Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 December 2022 Nehamiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.        …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

What a great day to be alive my people! And some of you might beg to differ because it’s cold, cloudy, icy and snowy. But that’s just our physical circumstances and we can always handle those, sometimes on our own, but always with the help of Jesus. Otherwise, it’s just great to have the breath of life flowing through us, to enjoy all the things that the Lord has created for us to enjoy and know that our names are not written in the obits. (smile) And today is the epitome of what a lazy Saturday ought to look like, when one won’t venture out unless it’s absolutely necessary. (smile) 

Well, I’ve used up all my allotted laziness, lying in bed for most of the morning, (smile) so now I have to get right to the Lord’s work on the Bit. And since today is Saturday, it means looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘When you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile.’ 

Now, that’s not rocket science but basic common sense. For with the great power of imagination that God’s placed in us, where we can imagine basically anything, why would we ever consider imagining anything that’s not worthwhile eh? Technically speaking we shouldn’t, but it seems to depend on the way our minds are conditioned, which means some things that are worthwhile to some, won’t be worthwhile to others. And the obvious example is what’s worthwhile to Satan’s followers will not be worthwhile to the followers of Jesus. 

That brings us to the next quote which tells us: ‘The moment where you doubt you can fly, you cease for ever being able to do it.’ There again we have the power of the imagination coming into play. And for sure, if you start doubting that you can fly, or do much of anything, you will lose some of the ability to do it, because being able to do stuff is tightly bound up in believing that we can do it. I don’t know if you will lose the ability for ever, but hopefully if you start believing again, you will regain some, if not all of that flying power. 

Then there’s this: ‘What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.’ Now I’m not sure what that quote means nuh. I understand that our past and present are usually inferior to our future, but what does it mean by what lies inside of us? If greatness lies within us, then we will surely do greater things in our future than we’re currently doing. The only greater thing that I can fathom that lies within us is the Holy Spirit of Jesus which indwells all believers. But even if that’s what the quote means, then surely, with the Spirit of Christ living in us, as we mature, grow in faith, our actions will become better as time goes on. 

And I just LOVE this next quote: ‘Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people! Happiness is never decreased by being shared! In fact, it increases when shared. But let’s talk about joy rather than happiness nuh, because happiness depends too much on our circumstances, while joy is like an ever-flowing river, not bothered by our circumstances. And where do we get that joy that’s not bothered by our circumstances? Obviously from our Lord God Almighty, as the Good Book reminds us: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Oh friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects His followers to share the joy that He’s brought to our lives with others; to light the blessed candles of joy in others, so that they too can come to know that He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one gains real happiness, or joy without being associated with Him! And what’s this ‘joy of the Lord,’ you ask? It’s been characterized thus: ‘The joy of the Lord is the gladness of heart that comes from knowing God, abiding in Christ, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.’ 

And there are many scriptures that speak of it, but we only have time and space for a few. Listen to Christ Himself as He speaks to the disciples. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) Yes friends, one of the things that come from believing in Christ and being obedient to His commandments is the outpouring of joy in one’s soul. And John wrote the same thing in his first epistle when he reassures the believers in the truth of salvation and eternal life. ‘And these things I write unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4) 

As the scholars say, John wants the recipients of his writings to ‘enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with him brings.’ The same thing applies to us today my faithful brethren. We ought to get a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose from knowing Christ and walking with Him. 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ And is that ever so true! It’s also what Christ’s church and individual believers are suffering greatly from in these turbulent and difficult times. We talk a good talk, but don’t sufficiently walk the walk that talk expects. 

As James so rightly says: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror). For he beholdeth (sees) himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (the teachings of Christ), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Yes friends, we do have a tendency of looking at ourselves as good people, but soon forget it and then do things contrary to that nature. And James continues with our contrariness in the next chapter, when he says: ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed, be ye filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath no works, is dead, being alone…show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:14-18) 

Ah my fellow saints, in this strife filled world so many are in desperate need of daily bread, and so many of us are in a position to provide for them, but we’re not doing a good enough job at it. We are allowing the selfishness and greed of this world to make us hardhearted, instead of tender-hearted like Christ expects of us. Please, let’s look at ourselves in the mirror today and remember what kind of person we truly ought to be, as faithful believers in Christ Jesus. Much LOVE!

…you can’t be a Christian…if you’re joyless…and have a heart of stone… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 December 2022 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.        Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

And then it was Friday, but I don’t know how many of us sincerely trumpeted the mantra: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ That’s because we eventually got the snow that was forecasted, which turned back to rain in the evening, and then everything froze up overnight, so that this morning, ice is more the problem than snow. And to make matters even worse, a thin layer of fog is also hovering over my area. So, the driving conditions must have been somewhat difficult and dangerous, even the walking conditions with ice all around. 

But that’s all a part of living in the northern wintry climes. (smile) And even if you don’t like it, you handle it like the stalwart child of God that you are. Yes friends, with God’s omnipotent help, we are indeed able to handle anything that comes against us. Let’s remember these ever true and encouraging words of scripture as we go out to do the Lord’s bidding today. 

