Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2018 Proverbs 19:23.

Proverbs 19:23.    The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

Now if I didn’t already know it, I wouldn’t believe it! And what’s that, you ask with an inquisitive frown? If I didn’t know that it was Monday, I wouldn’t believe it, because everybody is so busy and diligently going about their first day of the workweek tasks in such good moods! Nobody’s sulking, miserable or seems depressed; no Monday blues whatsoever! No setta sick calls either! 

And then you’d tell me: Oh, they’re all following the example of that fringe group called Christians; the group that believes in what they call the Messiah, or Saviour, His name is Jesus Christ! Yes, they are very dependable, and do excellent work too! And all I’d be able to says, is ‘Glory be!’ (smile) 

What a great day that will be eh friends, when we have the whole world following our example of diligent and excellent work in Jesus name! Right now it’s still somewhat of a fairy tale, or massive future dream, but if we keep working away at it, in all diligence and excellence, and with Jesus’ help, that day will eventually come. So let’s not give up hope and stop trying, for once there is life, there is hope!  

However, for the many of us who still struggle with getting it together on a Monday morning, we have the perfect elixir to fix whatever ails you. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It’s simply prayer, but then again, please remember that prayer is the most powerful tool and/or weapon in God’s great universe! So let’s not waste any more time in putting it to work nuh. 

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 my people, it’s working already! I know you can feel it; feel the positive improvement in your attitude, and the excitement that’s being generated by the rush of adrenaline that’s suddenly flowing through your veins!

Wow! Prayer Power is fantastic! It works miracles! Now let’s be on our way about Jesus business, with bright countenances, joyful spirits, and a heart overflowing with LOVE, as He so dearly desires of us. 

But before we jump into the fray, let’s take a moment and set the thoughts engendered by these wise words of Cousin Sol firmly in our hearts and minds. ‘The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.’ 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers! When we reverence our Creator, it means that we do our best to exalt Him and do His will. And since He faithfully takes care of those who uphold His name and His commandments, then there’s no need to worry, He will ensure that we’re contented with our lot.  And Bruh Paul has also assured us: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

We do have to stand strong, steadfast and wise in the faith though for it to happen. And on writing to young Timothy, as per being a good minister of Jesus Christ, amongst other things, Bruh Paul warned: ‘For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.’ (1 Tim.4:8-9) 

And the scholars explain. ‘4:8: The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.” 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! ‘For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially (especially) of those that believe.’ (1 Tim.4:10) 

Yes friends, we definitely need to exercise spiritually, so that we live godly and thus attain the wonderful promise of many blessings and abundant life, down here on earth and through eternity.

Please note though, that although God has provided salvation for ALL men, only those who sincerely believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ WILL be saved. So, I implore us to live our lives in accordance with those principles, otherwise…crapaud smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…salvation is available to all…but you must make a conscious decision to accept it…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2018 John 10:11.

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

Ah friends, sorry for the Bit’s lateness, but I went to bed late, got up late, and had a few things to do before I began writing. But the good news is, here I am at last! Glory! Glory! (smile) 

 Oh isn’t it just great to be alive? To be able to laugh and sing, run and jump, (not me… just yet), and even cry once in a while? It surely is, especially when we are living with and working for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Oh praise His holy name my faithful brethren; exalt the name that’s above EVERY other name, to whom ALL knees MUST eventually bow! 

Yeh, that’s our Messiah, our Prince of Peace, our heavenly Advocate, Our Burden Bearer, Our Comforter, in fact our Be All and End All, our EVERYTHING! Wow! Are we ever so blessed to have a Leader of such awesome proportions! Let’s give Him the thanks and praise He deserves…and all day long at that! 

Yeh, the ole fella’s in a joyful, exclamatory mood this morning! And why not eh? I just got some most excellent news; news that my heart problems have improved…Glory to God! And I’m now medically fit to travel…Oh mih brethren, that’s the best news ever! 

