Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 

So we made it through Monday quite nicely, why can’t we do the same today, Tuesday eh? Especially when we have the Creator and Controller of this great universe riding a continual and steady shotgun beside us? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren since He’s promised to give us all that we need and never leave or forsake us! Brother! Those promises are surely worth more than their weight in gold! 

And yes, in this busy, evil, trouble-filled world, it’s sometimes hard to keep our wits about us and our heads above water, but if we truly believe in the Lord God Almighty and His awesome Son Jesus Christ and the amazing working of the Holy Spirit, then we can do whatever we need to do in their names and strength to fulfill the mandate they’ve given us; that is to spread the gospel all over the world and be obedient to their commands; living a life of LOVE and good fellowship. 

Now here’s a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the matter from His Hour of Power Devotional, something he calls ‘the Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ Please pray with me: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help!’ 

Mamma Mia! That’s what you call tenacity and stick-to-itiveness! (smile) And that’s exactly what is expected of the true believer, the true Christian soul – no giving up, because the words ‘give up’ don’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. And how could it eh friends, when He claims to be able to do ALL things, impossible or otherwise, and support us in doing the same? 

And giving up also makes this verse of scripture which we like to quote of no consequence: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) If that is a true statement then with Jesus’ help, we can keep on keeping on as long as it takes, and as difficult as the task is. 

Yuh see what Gramps Schuller says he’ll do when a mountain gets in his way: He will keep on striving, looking at all the alternatives; climb over it, find a pass through it, tunnel underneath it. And if all of that fails, then he’ll just stay right there and turn the mountain into a gold mine. And that’s how we believers ought to behave; do everything in our power, with God’s help, to succeed, but if none of our efforts are successful, then it means that the Lord wants us to stay right where we are and grow and do His will right there! 

And yuh know what my people, our unsuccessful efforts usually stem from a few basic things. First off, an insufficient amount of mountain moving faith. And one of Jesus’ most critical remarks was: ‘O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:30, 8:26, 14:31) Hear His rebuke to the disciples when they could not heal a demon possessed boy and asked Him why. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) Yes my people, a believer with even a little faith can do a lot of things, especially if his actions are accompanied by sincere prayer and fasting. And I think that’s a catch 22 situation; the li’l faith is built up, made stronger by the prayer and fasting. (smile) 

And the next place we go wrong in living our lives is by ignoring Jesus’ serious command: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Jesus, as throughout all of the Sermon on the Mount keeps emphasizing the importance of the spiritual living over that of the material. Yes friends, once we have pledged our lives, our allegiance to Christ, we then need to live primarily in the Spirit, and not the flesh, meaning the material things of this world ought not to be our first LOVE. 

‘The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ It all comes right back to faith my people: if you believe in God, then you must believe that He can and will do whatever He says. 

That’s why Hebrews tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ So basically friends, to be a true believer, we must believe that God exists, then have true faith in Him, and then live the way He wants us to live, not the way we want to live. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do those things, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship, as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…believe that there is a God…have sincere faith in Him…be truly obedient to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘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!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2020 1 John 5:14.

1 John 5:14.    ​And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
 
So it’s the first Monday of the new year, how are we going to greet it eh? How are we going to operate on this opening day of the first full work week of 2020? Are we going to be sour and miserable and tired like we’ve been for a lot of the year just past? I do hope that since most of us have resolved to walk closer with Jesus this year, that most of us will also adopt a better attitude, through regular fellowship and better rest programmes, so that we can bear plenty good fruit for Him. 

And yes, I know that we’ll have some backsliders every week, because that’s just the nature of the human animal. (smile) But we’ll always have a backup plan to lend strong support, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And I suspect that plenty of us will need it today since we’re still recuperating from the season’s celebrations. (smile) 

So as one strong and confident voice, let’s float our prayer up to heaven. ‘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 almost immediately, we feel the Holy Spirit moving within us to give us what we asked for. Wow! What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! And why are we so confident in our prayers eh? John explains it thus in his first epistle. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired (asked) of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) 

Mama Mia! What other faith has such a built in confidence builder eh? None. As the scholars explain: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (v.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’  Now that’s the fly in the ointment my faithful brethren: we have to ask for stuff that fall’s within God’s will. So we can’t afford to be too frivolous and ask for stuff that’s carnal minded. 

