Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 
And Sunday, the great day of wonderful fellowship has arrived! Not that fellowship can’t happen at other times, but Sunday has been set aside by the Lord as the day He wants as many believers as possible to gather together in His sanctuary to sing and praise and exalt His holy name, to hear His amazing Word, then leave there with batteries thoroughly recharged, filled with LOVE, joy, grace, peace, mercy, spiritual strength and confidence to face the evil world in which we dwell! 

So let’s make a special effort to gather in the Lord’s house today nuh my people, so that we can have joyful communion with our great God and with fellow believers! Steups! Like I can’t spell believers either! Ah Lord eh! And in a most appropriate manner, let’s open the proceedings with a favourite song of praise that tells of the true greatness of our magnificent God, one aptly titled ‘How Great Thou Art!’ Oh, some people leave out the second verse, but I think that’s wrong, because like the first it describes God’s great work in nature. So we won’t leave out anything that glorifies our God! (smile) 

In full voice, like one harmonious whole, let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise, sincerely believing the words we sing: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder Consider all The works Thy Hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy pow’r throughout The universe displayed, (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods And forest glades I wander I hear the birds Sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down From lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook And feel the gentle breeze, (Chorus:) And when I think, that God His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died, to take away my sin. (Chorus: ) 

When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!” (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!’ 

Oh friends what a joyful and grateful song! The Lord was most pleased with our praise. How could He not eh, when the words were oh so true and the sentiments sincere? For throughout the scriptures there are acknowledgments of all that we have sung above. And it’s said nowhere better than in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. 

Please declare with me: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah) from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ Ps. 148:1-6) 

Yes friends, it’s all been the Lord’s doing! As another psalmist gave voice: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth (deep) in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’ (Ps.33. 6-9) What an omnipotent God we serve and worship my people! 

But yuh know what, the second half of our song is even greater than the first half, because it shows God’s true greatness through His mercy, grace, compassion and LOVE for us sinful children of men. Only a truly great, and in total control Deity could have espoused a scheme so magnanimous as sending His only Son to pay for our sins as a sacrificial lamb on the cross of Calvary. The old song says that ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart,’ but our God was no fool nuh when He broke His own to save us from eternal separation from Him. That just showed the immense LOVE He had for His creation, though that creation had turned against Him. 

Here these poignant words of Bruh Paul nuh: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 8) And Jesus Himself made it very clear with these awesome words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ It couldn’t get any better than that nuh friends! The Creator giving up His Son, His sinless wonderful Son to save a bunch of reprobates like us…

Chuh! I don’t see how we could not sincerely LOVE, worship, reverence, exalt and be obedient to Him nuh, after all that He’s done and has faithfully promised to do for us. But since we have free will, freedom to choose whom or what we serve, we getting stubborn and rebellious. Remember though friends, our God might be a compassionate Deity, but He’s also a God of justice and righteousness, and one day we all will have to answer to him for our earthly behaviour. Hebrews warns us quite clearly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb.9:27) Please put that in yuh pipe and smoke it. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2019 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.    I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 
And so we come to Saturday; the first one after Christmas Day! The Christmas season is waning, slowly morphing into the New Year season, where gifts and giving and Christ will soon be turned into thoughts of parties and resolutions and all things New Year! Ah Lord eh! The fickle nature of man! We give Christ just a few days in the forefront of our minds, then it’s right back to bacchanalia for the new year! (smile) And there’s nothing wrong with partying, Jesus partied in His day, but we just have to be careful how we party, not to let our hair down too much and thus allow the always lurking enemy a chance to obtain a toehold in our lives. 

