Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28:   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Sunday morning coming down, heading for the house of God, with hearts a flutter, souls and bodies flushed with excitement to hear His holy word, sing praises unto Him, and thank Him for the gift of fellowship amongst believers. What can be better than that eh friends? Nothing really! For sincerely worshipping God in company with other believers is one of the greatest experiences a Christian can attain on this earth! 

You really can’t put it into words, you have to be there to see and experience it for yourself.  So let’s have joyous fellowship this morning nuh, beginning with some praise and worship, through a hymn written in 1880 by Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909). And it’s one we all know and LOVE! 

And according to Wikipedia, Evangelist Dwight L Moody liked it so much, that once when he was in the hospital and Thompson came to visit him, he declared: ‘Will, I would rather have written “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.” Now that was truly praise for the song, because Moody did do a lot of good and godly things in his life. 

But nuff talk now, the Father and the whole host of heaven are waiting to hear our song of praise and thanksgiving. So let’s get soulful and trill it up in rich, harmonious voice and sincere hearts, causing tears of joy to flow down the cheeks of those up there. ‘Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me; see, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. 

(Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home!) Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, mercies for you and for me? (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) 

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, passing from you and from me; shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) O for the wonderful LOVE He has promised, promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home…come on home!)’ 

Yes friends, we certainly stirred up the emotions this morning with a wonderful, soulful rendition of that marvellous hymn! Brother, the words are so realistic – I never really paid them that much attention before, but they do tell the story of Jesus and our sinful souls in living colour! 

And He’s just standing at the door waiting for us to come home to Him, like how the Father had an eye out for the Prodigal Son and ran and met him as soon as he came into sight. Hugging and kissing him, and not letting him get a word in edgewise. Yes mih breddren, that’s how Jesus is anxiously waiting to greet us! 

And yuh know most of us are weary and tired with this evil old world, so why are we tarrying and lingering when Jesus is calling us to come home eh? Let’s wisely heed His mercies, His promises, His pardon nuh for all the sins we’ve committed. There’s no better solution to our dark and damnable situation than that! And time’s flying by, not waiting on us, shadows are gathering and deathbeds are in the offing, so why not accept Jesus’ wonderful offer to come home to Him eh? No good reason whatsoever! 

And friends, I don’t know what scripture Johnson used to write that hymn, but believe me, I don’t think there’s a better and more appropriate passage in the Good Book than the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matt.11:28-30) 

Yeh friends, if you don’t know anything else about Jesus, that passage of scripture ought to have you looking towards Him for some answers to your sorrowful situation. How can you not consider it eh? No other supposed deity is so earnestly and tenderly calling you to come into their fold like Jesus is doing. All the other supposed deities want a whole lot of stuff from you, but all Jesus wants is your LOVE and your belief in Him. Yuh better believe He won’t have to ask me twice! (smile) 

So friends, what’s stopping you from coming to Jesus eh? Whatever it is, please don’t let it, because it’s not worth passing up Jesus’ invitation! Nothing on the face of this earth is worth that! Remember, the earth and all therein will pass away at some time or the other, in the Father’s time, but the LOVE and mercy and pardon and forgiveness enshrined in Jesus, which leads to eternal life will NEVER pass away! 

That’s gospel, gospel truth! It’s better than having plenty money in the bank or plenty material possessions, because those will rot and be destroyed over time, but faith and trust and belief in Jesus will last for eternity. So please, please, I implore you, come to Him today nuh; relieve yourself of your heavy burden and get some fruitful rest. 

Jesus is simple, but powerful, and also kind, LOVING and gentle! There’s so much you can learn from Him. And as He says, His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. That means you will not be asked to bare any heavy loads or toil till you’re totally exhausted. 

And John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).’ (1 John 5:3) And if anybody should know about Jesus’ commandments, it would be John, who spent so much time with Him and wrote so much of the New Testament. So don’t take my word for it, take John’s! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is listening to Jesus…and doing as He asks…

 

 

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Todays Scrip-Bit 14 November 2018 Proverbs 9:5.

Proverbs 9:5. Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed). 
 
Welcome, welcome my people, to another bright and glorious day in the fold of Almighty God! Bless His holy name! And please remember that you belong to the BEST fold in all the universe; the one overseen by God’s Son, His first born, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; such a wonderful caretaker that He’s known as the Good Shepherd! Glory be my brethren! 

