Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28:   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Sunday morning coming down, heading for the house of God, with hearts a flutter, souls and bodies flushed with excitement to hear His holy word, sing praises unto Him, and thank Him for the gift of fellowship amongst believers. What can be better than that eh friends? Nothing really! For sincerely worshipping God in company with other believers is one of the greatest experiences a Christian can attain on this earth! 

You really can’t put it into words, you have to be there to see and experience it for yourself.  So let’s have joyous fellowship this morning nuh, beginning with some praise and worship, through a hymn written in 1880 by Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909). And it’s one we all know and LOVE! 

And according to Wikipedia, Evangelist Dwight L Moody liked it so much, that once when he was in the hospital and Thompson came to visit him, he declared: ‘Will, I would rather have written “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.” Now that was truly praise for the song, because Moody did do a lot of good and godly things in his life. 

But nuff talk now, the Father and the whole host of heaven are waiting to hear our song of praise and thanksgiving. So let’s get soulful and trill it up in rich, harmonious voice and sincere hearts, causing tears of joy to flow down the cheeks of those up there. ‘Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me; see, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. 

(Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home!) Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, mercies for you and for me? (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) 

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, passing from you and from me; shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) O for the wonderful LOVE He has promised, promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home…come on home!)’ 

Yes friends, we certainly stirred up the emotions this morning with a wonderful, soulful rendition of that marvellous hymn! Brother, the words are so realistic – I never really paid them that much attention before, but they do tell the story of Jesus and our sinful souls in living colour! 

And He’s just standing at the door waiting for us to come home to Him, like how the Father had an eye out for the Prodigal Son and ran and met him as soon as he came into sight. Hugging and kissing him, and not letting him get a word in edgewise. Yes mih breddren, that’s how Jesus is anxiously waiting to greet us! 

And yuh know most of us are weary and tired with this evil old world, so why are we tarrying and lingering when Jesus is calling us to come home eh? Let’s wisely heed His mercies, His promises, His pardon nuh for all the sins we’ve committed. There’s no better solution to our dark and damnable situation than that! And time’s flying by, not waiting on us, shadows are gathering and deathbeds are in the offing, so why not accept Jesus’ wonderful offer to come home to Him eh? No good reason whatsoever! 

And friends, I don’t know what scripture Johnson used to write that hymn, but believe me, I don’t think there’s a better and more appropriate passage in the Good Book than the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matt.11:28-30) 

Yeh friends, if you don’t know anything else about Jesus, that passage of scripture ought to have you looking towards Him for some answers to your sorrowful situation. How can you not consider it eh? No other supposed deity is so earnestly and tenderly calling you to come into their fold like Jesus is doing. All the other supposed deities want a whole lot of stuff from you, but all Jesus wants is your LOVE and your belief in Him. Yuh better believe He won’t have to ask me twice! (smile) 

So friends, what’s stopping you from coming to Jesus eh? Whatever it is, please don’t let it, because it’s not worth passing up Jesus’ invitation! Nothing on the face of this earth is worth that! Remember, the earth and all therein will pass away at some time or the other, in the Father’s time, but the LOVE and mercy and pardon and forgiveness enshrined in Jesus, which leads to eternal life will NEVER pass away! 

That’s gospel, gospel truth! It’s better than having plenty money in the bank or plenty material possessions, because those will rot and be destroyed over time, but faith and trust and belief in Jesus will last for eternity. So please, please, I implore you, come to Him today nuh; relieve yourself of your heavy burden and get some fruitful rest. 

Jesus is simple, but powerful, and also kind, LOVING and gentle! There’s so much you can learn from Him. And as He says, His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. That means you will not be asked to bare any heavy loads or toil till you’re totally exhausted. 

And John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).’ (1 John 5:3) And if anybody should know about Jesus’ commandments, it would be John, who spent so much time with Him and wrote so much of the New Testament. So don’t take my word for it, take John’s! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is listening to Jesus…and doing as He asks…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2018 Luke 9:62.