From the pen of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39) 

Oh my people! What a powerful and encouraging bit of scripture! It’s something we ought to hold on to for dear life! And if you don’t believe me, then please listen carefully to the scholars, who say: ‘We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is his purpose (vs.28).’ 

Wow! If we are under God’s domain, no one can take us away, since He is the most powerful being in the universe. And per the scholars’ reference to vs.28, let’s refresh our memories about just what it says. (smile) ‘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) Yes, my brethren, more rich and true assurance that regardless of our problems, those who sincerely LOVE the Lord and are obedient to His will, will eventually end up on the good side of the ledger, because that’s His acknowledged purpose, and no one or nothing can thwart God’s purpose. 

But we can only appreciate that fact if we truly LOVE and reverence the Lord. That means we have to dig down deep and raise up the faith that’s planted within us. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to grow the seeds of its fruit planted in us. We’re talking about fruit like ‘LOVE, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, meekness, faithfulness and self-control. Now, it’s certainly a big task to grow all those different fruit of the Spirit, especially at the same time, but it can be done, if we follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the divine Gardener. (smile) 

Ah friends, I do hope that we are taking the Word of the Lord seriously and doing our best to live for Christ because that’s the only way we’ll ever be able to have joy and peace on this earth, and then enjoy eternal life with Christ when our earthly days are over. For, as we keep saying, the only other option available is hellfire and damnation with Satan. And I don’t know about you, but I won’t even consider the thought of such a horrible end, much less work towards it. And there is so much scripture warning us of that disastrous end that we ought to take it seriously. 

Remember what Moses said to the Israelites? ‘I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19) And please, let’s take these poignant and oh so true words of Jesus to heart. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he sent his only begotten son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Yes, my fellow saints, you think the Creator of the universe would have sent His Son to earth to die on our behalf if the end times won’t be hellish and damnable? Of course not! But He did, that means the end won’t be pleasant for those who don’t believe in the Son of God. I can’t say it any clearer than that. And if you’re still not sure, then it’s still wise to hedge your bets and believe. If it turns out to be not true, then you haven’t lost anything, you had an interesting life anyway. But if it turns out to be true, then you’ll be sailing on the good ship of Jesus, all the way to heaven and eternal life. You simply can’t lose if you believe in Christ! 

Now, let’s go to the throne of God in prayer, through our Friday Chant, and seek His divine help for our earthly problems. Altogether: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land.

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to return backsliders to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a new flock of believers, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 

Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the bubbling discontent and dissatisfaction in our land, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we want to receive positive answers from heaven, then we need to keep our promises and do our part in the partnership with God! Much LOVE!

…what more do we need to truly believe in Jesus eh…what more…                                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 December 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.        If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And once again, this new day, this lazy Saturday has dawned grey and overcast. However, my computer weather forecast tells me that it will eventually be mostly sunny. Let’s hope that is true, because there’s nothing worse than a cold, cloudy day. And since I’ve already lazed out as much of the day as possible, (smile) I’ve got to get right into the Bit, considering the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now the first quote tells us: ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ Well, that’s at least partly true, because some things, if you don’t believe in them, you’ll never experience them. That’s just the nature of those things. It’s like belief and faith in Christ. If you don’t believe in Christ, have sincere faith in Him, you’ll never experience the wonderful things He has in store for you. All the many miracles, or what some might call magical moments, in a life lived exclusively for Him. 

It’s the faith, the belief that creates the opportunities. And how is faith defined? ‘The substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Exactly my faithful brethren! Faith is what we hope for, the positive expectation of what we don’t see, but know that it will come along eventually. And that segues very nicely into our next quote. ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.’ 

That’s the gospel truth. Many of us can think back to moments we never really valued at the time they were happening, but now, many years later, realize how important and valuable they were in our life. I can think of several right off the top of my head. Unfortunately though, not properly appreciating the moments of life when they occur, is a sad drawback to the human nature. 

Why? I don’t know! But we just seem to pass over some moments without paying proper attention to them. And that’s ever so possible and plentiful in our busy society. And later on, we so often hold our heads and bawl: ‘Oh how I wish I’d paid more attention to such and such, or so and so!’ But then it’s too late my people. Let’s hope that this will give us a wakeup call, to consider all the moments in our lives, so that we don’t pass over some of the real important ones, and only have vague memories of them as we go back and forth in our rocking chairs. (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote succinctly informs us: ‘To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.’ And that’s the glorious truth! Be it in the evil doings of this world, or in the wonderful kingdom of Christ. To gain much, one must usually expend much; in time, money, energy, faith and hope! That’s because big rewards just naturally come from big expenditures in whatever you’re seeking to achieve. And if you think that’s not true, then listen to Jesus as He sets out His basic rule for discipleship. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now if that isn’t a big risk, I don’t know what is. It means that every day we have to put aside our own desires and do God’s will. Be like Jesus said in His darkest hour in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt. 26:42). Yes friends, Jesus would have surely preferred not to go to the cross, but He was willing to do it if it was the Father’s will. Likewise, we are expected to put our desires aside and do Jesus’ will if we want to receive big rewards in heaven. 

