Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2021 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 

Then it was Wednesday, and the heat wave we have had for the past few days, with temps in the thirties, seems to have suddenly disappeared, with the high today expected to be in the low twenties, with rain and cloudy skies. What a contrary summer it’s turning out to be; a few hot days backed by a few cool ones. And the rain and thunderstorms seem to be even more prevalent now than in the springtime. It’s therefore no surprise that my sinus allergies are having a right ole time with the temperature vacillation. 

But that’s climate change for you! (smile) However we must learn to weather it like we do everything else. And as with everything else, the best way to weather it is with Jesus as our guide and pilot. There’s no doubt whatsoever that with Jesus leading, we can handle anything, ride out any storm, be it literal or figurative, for He is the man who calms the winds and seas, again, both literally and figuratively. 

We find this highlighted in the Good Book, where while He and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee a terrible storm arose – ‘insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves’ – ‘and they were filled (filling) with water, and were in jeopardy.’ The first quote there is from Matt. 8:24, and the second from Luke 8:23. So they did seem to be in mortal danger. But where was Jesus during this crucial and critical time eh? Mark tells us: ‘And He was in the hinder part of the ship (the stern) asleep on a pillow:’ Mark 4:38a) 

Now imagine that nuh…the boat is being tossed to and fro, taking in water, in danger of sinking, and Jesus is comfortably asleep in the stern. That abnormal situation certainly perturbed the disciples, ‘and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38b) 

Most likely Jesus was upset that they had woken Him from a comfortable sleep, even possibly a sweet dream. ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:39-41) 

Now that’s why we are so highly recommending Jesus for the position of Lord and Saviour, Guide and Pilot of our lives! He doesn’t get all anxious and afraid in storms. And if you call out to Him, when you are immersed in them, like we all are at some time or other, He will even take the time and calm those storms for you. That’s how seriously He takes His task as your storm pilot! 

Furthermore, once you engage Him as your dedicated mentor and guide, He has promised never to leave nor forsake you, to stay always by your side and help you through everything in this life, be they good or bad! He said it directly to the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) 

Wow! How good is that for a life mentor eh? Most wonderful, I’d say! (smile) So you see friends, it’s no half-baked tale I’m spinning you, but the story of real people, and a real God-man. ‘The Son of man,’ was Jesus’ favourite terminology when referring to Himself. But coming back to the story of the storm, it shows that though the disciples had seen Jesus do several miracles their faith was still small. 

Then, as one commentator, Evelyn Oliver/Christian Disciplines says: ‘This story has a lot of importance for us today. It is incredible to see the peace that Jesus had in this situation and the complete turmoil that the disciples were in. Jesus was at peace and not worried about the storm around them. There was no reason for the disciples to be afraid…. We know that Jesus knew what was going on from the beginning because he reprimanded the disciples for their lack of faith. They did not trust in Jesus and all he could and would do. At that moment, the disciples had more fear of the storm than trust in God.’ 

And sadly my people, that same situation still exists with us today. In too many cases, we fear the storms that come upon us more than we trust our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Mentor, Jesus. And that’s a crying shame! For if, in the good and calm times, you ask anyone of us so-called believers about trust and faith in Jesus, we would certainly serenade you with a powerful version of our strong faith. But as soon as the storm approaches, when reality hits, that strong faith seems to just disappear into thin air. 

And we are seeing that show forth very clearly in this pandemic situation. Instead of doing our part, and then standing strong in faith, knowing that this too must pass eventually, we get all worked up and anxious about stuff we have absolutely no control over. And we listen to every Tom, Dick and Harry, who are spouting so much incorrect stuff, so much disinformation, and thus feeding the devil’s fear mongering machine. 

Consequently, in a time when we need to show forth the most faith – which doesn’t mean being foolish like so many of us supposed believers, and refusing to take the few measures within our ability to stop the spread of the virus – our number one     response is fear. No wonder the virus is taking much longer to go away. 

So friends, in times like these, it’s very important for us to remember the memorable words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘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 God expects us to use those abilities in a sensible manner, which means faithfully turning to Him in the time of storm, with few doubts and little anxiety. Those are human traits that we cannot completely eradicate, but we surely can keep them to a minimum with strong faith in Christ Jesus. 

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

And just in case you don’t remember, or your faith flounders some, (smile) if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…how many times do I have to say it eh…Jesus is the answer…Jesus is the answer…Jesus is the answer to EVERYTHING…                                                                                            

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2021 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.      Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, yea, I shall observe it with all my heart.

Well, it looks like a new day, Wednesday to be exact. So I guess that means we’re moving on, hopefully in a positive and godly manner, for those are the only ways we will ever be truly successful! And if we’re being godly, then we most certainly will give, or will have given thanks for the wonderful blessing of being able to see another glorious day on God’s great earth, only rivalled by the exotic pleasures of heaven. 

