. And that new man needs to be constantly renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth! It surely is! That means to improve our Christ-like mettle, improve our faith and desire to do Christ’s bidding, our first priority is to learn more about God, that’s read, study and meditate on His awesome Word. And a dusty Bible, sitting unopened and unused in a corner is not the way to learn about God. Rather, as they say, the Bible is for everyday living, not only for weekends. So you need to open, read and study it, EVERY DAY, if you truly want to know more about your heavenly Father. That’s the long and short of the story! 

And what I LOVE about our great God is His faithfulness and generosity, where He showers us with undeserved blessings so that we can do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings, but we have to declare them before they can be activated. So let’s do that right now nuh. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

So now that those blessings have been activated, let’s get out there and enthusiastically share them faithfully and generously, and thus put and keep the devil in his rightful place…that’s in hell. Much LOVE!

…we believers need a resurgence of faith and courage…which can only come from serious study of the Bible…and a time of serious gospel revival…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 December 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.        If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And once again, this new day, this lazy Saturday has dawned grey and overcast. However, my computer weather forecast tells me that it will eventually be mostly sunny. Let’s hope that is true, because there’s nothing worse than a cold, cloudy day. And since I’ve already lazed out as much of the day as possible, (smile) I’ve got to get right into the Bit, considering the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now the first quote tells us: ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ Well, that’s at least partly true, because some things, if you don’t believe in them, you’ll never experience them. That’s just the nature of those things. It’s like belief and faith in Christ. If you don’t believe in Christ, have sincere faith in Him, you’ll never experience the wonderful things He has in store for you. All the many miracles, or what some might call magical moments, in a life lived exclusively for Him. 

It’s the faith, the belief that creates the opportunities. And how is faith defined? ‘The substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Exactly my faithful brethren! Faith is what we hope for, the positive expectation of what we don’t see, but know that it will come along eventually. And that segues very nicely into our next quote. ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.’ 

That’s the gospel truth. Many of us can think back to moments we never really valued at the time they were happening, but now, many years later, realize how important and valuable they were in our life. I can think of several right off the top of my head. Unfortunately though, not properly appreciating the moments of life when they occur, is a sad drawback to the human nature. 

Why? I don’t know! But we just seem to pass over some moments without paying proper attention to them. And that’s ever so possible and plentiful in our busy society. And later on, we so often hold our heads and bawl: ‘Oh how I wish I’d paid more attention to such and such, or so and so!’ But then it’s too late my people. Let’s hope that this will give us a wakeup call, to consider all the moments in our lives, so that we don’t pass over some of the real important ones, and only have vague memories of them as we go back and forth in our rocking chairs. (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote succinctly informs us: ‘To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.’ And that’s the glorious truth! Be it in the evil doings of this world, or in the wonderful kingdom of Christ. To gain much, one must usually expend much; in time, money, energy, faith and hope! That’s because big rewards just naturally come from big expenditures in whatever you’re seeking to achieve. And if you think that’s not true, then listen to Jesus as He sets out His basic rule for discipleship. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now if that isn’t a big risk, I don’t know what is. It means that every day we have to put aside our own desires and do God’s will. Be like Jesus said in His darkest hour in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt. 26:42). Yes friends, Jesus would have surely preferred not to go to the cross, but He was willing to do it if it was the Father’s will. Likewise, we are expected to put our desires aside and do Jesus’ will if we want to receive big rewards in heaven. 

Please note that all the people mentioned as being of great faith and doing great things in the Bible, all took great risks and sacrificed much. Names like Abraham, who packed up and left his family simply on God’s say so. A God He did not even know. Likewise, Moses, led the Israelites at great sacrifice to himself. Bruh Joseph experienced much heartache and betrayal in his young life, but he held on staunchly to the promise of His God and was eventually greatly rewarded by being made the Prime minister of Egypt, then the greatest power on earth. 

Look at the lives of Bruh David, Bruh Paul, Job, etc. etc. All laid down their own desires to follow that of their God, and were well rewarded, not necessarily here on earth, but definitely in heaven, where Jesus said it was the best place to store one’s treasure. (smile) 

And then, there was this quote: ‘To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the ‘what is next’, of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.’ Now, all of that is technically true; without dreams and goals we’re merely existing, and that’s not why God made us. But to live a truly fulfilled life, one must be living for Jesus! For He is the only one who can bring real fulfillment to our souls and spirits. 

The world might bring fulfillment to our bodies, but those pass away back to the dust from which they were originally formed. However, our souls and spirits live on, and that’s why they ought to be properly taken care of. And remember only Jesus gives eternal life, peace, true joy and unconditional LOVE! But that doesn’t mean that our desires and dreams are unimportant to our God. Definitely not, since he is the One who originally put them there! 

