Today​’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2019 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.   ​According to your faith be it unto you. 
 
And so we come to Wednesday…the mid-week catch yuh breath, second wind day! Everybody feeling refreshed now, having gotten back into the work week routine, and looking forward with much expectancy to the big day of Friday, so they can do their own thing. 

Ah mih people, I wish we could look forward with the same amount of expectancy to the things of Christ, to the things that concern our faith! Yuh remember how Jesus kept complaining about the faith of His people…’O ye of little faith!’ 

He said that several times. Even to His disciples who had been with Him for years and saw all the miracles He had done. When the storm arose on the Sea of Galilee and He was asleep in the back of the boat, they woke him up scared to death. Only to be rebuked after He calmed the storm, by His lashing words: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

And remember too what He said when He healed people. ‘Go, your faith has made thee whole!’ Even when He healed the Roman Centurion’s slave from afar, He commented: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt.8:10) Yeh friends, in several circumstances Gentiles, or people of other nationalities showed more faith in Him than His Jewish people. But overall people were not being buoyed by their supposed faith. 

And I believe the same thing is also happening now. A lot of us talk a good talk about faith, but when it comes to putting that supposed faith into action we sadly fall down and start thrashing about and looking for other avenues instead of first turning to God and waiting on Him. But friends, it’s ALL about our faith, our sincere trust and reliance on the powers and mercy and grace of Jesus! 

Remember what He said to the two blind men who came to him to have their sight restored? ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt. 9: 28-30) 

And nothing has changed since then my people, for our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So why do we think that our faith won’t get us through these rough and difficult times like it did those people of old eh! We have numerous examples of how faith propelled people, armies and nations to victory. Just check out that great chapter of the Good Book, Hebrews 11, where it tells you of all kinds of people who lived and died by faith. 

Think about Abraham leaving his homeland at seventy five to journey into an unknown land just because God told Him to and promised Him great things. That could only come through faith. His wife Sarah also had a son in her old age when she lived up to the faith expected of her. Look at the stories of Isaac and Jacob, of Bruh Joseph and Moses, of Abel and Enoch, of Gideon and Samson, of Bruh David and Bruh Paul, and even of Jesus. 

It was faith by which all of them traversed this evil world. Though Jesus was God, He was also man in the flesh and He too had to have strong faith in His Father else He would not have been able to do all those amazing things He did! Yuh think He just suffered all the abuse and pain of the cross just so? No! The Father enabled Him to go through it all!

And God hasn’t stopped working in believers lives just because this is the 21st century and mankind is on top of His technological and greedy wealth seeking game! In fact we need faith even more now with all the distractions and lies and falsehood and wiles that are now coming against us. 

We need faith to help us discern the sense from the nonsense that is so prevalent in today’s evil and ungodly world. And faith isn’t something we can just pick up or set down anytime we want to! It’s a process, like sowing a seed and watching and waiting for it to grow. And the Lord has done many good things for many of us over our lifetimes, but yet when the rough times come, we forget about those fulfilled promises and cower and fear and doubt under the onslaught of the enemy’s false fire! 

But remember too friends, these precious and immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (1 Tim.1:7) 

And what is this thing called faith you all ask? The Good Book tells us that ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yeh friends, simply put faith is what we don’t see now, but which we hope for and believe that we will get later on. We never seen Jesus, but we believe in Him. We never seen God create the world or us, but we believe it. 

All of that is done through faith! For as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Cor.5:7) That’s it plain and simple my brethren! In God’s economy and universe He expects us to believe His Word and the promises contained therein and walk expectantly and eagerly with faith, knowing that they will all come to pass in His time!

And if we can’t do that, if we need to see everything before we believe, like the world proposes, then our faith is small or even non-existent, and we won’t receive ALL the wonderful benefits we can from our wonderful God. Nuff said! 

So for those of us who say we believe and have faith, let’s go home now declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our enviable position in Christ. With much fervor and sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

Now don’t forget, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine…and it’s all based on our faith! Much LOVE!

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2018 Luke 1:27.

Luke 1:27.   To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 

Aye friends, is Thursday…and we still alive and kicking! Thanks and glory be to our wonderful heavenly Father for that energizing gift of life. Life might be a tad on the rough side, but our God is good, so we don’t have anything to worry about. Bless His Holy Name! 

