Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, 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 puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, 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 Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2017 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Welcome to Wednesday friends! It’s a brand new day with brand new mercies and blessings! Glory to God for providing us with such abundance! 

In return we ought to give Him much thanks and praise, be obedient to His holy will and enjoy the day. That’s why we can all sincerely shout: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And if we don’t follow through with that declaration, then it’s only us losing, foolishly forsaking God’s goodness. The Lord will still be in His high heaven enjoying Himself, but we will be miserable down here on planet earth. 

Consequently, I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that’s titled ‘So Profound.’ 

And it says: ‘O God I want to sing and dance I want to shout it from the hilltops: There is absolutely nothing In my wretched past That can hinder You From redeeming my future Except my refusal to let You. Thank You for invading my heart With a truth so refreshing So magnificent So profound!’ 

Yeh mih people, we should be singing and dancing and giving praise each and every day that we’re alive, thankful for our wonderful God’s redeeming and forgiving nature! 

And it’s surprising when we live a thankful and grateful life how interesting and adventurous are our days! We don’t sit around moping and groaning and complaining because things aren’t going our way. 

But it’s surprising how many supposed believers unwisely live that miserable sort of life even with God’s goodness and mercy right at their fingertips. 

And we should be especially thankful and grateful at this most important time of year when Jesus rose from the dead to allow us to have the free, God-given options of salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

And the Bible Promises used for that poem are some verses from 1 Peter that we recently looked at, but are certainly worthy of sharing again, the first one being our Bit. 

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Ah mih people, our God is so great that our small, finite minds can’t even truly comprehend His greatness! And don’t talk about His LOVE! Wow! That is so out of sight that it boggles our imagination! 

For before we LOVED Him, He LOVED us and sent His Son to die in our place, so that our sins could be forgiven! Now if that isn’t the ultimate in LOVE, then I don’t know what is!  

Now let’s look at some explanations of our verses from the scholars. ‘1:3-2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.” Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’ 

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation. Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’ 

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs. 3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. 

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. 

Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’ 

Yeh friends, the explanations might take some effort to understand, but that’s how we get to know the word. And besides, the most important fact is that it’s all for our good! So please make the effort to grasp it and hang on to it. Hope you enjoyed the lesson in Greek too. (smile) 

Now let’s end by sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘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 let’s truly live it my brethren! Much LOVE!

…the great gift of salvation…would not be possible without Jesus’ sacrificial death…and His awesome resurrection…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2017 1 Corinthians 15:20.

1 Corinthians 15:20.    But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have fallen asleep, have died).

HAPPY  EASTER!

Oh my beautiful fellow believers, at last it’s Easter Sunday! Glory to God! And we all know what happened on this faithful, blessed, unforgettable day some two thousand years ago: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ rose triumphantly from the dead, having been crucified on Good Friday to pay our sin debt in full! 

Wow! What a magnificent triumph that was over hell, death and the grave! The negative elements of sin and darkness were put to flight by the brilliant, blazing light of new life embodied by Christ’s Resurrection! 

Consequently what better song of praise can we sing this Sunday morning than that penned for the occasion by Charles Wesley way back in 1739: ‘Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!?’ None my brethren! 

So in full voice, with overwhelming enthusiasm and gratitude, let’s sincerely offer up the sacrifice of praise this Easter morn, so that in heaven on high, there can be no doubt of our thankfulness for Jesus’ great victory over the enemy. 

All together now:  Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia! 

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Yes friends, that was wonderful, although there are really no words to truly convey the gratitude we owe to Jesus and our heavenly Father for making it possible to flee sin and return to the warm cockles of their everlasting LOVE! 

And today I don’t want to get into all the stuff that happened in the garden at the tomb because we know all of that well enough. Instead I want to show and describe what Jesus’ resurrection really means for us as believers; namely the assurance of life after death for ALL who sincerely believe and put their heart-felt trust in Him. 

Listen to our Bit: ‘But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have fallen asleep, have died). Oh my people, the first fruits are an important symbol in our faith; the first of anything, the part we offer to God. 

