Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.     Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Well faithful soldiers and saints of Christ, that big day, the day of the Lord is here again, calling us to praise and worship in whatever way we can. And this Sunday is Thanksgiving weekend here in luverly Canada, so there is no better time than this to ramp up our thanks and praise to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider, who has done so much for us, a bunch of poor, pathetic, undeserving sinners. 

And also, there’s no better song to sing today than this one which talks about our greatest gift from God; forgiveness of our sins through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That precious fountain of blood which flowed from Immanuel’s veins and paid for our awful debt of sin, for evermore. And the official name of the hymn was ‘Praise for the Fountain opened.’ But now it’s generally known by its first line. ‘There is a Fountain filled with blood.’ It’s based on the Old Testament verse from Zechariah 13:1, re the cleansing of Jerusalem. ‘In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.’ 

But before we get into this beautiful old hymn, let’s get a li’l background on it and its writer, William Cowper, an English poet of great renown. (1731-1800) Born to an English clergyman father, physically frail and emotionally unstable, which the death of his mother at six further complicated. He studied law, but when called to the bar he experienced a panic attack which led to a mental breakdown and attempted suicide. That consequently led to a stay in a mental asylum. 

It’s claimed that during that time, while reading the Bible, he came across Romans 3:25 that Jesus Christ is “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” And through reading of the Scriptures, Cowper realized his need for a Savior and the need for forgiveness of sins. Consequently, in 1764, at the age of thirty-three, he dedicated his life to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Bouts of depression, melancholia and attempted suicide apparently peppered his life, but they say that ironically some of his best hymns were written during those times. And wonder of wonders, whom do you think he linked up with later in life – the one and only John Newton, the slaver turned Anglican Pastor, and writer of ‘Amazing Grace.’ And they teamed up over the years to write ‘The Olney Hymns’ Hymnal, (349 hymns) named after the town where Cowper and Newton were then living. 

Just more amazing instances of the Lord’s mysterious movements in getting His work done, through rather unlikely people. That’s why the Good Book says: ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound (put to shame) the things which are mighty.’ (1 Cor. 1:27) 

So let’s get to it now nuh: in full, soulful and sincere voice, in a slightly rocking tempo, like the live worship video done by the band, Shane and Shane, let’s offer up our sacrificial praise. No dirge like music this Thanksgiving weekend, especially for such a wonderful gift from our Creator. 

‘There is a fountain filled with blood Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains: Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away: Wash all my sins away, Wash all my sins away; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its pow’r, Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved, to sin no more: Be saved, to sin no more, Be saved, to sin no more; Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved to sin no more. E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die: And shall be till I die, And shall be till I die; Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die. 

When this poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue Lies silent in the grave, Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save: I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save, I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save; Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save….I’ll sing thy pow’r to save…’ 

Oh my people, what truthful and most magnificent sentiments! The precious shed blood of Christ is the greatest thing in this world, because it is the only thing that can take away our sins, when, like the thief who died on that fateful day with Christ, we come to the cross and let that crimson blood cleanse us white as snow! Mama Mia! No other faith can match the power of Jesus, because He is the Son of the One True God Jehovah! 

And interestingly enough there’s a book titled ‘Immanuel’s Veins,’ by Ted Dekker. The author apparently says that Christ bled on the cross for us…’For the heart of man.’ And talking about ‘Immanuel, God with us – that he would leave the spiritual realm and be present in flesh and blood in such an act of humility is a staggering notion.’ And it surely is! ‘He willingly gave His blood, in the flesh, so that others might find life, for it is written: “He did not come by water only, but by blood” (1 John 5:6), and ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.’ (Hebrews 9:22). 