And outside is white; a decent amount of snow fell during the night. It wasn’t there when I went to bed, at some early hour (smile) but I looked outside around four a.m. and there it was, covering everything, blanketing it all white. And I said yes, today is the perfect day for that poem! 

Hn! I’m talking about one I recently read on the wall of my young daughter’s room, something she must have written ages ago when she toyed with the idea of becoming a writer. There is no title attached to the poem, but I’m naming it ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow.’ Hope that title satisfies you daughter? (smile) 

Now please read with me, ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow,’ by Lisa O’Brien. ‘I watched the snow drift lazily down from the overcast sky. I marvelled at the breathtaking beauty of the picture being painted right before my eyes: Snowflakes gently caressed the barren branches of the trees, leaving them awash in a dazzling whiteness. Virgin snow carpeted the streets and rooftops…

And if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that thousands of tiny little diamonds winked out at me that early December morn… like a buried treasure…a fantasy that wasn’t real… that was intangible as the wispy cotton of the clouds! And then I waited…waited with a breathless yet uneasy sense of anticipation, for something to come along and mar this beautiful scene of serenity and perfection.’ 

Yeah mih young D! That was exactly how it looked out there this early December morn! But sadly, as always, mankind eventually comes along and dirties everything he touches. And the snow on the ground is no longer virginal, but has been raped by the cars and the feet and the bikes we use to get us around in this fallen world. 

And for those of you who have never seen virgin snow covering everything in a dim, white darkness, (smile) it does look really beautiful. But trudging and driving through it is a horse of an entirely different colour. But enough about snow, it’s the Christmas season, so let’s deal with the real reason for the season; Jesus! 

Wow friends, what a mighty name that is! Wherever it’s spoken it causes tongues to wag, either in joy, or displeasure. But the name of Jesus is never mouthed without discussion, even to the point of coming to blows. Isn’t that strange, when He is the Prince of Peace? That just goes to show the power that’s inherent in the name! 

Now let’s have a glimpse of how the whole thing began nuh. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy; John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:26-28) 

Ah friends, sometimes the way our God introduces Himself and His desires can be truly heart stopping. If our hearts aren’t strong we can certainly go under. Just imagine this teenaged Jewish girl nuh, sitting quietly in her house one afternoon and all of a sudden this angel shows up in all His glory and greets her in such a gracious manner. How would you react eh? It would obviously be a rather perplexing situation to us mere mortals! 

But the Good Book continues: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (considered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29)

But our God is so wonderful that whenever He comes a calling with a task, He never leaves us without a decent explanation…according to His standards that is. (smile) We might however not be satisfied with His explanation, because He always leaves it somewhat open-ended, leaving room for our faith to step up and fill the gap. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Mama Yo mih breddren! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation when Gabriel lays all that heavy stuff on her? She’s already engaged, but then she shall have a son, apparently out of wedlock. Can you imagine what her small, closed knit, hypocritical society will do to her? She would be the absolute scorn of the whole town! And poor Joseph would be the laughingstock! 

But friends, our God does not put us in situations we, or He can’t handle. Please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul on the Lord’s behalf, and let our faith be strong and steadfast in whatever He asks us to do. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if God calls us and we sincerely acknowledge that calling with genuine LOVE for Him, then He will eventually work it all out for our good. That’s His promise! And our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on a promise! So we can afford to stand strong in any circumstance whatsoever! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, goodness and mercy that the Lord has bestowed on those who LOVE Him and willingly do His work!

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 His raison d’etre (purpose) for granting us so many wonderful blessings, is for us to go out and share them with the less fortunate. So, especially at this Christmas time, when there are so many poor and lonely folks out there, let’s share generously with them nuh, so that they too can enjoy the season of Christ’s birth; God’s greatest gift to man! Much LOVE!

…sharing with others…is Christ-like…and what Christianity is truly all about…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2017 Psalm 36:9.

Psalm 36:9.   For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Awright mih people, we’re drawing closer to Christmas with each passing day. The countdown has begun; only five more days to go now. Let’s hope that our true Christmas spirit is also on the rise; that our comprehension of Jesus’ importance in it is paramount, and our participation in any activities is conducive to that state of mind. (smile)

I know that many of us are still shopping for gifts for LOVED ones, but even in the secular aspects of the season, let’s put Jesus in our hearts and whatever we do, be it shopping, wrapping gifts, preparing goodies etc. Whatever we’re doing, let’s have Jesus front and centre in our lives, allow Him to help us do whatever we need to do, for that is His greatest desire; to participate in our mundane, everyday activities. 