And let’s not forget this magnificent advice of Bruh David, which he wrote from personal experience: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps. 37:1-5) 

Obviously you won’t get everything you want, especially if it conflicts with God’s will, but my people, that’s the only way to live a truly fulfilled life on God’s great earth! That brings us to this last quote, another dilly. ‘The most wasted of days is one without laughter.’ And yuh better believe it! A day without laughter is indeed a wasted day. Now, we’re not talking about just maniacal, delirious laughter, but moments when the soul and spirit exude a joy that lifts us up, that enables us to continue steadfastly on the straight and narrow road. 

And Cousin Sol, in his infinite wisdom, described laughter thus. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov. 17:22) Yes friends, it’s been scientifically proven that laughter is one of the best, and the cheapest medicines ever. Here are some of the things laughter does. It lowers blood pressure; reduces stress hormone levels, and right now stress is the biggest killer in our society. Laughter also works your abs. Oh yeah! When you laugh your stomach muscles contract and expand like when you intentionally exercise your abs. 

It improves cardiac health; gets your heart pumping and improves blood flow. It boosts ‘T-cells’ a natural immune system that helps us fight off sickness. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, another facet of our natural pain relief system. And finally, laughter produces a general sense of well-being. It certainly does! And doctors have discovered that those with a positive outlook on life, who laugh a fair amount, also live longer than those who are on the negative side of the equation and don’t laugh as much. So please, let’s go out today and be positive, bask in the joy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and laugh a lot, so we can live longer! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus might be tough…but it’s always interesting… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 November 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.        If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

So it’s Monday! What’s the big deal about that eh? Monday comes around every week, and we face it, with hope, prayer and faith in Almighty God, successfully defeat it and move on to the next day. And the reason why so many of us are in a tizzy come Monday morning is because we don’t make proper preparations for it on Sunday evening. 

Oh friends, the only way to successfully greet a new day is by being prepared for it, having some plan(s) to take it under our wing and control it, rather than have no plans, and allow it to control us. And since we all know that Monday is a day of work, it should be common sense, not rocket science to prepare for it beforehand, so that we’re not aimlessly rushing around looking for stuff on Monday morning. Surprisingly, no other day of the workweek seems to give us as much trouble as Monday, the one we have the most time to prepare for. Perhaps that’s the problem; we have too much time to prepare for it, so we keep putting it off until it’s too late. 

That recalls Cousin Sol’s wise words from Proverbs: ‘He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.’ (Prov. 25:28) And this other Proverb describes the same thing. ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov. 16:32) Likewise this one: ‘The discretion (self-control) of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov. 19:11) 

Yes my people, self-control is an essential aspect of successful living. In fact, it’s possibly the most important aspect, because if we don’t have it, we won’t be able to do the other necessary things properly. And remember it’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit, which means it will only flourish if we allow the Holy Spirit to water and nurture the godly seed planted in us. And the Bible gives us oodles of scriptures that bear out the importance of self-control, so let’s look at a few, hoping that they will help us in our ongoing battle with life. 

And probably the most famous one is that written to Timothy by Bruh Paul: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) And to both Timothy and Titus, Bruh Paul wrote about the qualities needed for bishops and deacons as well as for ordinary believers and they all include that aspect of self-control. (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9, 2:1-10). And as well, in his treatise to Timothy on apostasy (turning away from faith in God) Bruh Paul writes that one of the signs would be ‘incontinent men,’ that’s men without self-control. 

Meanwhile Peter in his second epistle writes to the Jewish diaspora regarding growing in grace, in spiritual maturity. ‘And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (moral excellence); and to virtue knowledge (spiritual truth); and to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (endurance); and to patience godliness; (2 Pet. 1:5-6) 

Now we can all see that the importance of self-control is no lie by just looking at the terrible state of our current world filled with so much confusion and strife, dissatisfaction, greed and an insatiable hunger for power, most of which is driven by a lack of self-control. 

And if you want it clearer than all that, then listen to Jesus as He discusses the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) That’s as plain and straightforward as you can get. You have to be bubbling over with self-control to follow Jesus, meaning denying your own desires and instead following His. And there is more to say on the subject, but since I’m aspiring to keep the Bit as short as possible (smile) we’ll leave that for tomorrow, God willing. 

The next step then is to go to God in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn asking for divine assistance. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

And for us to get a positive reaction, it’s imperative that we keep our promises and show some improvement in our daily lives. Much LOVE!