Remember, he doesn’t need a big opening to sinfully infiltrate our godly souls. That’s why it’s good to hear Granny’s warning over and over again, in the midst of this party season. (smile) ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And I don’t care if you get tired of hearing it, it is my job to keep reminding you to keep your wits about you, even when you party and want to let go with gay abandon. (smile) But we said it was Saturday, that means we need to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And the first one tells us: ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ And that’s basically true my people. If we don’t have some difficulty in whatever we do or aspire to achieve, we won’t ever grow into it, because it’s only in times of struggle do we ever grow and mature. And that holds true for whatever situation in which we find ourselves. And that’s why the Lord sometimes test us with difficulties, to prove our faith, and to grow it. That leads us to this next quote that’s similar and just as true. ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ 

And for all you power seekers, you better believe that yes, because power is a very demanding master! Just look at all the politicians and leaders around the world; some of them might truly want to be decent and upstanding citizens, (smile) but the power structure in which they are caught up might demand a different set of actions. Not all of them want to be corrupt and disgusting, all the time, but ofttimes they find themselves in situations that are very ticklish, to say the least. (smile) 

For example when the big donor to your campaign begins to call in his marks for illegal and corrupt stuff, what do you do? In the back of your mind is the thought of the next election, and if you don’t do what they desire, you won’t get the same support next time. So you sell your soul to the devil for a li’l bit of power and prestige. But is it really worth it friends? I don’t think so. But unfortunately a whole lot of us do, that’s why there’s so much corruption and illegal actions in the halls of power and government these days, and there are not enough people with enough parts available to try and change it. 

Oh, there will always be corruption in man’s affairs, but it doesn’t have to be so blatant and overwhelming as it is currently. And so we come to this gem of a quote. ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ Oh friends, if we don’t know where we’ve come from, we wont’ be able to chart a good voyage to where we’re going. If we don’t know our groundings, we’re just like chaff in the wind; blowing hither, thither and yon, wherever the wind might lead. 

And we see that sadly being proven in the lives of today’s generation. They have very little idea of their history, since they haven’t been taught it, or had it made a veritable presence in their lives, thus they are wandering aimlessly in the desert of life like the Israelites did back in the day. As the Rasta breddren who taught me History back in High School ofttimes declared: Chuh man! What is it with me and this word declared and it’s variations eh? Would you believe I spelled it wrong there too? Steups! 

Anyway, with his feet covered with big brogues up on the table, he’d lean back in the chair, stroke his scraggly beard, and haughtily ask: ‘What is History?’ Then He’d answer: ‘History is a record of the past.’ ‘And why do we learn History?’ would be the next question. ‘So we can understand the present.’ There you have it friends, if you don’t know your history you can’t understand what happened back then and thus won’t be able to understand what’s happening in the present and why. Neither will you be able to fashion a proper future for the generations to come. 

And the last quote, though very endearing, also comes with a price; we have to work at it. ‘Love yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Yes my people, that situation doesn’t just happen, we have to put some elbow grease into it. Remember Jesus said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ But the abundant life doesn’t just fall in our laps, we have to do our part to get it. 

First we have to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours, as Jesus pointed out in the two Great Commandments. (Matt.22:37-40) Then we have to stay happy, or even better yet, joyful. And how do we do that? Just like Jesus said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Mama Mia! That says it all friends! This world is full of trials and tribulations, but when we have Jesus truly living in our hearts, we can focus on His sincere promises of a good life down here on earth and one in heaven later on. Remember, that’s what He came to give us: LIFE! Life Eternal! To save us from our sins and eternal death or separation from Almighty God. 

He’s already done His part; we now have to do ours if we want that abundant life. And how do we get it, by totally embracing Him and getting Him involved in ALL aspects of our lives! It’s not always easy to do, but with His ever-available help, we can all successfully do it. So let’s get to it right now nuh. Much LOVE!

…what does Jesus have to offer…peace, LOVE, joy…and eternal VICTORY…Glory Be…!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2019 Isaiah 44:6.

Isaiah 44:6.    Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
 

Ah mih people, I woke up joyfully singing it this morning, even though I did not get much sleep, so I took it as a sign that we should open with some of it. (smile) So please sing with me: ‘Bless the Lord oh my soul, Oh my soul, Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your holy name.’ 