Ah mih people, if we’re down here now, we might as well enjoy it, since being miserable and unhappy won’t solve matters. And furthermore, if you’re a believer in Christ Jesus, then you have oodles of promises to help you feel better in the many storms of life and handle them in a positive manner, with your Lord and Saviour at the helm of your tossed and battered ship. Remember the joy of the Lord is our strength, and once we have Him bubbling up in us, we can handle anything that comes against us. 

And if we’re finding it difficult to handle our current circumstances then listen to these words of comfort from Psalm 119, the section titled – ‘Give me understanding.’ Please pray with me: ‘Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, yea, I shall observe it with all my heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 

Incline my heart unto (cause me to long for) thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity (looking at worthless things); and quicken (revive) thou me in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear (to fearing thee). Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgements are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken (revive) me in thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 119:33-40) 

Yes friends, therein lies a path of prayer to understanding. (smile) Now, here are some explanations from the scholars on the meaning of some of the terminology found in the psalm. ‘The multifaceted character of God’s Word is revealed by at least eight key synonyms for it in the psalm. (1) Law (torah) is the most frequent of the words. It comes from a verb meaning “to teach,” and thus came to be applied to a wide range of revelation, from an individual directive to the entire Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). It emphasizes that God has taught us in His Word what He requires of us. 

(2) Testimonies (‘edot) emphasizes the content of the Word as that which God has testified of Himself and His will. (3) Precepts (piquidim) refers to instructions from a superior regarding the duties of those under him, in this case, from God to man. (4) Statutes (huqim) is related to a verb meaning “to engrave” and thus implies permanent and unchangeable regulations. (5) Commandments (mitswot) is a word assuming the authority of the commander and the inherent necessity of obeying the content of the charge. 

(6) Judgements (mispatim) or ordinances refers to decisions God has made as a judge in order to make earthly behaviour conform to His heavenly standard. (7) Word (dabar) is an all-embracing term for God’s revelation in any form. (8) Word (imra) might also be translated “promise,” though the translation does not distinguish it from the preceding term to whose meaning it relates closely. It comes from the verb “to say” and assumes that the content of revelations is from the mouth of God. Other terms that seem to speak of God’s Word include ways (vs. 3, 37), name (vs. 55), and faithfulness (vs. 90). 

With these key words to express the substance of God’s revelation, the psalmist explores the entire gamut of human response to the Word of God: praise and thanksgiving for it, petitions that it may be kept, petitions that the psalmist may experience its comfort or conviction, confidence that its promises will be fulfilled, prayer for the ability to understand it, petitions that those who disregard it (the wicked) may be judged and so on. Because of this exaltation of the Word of God, this psalmist has sometimes been accused of worshiping the Word itself. However, his adoration of the Word always leads to its Author who inspired it. All believers should be accused of this kind of LOVE for the Bible.’ 

What a day that would be eh my people, when we are accused of such an uproarious LOVE for God’s word! Glory Hallelujah! But seriously though, that’s the direction in which our lives ought to be moving every day that we draw breath; a greater LOVE for God and His Word! That’s why we talk about moving up from glory to glory; everyday improving our understanding of the Word and becoming a li’l more like Jesus character wise. 

Oh friends, if we’re not growing, becoming more mature in our faith, then we are not fulfilling the Lord’s desire for our lives. Remember Bruh Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving to the church at Philippi, where he declares: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil 1:6) 

Yes my faithful brethren, our God will not stop working His goodness in us until His Son returns. That means we also have a responsibility to learn what He desires of us and behave the way He has set out in His Word. We have no excuses whatsoever, for He has laid out exactly what He desires in His Law. His testimonies are sure and true. In His superior position, He has made clear His precepts, the duties He expects us to perform and live up to. 

And because His Word is so important to our earthly lives, He expects His statutes, steadfast and unchangeable as they are, to be engraved in and on our hearts, so that we can dutifully obey His commandments as our Guide and Leader. And if we don’t conform to His heavenly standard here on earth, then we will be subjected to His divine judgement, which can be pretty tough at times. 

So friends, the long and short of the story is that we are God’s creation, and He desires us to be obedient to Him and His dictates, otherwise there will be a price to pay. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘The best way to live is to obey God, and leave all the consequences up to Him.’ And that’s wisdom in spades friends. If we obey God to the best of our ability, we will reap a bushel of blessings. 

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

And we all know that if we faithfully endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious that we can ask or even imagine. Much LOVE!

…the Word of God…our guide, our road map to earthly living…our entrance exams for heaven…                                                                                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2021 Isaiah 43:19a.

Isaiah 43:19a.     Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?