I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have Jesus nuh. We’d certainly be in a much bigger mess than we are currently in. But through His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, His most precious blood redeemed us, our abominable sins were paid for, He took the weight of our sins on His shoulders and gave us His righteousness! 

And the great fact of the matter is that He was the Only One who could have atoned for our ghastly sins under the holy and righteous rule of the Father! That’s why we need to constantly remember His great sacrifice and praise His name and exalt Him, like the Father has done. As the Good Book says, the Lord is a rewarder of all those who come to Him in faith, who diligently seek Him and believe. (Heb.11:6) 

And the greatest show of faith that ever was, is that of Jesus, who believed that though His Father put the sins of the world on His shoulders and forsook Him for a moment, He would eventually raise Him up again, so that they could once more dwell in heaven…with all of His other children, now deemed righteous by His sacrifice. 

Oh friends, can we have such a strong and wonderful faith? It might just be a tad much for our finite souls, (smile) but there’s no reason why we can’t work steadfastly towards as great a faith as possible in this earthly life. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us, for it’s only through faith that we can receive all the promises He’s laid out for us. 

Now hear this awesome promise as stated by Cousin Sol in our Bit. Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed).’  Yes friends, that’s the Lord’s invitation for us today…in fact every day He throws out the same invitation… ‘Come!’ And live in wisdom and honour, understanding and knowledge. Like Cousin Sol says in the next verse: ‘Forsake the foolish (foolishness), and live; and go in the way of understanding.’ (Prov.9:6) 

How much clearer can it be eh my fellow believers? Not much. But our great and wonderful God always finds a way to do it. Listen to how He says it through His prophet Isaiah: ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price.’ (Is.55:1) Wow! What an amazing invitation! Only the Great God Jehovah can make such a promise and keep it! 

And furthermore He asks? ‘Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satsifieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (abundance).’ (Is.55:2) Oh my people which other supposed god has ever thrown out such an invitation eh? None other than the omnipotent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And He’s still not done: ‘Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Behold thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55: 3-4) Ah my brethren what prophetic words of our great God! 

Hear the scholars’ explanation of those verse. ‘55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come and eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And friends, what the Lord promises, He delivers, in spades too. He sent us Jesus to redeem our souls, and Bruh Paul to lead the Gentiles into His kingdom. And Jesus continued the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh friends, oh friends, what more must the Lord do for us to realize the wisdom of being one of His flock eh? I don’t know, and I don’t think the Lord knows either nuh, seeing that He has given us free choice to make our own decisions, else He would certainly do it. But be all that as it may, I’m imploring us to please hear the call of God today and respond in wisdom, for it’s in your best interest, not God’s. 

Now for those of us wise enough to accept the call, let’s go home telling the world our position in Christ as we declare our Wednesday Wail. All together in harmony now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And every time we declare it, my mind just boggles with how glorious that future will be! Much LOVE!

…blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness…for they shall be filled… (Matt.5:6)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

One more day mih people, one more day on God’s great earth with the setta ice covering the land in my area! Chuh! It’s pure ice all around…but that doesn’t stop us from joyfully declaring, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) 

A li’l bit of ice can’t stop us from enjoying God’s mercies and graciousness…No way! What does the Good Book say? NOTHING can separate us from Him and His LOVE! Because we are all more than conquerors through Him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:35,37) Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! Christ has already given us the victory, so there’s nothing really for us to worry about, just to live a righteous and godly life in His name. 

And a couple of quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional remind us of two important aspects of Christian life and character. The first is that ‘ Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.’ And secondly, ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’  

Yes friends, we have no other real hope but the trust that God’s promises, mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE inspire in us. Without those things we’d be truly lost. But even more importantly, we need to remember that each and every day we awaken, we need to seriously recommit to Christ, His way of life, and His plans for us. That’s the only way we can keep Him fresh and vibrant in our lives. 

And since yesterday we talked about going out and doing Jesus’ work as established in His Great Commission, today I thought it would be more than appropriate to look at how He hopes to accomplish His purpose; through the Great Invitation, a part of which is our Bit for today. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’  

My people, my people, what a wonderful invitation; the BEST that has ever been offered to mankind! Glory Be! No other supposed deity has ever proffered such a simple, but yet awesome and astounding invitation. That’s because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can keep that kind of promise, and who is also seriously interested in lightening our burdens! 