And John furthermore states in an earlier chapter, as he discusses LOVING one another, not merely in talk, but in deed and in truth. ‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (persuade) our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:19-22) 

And what does all of that mean? We’ll let the scholars explain it: ‘3:19. Cain (v. 12) was “of that wicked one”, believers are of the truth. And hereby: John seems to be saying that assurance of salvation comes in part as one reaches out actively in caring for others (preceding verses).’ Yes friends, believers ought to be involved in the truth, in faith as well as deeds. 

‘3:20. In light of John’s strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might begin to despair. He assures them that, although our feeble attempts to honour God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our self-awareness (cf. 1 Cor. 4:4) and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves. He sees not only our actions, which at times are thwarted or misguided, but also the motives and intentions behind them.’ And the intentions and motives of our hearts are ever so important in our faith walk my people, because that’s what God judges us by, not simply our outward actions. 

‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers! A successful prayer life cannot be had without a righteous daily life. And I think that’s a fitting note to end on today. So please, let’s sincerely ponder our prayer lives based on the above facts nuh, and try to come up higher this year of 2020, with the Lord’s help of course!  Much LOVE!

…confidence in God…comes from knowing His truth…and living according to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2019 Jonah 2:2.

Jonah 2:2.    And said, I cried by reason of  mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
 
Yes, I know it’s Monday, and as far as some of us are concerned the only thing good about it is that it’s the eve of Christmas Eve, meaning things might be slow at work, or we might just get off work early, or steal some time to go and finish shopping. (smile) But friends, however we frame it, it is still the first day of the work week and we still have to show up. So why don’t we just be sensible and do it with a good attitude eh? We’d all feel a whole lot better. 

But just in case you can’t bring yourself to that point on your own, for whatever reason, we do have an alternative option; that of crying out to our great and generous God for help. And believe me, it works! So why don’t we all, in strong and confident voices, but humble attitude, declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘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 friends, what and honour and a privilege we’ve been granted to be able to come before the Most High God in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving!  And what I particularly like about that prayer is before we’re even finished praying it, we feel our spirits begin to lift as the Lord directs His Holy Spirit to start activating us. And if you think praying when you’re down in the dumps is a waste of time, then check out Jonah’s prayer when He disobeyed God and ran in the opposition direction to which he was sent. 

We all know the story of how the Lord appointed a big fish to swallow him… And who says our God doesn’t have a sense of humour eh? He could have simply saved him, but Jonah needed to be a taught a lesson in obedience, just like so many of us today my bredrin, because disobedience is rife in our world, even amongst supposed believers. And what a way to teach him a lesson; three days and nights in a fish’s belly. You certainly know the slime and entrails and all the other junky, distasteful stuff we see in a fish’s innards when we clean them out. So just imagine swirling around in that for three days and nights nuh. (smile) It would surely teach you a lesson in anything at all! 

And learn his lesson, Jonah did! The Good Book describes the situation thus: ‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly. And said, I cried by reason of  mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.’ (Jon. 1-2) Oh friends, of one thing we can be sure; whenever we cry out to the Lord in sincerity, He WILL hear and answer our cries! Not always the way we want, or when we want, but He will respond to our cry! You can bet your bottom dollar on that. 

And Jonah knew that secret, so although it looked like it was cleaners for him, he could still reason: ‘Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.’ (Jon.2:4) Yes faithful believers, there is lots of truth in the old adage; while there is life there is hope, especially with our God, He of many chances! And after Jonah described his perils in depths of the fish and the sea, (Jon. 2:5-6) he finally acknowledged: ‘When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came in (went up) unto thee, into thine holy temple.’ (Jon.2:7) 

Ah mih people, there’s no wiser action in this life, than to turn to the Lord in sincere prayer when you find yourself in trouble! And I like how Jonah ends his prayer. ‘They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’ (Jon. 2:8-9) Words to live by my people! 