One more time, cause when it’s so nice, you’ve got to sing it twice. (smile) ‘Bless the Lord oh my soul, Oh my soul, Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your holy name.’ And yes friends, that’s exactly what we should all be doing, or have already done, this glorious Wednesday morning that the Lord has so graciously seen fit to allow us to see. 

Bless His holy name my people! Bless and exalt it because He is the ONE and ONLY ONE! He said so Himself in His Word, through His prophet Isaiah, and He does not lie; His Word is truth; the ultimate truth!

Listen to His awesome Word and let your hearts be set free by its amazing truth: ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.’ Mamacita! What a powerful, factual and undeniable statement that is my believing brethren! 

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘44:6. In verse 6 the prophet emphasizes the oneness of God by stating that beside me there is no God. Yet at the same time, the prophet distinguishes between the Lord the King of Israel and his redeemer the Lord of hosts. The personal name ‘Yahweh’ is used of both the King and His redeemer, the one referring to God the Father and the other referring to God the Son.’ 

We can see that even way back then the Lord was setting the stage for coming of His most wonderful Son! And believe me, there’s no better stage manager in all the world than the Lord our God. You just have to read the Good Book and see how He set up everything right to the nth degree from creating the world to saving it! 

But getting back to the Lord being the ONE and ONLY GOD, He continues to make His point, reasoning thus: ‘And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, (who can proclaim it? Then let him declare it), and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them.

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.’ (Is.44:7-8) 

Oh friends, I don’t know of any other nuh! (smile) They are a lot of pretend ones, but they have no power whatsoever. And how can a man bow down and worship something inanimate that he’s made with his own two hands eh?

And even if you worship the wind, the birds, the sun, the moon, the stars or some other aspect of creation, like you, they were created by the ONE TRUE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and none of them can do anything on their own, their apparent power is all wrapped up in what the Lord, the King of Israel gave and still gives to them! 

So worshipping any other supposed God is pure folly! And as the Father said it to, and through Isaiah, so did the Son, Jesus Christ, say it to His beloved disciple, John in his vision on the island of Patmos, where he was exiled. ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev.1:8) 

And even around God’s throne everlasting praises are being sung spelling out His might and majesty and holiness. ‘And the four beasts had each of them six wings about them; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.’ (Rev.4:8) Oh my people, heaven is constantly ringing with the Lord’s praises! 

As John writes: ‘And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist).’ (Rev.4:9-11) 

Can you imagine that scene mih breddren? A rainbow around the throne of heaven, with the Lord sitting there looking as beautiful as ever, and thunder and lightning, and the beasts singing and the elders worshipping…pure merriment mih people!

So if they can sing the Father’s praises so continuously in heaven, why can’t we lesser mortals sing His praises some too down here on earth eh? Why are we so stingy with giving Him His rightfully deserved praise eh? 

Because we are selfish and don’t truly believe that He is who He says He is. But that will only lead to our eventual chagrin my friends. So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses, or the coffee, or whatever will open our eyes, minds and souls to the reality that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD in this wonderful universe He created! 

And having settled that, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you sincerely believe it, then please stick steadfastly with it, because one day, we too shall be singing and worshipping the Lord in heaven! Much LOVE!

…our human minds are too small…to fully comprehend…the constant joy in heaven…but if we believe the promise…one day we surely will…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2019 Mark 9:35.

Mark 9:35.    ​And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
 

And then it was Saturday and the ole fella was late getting up. Late nights have a habit of doing that to you! (smile) And it’s not like I did not get up before, but I felt I wasn’t rested enough to take on the big task of writing the Bit, so I went back to bed to get better rested. And that’s why the Bit is late. However, I know that all of you will understand my sticky situation there, having also found yourselves in similar positions at some or other! (smile) 

But to tell yuh how things change, and how after one time is really two, I did not even realize that this was the long Labour Day weekend until sometime late yesterday. In times past, oh boy, I would have already been in the Big Apple (New York City), or on my way there to attend their Labour Day Carnival Parade. 

