Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2018 Lamentations 3:24.

Lamentations 3:24.   The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.

Oh yes mih people, it’s a hot and humid Monday…but that’s no excuse to have the Monday summertime blues! Definitely not! Just think ahead for a moment; just think how we’ll be dying for, just begging the Lord for this same kind of weather in the next few months nuh, when the cold descends upon us with a determined vengeance. (smile) 

So please, let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s enjoy the time, enjoy each and every minute we’ve been granted down here on earth in this crazy summertime of 2018. Instead, let’s emphatically and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Wow mih breddren! That’s the kind of attitude and approach our gracious and merciful God wants to hear us adopt. But just in case you can’t chase away those Monday summertime blues all on your own, then let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the true antidote for just such an ailment. 

As loud and as enthusiastically as we can 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!’ 

And do words of sincere prayer ever raise the adrenaline levels in our souls my people! There is nothing else like, or as effective as it, in this whole wide world. No wonder Cousin Jerry, despite all his ‘sufferation’ could confidently declare in our Bit: ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.’  

And the psalmist Asaph concurs with Jerry, as he confidently proclaims: ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ (Ps.73:25-26) 

Oh my fellow believers, are we able to declare those kinds of statements as emphatically as Asaph? I certainly hope so. But if we can’t just yet, then it’s something we should be working very diligently towards. As I read those words it reminded me of Horatio Spafford, the fellow who wrote our yesterday hymn, ‘It is well with my soul.’ 

He had to have had that kind of and level of faith to be able to pen those immortal and poignant words after experiencing so much tragedy in his life. And the writer of Psalm 119 puts it this way. ‘Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.’ (Ps.119:57-58) 

Of course our great, wonderful and magnanimous God will be merciful to us if we sincerely offer our whole heart to Him, for that’s what He’s all about: magnanimity and mercy! But we have to give Him our all, not just a part that we figure we can’t handle. 

And Cousin Jerry puts it thus earlier on. ‘The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former (maker) of all things; and Israel is the rod (tribe) of his inheritance: The Lord of hosts is his name.’ (Jer.10:16) 

Glory be my fellow believers! And through the auspices and sacrifices of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we have been made a member of God’s tribe, we also are a part of His inheritance! What a blessed inheritance! Please, let’s make the most of it nuh, don’t throw it away and waste Jesus’ awesome sacrifice on our behalf. 

And we’ll close with these immortal and oh so encouraging words of the psalmist Asaph. ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:28) That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions my brethren! Please, I implore us to seriously embrace it. Much LOVE!

…wisdom and logic both dictate…that drawing close to our Maker…is our raison d’etre…the reason for our very existence…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 30 November 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

Oh friends, another beautiful day in a wonderful life! Give God the Glory! Yes, He and He alone deserves the overwhelming praise and thanks for our good lives! Oh, I know some of us might complain that life is rough, and so it might be, but whoever said that life would always be smooth eh? Nobody! 

That’s just some fanciful idea we’ve gotten in our heads, especially since we’ve become Christians and have read and heard about all the great and wonderful things that God can do, has done, and will do for His children. But from the day sin entered the world, through the disobedience of our forefathers, life was destined to have headaches, ups and downs, tragedy and calamity. 

Please note what the Lord said to Adam at the time of their disobedience. ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow (toil) shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’ (Gen.3:17-19) 

Yeh friends, just a li’l reminder that after our fall, life would never be the same, and it would be rough, fraught with calamity, but also lined with good things because our God is a LOVING God, who is not only out to punish us for our wrongdoings. If that was His ultimate desire, we would have disappeared from the earth long ago. 

But despite our shortcomings, He LOVED us so much that he sent His Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for our sins, so we could be reborn by His Holy Spirit and get another chance at redemption, at being made right with Him. Only a very LOVING and kindhearted Deity would do such a thing. 

That’s why we have the wonder and glory of Jesus in our Bit. ‘Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

Yes Friends, Jesus upset the whole apple cart with his sacrificial death, providing a way out for us woeful sinners! Praise His holy name! But let me get to the promise I made yesterday to offer some scholarly explanations to the verses we read in Colossians 1. I could write praises to Jesus all day, if you give me a chance. (smile) 

In fact the verse we’re going to look at is praising Him. ‘Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born (first in rank) of (over) every creature.’ (Col.1:15) Yes, Jesus is the living image of our invisible God; ‘the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us…’ (John 1:14) 

But the scholars offer this explanation on the other half of the verse. ‘1:15. First-born here signifies two things (1) Temporal priority. As the firstborn child in a family is born before his brothers and sisters, similarly Christ existed before Creation. He existed before the universe was created. 

And owing to the privileges usually given an oldest child, “first-born” also signifies (2) positional priority. The firstborn in a family was customarily accorded more honour, greater authority, or larger share of the inheritance, and so held a privileged position in relation to his brothers and sisters. In like manner Christ as the “firstborn” occupies a position supreme over the universe. 

Therefore, when Paul declares Christ to be the first-born of every creature, the apostle does not mean that He is the first person whom God created; Paul instead means that Christ is earlier than, as well as preeminent in, all creation.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s very important that we understand that Christ was around before the world was formed, and He played a major role in forming it, as well as in giving us the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father. That’s why He was so highly exalted by the Father: King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to whom all knees shall bow and whose name shall be spoken with the ultimate reverence, so that the Father can be truly glorified. 

Ah mih people, I hope the Bit makes sense. There’s so much I want to communicate on this particular Bit, that I might tend to get confused at times – I’m only human, but I know that you all are smart enough pick sense from nonsense, (smile) and understand what I’m trying to say. 

So now, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, blessings that our wonderful God has poured down on us out of His unlimited grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness.  

As though we really mean it now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

There is indeed power in the spoken word friends, let’s go out and share those blessings in Jesus’ name now! Much LOVE!

…who is our bright and shining light…the glory of God…none else but…JESUS…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the bit, I was just somewhat tardy in getting up. (smile) Much LOVE!


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2017 Psalm 2:1.

Psalm 2:1.    Why do the heathen (gentiles) rage (throng tumultuously), and the people imagine (plot) a vain (futile, worthless) thing?

‘Monday, Monday! Oh how I hate that day…especially when there’s no rain or snow, because then I have no excuse to not go to work! 

Yeh friends, many of us feel that way about Monday because we don’t handle the weekend right; too much partying and not enough rest and fellowship. But don’t worry, as usual we have the antidote for whatever ails you this Monday morning, and it’s fittingly called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn! 

So let’s sing it out now nuh, with as much enthusiasm and chutzpah that we can muster, as Jesus, our choirmaster, guides and directs us. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, it was a tad out of sync, but the enthusiasm was right on, and I believe that satisfied our choirmaster, because he could see that we were trying. Now let’s go out and join Jesus on the battle field, taking with us that enthusiasm and the new-found adrenaline that our prayer stimulated, and just wow the heathen into His camp! 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Why do the heathen (gentiles) rage (throng tumultuously), and the people imagine (plot) a vain (futile, worthless) thing?’ 

Now that’s a very good question my believing brethren, in light of what the psalmist says afterward. ‘The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed (Christ the Messiah), saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex (distress) them with his sore (deep) displeasure. Yet have I set (installed) my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ (Ps.2:2-9) 

Ah friends, the earthly rulers have no idea of the fire which they are playing by taking Almighty God and His anointed Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ lightly. Now listen to some valuable explanations from the scholars. 

‘Psalm 2: Psalm 2 is attributed to David in Acts 4:25 and is called the second psalm in Acts 13:33. The introductory rhetorical question, Why do the heathen rage? (v.1) is shown in the following verses to be a question of incredulity. Why do the nations attack God’s anointed king when their attack is doomed to failure? Historically, his Anointed (v.2) referred to David or to any of his descendants who were experiencing opposition (cf. 1 Sam.24:6); prophetically, it refers to the Messiah who, as Son of David, also experienced opposition (Acts 4:25-27). 

The fact that God shall laugh (v.4) at the world’s opposition to the Anointed One presages their calamity because the Lord has installed His King upon…Zion (v.6) and adopted Him as His Son; therefore the nations may be taken as an inheritance at the Son’s request (v.8). Every Davidic ruler was an adopted son (2 Sam.7:14), but the real significance of the promise is fulfilled only in Christ, the eternal Son of God (Acts 13:33; Heb.1:5, 5:5). The wise alternative is to submit to this Son. (vs.10-12).’ 

