Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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.’ 

Yes faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 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. 

Ah yes friends, we’ve finally progressed to the magical day called Friday… And the workingman will most definitely remind us of that fact as he vociferously declares his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and slaving finish for this week! The next couple days is mih own to do with exactly as I please. And brother, yuh better believe I’m going to do just that! 

Wow! I’m going to eat down the place, if I want to; drink up mih liquor until ah black up and tumbling down; party like there was no tomorrow, and just thumb mih nose at the massa till Monday morning roll around again. Whew! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes, otherwise I’d just go crazy with this slave labour and a pittance for pay!’ 

Unfortunately my brethren, the ordinary workingman is finding it increasingly difficult to make a decent living in this prosperous world through the greed, incompetence and inhumane behaviour of those who own and control the means of livelihood. And sometimes you can’t really blame him when he goes overboard because the rampant injustice and strife in our society is more than enough to drive a body crazy. 

Luckily for us, we belong to the Christian faith, where our Leader Jesus Christ applies boundaries to our behaviour, so we don’t go overboard and fall into the tempter’s grasp. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it out now nuh, and thus give us the better picture of how believers ought to handle the weekend situation. 

In chorus 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we ought to put Christ first and get ourselves ready for another week of work, rather than add insult to injury by beating down our bodies even further and giving the enemy control of our lives. And for all of our blessings and good tidings, we have to thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as our Bit says: 

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.’ 

And today we are going to delve a li’l deeper into verses 16-17 of Col.1, where Bruh Paul talks about the pre-eminence of Christ, to help us understand the full significance of our Bit. ‘For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things are created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist.’ (Col.1:16-17) 

The scholars then explain thus: ‘1:16. This verse provides the reason Christ is called the “first-born” in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this: Since by him were all things created, then, (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones…dominions…principalities…powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Eph.1:21; 3:10). 

“Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers; “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these heavenly beings reign; “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who wield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them. 

Striking a blow at the Colossian heresy advocating angel worship (2:18), this text forbids Christians to pay homage to angels or other heavenly beings created by God.’  And re ‘1:17. By him all things consist: That is by Him all things are held together; Christ now preserves all that He made in Creation.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ made it all, and now holds His creation together, as He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. So let’s remember that and thus keep everything in its proper perspective: Christ is Creator, Lord and Saviour, and the ONLY ONE deserving of worship and exaltation, not angels or any other beings He has made. 

Tomorrow we will touch some more on the angel situation, but for today, let’s ponder what we’ve said and keep believing, keep studying the Word and living it out successfully in this evil world, in Jesus name, I pray. Much LOVE!

…to whom eventually shall all knees bow…and all lips declare His awesome glory…JESUS…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2017 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:19.   Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.

Aye friends, I try, but you have to bear with the ole fella, because I’m only human. (smile) I try to have different, interesting and stimulating openings each day, but there are only so many words and phrases, etc. in the language that you can’t always conjure up new ones every day. So sometimes we just have to settle for the same old ones. In other words, I’m trying to say that I don’t know how to begin this Sunday morning’s Bit in an enthusiastic fashion that I haven’t already done. (smile) 

But we do know that since it’s Sunday, it means a gathering of faithful believers in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three may be gathered, to worship and give Him praise, glorify and exalt His holy name and receive His blessings, confidence, strength and assurance to face the upcoming week. And, as always, we like to begin with a song of praise, to get us excited, enthused and in the mood to worship our heavenly Father. 

And if this late 18th century one by Edward Perronet, ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ Name,’ doesn’t move you, then I don’t know what will. So let’s raise our voices in the sacrifice of praise, as we belt out, in harmony and heart-felt sincerity. ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all. Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all. 

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all. Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all. Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball; Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all. Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all. Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call; 

Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all. Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all. Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall, Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all. Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all. Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call, The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all, The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all. 

Sinners, whose LOVE can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall, Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all. Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all. Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall And shout in universal song the crowned Lord of all. And shout in universal song the crowned Lord of all.’ 

Yeh friends, Jesus has been crowned by the Father as Lord of ALL! And why is that eh? Hear Bruh Paul as he waxes philosophical to the Philippians. (smile) ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; (constant harmonious living – vs. 2-4). Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:5-8) 

Oh my people, what a wonderful, faithful humble and obedient Son, our Jesus was! That’s why our Bit so gloriously proclaims: ‘ Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.’ What an honour! A well deserved one too! And is not no joke honour that the Father bestowed on Jesus nuh, but the biggest one available. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul describes it. ‘That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:10-11) 

Fellow believers, oh fellow believers,  that’s the kind of rewarder our heavenly Father is! You do His will, humbly and obediently, and He will reward you in a just and appropriate manner. For Jesus sacrifice in vs.6-8, the Lord paid Him the highest compliment possible; a name above every other name – that’s JESUS! 

