Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2019 Matthew 14:33.

Matthew 14:33.    ​And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

 

And then it was Sunday…Oh beautiful Sunday! Time to join fellow believers in praise, worship and thanksgiving at the Lord’s house on His special day. What a wonderful privilege to come into His presence with others of like mind, to hear His Word, exalt His holy name and receive His awesome confidence, LOVE, mercy, grace and strength that enable us to keep on fighting the good fight in His name! So, without further ado, let’s do as we always do nuh, (smile) begin with a song of praise. And today’s song is aptly titled: ‘LOVE LIFTED ME!’ And so it did friends; Christ’s great LOVE for us, lifted us out of the mire of sin, through His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary that paid the price of sin for all time. 

But we all know that, so let’s check out something that we might not know, namely the story behind today’s hymn. According to the web site GodTube, it was written and published in 1912 by Arthur James Rowe (1865-1933), a copper miner’s son, an immigrant to the U.S from Ireland in 1889. He worked for ten years on the New York railroads, then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. The hymn was inspired by two biblical stories, both about Jesus and His disciples on the stormy seas of Galilee. (Matt.14:22-33) & (Matt.8:23-27). ‘Rowe masterfully incorporates both stories, using sinking or being swamped into the sea as an illustration for “sinking deep in sin…sinking to rise no more.” Jesus, “Master of the sea,” hears our pleas for help, reaches out to us in LOVE, and lifts us up into the well being of grace.’ Oh what a beautiful description! 

So now that we have some idea of what the hymn is all about, let’s sing it nuh, in strong, soulful voice, with exquisite harmony, and much sincere thanks and gratitude appropriately flowing from our hearts. Altogether now: ‘I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. (Refrain: LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me.) 

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling, In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing. LOVE so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful LOVING service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain] Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His LOVE out of the angry waves; He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey, He, your Saviour wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain: LOVE lifted me…When nothing could help…LOVE lifted me…’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? It’s only something as powerful as LOVE that could have ever lifted us out of the depths of sin! The amazing LOVE of Jesus is the only thing ‘that can lift us out of despair to salvation.’ Now let’s refresh our memories about those two stories on which today’s hymn was based. The first one tells us about Jesus entering a ship with His disciples. ‘And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Matt.8:24-27) 

Ah friends, as the hymn says, Jesus is the ‘Master of the sea.’ He was intimately involved in making it, therefore, it must do as He directs it. The second story happens after Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod. When Jesus heard of it, He was saddened, and took a ship to a deserted place to be alone. But the crowds followed Him, and Jesus being Jesus, was filled with compassion and He taught them and healed their sick, then later on He fed them; five thousand men, beside women and children. (Matt.14:1-14) After that, He sent the disciples away in a ship, dispersed the multitude, then went up into a mountain by himself to pray. However, while Jesus was up on the mountain praying, the disciples were having an extremely hard time crossing the sea of Galilee because of a severe storm, brewed up by a contrary wind. 

By the fourth watch (3-6 a.m.) they were obviously tired from rowing all night and not making much progress. Then suddenly this apparition appeared unto them walking on the water. They claimed it was a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid. Then Peter with his impulsive self blurted out: ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee  on the water. And he said,  Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent) he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt.14:27-33) 

Ah mih people, please note Jesus response in both situations: ‘O ye of little faith.’ He challenged them on the substance of their faith. They had seen Him do all sorts of miracles, yet still they were scared of their own shadows. When He walked on water to them, a few hours earlier they had seen him feed over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two small fishes, and still pick up twelve full baskets of left overs. So why should they be so afraid seeing Him walk and water and calm the stormy seas eh? The sad part of the story though is that unfortunately, we are in the same boat as the disciples. We talk a good talk, but when adversity strikes, we forget all the wonderful miracles that Jesus has done in our lives, and we too cry out in faithless fear. 

But the long and short of the story is that we know much more about Jesus and how He works, than the disciples did, so we ought not to be as afraid as so many of us are. Each adversity we undergo, and He brings us through successfully, ought to build our faith and make us stronger. So please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve said today nuh, and promise ourselves to try and do better, faith wise, with God’s help of course. Jesus needs us to show strong faith to the unbelievers, so that they too will want to share His salvation! Much LOVE!

