Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2019 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.    ​Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe it’s Thursday already nuh! The week’s flying by so fast, it gets sorta blurry! (smile) And was yesterday ever a strange sorta day. In my area we had intermittent periods of sun and rain, until in the early evening hours the sun finally prevailed. But Toronto seemed to be completely different. They apparently had long periods of steady rain that resulted in severe flooding in several areas. 

And today it looks cloudy out there again, plus I’ve got to go into the city for a doctor’s appointment. What a life! But what to do eh? Nothing but put our sincere trust and hope in Jesus and believe that He will do as promised; meet all our needs through His riches in glory. (Phil.4:19) That’s what our faith is all about people, and it’s in times of adversity and trouble that we need it to show up in large amounts. 

Consequently, I want to share two interesting and reassuring quotes. The first one is comprised of these wise words reputedly attributed to Grady Nutt (1934-1982) a Southern Baptist minister. It says: ‘God should be a resource in the struggle, not a way around it.’ 

And is that ever so true my fellow believers. We ought to use God to help us get through the adversity rather than as a way to get around it. But in these days of easy and comfortable living, no one wants to go through anything, we all want to avoid, to go around it. But the truth is that it’s only when we go through stuff with God that we really grow and mature in our faith. 

And the second quote is from a Daily Bread Devotional footnote that dispenses these words of wisdom: ‘The best reason for hope is God’s faithfulness.’ Oh my people, my people, that is indeed gospel truth! Our God is so wonderfully faithful that there’s nothing we can’t face when we place our hope and trust in Him! All praise and glory be to Him, my faithful brethren! If we were even one smidgen as faithful as our great God, what amazing changes would take place in our troubled world! 

That brings us to these intriguing and most interesting, uplifting and reassuring words of scripture found in the Book of Hebrews. ‘And having a high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)’ (Heb.10:21-23) 

Oh friends, if there’s anything I can personally testify to it’s God’s faithfulness, because that’s the only way that I can write this Bit everyday. He called me to do it, and without His faithful help to do His work, I’d be lost without a prayer and /or a hope. But through His faithfulness, His guidance and assurance, I come down here every morning, not knowing what I’m going to write about most days, but eventually write more than I can ask or imagine. 

Like today, I only had the beginning and the end, absolutely nothing in the middle. But look at how much I’ve written. And most of the time it does make sense. (smile) And those of you who are mature in faith know what I’m talking about, because you’ve put in the time and effort and patience and waiting and seen Him work wonders on your behalf. 

For you young believers though, you just have to take our word for it and go up to bat assuredly with your great God, for that’s the only way you’ll ever discover His true faithfulness. You’ve got to go through the fire with Him and experience Him bringing you out like the three Hebrew Boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, without even the smell of smoke on you. (Dan.3:27) 

Yes mih people, faith and faithfulness are works in progress, you’ll never stop needing them and having to grow in them until the day you go over to the other side. And don’t think that just because you seem mature in faith that you’ve conquered it all nuh, because the more you grow in faith and get promoted, the more the Lord will test you. 

Oh we don’t want to hear that, but it’s an unavoidable fact. We like to think that once we reach a certain level, we’ll free from all temptations and tests and troubles, but Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians seem to contradict that. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

So friends, that seems to mean until we die or Christ comes back we’ll be growing and becoming more Christ-like every day. That’s the Lord’s plan, and once He begins it, He won’t stop until we go home to Him, so we’d better be prepared to face adversity and negative stuff throughout our lifetime. And the best way to do that is through hope, faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely puts it: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov.3:5-6) There’s no wiser advice in all the world my brethren, so please let’s take it to heart as we go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings. Out loud now, because a blessing is not truly a blessing until it’s declared. 

‘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 every Thursday I have to warn us that those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, with those who don’t know Christ. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…and hope is that which springs eternal from God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2019 Matthew 13:57.

Matthew 13:57.    ​A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.
 

