Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2020 John 13:34.

John 13:34.     ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.
 

Top o’ the morn my people! And wonderful greetings from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who’s also our Comforter and Provider! And He’s asked me to convey these most faithful and worthy assurances this Tuesday morning at the end of July 2020, when our world is in a most turbulent and unrighteous state. ‘Fear Not: For, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ 

Wow! What reassuring sentiments from the One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled to God, justified, sanctified, made righteous and all the other wonderful things His death and resurrection accomplished. Mama Mia! How can we not LOVE and honour, praise and reverence and sincerely worship such a mighty and faithful entity eh? 

That brings me to these momentous words of His to all who believe in Him. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Oh my people, those words are ever so important on at least two levels. The first is that the attribute of LOVE, God’s highest, strongest and most pervasive attribute should also be very strong and pervasive amongst us. But then too, by us showing that wonderful thing called LOVE to each other, mankind will see and know that we are truly disciples of Jesus! 

Yes friends, our showing LOVE to each other is the surest way to point out, to manifest to the world, that we are real and true ambassadors of the Son of God; the One who’s name is above every other in the universe, except the Father’s, and to whom every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Unfortunately though, that attribute of LOVE is not being displayed enough amongst the supposed followers of Christ, much less amongst those who deny Him. And that’s why our world is in such a divided, disunited, strife-filled and topsy-turvy state! The LOVE of God is almost non-existent in our current society. But then how can we expect it to be when God Himself doesn’t hold much sway in it. He’s been placed on the back burner, or simply kicked out of many of our lives and activities. 

But the truth of the matter is that the LOVE of God is what’s so badly needed in our society to stop it from further crumbling and sinking right down into the evil mire that it’s currently headed towards at break-neck speed. But each of us supposed disciple must get up, get up NOW, and perform the actions of discipleship, particularly the showing of LOVE for each other if we’re to reclaim the world for our Lord and Saviour. 

Listen to these most informative words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians on the subject nuh. ‘But as touching (concerning) brotherly LOVE ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to LOVE one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.’ (1 Thess. 4:9-10) 

Yeh friends, we’ve all been taught by God to LOVE, and many of us are trying our best to do it, but in these most trying and uncertain times, we desperately need to ratchet up that effort so that our world won’t fall apart. It’s as Jackie DeShannon’s popular song of some fifty five years ago, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, so rightly says: 

‘What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. No not just for some, But for everyone.’ It was appropriate then when we were in the throes of the Vietnam War, and it’s ever so appropriate now when we are in the throes of a pandemic clothed with serious political strife. 

And John explains what the true test of knowledge, of discipleship is. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Yes my people, the only way to know if we truly LOVE God and He is in us, is if are walking in His will, keeping His commandments, of which the most important is that we walk in LOVE! So please, let’s check our LOVE walk nuh, and see if it can hold up to close scrutiny. And whether it can or cannot, let’s do as Bruh Paul asks, and improve it, with God’s help obviously. We all have room for improvement, that’s for sure! 

Now let’s; go home telling the world who and whose we are, as we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice, 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 that’s what true discipleship is; trusting our friend Jesus and sharing His wonderful, amazing and unconditional LOVE with the world. So let’s show some true discipleship nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…LOVE… the ONLY epoxy…the only glue…that can hold our world together… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2020 Ephesians 5:1.

Ephesians 5:1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 

Welcome to another beautiful day on God’s great earth my fellow saints in Christ! And grace and mercy and peace to you from our heavenly Father as we spend the day doing His wonderful work, redeemed, sanctified, justified and made righteous by the awesome blood of His Son Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! What a bountiful privilege! And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: “Praise the Lord our great and merciful God, who sends us new mercies and compassions every single day! Who looks after the undeserving children of men! Bless His holy name! Amen!’ 

And I know it’s Friday, the day so many of us look forward to, when our weekly tasks will end for two lousy days, but nonetheless it fills us with happiness. (smile) Look at it this way nuh, the Lord worked six days to create the universe, we’re only working five, which means we’re one up, that should lessen our antipathy to the work week. (smile) 

But let’s hear what the ordinary working man has to say for himself on this bright and sunshiny Friday. And he gushes today: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and that longed for weekend is here! It was the best week for a while now. It wasn’t so hot, and some rain fell and mih body getting used again to the hard, physical labour in the slave master fiery furnace so nicely called a machine shop, so it not hurting so much again! Thank God for that oui, because it not easy to do all the things we need to do, at the speed and consistency we need to do it when every move yuh make hurts like hell! 