Please note that all the people mentioned as being of great faith and doing great things in the Bible, all took great risks and sacrificed much. Names like Abraham, who packed up and left his family simply on God’s say so. A God He did not even know. Likewise, Moses, led the Israelites at great sacrifice to himself. Bruh Joseph experienced much heartache and betrayal in his young life, but he held on staunchly to the promise of His God and was eventually greatly rewarded by being made the Prime minister of Egypt, then the greatest power on earth. 

Look at the lives of Bruh David, Bruh Paul, Job, etc. etc. All laid down their own desires to follow that of their God, and were well rewarded, not necessarily here on earth, but definitely in heaven, where Jesus said it was the best place to store one’s treasure. (smile) 

And then, there was this quote: ‘To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the ‘what is next’, of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.’ Now, all of that is technically true; without dreams and goals we’re merely existing, and that’s not why God made us. But to live a truly fulfilled life, one must be living for Jesus! For He is the only one who can bring real fulfillment to our souls and spirits. 

The world might bring fulfillment to our bodies, but those pass away back to the dust from which they were originally formed. However, our souls and spirits live on, and that’s why they ought to be properly taken care of. And remember only Jesus gives eternal life, peace, true joy and unconditional LOVE! But that doesn’t mean that our desires and dreams are unimportant to our God. Definitely not, since he is the One who originally put them there! 

And let’s not forget this magnificent advice of Bruh David, which he wrote from personal experience: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps. 37:1-5) 

Obviously you won’t get everything you want, especially if it conflicts with God’s will, but my people, that’s the only way to live a truly fulfilled life on God’s great earth! That brings us to this last quote, another dilly. ‘The most wasted of days is one without laughter.’ And yuh better believe it! A day without laughter is indeed a wasted day. Now, we’re not talking about just maniacal, delirious laughter, but moments when the soul and spirit exude a joy that lifts us up, that enables us to continue steadfastly on the straight and narrow road. 

And Cousin Sol, in his infinite wisdom, described laughter thus. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov. 17:22) Yes friends, it’s been scientifically proven that laughter is one of the best, and the cheapest medicines ever. Here are some of the things laughter does. It lowers blood pressure; reduces stress hormone levels, and right now stress is the biggest killer in our society. Laughter also works your abs. Oh yeah! When you laugh your stomach muscles contract and expand like when you intentionally exercise your abs. 

It improves cardiac health; gets your heart pumping and improves blood flow. It boosts ‘T-cells’ a natural immune system that helps us fight off sickness. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, another facet of our natural pain relief system. And finally, laughter produces a general sense of well-being. It certainly does! And doctors have discovered that those with a positive outlook on life, who laugh a fair amount, also live longer than those who are on the negative side of the equation and don’t laugh as much. So please, let’s go out today and be positive, bask in the joy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and laugh a lot, so we can live longer! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus might be tough…but it’s always interesting… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 October 2022 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.       Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

It’s Monday friends…but Thanksgiving Monday! That means most of us don’t have to face the stress and strain of the bustling early morning hours and the endless traffic jams to go to work. And most of God’s children said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank the Lord!’ And I guess on Thanksgiving Day, that’s a most appropriate response. (smile) But what about the other aspects of our lives eh, are we thankful for those; do we offer up thanks for them to our heavenly Father, and if we do, are they sincere, or are we merely paying lip service? 

And did we give even a li’l thanks when we opened our eyes this morning for just being alive? Do we give thanks when we manage the snarled traffic and finally get to work safely? And do we give thanks when we reverse course and get home all in one piece? And what about when our children get home safe from school? Ah friends, it’s the giving of thanks for those seemingly li’l and unimportant things that separate the sheep from the goats, the true believers from the hypocrites. Remember the Lord reads the motives of our hearts before He considers the words of our mouths, and if the former isn’t right, then He won’t even acknowledge the latter. 

And please note that thanksgiving isn’t meant to be a one day a year business, but a continuing daily activity. Today is just the day we put it in a colourful box, tie it up with a pink ribbon, add a big bow, and do a big celebration. But every day of our lives ought to be a day of thanksgiving, from the moment we awaken in the morning till we put our heads back on the pillow at night. That’s because there are so many things during each day for us to be thankful for, and there’s nothing the Lord appreciates more than a simple ‘Thank You Lord,’ when we see His marvellous and miraculous hand at work in our lives. 

The problem though is that we are usually too busy trying to fix our troubles to notice God’s hand at work, and even if we do, we usually take it for granted. Yesterday we said that counting our blessings is the best way to understand the blessed life we truly live, since our blessings usually outweigh our problems by many to one. But taking too much stock of our few problems distracts us from the gratitude for our many blessings. And my fellow believers, the giving of sincere thanks throughout our earthly journey is oh so important that we cannot afford to forget or disregard it. 

