Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh friends, it’s so good to finally awaken to a li’l sunshine after all the wet, dreary mornings of this past week! I believe this is the first time all week, although some of those days have eventually morphed into sunshiny ones. And just for your info, yesterday the sunshine won the victory! Glory be! It turned into a warm and windy day. So warm that I couldn’t sit on my porch in my shirtsleeves in the afternoon for very long because the sun was actually burning me. (smile) 

Imagine that nuh, in late October, in these northern climes. I guess it’s what we’d call a true Indian summer’s day. But the rain did come back late in the evening, and the dark clouds are now tussling out there with the sunshine for superiority, so it’s another watch and wait and see, just like we ought to be doing with our faith in Almighty God. (smile) But enough with the weather scene, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And it seems like Anselm was on a positive affirmation kick this past week, (smile) because every quote begins with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are,’ which is then followed by the positive affirmation. So we’re not going to repeat the first part, just the affirmation itself. And just as a gentle reminder, you are an awesome being if you are a follower of Christ Jesus, meaning that He is in you, and you are in Him! Glory Hallelujah! 

And the first positive affirmation of your awesomeness is: ‘I’m in control of how I react to others.’ Now that should be a very true statement, especially if we’re followers of Christ, because Christ was always in control of His reaction to others, and we need to follow His example. Look at how the Pharisees and other groups mocked and jeered and harassed and finally killed Him. But you never heard Him react with the same venom that they hurled at Him. And what were some of His dying words on that old, rugged cross? ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

And these words from the website Gotquestions.org, provide an interesting explanation of that particular situation.‘Jesus looked down from the cross upon a scene that must have been distressing to Him. The Roman soldiers were gambling for His clothing (John 19:23-24); the criminals on the crosses to either side of Him were reviling Him (Matt. 27:44); the religious leaders were mocking Him (Matt. 27:41-43); and the crowd was blaspheming Him (Matt. 27:39). 

Surrounded by this most unworthy lot, Jesus prayed for them. “Father, forgive them” is a prayer of unmatched mercy and LOVE. It is important to note that Jesus’ prayer, “Father, forgive them,” does not mean that everyone was forgiven, unilaterally, without repentance and faith. It does mean that Jesus was willing to forgive them —forgiveness was, in fact, the reason He was on the cross. The words “Father, forgive them” show the merciful heart of God.’ 

Are our hearts as merciful, do we show that forgiving and graceful attitude? That brings us to the next positive affirmation. ‘I’m courageous and stand up for myself.’ Yes, we ought to be courageous and stand up for ourselves. But again friends, we can only do so much on our own. We need Jesus as our backer, our titanic force that stands beside us and victoriously confronts all who come against us. What did Jesus say? ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Without Jesus, there’s not a whole lot we can do successfully. Remember too, the Lord’s admonition to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. Having told him that only through meditating constantly on His word, could he be prosperous and have success, (Josh. 1:8) He followed it up with: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Yes friends, we can stand up strongest and be the most courageous when Jesus is an integral part of our lives. And along with that comes this next positive affirmation: ‘I choose peace.’ Oh Mama Mia people! That’s a glorious truth! For when we are imbued with the spirit of Christ, peace becomes a natural by-product. Yeah! And the peace we find in Christ is not only awesome but also incredible, and it’s a kind of peace that we can’t find anywhere else. Wow! Here how Jesus characterizes it nuh. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:26) 

Ah mih people, when the peace of Christ reigns in us, we’re neither troubled nor afraid, we can go through all sorts of troubles, like we doing right now, and yet still be at peace, because Christ’s peace is one that passes all understanding, all human reasoning. It’s a divine peace. And you know what that brings with it? This positive affirmation: ‘I deserve to have joy in my life.’ Yes precious people, joy is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise in our lives. Remember His immortal words? ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) 

Oh my fellow saints of Christ, having life and having it more abundantly means enjoying our earthly life, hard though it may be at times, and not waiting until we get to heaven to enjoy it. What’s the purpose of Christ sacrificing Himself for us eh, and reconciling us to the Father, if we don’t enjoy that bountiful blessing down here? And remember too these marvellous words: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy is always seeking to steal our joy, cause he knows that without it we can be easily defeated. Like Samson when Delilah cut off his locks became weak, so we become weak when we lose the joy of the Lord. 