And according to the scholars: ‘15:20. First fruits (cf. Lev.23:9-14): The “first fruits” in Israel always anticipated a harvest.’  Glory be my people! For that means if Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection, then there is an abundant harvest, namely His believers and followers that will be coming after Him. What a wonderful assurance of salvation and eternal life for us! 

And Bruh Paul elucidates on that after our Bit. ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.’ (1 Cor.15:21-23)  

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘15:23-26. Order (lit. “group”): Afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming: When Christ comes for the church at the Rapture, believers will also experience resurrection (cf. 1 Thess.3:13; 4:14-18).’  

Now why would be so foolish as to accept eternal separation from God, instead of Christ’s offer, His personal assurance of eternal life with God eh? I surely don’t know, but unfortunately many of us are foolishly doing it. And to further corroborate our Bit, hear Bruh Paul in his monologue to King Agrippa, as he testified of his conversion to Christianity. 

‘Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show (would proclaim) light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.’ (Acts 26:22-23) 

And we are the Gentiles my people! And for God’s good grace to bring us into His fold, we ought to shout a grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ He didn’t have to, but His LOVE was so great for ALL His creation that He couldn’t leave us out. 

Now let’s close with some words from Peter as he talks about salvation wrought by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5)  

Yes friends, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we become new creatures, and receive hope and faith through God’s power to handle anything that comes against us, knowing that we are assured of salvation, it’s guaranteed, because of Jesus’ resurrection. So today, let us rejoice that the Lord is risen and consequently we will arise at the end times too. Much LOVE!

…He is Risen…He is Risen…Christ is Risen indeed…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2016 1 Corinthians 15:57

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well mih people, it’s the big day, Monday! And ah hear a lot of moaning and groaning and hissing of teeth in the background. But that’s only coming from those unlucky ones who have to go to work this Easter Monday. (smile) 

Many of us though have the day off, which we’ll most likely spend in celebration with friends and family, giving thanks and praise to Almighty God for burying our sins with Jesus in hell, then raising Him from the dead, clean and whole, alive and kicking, ready to rule the world till eternity, bringing all His enemies under His footstool, having every knee bow to Him, and every tongues confess that He is Lord indeed to the glory of God! (Phil.2:9-11) Praise the Lord! 

And the good news is that once we become associated with Jesus, we’ll become children of God and will also embrace eternal life as heirs and joint heirs with Him! Mama Mia! What could be sweeter eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 

Me, I won’t be able to do any celebrating until in the afternoon though, when I return from the funeral of a friend’s son. Last year he bought his seventeen year old son a vintage Mustang sports car with a ridiculous amount of horse power, and apparently a week ago, the lad ran into a guard rail and met his unfortunate demise. 

Ah Lord eh! There’s nothing worse than a parent losing a child, especially one just on the verge of adulthood. So you can imagine the heartache Jehovah God must have felt seeing His beautiful Son all battered and bruised on that wooden cross on Calvary Hill, all on behalf of a bunch of ungrateful sinners. 

But that was the only way to pay for the sins of humanity, and He LOVED us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, Jesus Christ. Oh glory to God my people! And I don’t think we truly appreciate the Lord’s magnanimous gesture nuh, else we wouldn’t be behaving as sinfully and godless as we are. 

Anyway, since it’s Monday, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to encourage those who have to go out and labour today. And friends, please, please let this be a wonderful, wonderful rendition, because it’s Easter Monday, and our Lord and Saviour has just defeated Lucifer and his world of darkness, all for our sake, rising triumphantly from the grave, so that we could be set free, be washed an cleansed in His precious blood. 

So as one, glorious choir of angels now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, that was magnificent! It was truly a glorious choir of angels because all heaven sang along with us! And you could see the proud fire in Jesus’ eyes and the bright  smile that lit His handsome face as He energetically swung His choir director’s baton. The Father even gave us a standing ‘O’! Wow! 