So now it’s Wednesday, another beautiful day in the life! Thank the Lord for His goodness to the children of men! Especially when it comes to His wonderful Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the most beautiful, powerful and LOVING gift ever bestowed in this universe! And the saints of Christ, all lifted their heads, hearts and voices and sincerely declared: ‘Jesus! Jesus! The light of my life, my salvation and my glory! Thank You heavenly Father for giving Him to us. We LOVE You dearly, and we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, what a momentous and joyful experience it is when Jesus comes into our lives! There’s nothing in the world to compare to or outclass it! You just simply feel a different vibe in your spirit, body and soul. Nothing like you’ve ever felt before. And you’re just astonished that such a remarkable transformation is possible, and wonder why you never experienced it before. But that’s just part of Jesus’ mystique; nothing happens before it’s time, before He is ready to come into your life. And it’s nothing to be afraid of; for He’s never late or early, always right on time with His well-drawn up and executed plans for each of his creations. 

As the Father said so long ago, through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts 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) That’s a very pertinent scripture in the lives of all believers my people. It means that whenever you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that is the exact right time, the time that He had planned from eons ago to come into your life. There’s nothing vikey-vie or wishy-washy in God’s economy. It’s all well laid out and executed. Every possibility and consequence have already been considered and plans made to countervail them. 

The prophet Isaiah declared it thus: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’ (Is. 43:18-19) Yes friends, when Jesus comes into our lives, it’s a whole new story, a rebirth! To all intents and purposes, we are born again, like He said to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily (truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked surprised and asked: ‘How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily (truly), I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirt is spirit.’ (John 3:4-6) Yes my people, the rebirth we are talking about here is one of the spirit, one of life-changing attitudes, opinions and behaviour. 

And here’s how Bruh Paul explains this rebirth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) And it’s of the utmost important that we understand the meaning of those words. Basically, it means that we give up the old lifestyle we lived and adopt a new one where Jesus, through His Holy Spirit that comes to indwell in when we receive Him, is our guide and leader. We now consider His ways and means as the guiding light of our lives. 

Sin, or the rejection of it, now becomes of much more importance. We no longer live after the flesh, or as the world dictates, because then we are merely IN the world, but not OF the world! We take our direction, our orders from Jesus and the things He desires, not from what the world says. We now live life in the Spirit, not in the carnal and sinful desires of the flesh. As Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom. 8:1-2) 

Yes friends, when we come to Christ, the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives guides us in a new direction, to obedience and good works in Christ, not back to the old, carnal lusts and desires we once had. Oh precious people, receiving Christ brings us into a whole new ball game. Here is how Bruh Paul describes it to the Ephesians. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph. 4:22-24) 

And the scholars offer these explanations re those verses. ‘4:22-24. Christianity taught the addressees to (1) put off…the old man, to renounce their pre-conversion life and sins; (2) be renewed in…your mind, to be constantly changed, being brought more and more into line with God’s own viewpoint; and (3) put on the new man, that is, to assume a new nature (character) and conduct (life) at conversion.’ And yes, we all discover that changing our lifestyle in mid-stream is not an easy, or always a delightful task. But as true believers in Christ, it is absolutely necessary that we give it our all! And never fear, for Jesus is always there to help us! 

Now, here are a few practical pointers that Bruh Paul gave to the Ephesians, which are still helpful to us today in this topsy-turvy, deceitful, evil and godless world. They run from 4:25 -32, 5:1-2, you can read them at your own leisure, (smile) but to save time and space, I’ll just list them as the scholars’ explanations. ‘4:22-5:2. …practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (vs. 22) can be laid aside and how the “new man” (vs. 24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (vs. 25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the Devil may not be given opportunity (vs. 26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others (vs. 28). (4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others and not grieve the Spirit (vs. 29). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vs. 31-32).’ 

That’s it in a nutshell friends! Nothing exotic, but very practical guidelines that we can all implement as we walk in LOVE, as Christ desires of us. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail letting the world know of our wonderful position on Christ Jesus. 

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

And believe me, if we walk that narrow path right to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to walk in step with Jesus…oh…what a joy divine…                                                                                

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2021 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.     And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Ah mih people, the ole fella’s shaking it a bit rough this morning through lack of sleep. Went to bed pretty late this morning. What else is new eh? (smile) And that accounts for my lateness in rising and getting down to the Lord’s work. But our God is a good God, rather magnanimous I should say, and He has forgiven me for my tardiness. Let’s hope you do the same. (smile) Remember, He forgives when we forgive. 

And I guess that’s the topic He wants us to look at this bright, sunshiny but cool Wednesday morning. And it’s an important topic friends, one that’s very near and dear to the Lord’s heart. Please note that it takes a solemn place in the prayer our Lord and Saviour Jesus taught us that we call, ‘The Lord’s Prayer. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:11-12) 

You’ll notice that after giving the Father the glory and recognition He deserves, Jesus asks for daily bread, that’s the provision God provides for us each day, and then comes the petition of forgiveness, but it’s very dependent on the forgiveness in our own lives. And Jesus goes on to point it out Himself: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) 

Oh friends, as always, Jesus states it true and clear. He doesn’t mince words. If we don’t forgive our earthly brothers and sisters their trespasses, neither will He forgive ours. But right now, one of the biggest problems in our world, one that’s possibly causing the most anger, strife, resentment and negative situations is the overwhelming state of unforgiveness that’s dwelling in our hearts and souls! We have completely forgotten Christ’s message – you must forgive if you want to be forgiven.