And as we do so, let’s ruminate and contemplate; think on how it must have been two thousand years ago when Jesus was born in that lowly manger. Consider Mary and Joseph’s plight and what significance that apparently simple and common birth had on the subsequent workings of History. We’ll find our lives exploding with oodles of peace, LOVE and good cheer to all and sundry, exactly the way it ought to be during this season. 

Today we’ll continue with our Bit from yesterday: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ And isn’t that an awesome truth friends? It certainly is! Yesterday we saw how Jesus kept saying that He was the true source of life; that from Him, ALL aspects of life proceeded, be they spiritual or physical. Today we’ll look at some other scriptures that declare the Lord to be a fountain of life. 

Let’s begin with this well known scripture passage from Isaiah, as he declares Israel’s sufferings to be the result of sin. ‘For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.’ (Is.2:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘2:13. The figure of the fountain of living waters emphasizes that God alone can bring the life and refreshment necessary to the thirsty soul. (cf. Ps.36:9; Is.55:1; John 4:10-14, 7-37-39; Rev.21:6) Israel had left the purity of the living waters for the pollution of contaminated broken cisterns that offered no water at all.’ 

Now that is exactly what we are still doing today friends; forsaking God, the author of ALL life, for the evil and haphazard existence being put forth by Lucifer. And, per the references from the scholars, that to the Psalm is our Bit, and we covered those from John yesterday, so let’s look at another famous scripture, this one from Isaiah, as he declares God’s free gift of mercy to all. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ (Is.55:1)  Ah friends, again we see God being magnanimous, but we are ever reluctant to take up His offer. 

The scholars tell us: ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come and eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

Oh my people, those are some of the wisest actions we can take in this life! And remember it’s free too! You need no money or anything except sincere and humble confession to approach God and ask for mercy! Wow! What an offer! For only then will we be in a position to receive true spiritual life and enjoy the physical one that will one day expire, at a time and place which none of us know, only our heavenly Father. 

So doesn’t it make sense to try and remain in His good graces? It certainly does, for Lucifer definitely can’t do for you what Almighty God can! And therein lies the crux of the problem. God’s way is not as flamboyant and empty of real substance as Lucifer’s is, but we frail, foolish and sinful men, like the flamboyance and the sinful attitudes so we flock to them and unwisely forsake God’s straight and narrow path, which calls for self-discipline and self-control and boundaries. 

Now here is the last of those reference scriptures from Revelation where John saw the new heaven and the new earth coming down from heaven. ‘And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely.’ (Rev, 21:6) 

And the scholars explain: ’21:6-8. It is done: The eternal purpose of God to gather a holy, devoted people for Himself has now been accomplished. Alpha and Omega: (see 1:8; 22:13). Beginning: God is the origin and source of all things (cf. Is.41:4; 44:6; 48:12) End: He is also the goal or aim of all things (cf. Rom. 10:4). The water of life represents eternal sustenance and provision, available freely by faith (22:17).’ 

So friends, in Jehovah God, we have ALL that we need to live a good life, why aren’t we taking hold of His offer eh? I’d strongly advise that we do get up and grab it as though there was no tomorrow, for there very well might not be any, so please, let’s take in front, before in front takes us nuh. That’s always good wisdom. 

And now we’ll go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting folks know of our most favourable situation with Jesus. In harmony 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!’ 

Oh friends, our simple minds can’t comprehend the joys that Jesus has waiting for us in eternal life with Him, but I assure us, they will indeed be magnificent! Much LOVE!

..why listen to the deceitful instigator…when you have the faithful promises of the genuine Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Saturday, oh Saturday; what a great day! Oh, let me take that back…no embellish it. Saturday is a great day -good for sleeping in, like I just did – (smile), but the real truth is that EVERY day is a great day in God’s world! 

How could they not be when you have the Holy Spirit of your Creator constantly walking with and dwelling within you eh? Oh, we ought to know that just because we call ourselves Christians and have Jesus beside us all the time, that all our days will not be worry and problem free. 

Unfortunately many of us supposed believers seem to think so, but if you look through the Good Book you’ll notice that some of the men and women of greatest faith and holiness, like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Uncle Job and Bruh Paul had more problems than some of their lesser peers, with the most important being our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And what makes every day a great day is basically our mindset and attitude. A positive approach to life is the best. Obviously there will be some negative circumstances, but the trick is to try and consider them in a positive light; like the Lord is testing us, and this too shall pass, and He won’t allow more than we can bear. 