And all of the above leads us to this last positive affirmation: ‘I am worthy of LOVE.’ And isn’t that the most glorious, awesome, indisputable truth? It surely is! As sons and daughters of God, heirs of God with Jesus, how can we not be worthy of God’s greatest attribute, LOVE, eh? Remember the main reason Jesus gave for coming to earth to save us? ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

Yeh mih bredrin! It’s LOVE that moved God’s heart toward us while we were still sinners, and it’s LOVE that makes the world go round, and it’s LOVE that we don’t have enough of in this current world, why our society is in such shambles and steadily going down into the mire of hell. So let’s perk up, be courageous and stand up, for and with Christ, and show LOVE, for the devil cannot defeat us when we’re joyful and strong in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE, sweet LOVE…not just for some…but for everyone… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.     ​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.

Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday, Fridayyyy! The people’s day! The day that evokes wonderful images of a no-work weekend and parties galore! Yes friends, in these modern times, the weekend is all about partying, getting out and about, church is merely an insignificant irritant, especially if you’re young and energetic. And it’s so ingrained in us that we still doing it although it’s somewhat like a death sentence hanging over our heads in this Covid-19 pandemic time. I guess we taking our godly mandate and constitutional rights of free choice and free speech rather seriously, although it could mean our sure demise. 

But that’s the human animal for you; likes to go out on a limb, the farthest reaches thereof, to test his human ability against that of nature and other men. So what will be, will be. Yeh: ‘Que sera, sera!’ The only problem there though, is when we so adamant about doing our own thing and the negative consequences boomerang back on us, we quick to complain and blame other people, quite conveniently forgetting our adamant decision to pursue the  unwise actions that brought them on. 

But tis Friday, so let’s check out what the ordinary workingman has to say in these early September days. And he proclaims: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and weekend’s here! It’s oh so good to get away from the slave master work for a couple days. And yuh know he still behaving rather ornery, despite the pandemic business. It didn’t mellow him down at all. I guess he vex about the money he lost for the couple months that the factory was shut down. 

Ah Lord eh! For some people life not more important than money nuh. As for me, although I didn’t have much money and no work to bring in some, I was happy to be alive and not gone in the blink of an eye like some people I knew. When we going to ever realize that life, as frail and fickle as it already is, is the best thing we have in this world eh? 

Steups! But we still running behind all the material things of the world, although we don’t have time to enjoy them, because we have to kill we self to pay for them. Is a good thing I learn from young, through hard experience, that everything that glitters is not gold, and the more yuh have is the more responsibility yuh have and too much responsibility not good for the body nor the soul. That’s why I’m content to take life easy, take it as it comes, one day at a time, and don’t get too upset over anything, thanking God for work and weekends. Is the only way to live yes!’ 

Well friends, who says that the ordinary working man can’t philosophize with the best of them eh? He certainly can! As I keep saying, he might not have a whole lot of book education, but he certainly has plenty common sense and life experience, and those two will beat book learning any day! And all over the world people are rebelling against the safety procedures put in place for the pandemic, the only thing that so far has been able to control its flow. And all over the world people are still contracting the virus and dying because of their resistance to the safety procedures. 

The new thing from some supposed leaders is what’s called ‘the herd immunity.’ Let as many people as possible catch the virus which will make us immune to it. Pure heifer dust! Nobody knows if that will even work in theory, much less in practice. And that’s the thing that annoys me most about these troubled times; there are no positive answers, and too many different opinions – from one end of the spectrum to the other – are proliferating around the place, so people can’t get a good handle on the situation, which only leads to uncertainty, fear and panic. 

Oh my people, the ONLY PLACE you can find true peace and be free from the worry and anxiety found in this life, especially in these calamitous times is at the foot of Jesus’ cross, where His sacrificial blood flowed down to bring us forgiveness of sins and a new way of life. Remember His immortal name: ‘The PRINCE OF PEACE!’ (Is. 9:6) That’s no lie, no joke! Hear Him offer His peace nuh. ‘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) 

Please note friends, Jesus didn’t give us peace like the world gives; the flimsy, uncertain facade, the here today, gone tomorrow stuff that the world calls peace. But His peace is special; one that allows the heart and soul to be quiet and not fearful or anxious despite disastrous circumstances. Now that’s TRUE PEACE! And if you seriously desire it, then you will have to seriously turn to Jesus to get it. No other way! So let’s turn to Him now nuh, as we seek peace, wisdom and understanding through our Friday Chant for help to handle the troubles of our world. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, it’s time for those faithful believers to go out and put those words into action; handle the situation with the LOVE and compassion of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but action requires sacrifice…let’s stop talking…and start sacrificing nuh… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2020 Isaiah 41:13.

Isaiah 41:13.     For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 
 

Aye mih people, the last couple of days been pretty rough on the ole fella. Yeh, the joint pains and them just been disgusting, and the pain pills and them not helping all that much either! And the sad part is that I don’t remember doing anything to exacerbate them to that extent. But on further ‘ponderation,’ I’m beginning to think that that’s the very reason for the preponderance of my recent pain: I haven’t done anything, meaning like exercise. 