Oh my people, you’ll notice that the Bit is rather early today. (smile) That’s because I went to bed fairly early last night, slept through the night and got up early this morning! Brother! No fun in that at all. (smile) Neither was there any fun in what was supposed to be my last radiation treatment yesterday…

Steups! What a fiasco! Especially since I had a whole entourage (smile) (3 people) there to witness and record the end circumstances for posterity. Chuh man! But I guess it just wasn’t in the Lord’s plan for me yesterday, possibly because I was too vociferous and boastful early on in the Bit. Who knows? 

But everything that could go wrong went wrong; with both bowels and bladder, so we had to cancel the last treatment until Monday. But what yuh going to do eh? If that’s the Lord’s will, then you just have to grin and bear it. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Don’t find the fault, find the remedy.’ Now I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here (smile) by asking, if there’s no fault, then how can there be a remedy eh? But most likely he means that so many of us like to complain and find fault, that instead of always focusing on the problem, we should more often focus on the solution to the problem. 

And that’s the gospel truth, especially in this feeble and fragile world of today that’s littered with more complaints than anything else. We complain about everything, find fault with everything, and are never satisfied, even when we get what we asked for. But that’s just the world eh friends, not we believers in Christ…Hn! I wish! 

Now the next one is similar to the first: ‘The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team, to be solution focused and not problem focused.’ The same thing applies here, except to leaders. They must be focused on finding solutions, not dwelling on problems, because as they go, so will their followers. So if a leader is always harping on the problems, more likely than not the followers will be doing the same, and no organization can grow and thrive unless they are all looking to the positive side of the ledger. 

And the third quote tells us: ‘To handle yourself, use you head; to handle others, use your heart.’ I’m not sure I understand what he means there, but I’m supposing that in looking after your own interests, you should use your head, head knowledge and wisdom, but in dealing with others, it should all come from your heart, in a godly and generous manner. 

Now if that’s what he means, then there is a fair amount of truth in it, but please friends, in this greedy, deceitful and fraudulent world, we can’t always let out godly hearts and intentions run away with us, since people are liable to take serious advantage of the goodness of our nature. 

The world’s not as trustworthy as it once was, and contracts and agreements nowadays are meant to be broken. There is always some fine writing that you never look at that let’s them off the hook. So please make sure that your head is looking out for your heart. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’ And that’s the living truth! No one who’s ever done great things has ever done it comfortably sitting in their living rooms. They always had to go out on a limb, take a risk, face disappointment and seeming failure, as well as condemnation from friends and families. 

Just read the stories of people like Thomas Edison, who gave us the light bulb; Walt Disney, who was touted as failure in his early years, but look at what he created. And look at Henry Ford. Yuh think he had it easy building his cars. Not on your life. But the greatest example of them all is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at how he moved from being the God and creator of this world to being a humble, lowly man, born in a manger, not even a palace, but a smelly animal barn. Then grew up as a carpenter, and no, he didn’t have all the power tools that we have today, so it was hard, physical labour all the way. 

Then when He began His ministry, it was as an itinerant preacher, as He told the scribe who wanted to follow Him. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ (Matt.8:20) Not only didn’t He have a permanent place of residence, but He was also mocked and scorned by those around Him, the very ones he had come to save. Even His family didn’t believe in Him. 

And yuh see how they treated Him in His own hometown of Nazareth after He read the scripture from Isaiah and intimated that it related to Him. They all got hot and bothered thinking that the carpenter’s son, whom they all knew growing up was getting a bit uppity, taking such airs and graces upon Himself and tried to throw him off a cliff. ‘But He passing through the midst of them went on his way.’ (Luke 4:16-30) 

And it was in His own hometown of Nazareth that Jesus mouthed these words of immortal truth. ‘A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.’ How true that is my fellow saints in Christ. Many a great person has been looked on with disfavour by those close to them. And strangely enough, Nazareth was one of the very few places that Jesus did no miracles or mighty works, simply because of their unbelief. 

