Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2017 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Oh friends, I’m so glad to be alive, especially on such a wonderful summer’s morn that I just wanted to jump for joy, click my heels, and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

But fortunately, the wise One that dwells within me immediately cautioned that the first two actions would be somewhat foolhardy, given my precarious physical state. So I simply shouted ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ (smile) 

What a bam bam it is when your body can’t keep up with your mind eh? But them’s the breaks! It’s what happens when you’ve lived a long and productive life and have finally reached the winter years. So we just have to grin and bear it. 

And with Jesus Christ in our lives, there are so many other pleasures for us to enjoy than just the physical ones, that we really lack for nothing. All glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let me apologize now for the lateness of the Bit. It seems that the pain medication I took before going to bed this morning also has some sleep inducing properties, which made it difficult to get up at an earlier hour. 

Now here is a li’l something, which I shared way back when, but is still very useful in these trying times. It’s from Sholem Asch (1880-1957), a London born dramatist and writer of Polish-Jewish background, who later settled in the U.S. 

He tells us that: ‘Not the power to remember, but the power to forget is a necessary condition for our existence.’ 

And that’s quite true mih breddren, otherwise our minds would be so riddled with memories, and mostly the bad ones too, that our lives would be even more confused that they already are. 

But thankfully many of us old fogies don’t have to worry about that condition of life, because in our advanced stage we automatically forget most things anyway. (smile) 

And though it’s convenient to forget, we have to remember to follow the critical command and warning of our Bit, even in old age. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And why is that you ask? Listen to James’ explanation that follows. ‘For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Yeh friends, uncontrolled anger and speaking have no place in the Christian’s life, because they lead us to ungodly decisions and consequently harsh repercussions. 

Hear the scholars take on those verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

There you have it friends, several good reasons for controlling talk and anger! And I guess it’s only right for us to continue listening to James on the subject of hearing. 

‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21) 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation to that verse. ‘1:21. Engrafted word might better be translated “implanted word” and may reflect Christ’s parable of the seed planted in the four different soils (Matt. 13:3-9). Both Christ and James focus on the proper hearing of God’s Word (Matt.13:13, 19-20, 22-23). 

One needs to hear that Word, for it is able to save your souls. Though the phrase accurately describes the Word’s work of producing initial salvation, it is better in this context to understand it as the Word’s ability to preserve and mature the Christian’s life through trials.’ 

So anyway we cut it people, God’s Word is of the utmost importance in a believer’s life; both for producing our initial salvation and then keeping us on that straight and narrow path which allows us to grow in faith and trust in our wonderful Creator. Praise the Lord for His wonderful Word that leads and guides us safely on our earthly pilgrimage! 

And it isn’t coincidence that Bruh Paul wrote some of those same things to the Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11) 

Yeh friends, the believer is called to a much higher standard of living than the great unwashed. (smile) And hear Bruh Paul again agreeing with James on the power and benefits of the Word. 

This while preaching at Antioch. ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts.13:26) 

My people, I implore us, to never forget that! Consequently, we can go home now truthfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘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!’ 

Let’s do it for Jesus nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s earthly life contains difficulties…but the rewards of heaven…especially Jesus’ eternal company… totally compensate for them…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2016 Luke 1:76.

Luke 1:76.   And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. 

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Eve, the day before the big one – Christmas Day, when we joyfully celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the highest for selflessly blessing us with Jesus Christ! 

But yuh know what, is not everybody that celebrating this Christmas time nuh. I heard today that another of my U.W.I (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) classmates, Dwight Venner died yesterday. Ah Lord eh! He is at least the sixth one that I know about, who has died this year. Steups! 

And all of them were around my age yes. That certainly brings your own mortality to mind. But you can’t do anything about it nuh, just keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and hope for the best. The only thing we’re really sure of in this life is that someday the Grim Reaper will come a calling and we’ll go whether we want to or not. 

So I’m asking us on this Christmas Eve day to pray for the Venner family in their time of grief. I believe he was from St. Lucia, and just ask the Lord to comfort them in their mourning when they should be celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s not easy to lose anybody at all, much less at a time like this. 

Let’s also remember to pray for Keith, our Scrip-Bit family member, who is slowly recovering from his stroke, and comfort him too while he mourns the loss of his departed brother. 

Remember, as James says: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’(James 5:16) Yeh friends, prayer is the greatest power we have down here on God’s great earth, so please let’s use it often and wisely nuh. 