But just like the Caribana here has changed, in my opinion, become watered down, so has the New York Labour Day Parade become watered down, also with too much police control now. Steups! As soon as six o’clock comes, they rushing you off the Parkway. And when you add the setta walking …Brother! 

The last time I checked it out, believe it was 2007, mih Aunty Anne and I had to park a mile from the parade and walk like everlasting to reach it! We both said no way again Jose! I haven’t been back since then. Even mih Uncle John and them pan side stop coming out because it just wasn’t the same, didn’t have the same flavour. 

So I wish that all who go nowadays have a good time, but me ent going nowhere! Like I do with Caribana, I will just remember the good memories I have of those events, and like memories do, they won’t ever leave me! (smile) So let’s turn to the more important matters at hand now nuh; the quotes we friend Anselm sent us this past week. 

Hear this first one nuh: ‘Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because it all starts in our minds! Our mind is the battlefield of our souls and bodies. That’s where all the fighting for power goes on between the evil one and the Holy Spirit! For as Cousin Sol informs us: ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7a). 

Yes my people, whatever we think or focus most on, that’s what we become. That’s why believers need to focus on good things, the things of God, if we want to live successful earthly lives. 

And the next quote says: ‘Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.’ 

The problem with that statement is the word ‘happiness,’ because that does come from external circumstances. Now if yuh talking about joy, then that’s a different story, because true joy can only come from within, and it’s there regardless of our difficult outward circumstances. 

That’ why Satan tries his very best to steal our joy, because he knows that when he does that we simply become down and out. That’s because ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength!’ (Neh.8:10) And also why you can’t afford to allow others to control your situations, since they will invariably steal your joy. 

Now listen to this: ‘If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.’ So true friends, so true! The corresponding saying is that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything and everything! And that’s certainly not a good way to live this hallowed life. So, especially as believers in Christ Jesus, we need to have strong, godly beliefs and stand strong in them, otherwise we’d just be wishy-washy, like so much of the world is today. 

And then there’s this: ‘It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.’ And we all know that to be gospel truth my people! As Jesus said, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ (Matt.7:16a) 

And furthermore, come the judgement, all our works will be tried by fire, and we’ll only be rewarded for the ones that withstand the fire. (1 Cor.3:13-15) So we desperately need to build on the only true foundation, which is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 

And the last quote wisely asks? ‘How might you serve someone today? How could you take the time to say “thank you” to someone who has graciously loved and served you?’ Ah friends, those are all questions that we should seriously ponder this Saturday morning, because our destinies depend on them. Remember our mighty and majestic Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven and became a lowly servant, not the Crown Prince He was entitled to be. 

Remember what He said to the disciples when they were arguing amongst themselves who should be the greatest among them? ‘And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ Oh my people, in Christ’s kingdom, being the greatest oftimes means being the least. And Christ’s desire for us down here is to serve and help those who need help and service. 

Remember too the great example Christ gave us when He washed the disciples feet, did possibly the lowliest and most hated job in those times of dusty streets and dirty feet. And then His memorable words to them: ‘For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:15) 

Oh friends, that is certainly one area in which the overall body of Christ, His church, and we the people of that church are extremely weak! We don’t serve each other, or the numerous lost and hurting as much as we ought to, because we still have too much pride, and still believe like the world does, that the one who is being served is better than the one that’s serving. 

However, that’s contrary to Jesus’ principles. So please let’s check our service meters today nuh, and see how we rank in that area, and take it to the Lord in prayer, because we can ALL do better than we’re currently doing, and that’s a big reason why Christ’s church is not growing and is not as powerful as it ought to be. Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to save the lost…to help the lowly and downtrodden…and that’s what He expects of His church…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one 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!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

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…

 

 

 

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