So, in keeping with this celebration of thanksgiving, like we did yesterday, let’s get a few reminders on the continual giving of thanks from the many scriptures that have been so blessedly bequeathed to us. They are so plentiful that we can spend a whole lifetime and not cover them all. (smile) Let’s open with Psalm 100 – a call to praise the Lord, a psalm of praise or thanksgiving. 

Please read with me. ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:1-5) Now that tells it like it is friends! The Lord made us, we are his people, and in proper reverence to His majesty, sovereignty and goodness to us, we ought to give him much thanks and praise. 

And then there’s this song from Isaiah re Thanksgiving for God’s mercies. Let’s read together again. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedest me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (mighty deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is. 12:1-6) 

Oh my people, what beautiful sentiments! The Lord Jehovah is our salvation, our strength, our comforter and has done mighty deeds on our behalf! Thus, He is entitled to much praise and thanks. And then we have these most encouraging and enlightening words from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi, as he talks about rejoicing in the Lord. Read with me. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Yes, my fellow saints, when we lean upon our great God through prayer and thanksgiving when we do His will, He blesses us with divine grace and mercy, and a peace that cannot be found anywhere else. For all His goodness and mercy to us, we therefore ought to be continually shouting His praise and giving Him thanks of the highest nature. And since it all begins with prayer, let’s do just that nuh, go to God in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and pour out our hearts to Him. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’

 On this Thanksgiving Day of 2022, let’s then be aware of the prayer we just offered up to our great God, and if we truly want a positive response, let’s wisely bring our lives into compliance with it and party sensibly, (smile) for tomorrow is work, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) warns, we have to look our best, do our best and be our best for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because that’s what He expects of His followers. Much LOVE!

…the giving of continual sincere thanks to our Creator…is the mark of a true believer… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 September 2022 Matthew 7:13.

Matthew 7:13.        Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate and broad the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many they be which go in thereat.

It’s the Lord’s day friends, the Lord’s day, so gather round, let’s give thanks and praise for being alive to see another Sunday, and being able to fellowship with each other, despite the rainy weather conditions, either physically in the Lord’s sanctuary, or by telecommunications. Remember, there’s no distance in prayer. What a glorious day Sunday is; one where believers all over the world gather to celebrate Christ and His marvellous doings for mankind! 

So let’s open, as we always do, with a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today’s song is an old one, we don’t know who wrote it, or when, but it’s in the vein of the Negro Spirituals, made popular during the time of slavery. It’s titled ‘One More River To Cross.’ We all know it, so let’s sing it with plenty passion, in a soulful, mid-tempo, down home, Southern, hand clapping bluesy style. 

But before we open up our harmonious pipes in sacrificial praise, we have a spoken intro, borrowed from the song ‘One more mountain to climb,’ that sounded very appropriate for our song too. (smile) It says: ‘(Hey Lord, my troubles never seem to end, Tell me, are you still my friend? I got such a heavy load. When will I reach that glory road?)  Now that’s a question I’m sure we would all like a positive answer to. (smile) 

And then we begin swinging with the chorus. (Chorus: One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb One more valley that I’ve gotta go thru then I’m leaving my troubles behind One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going thru with Jesus, Hallelujah, Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand.) Oh, I’ve had a lot of troubles and trials, in my little life span And when I’m standing alone, and the battle gets hard, I always do the best I can I’ve crossed a million valleys, and shed a million tears, But when I come to the River of Jordan, Hallelujah, then I’ll have no fear (repeat)

 (Chorus: One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb One more valley that I’ve gotta go thru then I’m leaving my troubles behind One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going thru with Jesus, Hallelujah, Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand.) Yes, There’s been a lot of people talking ‘bout me since I’ve walked this narrow way But that’s just another little valley, I came thru it when I prayed, I’ve climbed a lot of high mountains and crossed a lot of little streams But when I see ol’ Jordan cold and dark, that’ll be the last for me (repeat)

 (Chorus: One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb One more valley that I’ve gotta go thru then I’m leaving my troubles behind One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going thru with Jesus, Hallelujah, Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand.) repeat.’ 

Ah mih people, what peace and joy it brings to a believer’s heart to be able to sing such encouraging and uplifting songs! And the wonderful thing about that song is that it names many of the problems we go through in this earthly life, but if we’re wise, we’ll find Jesus, and go through them all holding His nail scarred hands by which He was cruelly impaled on the cross at Calvary, all for our sins. 

Wow! Thus, the problems of this world pale in comparison to the peace, joy and LOVE we get from going through it with Jesus as our Leader and Guide, our Lord and Saviour. And I like how the song says: ‘One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going through with Jesus, holding on to His nail scarred hands.’ Yes friends, at some stage the devil will be forced to understand that it’s Jesus we desire and not Him. He’s S.O.L, cause he’s never done anything like what Jesus has done for us. 