It could not get any clearer than that! But yet, how many of us supposed Christians run to God for forgiveness while still harbouring lots of unforgiveness towards our neighbours in our hearts eh? Plenty of us, my brethren, plenty of us! And we expect God to forgive us, although we feel we have this inalienable right to seek revenge on those who have hurt us. That’s indefensible in our Christian faith friends. Remember what the Lord told the Israelites through Moses a long, long time ago? ‘To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ (Deut. 32:35) 

And Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Rome puts it even more clearly and powerfully. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things). If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends upon) you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with the good.’ (Rom. 12:17-21) 

There it is again friends, the basic tenets of our faith: forgiveness with doing good, not avenging ourselves, but leaving it to God, because that’s His department. But yuh better believe that vengeance is ripe and overflowing in today’s society, with too many of us wanting to take revenge and repayment into our own hands. But my people that only breeds anger and strife and a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye. And if we follow it logically, the cycle of revenge will never end, because once you do it to me, I will have to do it back to you, and so we will go on interminably! 

Just think about the overbearing feuds of the clans in Scotland, especially that infamous one of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s in the rough hills and valleys of Virginia and Kentucky. Apparently, the families were neighbours and friends, who even intermarried, but when the Civil War came they had to choose sides, and after the war that enmity remained and the killing, kidnapping and other forms of violence went on for a long time. And what did it achieve eh? Nothing but hate and violence! 

Yuh see how easy it is to move from peaceful, coexisting neighbours, even family, to vengeful hatred and violence. And we’re definitely seeing too much of that in our selfish, me first modern society, and it can never bode any good for us or our societies. That’s why we have to be so mindful of forgiveness and repay evil with good my fellow saints. 

Oh, before I forget, (smile) here are some interesting explanations from the scholars on the verses we quoted above. ‘12:19-21. Give place unto wrath: Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:35 to show that only God has the right to avenge, and He certainly will avenge. Heap coals of fire on his head (cf. Prov. 25:22). This may refer to a sense of shame or remorse engendered when we treat an evildoer kindly. Paul is discussing personal not national enemies. He is not teaching pacifism.’ 

Right there we see the benefit of knowing our Bible. It allowed Bruh Paul to quote from two separate sources and make one whole. And that’s the kind of Bible knowledge we all need to have, so that we could use it in our time of need, which sadly is every day, with the kind of antagonistic and strife-filled society in which we currently live. And it will only get better when we believers in Christ Jesus start to truly live the way He expects us to live; like the salt of the earth and the bright shining light of a city on a hill!  We all know that! Matter finished! 

So, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live like Christ desires, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’  

Now, we must endure to the end…and then we’ll discover that that future is even greater than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…the quickest way to destroy a society or a relationship…unforgiveness and vengeance…                                                                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2021 Revelation 1:8a.

Revelation 1:8a.     ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,

On and on we go friends, walking down the road of life with our marvellous Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! You know, every day seems the same, but they are all different when you partner with Jesus, because He makes every day special, unique, in its own way. Now who else can do that for us eh? Nobody! Not a single soul can give us the joy, the hope, the peace, the LOVE, the salvation and friendship that we find with Jesus! 

Wow! No wonder so many of have chosen, and are choosing to follow Him right down to the very end! And that decision is the wisest one we can ever make, for when we live for Jesus, our earthly lives may sometimes be rough, but our end will be great, greater than if we follow any other path. And why is that you ask? Well let’s hear some scriptures that ought to bring the true story to you and help you decide to live for Jesus. 

The Book of Revelation, Jesus’ account of what’s to happen, as He revealed to His disciple John on the isle of Patmos tells us in the early verses: ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ (Rev. 1:3) And believe me friends, the time is truly at hand. The world is in such an ungodly and unstable mess, that even if God doesn’t put forth His hand to destroy it, it will implode soon, because of the inordinate strife, anger, sickness and inhumanity that’s permeating it right now. 

Then, the terrible way in which we’re treating the earth, continually ravaging it for our greedy, selfish purposes, without any plans for replenishing it, there must come a time when there’s nothing left to be ravaged. And though Bruh Paul wasn’t referring to the physical earth when he proclaimed: ‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain (suffers birth pangs) together until now,’ (Rom. 8:22) we can certainly make a point for its continual physical deterioration through all the mining and deforestation and other bad treatment we inflict on it. 

Then look at the number of volcanoes that are currently erupting all over the globe, many of which have been dormant for long periods. I don’t know if we have ever had so many erupting simultaneously as we do today. And when we add the other natural disasters that seem to be occurring more often, with greater intensity, there’s little hope for us, unless we quickly and completely change our attitudes towards God, each other and the earth. 

