Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2020 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Now this weather scene is getting to be a bit much yes! Can you believe that after a wet, rainy and icy Sunday morning that by ten a.m. the sun had come out and it became clear and dry, though somewhat chilly, and stayed so for the remainder of the day? Wonder what kind of weather we will experience today eh? But I’m not bothering mihself over it nuh, because with it’s contrariness, if you take it on, it will just drive yuh crazy! You just have to be prepared for whatever comes and say, the Lord be praised! (smile) 

And can you also believe that we’re already into half of January? Time sure isn’t wasting time… like some of us! (smile) Wonder how many sure-fire resolutions have been broken already? No doubt many. But it’s Monday, and that tired, sickly, lazy and unenergized feeling is afflicting some of us, like it will always do, so let’s take our problems to the Lord in prayer as we ought to. Let’s humbly, but confidently declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and receive His awesome help to cure our ailments. 

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!’ 

And as always, the positive heavenly reply is not long in coming. We soon feel our spirits lifting, our energy pumping up, and our desires for Jesus, His Word and His work burning like a righteous fire in our being! (smile) Like poor Jeremiah who was tired of declaring the Lord’s word because he was being mocked continually, and thus decided to give up speaking it. However he found that he could not. Why? ‘But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (of holding back) and I could not stay (endure it). (Jer. 20:9) 

Ah friends, many of us sometimes feel like Jeremiah; getting a lot of negative reactions when we try to speak God’s word, but we cannot give up, we have to endure, whatever it takes. It’s that spirit of NEVER GIVING UP, regardless of our circumstances, or who comes against us, that divides Christians from the rest of the human race. Once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit fills you with His awesome strength and courage so that you can keep keeping on with Christ as your Guide and Leader. 

He didn’t have it easy on this earth, and neither will we. But as He faithfully promised: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ And He certainly has friends, by dying on the cross to save our sinful souls, and then coming to life once again, thus defeating, hell, death and the grave for all time! And we’ll just quote a few scriptures to highlight the truth of what Jesus said in our Bit. 

As pertaining to His peace, hear Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus regarding the unity of ALL believers. ‘For He (Christ himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

Yes precious people, Christ broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, namely the Mosaic Law which was made to protect the Jews from pagan influences, but which they improperly used to make themselves feel superior to the Gentiles. But Jesus got rid of all of that by making us, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles, One new man, a unified Church. 

And as per having tribulation in this evil world, hear Bruh Paul to Timothy, re the coming days of apostasy (backsliding). ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-13) And we certainly are seeing it all in these strife-filled end times. 

And per overcoming the world, listen to these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) 

So friends, we have it all in Jesus, God Himself, all that we need to successfully navigate this fallen and sinful world. So there is absolutely no need to worry when things seem rough. Just call on Him and He will faithfully see you through. Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…Jesus is only a prayer away…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.   I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

And the pace picks up, as the days dwindle down to the all-important Christmas Day! Please remember though friends, that it’s not about the world’s confusion and commercialism, but strictly about Jesus; His coming to earth in human form so that He could save said humans who mocked and crucified Him! 

And the sad part is that too many of us supposed believers tend to forget that scenario and just morph into the world system. And we do need to be reminded of the season’s purpose as it get’s easier to join the enemy’s ranks with the constant hoopla of ‘Happy Holidays,’ and not ‘Happy Christmas! So consider yourselves reminded. (smile) 

Now today I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin which so vividly shows what happens to us when we get caught up in the world system. It’s titled ‘Reversal.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘I said, Lord, look at me Just look at me All of life upside down – Tangled emotions smeared with fear Guilt Despair Disgust A prisoner of myself. The hopeless thing is that It’s all decided. I’m defenceless At the end of my rope Locked in And I’ve tried, Lord Tried desperately. 

But how does one see without eyes Or walk without feet? How, Lord? You said, Come unto me. You need not cringe Nor climb Nor compete Nor change Come even without feeling Without tokens Without merit or hope But come. Come now. I came And all of life Turned right side up.’ 

Wow friends! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve and worship! Yuh see, even when we allow the things of the world to get us tied up in knots; alone, depressed and fearful, we can go to our heavenly Father for succour…and just as we are too, hurting and lonely and lost. 