…self-control is like body building…you have to exercise it for it to grow… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, remember how Jesus, after telling the disciples it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, turned around and told them: ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) And likewise, this verse from John says it all. It comes from Jesus’ discourse on the branch being unable to bear fruit unless it’s attached to the vine. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.       If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 

And then it was Tuesday, sunny but somewhat chilly, as it still isn’t truly summer, although we are behaving like it is, with the li’l warm weather we’ve recently been having. (smile) It’s also the first working day of this week and I wonder after the Victoria Day celebrations, how many of us didn’t make it to work today, or are so beat up that we are of no real use in the job? No doubt the number is higher than usual because it was the first long weekend up in cottage country after the long Covid lockdown and dreary winter days. 

And sadly, too many of us have become hopeless and discouraged by the trying circumstances of the last two years, but if we have true faith in the One who created us, then we should never become discouraged or hopeless. And today I want to share some good info about discouragement from the marvellous work by Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller): ‘Hours of Power – My Daily Book of Motivation and Inspiration.’ And today’s inspiring and motivating message is aptly titled: ‘Don’t Get discouraged.’ I shared it sometime ago, but I believe, with all the unfortunate circumstances that are currently plaguing our world, it’s time to share it again. 

So please read with me. ‘Do not be discouraged if you do not accomplish everything that you set out to accomplish. Surely if you do not expect to succeed you will hold back your full power, investment, and enthusiasm. Immediately the kind of people who help to move you on to victory begin to draw back. Your conservative and cautious attitude will reflect itself in an anxious look on your face that will disturb and discourage people from helping you. 

There are two major reasons why people fail. Both stem from a lack of mountain moving faith. (1) People who fail are often people who are indecisive. They cannot make decisions swiftly and surely. The fast moving opportunity is past before they decide – too late – to take hold. 

(2) Then some decisive people fail because, after making the decision, they fail to move forward with an expectant confidence. They grab the opportunity, only to lose nerve, get cold feet, and begin to wonder if they have done the right thing. They have gripped the plow but now they are looking back. Want to be a success? Develop the ability to appraise opportunities intelligently, seize opportunities swiftly, and promote those opportunities confidently.’ 

Yes friends, I do hope those words of wise advice will cause us to take a good look at ourselves and enable us to come up higher in these tough times. That recalls one of Dr. Schuller’s favourite sayings: ‘Tough times never last, but tough people do!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for if we are believers in Christ, then we ought to be tough, for we have the greatest example of toughness in our Lord and Saviour! You can say whatever you want about him, but you can NEVER say that He wasn’t tough, for He took all the ‘sufferation’ and rejection that was thrown against Him in stride, never bat an eyelid or complained about it, just went about the Father’s business in faithful and dutiful obedience. 

Now, we obviously don’t have all the divine parts that Jesus had, but we can still do a better job than we are currently doing. We have life so easy nowadays that we complain about any little misfortune or setback. We’ve lost the belly and backbone we had when times were not as easy. And that’s not done us any good, for there will always be ups and downs in our lives, and if we don’t have that resistant, resilient belly and backbone we’ll never be able handle to the tough times, exactly what we’re seeing with the current unsettling situations. 

Remember what it takes to be a true follower of Christ. Jesus said it quite clearly and plainly. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) That means we have to be tough and decisive if we want to follow Christ. And it’s not like we don’t know that He will always be there to help us. We claim it all the time. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And we also mouth this other reaffirming scripture: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:19) 

But unfortunately, when the going gets tough we seem to forget about those encouraging scriptures, we moan and groan and wonder what’s happened to God. Yes, it’s ever so easy to follow Christ in the good times, but it’s when the hammer hits the nail, that our faith needs to come up strong. Gramps Schuller calls it mountain moving faith. Jesus said it to the disciples when they couldn’t cast out a demon from a young boy. ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ (Matt. 17:20) 

That’s how much a li’l faith can accomplish, so can you imagine when we have great faith, the mighty things we can accomplish for Christ in His awesome name! And that’s exactly what He’s expecting of His followers right now in these calamitous times. He expects us to be the true salt of the earth and light of the world, showing the unbelievers who are living in darkness the true way to the truth and the light, to the Father and Creator, and that’s through Him. We desperately need to let the world know what Jesus said on that matter. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And that’s the indisputable truth! There’s no getting to heaven, no receiving salvation and eternal life without receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour. Christ laid the foundation and now expects us to build His body, His church, stone by stone, brick by brick with our earthly efforts. Yes, it’s only through us, His earthly hands, feet and body that the world will get that message. He’s depending on us my brethren to do the work that must be done for the world to come to salvation. 