It certainly seems like whether you do, or don’t do, the same painful effects follow. Our bodies are certainly wonderfully made yes! (smile) But enough of my complaining, I should realize by now that the process of aging includes the preponderance of pain! Wow! What a brilliant deduction! (smile) 

But here’s another brilliant deduction, this time from someone from whom we haven’t heard for a long time; one of the foundation stones of our Bit. We talking about Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) And from His Hour of Power Devotional he enlightens us on ‘God’s Peace.’ 

‘We take God’s promises in vain. No wonder our trembling world is so frightened!’ And isn’t that the living truth! That was written way back in at least 2004. Can you imagine what He would say if he was alive to see how frightened and panicked we are today over the pandemic and racial protests situations? 

But listen to how he continues: ‘Let’s have an honest understanding. God is not the inventor of fear. He is not responsible for our worry, fear, and anxiety. It’s our own fault. If we took God’s promises seriously, we would mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and never faint.’ (Is. 40:31) 

Now that lines up very nicely with Bruh Paul’s revelation to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) So what does that mean eh? Simple; when we feel fear, especially the kind that just seems to trap us in an immovable position, like a deer in the headlights, then that situation is not of God but of our enemy, the devil. 

And Gramps Schuller uses the example of a man who goes to bed fearing he won’t be able to fall asleep, and that will lead to lack of energy on his job, which will further lead to mind problems; he’ll crack up. And there goes his career! ‘So his imagination works overtime and before he knows it, he has fabricated a terrifying ghost that haunts his mind, and robs him of the joy of living!’ 

And don’t we do that sort of thing all the time my brethren? We certainly do! We imagine all sorts of problems that could crop up, but in reality will not, and then we give ourselves unnecessary headaches over them! And I like Gramps Schuller’s remedy for such situations. ‘What he needs is spiritual therapy!’ Mama Yo! Now isn’t that the gospel truth? It certainly is! 

‘Let him read some of God’s wonderful promises of peace and LOVE and power and in quietness of mind he will rest in a natural sleep.’ Yes friends, that is exactly what we all need in these difficult and uncertain times, when the twin aspects of fear and panic are constantly hovering over our society like a storm, even a death cloud. 

Gramps Schuller recommends this solution. ‘Quietly, gently, tenderly, let the promise of God fall softly and sweetly into your tense, tight mind.’ Then he quotes salient parts of these wonderful scriptures. I will give us the full scriptures though. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Is. 26:3) “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) 

The last quote of Gramps Schuller was simply “I am the Lord your God.’ However there are so many passages of scripture with those words attached to them, that I am not sure which one he meant; possibly all of them. (smile) I will quote this one though that seems appropriate to our current topics of fear and peace. 

Hear what our great and wonderful, merciful and gracious God says through the prophet Isaiah. ‘For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’ (Is.41:13-14) 

Oh precious saints of Christ, what more must out God do to receive our sincere trust, faith and surrender eh? He’s given us so many wonderful promises in His holy Word, it’s now our duty to accept them and hold on to them and use them in a positive manner. But hear how Gramps Schuller ends this devotion nuh. ‘Reach for your Bible, friend, and underline the positive promises of God and trust them. Indescribable peace is bound to follow!’ 

And that I can personally testify to! So can many of you. But the problem persists: we don’t read our Bibles enough, and don’t hold on as securely to the promises found there as we ought to! We let the devil and the world infiltrate our thoughts with their fear and other nonsense too much, that’s why our minds are so uncertain and fearful when troubles come. 

And my people, right now troubles are coming a mile a minute, so we need that peace, steadfastness, and trust, so we can stand strong in the Lord! That means much more of reading and studying the Word, and accepting it and living it! That’s the only way we’ll ever find peace in these trying times. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere and fearless hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So let’s go out and do just that nuh; be the salt of the earth, rise on wings like eagles, be the light of the world! Much LOVE!

…if perfect LOVE has no fear…and we have fear…that means we’re not LOVING perfectly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.     ​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.
 

Top O the morn my people! A cool and crazy wind is blowing through my area this morning, making it feel more spring-like than the summer time it’s supposed to be. But that’s the current reality of the weather in these dangerous and contrary times! More importantly though my friends, today I’ve been asked to inform us, to remind us of three of the most salient facts in this our earthly lives. 

And these cardinal truths are: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE Presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! And the next essential truth decrees: ‘The Bible is God’s Word to us! Furthermore, it is still fresh, exciting and relevant. It has been thus down through all the ages and will continue to perform it’s God given function till the end of time. No ifs and buts about that! And if we read, study and meditate on it, we WILL find God’s wisdom on its pages. And the third maxim, or fundamental principle is this: ONE Truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man!’ 