We don’t have to change before going to Him. He wants us to come just as we are, right then and there, and He will effect whatever changes are necessary, since we can’t do them for ourselves. 

So, this Christmas season, when so many of us get caught up in the topsy-turvy of the world system, let’s remember those very meaningful words nuh…’Come unto me…Come now…’ And with heavenly wisdom, let’s run into His fatherly embrace and receive the LOVE and the healing we need. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is our Bit, taken from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. It boldly declares the joyful proclamation of the psalmist: ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

Yes my people, that is indeed the way it is! In times of distress and calamity, when we call upon the Lord with a sincere and humble heart, He will hear us and relieve the pressure upon our human souls. That’s His promise! And we know that He’s NEVER, and WILL NEVER, renege on any of His promises, because He is faithful that promised. 

But WE HAVE to first go to Him with our problems in all sincerity and truth. Note, He said, ‘Come. Come just as you are…’ So the onus is on us to make the first move, otherwise we’ll just stay there stewing in the pot of affliction that we created for ourselves. 

Now listen as Bruh David celebrates the Lord’s goodness from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance – after he had been delivered from the hands of his enemies, especially Saul. ‘The sorrows (pangs) of death compassed (encompassed) me, and the floods of ungodly men (ungodliness) made me afraid. 

The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (confronted) me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of (from) his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears.’ (Ps.18:4-6) 

Yeh friends, our God is the best help in time of trouble! And if you’re wondering what happened after Bruh David cried out to the Lord, the Lord was angry and stirred up the world in Bruh David’s favour (vs.7-17) 

Then finally: ‘They prevented (confronted) me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay (support).  He brought me forth also into a large (broad) place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.’ (Ps.18:18-21) 

And therein lies the secret my brethren; not following the world system and departing from serving the Lord God Jehovah! If we stay faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us and lift us up in time of calamity. Please remember that. 

Now let’s go home proudly declaring to the world who and whose we are, through our Tuesday Mantra. All together 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!’ 

Glory be, mih people! Now let’s go out and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus that we just finished talking about, and try to make the world a better place. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more fulfilling and heartwarming…than sharing the LOVE of Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2014 Luke 23:34a

Luke 23:34a.    Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Oh Friends, it’s another beautiful summer’s day in my area! Only problem is that I’m suffering from the after effects of a beautiful summer’s night! (smile) That means I was up till the wee hours of the morning, consequently my rising was a tad late. (smile)
 
It’s summer Friends, so I have to enjoy it as much as possible, because it will soon be gone, and I won’t be able to do things like sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning, clad only in shorts and T-shirt, enjoying the quiet beauty of nature and communing with my Maker.
 
And it is surely refreshing and reassuring to know that our great God is still on His throne controlling things, which means, all is well. Praise the Lord!
 
Yes Friends, blessings and mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness are still being showered down on us in great abundance each and every day, through the Lord’s LOVING-kindness.
 
And I sincerely implore us to gracefully and gratefully receive them all with thanksgiving, as we continue on our pilgrim’s journey on earth today. It’s the only WISE way to live!
 
Now some of you might be wondering how come we still have a Bit on forgiveness, when I said that yesterday was the last day? Well don’t blame me Friends, for I am just the messenger. That was the Lord’s idea. And it’s pretty interesting how He communicated it.
 
Last night, while watching Uncle John (John Hagee) preach a sermon on self-control, which in today’s selfish society is almost nonexistent – some of you may have seen it – he mentioned Jesus’ crucifixion as being one of the greatest moments of self-control displayed in human history.
 
The reasoning being that if Jesus had so desired, He could have called down legions of angels to disrupt and take over the whole proceeding. But fortunately for us, He didn’t, thus allowing His Father’s will to prevail and subsequently our salvation and eternal life to be assured.
 
However, the idea, the awareness it raised in my mind was that that most cruel, unforgettable occasion was the greatest act of forgiveness ever made!
 
Just think about it nuh people: Jesus was sadistically ridiculed, disgraced and totally humiliated by Pilate and the Roman soldiers in all the ways possible, emotionally, mentally and physically. And to add insult to injury, audaciously crucifying Him between two common criminals.
 
