Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2019 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.    ​Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
 

Happy Friday my people! Now let’s get right into the programme by declaring that it’s the day the Lord has made and we’re supremely glad that we’re alive to rejoice and give thanks for it! Let’s say with Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.’ (Ps.103:1) 

Yeh friends, life might be a bit on the rough side sometimes, but I think that only a very few of us are ready and willing to give up this earthly life for the heavenly one that awaits. The basic reasoning being: Oh, we have eternity to enjoy heaven, but only a few short years to enjoy God’s great earth! (smile) And the ordinary workingman totally agrees, as he sings in his weekend song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The week wasn’t too bad, didn’t work too hard at the slave master’s job, but Friday is Friday! Yuh know what I mean? It heralds the weekend! And that’s definitely my time! My time to do as I please; sleep, eat, get wasted or black up, or whatever I choose to do! It’s the only time that somebody else doesn’t have a bit in mih mouth leading me round like a jack! That’s why I appreciate and enjoy the weekends so much. 

And I get time to spend with the family too. Not that I don’t get it during the week, but on the weekend it’s not broken up and fractionalized…Wow! What a way we using big words today sir! (smile) But family is very important. And though you can’t have a good family without a good job, sometimes the job does have to take second place. That’s why we say ‘Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be overly godly, but he’s not foolish either. He has most of his priorities right. Let’s hope that we believers also have our priorities right… but are also righteous and godly! And we’ll see that by how sincere we are as we chant our Friday Chant. Remember the Lord looks at the motives of our hearts, not our outward actions. So altogether now, let’s chant: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my people, we’re not as free and easy as the ordinary workingman. We have certain boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour and Leader, Jesus Christ. Boundaries that hopefully keep the enemy from infiltrating our righteous lives and causing us more problems than we already have. 

That’s why we can’t be as blasé and carefree as the unbeliever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t or should not enjoy life, because that’s exactly one of the reasons Jesus gave up His sinless life on the cross; that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) 

All praise and glory be unto our heavenly father for His great, unconventional, unconditional, indescribable and everlasting LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient children! And that’s why this morning we will wisely and thankfully say like Bruh David did so long ago: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ 

Wow! Is that ever wisdom in spades my faithful, believing brethren! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to some of the reasons Bruh David gave for his proclamation of thanks and praise. ‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103: 2-5) 

Oh my people, if those aren’t things to greatly rejoice over and give much thanks and praise for to Almighty God, our Creator and heavenly Father, then I don’t know what is nuh! And that’s not all we need to thank and praise Him for nuh! Hear Bruh David as he continues his litany of God’s goodness. 

‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. 

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear (reverence) him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps.103:6-12) 

Oh friends, oh friends, if we’re not thankful for anything else, we should be everlastingly thankful and grateful that the Lord doesn’t deal with us as we deserve, otherwise we’d all be dust and ashes, sweltering in Hades with the evil one himself as our eternal companion! 

But thanks be to God that he casts away our sins, and gives us a chance to come to know and accept His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can receive forgiveness and salvation and dwell with Him in heaven, instead of that other disgusting option! (smile) Yeh friends, ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear (reverence) him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:13-14)  

And so He should my brethren, because He is the one who created us from the dust of the earth, to which we all must return some day. So please ponder all that we’ve spoken about today and wisely turn to our Creator for whatever we need, because everything in His universe belongs to Him, and He is indeed the One who enables us to get health, wealth and good times! Much LOVE!

…eternal life is a must…but where we spend it…depends solely on us…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline!

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2018 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

Looks like it’s going to be another warm, wet and rainy day in my neck of the woods…but that’s better than a cold, white and snowy one any time! (smile) Yeh friends, the winter weather seems to have eased up a little, and are we ever thankful for small mercies! 

And today it seems like we’ll be dealing with prayer in some form and fashion, so let’s begin with two tidbits on the subject. The first comes from the renowned Pastor, F.B. Meyer, who reputedly said that ‘The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.’ 