And the result of Jonah’s cry? The Good Book details it: ‘And the Lord (ever generous and merciful) spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon dry land.’ (Jon. 2:10) Yes siree! And yuh know what? Jonah did learn his lesson, because the next time the Lord told him to go and preach to Nineveh, he went without a word of protest. (smile) 

And we’ll close with these wise and warning words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Israel. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition (instruction), upon whom the end of the world (ages) are come.’ (1 Cor. 10:11) Yes friends, Jonah’s experience and all the other acts of disobedience have been written down in the Lord’s Word so that we can read them and learn from them, otherwise, we too will suffer the inherent consequences, which can ofttimes be terrible experiences. The Lord is indeed a Good God, but He doesn’t cotton much to disobedience. Please remember that. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2019 Proverbs 13:17.

Proverbs 13:17.    ​A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.
 
Well I hope we all had a good and pleasant weekend, filled with God’s mercy and compassion, and were not too traumatized by the inclement weather a lot of us had to undergo. (smile) But be that as it may, today’s that great day we call Monday, where we get our acts together and get out and face the music! So what we waiting for eh? Let’s do it nuh! Yeh, I know, there will always be some laggards, some of us who are just not up to it, for whatever reason. But don’t despair because we have you covered. 

Our great God has taken all possibilities into consideration and has designed this one specially for our Monday morning ills. It’s titled our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it gets us fighting ready for battle with the devious and deceitful enemy. So as one pleading, but humbly hopeful and expectant voice, let’s take our problem to the halls of heaven nuh, where our Advocate, Jesus Christ, is there waiting to take our case to the Father. 

‘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 with a wonderful Advocate like Christ on the case, what else can we expect but VICTORY! Yes friends, almost immediately, we all feel the renewing of our spirits and the overwhelming enthusiasm filling our souls through the miraculous working of God’s Holy Spirit! And now we’re just bursting with a flaming desire and seemingly inexhaustible energy to get out into the evil world and knock some sense into some foolish heads on Christ’s behalf! 

But the truth of the matter is that Jesus doesn’t really want us to physically knock sense into the heads of those who refuse to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, but rather to teach them, by the quality of our lives, our own LOVE, care and compassion for them in this rough and tumble world. For remember, as the man said so long ago, (smile) … Oh brother, now I can’t remember the rather appropriate quote from the 18th century novel, ‘Joseph Andrews’ by Henry Fielding. Steups!  But in today’s parlance it boils down to something like actions speak louder than words. And indeed they do. 

Thank God for computers yes, they do serve some useful purposes sometimes! (smile) I got the bright idea to google the book and author’s name, and lo and behold, much to my surprise, there it was; the whole book. But all I needed was the first line of the first page: ‘It is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy.’ Wow! It’s amazing how that passage has stuck with me, having read it fifty something years ago in High School. 

That means our lives, as living examples for Christ, will touch others much more than what we say to them. It’s like people will forget what we say, but not how we treat them. That’s why Jesus encourages us to be good salt and bright lights in the world, leading exemplary lives. Note, not perfect ones, but as close as we can get. Remember we’re supposed to be ambassadors for Christ, His earthly  messengers, and in the wise words of Cousin Sol: ‘A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health’ 

That’s why in this world ambassadors are carefully chosen and have to know a fair amount of the culture and laws and mores of the places where they are sent, so they don’t bring shame and disgrace or trouble to their country or government. Likewise friends, we can only be good ambassadors for Christ if we read and study and inculcate His Word, so that we know what to do and how to live in this evil world, so that we don’t bring disgrace to His name and His kingdom. For as Cousin Sol also says: ‘For as the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.’ (Prov.25:13) 

Are we refreshing Christ’s soul with our earthly lives friends? No wonder Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (on Christ’s behalf), be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Cor. 5:20-21) Yes my people, it’s all for Christ’s sake! How can we not settle down and be good ambassadors for Him eh, after the Lord put our sins on Him, and His righteousness on us? 

So this Monday morning, as we’re in the process of celebrating Christ’s birth, please, I implore us, let’s take a serious look at our ambassadorship in His name and with God’s help try to make it better. We can all come up higher for Christ, that’s a fact! Much LOVE!

…for what Christ has done for us…a worthy ambassadorship is…the best gratitude we can show…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2019 2 Corinthians 3:18.

2 Corinthians 3:18.    ​But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
 

Ah friends, you just don’t who or what to believe in these days of fake news nuh. I’m talking about the weather forecasters who promised a bright and sunshiny day yesterday, yet it drizzled with rain all day. And today, that was supposed to be rainy, seems like it might have some sunshine. Chuh! I guess that’s why weather forecasting is called an ‘in exact science.’ (smile) 

It’s a good thing though that we believers can sing confidently like Angie Stone: ‘My sunshine has come. There’s no more rain…’ Yes my believing brethren, our sunshine came two thousand years ago…and He ‘s still here, shining as bright as ever in our lives! Praise the Lord for Jesus Christ, who brightens up our lives, even when they seem to be in a terribly dark and cloudy place! 

And that’s the advantage we have over the ordinary workingman who’s complaining today. ‘Yes, I know I should declare ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ But ah fed up with all the rainy weather, with the cold and damp and the consequent chill it causing in mih bones! Oh I know it coming on to winter and all that, but does it have to be so wet and dark and dreary so often? What happen to a li’l dryness and sunshine every so often nuh man? 

Brother! It just seems to suck the very life out of a body; going out and coming in in that constant dark, dismal and wet weather. And though it’s the weekend, and I’m glad to see it, the dirty weather just steals the real joy from it, because you still can’t go anywhere without getting wet from head to toe. Steups! So I guess I’ll just stay home then this weekend and watch the rain fall… But ah still thankful though for Fridays and weekends!’ 

No doubt many of us believers feel like the ordinary workingman, but thankfully we have Jesus Christ in our lives, and He mitigates the sad and downbeat effect dreary weather causes by His uplifting Word and Will for each and every one of His followers! Glory to God! That’s why we can chant our Friday Chant with such sincerity and 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!’ 

Oh my precious people of God, I don’t know what we’d do without Jesus nuh! What a wonderful day it was when He came into our lives! Glory Hallelujah! Yes friends, when Jesus died on the cross He tore down the veil that guarded the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could enter once a year, bur now each of us has the marvellous opportunity to come before the throne of grace personally when we accept Jesus. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:15-18) 

And what does all of that mean eh? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:15. Veil is upon their heart: Unfortunately, as far as the Jews are concerned, Christ is still a stumbling block they cannot see (cf. 1 Cor. 1:23). For the apostle this is no light matter and a concern that caused him great anxiety (cf. Rom. 9:1-4). But now the veil is not so much on the revelation of the glory as on their own hearts. (cf. Luke 24:25; Acts 13:27-29).’ The glory of Christ has eventually been revealed my people, we have been set free from the bondage of sin! But the onus of receiving that liberty is now on us; as individuals, as supposed believers, we now have to accept and keep Jesus treasured in our own hearts, minds, bodies and soul! 

And per 3:18, the scholars say: ‘Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself ‘reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the face of the Lord. For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

What wonderful news my brethren! The Lord’s plan is to have ALL of His children transformed into the glorious image of His Son, Jesus Christ! And when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and is responsible for transforming our lives, making us new creations! 

But please, let’s remember that this transformation doesn’t take place over night, it’s a lifelong process, and the onus is on us to follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He will not force us to do anything. That means we have to continually read the Word and listen carefully, so we can understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and be obedient to Him, if we truly want to come up higher…be changed from glory…to glory… to glory… Much LOVE!

…know the truth…the Word of God…and the truth…shall set you free…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2019 Job 4:8.