It’s been almost three years that I’ve been parked up here without the ability to get on an iron bird. But yuh know what, as I keep saying our God is ever so faithful, because many a day I’ve lain in my bed and looked through my window at the iron birds coming and going to and from the nearby airport, wondering when I’d be able to get on one. 

And the Good Lord has always quieted my heart by promising that one day, in the not too distant future, He will lift the medical limitations and free me from this onerous bondage… And now He has done just as He has promised! Bless His holy name! So in light of that extraordinary faithfulness, why wouldn’t I just offer up my whole heart and soul, thanks and praise to Him eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 

But enough of my excitement…let’s get on with the Bit. It’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. And we do have a whole slew of then this week, all dealing with change. And we will begin with this one: ‘If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.’ 

I’m not so sure about that nuh, because the human animal is so eccentric and confusing, and dislikes change so much, that a lot of us will probably prefer to be irrelevant rather than to change. That leads us to this quote: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ 

Now that I definitely disagree with! In my many years and much trial and testing on God’s earth, I’ve usually found that the price of change is usually much higher than the price of standing stationary. In particular the effort that one has to put out to make whatever change is necessary. That’s why so many people just stay the same way in the same place. 

That’s why this next quote is the living truth! ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ Now that’s exactly why so many of us resist change, even change that’s obviously in our best interest! Change just doesn’t come easy. And this one mirrors the truth of the last. ‘The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.’ And so it has my brethren… though not always for the better! 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ And isn’t that that the undeniable truth people? Unless our world changes, and drastically too, and also towards Jesus, until we stop trying to drive God out of our society and instead, embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, our world will just continue sinking inexorably, relentlessly into the muck and mire of Lucifer’s evil empire. 

And that is not what our Saviour came to earth and suffered so much for. That’s definitely not why He suffered such pain and humiliation and eventually gave up His sinless life on that wooden cross at Calvary. If He wanted us to become part and parcel of Lucifer’s evil empire, He would have just remained in His cozy corner in heaven enjoying all the exotic delights provided by His Father. But He sacrificially gave all of that up to come and save our sinful souls. 

Remember friends, Lucifer is the master of thievery, lies and deception, an evil genius in leading mankind astray. Just look at how he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s still doing it to us to this day. However Jesus declared, and proved it too: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: 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.’ (John 10:10-11) 

And there is absolutely no doubt that that’s what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary; give His sinless, holy life on behalf of our abominable sinful souls, so that the Father could justifiably forgive us and reconcile us to Himself. So why are we still foolishly running behind Lucifer and his evil, lustful, carnal, ungodly way of life eh? A way of life that will only lead to eternal separation from our heavenly Father; the worst fate that can ever befall a human soul! 

I don’t know the answer to that nuh friends, but I am surely trying my best to stay away from that end result…and I sincerely hope that you are trying to do the same, because that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2018 Titus 2:11.

Titus 2:11.    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

Sunday, oh Sunday! It’s Sunday my brethren! That means all roads lead to the Lord‘s sanctuary for some special time of prayer and praise, worship and fellowship! What a glorious morning it will be as we gather to give thanks and get strength and mercy in return! The Lord will be just bubbling over with joy this morning as we come to exalt His holy name, show humility and reverence to His majestic Being and renew our faithfulness by believing His promises. 

And there is no more appropriate hymn to open our worship session than the old faithful, ‘Standing on the Promises of God.’ It’s a wonder how these old hymns just seem to last forever, but that’s because they are based on the infallible truth of God’s word. So without further ado, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips, strong lungs and sincere hearts. 

All together now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.)  Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] 

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.]’ 

And isn’t that the best place to stand my fellow believers? Yes sir, right there on the faithful and everlasting promises of God, for there is none as faithful as Him! He never makes promises unless He intends to keep them. So any promise you see written in His word, will most definitely be kept. Yuh see how He promised to send the Jewish people a Messiah, a Saviour, and He did! 

They just misunderstood the circumstances. They were looking for a warrior king, to lift the heavy burden of servitude from their shoulders under harsh Roman rule. However, the Lord had a peaceful, LOVE touting rabbi in mind; one to save their sinful souls from eternal damnation. 