Now, it doesn’t matter so much what happens to our physical bodies, but it’s of the utmost importance what happens to our spiritual selves when the physical body returns to the earth from whence it came. And I’m here to tell us that following Jesus is the best thing we can do for our spiritual lives, which shall live on for a long, long time after our physical bodies die. 

And John vividly details, some verses later in his revelation: ‘Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds (the tribes) of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen.’ (Rev. 1:7) Those words refer to Christ’s return to earth to establish His kingdom, not to the Rapture. There, everyone will see Him, including all those who rejected Him, and wanted Him dead and participated in His death, will then repent and mourn. 

But hear what Jesus tells John. ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev. 1:8) The scholars tell us that ‘Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and refer to God’s eternality and sovereignty, and possibly to the fullness of God’s self-revelation.’ Now God revealing Himself to us should come as no surprise, for He’s done it right down through the ages through His prophets. 

And I like how from heaven, just like on earth, when Jesus appears to John, who falls down at His feet as though dead. He tells him: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.’ (Rev. 1:17-18) Yes friends, Christ is alive and well! 

The scholars explain: ‘As God in the Old Testament is called “the living God,” so Christ is he that liveth. He became dead when He humbled Himself to die on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8), but then rose to live for evermore. Three tenses of Christ’s existence are emphasized: (1) His ever-abiding life; (2) his death as God-man; and (3) His resurrection to everlasting and authoritative life. He has authority over death and judgement and therefore has the keys of hell (hades) and of death (cf. 20:14).’ 

Then we come to this most pertinent instruction of Jesus’ to John. ‘Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.’ (Rev. 1:19) According to the scholars ‘This is the key verse of the Book. Revelation has three major sections: (1) the things which thou hast seen – chapter 1, especially the vision of Christ (cf. vs. 11 -: “what thou seest”); (2) the things which are – chapters 2 and 3, the conditions in the churches; and (3) the things which shall be hereafter – chapters 4-22, beginning with the judgements of the Tribulation period (cf. 7:1) – “after these things”). 

Ah mih people, I know many of us don’t like or read, or understand the Book of Revelation, because it can be confusing and has some gory details that turn us off, but in truth, it’s the best Book of the Bible, because it tells us exactly what will happen at the very end to those who follow Jesus sincerely and those who don’t. It doesn’t mince words at all. However, I think we’ll stop here for today, since it will get much too long if I continue with it all at once. Tomorrow, God spare life, we will get into Revelation a little more, and hopefully, by the time we are finished, we’ll all have a better idea of what’s going to happen in the future. 

So, for those of us who are totally interested in walking with Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Him. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And to further boost our enthusiasm, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…one truth from the Bible…is worth…more than all the wisdom of man…                                                   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2021 1 Peter 5:6.

1 Peter 5:6.     Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

And then it was Wednesday…another wonderful eye-opening day! (smile) Oh praise the Lord for His everlasting kindness, the incomparable gift of seeing another day in His incomparable universe! As the song says, ‘this is the day of grace,’ the day when His blessings overtake us and cause joy, peace and LOVE to rise up majestically and victoriously in our souls! Wow! No other supposed Deity even has the desire, much less the awesome power to do that for His followers. 

Yes, friends, there is a true God, He is alive and looking down on mankind, His most wonderful creation with unconditional LOVE, and in Him we live, and we’ll survive, if we keep living in Him. His name is the Great I AM! But the crux of the matter, the answer to it all, is that we keep living in Him. If we do, we will be blessed and survive till eternity. However, if we don’t, we’ll be cursed and headed for destruction and eternal separation from Him forever. 

Now, please believe me, eternal separation from the One and Only Living God is the worst thing that can happen to a body, soul, spirit or whatever you choose to call it. And how do we keep living in Him our whole lives? Peter gives us some examples in His epistle. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) 

Oh my people, those are the first two steps to living successfully with our God! Knowing that He cares for us, and humbly going to Him, so He can later on exalt us, because there’s nothing He dislikes like pride and arrogance! Then Peter continues: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ (1 Pet. 5:8) 

Now the real test begins. We must realize that we have an enemy, who only wants to deceive and trip us up as we try to live for our God. But the truth is that he has no real power over us, unless we give it to him. That’s why we need to be sober and vigilant, for though he might not have any real power, he is indeed a smooth talker and great deceiver. You just have to consider how he talked Eve into eating of the forbidden fruit way back in the Garden of Eden. And his methods have not changed, possibly have become worse since our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ defeated Him at Calvary and rose from the dead, a mighty conqueror of hell, death and the grave! 

So Peter wisely directs us, re the enemy: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9) And that’s no lie friends! All of us who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are tried and tested by the enemy in the hope that we will turn away from our God, and/or do things against His directives that will get us into His bad books. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that we stay alert and diligent in our life walk against the many temptations that the enemy will undoubtedly throw our way. 