So now, having pleased heaven with our song, let’s go out and please them with our actions in the evil and ungodly world that surrounds us. Now friends, let’s get into some serious scripture, detailing our victory in Christ. 

Listen to Bruh Paul lay it down. ‘Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (trumpet): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor.15:50-58) 

Yes friends, that’s how it’s going to be!  Our mortal and corruptible bodies will be changed into immortal, incorruptible ones and then Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled. (Is.25:8) The world of darkness will be defeated, and victory will be ours through Christ Jesus. 

And all God’s people sang out a joyful and grateful: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You Father God! Thank You Holy Spirit! Thank You for giving us victory, over, hell, death and the grave! We LOVE You, and will faithfully serve and worship you till eternity…and even after!’ (smile) 

Now let’s close with some info from the scholars. ‘15:52. At the last trump: This is not the last trumpet of Revelation 11:15, but the last trumpet of 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It is so designated because it signals the end of the present age. Two groups are distinguished. The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed: The term dead refers to those who have died in Christ. The term we refers to those who are still living at the time of the Rapture.’  

So my people, this Easter Monday let’s go out and celebrate the Risen Christ in whatever we do, not forgetting though, Granny’s sage advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Now that is wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…in the battle for the world…Christ is the runaway victor…bless His holy name…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ah Friends, it was just one of those days where the ole fella went to bed at a  Shakespearean early hour. (smile) Three o’clock found me sitting on my porch, but I didn’t stay long because the wind was in a rather frenzied state and had the poor trees dancing to an incredibly fast riddim, and it was also a tad chilly in my shorts and T-shirt.

It’s surprising that nothing seems to have been blown down, for since early evening the wind had been having serious histrionic fits. I had to close a couple of my windows because it was making such a fuss. And it’s still not completely over it’s bad behaviour, but just not as challenging as during the night.

Thankfully though, both the sun and Son are shining quite brightly this Wednesday morning. And since it’s Wednesday, then I guess it’s time for our Wednesday Wail. Please wail with me.

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

Oh my people, what a Friend, Lord and Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! Glory to God! I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh, for He is so LOVING, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving… And that’s just the tip of His attributes. It would take me half the day to name them all.

Yes Friends, having Jesus as the guide, the rudder and compass of our lives is the wisest action we can ever take down here on God’s great earth! I don’t know how I lived, how I existed before I truly let Him into my heart. Oh, He was always there, but lurking in the background, waiting for me to smarten up and surrender my life to Him.

As they say, hindsight is certainly 20-20 vision yes! For in hindsight, I can now see the many occasions on which He lent me a helping hand. Many times when others couldn’t or refused to help, He was the One who stepped into the breach and shored it up.

That’s why, now that I’ve truly bought into His plan, I can say with all sincerity and truth; what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And am I ever so grateful for His LOVE, mercy, comfort and grace which certainly makes this life worth living.

And I know that I’m not alone in that regard because the Lord works His magnanimous works in the lives of ALL who sincerely believe in and honour Him.

That’s why we can agree with Peter when he so wisely declares in our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

Yes my brethren, this new life of ours all stems from the resurrection of Christ. Without His resurrection, there would be no new creation of man!

And as Peter continues:’(We have been raised) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:4-5)

Oh Friends, what powerful and encouraging words and promises! But all of it indisputable, gospel truth!

Now let’s delve into what it all means with the help of the scholars. ‘1:3 –2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.”  Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation: Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vv.3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation.

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time.

Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’

Ah Friends, I do hope that the general descriptions, as well as the more specific ones help us to better understand what salvation is, and all that’s laid up for us in heaven, and also helps to increase our faith by knowing, by being assured that Almighty God, our Creator and Provider is constantly watching over us, and we can have no better security than that.

Now let’s ponder it all, then put it into action as our lives unfold, obviously with God’s help, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…oh what an auspicious, blessed and reassuring day…was that Easter Sunday morn…when Christ triumphantly rose from the grave…and gave us all the hope of future life eternal…with Him in heaven…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2015 James 4:8‏‏

James 4:8.     Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. 