Glory be mih bredrin! Now I don’t want to preach, (smile) but I’m sure that if we sincerely embraced those three truths our earthly lives would be oh so much better than they currently are. And I am willing to bet that a lot of our ‘sufferation’ stems directly from our lack of adherence to those three great, fundamental and foundational truths. 

And as I look at a page of that same Bible, God’s mighty Word to us, that’s open in front of me, my eyes confront this amazing and oh so true statement from the wisest man who ever lived; Cousin Sol. And it says: ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) Oh friends, never were truer words spoken! 

And just for argument sake, (smile) let’s consider who made Cousin Sol, not only the wisest but the richest man ever; the ONE and ONLY, TRUE, LIVING GOD of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! What does that tell us eh? That the God we worship, the God who gave us the Bible, is indeed a powerful, magnanimous and magnificent Being! There is none other like Him in all the world, in all creation! And until we, finite fools that He created in His own image and gave breath and life to through the inbreathing of His Spirit, take those facts seriously and bow down and worship and obey Him the way He deserves, our lives will be filled with unnecessary pain and hardship. 

That’s not to say if we humble ourselves and live the way He desires, that there will be no pain and troubles, because in this world of evil and sin, those things come automatically, as Jesus said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that, basically, is why it’s so sensible, so wise to sincerely believe in Jesus. Despite all the troubles and torment of this world, through Him we are able to stay peaceful and joyful and deal positively with whatever situations come against us. 

But because so many of us think that believing in Jesus will curtail our sinful behaviour and opportunities – and it will to a certain extent – we shy away from embracing Him as our Lord and Saviour. But friends, as, I believe it’s Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) I heard say: ‘The worst day with Jesus is better than the best one without Him!’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Supposedly good days without Jesus just don’t compare favourably with any kind of day in His fold. 

And why is that you ask? It’s simple. As Bruh Paul explained to the church at Ephesus: ‘For he (He Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation: ‘2:14-15. Who hath made both one: Jesus has formed the two antagonistic groups of Jew and Gentile into a single new party, the Christian Church. He did this by removing the middle wall of partition, that is the Mosaic Law. The law was meant to protect Jews from pagan corruptions, but by misconstruing the purpose of the law, the Jews felt superior to Gentiles, who were incensed at this arrogance. So Jesus abolished this enmity (hatred), caused by an abuse of the law, by making the law invalid for His church. Of twain one new man: As above, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles now compose this “one new man” or Christian church.’ 

Ah friends and fellow believers, we can never repay the debt, the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. And He doesn’t want or expect us to. He made the sacrifices so we can sincerely follow Him, if like so many of us claim, we want to live in peace and have eternal life. For He is our peace; NO ONE and NOTHING ELSE serves that wonderful purpose! Listen to him nuh, as He reassures us: ‘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) 

Oh friends, how can those sincere sentiments not grip your heart eh? His peace is not peace like the world offers, but an eternal, everlasting peace which the world doesn’t know, and will never know until and unless they accept Him as Lord and Saviour! That’s why He is called ‘THE PRINCE OF PEACE!’ And having established all those truths this morning, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

As one strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, in these turbulent and troubled times, we need more than ever to manifest, to show the world true Christian behaviour, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring our world together! Much LOVE!

…right now… Christians need to stand up and be counted… be the true salt of the earth…and light of the world…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Thursday morning, possibly because of my extra late late night. (smile) But we hanging in there, we not giving up, we getting it together, with the Lord’s help of course, and the strong, sweet caffeine. So we right on the ball! And to get this ball rolling here is something encouraging and challenging that I received yesterday. 

Please pray with me: ‘O God of peace, so often You say to me” do not let your heart be troubled,” and yet, without fail, I let worry and fear take over. I let my doubts overrule what I know to be true – that You, my God, will never abandon me, that whatever the situation, You already know the solution. Strengthen my faith today O God that I may abandon myself to your peace; that I may stand on your words of comfort and assurance; and that I may cling to You as my only anchor. Draw me closer to You today Father, that I may feel again the warmth of Your presence, covering me with your peace. Today, O God, I will not let my heart be troubled.’ 

Oh friends, what an encouraging prayer, with a whole lot of truth in it! One that all of us most likely need to declare right now in these crucial times enveloping our world. Oh yes, we know the scripture: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ But do we seriously adhere to it? Not really. Like so much other scripture we quote but don’t really adhere to, else we wouldn’t have all the doubts and anxieties and uncertainties we have. And I want to share the scholars’ explanation of that verse because it contains such wonderful assurances and encouragement for us believers. 

‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially of His return.’ 

Yes my brethren, belief in Jesus’ Second Coming is ever so important to the believer. Jesus said it thus: ‘In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there may ye be also.’ (John 14:2-3) That’s a major promise of Jesus friends; going to prepare a place for us, then coming back to get us to be with Him wherever He is! 

Wow! What a marvellous event to look forward to! The point though, is that if we believe Him and look forward to his Second Coming, we can’t be as anxious and doubtful and uncertain as so many of us are. But let’s not be too hard on ourselves, for Thomas didn’t understand when Jesus said: ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ (John 14:4) Jesus had to specifically inform him. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Philip didn’t understand either, when Jesus said in response to Thomas’ query: ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:7) He piped up: ‘Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?’ (John 14:8-9) 

Yes friends, though the disciples had been with Jesus for a long time, they still had their doubts and uncertainties, as we do, but we have the benefit of all the gospel and scriptures and experiences of millions of Christians down through the years since then, we ought not to be still as doubtful and hesitant and uncertain as so many of us are, especially now in this time of world wide pandemic. Yes, we must ask questions, and we must be concerned, but deep down we ought to have that saving faith, especially when we read scriptures like this. ‘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) 

Ah mih people, what more can we ask eh? More scripture? Well try this one on for size nuh. (smile) ‘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) 

And if neither of those two scriptures reassure you, then try this from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Oh precious people of God, the best way to quell our anxieties and concerns are to be prayerful about everything, but with thanksgiving and gratitude in our hearts for what the Lord has already done for us and promised to do in the future. Then we’ll be divinely granted that peace which man, the world cannot understand, but which will quieten our fears and worries. Glory be! 

Now let’s go home declaring (ayeahh!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to share with our fellow man. 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!’ 

Awright fellow saints in Christ! Let’s put those blessings into action right now nuh, however we can, remembering of course, the unfavourable conditions under which we’re now living. Much LOVE!

…peace…like a silent river…floweth…when Jesus is truly in our hearts…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2020 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 
At last friends, at long last, yesterday I was able to sit on my front porch and enjoy the welcome the heat of the noonday sun in just an ordinary spring jacket, no big, bulky coat! Glory be! And I mean actually feel the heat gloriously exuding from the sun’s rays, as I turned my bare face up to it and said a most grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ Yes mih people, those of you living in the tropical climes can laugh as much you want, but I know a good thing when I experience it, and am extremely grateful for whatever it is. Is how many months now we haven’t really felt the sun’s heat up here eh? Too many! So let’s be grateful for whatever little we might receive. 

But sadly, as Job so wisely said, you can’t expect to get the good without the bad, and thus there was also the bad with the good yesterday; the annoying sounds of lawnmowers, and the grass isn’t even green and growing properly yet, plus the whining sounds of electric drills and saws, with motorcycles and cars loudly revving their engines in anticipation of summer, although this one might not have the ‘ownwayness’ usually associated with the season because of Covid-19 restrictions. So let’s hope that yesterday was the first of many such days, and that I will soon be able to go out on my porch at two in the morning in just shorts and a T-shirt! A body can certainly dream eh! (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s come back down to earth and check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is not only interesting but totally true: ‘Improvement begins with I.’ Oh friends, if only more of us would recognize that truth! Improvement does begin with the letter ‘I’ as well as at the person, ‘I, me, myself!’ Any improvement in our lives must begin and end with us personally. Nobody else can really do it for us. Yes, they can encourage or even help us, but the basic desire and overall effort must come from us. 

We will never improve unless we want to do so, and then put that desire into blood, sweat and tears action, for it’s only those characteristics that bring about any real and true improvement in our lives. That takes us to this next quote: ‘My life is constantly under construction. There’s always something to improve.’ And isn’t that the indisputable truth? It surely is, since once we’re still alive, even in our old age, there are always areas in which we both need improvement and can also carry out the improvement. Now they might just be small things, but you’ll be surprised at the huge differences small changes or improvements in our lives can bring. 

That’s why we’re told to never stop learning, it not only makes us wiser, but also keeps us alive longer. (smile) And then there’s this: ‘All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.’ That’s another indisputable truth! You cannot improve or make any real progress when you’re comfortable. It’s just a fact of life. As we said above, it’s only in actions that bring out blood, sweat and tears can true improvement or progress be made. And if you don’t believe me, just try it and see nuh. Try to improve without any real effort, and see how far you get. 

Now this next quote is also the gospel truth, as no doubt many of us have eventually found out. ‘If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter, but if you continuously compete with yourself you become better.’ Ah friends, some competition is healthy and useful to drive us along, but when that competition becomes all there is, all that you’re living for, then you lose the whole beauty and essence of whatever you’re doing, and eventually your soul just becomes more negative, especially if you’re not winning those things for which you compete. You begin to resent and even hate those against whom you’re competing, get irrational and angry and begin doing illegal or unlawful things just to win. 

And this doesn’t hold true only in the outside world, but also in the church, where there is a lot of unnecessary competition for whatever reason, which leads to many cliques and much jealousy amongst the saints of Christ. Please remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the church at Corinth when those believers were arguing about whom they belonged to, Paul or Apollos. Christ’s church is one body, and like the human body it has many different parts with each part playing a different role, performing a different function, just like our hands, feet and eyes perform different functions, but are all important to the proper functioning of our bodies. 

Likewise, Christians are co-labourers, and it doesn’t matter who’s planted and whose watered, Paul or Apollos, because in the long run it is God that gives the increase. The most important thing is for us to do what we’ve each been called to do, but to all build our work on the strong and stable foundation that’s Christ our Lord and Saviour! (1 Cor. 3:1-15) And this last quote exemplifies all that we’ve said, but it also helps and encourages us to improve and accomplish. ‘When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.’ 

Oh my my my! That view from heaven is certainly breathtaking! Yes friends, when life seems to be giving us a rough time, we need to stop for a moment and think on, truly consider the goal we’re working towards, how we will feel when we’ve accomplished it, and let that view from the top energize, encourage and reassure us. For remember life is nothing but a bully-boy, and if it discovers it can beat you down continually, it will do so. But please remember these awesome and encouraging words of Christ: 

‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) And if you believe in Jesus, then you know that He is faithful to keep His promises. And the scholars offer us this marvellous explanation of what we have to look forward to.

’14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities include singing (Rev. 15:3), worship (Rev. 5:9), serving Rev. 22:3), ruling (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5), fellowship with others (Matt. 17:3), and eating (Rev. 2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev. 22:4), a life of rest (Rev. 14:13), a life of service (Rev. 22:3), a life of growth (Rev. 22:2), and a life of worship (Rev. 19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven (First Ref. Gen. 1:1; Primary Ref. Rev. 21:1-5; cf. Matt. 24:33).’ 

Now friends, please, let’s take a moment today out of our busy, lockdown schedules (smile) and sincerely peruse those scriptures nuh, and if they don’t raise up the joy, the anticipation that heaven offers, then I really don’t know what else to say. Much LOVE!

…when life becomes a struggle…look up…and remember…the awesome and faithful promise of heaven…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.    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.
 

And another day has bitten the dust…But our world is still alive, though somewhat discombobulated; scarred and scared by the ole Coronavirus, since not enough good, but still too much bad and ugly is happening. And is it ever a good thing that we believers know the Truth, and that the Truth will set us free! Glory to God! A few places are holding their own, but many, like the U. S. are now exploding because of too late precautions. And I understand that mih people in J.A will be under lock and key from tomorrow… 

Hn! Ah talking about a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. And believe me, I know what that is like, having experienced it way back in 1970 with the Black Power Riots in T&T. The voluntary stay at home now is bad enough, but when you can’t be seen in the streets at all during certain hours, that’s a horse of a different colour, especially if the military and the police are out looking for curfew breakers. But not to worry mih bredrin, our good God has it all under control. We just have to obey our leaders, stay home and practice safe routines, and come to Him in sincere prayer with heartfelt repentance for our myriad number of ghastly sins. 

And as He has promised, eventually, everything will be worked out for our benefit. Remember though, that it will all happen in His time, not ours, and that’s the cut-tail part of it all. We hate to wait, and the Lord doesn’t hurry! And if yuh doh believe me, then just try it and see nuh! (smile) Oh my people, this virus business is indeed a serious matter, but too many of us are letting it get us too afraid, depressed and daily losing hope. But now is the time when we believers ought to be on the ascendance with our strong and wonderful faith! 

It’s not the time for us to wilt like faded and dying roses, as so many of us are doing, because the world needs that awesome faith we have more than ever now! Now is the time for us to stand up and really show our true colours; be the amazing salt and light of the world that Jesus desires of us! And yuh know what? If, we believers, with all of our supposed faith in, and awesome promises of God, become fearful and lose hope, what will be the response of the unbeliever be eh, of the rest of the world, who don’t have what we have? Utter chaos and confusion! 

That’s why, as a group, Christians need to stand strong and steadfast, take the matter seriously, but don’t panic and give assurances to the unbelievers. It’s at times like these when we can do our best evangelical work, bringing others to Christ, by the staunch and steadfast examples we set. Jesus knew that we’d face trials and tribulations, thus His encouraging and reassuring words. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And a lot of us quick to quote those words, but when the time comes to put them into actual action, like now, too many of us falter and fail. If we falter now friends, it means that we don’t have sufficient faith and trust in our God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that’s supposed to dwell in us and lead and guide us in godly righteousness. We obviously don’t hold Jesus’ many assurances of ‘FEAR NOT!’ in high regard. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but of doing stuff while afraid, with the power of the Holy Spirit assisting us. 

And what about these words of Jesus eh? ‘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) It doesn’t seem as though we are taking those words seriously either. And what if some of us die? We all have to go sometime. As the Good Book says: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb. 9:27) Now don’t get me wrong, very few of us are ready to, or want to die right now, including me, but the truth is that  none of us have the power or authority to prolong our lives, so when the Grim Reaper comes a calling, we just have to go, whether we want to or not. 

The one proviso necessary though before that time comes, is that we go with Christ as our Lord and Saviour tucked away safely and deeply in our hearts. So once you truly have Jesus as the Light of your life, there’s no need to fear death, for what we call death, the physical aspect, is merely a leaving of our physical body behind, with a glorious continuation of life on the other side, in the spiritual plane, with Jesus. Oh friends, just like Christ died once, on our behalf, we can only die once, but with Him in our hearts, we are assured of a resurrection just like Him. 

And thus let’s hold on tight to this somewhat obscure and unknown verse of scripture: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look (eagerly wait) for him shall he reappear the second time without (apart from) sin unto salvation.’ (Heb. 9:28) So my faithful brethren, instead of dwelling on the worst case scenario in these trying times, let’s instead focus on the big picture nuh; the Second Coming of Christ with the beautiful promise of salvation in His wings! That’s the wise way to handle this current situation, and it will help us to stand strong and steadfast as prisoners of divine hope. 

Now let’s go home showing our mettle nuh, by declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, fearless voices, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And now, the natural consequence of that declaration (steups!) is to action it in whatever safe way we can. Much LOVE!

…sincere HOPE in Christ…is the ONLY antidote for fear… 

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, due as usual to my penchant for late nights, (smile) but I like it…and I hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Well it’s Wednesday; the middle of the work week, the hump day, where we feel like we’ve finally gotten hold of, gotten over that invisible hump, where work takes up most of our time. But work certainly takes up most of our time in this life yes! Most of us work five days a week for an average of forty years, then we retire, thankful that there’s no work on the horizon, the early mornings and late nights are finally done! 

But yuh know what? After doing something for forty years it’s hard to get accustomed to not doing anything, to not have to get up and go to work every day, although we complained most days about having to get up and go to work! Hn! And if we just loll about in retirement and don’t keep busy, then our bodies give up and we head back to the dust from which we’ve come, sooner than expected. We’re creatures of habit. That’s the contrariness of the human animal! (smile) 

And I finally finished watching the second half of the movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it is indeed an epic story. But if the truth be told, nothing has really changed in our world since then nuh; that civil  war didn’t solve a whole lot, possibly besides the end of slavery, because there have been several bigger and more brutal wars since then, there’s still too much racism, overt and covert, still too much avarice and greed and jealously and strife, too much poverty and sickness and advantage, too much injustice and discrimination, be it by race, colour, class or creed, despite all the supposed advances we’ve made! 

Yes friends, our world is still a hotbed of dissension and disagreement! And yuh know what? It’s getting worse! Just look around at all the discontent between friends and families, between neighbours and nations…we’ve come closer together in terms of distance and communication, but we’ve gotten further apart in terms of true fellowship. There are more lonely people around now even with the advent of cell phones and social media, because that communication is basically impersonal; half the time you don’t even know who you’re really dealing with. 

Oh my people, the ONLY true solution to what ails our world is JESUS! He is the ONLY ONE who can truly bring us all together and give us the peace, LOVE and joy that we all seem to clamour for, but are far from experiencing! But strangely enough, Jesus is also one of the biggest factors of contention in our world; you either LOVE Him or hate Him with a passion! 

But let me ask you a few questions? Who is the ONLY ONE that came down from heaven, was made man, made in our image and lived amongst us like us eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died on a cross to take away our sins, to give us another option besides hellfire and damnation with Satan eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died and rose from the grave and ascended back into heaven with the promise to come back for us when we have made disciples of all the nations so that nobody will be lost to Beelzebub eh? JESUS CHRIST! 

Oh precious people, who said these momentous words with this awesome promise? ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh friends, Jesus had no cause to lie. They saw Him do numerous miracles. They saw Him crucified on the cross at Calvary, then rise up again. Yuh think if the early believers didn’t see Christ after He rose from the dead, they would have believed him and done what He asked and waited for Him? No way Jose! 