And the scholars tell us: ‘There are three purposes for Jesus’ exaltation. (1) That every being in the universe might someday submit to Him. (2) That, in addition to the future universal submission (v.10), there might also be a universal confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. On earth Jesus is recognized by many to be no more than man (v.8), yet in the future ALL will acknowledge Him to be Lord, that is, God. The ultimate purpose for Jesus’ glorification is (3) to the glory of God the Father (v.11) for His honour.’ 

Yes, Christian saints, that’s the kind of stuff that ought to get us all choked up and filled with true and sincere LOVE, adoration, reverence and praise for our wonderful God! And if you’re not filled with all those things RIGHT NOW, then something is dreadfully and drastically wrong. So please go humbly and penitently to the Lord and ask Him to fix whatever is wrong, so that you can truly delight in Him. Otherwise you are doing yourself an immense injustice. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Him…is the believer’s utmost desire for Jesus… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 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, welcome to this the first day of spring in the northern climes! 

Now isn’t that something wonderful for sore ears to hear on this crisp Monday morning? It surely is! But spring weather is not guaranteed friends; according to the weather forecasters, we should have a high of about 2 degrees Celsius and possibly a drizzle of rain in the morning hours. 

However, just like we’ve had much spring time weather in winter, the tables can, and most likely will be turned somewhat. But there’s nothing to worry about, for we have you covered with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote for all your Monday morning blues and woes and complaints. 

So let’s sing it like we truly mean it nuh; in strong voice and with lots of enthusiasm so that a big beautiful smile will have no alternative but to blossom on our choirmaster, Jesus’ face. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Wow friends! That was indeed wonderful! And a bright smile did blossom on Jesus’ face! Glory Be! I don’t know if it was the thought of spring being in the air or what, but we did make an impact on heaven this Monday morning. Praise the Lord! So let’s see if we can’t take that same adrenaline fuelled attitude out with us now and do some mighty deeds in Jesus’ name, as He desires and expects of us. 

But the reality of the situation my brethren is that it’s not an easy row to hoe. We might have all the good intentions in the world, but the evil enemy will not let us go forward without a fight. And as I was seeking a Bit this morning, I was drawn to the cry of the prophet Habakkuk back when Israel was in a most ungodly and evil state. ‘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 my people, tell me if Habakkuk’s description of Israel doesn’t very closely resemble that of our current world, as he continues his cry to the Lord? ‘Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance (trouble or toil)? for spoiling (plundering) and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife (there is strife) and contention. Therefore the law is slacked (powerless), and judgement (justice) doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about (surround) the righteous; therefore wrong (perverse) judgement proceedeth.’ (Hab.1:3-4) 

Yes friends, our world is indeed a perfect replica of Israel back then! The violence and strife and endless toil for insufficient pay, the plundering, the wickedness, the slackness of the law which inevitably leads to injustice, the widespread hunger, poverty, sickness and disease are all very prevalent in our time too; a time that’s been the most progressive since the Lord made man from the dust of the earth and breathed His breath of life into him. Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! What’s to become of our society eh friends? Let’s hope it’s not like what befell the Israelites, where God used the Babylonian Empire to teach them a lesson; destroy them and take them away captive. Let’s hope the Rapture, Jesus’ Second Coming, occurs before World War III breaks out, because at the rate we’re currently going, that last Great War seems unavoidable. 

But be not afraid my precious people of God, remember our Lord and Saviour’s promise. ‘Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Wow mih brethren! What a wonderful promise! And we all know that Jesus never reneges on any of His promises, so once we consistently abide in Him, and He in us, we’re set for eternity! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness to the undeserving children of men. Bless His Holy Name!’ 

Now friends, let’s go out and do His work without fear of the evil enemy, blessed by the confidence and assurance His word inspires in us. That’s what true followers and believers do. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Sunday O Sunday: The day of the Lord, when we gather together to worship and fellowship and praise and give thanks to our magnificent and magnanimous God!  One who is omnipotent, all- powerful; omniscient, all-seeing and knowing; and omni-present, everywhere at the same time! 

What a thrill it is my people to be gathered in the Lord’s sanctuary, or anywhere at all, to hear His wondrous word and exalt and glorify His holy name! For all that He’s done, is currently doing, and has promised to do for us, let’s now raise our voices in joyful song, extolling not only His might and power, but also His mercy, compassion, grace and LOVING-kindness! 

And the song of praise for today is the old hymn of assurance and the joy of salvation, ‘Christ the Solid Rock.’ So as one harmonious choir, let’s raise our voices in the sacrifice of praise in heartfelt sincerity and truth. 

‘My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. 

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. 

His oath, His covenant, and blood Support me in the whelming flood; When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. 

When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne! On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.’ 

And that’s the indisputable, gospel truth my fellow believers! Any other ground beside the foundation of Rock that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is simply sinking sand! On Him and Him ALONE, are we assured of standing strong and walking tall in this misguided universe! 