Luke 9:62.   And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

And so we come to Saturday; a day when so many of us breathe a huge sigh of relief, like a great burden has been lifted off our shoulders. And a great burden has indeed been lifted off of many shoulders, and I’m not simply talking about having to go to work, but the effort it takes to get to and from work. 

We’re talking about the endless traffic jams, morning and evening, the hustling along the crowded sidewalks, the rushing and pushing to catch Public Transportation, and then being packed like sardines in the subways and buses. Hn! No wonder so much fatigue, tiredness and lack of incentive exists in our society, and people are prone to do just as much as they can get by with. 

And then, come Saturday, they just lie around like beached whales, too tired to do much of anything but eat and sleep. I don’t know the solution to the problem nuh, but I do know that we waste a lot, too much time and energy just getting to and from work. 

One would think that mankind, as this great thinking machine, as this great font of wisdom, would be able to devise a better, more productive system. Unfortunately though, I don’t see it happening any time soon, so we’d better look about strengthening our backbones and our minds so that we can bear it. Sermon done! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes of our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what happened, but I only got one quote from him this week, but it’s a good one. ‘We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.’ 

What words of absolute wisdom my brethren! Looking back is not something we ought to do too often because it keeps us from moving forward. As Anselm says, we should only look back to learn from our mistakes and use them to make our future more productive. 

Unfortunately though, many of us live in the past. We keep rehashing the things that have happened and keep bringing all that baggage to our current situations. Therefore we can never get ahead with all that negative stuff weighing us down. Please remember my brethren that the past is dead and gone, it’s history, and we can never get it back no matter how we romanticize it, talking about the good old days. 

Now here is the definitive word on the subject, from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ 

That’s one of the tests of discipleship, and what Jesus told the man who wanted to follow Him, but first desired to go and tell his family farewell. Ah mih people, it sounds like a rough, unfeeling statement, but workers for Jesus must be forward looking, forward thinking people, not dwellers in the past. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘9:62. Fit, occurring elsewhere only in 14:35 and Hebrews 6:7, means “suitable” or “usable.” One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ 

Remember how Jesus recruited Peter and Andrew and James and John, the sons of Zebedee? He just passed by the seashore and saw Peter and Andrew casting their nets: ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. 

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:19-22) What obedience my people! Can you imagine Zebedee’s consternation; his sons’ just walking away with a total stranger? 

And the scholars tell us: ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the lordship of Christ.’ 

And we also have the perfect example of how looking back can affect us negatively in the story of Lot when the Lord warned him to flee from the area of Sodom and Gomorrah where he lived. The angels took him and his family out to the city limits. ‘And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad (outside), that he (they) said, Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain, escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.’ (Gen.19:17) 

But Lot begged them to let him escape to a small city nearby, called Zoar, and they agreed. (Gen.19:18-23) Then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. ’But his (Lot’s) wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.’(Gen.19:26) 

And the scholars explain: ‘She became a pillar of salt: Jesus used this incident as a warning to others not to look back (Luke 17:21-33). Lot’s wife apparently lingered behind, continually and longingly looking back on her beloved possessions, and was buried by the explosion that resulted from the destruction of the city. Brimstone and fire may refer to a meteorite shower that literally burned up the whole area.’ 

Nuff said my people. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will surely feel…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Ah friends, can you believe that this early in the game, the weather forecasters are calling for that beautiful, innocent-looking but oh so dangerous thing called snow? Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! But that’s what you get for all the good weather we’ve enjoyed so far this late in the year. As Job, says, you can’t expect to always receive good and no bad. 

Can you imagine the mess the place will be in this evening, especially if it begins during the rush hour? And the sad part is that you not only have to look out for yourself, but even more for the many foolish drivers on the road! 

But yuh know what, I’ve promised myself that from hereon in, I’m not going out in no setta snow to go anywhere. If somebody wants to drive me, then I’ll consider it. But once I’ve got to drive myself, ‘NO WAY JOSE!’ 