Now I have so much scripture to share that I only have space for one of our friend Anselm’s quotes today. And I had a hard time choosing one, because they were all interesting, they all can inspire us for a better tomorrow.  And this is the one that finally won out: ‘Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren, all those qualities are very important parts and qualities of our Christian life! Now since John the Baptist was Christ’s cousin as well as His forerunner and harbinger, I thought this Christmas Eve would be a good time to check out John’s early story, as we will do tomorrow for Christ. 

This brings us to our Bit: ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Those were the prophetic words of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, at his circumcision. Now our God is such a dramatist that sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at His doings. 

Remember how he made Zechariah dumb because he didn’t believe that his barren wife Elisabeth would eventually bear him a child. (Luke 1:5-25) And also how He brought Mary and Elisabeth together and caused John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and the three months the women spent bonding together. 

Let the Good Book tell us the story: ‘Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins (relatives) heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her. (Her barrenness was no longer a cause for reproach). 

And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings (things) were noised abroad (discussed) throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.’ (Luke 1:57-66) 

Oh my people, there’s no better dramatist than our God! And to add to that drama, the scholars tell us: ‘1:65. Fear came: The working of God produced a unique sensation among a people where not even a prophet had spoken for centuries.’  

And after that, Zechariah just went mad prophesying, making up for all those months that he’d been dumb. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophetically declared. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (A Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all them that hate us;’ (Luke 1:68-71) 

I have to leave out four verses here because of lack of space. But then Zechariah continued with our Bit. ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 1:76-80) 

Ah friends, yuh see the amazing power and dramatic expertise of our wonderful God! And that was child’s play to how He brought Jesus on the scene. (smile) We’ll talk about that tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may he bless and keep us all safe and sound and cause us to enjoy the celebrations of the birth of His only Son, Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who is greater than our God eh…NOBODY…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2016 Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5.   I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.

And then it was Wednesday! How yuh going mih Scrip-Bit family? Hope the new year is progressing smoothly and that you are managing everything nicely through the good graces of our wonderful God. 

It’s going to be an awesome year, this 2016! So with that in mind, let’s all perk up and seriously come together in Christ and do His works nuh, works that are necessary to show ourselves as true believers. 

Remember Jesus said, by their fruit ye shall know them, (Matt.7:20) and the past few days we’ve been reading James, who declares that faith without good works is meaningless. That means we have got to come up over our problems and inject more of our faith into the things we do and say. 

And we can begin today by declaring our Wednesday Wail. Altogether 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!’ 

Ah Friends, doesn’t that just lift your spirits? It surely does mine! I am glad to be alive, and looking forward, not backward….and oh…the promise of that glorious future with Jesus just makes me want to jump for joy and shout His wonderful name! (smile) 

Oh my people, we all know that life is not fair or easy, but God is good, and our attitude towards life is what separates the goats from the sheep. Some of us bring a positive attitude to it and therefore have more enjoyment, despite the many problems we all face. 

Meanwhile, others portray a negative outlook, and thus live shallow, meaningless, miserable and unhappy lives. That is not the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He sacrificed His holy and sinless life so that we could have life and even have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) 

The problem though is that we have to step up to the plate with good attitudes to embrace that abundant life. It doesn’t just come up on its own. And good attitudes don’t just spring up on their own either. We need to come to God for help in achieving them. 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness. ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’  

This is Bruh David at his best. As the scholars declare: ‘Psalm 32. The psalm describes the blessedness of forgiveness as no other does. This is the theme of especially the first five verses, which include the happiness of the forgiven man (vv.1-2), the physical and psychological effects of unconfessed sin (vv.3-4), and the simple remedy of confession to obtain God’s forgiveness (v.5). 

On this basis David can experience prayer (vv.6-7), divine instruction (vv.8-9), and personal witness (vv.10-11).’ 

Now that’s all true my people, but I want to point out one thing here, though the remedy of confession might be simple, it certainly needs to be sincere, if we expect our sins to be forgiven. We just can’t go to God and ask for forgiveness, if we don’t feel it in our hearts, because that’s the first place He’s going to look, not just listen to the platitudes that we mouth. 

Anyway, let’s get into the Psalm. ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not (does not charge his account with) iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile (deceit). 

When I kept silence, my bones waxed (grew) old through my roaring (groaning) all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture (my vitality) is turned into the drought of summer.  Selah.’ (Ps.32:1-4) 

Yeh friends, yuh see what happens to us when we live with unconfessed sin? We moan and groan all day long, the Lord’s hand is heavy upon us, and our vitality is sapped like the summer’s drought. So living with unconfessed sin is not a very wise thing to do. 

And today would be a very good day for those of us who feel old and dried up and miserable and can’t get ourselves together, to consider what sin(s) we might be withholding and go to God and confess them. 

Oh my brethren, I can tell you from personal experience that when you get any sin at all off your chest, you feel like a million dollars compared to how you felt before. Bruh David learned that the hard way, as no doubt some of us are doing. 

But there’s absolute truth in our Bit my people, so much so that it’s worth repeating again.I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’ 

And there’s no better time than right now, the start of this pivotal year, for us to go to God and spill out our hearts to Him in all sincerity and truth. Friends, our Creator and Provider is waiting for us to come to Him in sincere repentance. 

As Bruh David says after our Bit. ‘For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Ps.32:6) 

Gospel truth that, my brethren! So please, today, let’s take a few minutes to ponder our sins, our troubles, whatever is wrong in our lives and then sincerely take them to God in prayer nuh. For that is wisdom at its absolute best. Much LOVE!

…a life filled with unconfessed sin…is no life at all…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2015 Revelation 3:15

Revelation 3:15.    I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot: I would (wish) that thou wert (were) cold or hot.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Sunday once again! Time to gather in fellowship; to sing, praise, worship and give thanks to our magnificent Creator and heavenly Father. Wow! Isn’t that amazing? It surely is!

Oh I know some of you might think what’s all the fuss about? But if you have the blessings and the promises and faithfulness and all the other good stuff that stems from Jesus’ demise and then His ultimate resurrection, how can you not be joyful, ecstatic and passionate about your faith eh?

Unfortunately we supposed believers are not a very passionate lot. We treat our faith as though it wasn’t that important. But wait until we get a new car, a new house, or some such worldly stuff that will eventually rot and be destroyed, we jump for joy and carry on. But for the mercies, forgiveness of our abominable sins and the blessings that the Lord pours down on us every day, we are lukewarm and indifferent.

However my people, those are the things that we should be joyful and expressive about. Nothing in this evil and ungodly world will ever beat those heavenly things. So let’s show some passion about our faith nuh, let’s talk it up, live it up, enjoy it and behave like we truly appreciate it, for remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. So if we don’t have joy in God, then we won’t be strong and useful. It’s as simple as that my people.

We are behaving just like the church at Laodicea, to whom Jesus sent this message in our Bit. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would (wish) thou wert (were) cold or hot.’

Yeh Friends, it’s the same message that Jesus is sending us today, for we’re neither hot nor cold, just sort of indifferent, kind of doh-care, sitting on the fence trying to play both ends against the middle. But my brethren that attitude, that modus operandi seldom ever works positively, but negatively most of the time. We have to stand up and choose a side, else we’ll be levelled by both.

Now here’s a little history on Laodicea per the scholars. ‘3:14. Laodicea was located about 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia, in the Lycus River valley near Colossae and Hierapolis (cf. Col.4:13-16). Its name means “People Ruling,” and represents the unbelieving, materialistic church of all ages…’

Ah Friends, we can certainly fall under that heading, because we don’t behave like we truly believe and we’re extremely materialistic. And consequently, the message from Jesus continues: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit or vomit) thee out of my mouth.’ (Rev.3:16)

Now my people, we don’t want Christ to spit us out or regurgitate us, do we? Certainly not! For if He does that, we won’t have a relationship with Him again, and thus lose all the blessings and other wonderful things that He represents.

And the scholars have this to say about those last two verses. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas.

By the time it arrived in Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Oh Friends, does that sound like our church today? Sadly I will have to answer yes. To a great extent the church has lost its way. We no longer practice what Christ taught, plus there are too many denominations, divisions, petty differences and grievances and consequently not sufficient unity and togetherness to make a worthwhile assault on the enemy.

And we obviously can’t make any inroads against enemy since we’re not seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness as Jesus directed in the Sermon on the Mount. But instead we are too taken up with the things of the world, rather than the things of God. Our faith is not demonstrated in the way we live our lives, that’s why the heathen, the unbeliever, mocks and scorns us and calls us hypocrites and are not interested in coming to Jesus.