And isn’t it strange, but rather interesting, how none of the people who initiated the words of this song ever saw the River Jordan, but used crossing it as the landmark in their dream of entering heaven, like the Israelites crossed it to enter the Promised Land. But please notice that the Israelites didn’t just go across the Jordan without their own problems. The priests that bore the Ark of the covenant had to, by faith, step into the overflowing river, before it to backed up, and then stand there while the Israelites crossed on the dry ground around them. (Josh. 3:11-17) In the same manner, we need strong faith to cross over to whatever home we’re seeking with Jesus. 

Then there’s the part of the song which says: ‘There’s been a lot of people talking about me since I walked this narrow way.’ And that’s just the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus and His righteousness. As He rightly proclaims: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate and broad the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many they be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt. 7:13-14) 

Yes, it’s sometimes rough travelling that straight and narrow path, but in the end it’s all worth it! And how did our forefathers put it in the song? ‘But that’s just another little valley, I came thru it when I prayed,’ Oh, do we ever need to pray when we’re in those valleys, struggling to get a foothold on life, struggling to climb up the formidable looking mountains set before us, because that’s the only thing that will bring us out of them, help us reach the mountain tops. Like Bruh David says in Psalm 23: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) 

Isn’t it wonderful to know that even in the deepest and darkest valleys that we are not alone, that the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ leads and guides us even in those dismal times. So, though ‘we’ve crossed a million valleys, and shed a million tears’ when we come to the end, we won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be right there with his nail scarred hands outstretched, waiting to meet us and help us cross over that ole River Jordan. 

However, that means getting prepared from right now, because none of us know when we’ll come to that river with Jesus waiting on the other side. And if you’re not ready when you get there, then His nail scarred hands won’t be outstretched to meet you. So, a word of warning to the wise. Much LOVE!

…with Jesus as our guide…there are no problems we can’t handle… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 September 2022 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.       Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his home upon a rock. 

It’s time friends, to gather at the Master’s place to celebrate another Sunday of abundant life with praise, thanksgiving and worship! And do these Sundays ever come around quickly. (smile) But we do enjoy the awesome fellowship and togetherness they engender, as we meet and greet and encourage each other in the Lord God Almighty. There’s nothing like a group of sincere believers singing, praising and worshipping our Creator! It’s so filled with LOVE, joy and peace that unbelievers can’t believe their eyes when they see us worship. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin the celebrations with this wonderful song of praise and thanksgiving written way back around 1837, by the English pastor Edward Mote, (1797-1874) titled ‘My Hope is built on Nothing Less.’ It must be a wonderful song to have stood the test of time. (smile) Oh yes, it is! Therefore, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, with heartfelt sincerity, in a harmonious, scintillating up-beat tempo, because it’s a joyful song. 

‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) 

Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid rock…’ 

That was most excellent my faithful brethren! It left heaven with no doubt that we truly believe in and appreciate our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, using Him as the foundation stone, ‘the corner stone that the builder refused’ upon which to build our lives. I don’t think we can pay Him a greater compliment than that, especially after He gave up His life so that we could be saved from eternal damnation. And it’s obvious that Pastor Mote had the awesome words of Jesus re the two foundations that one can build upon in this world, at the forefront of his mind when he wrote the song. 

Please read with me, what Jesus taught His followers. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his home upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes friends, that house was founded upon THE rock called Jesus, so no wind, rain or flood could destroy it, because Jesus is also the Master of the wind, rain and flood. Note how He calmed the storm out on the Sea of Galilee, when the disciples were so afraid that the boat would capsize because of the stormy sea and they would drown, while Jesus was napping unconcernedly in the stern of the boat. 

In answer to their frightful pleas of ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ Jesus got up, no doubt somewhat annoyed that His peaceful nap was disturbed by a bunch of wimps, who hadn’t really learned anything about Him, despite the time they spent with Him. The Good Book says: ‘And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:38-41) 

Now, if they had been paying serious attention to Jesus’ words and deeds they would have realized that He created the winds and the seas, so they would naturally obey Him! In any case, I like these two explanations that the scholars offer re verses 40 and 41. As per 40, where Jesus asks the disciples why they were so afraid and had no faith, they say: ‘Jesus constantly questions in order to spur people to deeper trust. See 2:8, 19, 25, 26: 3:4, 23, 33; 4:13, 21, 30.’ Please look up those references, they are rather interesting and enlightening. 

And as per verse 41, where the disciples were deathly afraid, the scholars say: ‘The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And is that ever the truth. I believe that even today, even with all that we know about Jesus powers, if we saw Him talk to a storm and it quietens right away, we too would be somewhat scared. So we can’t be too harsh and condemning on the young disciples. 