And today we’re going to listen to Bruh Paul’s words to his protégé Titus on the subject of Christian living, how we can prevent the loss of our souls  to Lucifer, through accepting the faithful promise of Christ. It starts out with our Bit: ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.’ 

Yes friends, God LOVED His human creation so much that He could not exclude any from His plan for salvation. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.’ (Titus 2:12-15) 

Absolutely nothing has changed down through the ages friends. It is still the way we ought to live if we consider ourselves believers in, and followers of Christ. Hear the scholars’ explanations on that passage. ‘2:11-15. The salvation that appeared to all men is based on God’s grace that has provided salvation universally for all mankind through the unlimited atonement of Christ. 

That blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ refers to His second coming. The use of the definite article “the” with the first noun “God” and the connecting “and” indicates that the first and second “Saviour” (nouns) are one and the same person. Our “great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” is thus one and the same person, clearly proving the deity of Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, I guess the scholars’ are referring to the Greek text in that last sentence. But we don’t need any evidence or reassurance that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was deity. It’s evident from all that He did while He was here on earth. Only someone with divine power could have done His miracles, and endured the ‘sufferation’ He did on our behalf without going out of His mind. 

But all of that aside, let’s listen to Jesus’ promise to come back for us. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

So my friends, if we sang about standing on the promises of God earlier on, and then declared that Christ was deity, then simple logic would conclude that we should believe and stand on the promises Christ made in those verses. (smile) So let’s stand strong on them nuh, for He is coming back again, sometime soon, this time in all His glory and splendour, the warrior King that the Israelites first dreamed of. 

And He is going to take us home to heaven to dwell there with Him until eternity, if we believe in Him, obey His words and live the lifestyle He desires. So what’s it to be eh friends? Let’s hope we all vote for Jesus, for that’s wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing as beautiful…as living for Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2017 Isaiah 11:6.

Isaiah 11:6.   The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Well it’s Sunday friends; that day when we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him in peaceful and joyful fellowship. What a pleasure that is; singing songs of LOVE and harmony, of peace and goodwill, hearing God’s word and having it strengthen our faith and put some pep in our stride. 

And as always, we like to loosen up with a song of praise. Today we’ll sing that old Gospel song ‘Peace in the Valley,’ written by the black preacher’s son, Thomas A. Dorsey in 1937 for Mahalia Jackson, though numerous people have recorded it over the ensuing years. And there’s an interesting story behind the writing of the song. 

Dorsey said of writing “Peace in the Valley,” “It was just before Hitler sent his war chariots into Western Europe in the late 1930s. I was on a train going through southern Indiana and saw horses, cows and sheep all grazing together in this little valley. Everything seemed so peaceful. It made me question, “What’s the matter with mankind? Why can’t men live in peace?” Out of those thoughts came “Peace in the Valley.” 

Yes friends, we’re all searching for peace, but that’s a very difficult commodity to find in these crazy and godless times. Nonetheless, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips and humble hearts, let’s bare our souls in soulful song and let the Lord in heaven on high know that we are truly His people. 

In unison now: ‘Oh well, I’m tired and so weary But I must go alone Till the Lord comes and calls Calls me away, oh yes Well the morning’s so bright And the lamp is alight And the night, night is as black As the sea, oh yes There will be peace in the valley for me, some day There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow No trouble, trouble I see There will be peace in the valley for me, for me. 

Well the bear will be gentle And the wolves will be tame And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes And the beasts from the wild Shall be led by a child And I’ll be changed Changed from this creature that I am, oh yes There will be peace in the valley for me, some day There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow No trouble, trouble I see There will be peace in the valley for me, for me.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? One day in the eventual reign of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, that is exactly how our world will be. The Lord promised that in His word, through the prophet Isaiah, when he talks about the righteous reign of the branch of Jesse. Our Bit spells it out loud and clear. ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.’ 

Oh my people, what a blessed day that will be when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ finally takes over the world and sets up His everlasting kingdom: His kingdom that will have no end! 