This why blood is required for us to have life. And He didn’t give ‘just enough to satisfy the requirement, to fulfill a covenant or agreement? No. He gave it all. He gave His life. For us. Because He LOVED us.’ Yes friends, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life because He LOVED us. As Isaiah tells it: ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is. 53:5-6) 

And He did it all for LOVE, my brethren! That just goes to show the awesome power of LOVE! And I guess it’s appropriate here to quote the most important verse in the Good Book; the raison d’etre for it all: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that’s why Jesus said the greatest commandment is to LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, body and soul, and the second is to LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22:37-39) 

Consequently, if we don’t have LOVE, and show LOVE, then we are not true followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…from the creation…to the revelation…it’s all about LOVE… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2019 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life!

Oh friends, how good it is to be alive on this Saturday morning in May, the Victoria Day long weekend! Brother, life might not always be great, but it sure is good to be living with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, our Immanuel, and the many other things He means to us! Glory to His holy name! The Name that’s higher than any other name in the universe, and the one that all knees will eventually bow to! 

Wow! That’s our Jesus! Give Him much praise and glory my people! Exalt His name in all the earth, as Bruh David so rightly says! Oh, I guess the ole fella is really feeling it this morning! (smile) But why not eh? Life might not be fair, but our wonderful God is Good! That’s all we can ask! And as the man said: ‘Don’t ever confuse life with God, cause they are two entirely different things! 

Now let’s see if I can get my head around these quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. (smile) It’s not always easy. And we’ll begin with this one: ‘Don’t find the fault, find the remedy.’ 

And oh, are we ever so good at finding fault in this modern day society. It’s known as the blame game, and we play it so well. But as the saying goes too, ‘If you’re not a part of the answer, then you’re a part of the problem!’ So let’s just remember that today nuh, and act accordingly. 

And then there is this: ‘Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.’ I don’t know if it’s the beginning of delusion or not, but I do know that you will get nowhere in this earthly life without discipline…and plenty of it too. For everything you attempt to do down here on earth requires discipline to some degree or other. 

So mouthing a lot of proactive words but not doing what it takes to put them into action, is a useless exercise. Remember friends, though our words have power, they don’t manifest themselves without some kind of action on our part! 

Now hear this: ‘Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.’ And that is ever so true my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! The evil and ungodly world in which we dwell considers success as rising high in power, politics, wealth and other worldly things. 

But in Jesus’ economy, those things are mostly colour commentary. What He considers important is what you’ve done to help your fellow man, how you’ve tried to pursue peace and LOVE in His name! That’s because all the things the world considers important are but fleeting treasures which you can’t take with you to eternal life! 

But the peace, LOVE and goodness of Jesus go with you till eternity! So please, let’s stop trying to run down the things of the world nuh, because we’ll only kill ourselves in the process, then have to leave it all to others here to waste and fight over. 

And then we have this interesting quote: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ Now there is a lot of truth in that. If you inspire others to rise above their current station in life, be it for good or evil, then you do have some leadership qualities. 

Jesus just wants you to inspire others to do good and not evil, as the Good Book says of Him. ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’ (Acts 10:38) Oh my people, there is no better example in God’s great world for us to follow than that of Jesus! 

And that brings us to our last quote which encapsulates all the others that have gone before. It seems like our friend Anselm was on a leadership kick this week. (smile)  But this last one says: ‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’ And that’s no lie! Else why would you follow someone if they don’t give you hope in whatever area you’re choosing to follow them in eh? No reason whatsoever! You might as well just do it yourself! 

The sad part though is that leaders are also human and thus have Achilles heels so they can sometimes fall apart or lead us astray. But friends the greatest Leader in this universe is our one and only Leader, Jesus Christ! Talk about being the Master of Hope! Hn! He has that name so cornered that it’s impossible to ever take it away from Him! 

Just look at the things He’s done for us nuh! Coming down from His comfortable perch in heaven to die for a bunch of ungrateful sinners! Going to the cross with nary a whimper, like a lamb being led to innocent slaughter, suffering the ultimate in humiliation, shame and ‘sufferation,’ just because the Father asked him to. 

So that we could have hope for a better tomorrow; a tomorrow not wrecked by sin, shame and eternal damnation, but one securely and sincerely rooted in peace, LOVE, mercy, grace, forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, salvation and eternal life! 

Wow! Which other Leader has ever promised that kind of stuff eh, much less given it like Jesus has? NONE!That’s why Jesus is the GREATEST: because He gives us the most HOPE of any Leader that this unfortunate world has ever known! Listen to these immortal words of His: ‘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!’ 

Now where else is it possible to find such HOPE like that eh friends? Nowhere else but in Jesus! And He didn’t end there either: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

Oh my people, don’t those fateful, faithful and true words just lift your spirits and give you a feeling of peace and HOPE, that you can’t find anywhere else in this world? It surely does for me! And what really is HOPE eh Friends? Merely a longing for something, preferably something good! 

And the long and short of the story is that God promises, if we believe in His Son, have HOPE in Him, that feeling of great expectations, which lead to faith, a certain sure belief, and which grows ever stronger, as we see His awesome promises come true, that our lives will be filled with wonder and amazement, leading to days of beautiful, exhilarating, eternal living with our Triune God! 

Now what can we long for that’s better than that eh, what better HOPE can there ever be? NONE whatsoever! Much LOVE!

…the beginning of true HOPE…begins with believing in Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2016 Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6.   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

A  MERRY  CHRISTMAS TO  ONE  AND  ALL!

Ah friends, at last it’s the big one – Christmas Day – when our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory to God for that act of LOVING-kindness! 

Now it’s also Sunday, and we are in God’s spectacular sanctuary, or below a coconut tree, (smile) come to praise and worship Him, so let’s open with an appropriate song for the joyous occasion nuh, the old Christmas Carol, ‘Joy to the World,’ written by Isaac Watts a couple centuries ago. Let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven with a most passionate and heartfelt rendition, truly believing what we sing. 

In unison now: ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy. 

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love’ 

Ah mih people, that was beautiful – as it should be! There could be no doubt in the Lord’s mind now that we truly appreciate and are very grateful for the birth of His Son Jesus. And all around the world the same sentiments are being sent up, or have already been sent up to heaven! 

Wow! This is one of the Red Letter days of our earthly sojourn – the start of the greatest movement that ever hit the planet – Jesus’ LOVE Revolution!  

Now it’s scripture time, beginning with our Bit, God’s wonderful promise many centuries before to send us a Son, a redeemer. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ 

And our great God, also being ever-faithful, fulfilled this awesome promise some two thousand years ago. Praise His Holy Name my people! And listen to the rest of the promise: ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7) 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent Being, our Immanuel was promised to be! And was… and still is… and always will be! Now let’s turn to the actual birth of our Divine, Gift-child. We know that Joseph, Mary’s husband was of the lineage of Bruh David, so when the first emperor, Caesar Augustus declared that all his subjects were to be registered in their original birth places, Joseph and Mary had to journey to Bethlehem to do so, because that was his city. 

Now while they were there, Mary’s time drew nigh: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes (strips of cloth), and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ (Luke 2:7) What a shame to think that this great king was born in a smelly, noisy animal barn eh, and slept in a feed trough! But the Lord, as always, had His reasons. His Son was to be born lowly, for the lowly ones were whom He was coming to save. 

Now hear the most wonderful part of the night of Christ’s birth. ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in their field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them; Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:8-11) 

Can you imagine the topsy-turvy emotions the angel’s appearance and words must have caused the poor shepherds? Then the angel continued: ‘And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:12-14) 

Ah mih people, the sudden appearance of the heavenly host singing and praising God, laid even more drama on the shepherds. But shepherds are a hardy stock and the Good Book tells us: ‘And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Not the first or the last time). And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:15-20) 

Ah friends, can you imagine the magical mystery, the glorious effervescence in the air around lowly Bethlehem that momentous and most memorable night that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born?  

Well we should be experiencing the same sort of overwhelming emotions today, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, for His selfless LOVE and sacrifice is the only thing that keeps, or is keeping us from the ravages of hell and Lucifer. So let’s give much thanks and praise today nuh my believing brethren, because He did it all for us. Much LOVE!