As I keep telling us friends, examples speak more forcibly than words. So if we sincerely want people to come to Jesus, then we have to begin living the truth, with passion and sincerity, and not the lie that so many of us live nowadays.

Now hear how Jesus puts it. ‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire (refined), that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed), and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev.3:17-19)

And the scholars explain all of that thus. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’

Ah mih people, what’s left to be said eh? Nothing really, because we are behaving just like the Laodiceans. We talk a lot, but don’t have the serious actions to back it up. And we are definitely showing more interest in the material things of the world than the spiritual things of heaven. Please remember Friends that the things of the world will rot and be destroyed, they will pass away, but the things of heaven don’t rot, and will never pass away. Much LOVE!

…he that hath an ear…let him hear…what the Spirit saith unto the churches… (Rev.3:22)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2014 Psalm 111:10‏

Psalm 111:10.  The fear of the Lord (an awe-filled reverence toward the Lord) is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
 

Well Friends, it’s another brand new day that we’ve been privileged to see! Wow! All praise and glory that our wonderful God has not taken away the breath of life from us! And for that, we shall indeed be very thankful!
 
That means He still has some purpose for our lives here on planet earth, so let’s offer up all the praise and thanks we can, and as one joyful body in Christ, sincerely declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we shall all rejoice and be glad in it!’
 
And that’s exactly how it ought to be my people, because the Lord gave us life so that we could be joyful and enjoy it. What did Jesus say? That He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
 
Therefore we ought to rejoice and give thanks each and every day that we open our eyes and discover that the awesome breath of life, the Spirit of Holy God is still flowing through our mortal bodies.
 
So what are we waiting for eh Friends? Let’s jump for joy, dance and sing, and give thanks and praise to our wonderful Creator for all the blessings and mercies He’s continually showering down on us!
 
And let’s also take our Bit to heart. ‘The fear of the Lord (an awe-filled reverence toward the Lord) is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever,’
 
Oh my brethren, when we do that, then we’ll know that we are on the right track, because having a sincere reverence towards Almighty God is the first step to Christian maturity, to true wisdom and understanding!
 
It’s a two pronged instrument my people; fear the Lord and keep His commandments, then you’ll be on the right road, the straight and narrow one, to wisdom and understanding. That’s because true wisdom and understanding emanate directly from Jehovah God! He is the fount of it all!
 
And how do we access that wisdom and understanding? By focusing on God and reading the Good Book! For the Bible is God’s Word to us, still fresh through all the ages. And if we read it, we will find God’s wisdom on its pages. And furthermore, please remember that ONE TRUTH from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man. Glory Hallelujah!
 
That’s why James tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.
 
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8)
 
Now that’s the gospel truth my brethren! For whatever situation we’re facing, to come up over it wisely, we need to go to God, who is so generous, and without reproach too. But we have to do it in strong and constant faith, not in a wishy-washy, wavering, neither here nor there attitude.
 
And that’s why so many of us are so lost in this evil and ungodly world. We either completely refuse to go to God, and go to mortal man instead, foolishly figuring that he, who cannot control his own days, has the answers. Or we go to God without true faith and confidence.
 
I like how Cousin Sol declares it in chapter 8 of Proverbs – wisdom is everlasting. ‘O ye simple, understand wisdom (prudence): and ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart…. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.’ (Prov.8:5,10-11)
 
Awesome truth my fellow believers! And here is the reward for heeding wisdom. ‘When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward (perverse) things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the forwardness (perversity) of the wicked.’ (Prov.2:10-14)
 
Now Friends, I’m sure that all of us would dearly LOVE to walk that upright kind of path in our lives. And we can all do it, if we embrace the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with reverence and sincerity, while following His commandments as best we can, making praise and thanksgiving an essential and integral part of our existence.
 
And we’ll go home with these fateful words of the Preacher: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14)
 
Oh Friends, those are words of absolute and indisputable truth! So let’s get our act together nuh man; let’s seek true wisdom and understanding by sincerely serving and worshipping the wonderful God of our forefathers. For there’s none else like Him; a living, faithful, generous, merciful, forgiving, ever-LOVING and omnipotent God!
 
So if we want to have a truly enjoyable life, then let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh people! (smile) Hn, hn! It’s been a while since I last heard that expression. But a couple of days ago, I heard my sister-in-law use it, and it reminded me of when my grandfather Bill, would boil his coffee every morning in the orange juice tin, you’d stay down the street and smell it.
 
So let’s inhale that refreshing aroma this Saturday morning nuh mih breddren, and take a strong and faithful stand with and for Almighty God! Much LOVE!
 
…Praise ye the Lord…shout Hallelujah…I will praise the Lord with my whole heart…in the assembly of the upright…and in the congregation…  (Ps.111:1)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2014 Acts 5:39

Acts 5:39.      But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
 
Oh Friends, please give this glorious Saturday morning a resounding welcome, as it heralds the first day of summer in the memorable year of 2014! And let’s hope and pray that it treats us much better than the last winter season did. But please don’t hold your breath, because I believe that once the summer truly gets going, it will be a scorcher. (smile)
 
But as I keep reminding us, once we’re hanging out with Jesus, we will be able to handle the crazy summer and whatever else comes against us. And all God’s people mouthed a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Jesus!’
 
Yes Friends, we do indeed have a lot to be thankful to Jesus for; things like redemption, reconciliation, salvation and eternal life. ! Now how could we not be eternally grateful for all that wonderful stuff eh? Oh… and please don’t forget that most practical gift of His Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer and gives us the wherewithal to come up over all our problems, be they large or small.
 
And Friends, today just might be your lucky day, for we might just be finished with the messages on the Holy Spirit today. And I can hear some sighs of relief in the background. But don’t jump for joy too soon, because there’s no guarantee of that, (smile) for we have to go and move as the Spirit dictates. Just like how we saw the apostles’ move yesterday, through the Spirit’s leading, telling the Jewish council to their hypocritical faces where to get off. (Acts 5:29-32)  
 
Today we’ll look at what happened after that dressing down by the fired up apostles. ‘When they (the council) heard that, they were cut to the heart (furious), and took council to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor (teacher) of the law, had in reputation among (held in respect by) all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space (for a little while);
 
And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching (regarding) these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed (followed) him, were scattered, and brought to nought (nothing).
 
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing (census), and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.’ (Acts 5:33-39)
 
Oh Friends, what wise advice from Gamaliel! Now here are some notes from the scholars: ‘5:34. Gamaliel was a respected Pharisee, a prominent teacher at Jerusalem, a member of the Jewish high council (the Sanhedrin), and the teacher of Paul.
 
Jewish tradition states that Gamaliel’s grandfather was Hillel, the prominent rabbi who represented the liberal wing of the Pharisees in opposition to the more rigid, and conservative wing led by Shammai. When the lives of the apostles were in jeopardy before the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel quieted them with his persuasive and pragmatic speech. Gamaliel is mentioned only twice in Scripture: Acts 5:34 and 22:3.’
 
Yeh mih people, Bruh Paul was a student of Gamaliel, so you can see where he got some of his persuasiveness, some of his lawyer’s skills from. And some more notes from the scholars: ‘5:36-39. Many false messiahs have arisen through the ages, as Christ Himself predicted (Matt.24:5). These have all died and have amounted to nothing. Gamaliel cites two such cases from his lifetime to discourage any rash actions against the Twelve.
 
God in His providence uses this to protect His servants. Gamaliel’s advice must not be regarded however, as biblical precept. False teachers do not inherently cease with the passing of time. Paul, one of Gamaliel’s own students (22:3), did not follow or teach this principle. We are to note, rebuke, and oppose false teachings (cf. Rom.16:17; 2 Thess.3:6; Jude 3).’
 
Now there’s no doubt about that Friends! We ought to expose and clarify false teachings as soon as we become aware of them.
 
And how did the rest of the Jewish council respond to Gamaliel’s suggestion eh? ‘And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.’ (Acts 5:40-41)
 
Oh my brethren, are we willing to suffer such pain and shame for Jesus’ sake? We ought to, although that’s easier said than done.
 
But listen to this last verse: ‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus (as the) Christ.’ (Acts 5:42)
 
Oh praise the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit! Why?  Because it was the mighty power of God’s Spirit that enabled the apostles to withstand the brutal physical punishment, then go right back out and do what they were commanded not to do.
 
Ah mih people, how I wish that many, many more of us would thumb our noses at the evil, ungodly leaders of today, and just keep on doing God’s work, whenever the law of the world contradicts God’s Word. So please, let’s all try and do better in that aspect of our faith walk nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…remember, it is always better to obey God rather than man…and He will help us to stand the consequences…

 

 

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