Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2019 John 15:11.

John 15:11.   ​These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

What a lousy, miserable, pain filled night! Yes mih first born, the ole fella complaining! (smile) And I’m sure if you had a night like I had, you’d complain too! Can’t find a comfortable position in which to sleep, because everyone I try, some ole broken down joint cried out in anguish. Then having to get up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, courtesy of the radiation treatment. 

Steups! Is a good thing this radiation nonsense finish this week yes! Couldn’t handle no more of it nuh. Is since May I’ve been going down to the hospital every blooming day for the treatment. Now is July, time for it to done oui! And the sad part is that I try to stay away from the pain killers, since I’m already a walking pharmacy (smile) but this morning I had no choice, had to get some of father’s li’l helpers to keep the ole bod moving sprightly. And that’s my rant for this morning! (smile) 

Now here is what we should all be having…JOY! Yes friends, that’s the watchword for today – JOY! And we’ll check it out from a poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Please pray with me: ‘JOY! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Yes mih people, JOY is of the Lord! And as the poem says, anyone one who wants it can have it, they just have to ask for it! Now are we asking the Lord for joy? Or are we merely living with happiness determined by our earthly circumstances? I certainly hope we are doing the former because that is what Christians ought to have; it’s what Christ died for us to have. 

Hear these immortal words of our Lord and Saviour nuh, while talking to the disciples about Him being the vine and they the branches, who need to stay connected to Him, if they expect to grow and thrive. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:10-11) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that! The joy of Christ in us enables us to handle any situation that comes against us with wisdom and steadfastness. We don’t get wishy-washy because of our circumstances. Now hear some more of Jesus talking to the disciples on the subject of joy. At one stage He told them this li’l riddle: ‘A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) 

Obviously the disciples were confused and muttered amongst themselves over what His words meant. And Jesus, sensing their confusion, explained it to them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail (labour) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of (has given birth to) the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born into the world. 

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:20-24) 

Ah mih people, words of true wisdom and enlightenment from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Words that have stood the test of time and are still applicable to these evil and troubled days! Just knowing that with Jesus in us, and we in Him, and being sure that He will come again to take us home, to be with Him in paradise forever, ought to be such a great motivator for us to live and die for Him. 

And when you add that last piece about asking for anything in His name and the Father will grant it…Hn! Our lives ought to be overflowing with joy everlasting! For no other faith, religion, or whatever you choose to call it, offers that kind of assurance and satisfaction. Now obviously Jesus is not referring to asking for selfish, ungodly stuff, but things that fall under the Father’s will. 

Too many of us though use those words to ask for selfish, ungodly stuff, and when we don’t get it, rail against God and His word. But please remember that God is not sitting in heaven like a doting grandfather to just give us any and everything we want. He has a universe to run, and doesn’t have time for our selfish, childish, petulant needs. We have a serious part to play in this world, so please friends, let’s play it nuh. 

And as the Bible verse attached to our poem says: ‘Don’t be dejected or sad, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10) And that’s the gospel truth friends! That’s why the enemy always targets our joy in his attacks. He knows that if he can take away our joy, then we’ll become weakened, like Samson, when Delilah cut off his hair. (smile) 

And with all of that encouragement and assurance running through our souls, spirits and bodies, let’s go home now, joyfully declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday mantra, gladly telling the world who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what joy our sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world will bring both to us down here on earth, and to those in heaven above! So let’s get out there and share it nuh! Much LOVE!

…though living for Jesus…can be sometimes difficult…we still experience joy…unbelievable joy in doing it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2019 Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40.    ​Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 

Ah well, another glorious summer Saturday in the year of 2019! So, whenever you rise and shine, please enjoy it as though it was your last day on planet earth, for who knows, it just might well be. (smile) A lot of people who went to bed hale and hearty last night, did not get up this morning, for one reason or another. And the Lord died that we could have joy and peace right down here on this conflicted earth, not wait until we get to heaven. 

So despite our circumstances, let’s all give a shout of joy and declare: ‘All praise and glory be to the Most High God, our heavenly Father, who dearly LOVES us and looks after us like His own beloved children; who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to see us through whatever troubles come our way in this earthly life!’ Give Him much thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness my believing brethren! 

Ah friends, when you really get to know our heavenly Father, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful He is! But it takes time and serious commitment to get to that point; things that not too many of us are willing to spend or give, but we still want to receive all of His blessings. It doesn’t work that way though. 

As Moses told the Israelites so long ago: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut. 4:29) And in all those years, that hasn’t changed one iota my people! So let’s all seek Him sincerely nuh, starting Right Here and Now! 

And enough palavering, (smile) let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to share with us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ And that’s ever so true! 

A lot of us sit around and expect others to make us happy, but that’s not very realistic, since all of us have different agendas, and very few of them in this selfish and greedy world are to make others happy. They are more self-centred and concentrate on making I, me and myself happy. So if you want to be happy, you’ve got to get out there and do it for yourself! Nobody’s going to do it for you. 

And then there’s this: ‘Just remember: The people that say, ‘your dreams are impossible’ have already quit on theirs.’ More likely than not yes! Yeh friends, in this world there seem to be many more negative thinking people than positive thinking ones, even amongst our Christian community…

Brother! I can’t spell for hell this morning! I made more spelling mistakes in that last sentence than I’ve made in the rest of the Bit. Even spelled brother wrong! (smile) But moving along. Too many of us tend to discourage others from pursuing their dreams. But what’s a dream eh? Basically something that seems impossible in the naked light of day. Remember though, that with Jesus on our side, any and everything is possible! 