…births are joyful occasions…but none’s been as joyful as the night Christ was born…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2015 Luke 2:33

Luke 2:33.   And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

Oh my people, this Sunday morning, the first after Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity for us to sing and ponder this song, sung by several artists. It’s titled ‘Mary Did You Know?’ 

Please sing along with me: ‘Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy Has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered Will soon deliver you? Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will give sight to a blind man? 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy Has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby You’ve kissed the face of God. 

Oh, Mary did you know   Ooh…  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, The dead will live again The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, The praises of the lamb? Mary did you know that your baby boy Is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day rule the nations? Did you know that your Baby Boy Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding Is the great I am?’ 

Oh Friends, I don’t know how many of those things Mary knew, but I am sure she knew that her baby boy was very special, especially from the manner in which He was conceived! Then there were so many signs and wonders along the way, how could she not know that He would indeed be a mover and a shaker. 

As our Bit so pointedly puts it:  ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Now let’s look at some of the signs and wonders. First off is the manner in which she was apprised of the situation by the sudden appearance of the angel telling her that she had found favour with God and would conceive and bring forth a son to be called JESUS, who would be great and called the Son of the Highest (Most High) and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. And the angel went on to explain how it would all come to pass. (Luke 1:27-38) 

Now if that didn’t give her some indication that something important was going to happen, then I don’t know what would have. And by the way, Mary was no simpleton, so her unhesitating agreement, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word,’ was more a matter of faith, rather than a lack of understanding. 

After that Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who previously considered barren, was then some six months pregnant with John the Baptist. And when she entered Elisabeth’s house and greeted her, John jumped for joy in his mother’s womb. (smile) 

‘And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ (Luke 1:41-45) 

Then Mary declared the awesome words we now call the Magnificat. ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.’ (Luke 1:46-48) You can read the rest of it for yourselves my people. It runs up to verse 56. 

And according to the scholars: ‘1:46-56. This passage is called “the Magnificat,” based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was in fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’  

So even if Mary wasn’t too sure of the situation, once she heard Elisabeth’s pronouncement and spoke the immortal words of the Magnificat, then spending three months with Elisabeth, she must have been aware that an event of great importance was going to take place in her life. 

I am sure too that Mary was quite relieved when most likely, she very anxiously told Joseph about her situation, because the consequences of adultery or fornication were great in those days, even leading to the stoning of the woman. 

But the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Joseph, her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily (secretly). 

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt.1:19-21)  

Now all of that was done to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy re the virgin birth of a child called Immanuel, God with us. (Is.7:14, 9:6) 

‘Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife. And knew her not (kept her a virgin) till she brought forth her first-born: and he called his name JESUS.’ (Matt.1:24-25) 

And the scholars explain: ‘1:19-20. Because Joseph was a just man, he decided to put her away (divorce her) privately (“privily”). The Jewish betrothal had to be legally broken. Joseph’s merciful attitude gives an insight into his true nature as a man.’ 

Yes friends, it wasn’t an easy row for either Mary or Joseph to hoe with the Saviour of man placed in their laps, but hoe it they did, with strength, wisdom, faith and obviously the Lord’s help. May we go forward on our own row today doing the same thing, of course with Jesus’ help. 

And we’ll continue Mary’s story tomorrow, God willing. Till then may we rest in the peace, comfort, joy and LOVE of our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…it’s Sunday…and still the Christmas season…so please let’s fill the churches with people…giving thanks and praise to God…as we ought to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2014 Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6.   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Greetings and salutations this Boxing Day morn, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! The big day of Christmas is over, but definitely not the season; not by a long shot!
 
The Joy. Peace, LOVE, Thanksgiving and Goodwill to all men that were engendered yesterday, that characterized that momentous day, cannot be all used up in one 24 hours span of time, Absolutely not! So let’s keep that LOVING and joyous spirit of baby Jesus going for as long as possible Friends.
 
And I know that a lot of people in the North Country were disappointed because they did not receive their traditional white Christmas. Yes mih people, there wasn’t any snow, but it surely was a wet, windy and cloudy time. In fact, on Christmas Eve night we had a wicked windstorm that played havoc with everything.
 
So, I guess it was more like a British Christmas, than a truly Canadian one. (smile) But these days with the vagaries of the weather, we don’t know what to expect. A month before winter truly set in we had snow and pretty cold temps. But now, in the heart of winter, we’re having rain and temps above freezing.
 
Who knows what’s happening in our crazy, misguided, angry and resentful world these days eh? Only Almighty God!
 
Anyway, I sincerely hope that you and yours had a wonderful time yesterday, I didn’t do much; just wrote the Bit, went to church, then came home and had a quiet time with my family.
 
And I do hope that Jesus and His incarnate birth was a trending topic in all our conversations. For He IS the reason for the season, whether you say ‘Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or Merry Christmas!’
 
And since it is still Christmas time, please pray this wonderful ‘Christmas Prayer’ with me. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, and as you’ll see, was definitely too beautiful for me not to share it with you.
 
Let’s pray: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest.
 
I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree.
 
I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen for ever. Amen.’
 
Ah my brethren, what wonderful sentiments! They are sentiments that we can also acknowledge with sincere hearts, and thus make Jesus and the Father proud of us.
 
Oh Friends, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was such a simple but very important, momentous and auspicious occasion, that two thousand years later we’re still gloriously celebrating it with much ceremony, pomp and joy! Glory be!
 
And it’s so foundational to our beliefs that the prophet Isaiah prophesied it in our Bit, hundreds of years before it actually happened. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7)
 
And as we all know, ‘the zeal of the Lord of hosts,’ did put this miracle into motion with the birth of Jesus Christ! As the angels told the shepherds on that first Christmas night: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11)
 
Oh my people, what a magnificent, magnanimous, faithful and trustworthy God we serve and worship! Please give Him much well deserved thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness to us, the undeserving children of men!
 
And the wonderful thing about Isaiah’s prophecy, according to the scholars, is that ‘he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’ Now that could only have come from God’s divine guidance, imbuing Isaiah’s spirit with a potent and positive power of discernment.
 
Now here are some important and interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘9:6-7. The Gift-Child in this passage is the same divine Child as Immanuel. Again, using the prophetic perfect, the prophet sees Him as though He were already born. Wonderful, Counselor (pele’ yo’ets) is actually one term in Hebrew.
 
A wonder is indicative of a miracle. Counselor is often used in parallel with king (cf. Mic.4:9). Thus miraculous counsel is given by this God-like King. The mighty God (El Gibor) is the strongest of these titles.
 
In Isaiah, El is always used of God and never refers to man. Gibor means “Hero.” Together they describe One who is indeed God Himself. Everlasting Father (abi’ad) literally means Father of Eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life.
 
Prince of Peace (Sar-Shalom) indicates that the mighty God will be a benevolent ruler bringing eternal peace on earth through the establishment of His kingdom. Thus the obscure figure of Immanuel is now brought to clear light: He is Himself God incarnate!’
 
Ah Friends, with all that fulfilled prophecy, how could we ever doubt that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords eh? No way!
 
Now let’s keep the faith, stand strong and steadfast this Boxing Day, which happens to fall on a Friday, as we go home chanting our Friday Chant. I didn’t forget it.
 
Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, we’ve had more than two days off with riotous celebrations, which means we need even more time for rest than usual. So please get it so that we can go out well rested and rejuvenated on Monday to continue God’s great work here on earth.  Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Jesus…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…what more can I say… 
 
P.S. The Bit’s long and late Friends, but it’s great! So that makes up for the length and lateness. (smile) Cut the ole fella some slack nuh. He needs to celebrate the birth of Jesus too yuh know, that means late to bed and late to rise. (smile)  Much Much LOVE mih people!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2014 Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12.  For the Word of God is quick (living, alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.

Aye mih breddren in Christ! Warm greetings to all and sundry this glorious Saturday morning before Christmas, before the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 
 
Yeh Friends, it’s just another five days before the most celebrated birth in all of human kind! I hope you all are excited and enthused about the occasion, because if that miraculous incarnate birth had not taken place, then there’d be no cross, no atonement for sins, no reconciliation with God, nor the saving grace of salvation and eternal life.
 
So let’s give our most magnificent and magnanimous God a great big shout of thanks and praise for sending His only Son Jesus Christ to be our sacrificial Lamb, and consequently, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, our Prince of Peace and our Immanuel!
 
And all God’s people declared a grateful, enthusiastic and resounding chorus of: ‘Thank You Father God! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Thank You ever so much for Jesus, and all that He stands for! Help us to remember and greatly appreciate the reason for the season of Christmas; the birth of Your only Son!
 
And please keep on granting us your blessed mercy and grace each and every day, so that we can keep on honouring Your Holy Name and glorifying You to all the ends of the earth! This we pray in Jesus’ name! Glory Hallelujah to the newborn King, the newborn Son of God! Amen!’
 
Oh mih people, I don’t know if you all realize how heartwarming and gratifying writing those simple words of thanks and praise to Almighty God can be nuh! True joy, LOVE and reverence reverberate in my heart and soul like a plucked stringed instrument, because I know that our great God delights in our praise and worship!
 
There’s nothing that warms the cockles of His heart like our sincere and delightful acknowledgement of His awesome power, His majestic presence and His most endearing personality!
 
Consequently, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to share this beautiful and most appropriate poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises called ‘The Book of All Books.’
 
Please pray it with me now: ‘Lord, I am overwhelmed As I read Your living Word. What power, what pungency I find within its pages. It stirs me, burns within me It challenges me, invigorates me And often disturbs me. When I obey its commands The results are what You claim: Darkness becomes light Crooked places become straight
 
The more I seek, the more I find. Within its pages, God I see beyond mere philosophy I see beyond a neat package of ethics. I crash head-on with a living Person The One who makes all things new. No other book can claim as much.’
 
Wow mih people! Wow! That’s all I can say to such resounding truth! There’s definitely NO ONE like our magnificent, magnanimous and merciful God! We don’t even have the words in our vocabulary to do justice to His description. And in truth, how could there ever be another One, another Deity of such magnitude eh? Now that might just be the only impossible feat in all the world!
 
And the promise on which that poem was based is also our Bit for today. ‘For the Word of God is quick (living, alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.
 
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’ (Heb.4:12-13)
 
Yes Friends, Bruh Paul is making some mighty statements there! And I believe that the Book of Hebrews had to be written by Bruh Paul, or someone eerily similar to him, for there are two many of his trademarks therein. But that’s another sermon for another day. (smile)
 
Right now, let’s address ourselves to some explanations. And the scholars offer us a lot. ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living).
 
This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense.’
 
Then, re the Immaterial Part of Man, they offer: ‘4:12. The writer here draws an interesting parallel between the joints and the marrow, which have different functions, yet both are part of a human’s bone structure. Thoughts and intents are also two distinct activities, yet both are activities of the mind.
 
And while the soul and spirit are distinct in function, both have an immaterial character. When considering the nature of humanity, we must realize a person is a two-part being, that is, with body and soul. But in activity or function the body, soul, and spirit of a person each has a different function.
 
Paul desired that his converts’ “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess.5:23). (First Reference, Gen.2:7; Primary Reference, 1 Thess.5:23;cf, Prov.4:23).’
 
Oh my brethren, please let all of that percolate in our souls, bodies and minds today and thus bring us to a better understanding of God’s Word. Please let it encourage us, build our faith and raise our level of maturity in Christ. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
And please excuse the lateness of the Bit, the ole fella was tired and somewhat under the weather, so I decided to sleep in some this morning. But as they say; better late than never. (smile) Much LOVE my beloved brethren in Christ Jesus!
 
…until you truly know and adore Jesus…your joy and peace will be severely limited…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.

                                                        MERRY  CHRISTMAS! 
 

And the congregation raised their voices in heavenly song: ‘Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconcile. Joyful all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With the angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.’

 

Yes my beautiful fellow believers, on this awesome day, some two thousand years ago, our King, Jesus Christ was born! And all God’s people gave a mighty and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’

 

What a momentous and memorable moment that was in the annals of history! So momentous, that since then it’s been creating an unbelievable uproar amongst mankind; some bad, but most of it good.

 

No wonder the prophet Isaiah lustily declared centuries before, in our Bit: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.’

 

And today we’ll bypass the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our God, and instead scan the Good Book for appropriate scriptures that proclaim Him as ‘our king, he will save us.’

 

And what better place to begin than with the everlasting promise of God’s mercy and salvation. Hear Isaiah tell it as it is: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

 

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7)

 

And the zeal of the Lord did perform it my brethren! As all the other promises of our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, magnanimous, merciful, and forgiving God, this came to pass on that fateful Christmas night two millennia ago, when the holy, sinless, incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, was born to a poor carpenter’s family in Bethlehem of Judea. 

 

But yuh know what Friends, even before that magnificent pronouncement, previous to an Assyrian invasion of Israel, Isaiah had specified the way that our King, our Messiah, would be born. ‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).’ (Is.7:14.)

 

And did this all come about? OF COURSE! The gospel of Luke tells us that ‘the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (betrothed, engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

 

And when she saw him she was troubled at his saying, and cast (considered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Yahweh Is Salvation).

 

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?

 

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall over-shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:26-35)

 

And so it was said…and so was it done! We all know the story of how Joseph was told about the immaculate conception in a dream and went on to marry Mary, and how they went up to Bethlehem to register for a census and how Jesus was born that night in a stable, because there was no room in the inn for them.

 

And what a glorious night that was my brethren in ole Bethlehem, for all the heavenly host of angels were singing and rejoicing over the birth of our Saviour, and joyfully declared to the shepherds who were out watching their flocks: ‘Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:10-14) 

 

Ah mih people how mighty and faithful is our God! For all that was prophesied centuries before came together on that first Christmas night to begin the process of our salvation, of our reconciliation to the heavenly Father, through the birth, life, and sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead on the third day, having defeated the hosts of Hades, to claim His rightful throne, His rightful kingdom, both here on earth and in heaven above. A kingdom that shall NEVER END! 

 

So let’s go home singing His praises nuh. ‘Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.’

 

Great and faithful is our God my people, so please, in grateful appreciation, let’s spend some time today pondering on the mighty promises He made, and oh so faithfully fulfilled. That’s the true reason for this exciting Christmas season. Much LOVE!

 

…blessed is the season…which engages the whole world…in a conspiracy of LOVE!… (Hamilton Wright Mabie – 1846-1916 – American essayist editor, critic, lecturer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2013 Luke 1:27

Luke 1:27:  To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 
Oh Friends, this really is the year of the flood yes! Look at the above average rainfall that’s caused terrible flooding and all the other inherent disasters that’s happened this past week in Northern India and also here at home in the Western Province of Alberta.
 
The city of Calgary, one of the five largest in Canada, and the surrounding areas of High River and Medicine Hat, were literally under water. The newspaper claims that Calgary, possibly the country’s most progressive city, has been left in shambles. River-like torrents of water have been running down the city’s streets, and thousands have been evacuated.
 
Add all of that to the wicked flooding we recently saw in much of Europe and in the Western Province of Saskatchewan, and we have to admit that flood damage seems to be this year’s chosen area of disaster. And the hurricane season is just starting, so who knows what’s going to happen eh. We just have to be prepared to face whatever disaster comes our way.
 
And Friends, despite all the negative news, as true believers in Jesus Christ, we can all relax – well not really relax, we still have to mind our business, drunk or sober, (smile) but we don’t have to go crazy with worry, anxiety and overwhelming concern, because our God has promised to look after us in whatever situation we may find ourselves. And we all know that He’s always faithful in keeping His promises.
 
Besides, worry and anxiety never fix anything, just cause more problems and negative consequences. And today, please let’s give God enormous thanks for our safety and well-being, and also pray for the thousands of unfortunates who are caught up in the numerous disasters around the world.
 
Individually, we may not be able to do much to help them, but together we can certainly move mountains on their behalf, with the help of Jesus. So please let’s remember them in our prayers, because the day will certainly come when we’re undergoing our own disasters and need them to pray for us.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday. ‘To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.’
 
And according to the scholars: ‘Espousal (similar to our engagement period) was, under Jewish law as binding as marriage. It lasted about a year, during which time the woman’s purity was maintained.’
 
Yesterday we talked about the new Norwegian version of the Good Book changing the word ‘virgin’ in Mary’s case to that of ‘young woman,’ which entirely misses the point, and thus fails to convey the fundamental aspect that Mary’s virginity had and has on the Christian faith.
 
Today we’ll look at two other scriptures and hear from the scholars, per the great importance and relevance of Mary’s virginity to our beliefs. And the whole virginity business began with Isaiah’s prophecy to King Ahab at an upcoming Assyrian invasion of Israel.
 
‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ (Is.7:14)
 
Then Matthew, in his gospel, referring to Isaiah’s prophecy, declares: ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted (translated) is, God with us.’ (Matt.1:23)
 
And the scholars tell us that: ‘A virgin relates Mary, the mother of Jesus, to the prediction found in Isaiah 7:14. Matthew used the Greek word, ‘parthenos’ to translate the Hebrew word ‘almah.’ His contextual usage of ‘fulfill’ is certainly indicative of his understanding the Isaiah passage to contain a definitely predictive element.
 
The quotation of Isaiah 7:14 follows the Septuagint (Old Testament in Greek) rendering where ‘parthenos’ is also used to translate the Hebrew ‘almah.’ There can be no doubt that the Greek term ‘parthenos’ is always to be translated ‘virgin.’
 
The Hebrew ‘almah’ is the most accurate and precise term for virgin used in the Old Testament. Therefore Matthew is clearly correct in quoting Isaiah 7:14 as being fulfilled in the virgin birth of Christ.
 
Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us: This is a title describing the deity of the person of the Son of God rather than a name actually used by Him. It implies God will come to dwell among His own people, which He did in the person of Christ.’
 
Ah Friends, some of that might be slightly confusing, but the scholars want to show how truly important the concept of Mary’s virginity and Christ’s virgin birth are to our Christian faith. And not totally acknowledging it as such, in essence denies the basic tenet of our faith; that of Christ being the incarnate (spiritually conceived) Son of God and not the physical conception of man.
 
In other words, Jesus was the human embodiment of God, God in the flesh of man. That means that if Mary wasn’t a virgin in the real and true sense of the word, then Jesus’ father had to be a human being, and that would totally negate all of the New Testament.
 
So please my brethren, let’s be careful to try and keep the true meaning of the Good Book in all we say and do, so that we don’t mislead others, or give them the wrong perspective on what our faith really is all about. And I daresay that in many modern translations that is already taking place.
 
But Friends and fellow believers, the Good Book MUST NOT be watered or dumbed down to meet the dumb and watered down minds of this current age. Instead we should concentrate on lifting, upgrading the minds of our young people to meet the understanding of the Good Book. Please, I implore us to make that a critical part of our outreach, our ministry. 
 
And in closing, I’m asking us to float up a few words of prayer to heaven for the ole fella, who’s going to have some surgery this morning on his right hand to rectify a condition they call ‘trigger finger.’ Please pray for it to be successful, and that I can continue writing the Bit without missing any days, because that would be very disappointing.
 
I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but since our God is omnipotent, and we can do all things through His empowerment, I feel confident that He will help me find a way, even if in the natural, there seems to be none. Much LOVE!
 
…let’s remember that God’s Word never changes…so don’t go changing it on the whims and fancies of this fallen world…