Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2019 Luke 16:23.

Luke 16:23.   ​And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 
Another wet and cloudy morning! But that’s nothing new, and the good news is that the sun does look like it’s going to put up some kind of battle to come out later on. But the best news is that as believers in Jesus Christ we have His bright light surrounding us and living in us all the time! Glory Hallelujah! So, regardless of what the physical day looks like, we are always clothed in His sunshine! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

Unfortunately though, one community in the Ottawa Valley is still suffering from the effects of the recent floods, apparently their area has now been made an island with water all around it, and they have to use boats to get around. Hn! Can you imagine that? Please, let’s pray for them to return to normal soon, for all these unforeseen and unexpected difficulties when they drag out for a long time also take a severe toll on people’s humanity. 

But the fact that it’s Friday takes away a li’l of the rain pain, (smile) and the workingman is just dying to broadcast his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And the weekend’s here! But this blooming rain just looking to spoil my weekend activities yes! With the weather getting warmer, I expected to be able to go outside and frolic in just mih shirtsleeves and shorts…possibly even set up the barbecue and have a few while the meat cooking. 

But chuh! This rain becoming a real spoilsport yes! Curtailing all mih outdoor fun! You could only have so much fun inside for just so long, before the wife and children get tired of you. But anyway, thank God is Friday and the weekend oui, no more labouring for the greedy slave master for a couple days! Thank God for that small mercy yes!’ 

Yeh friends, many of us are thankful for the two days off from work, though as believers we don’t get as worked up as the workingman when the rain rains on our parade… ‘Who says so?’ you shoot back? ‘We have the same feelings like the workingman, but we just don’t show them to his extreme!’ Sorry mih people, sorry! And since we’re not that extreme, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh to show our less extreme feelings. (smile) 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, we are a li’l more reined in by Jesus’ dictates than the ordinary workingman is by his worldly desires. But please, let’s not resent it, because it’s only for our benefit! It helps to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal life, which we all believe is the best option we have going here on earth. 

You know there are ONLY two options; Satan and Jesus, and as for me and mine we will gladly follow Jesus because he has the best long-term plans and solutions. Satan has a lot of stuff he offers in the here and now, but what happens in the hereafter eh? Nothing but hellfire and damnation! And if you think that’s all a bunch of hogwash, then go ahead and accept the earthly benefits of the devil. But just supposing it’s true eh? What then when you pass into the next world? 

Some of us know the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, but for those of us who don’t, here is a brief outline. The Good Book says: ‘There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously (lived in luxury) every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 

And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried into Abraham’s bosom (enjoying the messianic banquet in Abraham’s company): the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (Luke 16:19-24) 

Now friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke that parable, and if, as we contend, He cannot lie, why is it so hard to believe the presence of hell eh? And please note the reply the rich man received from Abraham. 

‘But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’ (Luke 16:25-26) 

Yuh see friends, after our earthly death, there is no second chance. All the second, third, fourth and numerous other chances are present here on earth. And to make matters worse, there’s no mercy available in hell, just here on earth! And if you read the rest of that passage (Luke 16:27-31) you’ll see that in hell you’re still aware of what’s going on, both in heaven and on earth, but you can’t do anything about your situation or your family’s. 

As Abraham told the rich man when he asked for him to send someone to talk to his family about the terrible situation he was in. ‘And he (Abraham) said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ (Luke 16:31) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ’16:31. If here carries the weight of “since.” They were not paying attention to the light they already had. Hard-heartedness is not necessarily overcome by miraculous signs.’  

So friends, it just comes back to prove that we need to make the right decision before we die, and since we don’t know when that will be, it’s best to decide for Jesus RIGHT NOW, so that your salvation and eternal life can be secured, your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and yuh not lost somewhere down in the burning fires of hell, tormented like crazy, going through ‘sufferation’ that you couldn’t even imagine in earthly life, crying out, pleading for mercy, begging for just a drop of water to wet yuh flaming tongue! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus said…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will eventually feel…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2019 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.   ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’  
 

Aye friends, just a gentle reminder that this is vacation time so the Bit will not always be early or even at the same time every day. (smile) It all depends on where I have to go or what needs to be done. So please don’t feel badly, or take umbrage, if it shows up at all weird sorts of times. 