And there seems to be a lot of truth in that statement, for it’s not that God doesn’t answer our prayers, but rather we don’t pray enough. And why is that eh mih people, when we keep saying that prayer is the most powerful weapon in the world? 

I don’t know nuh. It’s possibly because we don’t truly believe it, or we’ve offered up prayer to our heavenly Father that was not in His will and He refused to answer it, so we end up believing that prayer is a waste of time. But please remember my brethren, the Lord only answers prayer when it’s within His will. 

You can’t go and ask Him for a whole lot of worldly things to satisfy your fleshly desires and expect Him to answer you positively, or even answer you at all. Remember too, that He looks at the motives of our hearts, rather than the words we utter through our mouths, for they can be very different to what’s really in our hearts. 

And the next thing we want to say about prayer, is that it should be our FIRST CHOICE, not our LAST RESORT. Mama Mia! 

And is that ever a problem in the lives of many believers. When a problem arises we’re quick to run to the phone or the I-pad or whatever form of social media we’re using and ask our friends and acquaintances for help, and only when we can’t get a man-made solution, we run to God in desperation and expect Him to help us immediately. 

That’s so wrong my people. In ALL circumstances, God should be the FIRST person we run to, and if He so desires, then He will direct us to go to other people. Remember that our God doesn’t like to play second fiddle. If He can’t be first fiddle, then He doesn’t want to be in the band. (smile) 

And you know it’s amusing that when troubles hit a lot of people who don’t really believe in God, the first words out of their mouths are ‘Oh God!’ So you see friends, two of our basic problems in our prayer life is that we don’t go to God FIRST, and we don’t offer up enough prayers that fall within the realm of God’s will. 

Consequently, our Bit for today is based on the wise and wonderful advice of Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ 

Oh my believing brethren, if our Lord and Saviour said it, then it must be true. And we have a whole lot of examples of Him constantly getting alone and praying to His heavenly Father. In fact, prayer ruled His life; He did nothing of significance without first consulting the Father, and so should we. 

And Jesus is not the only one who advises us to be strong in prayer. Bruh Paul famously tells us in 1 Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) And to Timothy, he writes: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Yuh see friends, prayer should be our constant companion, because that’s how we communicate with God. If we are to take ALL our problems to Him, then it’s logical to expect to do a lot of praying in many different places. Oh my brethren, I can’t over emphasize the importance of prayer in a believer’s life, for it’s the basis of all we say and do, it’s how God leads and guides us, in conjunction with His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. 

Now listen to this interesting example of Bruh David crying out to God in prayer, as he pleads for protection against his oppressors. ‘Hear the right (a just cause), O Lord, attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, that goeth forth not out of feigned (deceitful) lips. 

Let my sentence (vindication) come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal (upright). Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (examined) me, and shalt find nothing (evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:1-3) 

Now that’s a wonderful prayer friends, but not all of us have the gift of words that Bruh David had, and the Lord doesn’t really need any long and involved prayers, simple but heartfelt words will do. But the important thing is that we pray’ pray often and pray everywhere, without losing heart. 

Now let’s declare our Wednesday Wail to proudly let the world know of our wonderful association with Jesus. With loud voice and strong sense of purpose 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 that future is surely going to be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…a future with Jesus could not be anything…but marvellous and glorious…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2017 Habakkuk 3:18.

Habakkuk 3:18.   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Well my people, it’s another brand new day, filled with grace and mercy from our magnanimous God! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord for your undeserving grace and mercy towards us! We LOVE You and adore and praise Your Holy Name!’ 

Yes friends, we’d be very foolish if we did not sincerely mean those words, because the Lord looks at the motives of our hearts, not the words of our mouths to judge our sincerity. 

To tell the truth friends, the ole fella is not in the greatest shape this morning; tired from too much running around and lack of sleep, with my back aching. I even had to go and dig out my old back brace. 

Chuh! It’s so annoying when you’re given medication to solve one problem but it also causes another. It doesn’t seem as if there is any medication around these days without numerous side effects. 