…it should not be as hard for us…as it was for the disciples…to truly believe…that Jesus is the Son of God…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2018 Matthew 25:23.

Matthew 25:23.   His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Oh, I know it’s a tad cloudy outside, but the good news is that a couple of rays are pushing valiantly, keeping keeping on to burst through the cloud cover! Wow! And yuh know what? If only one ray is alive and persevering, then there is hope; hope that bright sunshine will eventually permeate our now cloudy atmosphere! Mama Yo! 

In the same way friends, if only one seed of faith is planted and taking root in a believer, then eventually it will grow into a big tree, blossom forth and bear much beautiful godly fruit! Glory to God my brethren! For it’s only through His supernatural auspices that such a miracle can ever happen. 

And like some form of a miracle happened when we prayed yesterday that Hurricane Florence wouldn’t devastate North Carolina, because it has been downgraded to something like a category 2 from a 4! More Glory to God my people! And it does show the power of prayer. Oh, Flo might still damage North Carolina, but definitely not as badly as when she was packing bigger winds. Thank the Lord for small mercies! 

And on that point we do have a lot of inadequacies; because we think that only the big things are important enough to thank God for. But friends, it’s those li’l, everyday occurrences that we should be ever thankful for, since they are the ones that cause our lives to run smoothly and in sync. 

And moreover, the Lord wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our lives, even the ones that seem small, ordinary and unimportant to us. Remember when we come to God, it means FULL SURRENDER; no holding back ANYTHING, although foolishly, we always try to hold back something from His piercing gaze. 

But remember my brethren, our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, so He sees all, knows all and is everywhere at the same time! That means there is nowhere or nothing we can hide from Him, but He wants us to come to Him voluntarily, through our LOVE for Him, that’s why He gave us freedom of choice. 

So please don’t try to hide yourself, or anything in your life from God, because the old saying is ever so true: ‘you can run, but yuh can’t hide!’ And many of us, even believers need to remember that! Remember again my fellow believers, if the Lord can’t trust us to be faithful in small things, why would He trust us with big things eh? 

That brings us to our Bit, where Jesus is telling the parable of the talents, and the servant given two talents, produces two more, so the master says to him. ‘His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ 

It’s the same with us friends; we trust others with small matters before we trust them with big ones. If they prove trustworthy in the small things then we promote them. It happens on our jobs all the time. And Jesus reiterates that truth later on when talking of the parable of the dishonest steward. ‘He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.’ (Luke 16:10) 

And the prophet Zechariah, long before Jesus came, in his vision with the candlestick of seven lamps and two olive trees, to rebuild the Lord’s temple, he declared: ‘For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run (scan) to and fro through the whole earth.’ (Zech.4:10) 

Joshua and Zerubbabel would be enabled to rebuild the temple through God’s Spirit: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Zech.4:6b) Then the small nation of Israel would be a future blessing to all the world through the coming of the Messiah, and the Lord’s Spirit would be available in abundant supply. So friends, from small beginnings do come large endings, so please don’t despise small things, rather treasure them, for you know not what they might turn out to be later on. 

And so saying, we have seen the Lord’s Spirit turn from blessing us in small ways to mighty grace and mercy. Wow! So let’s declare our Thursday Blessings so that others can see what they have to look forward to when they surrender wholeheartedly to Jesus. And remember too, that a blessing is not a blessing unless it’s spoken over someone or something. 

So, as one body now, with sincere heart: ‘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 why wouldn’t I believe sincerely in Jesus if He blesses me so wonderfully when I believe eh? The next step though for us believers is to go out and share ALL those blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why Jesus blessed us so bountifully! Much LOVE!

…heaven’s blessings are meant…to be shared generously…not to be hoarded selfishly…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2018 Isaiah 30:18.

Isaiah 30:18.   And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.

