Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  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.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘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.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

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

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:20.

2 Corinthians 5:20.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.

So it’s Thursday…what’s new eh friends? I guess most of us will say the same old, same old. And we may be right, because that’s what life mainly consists of. However, with Jesus ‘ Spirit dwelling within us, we have the opportunity, the privilege to take that same old and turn it into something bright and beautiful! 

Yeh friends, if we have heaven and all that extraordinary stuff to look forward to, from now till the end of time, then we should at least be able to put a pleasant smile on our faces and have a good attitude in our hearts, because that’s how our Lord and Saviour, our Leader Jesus Christ walked while He was here on earth, and followers are supposed to show the same example as their leaders. 

And in keeping with that philosophy, here is some wise advice from the ‘First Lady of American Theater,’ Helen Hayes (1900-1993). She dispenses that ‘Positive attitudes – optimism, high self-esteem, and outgoing nature, joyousness, and the ability to cope with stress – when established early in life, may be the most important basis for continued good health.’ 

And that’s no lie friends, for whatever you’re building needs a strong foundation. And in the affairs of men, the earlier you build that strong foundation the better off you will be, the better able you will be to handle life. 

Like the Redwood trees in California that grow to enormous heights and live for a long time because they have put down long, strong roots in the earth in their formative years, so too we need to have a solid root system if we intend to live long and make a difference in this life. 

And each believer in Christ is expected to make a difference in this life, be it big or small. Why? Because as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians in our Bit: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we are ALL ambassadors for Christ! And ambassadors have certain rules and regulations to obey, and a certain type of behaviour to exhibit because they are representatives of a higher authority and ought to do so in a proper manner. That means behaving with dignity and a calm spirit and not bringing shame and disgrace on their higher ups. 

Likewise, as ambassadors of Christ, we have the responsibility to behave in a manner consistent with Jesus’ mandate and not bring negative consequences to His organization. And in Christ’s organization, His church, we do that by being faithful to His principles. 

First and foremost is the principle of LOVE; God’s defining attribute from which flow a whole lot of other things, like kindness, helpfulness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, joy, peace, long- suffering, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control). Those are things that Bruh Paul define as the fruit of the Spirit, and are expected to be a major part of a believer’s life.  

And you’ll notice my believing brethren that none of those attributes or behaviour is a mainstay of today’s world. Instead, the world glorifies all the opposites of those spiritual fruit, with the resultant consequence that it is a morass of greed, poverty, sickness, murder, strife, warfare, anger and all sorts of evil doings. 

Now that’s not what our Jesus wants to see in His world. Remember He came to save the lost and downtrodden, and there are way too many of those in our current world. Thus, as His representatives, we are called to show a different attitude, a better example to this sinful world, a more graceful and LOVING persona. 

We also need to spread His faithful Word to all and sundry, so that the lost and suffering will see what they are missing by not being a part of His kingdom and will reach out, cry out to Him for help. That’s our mandate, our bounden duty my brethren. 

And Jesus has given us some awesome tools to work with, namely our Thursday Blessings. So let’s proclaim them now nuh, to remind us of them, and to claim their awesome power, because the Word of God unleashes a mighty stream of power when spoken out loud. 

All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, what awesome tools and blessings! Now let’s go out and put them to full use, sharing them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus never sends His workers out…without the right tools to do His work…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2018 Ezekiel 19:10.

Ezekiel 19:10.   Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY!

And then it was Sunday once again, our favourite day for worship, but it’s also a special Sunday where we celebrate the Mother figures in our lives. Those feminine towers of awesome strength and assurance, the backbone of our society. And in my search, I discovered a real appropriate and praiseworthy hymn dedicated to them. It’s called ‘Honour Christian Mothers’ and is sung to the tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ 

So let’s open today’s proceedings paying sincere homage to the matriarchs in our midst nuh. In full voice let’s sing: ‘(Chorus) Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God; Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.) Following His commandments, showing us the way: LOVE and faith and kindness; teaching us to pray. (Chorus) 

“Let it be,” say mothers, trusting to obey, Finding strength, grace for every day. Challenges surround us, but we will not fear. God’s LOVE will sustain us, help, our cross, to bear. (Chorus) God be with our mothers who have gone before, certain of His promise: life forevermore. In His many mansions, LOVE again we’ll share, He will take away all sorrow, wipe away each tear. (Chorus) 

Honour Christian Mothers – Heaven’s gift of LOVE. Join with them in service to the Lord above. Follow their example, let your lights so shine – All will see your goodness, praise the One Divine. (Chorus) Onward, still, ye mothers, tho’ the time will come; Sons will leave their parents, daughters leave their homes. We’ll remain united, Mother’s legacy; One in LOVE and faithfulness, One in charity. (Chorus).’ 

Oh friends, I could not find out the author of those lyrics, but they surely are a terrific tribute to the Mothers that raise and LOVE us! And if you’ll remember people, yesterday morning I got up and went downstairs early on to get something to eat. Well here is what the Lord caused me to write about Mother’s Day, before I came back up to bed. 

‘Wherefore, O wherefore art thou Mothers? Is it because of the original sin that you have been given the painful and difficult, but ever so necessary task of bearing children in thy womb, birthing them in travail, then raising them in deceitful and cantankerous families? 

Well, whatever the reason, I want to acknowledge that you have done a marvellous, a fantastic job down through the ages, and your God and mankind are very proud of you. Therefore, we wish you ALL Mothers, a very happy, blessed and prosperous Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day Mothers! 

And you know, as tears well up in my eyes, my one regret is that my mother, Molly, is not here so I can share those fateful words with her. Oh, like all of us, she had her faults, but nonetheless, she was a mother par excellence! 

Yeh Mols, although it’s been almost seven years now since you went to be with Lord, the ole fella misses you, and is crying, as he seems to do every Mother’s Day without you. That’s the one time the tears come without any reservation whatsoever. (smile) 

And I’m surely sorry if I didn’t treat or appreciate you as well as I should have. But I know in your sweet soul, you’ve already forgiven me for that. So rest in peace, please Mols sugar. And I do hope that you are cavorting in heaven with Jesus and the angels, as is your right as a believer.’ 

Oh friends, there will always be some resilient guilt in us, as to whether we treated our mothers as best we could. But please don’t let it cause us grief, because we’ve already been forgiven for it, since that’s what good mothers do. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.’ 

And although that scripture was meant to pertain to Israel, there are so few real references to mothers, all of which I have already used. I wanted something new, and this fits the bill perfectly, for that is exactly how mothers are. They are like a fruitful vines planted by nourishing waters, just bearing good fruit regardless of the circumstances. They are like fountains of living waters, always bubbling forth with goodness and mercy. 

One psalmist put it this way: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home) and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9) Yeh my brethren, we should absolutely praise the Lord for mothers, since we’d be completely lost without them. 

And I’m chuckling here as I come to the end of this Mother’s Day message, because it’s something I also wrote yesterday, though not under my own steam. The Lord played one of His tricks on me. Yesterday morning after I went back up to bed, He got into my head with all sorts of stuff for this message, and finally I had to get up and write it down. 

And this is what I wrote. ‘Son’s honour your mothers because they, or rather you are a significant part of them, since they bore you for nine painful, uncomfortable months, and it’s to them that your navel string was attached. And most likely they’ve played a most significant role in your life. So it behooves you to adore and revere them. 

Daughters, please endear yourselves to your mothers, because one day you might also be a mother. And since we reap what we sow, your child will probably treat you the way you treat your mother. 

And finally, let’s not only celebrate our Mothers on this one day of the year, but everyday of their earthly sojourn, for they have certainly put in their time and testimony to deserve it.’ Much LOVE!

…a Mother’s LOVE…is like the Lord’s…unconditional…always caring…and never ending…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2018 Galatians 6:7.

Galatians 6:7.    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Okay friends, the consecutive long weekends are over now. You have to get back to working five day weeks, so let’s hope that you are well rested and churched, so that you have the wherewithal to make it through the whole week. Hope that you haven’t gotten so spoiled that you expect every week to be a short one. (smile) I know it’s very easy to get accustomed to that sort of easy living. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and regardless of the circumstances or the weather, we have to get up and go to work. So let’s roll out of the warm bed and get the ball rolling by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that awesome song that revs our engines and activates our adrenaline. With some enthusiasm now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, yuh feel the good vibrations that immediately wash over us as we sincerely declare those words? Now let’s keep those good vibes going as we hit the road. Don’t allow the bumper to bumper traffic to get to us. Let’s try and be at peace in the storm, using the perfect sense of peace that Jesus instills in us all when we become believers. 