And we don’t have time to talk about all the unfair, and unjust ‘sufferation’ that Jesus endured so that He could build the greatest body, the most powerful organization the world has ever seen, the Christian church, which has lasted for over two thousand years, and is set down to last until eternity. 

So friends, if we want to do great things, we can’t only sit down and talk about them, we have to get up off of our comfortable fannies and put in the blood, sweat and tears required of every great and or lasting achievement; just like Christ did! And please note, He did it all on our behalf. 

He didn’t have to, but the Father asked, and being the obedient Son that He was, He got up off His comfortable rear end in heaven and came down to the hellhole we call earth and selflessly and sacrificially suffered to atone for our abominable sins and bring us into reconciliation with the Father. Now that is indeed the greatest deed ever done on this earth! Please acknowledge and respect it like you ought to. Much LOVE!

…doing great and worthwhile stuff…requires…great and worthwhile effort…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2019 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.    ​For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).
 

One more day friends, the Good Lord has generously granted us one more day of life on His great planet earth, so let’s live it the way He intended us to nuh. That’s with forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, mercy, LOVE and joy; all to the max, in abundance and overflowing! It’s the reason Christ gave His life selflessly and sacrificially on the cross of Calvary for us. So as His supposed followers, it behooves us to live as He desires, not as the world dictates. 

And to support that doctrine, (smile) here are some meaningful words of John Wesley (1703-1791) one of the founders of the Methodist church. He reputedly said that ‘The world hopes for the best, but the Lord offers the best hope!’ Wow! What words of truth and wisdom my faithful saints of Christ! It was true in Wesley’s day, and it’s even truer in these mystifying, troubled and strife-filled times! 

For as Bruh Paul told the Romans: ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:5) And is that ever so true! Without a doubt, we, as believers in Christ, have the Holy Spirit abiding within us to lead and guide us in all truth and sincerity. 

On the other hand though, right now the world doesn’t know whether  it’s coming or going; there’s so much despair in it, with so many divisions, dissensions, directions and disappointments that the natural outcome is simply confusion and war-like tendencies. 

The one still strong, solid and sure option left is that of Christ, of hope in Almighty God because He doesn’t change, there’s no sense of darkness in Him, only light and unconditional LOVE! His direction has been the same from day one, and will be the same until eternity! He’s not a wishy-washy God, unlike the rulers of darkness of this woe-be-gone world. With Him there is strength, consistency, and a known path; the straight and narrow one. 

With Him, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do and where you’re going. And I just LOVE how He lays it out through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ 

Yes friends, when you walk with the Lord, you know you’ll be getting the best, because there’s no evil in Him. He created us and He still LOVES us dearly. So much so that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay our sin debt! Hn! Why would He do such a crazy thing eh, if He didn’t hold us in very high regard? 

Bruh Paul puts it in the right perspective in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5: 6,8) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! What a validation of the Father’s LOVE that is my brethren! And the great thing about Christ’s death on the cross is that He didn’t die merely for our benefit, but in our place, as a substitutionary sacrifice! Yeh people, the price of sin is death. It can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood. 

And whereas all through the Old Testament the Lord was prepared to accept the sacrifice of animal blood to keep sin death at bay, because that’s all the animals did. They themselves could not truly atone for our sins, just give us a li’l leeway. However, come the New Testament, the Lord decided it was time to get the sin problem over and done with once and for all. 

The problem though was it needed a pure and unblemished, sinless sacrifice, and since all men were the output of sin, no man however holy could accomplish that task. And I’m sure when the Lord looked at His options and saw the only one possible, He shuddered in distaste. How could He not eh? 

Being a living and LOVING Father, He must have felt some trepidation at committing His Son, His ONLY Son to boot, to die for a bunch of ungrateful and disgusting sinners. But that just goes to show how much He really cared for us. How much He wanted to give us another option beside death, hellfire and damnation in the arms of the evil one, that He broke His own heart and sacrificed His Son for us. 

And how are we repaying that awesome LOVE eh? By trying to drive Him out of our society and our lives. Taking His Word, His commandments out of our schools and public places, replacing them with the evil, incestuous, sinful, ungodly acts and attitudes of this fallen world. 

Ah friends, unfortunately there are consequences for all of our actions, be they godly or ungodly, and believe me, the chickens will soon come home to roost for our current ungodly behaviour. The Lord is getting tired of our sinful attitudes. Just look around and you’ll see it emblazoned in the natural and man-made disasters and changes that are destroying the world as we know it. 

The end might be nigh friends, but we still can’t afford to give up, we have to keep on fighting valiantly until our Lord and Saviour comes back for us. Therefore, in the fighting spirit we possess as followers of Jesus Christ, let’s vociferously and sincerely declare (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the evil world know our certain position in Christ. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

And believe me friends, it will indeed be a glorious future if we just hold on in faith, hope and LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can you find the answers…to the world’s problems…

P.S. For those of you who noticed (smile) I apologize for the discrepancy in the dates on the headings of yesterday’s Bit. . One said 9 July and the other said 8 July. The first one was the right one. Just goes to show my human frailty. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So 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!’ 

And as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2019 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.    ​And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 

Rise and shine fellow warriors in Christ’s army! The trump has sounded! It’s time to gird ourselves in our protective armour and head for the frontlines, where our General, Jesus, the most highly named and exalted Commander in the universe is already there waiting for us. And like His snow-white steed that’s pawing the ground in great anticipation, He’s also eager to join the battle this good-looking summer morn, which just happens to be Monday, the first day of the new workweek (smile). 

And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the merry go round of work after a couple days off, especially with summer in the air and weekend trips to the cottage up north getting into full gear. But work we must if we want to survive, so we have this fail-safe pick-me-up we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s declare (yeh!) it all together now nuh, so that we can rise to the occasion.  

‘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 brother, yuh see how quickly we start feeling better; our eyes light up with a new gleam, our souls suddenly feel refreshed and we feel like we could fight an army or move a mountain single handedly! Wow! That’s because the Holy Spirit is working in us to give the Lord’s answer to our humble, sincere, but ever-confident prayer! And why yuh think that is eh? 

That’s because Jesus says that whenever we pray, whatever we pray for, if we believe, we will get it. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) And He also says that if we ask for anything in His name, He will do it. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

What great promises friends! But we also know that there are certain provisos to those promises, they all depend on them being in the Father’s will, timing and purpose for our lives and coming from sincere motives of the heart; they just can’t be wishy-washy, selfish, self-aggrandizing prayers. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘14:13-14. In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf.16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” (vs.12) The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

But what is Jesus really talking about here eh? It’s basically about faith; the level of our faith in Him and the Father. In the passage in Mark above, He had just cursed the fruitless fig tree and caused it to suddenly wither up. That gave Him ‘the occasion to expound concerning faith, prayer and forgiveness.’ And He began thus: ‘Have faith in God.’  And that’s the whole sermon right there in a nutshell my people! 

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished 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 unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

Some important points to notice there; even a li’l faith is a powerful thing, and some jobs call for not faith alone, but also for fasting and intense prayer. And please note that in almost every occasion on which He healed someone, Jesus made it a point to invoke his or her faith into the healing. 

Note the occasion when the Roman centurion approached Him for his servant’s healing, then said that Jesus did not need to come to his house to do it, He had the power to do it right there. Jesus replied in astonishment: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Matt.8:10) Yes friends, a heathen Roman centurion showed more faith in Jesus’ awesome power than any of His own people! 

And what a wonderful example of great faith is the woman with the twelve year issue of blood who fought through the throng believing if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. And when she did, she was healed instantly. But Jesus also noticed that something was wrong, because He felt some of His power go out of Him, and asked: ‘Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?’ (Mark 5:25-33). 

But Jesus persisted in looking around to find the culprit, (smile) and eventually the woman fell down before Him and admitted the truth. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And there are many more instances of Jesus calling on people to show faith, which we have no time or space to get into today. But I’ll leave us with one of Jesus favourite jibes to those who reused to belief Him. ‘O ye of li’l faith.’ 

And sadly, in these ungodly and evil times, He’s saying that about a lot of us supposed Christians. Please friends and fellow believers, let’s rise up today and begin giving Him serious occasion to change it nuh to ‘How great is thy faith!’ That would surely warm the cockles of His holy and oh so LOVING heart! It’s about time we did something to cause that, don’t you think? Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s somewhat late…and somewhat long, but good, (smile) but I had some pressing problems that I had to deal with first. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2019 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.    ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
 

Well it was a beautiful Father’s Day yesterday! The weather was stellar! NO RAIN! Wow! And for the first time in about three years my church was able to hold their annual outdoor picnic outdoors. (smile) Who knows what’s going to happen today though, as it’s somewhat cloudy out there. But it should be okay for most of us to get in our early morning commute to our places of daily grind and common task. (smile) 

Oh my people, we might as well smile yes, because being sad and miserable and crying won’t change the situation. We’ve got to go to work if we want to eat, and it’s best to do that in good and high spirits. And yes, I know that that’s easier said than done, but we’re children of the Most High God, which means that nothing is too difficult, or even impossible for us, once we have His wonderful Spirit operating within us. 

So if you’re just not up to scratch this morning, let’s just dissipate those Monday Blues by declaring (steups!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote that ALWAYS gets our engines running smoothly. 

So as one strong voice 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!’ 

YES my brethren! Yuh feel it? Yuh feel the awesome power of the Holy Spirit moving…moving just like a magnet.within you….moving here, moving there, like on the day of Pentecost (smile) raising your own spirit, enabling you to get yourself together and go out and face the enemy with brass and panache, all for Jesus’ sake? That’s what it’s all about my fellow saints of Christ – empowering us to do Jesus’ work with diligence and excellence! 

And I was just going to write: Now where is all of that going to lead us to this morning eh, when I opened the Good Book and behold, there it was in bright and living colour, our Bit for today! The words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. 

‘And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is.30:20-21) 

Yes friends, the Holy Spirit has been given to us to lead and guide us along the right and righteous pathways of this earthly life. But that can only happen if we listen to and pay serious attention to what the Holy Spirit tells us to do. As Isaiah says at the top of that section: ‘For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness, and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. 

But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke (threat) of one; at the rebuke (threat) of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon (a pole) upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign (banner, flag) on a hill. 

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy on you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is.30:15-18) 

How many times friends, did the Israelites turn away from God and suffer eh? But He, in His grace and mercy, always offered them a way out, if they returned to Him in sincere sorrow and repentance. And though they oftimes refused, He, in His longsuffering, waited for them. 

It’s the same way He’s calling us to come back to Him today, but we’re not listening; too busy doing our own earthly things to be concerned about His heavenly stuff. But He’s patiently waiting. But please note, that even the Lord’s patience will run out at some time, and when He gets tired of waiting we will pay a hefty price for our disobedience. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God. The reference to the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction shows that God teaches us lessons through circumstances when we will not listen to our teachers who call us to walk in the way (i.e., the way of God).’ 

So please friends, please listen to me, and walk in the way of God, (smile) so that you won’t have to eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…be thou strong and courageous…turn not from the Lord’s law…neither to the right nor to the left…so thou can prosper…wherever you go…(Josh.1:7)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2019 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    ​Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
 

After the rain comes the sun, so since yesterday was another very ‘riney’ day, today ought to be blessed with loads of sunshine! And it does seem to have begun that way. But what’s with the rain this season eh? I think the Lord’s trying to tell us something. What? I really don’t know. Perhaps a warning of some sort. But obviously we’re not paying attention, so we keep having more rain than sunshine. 