And that’s what we, as His disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives need to point out to the unbelievers, so that they too can embrace His glorious free offer of salvation and life eternal. Now that’s not all that Jesus offers in His Great Invitation. Hear how He continues after out Bit. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ (Matt.11:29) 

Just imagine that nuh my brethren; Jesus is also inviting us to take His yoke and learn from Him, for He is humble and lowly of heart…Wow! Though He is the great God, the great I AM, Jesus is not proud and stuck up, like He could be because of all His numerous attributes and power. But no; He is very simple and easily approachable, and when we sincerely approach Him, call out to Him, then we can truly learn from Him and find peace and quiet for out souls. 

And that is something which the majority of our world decidedly lacks, and which many are desperately trying find, but unfortunately are looking in all the wrong places. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is also the ONLY ONE who can bring true peace and rest to the human soul and spirit. And why is that so? ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:30)  

Oh precious people of God, what a reassuring ending to Jesus invitation! And that’s gospel truth! For He has already borne our burden of sin upon the cross at Calvary and set us free from its cruel and unholy bondage by paying the enormous price with His selfless sacrifice. 

And as Bruh Paul so astutely and correctly says in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory Hallelujah! 

So when we come to Him truly repentant, acknowledging our sins and also what He’s done for us, He doesn’t condemn us, but just enfolds us LOVINGLY in His warm and tender embrace and begins to teach us how to walk like Him.

And there’s also no greater privilege and praiseworthy attitude than to walk like Christ. Please remember that our heavenly Father’s most noble and consistent intention is to have all believers walk as Christ-like as possible. 

And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows how we’re getting on with Christ. As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

And I implore us friends, as we walk with Christ today, let’s keep a picture of that glorious future in the back of our minds, so that it can encourage and reassure us when the going gets tough, as it no doubt will at some time or other. Much LOVE!

…to Jesus…to Jesus come…when your heart is heavy…and your soul weighed down with burdens… 

P.S. Sorry for the Bit being a tad late, but the playoff hockey game was too interesting not to watch it to the end, which meant a late night, and thus a late morning too. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Oh my people, would you believe that that white stuff has come back again? Chuh! Thought we had gotten rid of it for a longer while with the warm temps of the last few days. But no, it’s back again, and this time it’s not as beautiful as the first. 

The idea of the second time around being better than the first is definitely not true here, because it’s a dark, cloudy day, there’s no sun to physically brighten it up. 

However, there is the Son! Glory to God! He’s always around to brighten up our lives, especially in this Christmas Season as we prepare to celebrate His first coming! And yuh better believe His Second Coming will be even bigger and better than the First! 

For then He won’t be coming as a mere babe in swaddling clothes, poor and lowly, but as a mighty King and Conqueror, coming to assert His claim to the throne of His Father, Bruh David and finally bring some true peace and LOVE to our miserable, sinful world! 

But it’s obvious you can’t have the Second without the First, and you won’t be with Him in the Second if you’re not with Him in the First! So please get with Him RIGHT NOW, otherwise it just might be too late, for He can come back at any time, like the proverbial thief in the night, and then you’ll be left out in the cold, in eternal darkness, and that’s the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being. Nuff said! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say on this snowy morning. As usual he loudly declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And though it snow, that won’t keep me back from enjoying mih free time this weekend. No mih son, not at all! And yuh better believe is a real long weekend too, no more slave work until Tuesday, and is Christmas weekend to boot. 

Thank God for being born on the weekend oui, so that we have more time off, more time away from the slave labour, more time with we friends and family so that we could celebrate in real big fashion; plenty eating and drinking, carousing and visiting friends and neighbours. This long Christmas weekend definitely going to be a blast! One to remember for all the ages! Thank God for it yes, mih brethren!’ 

Yes friends, let’s hope that this Christmas will be one we long remember, but not just for the over-the-top celebrations, but because we truly had the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts and sincerely contemplated, really pondered, the true meaning of Christ’s First Coming. 