And for those of us who are rising faithfully to the challenge, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’

 Now let’s go out and do just that nuh; share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those who don’t know him, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…as our faith grows…so will our work for Jesus grow…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.      If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

And then it was a sunny summer Saturday! Glory be my people! Good days are ahead in the northern climes, and it’s showing already with folks walking about half-naked, and driving around in their convertibles. The sun was actually hot yesterday…and hopefully from now on, it will dispel heat as well as brilliance. Although, when the heat really comes, we’ll start complaining about how it’s too hot. 

Yes, mankind is never satisfied. Even when we get what we call for, we’re not happy. When it’s cold we complain, but when it gets hot, we also complain. Before there was Christ, we complained about Satan and his sinful ways, but now that we have Christ and His awesome story of salvation and eternal life, we’re still complaining. Guess man’s dissatisfaction with life will never end until Jesus comes back and sets up His magnificent kingdom of peace, LOVE and contentment. 

In the meantime, let’s concentrate on 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 this week we only must deal with three quotes because he inadvertently sent us one from last week, namely: ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ We dealt with that when we talked about Mary, Jesus’ mother, and the many things she held in her heart re the birth, life, death and resurrection of her marvellous boy child, the Son of God. 

But believe me, a heart can hold a lot, since it is made for patience and long suffering, but how much, I don’t even think we can measure it, because it’s such a wonderfully made organ, second only to the mind, that it just keeps expanding with whatever is placed in it, be it PAIN or LOVE. Imagine the hearts of Mary and the Father when they watched their Son’s badly beaten and abused body, hanging limply on the old rugged cross nuh! That certainly gives us an idea of the heart’s amazing capacity. 

Then we come to this rather interesting quote. ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ And that’s the gospel truth friends! We see it happening every day in our celebrity-based society, where you’ll find people fighting to hang around with a celebrity, and usually the latest and/or biggest one in town. And the celebrities themselves are so chocked full of themselves that they encourage these entourages and even seek to compete as to who has the biggest entourage. 

But you know what, regardless of how big we get, our flame dies or burns low at some time or the other, meaning we can no longer afford to have all those hangers-on hanging around us. And they usually just drift away to greener pastures, ofttimes without even a backward glance, and angry too that their good thing has ended, because they are only parasites; organisms that feed off a living body until they kill it, it dies from being fed on too much. (smile) 

None stay to help you get through the rough times, as you are forced to ride the bus instead of the limo. But that’s the celebrity game! And if you foolishly decide to play it, then you have no one to blame but yourself, if you end up paying the price for your big ego and foolish pride. 

Now hear this next quote, which makes a bold statement: ‘You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ That’s oh so true my brethren! Once you stay in the safe confines of your comfort zone, or the place(s) where you are comfortable and refuse to take some risks, then your life will never change. You’ll just drone on in the same comfortable but unexciting and unenthusiastic manner. 

Remember life was meant to be lived. Christ died for us to have life abundantly, and that means getting up and doing new and different things, taking risks, not foolish risks, but sensible ones through which you can grow and become a better person and a more mature believer. If you desire change, then you must stretch yourself, because that’s the only way change comes about. You certainly can’t stay in your comfort zone and expect to or acquire change. 

And Jesus is the perfect example of that. He could have stayed in His comfortable position in heaven, but He desired to see some changes down here on earth amongst the people, so He left his comfortable heavenly situation and came to earth to do something about it. Remember His famous words: ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17)

Yes friends, the Father LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to see us go down the wide and destructive path that leads to death and damnation, and because of His justice and righteousness He couldn’t just wave our sins away, so He had to step out of His comfort zone and do something drastic, like send His sinless Son to die and pay our sin debt. Jesus Himself could have refused the Father’s entreaties, but He also decided to step out of His comfort zone, and do something big, something drastic and wonderful, but oh so painful, for mankind, telling the Father – ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:39d) 

And it’s the same way He desires us to step out of our comfort zones to do His bidding. He said it in no uncertain terms to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) And to do that, we must certainly step out of our comfort zone, unlike the rich ruler who refused to sell his vast possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and then follow Jesus. (Matt. 19:16-26) 

That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be minds.’ True words friends. If an animal, who is supposed to moult, that’s cast of their skins or feathers or change their outer appearance, like a snake, or certain birds, or a caterpillar, then those animals die. The same thing goes for those of us who are prevented from changing their opinions, like in certain dogmatic or dictatorial societies or organizations. 