Anyhow, we done late already this Sunday morning, or rather afternoon; had to go to church and then fellowship afterwards, then come home and eat some of the breakfast stuff I bought at church, bake and saltfish, then rest. Yuh know the rest is essential for the ole fella these days. (smile) 

So let’s go directly to our song of praise and worship. It’s one of my favourite hymns from my boyhood days, and as I was resting there a while ago contemplating what song we’d sing today, the Lord reminded me of that one and requested it. And it’s obvious I could not refuse His request. (smile) 

It’s titled ‘There is a green hill far away.’ It was written many moons ago by Cecil Frances Alexander (nee Humphreys) (1818-1895), the Anglo-Irish hymnodist and poet. And just for your info, she apparently also wrote that other popular hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful,’ and the Christmas Carol, ‘Once in Royal David’s City.’ 

So let’s now sing those fateful and true words of ‘There is a green Hill far away,’ like if we really mean them nuh, because in another few weeks, on Good Friday, we ‘re going to be truly celebrating the sad and sorrowful but oh so necessary and important demise of Christ on that cross in a far away land! 

All together in strong, sweet, harmonious voices: ‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Him, saved by His precious blood. 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we cannot doubt those truth bearing words of Cecil Frances Alexander, because without the redeeming deeds of Jesus we’d still be living in darkness and headed for Hades at the end of this miserable earthly life. But all thanks and praise be to God the Father, who sent Him, and to Jesus, God the Son, who obediently went to the cross to die for our abominable sins which had kept us very removed from the holy and righteous Jehovah God! 

Ah mih people, I don’t know about these words of Frances nuh: ‘We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear,’ because the Good book plainly states them; lashes with a cruel whip, taunting and jeering and spitting, a crown of thorns pressed down upon his head, then made to carry His cross through Jerusalem like a common thief, then to make matters even worse, nailed to that cross between two common criminals after being speared in the side and His clothes auction off by casting lots! 

So don’t tell me we don’t know what pain He had to bear, because it was immense and inhumane! But it definitely was for us that He underwent that horrific ‘sufferation!’ No doubt about it! As Isaiah had foretold eons before that terrible day at Golgotha: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’  

Yes friends, Jesus did it all for us on the basis of LOVE which personifies the Father, and also to bring to reality, the magnificent and ever-faithful promise of the Father, as Isaiah also prophesied when talking about the Lord’s servant. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles. 

He shall not cry (cry out), nor lift up (raise his voice), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax shall he not quench (extinguish): he shall bring forth judgement (justice) unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement (justice) in the earth: and the isles (coastlands) shall wait for his law.’ (Is.42:1-4) 

And so said so done, my people! In fact it’s not quite done as yet, because Jesus has to return to clean up the mess that’s the earth today. As the scholars explain: ‘The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement or justice to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ 

And just for our info, the New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in Jesus in Matt.12:18-21. Please check it out. (smile) So what’s the long and short of the story my people? Christ died that our sins might be forgiven, He paid the price that ONLY He could pay with His precious, sinless blood, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and thus have the wonderful option of enjoying eternal life in the company of the Triune God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Ah friends, it was not an easy row that the Father gave Jesus to hoe, but He did it obediently because He LOVED both the Father and us. Consequently, our response to all of that should be exactly what we sung in the hymn above: ‘Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ Nuff said! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…otherwise the consequences will be…extremely disastrous…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.   ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Well it’s a big Saturday morning in the springtime, but it’s cold as ever, like a puppy dog’s nose, (smile) something like minus 5 or 6 in my area. And before we go on, let’s make one thing perfectly clear, the idea that because a date on the calendar says that the Spring Equinox has arrived, does not mean it suddenly gets warm! That is pure foolishness and fallacy yes! (smile) It’s still so and so cold – all like yesterday when the wind lent its support to the cold, though it was a bright and sunshiny day! 

And the wind itself played havoc with my area yesterday, from late afternoon into the middle of the night, just howling like crazy every few minutes, having stuff creaking and clanking and whatever, leaving homeowners hopeful that no part of their houses or property got damaged by it. But it seems to have settled down now, and no serious damage seems to have been done in my area. Thank God for small mercies yes! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I laughed when I first read this one: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ I suppose that’s because we refer to opportunity as knocking on a door, and it only knocks once and that sort of thing. 

So it’s only logical to assume that if opportunities aren’t making themselves available, then the problem might be that there is no door for them to knock on. In that case the sensible thing to do will be to build a door for them to knock on! (smile) 

And the next one says: ‘I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.’ Now that is the way we have to view our mistakes and supposed failures! We can’t ever give up, or stop trying, because in truth, failure is not failure until we stop trying, and that idea is found nowhere in Jesus’ philosophy. 

So if you’re a believer, you can’t ever give up or stop trying; you’ve got to keep moving ahead, learning more about Christ and becoming more like Him every day, moving from glory to glory. Praise His holy name! 

And this next quote segues nicely with the others: ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ Yeh friends, we can’t get anywhere until we begin going somewhere! Likewise, we can’t make any progress in our projects and/or ambitions until we begin doing stuff related to them. Everybody wants to write the great American Novel, but no one will ever do so, until and unless they begin writing it. As the Chinese Proverb so eloquently puts it: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ Matter fix! 

This upcoming quote is also quite relevant to our everyday lifestyle. It says: ‘To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.’ So true my people, so true! We have a bad habit of saying, ‘if only so and so had happened,’ moaning about some past circumstance. But that only gets us in the negative stream of life. What we ought to be saying is ‘next time, I’ll do so and so.’ Try and keep it in the positive stream of the future. We’ll all be better for it. 

And the last quote declares (right ho): ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! It’s like the saying goes, give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But teach him how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime! 

And I want to put that into perspective with the Lord’s Word: If I just tell you about it, most likely you’ll forget about it shortly thereafter. If I teach you about it, you’ll remember it for a longer period of time. However, if I involve you in the whole process, then you’ll probably learn more than in the two previous scenarios, because you are hands on in the situation, getting down and dirty with the subject matter. 

 Consequently friends, it is all well and good to go to church and hear sermons, but most of us, by the time we get in the parking lot have forgotten what the sermon was about, although we clapped and said numerous ‘Amen’s’ during it.’ And that’s no lie! (smile) Now, if we then go home and read up the scripture that the sermon was based on, we’ll have a better idea on what the pastor was talking about. 

But better still, if we sit down and begin to contemplate, meditate, think seriously on those scriptures, then eventually we will really know them. That’s the only way to truly learn the Word my brethren! We need to get totally involved in it, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, asking Him to talk to our hearts about it, show us how it affects or can be successfully made a part of our lives. 

Please remember friends that scripture is a guideline for our lives, and until we make it such, it will be of no real use to us. Knowing it and not putting it to use is a complete waste of time. We’ll never get ahead until we begin living our earthly lives by the heavenly values found in the Lord’s Word!  

And I have to chuckle here friends, because I’ve been writing all of the above with no thought of what scripture we could use to tie it all together. Then I went looking for something in the Good Book, asking the Lord to show me an appropriate one. For a couple minutes nothing happened; my flipping through the word produced nothing useable…

Then Bingo! It suddenly happened. The light went on, and I knew the perfect scripture for out Bit today! Oh, how can I ever doubt the Lord’s faithfulness eh? He doesn’t always make it easy, but He ALWAYS comes through! And the scripture we’re talking about is when the Lord spoke to Joshua, making him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’  

Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer and more straightforward than that nuh! And here it’s the Lord Himself speaking to Joshua; straight from the horse’s mouth as it were, not secondhand info.

And if the Lord thought it important enough for Him to personally tell Joshua about the importance of keeping the Law, then it’s obviously important for us to follow the same path, for therein we too shall be prosperous and have good success. What more needs to be said eh…? Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2019 Matthew 13:8-9.

Matthew 13:8-9.   ​But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
 
Well at last it’s Friday! And many tired but grateful sighs emanate from many tired lungs and bodies, especially those who returned right at the last minute from the March Break and had no time to rest before heading back out to work on Monday. It’s a cruel world friends, a mighty cruel world, especially if you don’t have Jesus as your Lord and Leader. 

Yeh, Christians have it hard too, but they have the internal peace and LOVE that Jesus brings to the hearts and souls of His followers, and thus we are able to handle the cruel world with much more sense and sensibility (smile) than the unbeliever. So if you want to be able to handle this cruel world with greater confidence, then the answer is JESUS! Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise my fellow believers! 

But since it’s Friday, the workingman is also waiting in the wings to sing his Friday song. So let’s hear what gems of wisdom on life, that he has to offer us today. And he shouts out his usual opening: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It’s been a busy week…but the weather’s not been bad! And yes, it’s finally spring! So we’ll soon be outside in shirtsleeves and such, barbecuing, lolling on the deck drinking something cold and waiting for the burgers and steaks to cook on the grill! 

Wow! Yuh believe it? Springtime is here once again…and then it will be summer! Chuh! Gway with this winter business yes! Time to get the children and them outa the house too, where they lock up whole winter playing foolish video games. Children suppose to be outside playing, be it rain, snow or shine! 

But sadly not these modern-day ones who have so much electronic gadgets to play with. Some of them don’t even know what outside looks like nuh!  But I not going to kill mihself over them nuh, I know what I like to do and I’m going to do it, especially when it comes to the weekend – party, party, party! Mama Yo! That’s my time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does make some good points in his weekly song, but it’s just that it’s usually too far over the edge, too far out on the limb for us believers in Jesus Christ! The boundary lines are set too wide apart, too much freedom to wander into the evil world, when Jesus desires His people to follow the narrow but safe path that leads to and through Him to eternal life. 

Consequently, our Friday Chant differs a lot from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant our Friday Chant now with just as much enthusiasm as the workingman had in his song nuh. (smile) Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes friends, believers are also entitled to fun, to a natural enjoyment in Christ, but we cannot let out guards down, for as soon as we do, the enemy will just jump in there and try to create havoc in our lives. Remember that’s his main aim; to disrupt our lives in Jesus! And we can’t afford to let him do that, otherwise we’ll lose all our joy and peace and become even more miserable than the unbeliever. And believe me, there’s nobody as miserable as a miserable believer! (smile) 

That’s why we need to remember Jesus’ parable about the sower and keep it first place in our minds. ‘Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 

And when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt.13:3-9) 

Yeh friends, he who has ears to hear let him hear! Let him hear the Word of the Lord, and let it be firmly planted and rooted in his soul, so that neither thorns, nor the sun nor the fowls of the air can uproot or scorch it, and thus it will bear much fruit in their lives. 

Oh how Jesus desires us to bear the fruit of the Spirit in our earthly lives so that we can teach others about Him, but more importantly live the life we preach, that we’re currently so good at talking about but unfortunately living it very hypocritically. 

Ah my fellow believers, if we’d only seriously read, study and meditate on God’s Word, so that it becomes deeply rooted in our hearts, then we’d be more likely to produce things like LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control), which make up the basic fruit of the Spirit! (Gal.6:22-23) 

Now that’s what the world needs to see from believers! Not the wishy-washy, compromising, fearful stuff we’re currently showing them! 

Remember though friends, that each of us will have to answer individually for our words and deeds come the judgement day, so please let’s try our best to do what is right, to run a worthy and worthwhile race, so that when that fateful day comes, the Lord will embrace us and joyfully say: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Friends, there are no better welcoming words than those, so let’s live the kind of life that will cause the Lord to eventually say them to us nuh. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…only with the Word…deeply rooted in our souls…can we produce…the fruit of the Spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2018 Nehemiah 1:7.

Nehemiah 1:7.   We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances) which thou commandest thy servant Moses.

And then it was Monday once again; but a Monday with a difference; Easter Monday where a fair amount of us don’t have to go to work and we’re still celebrating the miraculous and momentous resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from the depths of Hades through the awesome power of our omnipotent God! 

What blessed people we are my fellow believers to have such a magnificent and magnanimous Deity as our Creator, Controller and Provider! Give Him some most fitting thanks and praise nuh! 

We have one problem though, some of us have to go to work, so no doubt they will be in a funk, jealous that they have to go out and labour while the rest of us get to stay home and party. Others however, might just be flat out tired and exhausted from their Easter celebrations, so it’s also hard for them to get up and get going. 

But as always, we have the antidote for the Monday morning whatever ails you, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out with as much gusto as we can manage nuh, to help our unfortunate brethren who have to go out and labour today. 

All together 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!’  

That was uproarious friends! As usual, you could hear the sore, croaky voices louder than the others, and know that they weren’t going to work, while the soon to be working were barely audible. But that’s just the nature of the human animal. 

Oh, let me apologize for not reminding us of Granny’s serious warning this long, Easter weekend. Sorry, I guess I just got carried away by all the activities myself. But it’s not too late to issue the warning now: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And that applies to all believers as we celebrate one of the biggest occasions in our Christian faith. It’s a time when we’re liable to let our hair down too much and allow Lucifer and his evil minions to catch us offside. And we don’t want that at all now mih people. So please be careful; give plenty thanks and party hearty, but please mind your p’s and q’s. End of sermon. (smile) 

And today’s Bit is an obscure verse of scripture from Nehemiah’s prayer for Israel when he learned of their sorrowful state back in the homeland. Israel had been punished by captivity in Babylon because of their disobedience to God’s laws. ‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances) which thou commandest thy servant Moses.’ 

Friends, I believe that right now we’re also holding the short straw, because of the unbelievable sinful ways and attitudes predominant in our current society. And we all need to be seriously praying that the Lord might save us from our shortcomings, for who knows if some of the disasters we’ve been recently suffering are God’s hands at work. 

But I can assure us of one thing, if we aren’t already feeling God’s wrath, then if we continue down the sinful and ungodly path we’re presently travelling, then it won’t be long before we do feel His wrath. For our God does not make promises lightly. What he says He means. 

And here is what He said way back when to the Israelites under Moses, as the consequences of disobedience. ‘But it will come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken  unto (obey) the voice of the Lord thy God, to (carefully) observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.’ (Deut.28:15) 

And the curses run from verse 16 to 68, while the blessings of obedience only run from verse 1-13. That ought to tell us something friends; that the punishment for disobedience is harsh and long lasting and to avoid it, we need to improve our godliness and righteousness.  We ought to read them for ourselves so that we can better understand the seriousness of our situation.  

And it’s not like there aren’t many examples of societies who got too big for their britches and were eventually cast aside through God’s machinations. Why do we think ours will fare any differently eh? Especially, like Israel, when we were once upon a time God’s poster society for general obedience to His laws and He made us strong with His blessings. 

So friends, this Easter Monday, while we’re celebrating Jesus’ victory, let’s take some time to also ponder our own situation nuh, and see how we can bring our society back into line with God’s law, because our death knell is ringing. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…he who doesn’t listen…will surely feel…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2017 Revelation 3:20.

Revelation 3:20.   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.

And then it was Wednesday, the mid-point of our workweek! Yeh friends, some light is showing up at the end of the tunnel. It’s interesting though, how we all look forward to the weekend so that we can get some time off work, but very few of us look forward to the workweek so that we can make some money to support our families and ourselves. 

One would think that working would be the more important part of the equation, but apparently it’s not. I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal, especially in these turbulent and transitional times. (smile) 

But here is something to help us from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those things that seem to need repeated sharing for us to get it indelibly written in our hearts, souls and minds. It’s called ‘Learn to Know God.’  

Please pray with me. ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy old door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You, Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen!’ 

 Ah mih people, I do hope that those words, especially the fact that life’s not fair, but God IS good, are having some positive effects on us this day, because we ALL need to improve our knowledge and experiences with Jesus, our Redeemer and heavenly Advocate. And we can only do some of that by constant repetition. 

Oh, I know some of us want to hear something new everyday, but what’s the point when we haven’t learned what we heard the day before eh? Like everything else in this fallen world, we only learn stuff when we encounter it regularly, and that’s never more true that with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

The more we interact with him, the more we come to learn about and LOVE Him. And that’s the only way we can ever be changed into His Christ-like image, which is the heartfelt desire and purpose of our heavenly Father for each of us, His adopted children. 

Consequently the message of Jesus to the church at Laodicea through John’s revelation is extremely important for believers right down through the ages, especially for us in these grossly evil times. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ 

Yes friends, when Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts let’s be quick to answer, throw it wide open and embrace Him without any hesitation, for that’s wisdom of unmatched magnitude! 

And please note I said, when He knocks, not if He knocks, for Jesus is continually knocking at the portals of our hearts, just dying to come in and have an intense and ever so satisfying relationship with us. We don’t know what we’re missing out on, when we reject the advances of Jesus. 

Listen to what He says after our Bit. ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in (on) my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in (on) his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ (Rev. 3:21-22) 

Yuh hear that awesome promise my people? If we stand up strong with and for Jesus, we’ll have the everlasting privilege of sitting with Him on His heavenly throne, just like He sits with the Father now, after He overcame His earthly trials and tribulations. 

And the scholars offer these explanations to those verses. ‘3:20-22. In light of the spiritual conditions of the Laodiceans described in verses 17-18, (pride in their wealth and rejection of Jesus) the invitation of verse 20 seems to be evangelistically addressed to individual members of an apostate church (religious abandonment), so they might receive Christ genuinely as Saviour and Lord (cf. John 1:12; 10:27). 

To sup (dine) means to have fellowship (cf. Luke 22:30; John 14:23) and to enjoy Christ’s blessings. The promise to sit with Christ in His throne refers to reigning with Christ in His kingdom (cf. Matt.19:28; Rev. 20:4; 22:1). Verse 22 contains the last reference to the church before chapter 22, implying that the Rapture will occur before the events of chapters 4-19 and thus that the church will not be present on earth during the Great Tribulation.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ And so we should, if we know we’re not going to be here on earth when the great upheaval comes. 

Oh friends, I don’t know how else to put it so that we can be convinced of Jesus’ eventual victory nuh, but as they say, the smart money IS on Jesus! 

And for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with much gusto and enthusiasm. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share the good news with others. Much LOVE!

…two ears…and only one mouth…means we need to listen more than we talk…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ah mih people, yuh hear the Friday celebrations going on? The working man is overjoyed at two days off work and he plans to fully enjoy it in his own way. 

That’s why he’s singing ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend’s here at long last! Steups! Thought it would never come yes! This week’s surely been a rough one! The slave driver was at his nasty best. 

But Hallelujah! He can’t stop the weekend, and we going to party hearty; party right through it. That’s why we have to give thanks for Fridays and the weekend. TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ 

Yeh friends, I know some of us would agree with all that, especially after a rough week at work, but the truth is, it just does not repair the situation, it only makes it worse, because then you have to go back out to work the following week all broken down and tired, and unable to do anything productive for Jesus under those negative circumstances. 

Much better our simple but renewing Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh, with the same enthusiasm that the working man sang his Friday song. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that sounds much more inspiring and sensible. At least when you go back out to work you’re not more tired than when you left. And here now is our Bit; possibly the last day for it. But who knows eh? (smile) Only the Good Lord! 

‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ 

Oh friends, those words are so important to both our earthly and heavenly lives, that if we truly understood the power of forgiveness, we’d just run quickly and forgive everybody that ever hurt us. 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Peter and Jesus’ conversation on the subject. Jesus had been telling them about praying while having a brother trespass against them, and how they should go and straighten out the situation first. (Matt.18:15-20) 

‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft (often) shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

Yes my fellow believers, seven times just won’t do! Here’s how the scholars explain it. ’18:21-22. All this teaching on forgiveness seemed overwhelming to the disciples, thus prompting Peter’s question: Lord how oft (often) shall my brother sin against me? Peter wrongly assumes that seven times are ample to forgive anyone. 

Jesus responds that seven is not only insufficient but that one should forgive seventy times seven, in other words, unlimited forgiveness must characterize the true disciple.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Even forgiving 490 times is not enough in Jesus’ kingdom! Forgiveness must always keep flowing, just like God’s forgiveness keeps flowing down to us! 

Then Jesus told them the parable of the king who took account of what his servants owed him. This one servant owed him oodles of money, but he begged for forgiveness and the king forgave him. 

Meanwhile, that same servant accosted another servant who owed him a pittance in comparison to what he had owed the king. However, when his fellow servant pleaded for forgiveness, he instead threw him into debtors prison until he could pay the pittance that he owed. 

Obviously the other servants brought the mater to the king’s attention. ‘Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst (begged) me: 

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth (angry), and delivered him to the tormentors (torturers), till he should pay all that was due unto him.’ (Matt.18:32-34) 

Oh my fellow believers please pay very close attention to that story, because this is how Jesus concludes the parable. ‘So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ (Matt.18:35) 

That’s as plain and straightforward as it can get my brethren. And please note the words ‘from your hearts.’  They are not there just to provide colour commentary, but to specify that our motives must also be right. 

And that’s it for today. Please, let’s seriously ponder all that we’ve learned about forgiveness over the last few days nuh, and realize just how important it is in our very lives. That’s wisdom of untold reckoning! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will certainly feel…

 

 

 

 

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