Well friends, I slept in my own bed last night, and it wasn’t half bad! At least the ole back isn’t aching nearly as much as that unforgettable night I spent in the hospital, and it was much easier to get up from too. Glory to God! So this morning we’re back to the daily task and common grind and I just have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind now. 

Over the past year I’ve been trying my best to get some closure on my major illnesses, but all to no avail. And for a moment there, I thought the Lord had finally decided it was time to do what seemed necessary, but obviously I was wrong. 

And as He is so famous for doing, He even led me to this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin simply titled ‘I Will Wait.’ Yuh get the message? (smile) 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord Today I must face it honestly with You By pursuing the persistent questions within me. God, is there any gain at all by my doubting? Do doubts make me stronger? Do they purify my heart? Fortify my will? Are my emotions firmly established by my doubts? Are my family and friends encouraged? 

On the other hand, God Even though I see no possible way out Of the catastrophe I now face Is there anything more pleasing to You Than my personal choice to trust You? I know it is true, Lord I must rely on Your promises in the end. Would You be glorified, dear God If I trusted You now at the early beginning? 

O God, forgive me For so limiting You. Surely you know exactly what you will do. You are God, so You will not alter Your Word. Your power is instantly operative In all the strange twisting of my life. You are God, so You are good. I will hope I will trust I will wait On the living God!’ 

Yeh mih people, that is a lesson we must all learn if we are to be faithful believers. And I’ve learned it a tad in a hard manner over the last couple days. What seems to be our truth, isn’t always God’s. And what seems to be our time, isn’t always His either. We just have to learn to wait expectantly and with a good attitude until He finally decides to allow whatever He thinks is necessary to happen. 

And that’s not always easy, especially when it’s to do with sickness. But from my experiences in this past year, I can definitely say that God is good! I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but there was always some mitigating factor to ease the downs. He never just left me alone to go through my problems by myself. I could always see His hand working in the background, possibly not as much or how I would have liked, but I could always sense His presence. 

And even when He was not alleviating my sickness, I could still feel His hand of LOVE moving as He gave me some of my heart’s desires. They certainly made up for some of the disappointment with the illness. That’s why today, I can testify that we serve such a wonderful God! He doesn’t always do what we want or when we want it, but He ALWAYS comes through in the end! 

And though I’ve had this setback with the heart problem, I know that eventually, when He is good and ready, He will make all things right. Give Him thanks and praise, my people, exalt His holy name for He is certainly good to us, sinful and undeserving children of men! 

And I have to chuckle here, because I never really intended to testify, but the Lord seems to have drawn it out of me unconsciously. And not only that, but the Lord has just shown me our doubting Thomas’ way, because from the very beginning I’ve been praying for a miracle, where I’d have to go through no invasive surgery, but now that it might have happened, I can’t truly believe or accept it. 

And that’s how we are friends; we pray for big things but when they do happen, we find it difficult to accept them. But just remember that our God is a Big God and He can do ANYTHING. So if we pray big prayers, let’s not be surprised when they happen. 

And the scripture promise for our poem today is also our Bit; wise and wonderful words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ 

Yes friends, if God can wait for us, so can we wait for Him. And remember it’s all for our benefit, not for His. The scholars offer this wise explanation. ’30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God.’ And so it is my brethren. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose, letting the world know that we are truly and seriously involved with our God and Friend, Jesus. Altogether 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 it will indeed be a glorious future, more mind boggling than we can ever think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Wait (in faith)…on the Lord…and he shall strengthen thine heart…wait (in faith)…I say…on the Lord. (Ps.27:14)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2018 Acts 16:31.

Acts 16:31,   And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).

Greetings and salutations friends, this Thursday morning from our heavenly father, the Most High God, Jehovah! He sends His great LOVE and new mercies so that we can handle this day successfully, if we walk sincerely with Him. That is the key to everything; walking sincerely in His will. 

And I want to let us know that God is with us, the same way He was with Jesus Christ when He was here on earth, so we have the wonderful privilege of calling on Him as Jesus did. Glory be my people! And it doesn’t make sense having the privilege if we don’t use it. 