Our minds simply die, because they have been made devoid of life, through the refusal to think other thoughts, or have other opinions. Man’s mind is the greatest thing ever made, but it was made for thinking, for being used in worthwhile pursuits, not just sitting dormant or not being profitably used. So, like all living organisms that don’t keep moving and improving, they eventually die from lack of use. 

Please friends, please don’t allow that to happen to our minds. Let’s keep them moving and grooving on the best thing that’s ever happened to us, that’s Jesus! Like Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) In that way, my fellow saints, our minds won’t die an unnatural and unprofitable death. Much LOVE!

…following Jesus is not easy…but it’s adventurous and exciting…because it takes you out of your comfort zone… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 April 2022 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.      ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

A BLEESED GOOD FRIDAY! 

And then it was Friday…Good Friday to be exact; the end of our Lenten season, the day our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross of Calvary to pay for our abominable sins! And why that name on one of the most horrendous days in History? There are all sorts of reasons, but I like this one. It’s a Good Friday in the sense that on this particular day, ALL of our sins were washed away! That’s not only what‘s good about it, but what is exceedingly and abundantly wonderful! 

Yes, we know that Christ suffered terribly on our behalf, but that’s considering the glass half empty. However, looking at what that sacrifice entailed and accomplished – atonement, forgiveness of sins – means looking at the glass half-full. And no one wanted, or wants anyone to undergo such ‘sufferation’ as Jesus did – and that’s the only word that can truly explain what He went through for us undeserving and ungrateful sinners – but without someone sinless paying for our sins we would ALL still be headed for damnation and hellfire with no options of salvation and eternal life. 

And since Jesus was the only sinless soul available, it was obvious that the Father had to sacrifice Him if He wanted our sin debt to be paid. And oh, how it hurts my heart when I consider the unfairness and misery Jesus went through on our behalf. Sometimes I don’t even want to read about the shame hurled on Him during the mock trials He went through. And the flogging, oh brother, that wicked beating that cut His back to tatters brings tears to my eyes. 

Then the ignominy, the embarrassment and humiliation of dragging that heavy wooden cross on which He would be crucified through the streets of Jerusalem, falling under its weight, just like he would later fall under the weight of our sins that the Father would ultimately lay on His shoulders. It’s like our modern-day trait of having someone dig their own grave. Just listen to this description of Christ’s early suffering as told by Matthew, and if it doesn’t break your heart and bring tears to your eyes…then…I don’t know what to say about you nuh. 

After Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified, ‘Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall (the governor’s headquarters where everyone could see), and gathered unto him the whole band (cohort) of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited (twisted) a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put on his own raiment (clothes), and led him away to crucify him.’ (Matt. 27:27-31) 

Oh friends, can you imagine how Jesus must have been totally humiliated, especially after only a week earlier, the same crowd that had cheered His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, singing ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ was now shouting ‘Crucify Him!’ But yuh know what, our heavenly Father is always a kind and LOVING God, and even in the depths of Jesus’ despair, though He knew that He could not take away the cup that Jesus must drink, He could soften the blow somewhat. Thus, the following scriptures: ‘And as they led him (Jesus) away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.’ (Luke 23:26) 

Oh my people, do you think that Simon just happened to appear there when Jesus was so exhausted and broken after all that He’d suffered in the last several hours. No, I don’t think so. I think the Father, knowing the terrible state that Jesus was in, placed him there for just that purpose. And isn’t it strange that the first three gospels all named Simon by name, a supposed casual passer-by? Mark even named his two sons, Alexander and Rufus. And every Good Friday since then, we too are also calling Simon the Cyrene’s name. As they say, people are not named in scripture without a purpose. So the story had to be true. 

And I like what this one author, Chris Nye, says on importance of Luke’s words, ‘that he might bear it after him.’ That means Simon was walking behind Jesus with his cross. Nye writes: ‘Before his arrest and betrayal, Jesus said to his would-be followers, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To be a Christian is to live a “cruciform life,” a kind of existence that is shaped by and through the cross. 

We bear the cross Jesus provides for us. This is precisely what Simon did and precisely what we must do too. As St. Paul wrote, we do this so that we may know Jesus “and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). Simon of Cyrene, following behind Jesus with the cross, is the picture of discipleship. Christ has gone first. He has gone and is going to where we cannot. Still, we follow in his steps, bearing the cross behind him.’ 

Ah mih fellow saints, the cross is indeed the symbol of our faith! Everything in Christianity points to it and leads away from it. Without the cross there’d be no solid foundation for us to build our lives upon. And we all know the rest of the story of that First Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified naked like a jay bird, the ultimate shame in His Jewish faith, between two thieves, with nails in his hands and feet, and left hanging on the cross for some five hours in the hot midday sun to die from dehydration and loss of blood. The ultimate cruelty ever devised by man! 