But I’m hanging in, fighting like a good soldier, (smile) holding on tightly to ‘God’s Promise’ in this prayer. I don’t remember where I got it from, and most likely have shared it with you before, but it’s powerful and assuring enough to be shared again and again. 

Please pray with me: ‘I will not fear; God is always with me. I will not doubt; God is always in control. I will not despair; God is always good. I will not falter; God is always watching. I will not fail; God is always victorious! Amen!’ 

Yes mih breddren, let’s hang on to those reassuring words of faith and add them to the awesome words of our Bit, so that our spirits can be lifted high, and our deeds and actions glorify our wonderful God. 

‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, our LOVING heavenly Father has provided us with such amazing, such beautiful stuff, that seldom should a doubt come to our hearts, or a tear to our eyes. And even when tears do come, they should mostly be tears of joy for His LOVING-kindness towards us. 

Oh, we all go through hardship and suffering, but in those times we desperately need to hang on to the ever-faithful promises, like in the prayer above, of our mighty God! 

Unfortunately though, a lot of us talk it but don’t feel it when the times get rough. That’s because we don’t sincerely believe them in our hearts. I can tell you from personal experience that if we do believe God’s promises, we’ll bear the rough times a lot easier than if we don’t. 

As some of you know, I’m going through a pretty rough time right now with several medical problems, whose outcomes are still up in the air, and it’s only by hanging on to the promises of God that I’m able to bear up successfully under the constant strain. 

It’s the Lord’s mercy and grace that are carrying me to the numerous doctors and tests which seem to take up a lot of my time. No, it’s not easy, but if we sincerely ask the Lord for help, He will give it to us. The only drawback to all this, is that you must experience it personally to truly believe it. (smile) 

But enough about me, let’s get to some scripture that enhances our Bit. Listen to Isaiah as he delivers to the Israelites, the Good tidings of salvation to Zion. 

After assuring them of the Lord’s good intentions towards them (v.1-9), he heartily declares: ‘I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’ (Is.61:10-11) 

What an awesome promise my people! Only our omnipotent and ever-faithful God can make such outstanding promises and then fulfill them. 

And He certainly has begun to fulfill that one with the amazing coming of Jesus, and all the mind-blowing benefits that He brought to the table. So how can we not rejoice and be glad in the salvation of our awesome God eh? 

If we are sincere believers, then we ought also to be joyful and grateful followers. The one, by just its very nature, demands the other. Now let’s go home raising even higher, the bar of our joy and contentment by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s believe that deep down in our hearts and souls, because it’s the awesome truth, then let’s go out and share the bountiful and undying LOVE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with the rest of the world as He instructed us to do. Much LOVE!

…true believers are happy, contented people…who desire greatly… to share the source of their joy…Jesus…with others…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2016 Proverbs 29:11

Proverbs 29:11.   A fool uttereth all his mind (vents all his feelings): but a wise man keepeth it in till afterward (holds it back).

And then it was Friday… 

And the working people joyfully declared: ‘Oh Friday, glorious Friday! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend! Imagine nuh, for two whole days, no massa and his economic slavery! We can do whatever we want. Party and lime as much as we want. No wonder we shout, TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ 

Oh friends, what can I say, it’s the basic truth. But then doing whatever we want, whenever we want, and as much as we want has never brought us anything but heartache and trouble. And continual partying and liming is definitely not the proper way to spend our weekends, though many of us seem to think so and thus perpetrate all sorts of misery on ourselves by wasting it in idle worldly pleasures. 

In total opposition to that way of thinking though is our Friday Chant, so let’s chant it with sincerity and godly understanding nuh. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, that puts the weekend into a much better and wiser perspective! 

And today I want to share a few lines of a poem by one of Canada’s early female writers, Eva Rose York. The poem’s titled, ‘I shall not pass this way again.’

And the particular lines tell us. ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or lighten someone’s heavy load, A helping hand to this one lend, Then turn to some other to befriend.’ 

