Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2019 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    ​To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
 

Here we go again friends, the work week is upon us! Please let’s greet it with a positive reaction nuh since there is nothing we can really do about it. I learned that lesson a long time ago, after I quit a job to do my own thing, then had to go back to it when my business went under. I never intended to go back to that job, but then it was the easiest and best job I could get at the time and I certainly needed the money. 

So I just told myself, if you’ve got to go, then you might as well go with a good attitude, stop making yourself miserable everyday you have to go to it. And it worked for me. I eventually got to appreciate the job more then, than in my initial go round. So if it could work for me, it certainly ought to work for you too. But you need to make a conscious decision to do it, then follow through with that decision. 

However, until you get to that stage, (smile) you can join us on a Monday morning as we go to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking Him to grant us strength, wisdom and confidence to face the evil world for another week. Let’s do that now nuh; declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong conviction and belief, because when we ask in sincere faith, according to the Father’s will, we will receive His blessing and largesse. 

Altogether 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!’  

Ah friends, yuh feel it working? It surely is! Just check out your new energy level; your state of understanding and awareness, your level of excitement to get out and do Jesus’ work. They are all now higher and more intense than they were before we prayed, before we invoked the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! (smile) And talking about prayer, today we’ll check out Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel, because back then Israel was in captivity in Babylon because of their total disobedience to God’s Word, much like our world is right now. 

Listen to Daniel: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee…Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (Dan.9:8,10) Now friends, if we’re truthful, we will have to admit that the same shameful state exists in our society today, the only difference being that too many of us either don’t know the seriousness of the situation, or we choose to just ignore it. But our attitude towards our God and Creator right now is nothing less than atrocious, very foolish and unwise, and if we don’t smarten up soon, there will be a helluva price to pay. 

Yeh, the Lord is patient and long suffering and as Daniel says: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ But tell me friends, how long do you think He’s going to put up with our arrogant disobedience and efforts to remove Him from our society eh? For all those who think that we’re going to be allowed to do as we sinfully and disobediently please for as long as we like, please think again. 

If it’s one thing the Lord is very protective and proud of is His power and glory, and He will not allow no creation of His to take it away from Him. Just check out the foolish Lucifer nuh! He wanted to rise, to promote himself above his Creator, but where is he now eh, residing in the depths of hell as Satan! And so will we too, if we keeping on going in the evil and ungodly direction in which we’re currently headed. 

Hear Daniel explain it nuh: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster in store), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:13-14) 

That says it all my brethren! If the Lord punished Israel so severely for their disobedience, do you think He’ll allow us to get away with ours, which seems so much worse? I very much doubt it friends. Please note Daniel’s words back there: ‘for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth…’ That means, though He is LOVING, and forgiving and full of grace and mercy, He is also a God of justice and righteousness, and those things are very important to His character and nature. 

Why yuh think He went through the heart-wrenching scene of sending Jesus to die for us? Because righteousness and justice had to be done in whatever He undertook to save us. Please, please, let all of that be a serious and sincere warning to us nuh. We will not get away with continual sinfulness and disobedience. For certain sure, if we don’t repent and return to God, our number will play one day! Much LOVE!

…sinfulness and righteousness…cannot exist in the same place…

 

    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘17:21. They…may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity. (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

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

So please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 

It’s Happy Day! Yes friends, it’s the happiest day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day when He rested after creating His universe and all therein. When He looked at it, He smiled contentedly, like a workman knowing that he’s done a good job and said: ‘It is good!’ The Lord also wants us to rest on this day, or at least one day of the week, to renew our strength and energy, because He did not make us to be machines, constantly working. 

And the best way to regroup for next week is by joining fellow believers in worship and praise at the Lord’s sanctuary, His house of prayer, where we can commune together as one body, Christ’s church, His vehicle for saving the world. So let’s all do our very best to get to the Lord’s house some time today nuh, so that we can sing and praise and worship and exalt His name and find succour and confidence and grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE for our weary and burdened souls! 

Now let’s commence our proceedings with the usual, a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today it’s something from the Gaither Homecoming Festival of some time back, sung by my latest favourite gospel singer, Jessy Dixon. The song’s aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without you holding my hand.’ Yes friends we talking about Jesus here, so let’s get soulful and sincere as we declare these awesome words of truth in sweet harmony nuh. 

All together now: ‘I thought, that number one, would surely be me. I thought I could be, what I wanted to be. I thought I, could build on life’s sinking sand. But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I thought that I, could do a lot on my own, I thought, I could make it, all alone. I thought, thought of myself as a mighty big man, But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. 

Ohh my Jesus, I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk, without you holding my hand. Thank You, for teaching me that valuable lesson, through your Word!’ 

Ah mih people, that was wonderfully soulful! (smile) And Jesus gratefully acknowledged our praise with a nod of His head and a shy smile, because He still doesn’t consider Himself number One! That’s the Father’s position, and He’s not foolish like Lucifer and try to overthrow Him. Anyway, those words are gospel truth, because without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing, as He so plainly tells us in John’s gospel, re the vine and the branches. 

‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit.’ (John 15:1-2) Now that’s a tough row to how because if you don’t bear fruit, you’re taken away, and if you do bear fruit, you’re still pruned, so you can bear even more and better fruit. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say the other day: ‘You’re pruned if you, and pruned if you don’t.’ But that’s the Father’s way, and also the general way of husbandmen in the physical world. 

And Jesus continues: ‘Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:3-5) Don’t you like how Jesus doesn’t mince words, just puts it plainly and clearly? ‘I am the vine and you are the branches…without me you can do nothing!’ 

And that’s the living truth friends. Remember in our song today, everything was about I thought I could do this, and I thought I could do that, but then we had a surprising and sudden awakening; only when we got on our knees were we able to stand, and even then we couldn’t walk without holding Jesus’ hand. And that’s how it is if we want to be a fruitful part of His LOVE Revolution! And it’s interesting how Jesus used the grape vine as a powerful example, but in the agricultural society that was Israel back then, everybody would certainly understand what He meant. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in the scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition ‘sun’ (together) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal.2:20), dead (Col.2:20) buried (Rom.6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph.2:1-5; Col.2:13), raised (Col.3:1; Eph.2:6), seated (Eph.2:6), and glorified (Rom.8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: ‘know’ (vs.6), ‘reckon’ (vs.11), ‘yield’ (vs.13), and ‘obey’ (vs.17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal.2:20). First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’

Lots of interesting scriptures there for us to check our friends. (smile) But if you really want to make a difference on Jesus’ vine you will have to know His Word, especially as it pertains to you being in Him and He being in you, for remember you can’t do anything without Him. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians that also highlight that very salient fact. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2. Cor.3:5) Wise words to live and die by my precious saints of God! Much LOVE!

…only as Christ lives and moves in us…and we live and move in Him…can we do great things for the kingdom…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

Yea, Though I walk through the valley Of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Saviour’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2019 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.    ​For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).
 

One more day friends, the Good Lord has generously granted us one more day of life on His great planet earth, so let’s live it the way He intended us to nuh. That’s with forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, mercy, LOVE and joy; all to the max, in abundance and overflowing! It’s the reason Christ gave His life selflessly and sacrificially on the cross of Calvary for us. So as His supposed followers, it behooves us to live as He desires, not as the world dictates. 

And to support that doctrine, (smile) here are some meaningful words of John Wesley (1703-1791) one of the founders of the Methodist church. He reputedly said that ‘The world hopes for the best, but the Lord offers the best hope!’ Wow! What words of truth and wisdom my faithful saints of Christ! It was true in Wesley’s day, and it’s even truer in these mystifying, troubled and strife-filled times! 

For as Bruh Paul told the Romans: ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:5) And is that ever so true! Without a doubt, we, as believers in Christ, have the Holy Spirit abiding within us to lead and guide us in all truth and sincerity. 

On the other hand though, right now the world doesn’t know whether  it’s coming or going; there’s so much despair in it, with so many divisions, dissensions, directions and disappointments that the natural outcome is simply confusion and war-like tendencies. 

The one still strong, solid and sure option left is that of Christ, of hope in Almighty God because He doesn’t change, there’s no sense of darkness in Him, only light and unconditional LOVE! His direction has been the same from day one, and will be the same until eternity! He’s not a wishy-washy God, unlike the rulers of darkness of this woe-be-gone world. With Him there is strength, consistency, and a known path; the straight and narrow one. 

With Him, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do and where you’re going. And I just LOVE how He lays it out through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ 

Yes friends, when you walk with the Lord, you know you’ll be getting the best, because there’s no evil in Him. He created us and He still LOVES us dearly. So much so that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay our sin debt! Hn! Why would He do such a crazy thing eh, if He didn’t hold us in very high regard? 

Bruh Paul puts it in the right perspective in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5: 6,8) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! What a validation of the Father’s LOVE that is my brethren! And the great thing about Christ’s death on the cross is that He didn’t die merely for our benefit, but in our place, as a substitutionary sacrifice! Yeh people, the price of sin is death. It can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood. 

And whereas all through the Old Testament the Lord was prepared to accept the sacrifice of animal blood to keep sin death at bay, because that’s all the animals did. They themselves could not truly atone for our sins, just give us a li’l leeway. However, come the New Testament, the Lord decided it was time to get the sin problem over and done with once and for all. 

The problem though was it needed a pure and unblemished, sinless sacrifice, and since all men were the output of sin, no man however holy could accomplish that task. And I’m sure when the Lord looked at His options and saw the only one possible, He shuddered in distaste. How could He not eh? 

Being a living and LOVING Father, He must have felt some trepidation at committing His Son, His ONLY Son to boot, to die for a bunch of ungrateful and disgusting sinners. But that just goes to show how much He really cared for us. How much He wanted to give us another option beside death, hellfire and damnation in the arms of the evil one, that He broke His own heart and sacrificed His Son for us. 