I can handle the cold, but driving through the slush and sleet and snow and ice and otherwise… too much unnecessary pressure. I think I’ve had enough of that. I’ve come through the last forty something years of it fairly unscathed, no need to go and get my ole bod damaged at this stage of life. End of monologue! (smile) 

That’s why I’m going to do as Pastor Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power) says: ‘Do not be pushed by your problems, but be led by your dreams.’ Words of wisdom, even from one so young. 

For as Jesus rebuked the Israelite leaders when the children praised Him in the temple, using some of Bruh David’s words from Ps.8:2. ‘Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings (nursing infants) thou hast perfected praise?’ (Matt.21:16) Yeh friends, age doesn’t matter all that much if the Spirit of the Lord is upon you. 

And our Bit explains why: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

Ah precious people of God, what indisputable words of reassurance from our great God! He has not only set the sun in its physical place, but He also wants to be our spiritual SUN; the bright light that glows in the darkness of our troubled souls. 

Hear how Isaiah puts it when he talks about the future glory of Zion. ‘The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.’ (Is.60:9) 

Just imagine it nuh friends, at some stage of life, we won’t need the sun nor that moon to provide light for us, because we’ll be dwelling in the holy presence of our awesome God, who Himself will be our light, provide all the light we need. 

‘And all God’s people declared a mighty shout: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill to men!’ Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what a glorious day that will be, when we reside in the halls of heaven in the presence of our heavenly Father, who will be just exuding godly light!  

Listen to how John describes it in his Revelations. ‘And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten (illuminate) it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.’ (Rev. 21:22-23) 

Wow! I can’t get my head around not needing a sun or moon to see around me. But the Lord has promised it, therefore it will be so. 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ’21:22-23. There is no temple in the city, since both the Father and the Son will be present in their fullest manifestations. Its light will be provided by the Shekinah glory of God and of Christ (cf. Ex.3:3-4; 24:15-17; 33:14-16; Luke 2:9; 9:29; Heb.1:3).’ 

The Shekinah glory of God is basically where He reveals the full majesty of His light and power. Like when He went before the Israelites in the wilderness in a cloud and a pillar of fire, when He passed before Moses, but only allowed him to see His backside, otherwise Moses would have been annihilated, even the radiant look on Moses face when He came down from the Mount after receiving the Ten Commandments and had to veil his face. 

So just imagine the treat we’re in for my fellow believers, when we see God face to face, shining in all His might and glory! Now we haven’t come to that point as yet, but in the meanwhile our most magnanimous God has given us enough blessings here on earth to make our mark in His name. So let’s declare them nuh, since the power of our God lies in His spoken word. 

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

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

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

And having declared that with sincerity of heart and strength of purpose, let’s now go out and share those blessings with others, as Jesus requires of us. Much LOVE!

…a blessing isn’t really a true blessing…until it’s been shared…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2016 Matthew 4:19

Matthew 4:19.   And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

At last it’s Sunday my brethren; the day of the Lord, where we get to go to His sanctuary and praise and worship and glorify Him with other believers! Glory to God! 

Now some of us might consider that to be no big thing, but believe me friends it is a huge doing in our Christian fellowship, for we were advised by Christ to gather together as His body, His church, so that we can keep our relationship with Him fresh and renewed through prayer and praise and all the other wonderful things we do in church. 

What did Jesus say? ‘For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And that’s no lie, for wherever and whenever we get together our Lord and Saviour is right in the midst of us through His Holy Spirit. 

So please don’t think that it’s not necessary to go to church, because it is. As a cohesive group we can get so much more done, and also as the old saying goes, there’s strength in numbers, and the body of Christ badly needs sincere and faithful numbers in these tumultuous and very trying times. 