But let’s get back to our major topic, Jesus’ discourse on the two foundations. He continues by saying: ‘And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:26-27) Please note friends, that the house didn’t just fall, but great was its fall. That means more important negative stuff happened when the house fell. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation on Jesus’ words. They say: ‘In drawing his concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counsellor, Jesus reminded His listeners that hearing His message alone will not change his life. he must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrine of men as opposed to “these sayings” of Jesus.’ 

So it’s obvious friends, that although we may labour long and hard to build our spiritual lives, if we build them on human opinions and the doctrines of men, instead of the strong foundation rock-like sayings of Jesus, our lives will eventually take a big tumble, all because of our unwise actions in building on insecure and shifting sands, as dictated by the prince of darkness and this world. 

And we’ll close today with these fitting words of Bruh David from Psalm 18, sub-titled – Thanksgiving for Deliverance- when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies, including Saul. Bruh David opens the psalm with this joyful proclamation: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

Oh friends, if it’s one thing you cannot say about Bruh David, is that he had little faith. (smile) So please let’s get ourselves together and build our faith, so that we can proudly declare like Bruh David did, and live the way Christ desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only two options…build on Satan’s shifting sand…or on the solid rock of Jesus…it’s your choice… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 August 2022   John 14:16.

John 14:16.      And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. 

Well, glory be, another new work week has begun friends! It’s a bright and beautiful Monday morning, filled with all kinds of promise, if we would only seriously engage God’s Word and put it into action with His omnipotent help. Wow! Nothing could be better than having the Creator of the universe and all therein on our side in ALL that we do! 

Remember, yesterday in our praise and worship session, we sang about surrendering our ALL to Him? Well now is the most appropriate time to do just that. Please let him have ALL of us, so that He can work miracles in our lives; enabling us to have the abundant life that He sacrificed His own life for us to have. 

And what does that entail, you ask? Well, merely giving us our daily bread, keeping us contented with our earthly possessions, while filling our souls with His LOVE, joy, peace, forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him at a future date. It’s also that we can encourage others to come to Him for salvation, by the way we live our lives. Now that’s not hard to handle eh? (smile) 

But unfortunately, it all doesn’t just fall in our laps like manna from heaven. No! We have to put some effort into making it happen, by first discovering God’s will for our individual lives, that’s asking Him about it, then going out into the evil and ungodly world and making it happen, with the help of His Holy Spirit that indwells us for just that purpose. 

And if you’re wondering about the Holy Spirit, then listen to these awesome words of Jesus to the disciples, and consequently to us too. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) 

Yes, my fellow believers, Jesus made provision on His return to heaven for us to be looked after by the third body of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit! He calls it another Comforter, another like Himself. And the scholars offer this marvellous explanation re the Comforter. ‘The Greek word ‘parakletos’ literally means “one called alongside to help,” hence the idea of a comforter. The Holy Spirit is called ‘another comforter’ because this is also one of Christ’s titles (1 John 2:1, translated “advocate.”. 

Illustration: The Father is also known as the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). Though those in the early church often endured persecution, they found their comfort in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). Application: Today, Christians can find comfort in the Holy Spirit when trials come. (First Ref. John 7:37-39; Primary ref. John 14:16-18).’ What a powerful tool for all us followers of Christ. And by the way, our homework for today is to check out John 7:37-39, to see what else Jesus had to say about the Holy Spirit. (smile) 

And furthermore, the scholars also explain that ‘The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent, that is, “takes up residence in them.” And we all know that the Holy Spirit first came to indwell believers on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus had ascended back to heaven. 

The Good Book describes the strange scene thus: ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they (the believers) were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (in other languages) as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Ah mih people, yuh see how our great God can move in miraculous and mysterious ways! Imagine the stir that must have made in Jerusalem that day nuh! And you can read all about it in the rest of Acts 2; with Peter’s great speech, the acts of the other believers, and the many who accepted Christ that day, ‘some three thousand.’  (smile) And since then, everyone who has claimed Christ as Lord and Saviour has had the Holy Spirit automatically indwell them, to lead and guide them on their wonderful, though sometimes difficult journey with Christ. 

But again, we need to stress that the believer has to engage the Holy Spirit, to ask for help, and listen carefully, because it does not always shout out to us, but more often responds in a still, small voice, and it will not try to force us to do anything. So, although it’s there, and will always try to point us in the right direction, our actions are still up to us, we still have complete free will. And with that free will, let’s turn to God in prayer, where our day should always begin. 

So, as one sincere but confident voice, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

With that prayer, it now becomes necessary for us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts so that the Lord can look positively on our situation. Much LOVE!

…the Holy Spirit is called to lead…and the believer to follow…  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 June 2022 Matthew 25:2.

