Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 May 2022 Matthew 25:13.

Matthew 25:13.     Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

So, it’s one of those Friday the 13th days, but we’re not worried about any evil stuff coming against us and can still shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! That’s because we have the Holy Spirit of Jesus, the most powerful operator in the universe living in our hearts and souls. And He’s faithfully promised that: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

Wow! What a mighty promise from our mighty God! That means nothing the enemy throws at us can harm us, unless the most powerful force in the universe allows it for some reason or other. And that’s why Bruh Paul could write so confidently to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

…Nay, in all these things we are more conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 37-39) 

And why are we so sure of all of that eh? Because, as Rev. James Cleveland is singing in his song: ‘Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to me, to us, and this sinful world!’ Glory Hallelujah! Give Him a bundle of thanks for all that He’s done, is presently doing, and has promised to do for us! Without Him and His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, we’d all be heading straight for the house of damnation and eventually the lake of fire, with no option for salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven. 

But He gave us that marvellous option, so I don’t understand why more of us, in fact all of us haven’t yet accepted Him as Lord and Saviour, because that’s the only way we’ll ever see heaven. For, as Jesus took such pains to point out to the disciple Thomas, and consequently to us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) And that’s the indisputable truth friends. Jesus is the ONLY route to the Father, our God and Creator! 

So, if you’re thinking about spending time in heaven in the next life, then you had better get busy and turn to Christ right now, because He’s coming back to take those who believe home to heaven with Him. The problem though, is that we don’t know when He’s going to return. It could be anytime; today, tomorrow or next never, but the fact remains that whenever He returns, if you’re not sincerely rooting for Him, then you’ll be left behind to face the terrible period called the Great Tribulation. 

Now, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to face that horrible period that’s been promised. Today might seem pretty bad, but it’s guaranteed that that period will be even worse than today. And remember that whatever our God promises, He delivers. So, I plead with us, let’s be wise and accept Jesus Christ right now nuh, before it’s too late. Remember Jesus warned the disciples re His coming again: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ (Matt. 24:36) 

Even Jesus Himself didn’t know when He was going to come back and that’s why He warned us to be ready for His return at any time; to be always ready and on the lookout. And these words of His spell it out as plainly as possible. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman (master) of the house had known in what watch (hour) the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:42-44) 

And later on, at the end of the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus also made it quite clear: ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) Now, if perchance that doesn’t make any impact on you, then listen to Bruh Paul as he wrote to the Thessalonians. ‘But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:1-2) 

Yes people, the next great event in man’s history will happen unexpectedly, and Jesus was and is so concerned for our wellbeing, that He even warned John about it again in the Book of Revelation, when He decreed: ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s an exhortation for us to remain loyal and faithful to Christ in some real rough times, to be watchful and ever alert for His Second Coming, to have on garments rather than be naked, that’s to be spiritually prepared and not found wanting. And through it all, we must never forget the necessity of prayer, because that’s the means established for communicating with our heavenly Father. So right now, when things are so turbulent and unpredictable in our world, when it looks like the beginning of the end times, let’s turn to prayer, to communicating with heaven, letting them up there know what’s happening with us and that we’re seeking their divine help to alleviate the situation. 

Altogether then, let’s offer up our Friday Chant to Almighty God. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we are to expect positive answers, then we need to keep those promises we just made. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not ready when the trumpets call…then you’ll be left behind… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2020 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    ​Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.
 
Well a fine Sunday morning to you my friends and neighbours! I do hope the Lord has blessed you mightily….and you better believe He has if you are reading this missive! (smile) He has indeed blessed us with the wonderful breath of life and clear eyesight to see the words I write. So for just that we ought to be eternally grateful. And if you add all the other blessings, then I don’t think we have the capacity for enough gratitude, (smile) but we’ll certainly try. 

And one of the ways we’ll do it is by gathering today, on His special day, in His holy sanctuary, or wherever we can, to praise and give thanks and hear His mighty Word. Oh my people, there’s nothing more moving and momentous that a group of believers fellowshipping with sincere praise and thanksgiving! 

So as always, let’s begin our proceedings with this old favourite by Isaac Watts, titled ‘At the Cross.’ And was that ever a turning point in the annals of man! So let’s convince heaven of our heartfelt thanks for Jesus’ death on the cross, and all that it accomplished in our sinful lives. 

As one, in strong, soulful and harmonious voice: ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! 

(Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. 

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’

Oh my people, my people, the wonder of the cross…words cannot truly describe it. Because it was there that the whole world was turned upside down and a new era in mankind’s story began! The story of salvation, of reconciliation, of total forgiveness, of redemption, justification, sanctification…and all the other good things that flowed…and are still flowing from Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! 

And as the song so rightly says: ‘Drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe.’ And is that ever the gospel truth friends! No amount of tears, of heartfelt eyes water can ever repay the debt of LOVE that we owe our heavenly Father. I’m sure our puny and finite minds can’t even begin to understand the heartbreak He felt in having to crucify His one and only, so amazing Son, so that a bunch of stubborn, hard-hearted sinners could have the option to be set free. 

But such was His LOVE for us, that He took the one holy, just and righteous avenue open to Him. And it wasn’t by chance He did that either nuh, but by conscious design. Why yuh think? Listen to Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, as he exhorts him to constant prayer. ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.’ (1 Tim. 2:3-4) 

Yes friends, that has been the Lord’s desire ever since the day He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. He doesn’t want to lose even one single soul of His most precious creation to the evil fool Satan. That’s why He went to such awesome lengths to get us back into right standing with Him. And He’s been saying it all the time. 

Listen to Him speak through the prophet Ezekiel: ‘Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.’ (Ezek. 18:23; 32) 

Yes my breddren, our magnanimous and magnificent God doesn’t want even those who want eternal death to die! How much more does He have to so to convince us to change from our wicked ways and live eh? I really don’t know if there’s any more He can do, except strip us of our free will and make us come to Him automatically. But He’s not going to do that, because He promised us free will and He doesn’t renege on His promises. 

And yuh know the second part of our Bit which talks about coming to the knowledge of the truth? Well here is what the Lord said through Jeremiah on the subject. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

For sure, my fellow believers, the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS MAN’S GLORY! And until we know that, accept it, and live it we’ll keep on being lost! And it’s only fitting to close with the words of Jesus on the topic. He said this when He prayed for His own. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.’ (John 17:3) 

Yeh friends, knowing the ONE true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is the ONLY WAY to eternal life! So let’s get smart and get to know Him nuh, so that come the last day, we will not find ourselves on the outside looking in, for that’s the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. Much LOVE!

…to know God…is to know the glorious truth…and be set free… 

P.S. Didn’t do anything yesterday because of the stormy weather. They wouldn’t even allow to me get a dip in the salt since it was so rough. I did get a burger and some jerk pork over at the beach hut though, and washed it down with two nameless exotic pink cocktails. (smile) Today is sunny, so let’s see what the Lord will bring to pass in my life. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
And then Friends, it was Sunday, the first day of the week!
 
That means it is supposed to be a restful kind of day, including a trip to the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship with other believers, give God His praise and thanks that’s so well deserved, and get encouragement and strengthened faith from the gathering to keep on keeping on in Jesus’ name.
 
It also should encompass some quality family and/or friend time; all the while keeping our souls open to Jesus. As I keep reminding us, the way we spend the first day of the week, is usually a harbinger of how the rest of the week will unfold.
 
So if we have a busy, stressful /Sunday, then Monday will no doubt open with stress and fatigue, complaining and whining, as we have to get up and go out to labour, and the week will probably go all downhill from there.
 
However, if we spend Sunday in prayerful peace, we at least wake up rested and renewed on Monday. Then, at least we’re starting from the top and going downhill, which is always easier than starting from the bottom and having to trudge up hill.
 
And with those words of wisdom (smile) – hope you adopt them – let’s get to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And again, I will remind us, that not as servants, but as valued Friends, Jesus then went out and died for us on Calvary’s cross!
 
I therefore can’t emphasize enough, how important it is that we recognize and truly appreciate His selfless sacrifice at Calvary, for it was indeed the beginning of all our good fortune, which stemmed exclusively from the great LOVE of our heavenly Father, who desperately wanted us to be brought back in to right standing with Him.
 
It’s just like we bend over backwards sometimes with our wayward children whom we LOVE dearly and want to see get back to the right path and right standing with us.
 
Now today we’ll deal with some scriptures that highlight friendship; what it is supposed to be, and as time permits, also look at some friendships, both good and bad, from the Good Book.
 
And first off is the wisdom of Cousin Sol, telling us from Proverbs, what a friend, and friendship ought to be. Listen up closely my brethren. (smile) ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born of adversity.’ (Prov.17:17)
 
And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be my people! As the scholars declare: ’17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’
 
But today, unfortunately, as we all know, that kind of true friendship doesn’t exist as much as it used to. Now friends are only friends when times are good. When they are rough and you need support, you’ll usually find yourself alone, because all you really had were good times friends.
 
However my people, let’s look at what a true friendship ought to be like. It begins with Jehovah God’s covenant with Abraham in chapter 17 of Genesis, where He establishes Abraham as the father of His Chosen People.
 
And we all know the story of Abraham’s tumultuous but interesting pilgrimage throughout the land, and how throughout it all, he stayed faithful and true to God, and God also remained faithful and true to him.
 
It was such a great friendship that centuries later, king Jehoshaphat of Judah, when besieged by foreign armies, could cry out to God: ‘Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?’ (2 Chr.20:7)
 
Then Isaiah, in talking of the final restoration of Israel, declares: ‘But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.’ (Is.41:8)
 
And later on, James, the half-brother of Jesus, who only believed at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in talking about faith without works, boldly proclaims: ‘But wilt thou know (but do you want to know), O vain (foolish) man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works (was working), and by works was faith made perfect (complete)? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (accounted) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.’ (James 2:20-23)
 
Yes my brethren, that is what a true friendship ought to be like. Abraham is so revered, that even when we speak of God, and we qualify it by saying, the God of Abraham, everyone knows whom we’re talking about.
 
So today my people, as we fellowship and worship, peacefully rest in prayerful meditation, let’s consider the words ‘friend and friendship.’ Let’s ponder what they mean to us, then on that basis, ponder who our true friends might be in this earthly life, as well as who we might be true friends to.
 
And lastly, let’s ask the Lord for his help, so that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, our faith and works will be of such excellence and integrity, that we too will be called the Friend of God! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh…to be considered…a Friend of the Lord…and a Man after His own heart…that is my greatest desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2013 Philippians 4:12

Philippians 4:12.   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.
 
And the band played, as the people lustily sang: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Work soon done, then it’s my time to play, my time to party! Yes work soon done, then is my time to play, my time to party!’
 
But hold on a minute Friends, please don’t jump off the deep end so fast. Now some partying is good for the soul, but like too much of anything, it can either get boring or too rip-roaring and thus cause us to go astray, consequently allowing the evil one to gain a foothold in our souls. And that my people we must try to avoid at all cost.
 
So let’s stop for a moment, let the euphoria of Friday simmer for a bit, while we put on our thinking caps and find some wisdom to lead and guide us successfully through the weekend. And we’ll start by sincerely chanting our Friday Chant, which gives us the right attitude for handling the weekend.
 
All together 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 brethren, that’s what we need when the weekend rolls around, a shot of circumspection, so that we don’t run lose like wild animals and lose our God-centred focus.
 
Now there’s one new disaster to contend with, as though we didn’t have enough worldwide. The super typhoon Haiyan apparently hit the Central Philippines this morning, with winds roaring up to 195 miles per hour. Mama Yo! A hundred and ninety five miles an hour!
 
Yuh know the amount of disaster and destruction that can cause mih Friends! There will most likely be plenty loss of lives and lots of physical destruction, so please, I implore us to pray for them in their time of dire need, and also help however else we can, for that’s our sure duty as true believers.
 
Ah Lord eh! There isn’t a day that passes by without some kind of bizarre catastrophe taking place in our world, either natural or man-made. But the good thing my people is that as followers of Christ we don’t have to get too low or too high about whatever happens, for we know that come what may, the Lord is firmly planted in our corner.
 
For as Bruh Paul tells the Philippians in our Bit: ‘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.’
 
Now my brethren, that’s how the Christian ought to be able to live. And I daresay that I have reached a fairly mature point in that respect, because I’ve been around long enough – don’t read or think old – (smile) and have gone through enough ups and downs to appreciate both the rough times and the good ones.
 
As a lot of things in Christianity, it’s a learned behaviour; one you can only truly acquire through experience. And the one thing I have going for me in that regard is that though I like nice, expensive things, it doesn’t rile my soul if I don’t get them. I’ve been dirt poor and I’ve also hung out with some wealthy folks, but truthfully, I don’t like either end of the spectrum.
 
I have to thank the Lord that I’ve never been a greedy, ‘gravalicious’, ‘wanty-wanty’ person. My feet have always been firmly planted on solid ground, and at this stage of my life, I’ve done some of all that the Lord’s put in my heart, though not to the extent that I would have liked. But I’m a prisoner of hope, Glory Hallelujah! And I am still waiting patiently for Him to fulfill those desires to a greater degree. 
 
But Friends, I know the glitzy, glamorous things of the world, the lifestyles of the rich and famous are causing havoc in many believer’s lives today because they want to be able to live the same way. But as I keep saying, we don’t know what they’ve done to get what they have, they’ve most likely sold their soul to Beelzebub.
 
Now that’s something you surely don’t want to do. Unfortunately though, many of us are indeed doing it. We need to stand strong though and resist that temptation. Granted, none of us want to be poor, but being rich also has its inherent problems.
 
Oh I know you’re going to say, I’ll take the rich problems rather than the poor ones. But please remember that our God doesn’t judge us by our possessions or outwards actions, but by the motives of our hearts. So all the possessions and good deeds don’t mean a thing if you’ve sold your soul to Lucifer. 
 
For as Jesus asked of His disciples: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.16:26)
 
Now that my Friends, is a question each individual has to answer for him or herself. But I just want to let you know that the correct answer to that is, NOTHING OF THE WORLD should be able to purchase our souls!
 
In fact they’re not for sale, because Jesus has already bought and paid for them with His selfless sacrifice upon that old rugged cross at Calvary some two thousand years ago!
 
And all God’s people shouted a most grateful, ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ And that’s as it should be my people!
 
We’ll end here for today, because it’s already long and I don’t want to tire us out by having to read too much heavy stuff. (smile) So we’ll continue this message tomorrow, obviously if the Lord’s in favour.
 
Till then, please let’s go safely, constantly walking and talking with God, so that He’ll bless and keep us and cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us with peace, wisdom and LOVE! Much LOVE!
 
…it’s not easy…but Christians must learn to be satisfied…contented in whatever state or stage they’re currently at…because that’s exactly where the Father wants us…at that particular time…