And when we do that, Peter promises: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 5:10-11). Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t that an awesome promise! Once we stand strong against the enemy, survive his tests, our great God will eventually strengthen and settle us. And what’s amazing about the whole situation is that those same temptations that we endure and refute are the exact things that help build our fate in our God! 

So it’s exactly as we spoke about yesterday. The first thing is to draw near to God, for He will never turn us away, regardless of what state we’re in. Hear these scriptures that attest to that fact nuh. In this first one, Moses tells Israel: ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them (a God so near to them), as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?’ (Deut. 4:7) And the answer is an emphatic ‘NONE!’ And Jeremiah declared it thus in his Lamentations: ‘Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.’ (Lam. 3:57-58) 

Jesus, as always though, puts it best in the parable of the prodigal son. ‘And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.’ (Luke 15:20) Yes mih bredrin, our heavenly Father is always on the lookout for us, anxiously waiting for us to turn the corner, to come to our senses and know that with Him is our ONLY hope for a blessed, peaceful and LOVING life! 

And you’ll notice that He doesn’t stand on any pomp or ceremony, He rushes forward to meet us, so great is His joy that we are coming back home to His safe and comfortable roost. He doesn’t even give us a chance to get in a word sideways, but orders a great celebration in our honour. He’s just so glad to see us come back home, not caring what we’ve done while we were gone. That could always be forgiven, though we might have to pay some retribution. (smile) Yeh friends, there are always consequences to our sins, thankfully though, through God’s mercy, not as much as we often deserve. 

And I don’t know if you have realized that what I’m doing is taking us through the scriptures that we spoke of yesterday. I just couldn’t help spoon feeding us, (smile) because I know that most of us would be too busy to read those scriptures. And they do tie in nicely to Peter’s advice. Now hear this last scripture, that about hands and hearts being cleansed. Bruh David says it thus: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto to vanity (to an idol), nor sworn deceitfully.’ (Ps. 24:3-4) 

So friends, you see what it takes to make it up to God’s holy hill – clean hands and a pure heart. That means we have work to do. And for those of us who are serious about doing it, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world about our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

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

And I should not have to remind us, but I will anyway, (smile) that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ever imagine! Much LOVE!

…for there is much joy in heaven…over even one repentant sinner…                                                   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2021 2 Chronicles 20:12b.

2 Chronicles 20:12b.     …neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

And then it was Wednesday; the mid-week relief moment, the time when we were just getting reaccustomed to the new work week. But that was then…now, Wednesday is the mid-week crisis moment, when we’re wondering how and if we are going to make it through the rest of the week. Life has changed so drastically and unexpectedly during the past year that everything is in a state of turmoil and uncertainty. 

But yuh know what friends, in all the desperation and anxiety, fear and confusion, there is ONE place of safety for all of us, one place that has never, and will never change. That is at the foot of Christ’s cross, or in the waiting arms of our heavenly Father, or in the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. It simply means that our great God is the definitive place we must turn to for refuge from anything, or anyone, that comes against us in this earthly life. 

And these words from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin magnificently describe the process. The piece is titled: ‘Nobody Can Possibly Help Me.’ And as true believers in Christ, deep down we know that is not true, but it’s just when troubles keep coming relentlessly at us, we tend to lose the faith we need to carry us through the moment. 

But listen to what Ms. Calkin writes: ‘How wonderful! You can shake hands with a king. His name is Jehoshaphat, and his story reads like a letter from someone who feels desperate – maybe like how you feel right now. You don’t know where to turn. Neither did he. Jehoshaphat had no forces to oppose the “great company” marching against him. Standing achingly helpless (as you are), what did he do? He literally threw himself on God. He prayed. “O our God, we have no power to face this vast army attacking us. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” (You’ll find the story in 2 Chronicles 20.) 

Do you see yourself in the mirror of the story? Do you feel overpowered by a “great company” of temptations? Are you stumbling through confused days and tossing through sleepless nights? What is the answer? Stoic endurance? No. That brings only deeper despair. But you can pray Jehoshaphat’s prayer! His God is your God if your faith is in Jesus Christ. You can plead with God on the grounds of His great power, His promises, and His LOVE. And all the while you can keep your eyes steadfastly on Him. The result? As you trust, you will one day say as Jehoshaphat said, “The Lord has given me cause to rejoice.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! In times of difficulty the Lord wants and expects us to cast all of our cares upon him, because He cares for us. Remember, Jesus unequivocally invited us in His Great invitation, to bring our burdens and woes to Him because He can take them from us and lighten our load. So, in spite of how things may seem, once we turn in all sincerity to God, our rocky road will gradually get smoother. As we raise the level of our faith in our Creator and Provider, we get better at handling the problems that we encounter in this earthly life. 

So as the song says: ‘There’s life in Him…There’s Hope in Him…There’s a bright future in Him. So don’t give up now… don’t give in…hang in there until things get better.’ And they will eventually, if we do like Jehoshaphat did; that’s stay with God. And here is the Bible Promise for our story today, Jehoshaphat’s pleading prayer. ‘O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen (nations)? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? 

Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? …O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.’ (2 Chr. 20:6-7, 12) 

Ah friends, the same thing applies to us today: we need to keep our eyes steadfastly focused on God, for that’s where the answer to everything and every question in our lives lie. Like Peter, when he walked on water with Jesus, if we take our eyes off Him and focus on the circumstances and problems then we’ll begin to sink. And if the great king Jehoshaphat could call out to God in such fear and uncertainty, who are we to do differently eh? And yuh see how the situation ended? 

Jehoshaphat and all his people of Judah fasted and prayed, then God sent them a message through Jahaziel: ‘Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s….Ye shall not need to fight in the battle: set (position) yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.’ (2 Chr. 20:15, 17) And the next day the Israelites went out and didn’t lift a hand but ended up victorious, for our great God made the three armies that were coming against them to fight amongst each other and destroy themselves. 

Oh my people, our God has not changed or become weak and immobile. He is still the omnipotent Creator and Provider, and He is telling us the same thing in these trying times: to not fear, leave your life in His powerful hands, just do what we are supposed to do, and He will protect us, because the battle is not ours but His. So let’s remember that in these turbulent times and stand strong and faithful. That’s all God is asking of us. He will do the rest! 

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

And just in case you’ve forgotten, (smile) if we endure to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in spite of what comes against you…stay with God…that’s wisdom for the ages…                                   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2021 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.     ​And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.


Moving on…Moving on! Thank God we’re moving on! Yes friends, we’re moving on with Jesus through another marvellous day in the annals of our lives! Wow! And what a joy and pleasure it is to be moving through life with Jesus! A body couldn’t ask for a better companion, a better Lord and Saviour, a better friend, a better neighbour than Jesus! And it’s that last accolade, the topic of neighbours that I want to discuss with us today, because it’s a very important part of our faith, and I don’t think we are being as neighbourly as we ought to. 

So, I guess our first question should be, who is our neighbour? Now what did Jesus have to say about that eh? Remember when the foppish, arrogant lawyer tried to test Jesus by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) 

That’s Matthew’s version. However, Luke tells it thus. (smile) The lawyer asked Jesus, ‘Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He, (Jesus) said unto him, what is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said’ – exactly what Jesus said above. ‘And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he (the lawyer), willing (wanting) to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 

And Jesus answering’, told them the parable of the Good Samaritan, which we all know. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks the lawyer, ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves (robbers)? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:25-37) 

Yuh see that friends, being neighbourly is basically showing mercy, kindness, LOVE and all the other fruit of the spirit to those around us. But no, it’s not easy with all the negative, angry and cantankerous people that we encounter. But it does get a tad easier if we have the first commandment truly embedded in our hearts, since all LOVE flows from revering our heavenly Father. 

And I like how the scholars explain it. ‘10:37. The lawyer cannot even bring himself to say “the Samaritan.” That’s because of the deep racial hatred between the two groups, although they were related by blood; the Samaritans being Jews who intermarried with Gentiles. ‘However, Jesus shows that racial considerations are utterly transcended by God’s commands to LOVE Him, and thus to LOVE others as He does, without prejudice or partiality.’ Hn! I truly wish that somebody or bodies could get that message across to our world right now yes; a world that’s so inundated with prejudice and partiality, that it’s behind almost every action we take! 

Now, before we get to the meat of our topic, I want to point out one other important aspect of being neighbourly, and that’s Jesus’ warning on the way His Father’s kingdom works. ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) That’s just to remind us that what we sow we will reap, or as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow, more than you sow and later than you sow.’ That means we can’t sow negative seed and expect to reap a positive harvest. 

And all of that finally brings us to the wise and wonderful words of Cousin Sol on the treatment of neighbours from Proverbs. Just a bit more practical advice to help us handle all the cerebral stuff we’ve been talking about. (smile) Cousin Sol begins thus: ‘Withhold not good from them to whom it is due (the owners), when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.’ (Prov. 3:27-28) Oh my people, how often do we do that eh! Holding on to what rightfully belongs to others, until we are good and ready to give it to them is ever so rampant in our current society; which means selfishness and greed are too prevalent. 

And Cousin Sol continues: ‘Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by (in safety with) thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.’ (Prov. 3:30-31) And I don’t know if our world has ever seen such unnecessary animosity and strife between people who live close to each other, even between families and so-called friends, as we are seeing today. The petty squabbles that occur over unimportant things is mind blowing, And the courts are full of foolish litigation over petty peeves. The divorce rate is sky high, possibly higher than it’s ever been! We’ve become so adversarial and antagonistic to each other that it’s causing our world to fall apart. 