And the workingman is totally perplexed and annoyed at the situation. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The slave master drive we hard this week and ah real tired now. Just hoping for a nice warm sunshiny weekend, to just lay out on the deck in mih hammock, catch some rays, sip a few, and just relax. But it seems like it going to be a blooming rainy weekend! What it is with this rain thing this year eh? 

Brother! We having more rainy days than sunny ones, and the weather not even getting real warm yet, the middle of June and we still have heat coming on in the house because the children cold! Steups! I don’t know what it is nuh – if the Lord trying to tell we something. But since is the weekend, and the only time I have to do my own thing, I’m going to enjoy it as best as I can – eat, drink and be merry, even if I have to do it inside! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes…even when it cold and rainy!’  

Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of the workingman; he accepts his circumstances, even though he dislikes them, and works around them to keep himself contented. But we sophisticated Christians simply gripe and complain and thus don’t enjoy what the Lord’s granted us. Remember we’re supposed to be happy and contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. But we can’t do that unless and until we actually take the bull by the horns and become contented – with God’s help of course! 

And we’ll begin doing that by chanting our Friday Chant which is different to the workingman’s song because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ desires that we have some boundaries and borders to keep us safe from enemy attacks. So let’s chant it now, like we really mean it nuh. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 need to be a tad more careful about our doings, our goings and our comings, because we have a heavenly purpose to fulfill, and we can’t do that properly if we’re wishy-washy, and doh-care, else the enemy will just destroy us and our witness for Christ. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen, so let’s tighten up, and strengthen up our lives in appropriate fashion nuh. 

And one of the ways we all need to do that is by being contented with what we have at any particular time in life. Yes, I know that’s not always easy to do, especially when in our circumstances there is much less than the optimal amount of whatever we need. But the fact is that we need to cry out to and hold on to God for help to become like Bruh Paul said, in regards to the gift he received from the church at Philippi. 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Oh friends, is that ever something we believers need to learn and quickly too in this world that now lives by the motto of always wanting more and wanting it quicker than the last time. We’re definitely not a contented society in spite of the abundance we possess. But remember we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of it, so we’re not supposed to follow it’s selfish and greedy and discontented mores. 

And please note that contentment in whatever situation is a LEARNED behaviour. It doesn’t just come about like magic or a miracle; it’s something we have to earn and learn, not in a classroom, but by experiencing hard times as well as good times, by facing life like Portia. (smile) But unfortunately our current society is famous for wanting to be great without putting in the necessary effort that it takes to be great. 

Everybody nowadays is a superstar! That’s why our standards have fallen so low, and what used to be an ‘F’ is now a ‘C’, or even a ‘B’. But friends, please note that falling standards in a society only means one thing, that society is on its way down, and if its standards continue to fall, then it will soon become a lesser society, or even an extinct one. 

History bears out that contention. Just look at all the great societies we’ve had, how they prospered when their standards were high, they worked hard, made the necessary sacrifices to grow. But when they reached the top, they got fat and lazy and just wallowed in their prosperity until everything toppled down, and some other nation who was hungry and productive took over their crown. 

And sadly that is what seems to be happening in our current Western society; we’re on the way down because we’ve become fat and lazy and want everything now for now and for nothing, or next to nothing! But as believers my brethren, we are expected to always take the high road, have high standards within this world of low standards, and be contented with whatever we have, knowing that our great and generous, merciful and forgiving God is on our side and will not let us suffer more than we can bear. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could declare his ability to be contented in any situation. And he sums it up thus: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’  (Phil.4:13) Yes friends, we can only live contentedly if we are living for Christ, who is the enabler of the brethren. He is the one that gives us the wherewithal to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. Please, let us never forget that, provided we want to be successful and contented in this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…the joy of contentment…experiencing both good and bad times…with Christ always by our side…enabling us…

 

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