But we also know that Jesus bore His ‘sufferation’ like the true Son of God that He was, mostly in silence too. His only complaint being at about the ninth hour, when He cried out to the Father: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, on that old rugged cross, bearing the sins of the whole world on His shoulders, that was the ONLY time that Father and Son had ever been separated, and apparently that was the only thing that troubled Jesus deeply. He was otherwise so in control that He promised the repentant thief crucified with Him: ‘Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:43) 

Even in His misery, His dying moments, Jesus was cognitive enough to plead on our behalf. ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) He is asking forgiveness for the people who are unjustly crucifying Him, the same ones for whose sins He was sent to atone for! Now doesn’t that say everything about our magnificent Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? It certainly does! What a fine example He is for us to follow! And that’s all He’s asking of us this Good Friday, this immortal day on the Christian calendar; to take up our cross, just like He did His two thousand years ago, and faithfully follow Him to salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not faithfully bearing your cross…then you’re not following Jesus… 

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but I had to go to church, because the 10 o’clock service was the only one we have today. But as always…better late than never. (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 February 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.      If any man will come after (desires to follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Then it was Saturday…and some more cold temps, but no snow…no work…and plenty sunshine! Yeh friends, just a blast of a day in the northern climes! (smile) Unfortunately though, it seems that the U.S got hit with a bad snowstorm over the last couple days, even a tornado hit one of the mid-western states. Imagine that nuh; tornadoes in snowstorms. But I saw a picture of a house that the tornado passed through and it was just flattened right to the ground, nothing was left standing. There were also several bad accidents in several states, and thousands of people are still without power. 

What a stormy winter it’s turning out to be, after all those other mild ones of the last few years. But what can one expect if you live in a wintry climate eh? However, with man’s determination and persistence, most ably aided and abetted by the Holy Spirit of Christ that dwells within us, we will come through it all victoriously. We must believe that, otherwise we are playing behind the eight ball from the very start. So, having confirmed our victory, let’s do what we usually do on Saturdays; check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And he seemed taken up with integrity this week, but we’ll deal first with the only quote that’s not about it. It says: ‘Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.’ Now, I guess that’s quite true, because out world in general is not a fair place, but in our current edition, brother, the word or attitude of fairness doesn’t seem to exist. Every aspect of our society, even the church, tends to reflect unfairness rather than fairness. 

We’ve lost that thing called humanity, where we treat people with dignity and appreciation, in other words like we want to be treated. And sadly, we can no longer expect fair treatment from even those close to us. So we have to be ever so careful in all our doings with our fellow man. What a pity! But enough about unfairness, let’s turn to that thing called ‘integrity’ that Anselm was so taken up with this past week. And I guess the first question is what’s integrity? And he gives us a simple but profound definition in one of the quotes. ‘Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.’ 

Yes friends, that’s basic integrity; even when we are alone, we ought to do the right thing in every situation. Remember though, as believers, we are never alone, for God is always with us, and He sees all, and He is the righteous judge. So though no one else might know our lack of integrity, God knows it. It’s like Jesus says: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…’ And righteousness is basically doing what we know to be right. And between the Word of God, our own moral conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit we should not have a hard time deciding what’s right from wrong. 

Then there’s this quote that also defines integrity. ‘Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed.’ And by Jove, it does also mean that! Now that is something our world is certainly lacking; the keeping of commitments. We don’t even want to make them. Just look at all the young people who don’t want to get married, don’t want to get committed, but choose to live together with the mistaken idea that they can get out of that kind of relationship whenever they want to. 

And even with the few who do get married, just look at the increased number of divorces that are happening daily, because they are not prepared, or committed to go through the difficult situations which arise in every marriage and every relationship. Ah mih people, integrity doesn’t mean always choosing the easy path, but rather toughing it out, even when it seems difficult and unfair. And that’s what Jesus desires of His followers: integrity! That’s what He had and showed to the nth degree. 

Yuh think He wanted to leave the comfort of heaven and come to this sinful earth to die for a bunch of ungrateful sinners. Not on your life! But the Father asked Him to, and since He LOVED and revered the Father, and there seemed to be no other righteous or just way to save our sinful souls, He acquiesced to the Father’s desire. 

Please note that last sentence carefully. Although the Father was all powerful, in His integrity, He still needed to show a penchant for rightness and justice. And since He had made the pronouncement that sin had to be paid for by death, to be seen as a just ruler and judge, He couldn’t simply wave His hand and eradicate our sins, someone or something sinless had to pay for them. And since Jesus was the ONLY sinless person beside the Father, the awful job of inhuman ‘sufferation’ fell to Him. 