But mih breddren, that physical abuse was truly something else yes: the whipping, the scourging, the crown of thorns, forced to carry His own cross, then being cruelly nailed to it, in a manner guaranteed to cause the most suffering over the longest period possible, spearing Him in the side, giving Him sour vinegar to drink when He cried out for thirst, plus the host of snide remarks and disrespectful acts as reported by the Good Book.
 
‘And they parted his raiment (divided His garments), and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided (sneered at) him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
 
And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar (sour wine), And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew. THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
 
And one of the malefactors (criminals) which were hanged railed on him (blasphemed), saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss (wrong).
 
And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in heaven.’ (Luke 23:34b-43)
 
And yet my fellow believers, in spite of all the sadistic humiliation and physical torture, as He hung limply and almost lifeless on the rough and rugged wooden cross, Jesus was still able to rise above it all, to prove that He was indeed someone special, someone come to perform a most, or rather the most important event in man’s history, after his creation.
 
Yes my brethren, as He hung there dying, as the lifeblood slowly seeped out of His bruised and battered body, Jesus magnanimously declared the awesome, heart-rending words of our Bit: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’
 
Now my people, if Jesus could utter those miraculous words of forgiveness, after the way in which He was so inhumanely treated, abused with such withering force and callousness, who are we not to forgive our fellow man of the mostly petty wrongs that they do to us eh?
 
None of us have suffered, or will most likely ever suffer one iota of Jesus’ pain or the terrible injustice that was meted out to Him, but He was man enough to forgive, because that was His way.
 
And since He is the author and finisher of our faith, our Lord and Saviour, Leader, Teacher and Spiritual Master, as His true and loyal followers, we’re also expected to follow the same path – that of forgiveness.
 
Oh Friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but for the last few years, having come to realize the great cruelty and insane torture that Jesus suffered on our behalf; the terrible gouges in His tattered flesh from the whip shrewdly embedded with pieces of metal and other flesh tearing particles, the huge, crude nails driven into His tender hands and feet, then left to bleed to death in the hot, noonday, desert sun…
 
Steups! Ah Lord eh! I can’t truly fathom it all nuh Friends, but it has certainly given me a new sight, a new appreciation of Jesus. And every time I consider the terrible circumstances of His crucifixion, it brings to mind this prayer that I’ve shared before with you.
 
‘Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound – that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. Thank you Father for my new sight in Jesus. Amen.’
 
Oh my people, I do hope that we’re all taking Jesus’ suffering seriously… No that was more than suffering- it was more like ‘sufferation,’ and allowing it to fill our hearts with LOVE and grateful appreciation, which will thus enable us to have a new outlook, a new sight in what Jesus has so selflessly done for us.
 
It is undoubtedly the highest and wisest form of wisdom to which mankind can ever attain. Much LOVE!
 
…if Jesus can forgive man for the excessive cruelty meted out to Him…then man can certainly forgive man for their less excessive wrongs to each other…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2013 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.    And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Oh Friends, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there, were you there, were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ 
 

Thankfully Friends, the answer to that question is NO! None of us was there, but judging from the reports outlined in the Good Book, it must have been a gory sight on a ghastly day. I’m ever so glad that I didn’t witness it in person, because I doubt I could have handled it. Just reading about it now, two thousand years later, is bad enough.
 
That brings me to a subject I don’t think many of us even consider; that’s the ignoble and excruciating torture that Jesus suffered for us; mentally, emotionally and physically.
 
Put yourselves in His position nuh Friends. Can you imagine being betrayed by one of your closest confidantes for money, then having to go through the unfair trials that Jesus did, being shuffled from one court to another, from one egotistic, unfair judge to another? And that’s the good part.
 
What about being slapped around, spat on, then being mocked by having a purple robe put around you, and a crown of thorns placed on your head? And I’m sure that crown wasn’t just placed, but jammed down on Jesus’ head, then a crowd of jeering soldiers bowing before you and crying out: ‘Hail, the king of the Jews!’
 
Just think about the scourging He received nuh. Think about those sadistic blows of a cat-o-nine tails raining down on His very human back. Could you handle it, with the various pieces of metal, etc, attached to the whip, just tearing away at your flesh with every lash? And then the march up to Calvary in such sorry state, bearing His cross. Hn! The only redeeming feature is that the tormentors enlisted Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross.
 