Hear the scholars: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ And a great shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ echoes far and wide across the land in anticipation of that most wonderful promise! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who desires to build a group of people, His church, on the basis of LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control). And if you didn’t recognize them, they are the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of which are planted in our own spirit when we do the wise thing and receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It’s then left up to us to water and nurture them and let them grow in and through us, by reading His Word and sincerely living it. 

That’s why Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them,’ speaking of false prophets and evil deceivers. (Matt.7:20) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. And we need to also remember these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13). 

Yes brothers and sisters, LOVE is indeed the greatest, because God is LOVE, and LOVE does no harm, but covers a multitude of sins, neither is there any fear in LOVE! And if  God first LOVED us, then we should also LOVE Him, and LOVE one another too: those are His two greatest desires! And now that all of that is indelibly written in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, let’s go home celebrating our position in Christ by declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether now, in strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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 in light of all Jesus has promised, friends, it will certainly be a glorious future indeed! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the answer to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2020 1 Peter 3:11.

1 Peter 3:11.    ​Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.
 
And as the day opens, a whole lot of people around the world emit sighs of relief because it’s that magical day called Friday, when their outside labour will end for a couple of days and they won’t have to face snarled, slow-moving traffic twice a day, and engage in mindless chit-chat with selfish, ignorant co-workers whom they thoroughly dislike! (smile) 

Ah friends, what an evil and deceitful world we live in! And the sad part is that it’s getting worse daily. All the negative stuff that’s currently happening in our world is just creating more tension, anxiety and strife between hitherto comfortable people. But all that us true believers in Christ can basically do is pray for world peace and then do our best to pursue it in our families, friends and neighbourhoods! 

And since it’s Friday, we ought to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! And am I ever grateful for the two days off! I forgot how hard work could really be. Yeh, now that the new year has truly gotten rolling, the work is pouring in and the slave driving task master we have is flashing the whip often because the more work we do means more money for him. And yes, we do get a little more too, but nothing like what he gets, and certainly not in proper proportion to the amount of work we do to create the extra money… 

But I guess them’s the breaks! It’s how the greedy massa and them build the society – the people who do all the back breaking work, get the smallest amount of the harvest. And to tell the truth, in all the different systems we have in the world, one thing stands out…the handful of people who run the show, always get the best part of the pie! Regardless of how much revolution yuh have, it always end up like that. And right now, I too old to fight it anymore, so I’ll just put mih gear in cruise, and just bide mih time till I retire, and until then keep saying, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the unfortunate reaction of a great number of people in our down-pressed world today, and sometimes you can’t give them wrong because they do seem to be fighting a losing battle. However, as true believers in Christ Jesus we don’t have to accept that defeatist philosophy, because in Christ there’s NO giving up. In fact, He has already won the victory and all we now have to do is walk it through in diligent faith and preordained works. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts, so that we can be encouraged this Friday morning. ‘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!’ 

You see my faithful brethren, whatever it looks like, and however life turns out, we believers need to keep on keeping on, fixated on the promises and sacrificial work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, always looking forward to His wonderful  coming in glory, sometime soon, any day now! In the meantime though, one thing we should all be seeking is that very real, but very elusive thing called peace, because it is a very important part of Christ’s kingdom. 

Now let’s look at some of the many scriptures in the Good Book that call for the making of peace. The first one is the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah re John’s work. ‘To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:79) And if a big part of John’s work was to guide us in the way of peace, and John was the forerunner of Christ, then it means that peace was also a big part of Christ’s ministry. 

And He made that clear often enough. One of the Beatitudes, those 8 states of mind and heart  that Christ said was absolutely necessary for Christian discipleship in the Sermon on the Mount is: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt.5:9) Yes friends, blessed are those who seek peace and make peace and are at peace with God and man. And Peter makes it quite clear that if we want to have a good, long life: ‘Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.’ Yuh see people, we have to make a definite decision and action; pursue peace. It doesn’t just come by desiring it, we have to make it happen! 

And I’m chuckling and a tad confused because I have so many scriptures on peace I don’t know which to share because of our time and space constraints. (smile) But since we can’t ever go wrong with Jesus, listen to Him again. ‘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) Yuh see that, Jesus’ peace is an entirely different kind of peace to what we find in the world. His is the kind that surpasses man’s understanding! (Phil. 4:7) And if we’re smart, we’ll diligently seek for His kind and not the world’s. 

And Hebrews so wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) Then James proudly proclaims: ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:18) Yeh friends, peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and you can’t get it unless you sow it. And what better way to end than with one of Jesus’ better known sayings on peace. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh friends with those encouraging words ringing in our hearts and minds, let’s go out today and in our own li’l way pursue peace nuh, because that’s the only way our world will ever improve! Much LOVE!

…as much as possible…follow peace with all men…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

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