Now that’s true integrity; offering your only son as a sacrifice to show your justice and righteousness. And Jesus came to earth and showed that same integrity, that same sense of purpose, the stoic attitude in the face of all those who stood against Him. And that’s what He expects from those who believe in Him. Note what He said in terms of discipleship. ‘If any man will come after (desires to follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) Yes my faithful brethren, every day we need to sacrifice our will to that of the Saviour, if we want to be true disciples. That means having integrity, oodles of it. 

Now here’s something interesting that integrity confers on us. The quote says: ‘Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide.’ And that’s the gospel truth! When you know that you are behaving right, you feel free, because there are no skeletons in your closet to hide or worry about. No wonder so many of us are very afraid in these trying times and hold everything close to our chests. Our lack of integrity has caused us to do so much wrong stuff that we can’t relax for fear that others will find out and realize that our wonderful testimony is all falsehood. That’s why to be set free, we need integrity! 

And the last quote says: ‘Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity.’ Words of enormous wisdom my fellow believers! And I believe these words from Peter’s first gospel do accurately reflect them. ‘For he that will LOVE life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (deceit): Let them eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.’ (1 Pet. 3:10-12) 

Yes friends, if we concentrate on doing those things, then we’ll be considered righteous, people of integrity, true disciples of Christ! Much LOVE!

…what we do in darkness…should be able to withstand the light… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 December 2021 John 14:18.

John 14:18.     I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.

And it’s another one of those SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) inducing days, with a ballooning Omicron virus adding the finishing touches, as if we need any more problems in this already problem filled world! That’s why we need Jesus so badly in these turbulent times! Yes friends, the Only Begotten Son is the ONLY One who can promise us sustenance and succour in these ungodly times, and faithfully keep that promise. 

And we need to use His Word, His promises to boost our self-confidence and help us retain our sanity. Words like: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! My God will supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus! If God be for us who can be against us eh? NOBODY! Yes mih bredrin, if the One and Only True Living God is for us, not a single soul can be against us! Consequently, we can then declare: ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!’ 

But we need to believe it all, to feel it in every fibre of our being! Especially this all-encompassing verse: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Oh, it does sound like a tough verse to believe, but it’s the basis of everything in our faith, knowing that despite the trials and tribulation we will endure in this evil world, that eventually the Lord will work it all out for our good! 

Wow! What other deity can make that faithful promise eh? NONE! None whatsoever! Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! I know that some of us unwittingly come to Christianity as an easy go, as a Sunday evening walk in the park, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth my people. Did Jesus have an easy walk in the park when He came to earth to save us from our sins and reconcile us to the Father? 

Absolutely not! They gave Him a terrible time, ranging from disbelief, to slander, to physical punishment, and finally crucifixion, and anyone, who decides to take up their cross and follow Him will inevitably find struggles and possibly persecution, just like He did. Please remember these fateful words of Jesus, for they are the foundational authority to discipleship. 

‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:24-27) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s what we have to look forward to if we sincerely follow Jesus. And it’s a promise that seems will be soon fulfilled the way our world is showing many of the signs Jesus gave for His second coming. But soon with us and soon with God, are too entirely different things. Peter tells us that ‘one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) Now the early church thought that Jesus would soon return, but in our view, two thousand years have passed and He’s still not come back. However, that could simply be because to the Lord that’s only two days. (smile) 

But please don’t be fooled, Christ’s return could happen at any time, that’s why He warned: ‘But of that day an hour knoweth  no man, no not the angels of heaven, But my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42, 44) 

Oh my brethren, regardless of what signs we see or think we see, only the Father knows when the Son is going to return, that means we must be prepared, be ready for His Second Coming at any moment. That’s what those verses above are saying: ‘Be prepared!’ Are we prepared? Now that’s the big question. How many of us have set our house in order and are ready for if Jesus comes back today? 

Remember they also say He can come as a thief in the night, (1 Thess. 5:2) that’s unexpectedly, at any time, day or night, today tomorrow or even another two thousand years from now. But the important thing is for believers to be in a constant state of readiness for whenever that marvellous occasion happens, because we know, are very sure, that it will happen eventually, just not exactly when. 

And the wonderful thing about Jesus is that just like He promised before He went back to heaven, He has faithfully done: ‘And I shall pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16,18) And at that first Pentecost after His ascension, (Acts 2:1-4) He did indeed send the Holy Ghost to indwell all believers, to keep us safe, to lead and guide us in the direction He desires, that is, provided we are willing to listen and abide by the guiding of the Holy Spirit. 