Then when you’ve come to the ugly, hard-scrabble hill and gully called Golgotha – even the name, place of the skull, causes sordid thoughts – they lay the cross on the ground, then lay you down on it and nail your hands and feet to it. And yuh better believe it wasn’t the nice, clean, smooth, refined nails that he have nowadays, but the large, rough, crude pieces of metal of a bygone era. And I’m sure the ‘nailer’ wasn’t being kind or trying to inflict as little pain as possible, most likely the exact opposite.
 
Then they lift up the cross with you nailed to it, plant it in the hard, rocky ground, and leave you there in the hot, midday, desert sun, for your life to slowly ooze away in enormous pain and anguish. And when you say you’re thirsty, they give you gall, bitter vinegar to drink.
 
And all through this hateful and painful fiasco, they keep taunting you. If you’re God, then take yourself down from the cross. You saved others, now save yourself nuh. And to add to the shame, they crucify you between two vagabonds, deserving of crucifixion. Then just be to be sure you’re dead, they pierce your side with a spear, after you’ve visibly given up the ghost.
 
Now Friends, do you think you could handle all of that without uttering a single peep from all the pain and inhumane suffering, or not beg for mercy and recant? Most of us would have been dead before we even set out for Calvary.
 
But Jesus bore it all with great dignity and fortitude, because that was His assigned role, the role he was born to play. And if He hadn’t played it to the fullest, billions of sinners, billions of His Father’s greatest creation would have ended up in the labyrinth-like dungeons of Hades with that foolish fool Lucifer, who just like us today, didn’t realize what a good thing he had going as a high ranking angel in heaven.
 
The only thing that caused Jesus to cry out, not that He didn’t feel the physical pain, was the separation from His Father. That cut Him to the quick, hurt Him to the core, as he declares in our Bit. ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
 
The scholars describe it thus: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ So true Friends, so true.
 
Now recently I was thinking about all the punishment that Jesus had to bear for our abominable sins, and it struck me that the Father really extracted a terrible price from Jesus on our behalf. It got me to wondering if I could ever allow that to happen to my only and very BELOVED Son. I don’t think so.
 
But that just goes to show how righteous and just the Father is. Above all, justice must be served, for the wages of sin is death, (Rom.6:23a) and to avoid that eternal fate, a sinless, unblemished Lamb had to be sacrificed, and Jesus was the only One who met that high criteria. But I was also thinking that the Father didn’t have to be so rough on Him, make it so excruciating and torturous. Obviously He thought otherwise.
 
That brings me to two points I want to make. The first is that sin is a very serious matter, and truly disliked by God. He dislikes it so much that He went to such great lengths to provide a way out for us. Secondly, He must really LOVE us a whole heap to put both Jesus and Himself through so much pain and tribulation to redeem us.
 
And thirdly – I guess I have three points and not two. (smile) Thirdly, that we’re such a bunch of no good, ungrateful wretches, that after Jesus met such an ignominious and shameful end so that we could be reconciled to the Father, we still have the ‘boldfacedness,’ the gall to question His sacrifice, doubt His truth and make derogatory remarks about Him. Steups!
 
Oh Friends, we should be so grateful and thankful, that we’d be falling all over ourselves to not even put one foot wrong, to honour, LOVE, worship, obey and revere Him! Look at how we make obeisance to earthly rulers who only oppress and suppress us. But to the One who’s done the ‘MOSTEST’ for us, we ignore, defame and try to remove Him from our society.  How sad…
 
But my brethren, I’m begging, pleading, imploring us to change, to correct our wrong attitude today, right now, this very minute! Let’s truly begin to honour Jesus for the unselfish sacrifice He made for us. Let’s praise and glorify Him, spread His Holy Name throughout the entire world, as He asked us to do, be exceedingly glad to be His followers, and not be ashamed, as some of us are, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and glorified.
 
And please note this about the Father; He faithfully rewards obedience to His Word and Will. And Jesus was nothing but obedient during His earthly sojourn.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul could confidently and unhesitatingly proclaim to the Philippians: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things (those) in heaven, and things (those) in earth, and things (those) under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11)
 
Now that’s the gospel truth my brethren! So please, let’s live like we really believe it nuh. It speaks of both wisdom and gratefulness to the zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…just to think of what Jesus did for me…makes this earthly life all worthwhile…