Listen as Isaiah continues with the peaceful scene. ‘And the cow and the bear shall feed (graze); their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling (nursing) child shall play on the hole of the asp (cobra), and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ (in the viper’s) den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’ (Is.11:7-9) 

Mama Mia! Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the children of men! I can’t wait to see that day friends. Chuh! How different it will be from this warmongering, hateful, strife filled age. 

And here’s how the scholars explain it. ‘11:6-9. Peace and harmony will characterize the Messiah’s kingdom. Ravenous predatory animals – wolf, leopard, lion and bear – are set in deliberate contrast to the more defenseless lamb, kid, calf, cow, and ox. That the lion shall eat straw implies a change of diet. 

Even the asp and the cockatrice (snakes) will be harmless to a small child. Isaiah sees the Messiah ruling the world in righteousness and a peace that extends even to the animal kingdom. During this time the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Thus the prophet sees beyond the restoration of Judah to a time when the Messiah will rule the entire world.’ 

What a glorious time that will be my people. And yuh know why our time now is so disgusting? Because the earth IS NOT full of the knowledge of the Lord! Yeh friends, when God is at the forefront of our society, involved in every area of our lives, both public and private, then there is peace and LOVE and harmony in our world. 

Oh friends, we know that total peace will not happen until Jesus comes back, but that doesn’t mean that in the meanwhile, we can’t have much more peace than we currently have. It all depends on us though, for the enemy doesn’t desire peace. 

In closing, let’s take these words of Bruh Paul to the Romans to heart nuh. ‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men.’ (Rom.12:18)  What wonders that would cause in our world if Christians would live up to that scripture! Much LOVE!

…SEEK PEACE…AND PURSUE IT…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2016 Luke 1:76.

Luke 1:76.   And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. 

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Eve, the day before the big one – Christmas Day, when we joyfully celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the highest for selflessly blessing us with Jesus Christ! 

But yuh know what, is not everybody that celebrating this Christmas time nuh. I heard today that another of my U.W.I (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) classmates, Dwight Venner died yesterday. Ah Lord eh! He is at least the sixth one that I know about, who has died this year. Steups! 

And all of them were around my age yes. That certainly brings your own mortality to mind. But you can’t do anything about it nuh, just keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and hope for the best. The only thing we’re really sure of in this life is that someday the Grim Reaper will come a calling and we’ll go whether we want to or not. 

So I’m asking us on this Christmas Eve day to pray for the Venner family in their time of grief. I believe he was from St. Lucia, and just ask the Lord to comfort them in their mourning when they should be celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s not easy to lose anybody at all, much less at a time like this. 

Let’s also remember to pray for Keith, our Scrip-Bit family member, who is slowly recovering from his stroke, and comfort him too while he mourns the loss of his departed brother. 

Remember, as James says: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’(James 5:16) Yeh friends, prayer is the greatest power we have down here on God’s great earth, so please let’s use it often and wisely nuh. 

Now I have so much scripture to share that I only have space for one of our friend Anselm’s quotes today. And I had a hard time choosing one, because they were all interesting, they all can inspire us for a better tomorrow.  And this is the one that finally won out: ‘Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren, all those qualities are very important parts and qualities of our Christian life! Now since John the Baptist was Christ’s cousin as well as His forerunner and harbinger, I thought this Christmas Eve would be a good time to check out John’s early story, as we will do tomorrow for Christ. 

This brings us to our Bit: ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Those were the prophetic words of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, at his circumcision. Now our God is such a dramatist that sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at His doings. 

Remember how he made Zechariah dumb because he didn’t believe that his barren wife Elisabeth would eventually bear him a child. (Luke 1:5-25) And also how He brought Mary and Elisabeth together and caused John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and the three months the women spent bonding together. 

Let the Good Book tell us the story: ‘Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins (relatives) heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her. (Her barrenness was no longer a cause for reproach). 