But you know what friends? That last verse of the hymn is also very important: that we should be found clothed in His righteousness on His Second Coming, to stand faultless before Him. If we’re not found in that state then crapaud smoke we pipe! As simple as that. 

And the only way we can have some assurance of that situation is by living out His words of warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

Yes friends, the treasures of the earth are basically worthless when your physical body is returned to the dust from which it was made. Then what is going to happen to your spiritual body that will be left, that will live on eh? You’ll endure ‘sufferation’ and eternal death with that ole fool Lucifer in Hades, or wherever God decides to discard him. 

Now to me, that doesn’t look like such a good idea, although a lot of us are unwisely clinging to it. In my humble opinion, Jesus’ suggestion seems much more profitable and amenable. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.’ (Matt.6:20)  

Ah mih people, I don’t understand why we fight so hard to accumulate the world’s riches nuh, when we know that we can’t carry any of it with us, especially when doing so just produces so much stress and strain and we don’t get to enjoy them. And it’s not like you can’t get rich in earthly wealth following Christ. There are numerous rich Christians around the world; it’s just that they don’t display it as a badge of honour and use it in a more godly way. 

Hear how James addresses the wealthy, unsaved Jews of his day. ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 

Behold the hire (wages) of the labourers who have reaped down (mowed) your fields, which is of you kept back (you have kept back) by fraud, crieth (cry out): and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton (indulgence); ye have nourished (fattened) your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you.’ (James 5:1-6) 

Now hear some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:1-6. Ye rich men: James’ common address “brethren,” is not found once in this section. By contrast, it occurs four times in verses 7-12. James is now addressing wealthy, unsaved Jews who have poor Jews working for them. They have mistreated the poor, so God’s judgement will fall on them.’ 

‘5:3. Ironically, they have stored up treasure for their last days (retirement), which God will use against them in the last days.’ ‘5:4. The Lord of Sabaoth, meaning the Lord of Hosts (i.e. of Armies), describes the omnipotent, avenging character of God who sees and hears this injustice.’  

Ah mih breddren, the same injustice is being meted out to the poor and needy today by the wealthy, unsaved heathen. But just as those earlier Jews were promised God’s judgement, likewise the current crop of robber barons will receive their comeuppance in God’s time. Please, let’s not be found counted amongst them. Much LOVE!

…heavenly rewards…must be accumulated from earth…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Ah friends, it’s another Monday, but not another working Monday for many of our friends in the U.S. of A, as they are celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 

It’s nice to have a holiday named after him, but what difference it’s going to make is another subject, especially with the seemingly divisive actions being pursued by the incoming President-elect, Donald Trump. But we won’t get into that, because by the weekend we’ll have a much better grasp on the situation when he’s inaugurated. 

Meanwhile, plenty of us have to go out and labour so that the big-wigs can cash their kingly cheques, so let’s get ourselves together and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn that helps us to labour in LOVE and peace. 

As one 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!’ 

That was good friends and Jesus was pleased. But obviously the U.S. family was singing the loudest and heartiest as they relaxed in the comfort of their homes. (smile) Let us not envy them their day of relaxation though, as we have to carry the load today, working righteously for Jesus. 

And we are certainly encouraged in that endeavour by our Bit, one of the most popular verses in all Scripture: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ 

Yes my people, those are some of the most encouraging words one can ever read. Simply because they mean that our wonderful God is continually acting like a shepherd in our lives; guarding us from harm and providing us with whatever we need. 

As the Lord’s Prayer says: ‘Give us this day, our daily bread.’ And that’s exactly what our heavenly Father does, each and every day of our earthly lives. 

Now let’s continue looking at the remaining verses of that awesome psalm. Yesterday we stopped at the promise that even when we’re in the dire depths of death and evil, we will not be afraid, because our God, again shepherd-like, will be right there with us, fighting tooth and nail on our behalf. 

And if you think all of that was too good to be true, listen to these remarkable words of Bruh David as he continues his story. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) 

Wow! How bold and daring and confident is our God, to prepare a table of good things for us in the midst of our enemies! And to further His good office, He also anoints us with oil. That’s a sacred blessing that only a few people received in the Old Testament days, but it meant a lot, like when Aaron was anointed as the high priest. (Ps.133:2) 

And the last verse confidently declares: ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

Oh friends, oh friends, what a glorious ending to following the Lord God Jehovah eh! His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, and we shall dwell with Him forever. 

Oh my, oh my, I can’t withhold the excitement and assurance those words provoke in my soul! So again friends, I’m asking us to sit down and ponder the wonderful benefits that can emanate from following the Lord Jesus Christ! If you don’t, you’ll be doing yourself a very serious injustice. Much LOVE!

…wonder of wonders…the name of Jesus proclaims…in every area of our lives…

 

 

 

 

 

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