So let’s set our sights to call on God, at anytime, anywhere, and for everything, because that’s what He expects of us. He wants to be involved in each and every aspect of our lives, so please don’t keep Him out of anything, even the simplest aspect of our daily living, otherwise we could be in danger of losing wonderful insights, guidance and blessings. 

That’s why the Daily Bread devotional thought tells us: ‘To take the fear out of living, put your faith in the living God.’ Truth of enormous proportions my brethren! For it’s only faith that conquers fear! The world expects us to be fearful, but our God desires us to be faithful! Which are we going to chose eh? 

Fear is easy, you just kowtow, give in to it and let it run roughshod over your life. Faith however calls for us to be strong, to withstand adversity, even when times look extremely bad. It calls for pain and sacrifice, even when we don’t seem to have any more breath left in our bodies. Faith says, while there is hope there is life, and with God ALL things are possible! 

And that’s what we are called to as Christians; being strong and steadfast in our belief and living for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ, so that we abominable sinners could be reconciled to Him. No other faith has such a simple but moving and compelling narrative. That’s why some people think it is too good to be true. But true it is my brethren! And there’s no rocket science involved. 

That’s why when Paul and Silas prayed and the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and the prison keeper went to kill himself, thinking that all the prisoners had escaped, Bruh Paul warned him. ‘Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. 

And brought them out, and said, sirs. What must I do to be saved? ‘And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).’ (Acts 16:28-31) 

Yeh friends, that’s how simple it is. Believe, only believe in Christ and you shall be saved! It couldn’t get any simpler than that. But us complex humans think that anything so simple is of no use. Sometimes that might be right, but in this case it is definitely wrong. 

And the Good Book continues after our Bit. ‘And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat (food) before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.’ (Acts 16:31:34) 

Yuh see how it easy it is to be saved friends. But it all depends on the state of our hearts; whether we’re ready to receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour or not. Obviously the jailer and his family were ready, especially after seeing the miracle that God had wrought; the jail doors being suddenly opened, and yet no one escaping. But in general, we should not look for miracles before we believe. 

When the Lord calls us we should respond positively, don’t try to fight it. And I can tell you from personal experience, that when you try to fight God, or ignore Him, your life just gets harder and more miserable. I did that when He first suggested the writing of the Bit. But when He wants you, He doesn’t give up. So it’s to your advantage, when He first calls to answer, ‘Yes Lord. Right away!’ You’ll save your self some heartaches. 

And yuh know what? When we truly believe, we are inordinately blessed. Let’s now declare our Thursday Blessings, enthusiastically letting the world know how wonderful it is to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. As one 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!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s what you have to look forward to when you put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…put not your trust in humans…but in the One who first created the world…then saved it…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2017 John 1:14.

John 1:14.   And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Well friends, the big day has come and gone; the purists got their white Christmas and I do hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful day with friends and families, keeping Jesus first place in your thoughts as He is the reason for all the celebrations. 

But yuh know what? Christmas Day might be gone, but the Christmas season is not over as yet, there’s still a lot of peace, LOVE and good cheer yet to be spread. And on this Boxing Day, here is something titled ‘It’s Christmas,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, to bring the Christmas season into true perspective. 

Please read with me: ‘It’s Christmas!  Sing! Rejoice! Celebrate! Let God create in you Colourful explosions Of joy and excitement. Smile away fears, push away tears. Out with pretense, in with praise. It’s Christmas! Open your heart to light To trust, to LOVE, to hope. Awaken slumbering memories Stir up stupendous dreams Anticipate surprises Open your arms wide.  

It’s Christmas!  Time for candles and cards For carols and cookies For brightly lit trees With the fragrance of pine. Time to hug and hold To think and thank Time to greet the world With the Good News.  It’s Christmas!  Thank God for life Thank Him for the manger For the splintered cross For the empty tomb. Thank Him for His only Son The Saviour of the world.  Shout! Laugh! Share! Care! And say to God On Christmas morning: “I entrust myself anew To You.” 

Oh friends, doesn’t that picture of Christmas sound wonderful? It surely does! And though we may not be in a position to do all that’s suggested there, we can ALL do the most important things, like give God thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and pledge our LOVE and allegiance anew to Him EVERY day! 