Now let’s declare our Friday Chant, which is much more circumspect than that of the ordinary workingman. As though we really mean it 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.’ 

Oh my people, limits and boundaries, and still putting the Lord’s work first is a condition of our earthly sojourn, which in no way detracts from our celebrations; we just celebrate a li’l more spiritually than carnally. (smile) And I’d be very amiss from my duties if I didn’t invoke Granny’s warning at this awesome time of celebration. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Beelzebub will be all about in full deceptive fashion this long Christmas weekend! You can bet yuh bottom dollar on that! What sweeter time to catch us in wrongdoing than when we’re celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? 

You can see him in the background now, with a big smile all over his evil face, just chomping at the bit, knowing that it will be open season on many of us supposed Christians. We going to let our hair down and he’s going to jump quickly into the space we afford him. 

So let’s be very careful friends. Let’s celebrate, but with a modicum of circumspection. Let’s do as our Bit so wisely advises: ’Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people, there could be no wiser advice to us all this Christmas weekend, for the evil one will definitely be out on the prowl, knowing that at this particular time of year we are very prone to mistakes, very vulnerable to his temptations. 

But as Peter further cautions: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (are being experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) So we are all subject to like temptations and afflictions. 

‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Yeh friends, the same Christ Jesus that we’re celebrating will help us resist the constant temptations of the evil one. Therefore, ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11) 

Now brethren, let’s go out and celebrate Christ like we’ve never celebrated Him before, not obnoxiously, but with circumspection and common sense! Let’s win believers for Him, instead of loosing believers to the evil one. That’s the best way to celebrate Christ’s birth! Much LOVE!

…oh…what wonderful…but circumspect celebrations…are in the offing…this Christmas season…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2017 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Oh friends, what a sick, crazy, evil and ungodly world we’ve become eh! Everyday is some new disaster, either man-made or natural! 

And the latest is the killing of some 59 persons in the glitzy tourist town of Las Vegas, and the injuring of hundreds more participating in a country music festival across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Vegas Strip. 

The killer, a supposed quiet, retired, ex-accountant apparently had numerous weapons in his room on the 32nd floor of the hotel and just began firing indiscriminately through the window at the crowd. Obviously the crowd of over 20 thousand stampeded, which only made matters worse. 

And the sad part of the matter is that Isis, the Islamic State terrorists, boldly claimed responsibility for the attack, although no association or any other grounds for the claim could be justified. That just goes to show how sick our society really is, when we claim other people’s destructive behaviour as ours, without a shred of evidence. 

But enough of the bad news, here is some good news; good news about a wonderful friend we have, His name is Jesus. This comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. We’ve prayed it before, but we need to be reminded of it again, especially in these rough and anxious times. 

It’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Please pray with me. ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’  

And those words are ever so true my fellow believers! There is no greater and more faithful friend in this world that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Wow! What a majestic and mighty individual He is! He died for us, paid our sin debt in full, when He didn’t have to. That alone makes Him the greatest friend ever! 

And as he philosophized in our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Then my brethren, He went out and proved it, enduring some of the worse ‘sufferation’ known to man, all on our behalf. So how can He not be our greatest and best friend eh? 

However, there is a proviso, as He stated after our Bit. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:14) Yeh mih people, if we don’t do what Jesus desires, if we’re not obedient to His will, then we’re no friends of His. To be His friend, means to do what He requires of us. As simple as that. 

And hear this verse following those other two. ‘Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:15) 

And right there you have a couple of the main definitions of the word friend; sharing and trusting. Jesus so trusted His disciples, that He shared all the information that His Father had told Him. Consequently, He’s also sharing that info with us today, my fellow believers. 

He’s telling us all about the life God has planned for each and every one of us through His death, resurrection and ascension.  Right now he’s sitting at the Father’s right hand, advocating, pleading our cases to Him. How much more friendship can we need or deserve eh? 

But Jesus is so wonderful, that He doles out even more, through His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah mih people, what a glorious invitation! That from a sinless man who died so that we could live eternally, then sits in heaven pleading for us. Hn! We’d be rather foolish not to accept His friendship and His invitation to join Him in the magnificent and joyful halls of heaven! 

And to round it off in fine style, let’s end by declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – believers in, and friends of Jesus. 

With much gusto and sincerity now. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and tell the good news story of Jesus and share His LOVE with the world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh how wonderful it is…to have Jesus as our best friend…there’s none more faithful…trustworthy…kind and LOVING than Him…

P.S. Please pray for the ole fella this morning as he goes into the city to do a heart biopsy procedure. It’s a fairly safe and common procedure, but a li’l prayer never hurts and oftimes helps. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2017 Matthew 21:5.

Matthew 21:5.    Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt the foal of an ass.

HAPPY PALM SUNDAY!

Well friends, it’s another Sunday morning in the life; an important one too – Palm Sunday – when our Lord and Saviour Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey two thousand years ago. And oh, how the enormous crowd shouted with joy, throwing their clothes and palm branches in the dusty streets of Jerusalem for the King of Kings to ride upon! 

And on this special day, we’ll open with a song of rejoicing and honour that was written in 820, especially for this occasion. So now, with much enthusiasm, joy and faithfulness, let’s offer up to heaven, a sacrifice of praise with our lips, as we declare the wonderful words of the hymn, ‘All Glory, Laud and Honour.’  

‘(Refrain: All glory, laud and honor, To Thee, Redeemer, King, To Whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring.) Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son, Who in the Lord’s Name comest, The King and Blessèd One. (Refrain) The company of angels Are praising Thee on High, And mortal men and all things Created make reply. (Refrain) 

The people of the Hebrews With palms before Thee went; Our prayer and praise and anthems Before Thee we present. (Refrain) To Thee, before Thy passion, They sang their hymns of praise; To Thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise. (Refrain) Thou didst accept their praises; Accept the prayers we bring, Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King. (Refrain)’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that song of praise on this Palm Sunday morning eh! When we recall all the important and joyful stuff that went on that day it just lifts our hearts and spirits with emotions of heavenly wonder! (smile) Palm Sunday was one of the foundational stones in our Christian faith; it lifted our faith to a higher level. 

And since we just praised the day in song, let’s hear what the Good Book says about it now. ‘And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethpage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he (Jesus) sendeth forth two of his disciples. And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against (opposite) you, and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose (untie) him and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.’ (Mark 11:1-4) Bethany, 

Yes friends, Jesus had the whole show set up beforehand! Now there is a discrepancy between Mark and Matthew’s version, in that Matthew speaks about a colt and a mature donkey, while Mark only talks about the colt. And I’ve used Mark’s version because of some important words of Jesus found there; ‘whereon man never sat.’  

And the scholars tell us those words indicated that ‘An animal devoted to a sacred purpose must not have been put to common use. (Num. 19:2, Deut. 21:3) So for it to be worthy of Jesus, it must never have been ridden before. 

And the Good Book tells us why Jesus set up that scene. ‘All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,  Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Matt.21:4-5) 

Now the scholars inform us that our Bit ‘is a combination of Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9, taken substantially from the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament.’ 

And we’ll go back to Mark for the next piece of the story, as Matthew doesn’t go into it in as much detail. ‘And they (the disciples) went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without (outside) in a place where two ways met (on the street); and they loose (untied) him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.’ (Mark11:4-6)  

Now back to Matthew. (smile)  ‘And (they) brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him (Jesus) thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed (spread) them in the way (road). 

And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Matt.21:7-11) 

Ah friends, I do hope I did not confuse you with moving from text to the next, but I just wanted to give us the entire story. And I know you all are smart enough to pick sense from nonsense anyway. (smile) 

Now here is some more relevant info from the scholars. On the subject of Palm Sunday itself, they declare: ‘This event is traditionally known as the triumphal entry, when Jesus officially offers Himself to the nation of Israel as her long-awaited Messiah. However, in many ways, it was far from a triumph, for the day ended in Jesus’ public prediction of His rejection by His own people.  

The crowd’s cry of ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,’ echoes words from 2 Sam.14:4 and Psalm 118:25-26. Riding on the colt of an ass marked the official entry of Israel’s kings. Thus Jesus arrives in the full declaration of His kingship.’ 

How very fitting my people! So let’s go out and celebrate and rejoice today nuh, reliving the joy, the splendour and magnitude of that august day so long ago. Much LOVE!

…the king is coming…the king is coming…

 

 

 

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