Yes friends, it’s all been arranged, so I don’t know why Lucifer and his evil minions are still trying to fight a losing battle nuh? As the scholars said, the only wise alternative is to submit to the Son.

‘Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear; and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (pay homage to Him), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Ps.2:10-12) 

Oh my people, all I can do now is to advise us to take that immortal wisdom to heart, to act sincerely on it, by putting your entire trust in Jesus Christ, for He is God’s Anointed Son and will win the war eventually. Much LOVE!

…why join with the loser eh…when we already know the winner…it doesn’t make any sense at all…

 

 

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 21 March 2017 Habakkuk 1:2.

Habakkuk 1:2.   O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Oh friends, what the ole fella wouldn’t give for some hot sunshine and oh so therapeutic salt water this Tuesday morning eh! 

Now the sun’s shining brightly outside and it’s about 5 degrees, going up to somewhere around ten, but that’s not doing me any good at all. 

Chuh! I need some real warmth, some sea, sun and sand and salt to help me get rid of this cold that’s been plaguing me for almost two weeks. 

Right now, like Esau, I’d give up my birthright for some awesome West Indian weather. I’m sure that’s worth much more than the bowl of lentil soup that Esau gave up his birthright for. (smile) 

I guess I might just have to go back to the doctor and check it out. But to tell the truth, I’m oh so tired of doctors and hospitals and labs and medication and the erratic lifestyle it’s all causing me to live. My ying and yang just can’t get into sync at all. 

On the other hand though, I must be thankful for the attention I’m getting, for that’s what is possibly keeping me around and getting me better. 

Oh I have no doubt that the Lord in His awesome wisdom and power will ensure that I get better and live a decent lifespan so that I can do all the work He’s appointed me to do, but sometimes this long-suffering season just gets to me. (smile) 

And now that I’ve aired my grievances, let’s get on to something that’s much more important than me nuh. (smile) Something like our Bit, which highlights the utter evil and corruption of our world. ‘O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!’ 

Yeh friends, our world is so corrupt and evil that it just boggles the imagination, and is rather reminiscent of Israel when Habakkuk cried out to the Lord. 

And we saw how the Lord used the evil empire of Babylon to punish the Israelites, though Habakkuk further complained and asked God why He should use the wicked to punish his people, and that judgement should also fall on the Babylonians. (Hab.1:12-17) 

But we need to remember that God’s ways and His comprehension are infinitely higher than ours, and though the Babylonian empire did eventually fall, He used them for a teaching tool to His chosen people Israel. 

I don’t know what or whom the Lord is going to use to teach us this time, but be forewarned, judgement WILL COME to us if we continue down the wide and evil highway on which we are currently travelling. 

The Lord might be long-suffering and merciful and all that, but He can only take so much of our nonsense, and at some time His wrath is going to explode on the workers of continuous iniquity. You can bet your bottom dollar on that! 

Listen to this promise from the prophet Micah, re woe to the oppressor of the poor. ‘Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work (work out, plan) evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand. 

And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away (seize them): so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage (inheritance). 

Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil (I am devising disaster), from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.’ (Mic.2:1-3)  

Please notice friends, that all of God’s promises come through, whether they be for good or for disaster. And our day is truly evil, so it’s only a matter of time before the Lord reins us in. 

And who knows if He isn’t already doing so with all the natural disasters taking place all over the world, plus our own man-made disasters with widespread war and strife and economic failure and several new dictators in the making, and we’re just not paying attention? 

Anyway my people, though the earth’s future might look somewhat grim, as believers, we have the sure promise of God that He will NEVER leave nor forsake us, and we desperately need to hold on to it. 

And as Habakkuk said at the end of his book, though life may be exceedingly rough: ‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds (deer) feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.’ (Hab.3:18-19) 

Yes friends, when we put our absolute trust in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we will NEVER be disappointed! 

Now let’s go home assured of His goodness and mercy by enthusiastically declaring our Tuesday Mantra. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we declared that in all sincerity and truth, then we can now go out and put it all into action. Much LOVE!

…true wealth is what you are…children of the Most High God Jehovah…not what you have…

 

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