And then it was Saturday; a supposedly rainy day. But who knows eh? We’ve been promised some showers of blessing for the longest while, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of heavenly water for at least two, possibly three weeks in my area. It’s been cloudy at times, but not even rain-clouding dark, and the strong winds we’ve recently been having have blown those wispy rain clouds away. (smile)

They remind me of the story of Elijah when he prayed for rain in Israel. On the seventh time Elijah’s servant went to see if any rain was in the offing per Elijah’s prayers, he came back and reported: ‘Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.’ (1 Kin.18:44)

That was the beginning of an abundance of rain for Israel, but no such luck for us. Anyway, it’s still pretty early in the morning to despair, for with our God’s omnipotent powers anything can happen at any time,  in the blink of an eye.

But here’s an interesting general prayer that we can say every morning when we arise. It’s attributed to Norman Grubb (1895-1993), a British Christian missionary, writer and theological teacher. Please pray with me. ‘Good morning, Christ. I LOVE you! What are you up to today? I want to be a part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!’

Now my people, isn’t that simple and straight to the point? It certainly is. And it does help to get you connected with the Father as soon as you get up, before any evil and negative thoughts can enter your still fragile and not wide awake mind and spoil your day. And that’s all it takes Friends, something short and to the point to get us running on the correct spiritual track.

But before we can get to that, we first have to put into operation the words of our Bit, where we’re born again and can have that kind of ongoing relationship with Almighty God. ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’

Yes my people, it’s of the utmost importance that we have a close personal relationship with the Father, through the Son, Jesus Christ, while being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And we can only do that by repenting of our sins, cleansing our hearts and turning over a new leaf, becoming a new creation in Christ.

Now listen to how Peter deals with the matter. ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned (sincere) LOVE of the brethren, see that ye LOVE one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible (perishable) seed, but of incorruptible (imperishable), by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the (spoken) word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:22-25)

Yes Friends, Peter is there repeating the words of Isaiah 40:6-8, where  mankind is likened to the grass that sprouts up bright and fresh in the morning, but soon withers and dies, especially when the hot sun beats down on it. And that’s the absolute truth!

But unlike that short-lived grass, the word of our Creator lives for ever, through the gospel being preached throughout the earth; the good news of his Son Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed for us on Calvary’s cross, then rose again in glory and ascended to heaven, where He now sits on the right hand of the Father, advocating for us.

Wow! What an omnipotent, but magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! It just can’t get any better than that, though a lot of us seem to think otherwise. But as I keep saying Friends, refusing to accept God’s grace and mercy and His free offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads to eternal life, is the wisdom of a fool. And there surely are a lot of fools in this evil and ungodly world.

Anyway, enough of my carping, or proselytizing (smile), whichever one catches your fancy, and listen instead to an explanation by the scholars on the topic at hand. ‘1:23. Being born again (lit., “having been born again”) refers to all believers having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, which communicates His offer of salvation to mankind. Thus our salvation rests, from the human perspective, upon OUR willing reception of that offer.’

Yuh see Friends, it all depends on us willingly receiving God’s wonderful offer, that’s why I capitalized and highlighted ‘our’ above. The Lord has done His part by putting the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ on the table, so like any contract that is worthless unless there’s offer and acceptance, we now have the opportunity to accept or reject God’s offer.

However Friends, in this case, rejection of the Lord’s offer will bring disastrous and calamitous consequences, namely eternal separation from Him, and eventual death and damnation. So as far as I can see, with my limited human reasoning powers, accepting God’s offer is the wise thing to do.

I’m therefore urging us to do so as quickly as possible, if possible right now, because the time for Jesus’ return is imminent, and once He returns in majestic splendour and awesome might, that offer will be taken off the table…forever. So please take my wise advice and seriously get involved with Jesus. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made. I guarantee it! Much LOVE!