Thus my fellow saints, the ball is now in our court! And our Jesus is ever so wonderful that He’s bestowed all kinds of blessing on those who believe that they can do His earthly work. And what a potent and plentiful set of blessings they are! We call them our Thursday Blessings, and since a blessing is not a blessing until it is declared out loud, let’s declare them right now nuh. 

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

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

MamaYo! What a magnificent set of blessings my faithful brethren! It now behooves us to put them to work in our lives and share them with others just as generously as Jesus shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…and, lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20b) 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2020 John 14:15.

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

Sunday morning’s come down friends! And we’ll do what we do every Sunday morning, be it sunshine, rain or snow; get together and praise, worship and give thanks to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Only thing is that these days many of us are worshiping and giving thanks through virtual technology because of the pandemic lockdown. Yes mih people, they may stop us from gathering together physically, but they can’t stop us from giving thanks and praise! And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise be to God!’ 

And with the Christmas season upon us, when we celebrate the earthly birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I thought it would only be right to open with a timely song, a Christmas carol we all know and LOVE; ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’an adaptation of a Latin hymn Adeste Fidelis. It’s rather appropriate for this time as it ‘harkens to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. It is considered a reference to the shepherds, after hearing the angels singing, coming to Bethlehem to adore their new-born savior. Today this hymn signifies and celebrates our coming together in worship to adore the LOVING blessing of Jesus, as he sacrificed himself for our salvation.’ 

So let’s worship nuh, in strong soulful, harmonious voice. ‘ O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! (Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.) God of God, light of light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; True God, begotten, not created: (Chorus) 

O Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above. Give to our Father, Glory in the highest! (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n; Word of the Father, Now in the flesh appearing, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

And is Christ ever worthy of our adoration my people! For no one has ever done what He did; give up His heavenly position and come to earth in manly form, for the main purpose of sacrificing His sinless life so that we could become children of God, with all the wonderful benefits that entails. Mama Mia! What a Lord and Saviour! 

But what does it really mean when we sing about ‘faithful’ eh? First let’s look at some definitions from the Merriam Webster dictionary. ‘1: steadfast in affection or allegiance : LOYAL – a faithful friend. 2: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : CONSCIENTIOUS – a faithful employee. 3: given with strong assurance : BINDING – a faithful promise. 4: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original – a faithful copy. 5: obsolete: full of faith.’ And you’ll notice what they say about the last one; that it’s obsolete, but a lot of people still believe that’s what it means, and who’s to say them nay eh? (smile) 

So you see all the different meanings ‘faithful’ can have. They left out one word though; integrity, for you can’t be all or any of those things without integrity. And I like how Wikipedia explains it: ‘Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exhibited by a husband or wife who, in a sexually exclusive marriage, does not engage in sexual relationships outside of the marriage.’ 

Therefore, in our case we can say ‘faithful’ means that we remain unfailingly loyal to Christ, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. And that’s not an easy thing to do, especially in these rather turbulent and topsy-turvy times. But if we seriously want to be a faithful follower of Christ, then we must buckle down and do the things He commands us. Listen to His all-encompassing statement to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) 

Typical Jesus, plain and straightforward. No beating around the bush. And that’s what it means to be faithful; do the things that the person or organization to which you are faithful requires of you. And don’t forget this other requirement of being faithful to Jesus. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt. 16:24-25) 

That means friends, all that wonderful singing we did above does carry serious consequences if we truly want to observe and honour Christ’s call and be faithful. That’s not to say we should not enjoy the merriment and festivity of the season, but we should also consider the job we have to do, after all the merriment is over. Note, after the shepherds went and saw Jesus, they went back to guarding their sheep, though with a more joyful heart. Likewise, our hearts should also be joyful, as we go through this season of Advent, contemplating the importance of Christ’s birth and what it means to us in these modern times. 

And we’ll end with these appropriate words, but please don’t ask me where I got them from, because I don’t remember. (smile) ‘The encouragement to “come, all ye faithful, . . . to Bethlehem” situates the singer both among the shepherds who rushed to see Christ and in the great continuation of the “faithful” that have traveled to Bethlehem in a spiritual nature for over 2,000 years. Although today, we cannot actually witness Jesus in the manger, we can come to Bethlehem in a symbolic sense. We can be there in our imaginations as we allow the Christmas story to hearten our spirits.’ 

Yes precious people, let’s raise our spirits, be faithful and joyful in this Christmas season, despite the many troubles in our world. For that’s what Christians – faithful, steadfast and loyal believers in Jesus do, especially when one of His commands is to be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord is our strength… (Neh. 8:10) 

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