Anyway, suffice it to say that it’s Sunday and all believers ought to make an effort to go to church, or at least listen to the Word by radio or television. For remember Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Rome. ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ (Rom.10:17) 

As the scholars explain, He’s talking there about the oral communication of the gospel, and that ‘faith is not in what is heard, but faith that comes about by what is heard.’ 

Now let’s lighten up some and check out this Trini quote of the day, sent to me by a Trini friend. ‘Yuh dog not in dis fight.’ Generally said as a scolding to someone for attempting or getting involved in something in which they do not belong; such as an argument, fight etc. The same as saying – mind your own business, this does not concern you, so keep out. Have a great day.’ 

Only in T&T you say! And He adds as a useful corollary: ‘Watch your thoughts: They become words. Watch your words: They become actions. Watch your actions: They become habits. Watch your habits: They become your character.’ And it’s all gospel truth my people.  

And now it’s time to get serious with this prayer from a little devotional booklet titled ‘A Journey of LOVE: Walking with St. Therese of Lisieux.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, way back when, but as we all know, prayer never gets old or goes out of style (smile). This deals with the struggle with God’s absence, something that quite a few believers have problems with. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, help me to live always in the light of your presence. Should any darkness challenge my belief and LOVE for you, dispel that darkness so that I might witness to your merciful and gracious LOVE. Grant me the wisdom to confront a secular and egocentric world with your message of care and compassion for all people. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.’ 

Yes my people, in these dark and troublesome times, that kind of prayer is absolutely essential!  We need to be assured of Jesus’ light so that we can witness on His behalf. And that allows us to segue nicely into our Bit. 

But first let’s set the scene. Jesus is about to begin gathering His posse of disciples. ‘And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers (fishermen). And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:18-20)  

Just imagine that nuh friends; Jesus simply told them to follow Him and without any hesitation they just upped and did it right away. Hn! Can you imagine that happening today? I very much doubt it. Chuh! Getting people to follow Jesus nowadays is like pulling teeth. 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘4:18-20. Simon called Peter, and Andrew became the first two disciples called publicly by Jesus. Andrew had introduced his brother to Jesus on an earlier occasion (cf. John 1:40). The invitation, Follow me, called these earlier believers into a permanent ministry to be shared with Christ. 

I will make you fishers of men clearly indicates the nature of this ministry. They would receive special training in bringing men into the kingdom. Having left their nets, these disciples entered into a new relationship and would never again be able to fully return to the occupation they once held so dear.’ 

But Jesus wasn’t done fishing yet. The Good Book declares: ‘And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:21-22) 

Wow! Can you imagine poor Zebedee’s confusion and consternation! Some man he doesn’t even know, passes by and calls his sons and they just up and leave him and their fishermen business behind! Steups!

And the scholars have a wonderful line on that. ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the Lordship of Christ.’ 

And does it ever my fellow believers! Unfortunately though, not too many of us nowadays can lay claim to such obedience. And that’s certainly a pity, because both our individual lives and the world around us would be a much better place if our obedience was even a little higher than it currently is. 

So friends, in light of what we’ve studied today, let’s spend some time pondering our own level of obedience nuh. It can’t hurt, even if we’re terribly disobedient. And then, in wisdom, let’s sincerely turn to the Lord and ask for His ever-present and ever-faithful help. He’ll never refuse us! Much LOVE!

…for any group to be successful…obedience to the leadership and the rules of the organization is absolutely necessary…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2016 Philippians 1:29

Philippians 1:29.    For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Well friends, all the Good Friday hoopla is finally over. The feast of the Passover is in progress. The Romans and the ruling Jewish class are happy that Jesus the interloper, troublemaker and very possible threat to their power and political status is dead. They are exhaling a big sigh of relief and resting satisfied in the culmination of their most heinous and criminal act; causing Jesus to be crucified on lies and circumstantial evidence. 

Thanks to Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, His lifeless body is now lying in a new tomb sealed by a big rock, with soldiers guarding it, so that there is no chance of any mischief from His rag tag band of followers. 