…to be separated from Christ…for all eternity…is the biggest mistake  a man can make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2014 Deuteronomy 5:32

Deuteronomy 5:32.   Ye shall (carefully) observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

                                                          HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and fellow believers, I’m wishing you and yours a Happy New Year; a bright and prosperous 2014, filled with hungry hope, expectant faith and overwhelming LOVE for our great God, our pilgrim selves and neighbours, who have all been created in the image of the ONE TRUE DEITY, Almighty God, Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh! 

Yes my people, 2014 will be a wonderful year, because we will all live up much better to our New Year’s resolution of having a closer and more intimate walk with Jesus, than we did in 2013. The whole point of the exercise is to get closer and closer, become a better mirror-image of Jesus every year that we’re alive.

And 2014 will be no different, for we’ll continue to build the LOVE Revolution that is destined to engulf this evil world, with our most able leader, Jesus Christ at the helm. Oh my people, with Jesus Christ leading and guiding us we can NEVER GO WRONG! 

So today, let’s all promise that in 2014 we’ll buckle down, take our faith and it’s world-wide spread seriously, develop plenty gumption, plenty belly and backbone, and with the help of Jesus raise the level of godliness in this too evil world.

And the only way we can do that Friends, is by joining together, for remember that a house divided against itself will eventually fall, but one that’s working together, that’s built on the rock, as Jesus’ church is, will stand forever! That means as the body of Christ we have to start working together instead of against each other, as Lucifer is intent on having us do.

And unfortunately in 2013 he has succeeded much more than he should have; the church has seen its fair share of dissension and division, evil and ungodliness has definitely increased, while believers have not stood up and fought as strong a battle as we ought to.

But all of that is going to change for the better this watershed year of 2014 – isn’t it my brethren? I just know that it will, because we’re getting wiser and stronger and more intimate with Jesus each and every day!

Wow! What a year 2014 will be Friends!

And that’s where our Bit comes in, for living for and glorifying God, is what its all about: ‘Ye shall (carefully) observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.’

Yes my people, it’s that straight and narrow path that leads to God that we must concentrate on walking this New Year. And to get us going today, let’s joyfully declare: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Oh Friends, when we start out with joy, peace and LOVE, the essence of Jesus, in our hearts, minds and souls, how can we go wrong eh? NEVER! 

That’s why it’s so essential from the moment we awake, till the moment we close our eyes to sleep, that we give thanks, we keep up a continual conversation with our heavenly Father, who is the ONE that enables us to prosper in this crazy world. And a big part of all that is regularly reading His Word.

As He told Joshua when He anointed him leader of the Israelites: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh.1:8)

Oh my people, as I keep saying, our God keeps it clear, simple and straightforward! What’s in there not to understand eh? You read His Word, do what it says and you’ll be prosperous and successful!

Wow! What a simple formula for success!

But we, the great and intelligent beings that we are, or rather foolishly think that we are, just won’t buy it. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s too simple; perhaps we think it will keep us back from enjoying some of the evil and ungodly delights of this evil and ungodly world?

But Friends, whatever is keeping us back from taking hold of God’s Word and running the biggest and best race of our lives, please let’s drop it, or them, this year and concentrate strictly on Jesus and His desires for and expectations of us.

Hear Bruh Paul tell it to the Corinthians nuh: ‘ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things.

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified). (1 Cor.9:24-27)

Yes my people, that’s our biggest problem, bringing our bodies and minds under subjection, into a godly kind of discipline. But as Bruh Paul says, if we want to win the race, we have to put in the training time. It’s like everything else in our world; practice makes perfect.

And if we want to have a last testament like Bruh Paul, then we have to get to work seriously on our training program RIGHT NOW! ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, each and every one of us ought to be able to make that statement when our time to cross over to the other side draws near. But unfortunately we won’t be able to do so, unless we start training properly and seriously for that awesome race of life in Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW!

So I’ll leave us to ponder on all that now, and please, let’s enjoy this first day of 2014, as though it’s the first day of the rest of our lives, for in many ways it just might be. Much LOVE!

…turn not to the right hand…nor to the left…remove thy foot from evil…  (Prov.4:27)

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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