Job 4:8.    Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
 

Saturday… oh lazy Saturday! And I guess that after a rather trying week of labour and all that it entails, plus some negative weather situations, we all deserve to have a lazy day to wind down and release all our pent up frustrations and angst. (smile) And there’s no better day than Saturday for doing that. I can just hear the many sighs of relief as so many of us open our bleary eyes, look at the clock, then say, ‘Thank God is Saturday!’ then roll over and go back to sleep. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I got frustrated when I awoke around five and then tried to go back to sleep because all I did was toss and turn for over half an hour, before I finally gave up and got up. That’s why the Bit is a tad early. (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s have a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth, as so many of us have found out over the years! We all have experiences we don’t pay much attention to at the time they are happening, but later on discover that they were indeed seminal moments in our lives. That’s why hindsight is 20/20! (smile) 

This next quote tells us: ‘Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.’ Now I’m not so sure about that nuh, because there are so many things that make us feel glad to be alive, but in actual fact are not good for us. And we all know them; the misleading and deceitful things of the world. I guess it might be wiser to add something like ‘if it is Jesus’ will’ to the end of the quote. Then there’s this: ‘Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you’re positive, good things happen.’ The first sentence is true a lot of the times, inspiration does come from within, when God places inspired ideas in our spirits, but one can also be inspired by external and outward circumstances  and situations. 

However, the remainder of the quote is definitely true. We have to be positive in what we do, since positive words, thoughts and actions produce positive results, while the negative aspects produce negative results. And there was never a more positive person that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How yuh mean? Just think on it nuh: He had to be the master of positivism to have left a glorious spot in a glorious heaven, to come to this hellhole called earth, to die for a bunch of ungrateful sinners, who He knew would reject Him, then leave a mere twelve men to try and convert the whole world! But it all worked out as He planned. Glory Be! 

That leads us to ‘You must do the things you think you cannot do.’ And that’s ever so true, especially if you are a sincere believer in Jesus Christ, because He doesn’t advocate giving up. Those words don’t appear in His vocabulary at all. And furthermore, please remember the wonderful supportive scripture that says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Wow friends! That means anything that is in Christ’s will, He will enable us to do, we just have to buckle down and do it! So when things crop up that seem hard, or even impossible, let’s just remember that Christ will help us to do it, and better yet, remember Jesus’ words to His disciples, re a camel passing through the eye of a needle: ‘With men this is impossible: but with God, ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

And I’ve left the best for last: ‘You get what you give.’ Oh my people, that is the very basis of God’s economy! We know it as you reap what you sow, and that’s the living truth! As the old people would say, you can’t sow peas and hope to reap corn, but many of us do just that. Now let’s look at some scriptures that point out the importance of sowing and reaping in God’s great universe. And Job’s friend Eliphaz puts it quite succinctly when he rebukes him. ‘Remember I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.’ (Job 4:7-8) 

The scholars tell us that Eliphaz was talking from personal experience, and since he meant that you reap what you sow, his point was Job must be suffering because of his sin. Now, although in this case that wasn’t true, all through the Good Book we are told that the doers of iniquity will be severely punished. And Cousin Sol gives us a couple serious verses to consider. ‘The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (rich): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.’ (Prov.11:25) And then: ‘He that hath a bountiful (generous) eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.’ (Prov.22:9) 

And Jesus said it thus: ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal (with the same) it shall be measured to you again.’ (Luke 6:38) Jesus said it, therefore it must be true! 

Ah mih people, there are so many scriptures on sowing and reaping and giving and receiving that I’m confused (smile) and running out of space. So here are the last couple. This from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor. 9:6-7) Just like in the real world your ‘return is determined by your investment.’ 

And please pay close attention to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal. 6:7-8) That’s very in your face and to the point my people. So please, let’s spend some of this lazy Saturday pondering our sowing nuh. Forget about the reaping for now, because if we sow good seed, with a good heart, the Lord has promised that we will reap a bountiful harvest. And He is indeed faithful to His promises! Much LOVE!

…you reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

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