And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings (things) were noised abroad (discussed) throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.’ (Luke 1:57-66) 

Oh my people, there’s no better dramatist than our God! And to add to that drama, the scholars tell us: ‘1:65. Fear came: The working of God produced a unique sensation among a people where not even a prophet had spoken for centuries.’  

And after that, Zechariah just went mad prophesying, making up for all those months that he’d been dumb. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophetically declared. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (A Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all them that hate us;’ (Luke 1:68-71) 

I have to leave out four verses here because of lack of space. But then Zechariah continued with our Bit. ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 1:76-80) 

Ah friends, yuh see the amazing power and dramatic expertise of our wonderful God! And that was child’s play to how He brought Jesus on the scene. (smile) We’ll talk about that tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may he bless and keep us all safe and sound and cause us to enjoy the celebrations of the birth of His only Son, Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who is greater than our God eh…NOBODY…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God.

Well friends, it’s a cloudy morning in my area. The sun is not shining, but thankfully the Son is holding forth as usual in all His wonderful radiance and brilliant glory! 

All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Leader, Lord and Saviour! Without Him, we’d be certainly dead in our sins, heading for a rough and troubled eternity with Lucifer in Hades. 

But thanks to God’s great LOVE and Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, we have been reconciled to the Father and as His beloved children, can now look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven. Glory Hallelujah! 

And on that glorious note, let’s declare out Thursday Blessings, as we remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. With true belief, sincerity and enthusiasm 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!’ 

Glory to God my people! We shall be blessed when we go out and come in, when we sit or lie down… in fact in all aspects of our lives our God will cause us to prosper. Wow! Isn’t that something else? It surely is! 

That’s why we have to pay serious attention to our Bit. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was the original trailblazer of our faith. He first ran the race and set all the standards for it. Now we need to adhere to those standards so that we can run the race successfully too. It’s not an easy race to run, for it’s a marathon across hill and dale, rivers and streams, one fraught with all sorts of dangers and impediments. 

But thankfully Jesus has blazed the trail, shown us the way, lit the path, and if we sincerely abide by His word, then we too will have success, and one day hear the Father declare: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Oh what a joyful day that will be my people! But first we have to get serious about looking to Jesus and following in His famous footsteps, otherwise we’re just wasting our time and His. 

Now let’s look at a couple of interesting parts of our Bit, the first being, ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ 

Now I really don’t see the joy in what Jesus was asked to do by the Father nuh – take the sins of the world on His shoulders, be crucified in innocence to pay for the iniquity and transgressions of ungrateful people. 

It was joyful for us, because through His actions our sins were forgiven, but it must surely have been mind-bending and agonizing for Him. However, despite the affliction, His obedience to the Father’s will was perfect. 

That brings us to Jesus’ words to the two disciples He met on Resurrection Day along the road to Emmaus. He chided them for their disbelief. 

‘Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.’ (Luke 24:25-27) 

Oh friends, the Lord didn’t send the prophets because He had nothing better to do, but to open the eyes of the people unto the coming of Jesus and what His purpose was going to be. 

Hear the scholars. ’24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16; 22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, but Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

And unfortunately, today a lot of us are also refusing to understand the importance of the Old Testament in the formation of the New Testament. But the scholars kindly inform us: ‘24:27. The entire Old Testament is indispensable for a grounded grasp of the identity and significance of Jesus.’ 

That is friends, if we don’t understand Jesus’ role and significance in the Old Testament; His appearances, His status, His doings and the prophesies about Him, we won’t be fully able to comprehend His form and function in the New Testament. 

Therefore, please, let’s stop considering the Old Testament as passé, because it isn’t. It’s just as important as the New Testament in that it expounds the nature of our faith; it’s beginnings, its ups and downs, its promises, and above all the great message about our Messiah. 

So today, as Almighty God blesses us, and as we bless others, let’s remember where we came from – the Old Testament – because if we don’t know our history and recognize it as being important, we surely won’t know our future; where we’re going, the direction in which we’re headed and how to handle it. Much LOVE!

…only as we look to Jesus…will we see the true path to successful living…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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