And how are we repaying that awesome LOVE eh? By trying to drive Him out of our society and our lives. Taking His Word, His commandments out of our schools and public places, replacing them with the evil, incestuous, sinful, ungodly acts and attitudes of this fallen world. 

Ah friends, unfortunately there are consequences for all of our actions, be they godly or ungodly, and believe me, the chickens will soon come home to roost for our current ungodly behaviour. The Lord is getting tired of our sinful attitudes. Just look around and you’ll see it emblazoned in the natural and man-made disasters and changes that are destroying the world as we know it. 

The end might be nigh friends, but we still can’t afford to give up, we have to keep on fighting valiantly until our Lord and Saviour comes back for us. Therefore, in the fighting spirit we possess as followers of Jesus Christ, let’s vociferously and sincerely declare (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the evil world know our certain position in 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 believe me friends, it will indeed be a glorious future if we just hold on in faith, hope and LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can you find the answers…to the world’s problems…

P.S. For those of you who noticed (smile) I apologize for the discrepancy in the dates on the headings of yesterday’s Bit. . One said 9 July and the other said 8 July. The first one was the right one. Just goes to show my human frailty. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2019 Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40.    ​Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 

Ah well, another glorious summer Saturday in the year of 2019! So, whenever you rise and shine, please enjoy it as though it was your last day on planet earth, for who knows, it just might well be. (smile) A lot of people who went to bed hale and hearty last night, did not get up this morning, for one reason or another. And the Lord died that we could have joy and peace right down here on this conflicted earth, not wait until we get to heaven. 

So despite our circumstances, let’s all give a shout of joy and declare: ‘All praise and glory be to the Most High God, our heavenly Father, who dearly LOVES us and looks after us like His own beloved children; who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to see us through whatever troubles come our way in this earthly life!’ Give Him much thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness my believing brethren! 

Ah friends, when you really get to know our heavenly Father, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful He is! But it takes time and serious commitment to get to that point; things that not too many of us are willing to spend or give, but we still want to receive all of His blessings. It doesn’t work that way though. 

As Moses told the Israelites so long ago: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut. 4:29) And in all those years, that hasn’t changed one iota my people! So let’s all seek Him sincerely nuh, starting Right Here and Now! 

And enough palavering, (smile) let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to share with us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ And that’s ever so true! 

A lot of us sit around and expect others to make us happy, but that’s not very realistic, since all of us have different agendas, and very few of them in this selfish and greedy world are to make others happy. They are more self-centred and concentrate on making I, me and myself happy. So if you want to be happy, you’ve got to get out there and do it for yourself! Nobody’s going to do it for you. 

And then there’s this: ‘Just remember: The people that say, ‘your dreams are impossible’ have already quit on theirs.’ More likely than not yes! Yeh friends, in this world there seem to be many more negative thinking people than positive thinking ones, even amongst our Christian community…

Brother! I can’t spell for hell this morning! I made more spelling mistakes in that last sentence than I’ve made in the rest of the Bit. Even spelled brother wrong! (smile) But moving along. Too many of us tend to discourage others from pursuing their dreams. But what’s a dream eh? Basically something that seems impossible in the naked light of day. Remember though, that with Jesus on our side, any and everything is possible! 

Consequently, ‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’ And is that ever so true! For once you think you’ll fail, you most likely will, because you introduce into your psyche a negative, self-defeating idea, which then tends to manifest itself in your attitude and the level of work you’re willing to put into making the dream a reality. 

Like a li’l mole, it just keeps eating away at your creativity and you end up not putting in the amount of work really need to make the project a success. So don’t listen to the naysayers…listen to Almighty God! That means, the first thing to do is to find out from God, whether the dream fits His will and purpose for your life, for if it doesn’t, then it won’t ever succeed, no matter how much effort and elbow grease you put into it. 

Now here’s this very interesting quote: ‘Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?’ That’s a very good question! One we should all take a moment or two to ponder. It’s basically asking are we living our lives to please man or God; to meet the world’s standards or God’s? 

And it’s strange, but I heard a preacher ask that very question recently, just in a different form: ‘What would we like our eulogy to be: praise for wealth and power, worldly things, or praise for being godly and Christ-like?’ I suggest the latter is the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, which means you have to start living it NOW! 

And the final quote asks very significantly: ‘What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?’ Right there friends is the heart of our Christian ministry; helping others. Remember Jesus said that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Luke 19:10) 

But even more importantly listen to His words re when He comes back to set up His kingdom and He sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left and invite the sheep to live with Him for ever after, while condemning the goats to hellfire and eternal damnation. Why? Because the sheep, true believers, helped those who were sick and suffering, lost and lonely, while the goats did not. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) And when the righteous ask when they did all of that, He will reply: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’  

Yes friends, our earthly job includes helping the poor, the lost and the unfortunate, just like Jesus did. So let’s get with it nuh, and stop concentrating solely on ourselves and our friends and families, because there is so much unmet need out there in today’s crazy world, that even the most insignificant help we can give will be joyfully looked upon by heaven and in due time, well rewarded. Much LOVE!

…you can’t call yourself a Christian…and don’t help anybody in need…

 

 

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