Matthew 25:2.      And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Awright friends, that’s two days straight that the weather has stayed bright and sunshiny right through! Glory be! Don’t know what this Sunday will bring though, because like rain fell last night and it’s wet and cloudy outside, though the sun is putting up a valiant effort to ascertain itself. (smile) That small detail however, will not stop us from gathering to worship our wonderful Lord on His day, be it physically in our sanctuaries or by technological means. (smile) And today, Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate our Three in One Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we’ll open our praise and worship session with an uplifting, scintillating old traditional gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ 

And we know that’s a rollicking ole song, so let’s lift our sweet voices in sacrificial praise in a rocking West Indian riddim version. Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) 

Jolly good show mih people! We rocked…and heaven rocked along with us! That’s the beautiful thing about heaven, they LOVE their music up there too, since a lot of singing and praising of God also goes on up in that wonderful realm. But on a more serious note, it’s claimed that the song we just sang was based on Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus likened the kingdom of God to ‘ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.’ (Matt. 25:1-4) 

But as always happens the bridegroom was late, and they all slept. However, when he finally arrived at midnight and they all went out to meet him, the lamps of those who had brought no oil went out, and in desperation they begged for oil from the wise ones who had brought some extra oil just in case the bridegroom was late. But those wise ones refused, figuring that there wouldn’t be enough oil for all of them. So, the foolish ones had to go out and buy oil, but by the time they returned the bridegroom had locked his doors, the celebrations had begun, and those five foolish ones were left out of the good times. 

The bridegroom obviously refers to Christ as the ‘Bride of the Church,’ and the five wise or prepared virgins represent the saved of the Great Tribulation. The scholars tell us that ‘The lamps seem to refer to their lives which are either prepared or unprepared. The oil refers to that which prepares them to give forth light and may properly be illustrative of the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.’  

One commentator says for believers the song conjures up ‘an interpretation that signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ That seems to hold true, as this other commentator declares: ‘In the song someone is asking God for the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to light up their lamp – or their life – and keep them “burning”.  I think they want to be on fire for their Lord!….. Oil is symbolic in Scripture of the Holy Spirit. (Is. 61:1)’ 

That’s when Isaiah introduces Christ with his Good tidings of salvation to Zion. And he prophesies: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is. 61:1) And what did they anoint with in those olden times? Oil of course! 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 133 – The joy of brotherhood. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments.’ (Ps. 133:1-2) So it’s very logical to believe that the author of the song was indeed invoking the Holy Spirit for assistance in problematic times or simply in daily life. 

And if you still don’t believe me, let’s see what constitutes the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) 

And aren’t those the very things the singer is asking for: the oil of faithfulness to keep him burning bright for Christ; LOVE in his heart to keep him sharing; joy in his heart to keep him singing till the break of day; and faith in his heart to keep him praying, also to the break of day, or continually? 

So, my fellow saints, let’s hope that as we sang those telling words, our hearts also invoked the Holy Spirit to refill, to regenerate us with its fruit, that we too can go on burning forever for Jesus, as He desires us to do! And it’s also imperative that we remember these telling words of Jesus to John in Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) Much LOVE!

…be prepared…be ready…should be the believer’s motto… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 April 2022 Galatians 5:25.

Galatians 5:25.      If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit.

​Epilogue! Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but after I began it, some unexpected personal problems developed, and like problems do, they took longer to fix than I desired. But I think it’s a good Bit, so I wish you enlightened reading. (smile)  

It’s time friends, on this sunny Monday morning, for us to get back into the everyday working world and keep on living for Jesus! After the resurgence of faith and confidence we’ve received yesterday from our session(s) of praise and worship, this opening day of Monday should be a cakewalk for us. (smile) And why not eh, if we’ve been refilled with the power and glory of the Holy Spirit, which guides believers to do mighty, marvellous and miraculous things, all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? 

As Bruh Paul said so confidently to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) So it’s not like we are going out to fight our battles all alone, but with the mightiest power in the universe standing right by our side. And also with the most powerful and protective armour in the universe: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and an amazing power of prayer and supplication to back it all up! 

Wow! What well-dressed, protected and well-led soldiers we are! That means there is no need to fear or be anxious when we’re walking in the omnipotence of our resurrected Saviour. Instead, we should be all ready and set, just rearing to get out there and fight a mighty battle, even to the death for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 

It’s time to let the fruit of the Spirit blossom in our souls and lives, just like the bright new spring blossoms that will soon be appearing on the trees. The fruit of our Spirit has been lying dormant for the winter season, so now it’s time to let it blossom forth with new life: that’s new joy, new LOVE, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faithfulness (dependability), meekness and temperance (self-control). 

A new season ought to bring forth new things in a believer’s life. We hear it in these fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians, and consequently to us: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (it’s passions) and lust. If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:24-26) 

Now, for some interesting explanations from the scholars re those verses. ‘5:24. At conversion every believer crucified the flesh, that is, in repentance he turned from and renounced his life of sin and all its wicked passions. This verse then implies that the virtues of verses 22-23, rather than the vices of 19-21, should characterize them that are Christ’s.’ Per ‘5:25. This verse means. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” That is, since the Spirit gave us new life at conversion, we then should try and stay in step with His leading and promptings throughout life.’ 