Oh friends, what a telling description of our Christian faith! For that’s exactly what we are supposed to do as believers in Christ Jesus; HELP OTHERS! 

And it doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor, black or white, or of any particular creed, we all need help at some time or other, and it is our bounden duty to help the needy who come across our paths. 

And my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, describes that help thus. ‘LOVING help is not prompted by pity or superiority, but by empathy and shared humanness.’ 

That’s the kind of help Jesus wants us to show and share my brethren, not the kind prompted by looking down our noses at others in worse situations than us. Unfortunately though, too may of us who are fairly well-off, tend to behave in the latter manner. 

But friends, I’m here to tell us that the Lord doesn’t welcome or accept that kind of prideful help, and He knows it, because He looks at the motives of our hearts, not our words or outward actions. 

So please, let’s stop allowing our pride, our material possessions, our place and power in the secular world from dominating the way we think, and therefore the reason and manner for the help we give to others and also accept, because help doesn’t mean only giving, but also receiving, and receiving in the right manner too. 

And that’s my sermon for today! (smile) I know it won’t resonate well with some, but them’s the breaks. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘A fool uttereth all his mind (vents all his feelings): but a wise man keepeth it in till afterward (holds it back).’ 

Ah mih people, we all know that to be gospel truth, but nonetheless we too often run off at the mouth and/or show our emotions without first thinking about the reactions that they will cause. And sadly it’s a phenomenon that causes a lot of the strife in our world. 

It’s ever so important that we, especially Christians, learn to listen and think seriously before we respond since our reactions can impact either negatively or positively for Christ. And remember, whatever we do is all about Jesus, so we definitely don’t need to create any negative images or reactions about Him and his great salvation. 

We need to speak words, do things and have reactions that will boost His LOVE Revolution, rather than stuff that will negate it. We already have too much negative stuff re our faith, we certainly don’t need anymore. 

And sadly too, in this dangerous and disgusting world, we tend to lash out at others more easily and quickly than we’ve hitherto done. I don’t know if it’s the more selfish nature that now pervades our society that causes it, but it has become a serious problem. 

Look at things like road rage, how at the drop of a hat, with very little provocation, someone is ready to pull and use a gun or a knife, plus the amount of verbal, physical and emotional abuse that’s been heaped on others daily. A lot of it stems from selfish behaviour and our refusal to accept responsibility for our actions. 

Now let’s check out some more scriptures on the subject from Cousin Sol, who deals with it a lot. Listen up: ‘A fool’s wrath is presently known (known at once): but a prudent man covereth shame.’ (Prov.12:16) Yes friends, wearing our emotions on our sleeves has its proper time and place. 

Hear Cousin Sol again: ‘A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.’ (Prov.11:13) Christians ought never to be gossipmongers or congregate too often with them! 

It’s all Cousin Sol today friends. ‘Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.’ (Prov.14:33) 

And we’ll end with this gem from the wisest man ever. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) 

So my fellow brethren in Christ, in conclusion, let’s be wise and go out today being slow to anger and overlook transgressions nuh, just as our God has so often done, and continues to do, in each of our lives. Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to be steeped in LOVE…and LOVE bears no ill-will to another…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Morning Friends and neighbours! Welcome to a rainy Tuesday morning in my area, although the weather office says it’s supposed to be 25 and sunny.

Hn! Hopefully that will happen later in the day, but in the meanwhile let’s enjoy the brilliant light and blessings provided by the Son, Jesus Christ, for we know that regardless of the weather His Son is always shining. Glory to God!

And this morning we are going to start the proceedings with a simple but heartfelt prayer from the Hour of Power Devotional. This one Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) calls ‘I Want to Improve,’ something that I know we all want to do, since it’s an essential part of our ongoing Christian advancement and maturity.

Please pray with me. ‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So, Father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’

And if you sincerely prayed that prayer my people, I’m sure that the Lord is doing exactly that; making the moves necessary, setting the scene that you can improve.

I can’t resist saying it Friends: ‘What a wonderful God we serve and worship!’ If we are obedient to His will, He meets all our needs. How much more than that can we ask eh? Nothing really.

Now let’s turn to our ever intriguing and most heartwarming Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

And there is no more gospel truth that that Friends, for it is only through God’s LOVING-kindness are we able to avoid eternal separation from Him, and death and damnation with Lucifer.

And all God’s children cried out in sincere gratitude: ‘Oh thank You Lord for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us! Thank You for Your grace and mercy which we don’t deserve, but which You nonetheless bless us with! We praise and glorify Your Holy Name this morning, and pledge to serve You faithfully all the days of our lives! Amen.’

And we had better take all those prayers we’re praying this morning very seriously my brethren, for remember that God doesn’t only listen to the words of our mouth, but even more importantly, checks out the motives of our hearts. So please don’t be found wanting when He checks our motives.

Now let’s hear some scriptures that deal with grace. Oh Friends, there are so many that we can only share a few, and I believe that we might have at least one more day with this Bit. Let’s begin with this declaration of John’s.

‘John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I): for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ (John 1:15-17)

Words of immortal and everlasting truth my brethren!

And here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:15. After me: Jesus came into this world about six months after John (for human chronology, see Luke 1:56-57). He was before me: Jesus existed in eternity, so had precedence over John in authority.’

‘1:16-17. Fullness. (cf. Col.1:19): Here the fullness looks back to verse 14, “full of grace and truth.” Grace for grace means “grace heaped on grace.” Grace is evident in the Old Testament (cf. Gen.6:8; Ex.34:6) but not in the fullness now experienced in Jesus Christ. Grace is God’s unmerited favour toward sinners for their salvation (cf. Eph.2:8-9).’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sad and sorry state we’d be in if Almighty God, our Creator and Provider had not seen fit to bestow us with His blessings of grace. Mama Mia!

Listen to Bruh Paul explain it to the Roman church nuh: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness for the remission (passing over) of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.’ (Rom.3:23-25)

Now listen to these important explanations from the scholars. ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: Man can exceed his own standards but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’

‘3:24. Being justified (Gr. dikaioumenoi) indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. Freely: There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. By his grace: Unmerited favour is bestowed through the redemption (release on payment of ransom). Christ’s death is the ransom. The sinner is released on the basis of the ransom having been paid.’

‘3:25. Through faith: Christ’s death satisfies the Father’s righteous demands. Its benefits are appropriated only through faith in His finished work. In his blood: The emphasis is not on the blood as it coursed through Christ’s veins, but as it was shed for our sins. This is how the propitiation was accomplished.’

Ah mih breddren, I do hope that those explanations of the scholars helped us achieve a better understanding of God’s grace and all that it stands for, because it is ever so necessary if we truly want to live a God-filled and righteous life.

And we’ll end there for today. I know there’s a lot of heavy stuff involved and I surely don’t want to burden us with too much stuff to read, mark and inwardly digest at once. (smile)

Now may the Lord go with us and grant us His peace, mercy, grace, compassion, wisdom and understanding, as we go out to do His work today. Much LOVE!

…who but our great and wonderful God…would heap grace and more grace…on undeserving sinners eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2014 Mark 9:23

Mark 9:23.     Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Well well my Canadian Friends and Neighbours, the party done now! Thanksgiving Day is over now, although the practice of thanksgiving must be an ongoing movement. I hope we all had a good time, we didn’t over do it, and the Lord was pleased with our devotions.
 
I didn’t do much myself, just had a quiet day, since we had our small family festivities on Sunday. And furthermore, the weather in my area didn’t lend itself to any raucous celebrations –cloudy and unfriendly – although I know that didn’t stop a whole lot of others from being raucous and rambunctious. (smile)
 
I surely hope that we didn’t give Lucifer and his evil compadres any space for advancement in our souls, but most importantly, for those of you who sang our Monday Morning battle Hymn so boisterously yesterday morning, knowing that you did not have to go to work, I certainly hope that you all have the wherewithal to go out and labour this Tuesday morning after the festivities. (smile) Yuh know it always catches up to us.
 
Now let’s take a gander at our Bit. ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’
 
It deals with faith and belief, and today we’re going to look at situations of faith, of people coming to Jesus for help through some kind of inbred faith, some of which astonished even Jesus.
 
But before we get into the scriptures, let’s hear a word on the subject from Gramps Schuller – Dr. Robert H. Schuller – from his Hour of Power Devotional.
 
It’s titled ‘FAITH’ and it says: ‘Lord, I believe in the sun, even when it is behind the clouds; in the seed, even when it lies unsprouted under the ground; in faith, even when I have been betrayed; in LOVE, even when I have been rejected; in hope, even when I have been hurt; in God, even when you do not answer my prayers. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s what it means to have faith! Even when things aren’t going your way, you still stand strong in your belief in Jesus.
 
Now let’s look at the particular situation which occasioned our Bit from Jesus. A sorrowful father had brought his young son to the disciples for healing. The lad was infected by a dumb (mute) spirit, which caused him to have crazy, dangerous seizures, but the disciples couldn’t heal him. (Mark 9:17-18)
 
Jesus’ response was: ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer (bear with) you? Bring him unto me.’ (Mark 9:19)
 
And as the Lord would have it, the youngster had a seizure as soon as they brought him before Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child (from childhood). And oftimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.’ (Mark 9:21-22)
 
That’s when Jesus repeated the words of our Bit: ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.’ (Mark 9:23-24)
 
Yes my people, in some form and fashion, deep down the father believed, that’s why he brought his son to the disciples in the first place.
 
The scholars; describe it thus: ‘9:24. He had a certain faith; but it was confession of his undeniable inner turmoil and doubt that marked his faltering faith as truly authentic, if imperfect, trust. Before God honesty is a wise course.’
 
That last sentence is gospel truth my brethren! If we are anything less than totally honest with God, we’re simply wasting our time, for remember He reads the motives of our hearts, not our outward actions.
 
Jesus healed the lad right there and then. He had no choice, since the father had backed Him into a corner with his declaration of apparently sincere though confused and troubled faith.
 
But later on, in private, when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the spirit, He answered them: ‘This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.’ (Mark 9:29)
 
And the scholars have an interesting comment on that verse: ‘9:29. While some manuscripts omit fasting, it seems crucial to the context. Jesus does not seem to have resorted to prayer in the course of this healing. Perhaps he refers to a life-style of prevailing prayer that yields a reservoir of spiritual power for just such a crisis as this.’
 
Who knows Friends? But to influence spiritual power, prayer and fasting, in a serious and sincere manner, are of the utmost importance!
 
And I believe we have time for one more example of strong faith and belief. Jesus was on His way to raise the daughter of a Jewish ruler Jairus, when this situation occurred.
 
‘And a certain woman, which had an issue (a flow) of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered (no better), but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press (crowd) behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.’
 
(Scholars note: Popular belief had it that a person’s dignity and power extend to what he wears.) ‘And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague (affliction). And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press (crowd), and said, Who touched my clothes?
 
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5: 25-34)
 
Oh my people, what a great story! But back in those times it was a very dangerous game that the woman played.
 
Listen to the scholars explain: ‘5:33. The woman would be fearful of a rebuke, since her bleeding rendered her “unclean” according to Jewish law. She ought not to have been mixing in the crowd, nor reaching out purposely to touch a man. That she owned up openly indicates that her interest lay not only in physical health: she wanted to be right with Jesus Himself. Her faith, not the grasp of her hand, brought restoration to her.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s the power of faith! So today, while we go about the Lord’s business, please let us embrace a faith as strong and as courageous as the folks we’ve read about, and let’s allow it come out, to show in all our words and actions, because that’s our duty as ambassadors for Christ. Much LOVE!
 
…like the woman with the issue of blood…let’s bow down and confess to Jesus…so that we can be made right with Him…
 
P.S. Oh Friends, it’s long and late, but it’s beautiful! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

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