But listen further to Cousin Sol. ‘Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward (the perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation (dwelling) of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble).’ (Prov. 3:31-34) 

Yes friends, I know we all envy the prosperous wicked some, but it’s unwise to follow in their footsteps, for it’s said in so many places of the Good Book that the wicked and their evil deeds will eventually be destroyed and what they have given to the righteous. So please, please, let’s not live merely for today’s pleasures and aggrandizement nuh, but seriously contemplate what will most profit us in the long run, what will put us in good stead with Jesus. 

And this last word of warning from Cousin Sol is indeed precious. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) And the scholars break it all down this way. ‘3:27-35. The needy neighbour is to be helped (vs. 27-28); the innocent neighbour is to be respected and left alone (vs. 29-30); and the wicked neighbour is not to be envied (vs. 31-35).’ That makes it oh so simple my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh, so that we can inherit the glory that’s Jesus! 

And for those of us who have made that momentous and wise decision, let’s go home now proclaiming our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And in these tough and trying times, we need to be reminded that if we endure to the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Wow! What an awesome promise mih people! So let’s hang in there till the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…it is much better to give…than to receive…wise men seek to give…but fools crave to receive… 

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


Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6.     ​Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled).

Well it’s another new day, another Wednesday, with lots of new mercies and compassion for which we are eternally grateful! Therefore we will give the Lord much thanks and praise and enjoy the day as we sincerely, diligently and efficiently do His holy will! And His children’s voices were raised in a loud, grateful and spontaneous ‘Amen!’ 

Today is also Ash Wednesday, the day in our religious calendar that begins our season of Lent. And what is Lent, you ask? Basically it’s a time of fasting and praying, of reflection and thanksgiving, of abstinence and self-denial, of desiring to get more intimate with our God, of giving up some of the things that we enjoy, but which keep us from giving our all to Him. It corresponds to the forty days that Christ spent in the wilderness fasting, being tempted by the devil, while preparing Himself for His upcoming earthly ministry. (Matt. 4:1-11) 

Likewise, every so often, not necessarily in the Lenten season alone, we ought to empty ourselves, get serious and talk as intimately as possible with our great and wonderful God; go to Him with life changing and puzzling questions and await His faithful answers. Oh friends, it’s only as we sincerely seek God that we can ever get answers. For as Jesus said so plainly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33). 

That’s why we should always endeavour to keep God in first place in our lives, for without Him in that Number One position, we will not be beneficiaries of all the wonderful and immeasurable benefits that He has prepared for us. And one of those immeasurable benefits is life – both earthly and eternal! 

Ah mih people, it’s so good when you can wake up another day and don’t see your name listed in the obits. (smile) Yes, heaven might be wonderful and all that, but I’m sure that most of us are not quite ready to go there. There’s something about earthly living; could be the enticing promises of sinful living, (smile) or better yet, the desire to do God’s work here on earth. But whatever it is, in most of our hearts and souls, we’re not ready just yet to give up this tempestuous, troubled, evil, dangerous and uncertain earthly life. (smile) 

I pray though, that we’re all ready, just in case the Grim Reaper shows up unexpectedly and calls our name, or Jesus happens to come again to receive His own unto himself. That is all important friends; the preparation, the readiness for heaven whenever it calls. We cannot be found wanting when Christ calls us to come home, whether it be in death or His Second Coming. When either of those times arrive, He must be our Lord and Saviour, or else we will not spend eternity with Him, and that will indeed be a crying shame, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but then it will be too late. 

As Jesus clearly stated; when He shall return, and when we shall be called home, no man knows it. ‘But of that day and 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.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42) And since ALL options will be off the board when either of those situations occur, it’s of the utmost importance to always be in a state of readiness for either occasion. 

‘Be prepared; be ready,’ should be our watchwords and motto in this earthly life, for we don’t want to miss out on the eternal and heavenly one with Jesus. The only other option; hell, eternal darkness and the lake of fire with Satan is unthinkable! So let’s just concentrate on being with Jesus nuh, which means putting Him first place in our lives, and doing whatever He requires of us. 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out quite clearly in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children (sons) of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.’ (1 Thess. 5:2, 4-10) 

Yes my brethren, that’s exactly why we do what we do; so that we can live together with Jesus forever! And one of the ways to ensure that in this evil world, comes from Bruh Paul’s last command. ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are now doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:11) 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important for the saints of Christ to encourage, teach and build up each other, especially in these times of rampant sickness, evil, loneliness, depression and inhumanity. So like now, when isolation is the norm, let’s try and stay in touch with each other nuh. We have the means and the technology to do it, but we need to dig down deep and find the will, for it’s what Jesus desires of us. 

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

And let’s not forget that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can even contemplate. Much LOVE!

…when the roll is called up yonder…will you be there…that’s the most important question… 

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