Our God must always be prominent in our thoughts whether we are experiencing good or bad circumstances. As Job said when his whole life crumbled in mere moments, we can’t always expect good and not some bad. That’s just how life is in our fallen and sinful world. 

And I have personal testimony to that this morning. And before giving it, I have to exhale a ‘Steups!’ and an ‘Ah Lord eh!’ Why? Because I just came down to my office to write the Bit, and lo and behold I saw that one of the panels in the ceiling of the office had come apart. 

Obviously I was annoyed, and further annoyed when I tried to put it back together and found that I couldn’t do it by myself. I couldn’t raise my hands above my head and hold all the stuff together at the same time. Some years ago I could have done it, although it has always been a finicky job; as you fix one side, the other tends to drop out etc. 

And believe me, I can’t see any reason why that particular panel fell out, except to test my resources. (smile) But am I going to let it spoil my day? Obviously not! It’s relatively a small, unimportant thing, which can stay as it is until I can get someone to help me put it back together again. 

Yeh friends, too many of us allow little things to rattle us and get us off of our ‘A game’ and spoil the rest of our day. That brings us to the quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I only got two from him this week, don’t know what happened. 

But anyway, this first one segues in quite nicely to what we’ve been talking about. ‘Don’t think too much…. you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.’ And that’s quite possible. 

When problems befall us we tend to over think them, wondering why, what, when, wherefore and all the other questions, which only makes the current problem bigger than it ought to be. 

I could have done that with the fallen bit of ceiling, but it wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere, except miserable. And it at least brought home the knowledge that I’m not as agile and supple as I used to be. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.’ I really don’t know how to view that nuh, except to think that when we make wrong choices we can end up in places so desperate and helpless, that we are forced to turn to God for help to extricate us. 

And that’s why our Bit tells it like it is. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And all God’s people shouted a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ because they know that that statement is the ultimate in truth. Yeh friends, when you belong to the most omnipotent force, the highest Being in the universe, you have no reason to fear what man can do to you. 

And as the sons of Korah continue to sing their song of praise and tribute: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.    Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, though the earth and all therein erupt in deadly turmoil, yet we who believe in Almighty God will not be afraid. Glory to God! So total is our surrender, so strong is our faith, hope and trust in Him, that nothing will move us, except His rejection. 

And we know that will NEVER happen! Not after He showed His undying LOVE and sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our abominable sins. 

So let us go forward this Saturday morning, filled with the strength, wisdom and understanding granted us through His Holy Spirit and make it a great day, spreading LOVE and the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry. That’s the way our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, desires it. Much LOVE!

…don’t fear man…but certainly fear God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2016 Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6.   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

A  MERRY  CHRISTMAS TO  ONE  AND  ALL!

Ah friends, at last it’s the big one – Christmas Day – when our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory to God for that act of LOVING-kindness! 

Now it’s also Sunday, and we are in God’s spectacular sanctuary, or below a coconut tree, (smile) come to praise and worship Him, so let’s open with an appropriate song for the joyous occasion nuh, the old Christmas Carol, ‘Joy to the World,’ written by Isaac Watts a couple centuries ago. Let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven with a most passionate and heartfelt rendition, truly believing what we sing. 

In unison now: ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy. 

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love’ 

Ah mih people, that was beautiful – as it should be! There could be no doubt in the Lord’s mind now that we truly appreciate and are very grateful for the birth of His Son Jesus. And all around the world the same sentiments are being sent up, or have already been sent up to heaven! 

Wow! This is one of the Red Letter days of our earthly sojourn – the start of the greatest movement that ever hit the planet – Jesus’ LOVE Revolution!  

Now it’s scripture time, beginning with our Bit, God’s wonderful promise many centuries before to send us a Son, a redeemer. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ 

And our great God, also being ever-faithful, fulfilled this awesome promise some two thousand years ago. Praise His Holy Name my people! And listen to the rest of the promise: ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7) 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent Being, our Immanuel was promised to be! And was… and still is… and always will be! Now let’s turn to the actual birth of our Divine, Gift-child. We know that Joseph, Mary’s husband was of the lineage of Bruh David, so when the first emperor, Caesar Augustus declared that all his subjects were to be registered in their original birth places, Joseph and Mary had to journey to Bethlehem to do so, because that was his city. 