Meanwhile, in reality, that group of followers have fled hither, thither and yon, fearful for their own lives, because of their association with Jesus. Sincere disappointment also clouds their spirits, because they had had such high hopes for and in their leader. All His great sermons and miracles and wonderful philosophy had fuelled their hearts and minds with dreams of a much better and brighter day. 

But now, in the blink of an eye, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem some six days earlier, (Palm Sunday) everything  had suddenly been turned topsy-turvy by His sudden betrayal, arrest, mock trial and death on that wooden cross at Calvary. I guess, like any of us mired in a similarly difficult situation, they were wondering what would become of their lives, since they had given up everything to follow Jesus. 

Judas, His betrayer, has gone and hung himself, remorse and guilt having gotten the better of him. Then Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times, was tearing out his hair, wondering how he could have done something that stupid and cowardly. Mary, Jesus’ mother, per His dying directive, had gone to live with John, the disciple whom He LOVED. And the once solid band of believers was now in total disarray. 

It had all happened so suddenly that they had all been taken by surprise, although Jesus had tried to warn them of His impending troubles. As they were going up to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, Jesus had tried to tell them what was about to happen. 

‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles (Roman rulers): and they shall mock him, and shall scourge (flog) him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.’ (Mark 10:33-34) 

But obviously none of them were paying serious attention to His words. Even the night of the Last Supper, when He informed them that one of the group would betray Him, they still didn’t take it seriously, although they all wondered and asked if it was them. But now things had come to up bump; the Master was dead, and they were like lost, fearful sheep scattered to the four winds, without the LOVE and guidance of their shepherd. 

Yes friends, that was the general state of affairs in Jerusalem, come Saturday morning. I guess it taught that first band of believers a serious lesson; namely that being associated with Jesus could be a dangerous endeavour, entailing suffering and persecution. 

I sincerely hope it has also taught us that too, some two thousand years later, as our Bit details. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

It’s not all wine and roses my people, we ofttimes have to get down and dirty and also suffer some on Jesus behalf. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great life, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other, but like life itself, there are problems and difficulties to encounter, bear and overcome, obviously with Jesus’ help. 

As Bruh Paul declares earlier in the chapter: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ (Phil.1:21) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1:21. For explains why Paul is just as happy to magnify the Lord by death as by life (v.20). It is because to him, to live is Christ. He means that living consists of serving and glorifying the Son of God; apart from this, his life has neither meaning nor purpose. 

But why is Paul just as content to magnify Christ by death? Because to him to die is gain; that is even though living and serving God are good, death is a graduation to something better: it is a promotion to the heavenly presence of Christ and perfect fellowship with Him.’ 

Now friends, all of that is perfectly true, but like most of you, I don’t think I’m ready for that heavenly promotion just yet. I still have a lot of serving and magnifying and glorifying to do down here on earth. (smile) 

But seriously though my people, like Bruh Paul, our main objective, whether down here on earth, or in heaven on high should be to seriously magnify Christ. That ought to be our basic desire; whatever we do or say should have God’s glorification as its number ONE objective. 

Yuh see all the really rough times Bruh Paul went through fearlessly for Christ’s sake! And Christ brought him safely through them all! Now most of us won’t have to go through anything like that, but we will meet opposition and even persecution, if we become and behave like serious followers of Christ. 

Now that is the number ONE question: how many of us are willing to go through trials and tribulation in Christ’s service? 

And what better day to ponder and consider that question my people, than on the Saturday between Good Friday, when Christ sacrificed His life on the cross, and Easter Sunday, when He rose triumphantly from the grave? 

Please, let’s all do that today nuh. And hopefully we’ll all come up with the same resounding answer: ‘Yes! We will go to the grave magnifying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! After what He’s done for us, we can do nothing less!’ 

Now let’s go out and put that promise into action this Easter Saturday nuh, before we have time to think about it and change our minds. (smile) Much LOVE!

…by His stripes we are healed…by His precious blood shed on the cross we are saved…thank You Jesus for salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2015 Revelation 1:3

Revelation 1:3.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Oh Friends, what’s there to say on this wet and somewhat chilly December 1st morning eh? Not a lot… and plenty. And what do I mean by that? 

Well we’ve become such a talkative society with the flourishing of communication technology and the social media, but a lot of that talk is inane and foolish, a waste of our very valuable time, while there is a lot of meaningful and important stuff that we should be talking about which we’re not doing. 

Like for instance about the sorry state of our world and how to fix it, and of God and the ungodly society in which we’re currently living. 

Most of us will say that God is the most important element or person in our lives, but when we check out our lives in action, that statement doesn’t hold true, otherwise our world would not be in such a sad state of deterioration. Unfortunately, the things of the world are still our first priority. 

Remember yesterday we spoke about Christians concentrating on the things of heaven, rather than those of earth? And I sure hope we did our homework, reading the Book of Colossians, so that now we know what’s really expected of us, and we can go on and put it into action in our lives. 

Oh my people, unless and until we truly make God and His Word the focus of our lives, our world will never get better but continue to slide into the murky depths of Hades. And I’m sure that’s not the kind of legacy we want to bequeath to our children and our children’s children. 

So it’s completely up to us believers to keep on fomenting Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, so that the world can return to its godly roots. Nuff said! He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

And since it’s Tuesday, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra like we really believe and mean it. All together now: ‘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.’ 

Oh my people that’s so refreshing and revitalizing! Just imagine nuh, that we are the BELOVED of God, and the FRIEND of Jesus! 

Wow! What an honour and a privilege to be so highly considered! Now let’s make the most of it by going out and sharing the LOVE that they have so graciously and mercifully shown us nuh. A LOVE that our fallen world so desperately needs. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, but we also need to hear what comes before it, so that we can understand its proper context. ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly (quickly, swiftly) come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 

Who bare record (bore witness) of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ (Rev.1:1-3) 

Oh Friends, what powerful and meaningful scripture! And I know that many of us don’t understand what the Book of Revelation is all about, so here is some info from the scholars that will help us to better understand. 

‘1.1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the title of the book. The revelation is both from Christ and about Christ. Since Christ is the revelation of God Himself (John 1:18), God gave the revelation to Christ to be shown to John by means of an angel (messenger). 

The word “revelation” (Gr. apokalypsis) refers to an unveiling or exposure of God’s program for the world through Christ. The prophecies of the book will occur shortly in the sense that the day of the Lord (the end of the age) may begin at any time (following the Rapture). The statement must be understood in accordance with God’s perspective on time (cf. 2 Pet.3:4, 8) 

The word signified (Gr. esemanen) refers to the conveyance of truth by means of signs and symbols, and refers to the visions described throughout the book. Symbols must be interpreted either from something in the context or from other scriptures.’ 

Now let’s rest for a moment after taking in all that heavy stuff. (smile) 

Yes friends, it’s time we start eating some adult food, some meat and potatoes, rather than just drinking baby milk all the time. If we want to mature in Christ, then we need to take our understanding of His Word to a higher and deeper level. 

And before we go any further, allow me to point out something. Please note that the word ‘apocalypse’, as we see from above, means the unveiling or revelation of what’s going to happen, not the eventual fiery and tumultuous destruction of the world as many of us consider it, although that might be involved in the revelation. 

Now let’s continue getting deeper in God’s Word with some more explanations from the scholars. ‘1:2-3. Bare record: John was a witness of what he wrote. He saw the revelation and wrote what he saw. The blessing of verse 3 has a threefold condition: (1) read the book, (2) hear (understand) it, and (3) keep (obey) it. 

The essential nature of prophecy was the communication of new truth (divine revelation). God has given it to be obeyed, not simply to be discussed and debated. The time is at hand in the sense that nothing else now has to occur before the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation Period.’ 

Awright mih breddren, that’s enough food for thought for today. But let’s be wise and ponder all the things we’ve read and heard, so that our hearts and minds can be truly filled with the Word of God and the things of heaven. 

More on this tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then though, let’s all try to walk in sincere peace and LOVE, showing mercy and compassion to others, as our wonderful Lord God has shown, and is still showing to us. Much LOVE!

…this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth…but thou shalt meditate therein…day and night…that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous…and then thou shalt have good success… (Josh. 1:8)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2015 John 14:6‏

John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Aye Friends, welcome to another somewhat cool, but otherwise beautiful summer’s day in God’s wonderful universe!

New mercies and blessings specially prepared for today, this terrific Thursday in August 2015, have already been flooding our space. The most important being the breath of life that’s still flowing through our bodies, which allows us to enjoy the salvation and eternal life offered by Jesus’ debt payment on the cross of Calvary.

Wow! Glory to God! Have you given Him thanks and praise for those two things as yet? As soon as we rise and greet each new day, we ought to float prayers of thanksgiving up to heaven on them. For without them, we either won’t be rising to greet a new day, (smile) or spending eternity with Jesus. And that last option is the most important for a Christian soul.

Now here’s an interesting and rather appropriate quote from Toronto born, North American writer Grenville Kleiser (1868-1935). He says that ‘Today is the day in which to express your noblest qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed…’

And my people that is indeed a worthwhile decision, for over the last decade or so, we have become such great procrastinators, even about things that we consider important.

But what better way to show our appreciation for life and God’s grace and mercies than by stepping up to the plate today and doing something that we’ve been putting off, whether it’s volunteering or simply cleaning up stuff that needs to be cleaned up.

That reminds me of the Johnny Reid song that we shared with you sometime aback which declared: ‘Today I’m going to change the world…One day at a time…’

Yeh Friends, we desperately need to change our world, but the reality is that we can only do it one day at a time. And there’s no better time to start than the present. So let’s make today that day nuh.  Let’s override procrastination with pro-action, and with Jesus’ help we can certainly do it.

For as our Bit wisely informs us: ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ And I like to add to that, He’s also the Light of this darkened world.

So if Jesus Christ is indeed all those things, why aren’t we more enamoured of and interested in Him and His doings eh Friends? Our general behaviour and actions certainly don’t seem to indicate the esteem and appreciation that He truly deserves from us.

It’s also definitely instructional to see how that statement of Jesus came to be made. He was telling His disciples about His going away and preparing mansions for them. ‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?’ (John 14:3-5)

Ah mih people, even those who were closest to Jesus in His earthly sojourn didn’t appear to pay serious attention to His words. Jesus then declared our Bit to Thomas, before continuing with this admonishment. ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Philip saith unto him, Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of my self (of my own authority): but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.’ (John 14:7-10)

Oh my brethren, so sadly, a couple thousand years later, the Lord Jesus Christ is still asking those questions of too many supposed believers! Granted that if Thomas and Philip who actually walked with Jesus had doubts and didn’t fully understand, who are we to be so well informed and enlightened?

But that argument doesn’t hold any water, for we have had two thousand years of much better information and time to understand and ingest the Good News of Jesus. So just like Jesus reproached the disciples back then, He is today also reproaching us for our unbelief, our lack of faith and understanding when it’s all clearly spelled out in His Word and the times of His earthly life.

Friends, it’s either we believe or we don’t believe! There is no halfway point, no way to waffle, no sitting on the fence, being double minded and/or constantly wavering from one position to the other. For as James tells us: ‘A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:8)

So please my people, today, let’s get off the fence nuh, let’s stop procrastinating and wavering. Instead, let’s truly take hold of Jesus and all that He so wonderfully stands for and represents and believe with all our hearts, souls and minds that He is indeed the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light! Now that is true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…only believe…that He is who He says He is…that’s all Jesus asks of us…

 

 

 

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