I just hope to heaven though that the pandemic and strife business would get settled and be over with, because they still casting a dark cloud over mih life and the world. Yeh, is good to see that they easing the lockdown, but how many people going to pay serious attention to wearing masks and physical distancing when everything gets more open eh? That is the big question, especially since those seem to be the only options we currently have for holding the virus in some sorta check. 

Ah Lord eh! Some of us real dense and stupid yes! We still mouthing off about freedom and trampling of rights, but when we go out there not careful, what yuh think going to happen eh? The same blooming foolishness that happening in the U.S. now! But what do I know eh? I’m just a lowly, ordinary workingman, giving thanks to God for the li’l weekend rest ah going to get come this evening.’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman claims not to know a whole lot, but he does know more than a lot of the so-called upper class and educated people who are not taking our current situation as seriously as they ought to. But that’s where we, the saints of Christ come in; offering prayer and assurance that things will get better, we just don’t know when, and these things will pass, when our God decides it’s time. So let’s go to Him now nuh, corporately, through our Friday Chant, with sincere hearts and plead for His awesome help. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, 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!’ 

And now that we’ve prayed with sincere hearts my people, what is our next move eh? To put into action what we said above, re God’s faithful people handling the situation with wisdom and compassion. And how do we do that? Like Bruh Paul told the church at Ephesus when he expounded on the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) 

And how do we do all of that? As Jesus said: ‘But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:35-36) 

And if Jesus words don’t appeal to you, then try these from Peter nuh, as he talks about the call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your mind fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober: (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Consequently, our behaviour should be: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16) 

And for our information, that scripture is found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; and 20:7. Not only one place, but several, which means the Lord was very serious about it. So please, let’s take holiness seriously too, as we go about doing God’s work each and every day! Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…the saints of God lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2018 John 10:10b-11.

John 10:10b-11.   I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Awright my believing brethren, what shall we say about this day eh? ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And what else? That this is the Lord’s Day and we WILL go to His sanctuary to give Him much praise and thanks, to celebrate our blessed lives and fellowship with others of the same belief! 

We shall also listen to His Word, let it seep into our hearts and souls, and consequently have our spirits refilled with God’s LOVE through His Holy Spirit, so that we can walk tall and strong, proud and confident, when we depart from His sanctuary! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised! And there’s no better way to praise Him than in song: He enjoys it, and it brings the best out of us. And today’s song of praise is a favourite gospel song from a few years back, one we all know and LOVE; it’s simply but oh so meaningfully titled ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

It was written by the gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, and first recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Unfortunately though, Edwin Hawkins died a few weeks ago, but in conjunction with his choir, he left the world a wonderful legacy in song. I also saw a wonderful rendition of it on You Tube by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation choir. Oh, Ray was so worked up that on his way off the stage he stopped at least three times and did a Happy Day dance! 

So let’s open our hearts and mouths and allow our voices to soar to high heaven with these few simple but oh so meaningful words. Remember, half the beauty of the song is in its call and response style, so let’s call and respond in all sincerity and truth nuh, letting our magnificent and magnanimous God know how deep is our joy, in having the wonderful privilege of worshipping Him. Hn! I hope that makes sense. 

But anyway, enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (oh happy day) 

Oh happy day (oh happy day) He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how could we not be ecstatic eh, when Jesus washed away our sins, cleansed us with the blood He shed on Calvary? He also taught us how to watch, to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! Glory be! We’d be foolish and ungrateful if we didn’t appreciate His stellar and selfless efforts on our behalf. 

Just look at what our Bit says: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ And that’s exactly what Jesus did my brethren! He gave His life so that we could enjoy abundant living in concert with the Father; redeemed, made righteous once again, with salvation and eternal life the end benefits. 

That means Christians ought to be the happiest people on Planet Earth…and show it in our behaviour too. For why would anyone want to come to Jesus if we claim to have so much wonderful stuff when we believe in Him, but our attitudes and demeanour are sour and miserable and definitely don’t reflect the joy we talk about so much eh? 

If our everyday lives aren’t filled with hope, happiness and heavenly thoughts and longing then we’re not true believers and/or Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in vain. Please friends, let that not be the case, because it would break both the Father and Jesus’ hearts. 

So please let’s make every day a happy day nuh; watching for His promised return; fighting the many evil enemies who want to discredit Him and turn us away. But they don’t know that when we get on our knees, both literally and figuratively, and pray to the Father in His name that the battle is as good as won! Glory Hallelujah! 

And with all of that good stuff, the rejoicing just comes naturally. Ah mih people, we have so much to look forward to when we sincerely make Jesus our Lord and Saviour. And when our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’re sealed forever as a child of God, our bonds are so ironclad that nothing, or no one can ever break them. That’s how powerful association with the Lord and His heavenly host is. 

So today, let’s step right up to the plate and hit the devil right out of the park for a large home run. That’ll show him to mess with Jesus’ people! Much LOVE!

…as a believer in Jesus…we’re promised joy for ever more…now who in their right senses would refuse that eh…

 


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2018 Romans 5:19.

Romans 5:19.   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Monday, Monday! What a beautiful sounding name for a beautiful day! And I know that some of you think I’m being facetious and flippant, or I’m just crazy, or even both, because I’m calling Monday a beautiful day, when hordes of you despise the very name Monday and what it entails. 

But friends, regardless of how much we might dislike Mondays and what it means, or stands for, we can’t get away from it. So why keep on trying to fight it eh? Why not just make peace with it, knowing that every week it’s going to come around and we will be miserable, because we’re tired and don’t want to get up to go to work. 

So let’s just try and go with the flow nuh. (smile) Monday rolls around, you simply say to yourself, if I don’t work, then I won’t eat, and let words to that effect propel you out of the warm, cozy bed. Although, if we’d use the weekend as sensibly as we should, we’d never have the Monday morning problem. But that’s another sermon for another day. 

Right now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to give us our wake up call, so that we can get ourselves together and get back in the rat-race we call society and fight tooth and nail on behalf of Jesus. All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful that prayer is at causing the adrenaline to speedily course through our bodies! Let’s not waste it nuh, but use it to improve our momentum and all around good vibes, as we begin this new work week, working steadfastly with and for Jesus. And believe people, there’s no better person in the entire world to work with or for than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! And if you have to ask why, then you’re not a believer. But I’ll tell you anyway: because of all the wondrous things He’s done for poor, lost and despicable sinners like you and me. 

Listen as Bruh Paul explains Jesus’ major accomplishment to the Roman church in our Bit. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, just like the whole world was plunged into sin and darkness by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, likewise the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ enables all who sincerely desire to be reconciled with God, to bask in the brilliant light of Jesus, be considered righteous in God’s holy eyes. 

That’s because Jesus took upon Himself ALL our sins, the Lord burdened Him with them on the cross at Calvary, and instead, like the true Saviour He is, He gave us His righteousness. Wow! What a Champion is our Jesus! There is NO ONE like Him in the universe: not even close! 

Hear how Bruh Paul describes him to the Philippians nuh. ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Yeh friends, Jesus was God incarnate, man in human form, but didn’t make a big fuss over it. Instead He chose to be a servant, to be obedient to His heavenly Father’s will. Even though it was a catastrophic situation, He withstood the shame and the ‘sufferation’ and sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross for us, so that the Father could forgive and wash away our horrible sins!  

Now that makes Him an awesome giant in my eyes. And yuh know what, the Father felt the same way: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama Mia! I can’t find words to express my feelings! Jesus is just too great for words! And as we go up against the enemy today my faithful brethren, let’s remember that nuh; meaning the enemy can’t do us any real harm unless we allow him to do so. He is a defeated foe, crushed to smithereens by our Jesus and he is just trying to hold on through lies and other deceptive means. Please don’t fall prey to him today. Much LOVE!

…bend your knee…and speak His name with reverence…for Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of ALL…