Remember that this too shall pass, because we need to be bright and bubbly when we do get to work, so we can do good things on Jesus’ behalf. We can’t afford to be sour and miserable and let the enemy steal our joy, thereby making us incapable of sowing and bearing good fruit for Christ.  Thus the important warning from Bruh Paul in our Bit. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ 

Oh my people, let’s not ever fool ourselves into thinking we can deceive or outwit God.  That’s impossible since He sees all and knows all. This means if we sow bad seeds then we will reap bad fruits. And we can only sow good seeds and therefore reap good fruits only if we are operating from a good spiritual place, a place with Jesus first and foremost in our hearts. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal.6:8) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider application. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction. Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’ 

And I know it sounds simple, but it’s not so easy in reality, because our natural sinful nature, in conjunction with the evil lures of the world, constantly exert great pressure on us to be carnal minded. But Bruh Paul admonishes us further:  ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart).’ (Gal.6:9) That means we have to keep on keeping on friends, don’t give up, regardless of how difficult times might be, because we will be well rewarded if we finish our race and stay strong in Christ. 

‘As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9) So my faithful brethren, since we are to be divinely rewarded, it is essential that we seize every opportunity to do good, especially to our Christian brethren. And we’ll close with a gentle reminder of the fruit of the Spirit. (smile) ‘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.’ (Gal.5:22-23)  

Yes my people, let’s go out and practice that kind of stuff today nuh, because it is of Jesus, because it will help to build His LOVE Revolution, as well as bring divine rewards. Much LOVE!

…to bear good fruit…one must be a branch of Christ’s vine…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to the scholars: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk, in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. (See Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ Please read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. 

If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) 

And the scholars declare: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own, but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2017 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh friends, the time is drawing ever nearer to that most significant day – Christmas Day – when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give God the Father all thanks, praise and glory for the awesome miracle that He wrought in the lives of, and on behalf of sinful men that day some two thousand years ago! 

And even more importantly, please, we need to see that thanks and glory reflected in our homes as the poem ‘You Cannot Be Hid,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin so avidly describes. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home 

There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Yes my people, anytime the Lord God Almighty is the ‘Great First’ in our homes, that most excellent and welcome fact cannot be hid, because it shows in the way the family interacts with each other and with those who come around them! 

Wow! What a joyful home that becomes! That doesn’t mean that problems and other negative aspects of life don’t exist in the homes where God is FIRST. It just means that they are dealt with in a healthy, godly manner, and a continual strife-filled environment doesn’t exist there. 

Oh how I wish many many more of our homes, especially the Christian ones, were truly like that. Yeh friends, we all know that a lot of homes that seem Christian on the outside don’t really behave in good Christian fashion on the inside. 

So please, for this Christmas season, in these ongoing strife-filled and negative times, let’s try and bring a true Christian feeling, a true Christian environment to our homes nuh. Let our neighbours and the stranger just passing through see it written loud and clear in the way we interact, so that they can appreciate our way of life and come to know Jesus too. 

Remember, it’s not just the presents, the food, decorations and outward atmosphere that are important at Christmas time, but also the internal, the spiritual accent, for they bring the true Spirit of Christ to the situation. And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit, the well-known words of Jesus to His disciples and also to us. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Oh my people, that is exactly what Jesus expects from us; to be a blazing light of holiness and righteousness to the evil and sinful world that surrounds us! Then He continues with an addendum: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:15) 

Yeh friends, Jesus expects us to show our Christianity to the whole world, so that they can see and believe the awesome benefits inherent in becoming His follower. 

And furthermore, in the verse before our Bit, He declares another truth that He expects from His followers: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot by men.’ (Matt.5:13) 

Oh friends, yuh better believe that Christians, as a unified and righteous body have lost their salt and their light is not shining as brightly as it ought to! Who knows exactly why? 

But there are some reasons that definitely contribute to the unfortunate situation; reasons like fear of what man can do to us, disunity between Christians, too many factions and divisions of Christians, unnecessary compromise with the world, and simple sloth and laziness, with the avowed intention to just enjoy the things of the world and the things of God be put on the back burner. 

But friends, our avowed intention ought to be what Jesus demanded of us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) That’s the crux of the matter right there my believing brethren! We simply need to come up higher in our Christian living. 

And this Christmas season is the best time to do it. So please, let’s all promise our God, and ourselves, that this Christmas, Christ will truly be in our houses and our lives, and be clearly visible to all and sundry. And having made that promise, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ. 

In truth and sincerity now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

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

And what a truly glorious future that will be my people! And it all began with Christ’s birth at Christmas! Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t advertise their wonderful faith…then who will eh…

 

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