Now while they were there, Mary’s time drew nigh: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes (strips of cloth), and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ (Luke 2:7) What a shame to think that this great king was born in a smelly, noisy animal barn eh, and slept in a feed trough! But the Lord, as always, had His reasons. His Son was to be born lowly, for the lowly ones were whom He was coming to save. 

Now hear the most wonderful part of the night of Christ’s birth. ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in their field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them; Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:8-11) 

Can you imagine the topsy-turvy emotions the angel’s appearance and words must have caused the poor shepherds? Then the angel continued: ‘And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:12-14) 

Ah mih people, the sudden appearance of the heavenly host singing and praising God, laid even more drama on the shepherds. But shepherds are a hardy stock and the Good Book tells us: ‘And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Not the first or the last time). And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:15-20) 

Ah friends, can you imagine the magical mystery, the glorious effervescence in the air around lowly Bethlehem that momentous and most memorable night that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born?  

Well we should be experiencing the same sort of overwhelming emotions today, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, for His selfless LOVE and sacrifice is the only thing that keeps, or is keeping us from the ravages of hell and Lucifer. So let’s give much thanks and praise today nuh my believing brethren, because He did it all for us. Much LOVE!

…births are joyful occasions…but none’s been as joyful as the night Christ was born…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2016 Luke 1:31.

Luke 1:31.   And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Well, a good Wednesday morning, four days before Christmas, my fellow believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (smile) 

Let’s hope that this message reaches you all in good health and joyful spirit as we plan the celebrations for this Christmas season, where we remember and give thanks for the birth of Christ. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, that day of Christ’s birth will soon be upon us, and we all know that Jesus is the star of the show, but today I want to talk about one of the lesser, but still very important role players in the story, Christ’s mother, Mary. 

Now over the last few years, after getting more familiar with her part, I’ve come to believe that she doesn’t get the recognition she truly deserves. Remember it all begins with her. 

‘And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (betrothed, engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.’ (Luke 1:26-27) 

Yuh see friends, right there Mary’s importance in the proceedings is established. An angel of God, come to earth to talk to this young, engaged Jewish girl in a backwater town of Nazareth. 

Before we go further though, let’s check out a couple of the scholars’ explanations. ‘1:26. This was the sixth month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy.’ Elisabeth was Mary’s cousin, at first barren, but then pregnant with John the Baptist. 

‘1:27. Espousal (similar to our engagement period) was, under Jewish law, as binding as marriage. It lasted about a year, during which time the woman’s purity was maintained.’ So we see right there, Mary was already under heavy manners, because of her betrothal. 

‘And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:28-29) 

Ah friends, can you imagine being a teenaged girl, engaged to be married in a strict Jewish community, sitting quietly in your parents house and this angel comes up to you and begins to exalt you. Obviously you’d be somewhat anxious and wonder what it was all about. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.’ (Luke 1:30-31) 

Ah Lord eh! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation? She’s already been betrothed, and the rules are so strict, now this angel is coming to tell her that she will get pregnant and bring forth a son, who’s name shall be Jesus! 

To make matters worse, she’s little more than a girl with no life experience in a tightly controlled Jewish society. Personally, I would not have wanted to be in her situation. But give Mary full marks for courage. She doesn’t go overboard, jump and holler, or any negative actions. She just listens quietly as the angel Gabriel continues: 

‘He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:32-33) 

Yes mih breddren, even in these enlightened times, such an outlandish approach would be a cause of consternation and anxiety in any experienced female. So can you imagine poor Mary’s thoughts? 

She was engaged, and wasn’t supposed to have sex before marriage, but to have a child one must know a man first (at least in those days). So what was this angel trying to do to her life eh? But apparently she didn’t make a fuss, throw a tantrum over Gabriel words, but simply continued with her own question 

‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know no man, (I am a virgin)? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall over-shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of God. 

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:34-37) 

Mamacita! What a situation to put a young girl in! But you know what endears Mary to me? Her calm response in the face of all that the situation would entail for her. 

‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

And the scholars tell us to consider and contrast Mary’s response with that of Zechariah (v.18) who didn’t believe when he was told that his barren wife would bear a son, and was made dumb until the birth of John the Baptist. 

Yeh friends, Mary’s faith seems to have been well developed at a pretty young age. And we all know what she eventually went through, so please don’t dismiss her as just another bit player in the saga of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s go home, suitably challenged, (smile) declaring our Wednesday Wail with sincere passion and truth. In unison 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!’ 