And as true believers, we all know that our goal is to follow the Holy Spirit as best we can, because He is our Guide, our Lead-Hand, our Comforter, our purveyor of truth, doing the work that Jesus desires of Him. Bruh Paul spelled it out  in his missive to the church at Rome, re Life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin in the flesh: That the righteousness (righteous requirement) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom. 8:1-8) 

Bless the Lord, oh my soul! What marvellous and encouraging sentiments my fellow saints in Christ! As a believer we are not condemned, and though, as the scholars tell us: ‘There is nothing inherently wrong with the law, the presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands.’ Simply stated, without the Holy Spirit, we could not live a righteous life. Because without Him, we are carnally minded, that is, we have our lives dominated by our basic sin nature. But when we walk in the Spirit, or are spiritually minded, having the Spirit of Christ control our lives, then we are enabled to live righteously! 

And since sin and God do not agree, are on opposite ends of the continuum, it naturally means if we live for the things of the flesh, then we can’t live for or please God. And that’s certainly not the wisdom we ought to entertain. So, let’s hope that all we’ve said today, will sink into our hearts and souls and help us to walk as we ought to…that’s in the Holy Spirit of Christ! 

Now, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s go to the One who sits on the throne of grace, and repledge our allegiance, while asking for His awesome help. As one sincere but confident voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And, in response to all those words, we now must go out and sincerely action them, if we desire a positive answer from the throne room of grace. Much LOVE!

…the law of man says yes…the Spirit says no…the law of man says no…the Spirit says yes…it is indeed a situation of enmity… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 November 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

So what does Saturday have to say for itself eh? Nothing much nuh. Just a weary sigh, as it tries to recover from a rough work week. Unfortunately, that is made even more difficult when it looks outside and sees the sun and the dark clouds struggling to see who is going to rule the roost for the day. Ah Lord eh, it complains. It’s always a battle, always a struggle, always a fight to see who will rule. Why can’t we just live in simple peace and harmony eh? 

Then it sighs again, as the reality hits home. Apparently, that wasn’t meant to be until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom. So, till then, like we have no choice but to keep up the good fight as we live for Jesus. And on Saturdays, we try to philosophize biblically (smile) on the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us in the past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

The first one says: ‘It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.’ And that’s fairly true. A bad, or ‘no can do’ attitude at the beginning of any task will just make it even more difficult than it is already. We have to inject some measure of positivity into our thinking if we even expect to accomplish the task, much less accomplish it with as little heartache as possible. 

That applies even more when you are a believer in Christ, because He has promised to strengthen and help you in everything you do, once it falls under His will. So, as a Christian, you must come to everything with a positive, I can do this though it seems difficult attitude, because your help comes from Christ, your Lord and Saviour, your Enabler. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us to ‘Limit your “always” and your “nevers.” Now that’s a very good idea. You know how we like to use those two words a lot; for example, we’ll ‘always do this or that,’ and we’ll ‘never do that or this.’ Well for our sake, it’s wise to cut down on the times we say always and never, since those absolute pronouncements have a habit of coming back to bite us in the butt, like a boomerang comes back to the one who throws it. And I can testify to that from personal experience, because in my younger years there were a couple of things I promised myself to never do, but, as life would have it, I ended up doing them. 

Then we come to this interesting quote. ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ I believe that has a lot of truth to it, if your goals are worthwhile in the first place. That’s because to achieve your goal you have to work at it and while you are working you are also growing character wise. So, by the time you have reached your goal, you will be at a higher level of maturity than when you began. 

And growth in our earthly walk is as important a part of setting goals as achieving them. We have that picture laid out perfectly before us as believers, when we consider that we need to walk in the Spirit and at the same time, bear the fruit of the Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote thus to the Galatians. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal. 5:16-17) 

So friends, to achieve our goal of bearing good fruit, as Christ desires of us. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And what is the fruit of the Spirit that’s so important to us? 

Bruh Paul characterized it thus: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:22-23, 25) The goal is to bear good spiritual fruit, (those nine things listed above), but to do that we have to walk in the Spirit, and as we do both things, we will become more spiritually mature with each step we take. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ That’s oh so true, for without belief in the success of whatever you are planning to do, you will put a negative spin, or curse on it before you even begin. Jesus said it so often during His earthly sojourn. It’s a sister quote to the one we dealt with above:  ‘It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.’ Our prevailing attitude is always very important in whatever we do. With a good or positive attitude, we enhance the success of our project, while with a bad or negative attitude, we sort of jinx our project from the very start. 

Now here is our last quote, which says: ‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!” The play on the word ‘impossible’ is certainly interesting. But then again, as believers in Christ Jesus, we all know that nothing is impossible, because all things are possible with the Creator of the universe. 

Jesus Himself said so when talking to the disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The Good Book tells us: ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:25-26) 

Oh my fellow saints, what a wonderful note to close on this cloudy Saturday morning. Please, let’s spend some time considering all the ramifications of that most encouraging statement. Much LOVE!

…Christians…the most optimistic people on planet earth…                                                                                                                                       

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