Ah mih people, the Lord God Almighty certainly went out on a limb for us when in His awesome LOVING-kindness He decided to save us from our sinful selves. The least we can now do is to show some sincere appreciation and gratitude as we enjoy all of the blessings and mercies that He’s poured down on us, especially in this season of Christmas, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, the beginning of the whole beautiful, heartwarming and revolutionary drama. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill to men!’ 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ How majestic and marvellous for the Son of God to become human and dwell amongst us! 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘1:14. Made flesh indicated the incarnation (the miracle) of God the Son becoming human yet remaining God, and bringing us into full conviction of Christ’s humanity. The use of flesh contradicts the Gnostic heresy that God could not be united with human flesh, which was seen as evil. 

Dwelt among us: John uses the word for “tabernacled,” here translated “dwelt.” The Old Testament tabernacle was where God dwelt among the Jews in the wilderness. In this context, God is dwelling in the person of Jesus Christ. We beheld his glory: Perhaps John refers to the Shekinah glory which appeared in the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The expression signifies the visible manifestation of God. John later uses glory to refer to Jesus’ life (2:11), death, and resurrection (12:23).’ 

So my people, we could not ask for a greater gift, especially at this time of gift giving. We need to remember that God the Father gave us the greatest gift ever, God the Son, in our veritable time of need; a time when we were headed directly for eternal damnation and darkness. Not that we aren’t still heading for it, but at least now we have an option to avoid it. 

Before Jesus came and sacrificed his sinless life on our behalf, we had no option but to go straight to Hades with Lucifer and his evil band. But all praise to Jesus for giving the option of believing in Him and thus having reconciliation with the Father and eventual salvation and eternal life! Wow! If that isn’t the GREATEST my brethren, then I don’t know what is! 

Now let’s go home this Tuesday morning, letting the world know whom and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with much gumption and truth. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And since we’re truly Christ’s people, then let’s go and truly share His LOVE with the rest of the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…there’s not enough thanks in the world…to truly give to Jesus…for His sacrifice on our behalf…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2017 Luke 1:37.

Luke 1:37.     For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And then it was Christmas Eve! Yeh friends, Christmas Eve, the day before Christ’s birth, aren’t you excited? (smile) We should be my people, because it’s around this time two thousand years ago we received the greatest gift ever. The Son of God was born so that He could save sinful man, whom His heavenly Father LOVED with such a great LOVE that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, so that His human creation could be saved from hell fire and damnation. 

Glory to our Most High God my brethren, for there is no other Deity who would have ever dreamed of doing something like that! So my fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday, as we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him, to give Him thanks and exalt His holy name and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength and confidence to face the upcoming week, let’s show our sincere gratitude and overwhelming LOVE by singing our hearts out with unspeakable joy and supreme gladness. 

And the song we’re going to offer up in our sacrifice of praise is the old but ever true and much liked standard, ‘O Holy Night.’ Apparently it was originally written in French, but was later translated to English, and has the distinction of being the first Christmas Carol to ever be played on the radio in 1906. So with sincere feeling now, as we raise our voices to high heaven. 

‘O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here came the wise men from Orient land. 

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend! He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to LOVE one another; His law is LOVE and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!’ 

Oh friends, what beautiful sentiments, filled with eternal truths, while offering loads of assurance for the believer. I sincerely hope that tears of joy were flowing down all our faces as we sang those exquisite words. For how could it be otherwise eh, when we’re celebrating such a joyful occasion? And friends, the whole story of Christ’s birth is so incredible, that only a superior being could have worked it out so efficiently and competently and dramatically. 

That takes us to our Bit:  ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ Those were the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, Christ’s mother, after he informed her that she would bare God’s Son through the auspices of the Holy Spirit, and that her hitherto barren cousin Elisabeth, in her old age, was also pregnant.  And what I LOVE about Mary is that despite her young age, throughout Gabriel’s information session she never got riled or overly excited. Of course she was somewhat concerned and confused as Gabriel appeared out of the blue and began to lay such weighty matters on her. Her only real question was how was she going to get pregnant without knowing a man? 

And once Gabriel explained, she was fine. ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) I must say that Mary was pretty mature for her age and background. If an angel suddenly appeared now and told that a teenager, she’d either run away screaming in fright, or hurl vicious and angry words at the messenger. But Mary’s response at the end of the conversation was simply: ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Ah friends, I’m not sure that Mary would have been so relaxed if she had known the immense heartache she would have to face by being the mother of the Son of God. But nonetheless she held up under all the stress and strain of her position fairly well. Obviously the Lord gave her the wherewithal to stand strong and face the adversity, as He does with us all, when He gives us a job to do. 

So fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday of 2017, with our world in a complete mess, let’s try and spend some serious time contemplating the mystery and the miracle of Christ’s birth, and how it affects our lives today nuh.  And consequently, what we need to do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because if we are to be true followers of Jesus, and for His birth, death and resurrection to truly mean something, then we should always be in the process of becoming more Christ-like and setting a good Christian example to others. That’s Christ’s desire and our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…ALL things are possible with God…you just have to study Christ’s life to see it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2017 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh friends, the time is drawing ever nearer to that most significant day – Christmas Day – when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give God the Father all thanks, praise and glory for the awesome miracle that He wrought in the lives of, and on behalf of sinful men that day some two thousand years ago! 

And even more importantly, please, we need to see that thanks and glory reflected in our homes as the poem ‘You Cannot Be Hid,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin so avidly describes. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home 

There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Yes my people, anytime the Lord God Almighty is the ‘Great First’ in our homes, that most excellent and welcome fact cannot be hid, because it shows in the way the family interacts with each other and with those who come around them! 

Wow! What a joyful home that becomes! That doesn’t mean that problems and other negative aspects of life don’t exist in the homes where God is FIRST. It just means that they are dealt with in a healthy, godly manner, and a continual strife-filled environment doesn’t exist there. 

Oh how I wish many many more of our homes, especially the Christian ones, were truly like that. Yeh friends, we all know that a lot of homes that seem Christian on the outside don’t really behave in good Christian fashion on the inside. 

So please, for this Christmas season, in these ongoing strife-filled and negative times, let’s try and bring a true Christian feeling, a true Christian environment to our homes nuh. Let our neighbours and the stranger just passing through see it written loud and clear in the way we interact, so that they can appreciate our way of life and come to know Jesus too. 

Remember, it’s not just the presents, the food, decorations and outward atmosphere that are important at Christmas time, but also the internal, the spiritual accent, for they bring the true Spirit of Christ to the situation. And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit, the well-known words of Jesus to His disciples and also to us. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Oh my people, that is exactly what Jesus expects from us; to be a blazing light of holiness and righteousness to the evil and sinful world that surrounds us! Then He continues with an addendum: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:15) 

Yeh friends, Jesus expects us to show our Christianity to the whole world, so that they can see and believe the awesome benefits inherent in becoming His follower. 

And furthermore, in the verse before our Bit, He declares another truth that He expects from His followers: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot by men.’ (Matt.5:13) 

Oh friends, yuh better believe that Christians, as a unified and righteous body have lost their salt and their light is not shining as brightly as it ought to! Who knows exactly why? 

But there are some reasons that definitely contribute to the unfortunate situation; reasons like fear of what man can do to us, disunity between Christians, too many factions and divisions of Christians, unnecessary compromise with the world, and simple sloth and laziness, with the avowed intention to just enjoy the things of the world and the things of God be put on the back burner. 

But friends, our avowed intention ought to be what Jesus demanded of us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) That’s the crux of the matter right there my believing brethren! We simply need to come up higher in our Christian living. 

And this Christmas season is the best time to do it. So please, let’s all promise our God, and ourselves, that this Christmas, Christ will truly be in our houses and our lives, and be clearly visible to all and sundry. And having made that promise, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ. 

In truth and sincerity 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 what a truly glorious future that will be my people! And it all began with Christ’s birth at Christmas! Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t advertise their wonderful faith…then who will eh…

 

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