Oh friends, it’s so wonderful to be associated with Jesus Christ, that words can’t describe it! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2016 Psalm 66:16.

Psalm 66:16.    Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and at last we received a decent shower of rain, which the dry and thirsty land lapped up like there was no tomorrow. And who knows if there will a tomorrow, the way the world is currently going? 

But one thing is sure and certain…or rather two things are certain; God is on His throne in heaven letting His awesome plan for the world play out until Jesus is ready to come back again. And return He will because He promised it! 

So with the Father running things, Jesus waiting in the wings to ride the clouds in heavenly splendour when the trump blows, and the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer, there’s nothing really for Christians to fear in these rather tempestuous times. So please, let us stand strong in our faith and do our duty as prescribed by Christ. 

In the meanwhile, listen to this quote from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us with his wise words. And it declares: ‘If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.’ 

More words of wisdom and truth friends; based on the psychological premise that generally speaking, you become whom or what you think about. That means our thoughts play an extremely important function in our lives; if we think negatively we’ll be overtaken by a lot of negative stuff. However, a positive, faith filled mind can work wonders in our everyday lives. 

And you couldn’t have a more positive thinker than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now please don’t confuse His words, His teachings, which are very positive, with His unfortunate, negative demise. He came to earth to be our holy, sinless sacrifice, so the negativity that He encountered was not a result of negative thinking, but of the Father’s awesome plan to redeem us from sin. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.’ And believe me friends, our wonderful God has done lots of things for our souls; some we appreciate, some we take for granted, but the Lord in His faithfulness is still doing stuff for us. 

And today we’ll look at the story, the testimony of how God took care of the soul of a man who truly reverenced Jehovah God. We’re talking about Bruh Joseph. We know how his father Jacob favoured him over his older brothers, gave him a coat of many colours, and how the brothers disliked him, especially after he told them his dream about them bowing down before him. (Gen.37.5-11) 

We also know how they hatched a plot of get rid of him, selling him into slavery, then telling their father Jacob that his favourite son had been killed by a wild animal. But little did they know the ultimate plan of God, how their deceit and lies would play a big part later on in their lives. Now when Bruh Joseph was brought to Egypt, he was sold to one Potiphar, an officer in Pharaoh’s guards. 

And the Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous (successful) man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand (to be successful). And Joseph found grace (favour) in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand (care). 

And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand (care); and he knew not aught (anything) he had, save (except) the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person (handsome in form and appearance) and well-favoured’ (Gen.39:2-6) 

But sadly, that same handsomeness was his downfall. The master’s wife took a liking to Him, and when he refused her advances she cried rape. Poor Potiphar had no recourse but to throw him in prison. But there again ‘the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy (LOVING-kindness), and gave him and gave him favour (caused him to be viewed with favour) in the sight of the keeper of the prisoner.’ (Gen.39:21) 

Soon thereafter Bruh Joseph was running the prison and the prison keeper had no worries because the Lord caused everything that Bruh Joseph touched to prosper.  And in the Lord’s mysterious working, Pharaoh threw his baker and butler in to Bruh Joseph’s prison, and while there he interpreted dreams for them. The baker was beheaded and the butler returned to his former position. 

But as often happens the butler forgot the promise he made to Bruh Joseph to help get him out of jail, until two years later when Pharaoh dreamed a dream that none of his magicians could decipher. Then the butler remembered Bruh Joseph and Pharaoh sent for him. And the rest is history. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was made Prime Minister of the country, second in power only to Pharaoh himself. 

And the purpose of all Bruh Joseph’s troubles? To strengthen him and prepare him for that role, and to place him in a position to help the same family of brothers who had sold him into slavery, in a time of terrible famine. Please note friends, that all during Bruh Joseph’s trials and tribulations he never behaved disreputably and stayed totally in faith. 

Obviously it would not have been easy for a teenager in a foreign land as a slave, but because of his faithfulness the Lord caused others to show him favour. It took him something like thirteen years to reach the pinnacle that Lord had made for him. 

And I want to end with these immortal words he spoke when he finally accosted his family. ‘But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people.’ (Gen.50:20) 

Yes my people, many times we find ourselves in undeserved situations and can’t figure out why. But the secret to success in those situations is to simply stay in faith, for we know not what the Lord’s plans are. It might not be easy to do so, but it would surely be the wisest course of action. Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…faith must be strengthened to overcome them…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries