Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong voice 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!’ 

Now that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2018 1 Chronicles 29:13.

1 Chronicles 29:13.   ​Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
 

And so it’s Thursday…Already? Yeh! That’s what happens when you spend the first two days of the week traipsing into the big city for medical appointments; you lose track of both the days and the time and nothing productive gets done at home. Yesterday was a rest day…not a lazy day. (smile) So let’s hope some productive stuff can be accomplished today…and yuh better believe there is a lot to be accomplished! (smile) 

And to help us get on the productive side, here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘There Are No Words.’ Please pray with me: ‘How can I put into words, my Lord The flooding, transforming power That sweeps my life because of You? 

How can I explain to anyone The soaring, surging peace That You alone can give? All the wonder-filled things in my life All the joyful, glorious things I owe to Your goodness, Your grace, Your LOVE. Nothing is ever the same since knowing You. And the longer I know You The deeper my LOVE!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what awesome words of truth are contained in that short poem! Every line is filled with gospel truth regarding our great God! Oh friends, once you get to know Him, NOTHING will ever be the same in your life! For when you begin to truly experience, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and above all His unconditional LOVE…

Oh Mama Mia! The change in your life will be so awesome and so magnificent that you’ll be left wondering what kind of life you lived before, and why didn’t you get to know the Lord before this? But it just wasn’t the right time! Have no fear, when He’s ready for you, He brings you into His fold in ways you cannot imagine, until they happen. 

But please note one thing friends; our God might be magnanimous and magnificent, but He’s no push over! He might have a soft heart for His wayward, disobedient children, but don’t think you can take advantage of His goodness, because if you ever feel His wrath…Hn! It can be just as great as His goodness and mercy and LOVE! 

So please try your best not to get on His wrong side, although when you come to know and LOVE Him, that’s sort of difficult to do. Why? Because you’ll be overflowing with such LOVE and desire to be obedient to His will, that mistakes will more likely be of ignorance than of purposeful disrespect. 

And to celebrate all that we’ve said, I don’t think there’s a more appropriate passage in scripture to describe it than Bruh David’s words of prayer and thanksgiving, when he was raising funds to build the Lord’s temple. Please read and pray with me: ‘Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our Father, for ever and ever. 

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 

But who am I, and what is thy people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners (temporary dwellers), as were all our fathers: our days on earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding (no hope for any).

O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee a house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.’ (1 Chr.29:10-16) 

What beautiful words of prayer and thanksgiving my brethren…and also of truth! Oh friends, until we recognize, and realize, and understand that everything we posses is God’s and comes from Him, we’ll never be able to truly appreciate all that we have, and give Him the kind of thanks and praise He deserves. 

That’s the basic difference between Bruh David’s time and ours. They seemed to know where there goodness came from, so they could afford to be generous toward the Lord. But in our time, generosity towards the Lord and His purpose…Hn! It’s like pulling teeth! Because we don’t truly recognize the source of all our goodness and grace and mercy. 

Anyway friends, let’s hope that all we’ve said and read today touches our hearts and souls and makes us more appreciative of what our heavenly Father does in our earthly lives when we truly come to know Him. So let’s go home now, shouting out loud and proud, the great blessings He’s showered down on us believers, as found in our Thursday Blessings. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now, two things to remember; Blessings aren’t blessings until they are shared and declared over someone! So let’s go out and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart by doing those two things nuh! Much LOVE!

…truly knowing our great God is so amazing…that sometimes…without sincere faith… it’s hard to believe…

 

 

Todays Scrip-Bit 13 November 2018 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
 

Oh friends I don’t want to get you all into the bad habit of expecting the Bit this early every day, so please look on this as a simple aberration. (smile) But I have to go into the big city of Toronto for a couple of medical appointments this morning, which means I won’t be back till late this afternoon, and I don’t want it to be too late either. 

Not to worry though, for this morning we’ll be in full ‘Celebration’ mode with the poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So let’s get to it without any further talk nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘When I think of Your lavish goodness The longings You’ve satisfied The forgiveness You’ve granted The promises You’ve kept When I think of Your irresistible LOVE Your ceaseless care Your unfailing protection…

O Lord God I want to raise flags And fly banners And sound bugles I want to run with lighted torches And praise You From the mountaintop I want to write symphonies And shout for joy. I want to throw a festive party For ten thousand guests. I want to celebrate with streamers And bright lights And an elaborate banquet… Fine dear child. I’m ready.’ 

Oh friends, when you think of God’s great goodness and LOVING-kindness towards you, don’t you just want to jump for joy and shout it from the mountaintops? I surely hope so, else you would not be truly grateful for all the care, protection, forgiveness, protection, etc. etc. that our wonderful God has so undeservedly bestowed on us. 

And I just LOVE God’s answer to all our joyful celebrations: ‘Bring it on! I’m ready to celebrate!’ And don’t think that the Lord doesn’t like to party nuh, just think about all the celebrations that go on in heaven…especially when one lost sheep is found and/or saved. Brother! The whole of heaven erupts with joy and gladness! 

In all seriousness though my people, we ought to celebrate God’s inimitable, limitless, unparalleled goodness every day that we draw breath on this His marvellous creation called earth. Because without it, our lives would have been so much more miserable and worthless, and difficult and calamitous than they currently are. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; these marvellous words of praise from Bruh David: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my fellow believers, that’s how we ought to conjure up thanks and praise for Almighty God! 

And hear how Bruh David continues nuh: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps.145:2-3)

And is it ever my brethren! Just like His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, so is His goodness and LOVING-kindness outside the realm of our puny and finite minds! That’s why we need to continually and continuously show our thanks and gratitude for His unlimited grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of (meditate on) the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.’ (Ps.145:4-5) Now that’s where this generation has not come up to scratch my fellow believers! 

We have certainly not praised God’s goodness and His mighty works to our children in the new generation as much as ought to have done! That’s why they are so lost and wandering all over the place, falling for any nonsense with which some false teacher or preacher fills their ears. Remember, if we don’t teach them right at home, somebody will be able to teach them wrong out in the great big, evil world in which we now dwell. 

Oh friends, unfortunately we’ve taken the wrong road and attitude to our children. I guess because we had it somewhat hard and the Good Book and church were sometimes driven into us, we subconsciously, or otherwise, rebelled against that method of raising children, and went to the other extreme, being overly soft, sparing the whip and spoiling the child, which is even worse. And now we lament the poor fruits that our insincere labour has borne. 

Remember, the human animal only appreciates stuff and grows in maturity when it experiences tough times. And I daresay that our children of this generation have not experienced enough tough and godly times, otherwise they would have been way more appreciative of the good life they’ve had. And we don’t have anyone but ourselves to blame. 

Yuh think I wanted to go to church every Sunday morning and Sunday School every Sunday afternoon? Certainly not! But I had to go. And it eventually stood me in good stead; if nothing else, I knew right from wrong, which a lot of our children don’t know.

Anyway my people, it’s not too late to try and instill some godly virtues in our children, for as they say, while there is life, there is hope. So let’s see what amends we can make in the time we have left nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. And I have to laugh because there is some reason that I keep spelling ‘declaring’ wrong…Oh I spelled it right there. (smile)

Now in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus with someone else nuh! Much LOVE!

…if the LOVE of Jesus truly dwells in is…then we’ll automatically want to share it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2018 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Oh mercy, mercy me! Another medical journey into that confused, misguided and badly governed city of Toronto! Hence the early publication of the Bit. But it’s all to my benefit, so cheers! Let’s have a shot of caffeine to celebrate the occasion. (smile) 

Oh, this great adventure in sickness is drawing to a close…at least I think so, so hopefully it won’t be much longer before I stop having all these medical appointments. At least they will be much fewer and further between. That’s my prophetic declaration! (smile) 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that we all could use this fall morning. It’s titled ‘Fear Not.’ Please pray with me. ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear not.” Surely You would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would You command it so explicitly If You could not keep me from fearing. 

God, You have given me a Fear Not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You, You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my Father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’ 

And NO, God will NEVER turn away or be less kind to one of His very own children! That’s His ever-faithful promise! So we can be assured that whatever fear that’s troubling us, if we take it to God in prayer, we will receive relief and succour from it. 

But isn’t it somewhat troubling that despite all the assurances and commands of our heavenly Father, re not to fear, we’re still such a fearful people? ‘Fear not!’ was one of the most used phrases by Jesus in His earthly sojourn. And when He said, ‘O ye of little faith,’ meant that we were also fearful, because faith dispels fear. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 34: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Yeh friends, simple, but ever so life changing words! And those from a great man of God! 

That means, although we should not be always afraid, when those times arise, we should NEVER be afraid to call on our helpful and ever-faithful God for help. Note, Bruh David said, he called out in desperation, and the Lord heard and helped him. And He WILL do the same for each and every one who calls out to Him in all sincerity and truth! 

And this is how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:4-10) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and ever grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for his everlasting goodness to the children of men!’ Yes friends, we know it’s the truth, even though we don’t always follow it! 

And that ‘fear’ we’re talking about is not ‘fear’ in the sense of being physically afraid of God, though we should have a touch of that because of the awesome things He can do, but it’s a sense of reverence, of acknowledgement of His strength and power and goodness and LOVE towards us. 

And the scholars offer this interesting comment on ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm (Hebrew poem of which the lines begin with the successive letters of the alphabet) is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. (Bruh David flees to Gath from Saul’s many attempts to kill him.) It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed  (vs.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vs.11-22).’ 

Now let’s hear some of that seasoned instruction: ‘Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good: seek peace and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:11-14) 

That’s wise advice indeed from someone who experienced it! So let’s remember that today nuh, as we go home now declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if we’re truly sincere, we’ll go out and share it all with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…between fear and faith…there’s Jesus…Glory be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2018 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.   ​Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Ah friends, the vacation is over! I’m talking about my vacation from medical appointments in the city. Hn! Amazingly I had none last month. In fact I only had a couple in my area for the whole month! Wow! But that ‘s over now, and it’s why you’re getting the Bit so early. I have to journey into the fair city of Toronto for a mid morning doctor’s meet and greet. (smile)

And that’s just going to tie up the entire day! Steups! What with the travel time and waiting in the doctors office and whatever else crops up, by the time I get back home it will be late afternoon. And then to make things worse, I open my e-mail and find that they’ve changed the set up. Chuh man! I have to get accustomed to a whole new way of working. And the sad part is that the changes are always worse than what you had before.

But griping isn’t going to make it go away – and it’s free too. (smile) So here goes with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin; something that we all need to constantly remember. It’s titled ‘The God Who Never Changes.’

Please pray with me: ‘It is irrefutably true: We have lost many opportunities that can never be retrieved. We have made foolish choices that can never be rectified. But we dare not live life in a spirit of despair and defeat. As children of God we need to understand that all God’s discipline has but one objective: To bring us to the end of ourselves and back to Him!

His desire is always to restore us, never to reject us. His goal is always to use us, never to ignore us. With confession, renewed surrender, and a heart that is fixed on Him, God will do in us whatever He needs to do to make us whatever He wants us to be. Every necessary change God chooses to make is wonderfully possible because of Jesus, who never changes.’

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful shout of ‘Glory to God for His never changing character and wonderful ways!’ Yeh friends, we have to be eternally grateful that our God never changes, else what a mess we’d be in, with Him moving from one position or character to another as the spirit moved Him.

But thankfully, as the Bible Promise for the poem above and our Bit declare: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’ Glory be my people! Jesus is a stalwart, an unchanging champion, therefore we can put ALL of our faith, trust and hope in Him, because what we see we will always get, it won’t change form one moment or day to another!

Knowing that our Foundation Stone, the Rock, the Fortress upon which we build our lives is unchangeable certainly breeds stability and trust my brethren! Yes, things within God’s world might change, but God doesn’t. Hear this powerful assurance of God’s, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah.

‘Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell within shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken). (Is.51:6)

Ah mih people, the things that God made, the heavens, the earth and people shall disappear and fade and die, but the Lord’s salvation and His righteousness will live forever! What wonderful, reassuring news!

And if that verse didn’t touch your hearts (smile), then listen as Isaiah continues: ‘Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.’ (Is.51:7-8)

Ah mih breddren, if that did not touch you, then you don’t know righteousness and the law of the Lord is not in your heart, and for your great benefit, you’d better right that situation as soon as possible. Because here’s what will happen eventually: ‘Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning (sighing) shall flee away.’ (Is.51:11)

And the scholars offer this explanation of all that: ‘51:1-16. Heavens shall vanish away…and the earth: Isaiah looks down the corridor of human history to a time when the heavens (atmosphere) and the earth will be no more. He likens the earth to an old…garment, meaning the earth will one day wear out (a fact borne out by the second law of thermodynamics) and only the ransomed and redeemed shall return with singing unto Zion and experience everlasting joy.’

Oh what a joyful time that will be my fellow believers…but only for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! So I’d strongly advise you to get with the programme immediately, if you want to be one of the ransomed and redeemed singing with everlasting joy in the not too distant future! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are.

In strong voice, and with sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 having said all of that, to be true to our calling, we now have to go out and share it! Much LOVE!

…only through Jesus…will you come to everlasting singing…salvation…and joy…