Consequently, ‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’ And is that ever so true! For once you think you’ll fail, you most likely will, because you introduce into your psyche a negative, self-defeating idea, which then tends to manifest itself in your attitude and the level of work you’re willing to put into making the dream a reality. 

Like a li’l mole, it just keeps eating away at your creativity and you end up not putting in the amount of work really need to make the project a success. So don’t listen to the naysayers…listen to Almighty God! That means, the first thing to do is to find out from God, whether the dream fits His will and purpose for your life, for if it doesn’t, then it won’t ever succeed, no matter how much effort and elbow grease you put into it. 

Now here’s this very interesting quote: ‘Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?’ That’s a very good question! One we should all take a moment or two to ponder. It’s basically asking are we living our lives to please man or God; to meet the world’s standards or God’s? 

And it’s strange, but I heard a preacher ask that very question recently, just in a different form: ‘What would we like our eulogy to be: praise for wealth and power, worldly things, or praise for being godly and Christ-like?’ I suggest the latter is the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, which means you have to start living it NOW! 

And the final quote asks very significantly: ‘What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?’ Right there friends is the heart of our Christian ministry; helping others. Remember Jesus said that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Luke 19:10) 

But even more importantly listen to His words re when He comes back to set up His kingdom and He sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left and invite the sheep to live with Him for ever after, while condemning the goats to hellfire and eternal damnation. Why? Because the sheep, true believers, helped those who were sick and suffering, lost and lonely, while the goats did not. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) And when the righteous ask when they did all of that, He will reply: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’  

Yes friends, our earthly job includes helping the poor, the lost and the unfortunate, just like Jesus did. So let’s get with it nuh, and stop concentrating solely on ourselves and our friends and families, because there is so much unmet need out there in today’s crazy world, that even the most insignificant help we can give will be joyfully looked upon by heaven and in due time, well rewarded. Much LOVE!

…you can’t call yourself a Christian…and don’t help anybody in need…

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

So as one strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2019 Psalm 34:3.

Psalm 34:3.    O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
 

And then it was Monday…And all God’s people shouted: ‘Bring it on Lord! Bring it on! We’re ready and able to go out and meet the enemy in Your Name this Monday morning!’ Now that would be the day eh! (smile) 

And don’t think that the Lord doesn’t want to hear that kind of response from us, because that’s exactly the kind of thing He expects His true followers to do; just get up with good intent every day, especially on Mondays, when it’s usually the hardest to get going, and fearlessly mount their horses and ride…ride to battle with the evil enemy! 

But don’t worry friends, our God is a just and good God, and He knows just what we’re capable of. And though we may never reach the plateaus He desires of us, once He sees us sincerely trying, then He will be merciful and gracious to His people. 

And so for those of us who just can’t seem to get it together this first day of the new workweek, let’s all join in prayer, in what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we call on the Lord, humbly, but with the utmost confidence that He will hear and answer us in the affirmative, because it’s His will and work that we need energy and enthusiasm to go out and do. 

So altogether, in strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, what an antidote to the Monday morning blues that prayer is! And what I LOVE about it, is that before we’re even finished praying it, we begin to feel the effects of the Lord’s positive answer in our souls and spirits! Oh give Him much praise, thanks, glory and exaltation my believing brethren, because He is ever so faithful to those who call upon Him in sincerity and truth! 

And I’m chuckling here because I also seem to get carried away in the excitement and enthusiasm of the moment and can’t write or type fast enough to match the thoughts and words that quickly fill my mind! But that’s all because of the Lord’s mercy and LOVING-kindness, not my exceptional skill and writing talents. (smile) 

Oh my people, my people, that’s exactly why we need to do as Bruh David so wisely and rightly declares (yes!) ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ Wow! What words of wisdom and righteousness! And although Bruh David made a lot of foolish mistakes in his time, and paid for them dearly, he did know on which side his bread was buttered. And it came through hard experience too. 

But his words after our Bit are certainly telling ones, and explain why he had such an awesome reverence for the God of his forefathers. ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears… This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps.34:4; 6) Bless His Holy Name my people, for He still delivers those who sincerely call on Him out of their troubles and from their fears! 

How yuh think Bruh David managed to stay alive through all the times that Saul hunted him down like a wild animal eh? It was the Lord’s doing! And when his son Absalom caused the people to rebel against him, the Lord warned him and carried him to safety. 

And think about when he was living in exile, in the Philistine territory in Ziklag, and came home one day, only to find that the Amalekites had plundered the city, then burnt it and took all the women and children captive. Then, to make matters even worse, his men wanted to stone him, because they blamed him for the loss of their families, notwithstanding that he had lost his wives and children too. 

Where do you think he got the strength and wherewithal to stand up strong and stare them down? From the Lord his God! The Good Book tells it thus: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6) Yes, friends, likewise we need to encourage ourselves in the Lord our God; every day, as often as we need to, so that we can get through each and every day successfully living for Jesus.  

Otherwise, life will just beat us down and keep us down, and have us living for the devil instead. And that’s one thing we don’t want to do, because there’s no good future in that, only hellfire and eternal damnation. And we’ll end with some encouraging verses from the psalm. 

‘The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:7-10) 

Oh friends, if those words don’t move you, then I don’t know what will nuh. They moved Bruh David, so much so that he became the greatest king that Israel ever knew! It’s now all up to you to decide whether to accept his words as truth or not. But I know, as for me and mine, we will serve the Lord. Much LOVE!

…of the two options we have…serving God…or serving mammon…the former is the wiser choice…

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries