Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 June 2022   2 Timothy 3:1.

2 Timothy 3:1.      ‘This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. 

And then it was Wednesday, another hot and sunshiny day in God’s world, with temps again somewhere in the thirties, and we are all enthusiastic to be alive to see and experience all the wonderful things God has in place for us today! Glory Hallelujah! For as the man says in his song: ‘No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.’ And of that we can be very sure because our God is the very beat planner there is, ever was, or ever will be, and nothing that He plans ever goes awry. (smile) That’s how much confidence and assurance we have in Him! For He has never let us down, and we believe He never will. 

Why, you ask? Because He is God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent and can do ALL things. So why would He promise something that He can’t do eh? Remember too that there is NOTHING He cannot do! And as the false prophet Balaam said to the Balak, the king of Moab. ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?’ (Num. 23:19) 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. They say: ‘The immutability (unchangeability) of God is stated. The word repent is parallel to lie and is coloured in tone by this very association. Here His repenting is related to falsehood. The concept of the truth of Yahweh is related to immutability. Since God is truth, He does not lie; in fact, He cannot lie. He is unchanging. God is utterly different from man. Something that comes far too easily for many men is impossible for Almighty God. He cannot lie.’ 

And that’s where our God wins out over all the other supposed gods! He doesn’t change, He doesn’t behave like fragile and unstable, unreliable men. He is stable, the foundation of all we hold dear, thus we can put our utmost trust in Him. That’s why the psalmist warns us in Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth (spirit departs), he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps. 146:3-5) 

Yes friends, that’s the awesome truth! And possibly the biggest reason why our world is in such a confused and evil mess. We don’t trust the Lord God Jehovah like we use to do, even one generation ago. We’ve now placed our trust in princes, leaders, human beings who by their very nature are unstable, unreliable, untrustworthy and most important of all die, return to the dust from which they were created, ofttimes suddenly and without notice, and then are of no use to us. 

However, the great God, I AM, has been around since everlasting, and will be around till the end of time, and is all powerful and all knowing, therefore we can put our trust in Him! As He says through the prophet Isaiah: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man (mortal man) that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass.’ (Is. 51:12) 

Ah mih people, why then are we so intent on ridding our society of Almighty God who only has our best interests at heart eh, and who is the ONLY ONE we can ever turn to with assurance and certainty in our time of need? Because we are listening to the workers of iniquity, the disciples of the devil, leaders and false prophets who only want to cause harm and strife amongst God’s people. It’s pride and arrogance, self-importance and self-aggrandizement that’s currently driving our world and unfortunately too many of us are listening to, believing and doing what those evil, ungodly leaders are putting forth. 

Remember what Bruh Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy about the coming apostasy (turning away from God). ‘This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), lovers of pleasures more than (rather than) lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (mere religion without spiritual power): from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Oh my fellow saints, it’s like if Bruh Paul is living with us right now, for all that he’s said in those few verses have become reality in these last days! The scholars tell us that ‘The last days began with the birth of Christ and will culminate in His return to earth to set up His kingdom. The prediction of perilous times indicates that apostasy will characterize the final days of the church age.’ And only if you are completely out of your mind you won’t realize the truth of the sadly fallen, and still falling standards of our society. We are no longer respecters of men nor God! 

Unfortunately, the devil and his evil minions are now ruling the roost, but that doesn’t mean they will eventually gain the victory, because Jesus has already assured us of that. As one commentator on the agodman.com website writes: ‘The Lord Jesus has already won the battle – He has won the victory, and now our work as the church on earth is to maintain Christ’s victory. Hallelujah, the victory has been won, and we can apply it, stand in it, proclaim it, and make it real to the enemy wherever we are and wherever we go!’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends. So, let’s allow these upcoming scriptures to fill our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. The first says: ‘…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.’ (1 John 3:8) Yes friends, when Christ rose from the dead, it meant He defeated Satan, hell, death, and the grave. And, as He said to John in the Book of Revelation. ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.’ (Rev. 1:17-18) 

Please let those verses reassure us of Christ’s victory, never forgetting though that we still have to work hard to retain that victory. Consequently, we can now go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ, that we are indeed keeping the battle going in His mighty name. 

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 please, never never forget that if we endure to the very end, that that promised future will be even more glorious that we can ever ask or imagine! Wow! So, let’s make sure we endure to the very end nuh! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Christ Jesus…is salvation and eternal life possible… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 May 2022   2 Timothy 3:5.

2 Timothy 3:5.      Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Oh brother, is it really the 25th of the month already? We just celebrated May Day a li’l while back. Chuh! Time is flying so fast these days. At least it seems so, with all the ruckus that’s going on in our world: wars and rumours of wars, famine, drought, pandemic, economic insecurity, poverty, natural disasters, climate change etc. etc. There seems to be no peace and/or LOVE in our world, everything is just in a crazy uproar, havoc seems to be the order of the day. 

But thank God for Jesus yes! For He seems to be the only sane and sensible option right now. And why is that, you ask? Because He is the only one who can truly promise and deliver peace and LOVE to our confused and stricken hearts, souls, bodies and minds. As the song says: ‘Let’s clap our hands for Jesus!’ Of course, because the Lord is good, and blessed is the man that trusts in Him. Those who look on him are radiant, and they will never be ashamed. 

Yes, those are words from Bruh David in Psalm 34, where he declares that the Lord hears the righteous. And yes, I’ve gotten away from what I wanted to talk about, that’s the peace and LOVE that Jesus brings, but I can’t help it when the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is singing one of my favourites, Psalm 34 in the background. (smile) It just raises my level of peace, trust and excitement. And so it should, if you are a faithful believer. Because God is worthy to be praised, Jesus is worthy of much praise and honour and glory for all that He’s done for us, and is still doing as our mediator and intercessor at the right hand of the Father. 

And besides saving us through His sinless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, Jesus has also given us that much need peace we need to live in this frenzied and strife-filled world. Listen to Him nuh: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Now if our Lord and Saviour tells us that He’s giving us a peace that’s so unlike the world’s, wouldn’t, shouldn’t we believe Him and act accordingly, let not our hearts be troubled and afraid? 

And if, like we claim, He’s our strong tower, our refuge in times of trouble, our Prince of Peace, in fact our EVERYTHING, shouldn’t we take His promises much more seriously than we’re currently doing? But no, instead we’re allowing the foolishness of the world, the enemy’s lies and deceitful schemes to usurp the Word of God from our hearts. What does that say about our supposed trust and faithfulness in Him eh? Not a whole lot! 

We should be totally ashamed of the way we’ve behaved over the last couple of years. When we should have showed ourselves strong in the Lord’s Word, we fell flat on our faces with fear and doubt. What’s the point of having faith if when the time comes to use it we don’t do so eh? Faith is made for the rough and troublesome times, not the days when everything’s going right. 

And Jesus encourages us once again with these marvellous words on the matter at hand as He declares: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we are true believers, then we ought to believe Him, and try our best to do accordingly. No, it won’t be easy. It’s never easy living for Jesus, but the rewards are certainly worth it. 

The life that Jesus lays out for us is always exciting and adventurous though often difficult. Just look at the lives of all the great saints and prophets; none of them had it easy, but they all had very interesting lives, living for Jesus. And if that’s what we say we want to do, then we‘ve got to come up to the plate and live out the rough times with His awesome help in peace and LOVE, trusting Him to look out for us, because He always helps those who sincerely trust in and live for Him. And it’s not like we don’t know these awesome scriptures, but we allow the doubt and fear that the world engenders to steal the joy of the Lord that’s been implanted in our hearts and souls. 

That brings us to these prophetic words of Bruh Paul to Timothy about the eventual apostasy or turning away from God. ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), lovers of pleasures, more (rather) than LOVERS of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

And we certainly cannot deny that that’s the kind of world in which we are currently living. Yes, there are so many false teachers and preachers, who merely have a kind of religion, but no real spiritual power, and those are the ones who too many of us are following, no wonder out testimony and lives are not worth much, if anything, to the kingdom of God. Oh my people, I don’t know what else to say but to plead with us to do better. To let our faith rise up and overwhelm the world for Jesus, for that’s the best purpose for living! 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and confident voice: ‘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 let’s remember too, that if we endure to the very end, then the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Now isn’t that something to look forward to? It certainly is! So, let’s get out into this ungodly world and live sincerely and successfully for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…successful living is all about…sincere belief and faith in Christ Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 April 2022 Luke 15:17a.

Luke 15:17a. And when he came to himself…

Wednesday’s looking good! But would you believe that the temperature right now is close to freezing, and there was some frost on the land last night, and a few flurries a while ago? That at the end of April. But that’s how it goes these days; nothing sure and steadfast except Jesus. We need to remember that, every day we awaken and His breath of life still flows through our body…ONLY Jesus cares…and ONLY He has the power to do anything different. 

And today we’re going to check out a rather interesting poem written in the early 20th century by Toronto’s ‘Jail Poet.’ That’s John McDonagh, who according to a recent story in the Toronto Star Newspaper, in the days leading up to Easter 1907, was fined $5 for selling his poem ‘The Prodigal’s Return (Written from Real Life)’ on the streets of Toronto without a license. I guess we could call him Toronto’s first Poet Laureate, because it seems like he made a decent living from his many writings. 

And the ‘Jail Poet’ name apparently came from his being incarcerated several times at the Langstaff Jail Farm north of the city, where convicts served short sentences and did agricultural work, and then writing the very popular poem ‘The Man Behind the Wheelbarrow.’ Unfortunately, not much was known of McDonagh’s background, but he seemed to travel much in the province selling his work, and most of his poems have apparently been lost. It seems he spent his money on food and stuff for others. He also appeared to have addictions and mental problems, and was sentenced to confinement at the mental hospital at 999 Queen Street. 

But the poem we’re going to read today was published by the Star in 1907. It’s aptly titled ‘The Prodigal’s Return,’ with the subtitle (Written from Real Life.) Please read with me: ‘For a great many years I wandered about and I lived on the husks as they fell, Yes, the wages of sin it surely is death As the Lord in His word doth us tell. Yes, I wandered about, from pillar to post, and my substance in riotness spent. But the Lord followed up, and laid on the stripes No matter wherever I went. 

I’m the Prodigal son, and I came to myself; I’d been “feeding the swine” as of yore, But I turned ‘about face’ and started for home with a heart that was bleeding and sore. My father saw me while yet afar off, He knew ‘twas His Prodigal boy, He fell on my neck, and kissed his poor child While his heart was o’er flooded with joy. With a ring for my finger and a chain for my neck My Father did welcome me home. Yes, he welcomed me back though a poor erring child And no more from my Saviour I’ll roam. 

For I tell you, dear friends, if you sow to the wind ‘Tis the winds you surely shall reap For ‘tis thus that we read in the Lord’s Holy Word And his word with a vengeance he’ll keep. For ‘vengeance is mine’ he also hath said And he says, “I will surely repay.” ‘Tis a great stubborn fact, and millions on earth Are reaping the whirlwind today. So I say to you youthful when starting in life Trusting in Jesus, make heaven the prize, And don’t ever list to Old Nick’s luring voice For he’s surely the “father of lies.” 

He’s an oily tongued monster, with poisonous fangs. A fact which I’ve proved real well, Yes, he lured me right on, ‘till I stood, my dear friends, On the verge of a fierce, yawning hell.” And I say to you aged, who are still out of Christ, ‘Tis a terrible place where you stand, The Lord in his mercy is beckoning still Oh, why not reach out for his hand? So pray for me, brothers, and pray for me sisters, The Master’s great cause to maintain And help me win souls for heaven above since I’m back to my Father again.’ J.J.M. McDonagh. Belleville, June 28, 1907. 

Wow! What more can I say friends? I like it, a sermon in poem form. He hit all the right spots in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. He certainly knew God’s Word better than many of us do today. I like how he talks about spending his substance ‘in riotness’ and then living on the husks as they fell, referring to the Prodigal son after wasting his wealth on riotous living, feeding pigs in a foreign land, the lowest state a Jewish person could ever come to. Jesus said it thus: ‘And he would fain (gladly) have filled his belly with the husks (carob pods) that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him.’ (Luke 15:16) 

But please note what McDonagh says: ‘But the Lord followed up And laid on the stripes No matter wherever I went.’ Ah friends, our wonderful God allows us to roam freely, but at a price, and if we’re lucky, blessed and wise, we’ll reach the point like Jesus said: ‘And when he came to himself…’ Oh my people, so many of us in these tempestuous and turbulent times so badly need to come to ourselves and realize that Jesus is the ONLY way to go and accept Him as Lord and Saviour, like the prodigal son finally did. ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father…And he arose and came to his father.’ (Luke 15:17b-18a, 20a)

I like how McDonagh puts it: ‘But I turned “about face” and started for home with a heart that was bleeding and sore.’ Yes friends, that’s where Jesus excels; in healing wounded and broken hearts, of giving comfort to the comfortless! He’s the Master of that! He’s Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals! And please Remember ‘the Great Invitation’ (Matt. 11:28-30) So, if today you’re wounded and hurting and needing comfort, then the best place to turn is to Jesus! He will never turn you away…for remember, that’s who He came to save, the sick, the hurt and wounded. 

And just like the prodigal when you come to Jesus, He knows all about you. ‘My Father saw me while yet afar off, He knew ‘twas His prodigal boy, He fell on my neck, and kissed his poor child, while his heart was o’er flooded with joy.’ And that’s the exact reaction that Jesus has when we come to Him! He knows us because He’s been keeping watch over us all the time, just waiting for us to come to our senses. And oh, the joy that flows in heaven when we come to Him. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke 15:7) 

Yes friends, there is indeed great joy in heaven when the lost is found, when the wayward comes home and those living in darkness, see the light! And it’s our job to help those who don’t know Jesus and His marvellous attributes to see the light, the error of their ways and turn to Him for succour, salvation and eternal life. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home now declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ 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 a gentle reminder to us all…if we endure unto the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! That means enduring to the end my people! Much LOVE!

…even when we walk away from Jesus…He keeps us in His sights…patiently waiting…for our prodigal return… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 March 2022 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

And now that we’ve come to Wednesday, the middle of the work week, hopefully we can take a restful breath and catch our second wind, especially after the snowfall we endured yesterday afternoon that tied up the traffic and caused numerous problems, as it has the bad habit of doing. (smile) But, as believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected, hard as it might be at times, to rise above the worries and problems of this world, through the leading and guiding of Christ’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

However, that only happens when we listen and are obedient to the Spirit’s guidance. So, to all of us, I plead, please, please, let’s pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit nuh, so that our earthly journeys can be less difficult and frustrating than they otherwise will be. End of sermon! (smile) 

And since the Lord has seen it fit to give us another day on earth to continue His important work, let’s return to those marvellous words of Isaiah that we’ve been studying for the last couple days. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Yes friends, our God is all of those things to His most magnificent creation. Give Him thanks and praise for His goodness to us underserving children of men! 

Now, today we will tackle the last and possibly the most important aspect of them all, ‘he will save us.’ And why is that you ask? Because God can be our judge, lawgiver and king, but if He doesn’t save our sinful souls, we’ll still be ending up in ole hades with the demonic master. So, saving us is of the utmost importance! And Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, knew this, for when prophesying over His sons, said about Dan: ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’ (Gen. 49:18) 

But, being the wise and wonderful Deity that He is, Jehovah God obviously had a plan for that from the very beginning, and made it clear in several passages of His Guide Book for Earthly Living: the Bible. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these magnificent scriptures of the promise of salvation, beginning with these most encouraging and reassuring words from Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

He ends the psalm thus: ‘But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps. 37:39-40). And we know that our God doesn’t make idle promises! 

Then Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s restoration to Zion, delivers this message from God: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) All through His word the Lord’s been reassuring His people of salvation and a good end. And Isaiah again, in The song of praise by the redeemed, confidently declares: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, ONLY, the Lord God Jehovah can give us salvation! And He spelt it right out, so that there could be no misunderstanding, through this mighty promise of scripture from Isaiah that we all know, re the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. 

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is. 9:6-7) 

Oh, what a powerful picture that is my people of our Lord and Saviour, Immanuel! A benevolent ruler, who will eventually bring peace and LOVE to our fractured world! And that Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day and grew into the man who declared His Sonship of God, and the fulfillment of God’s promises, His mighty plans of deliverance and salvation for His people, through these awesome words. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Game, set and match, mih bredrin! Matter done! Salvation has been provided! God’s awesome promises have been fulfilled! And it’s so simple: all we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and truly died on the cross of Calvary to atone for our sins! John, the apostle, who walked with Christ, agrees and says it thus: ‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Wow! None of the other supposed gods make it that easy to come to them. They can’t, because they don’t exist. But the Lord God Jehovah can do so because He is the One True and Living God who has the omnipotent power to save with righteousness and justice! All glory be to His mighty and holy name! 

Ah friends, all I can say is that the option Jesus provides is much better than that provided by the enemy Satan. And since there are only two options, I believe, or rather I know, that Jesus is the wiser choice. However, we each have to make our own decisions. But please remember that there are serious consequences to either choice, and do take the consequences into consideration before making your personal choice. 

For those of us though, who have already made the decision to follow Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Jesus. As one confident voice 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 as we remind ourselves every Wednesday; if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that encourage us to endure to the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the Saviour of the world…He defeated death…and now offers Eternal Life…to any who believe… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8  

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 February 2022 Mark 8:36.

Mark 8:36.      For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 

Well friends, it’s Wednesday, the middle of the week, and I do hope that we’ve made some headway into being the difference maker that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects us to be. Yes, that’s why He’s placed us on the earth at this particular time, to make a difference in His name, to be the flavoursome salt and the bright, exciting light to the evil and depraved world that currently reigns. 

And though it’s a very rewarding and interesting task, it’s not always an easy one, because it sometimes calls for a lot of sacrifice on our part, giving up our will to ensure that His is forthcoming. And that issue of sacrifice is not something that Christ hid, but He said it very clearly and plainly. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ (Mark 8:34-38) 

And is this generation ever sinful and adulterous! So that means a lot is expected of us my fellow saints in Christ. But the basic thing is to live for and like Him, spread His gospel and not be ashamed of Him, because when he returns in all His glory, He will be ashamed of us and not recognize us as being amongst His followers. 

Unfortunately though, many of us supposed believers are indeed ashamed of Christ, and afraid of the very sinful and adulterous world in which we now live, so we only give lip service to His words and way of life. But as the scholars note per verse 38 above: ‘Jesus makes a very close connection between Himself and His Words.’ So we cannot separate one from the other as we like to do. 

The problem is that life is so good with us out here in the western world, with all the privileges and amenities we enjoy, that we don’t want anything at all to disturb it. We just want to keep moseying along in comfort, living the life of the rich and idle. But friends, life does not, never has, and never will run smoothly! It’s a series of ups and downs, and until we learn to take the good with the bad, and live accordingly, we will be forever destined to live unhappy and ungodly lives. 

Even Christ confirmed that life is full of trouble when He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Now that’s a scripture that all of us know, but don’t truly take to heart, otherwise we wouldn’t be living the scared and anxious lives we’re living. Jesus has indeed conquered and overcome the world by His sacrificial death and resurrection, and only in and through Him can we ever have peace in this crazy, warlike world. 

That’s what He gives to us, when we truly accept Him as Lord and Saviour and try to live the way He desires of us. Oh, He knows that we will have hard times, for nobody had harder times than He did, and sometimes we will fail to do His will, but He is also very forgiving and expects us to get back up and continue the good fight in His name. He gives us the grace and power to do that, but we have to truly believe and surrender ourselves to His holy will. 

As the prophet Isaiah said so long ago: ‘He giveth power to the faint (weak), and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is. 40:29-31) 

Oh my people, what more can we ask eh? Especially those of us living in the religious freedom of the West, while many of our fellow believers are still living very persecuted lives in so many other countries of the world. Please take a moment to ponder the situation where you could not get up on a Sunday morning, put on your finery and traipse to church to gather and celebrate with other believers, because that would get you incarcerated and even killed. But you had to hide and meet secretly, and couldn’t even call the name of Jesus out loud, otherwise crapaud smoke yuh pipe! 

A lot of our fellow believers are living under those strenuous and unfair conditions, but they are still carrying the torch of Jesus alight, still fanning the flames of His gospel and way of life. Meanwhile, we ole hypocrites out here, who have the freedom to do so much for Jesus, live scared but comfortable, talk a good talk, but have no action to back it up. 

Oh friends, if we don’t smarten up and begin living right, when Jesus returns, He will have a whole lot of separating to do, between the sheep and the goats. And sadly, many of us will find ourselves on the left hand, with the goats, and not on the right hand, with the sheep. And if you don’t know that scripture, then it’s high time you became very familiar with it, found in Matthew 25:31-46. 

Anyway, for those of us who are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So, in a strong, joyful and sincere voice: ‘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 lest we forget; if we endure to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s endeavor to endure nuh! It’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is not easy…but if we are serious…He generously gives us the grace and power to do it… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 January 2022 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.      With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

One more time around the block with the freezing temps! This Wednesday morning in late January it’s only about minus 12 Celsius. Not bad for a winter’s day, I’d say! (smile) Then there’s the mitigating factor of bright sunshine, so we’re not totally without hope. And when we have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then we’re filled with even more hope, not a worry on the horizon, because He washes away all our sins, our tears, our fears and foibles! Give Him some thanks and praise my brethren for the awesome help and hope He brings to those who truly believe in Him, and faithfully try to do His will!  

But yuh know, I personally prefer the cold, dry, bright weather, to the dark, damp, dreary cloudy type that just seeps into your very soul, dampens your spirit, and has you calling out even more urgently than usual to Jesus for help in handling it. (smile) And today is as good a day as any to remind ourselves of what Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ Please pray with me: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit. I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help!’ 

Yes friends, that’s how Possibility thinkers behave! That’s how those who believe in the biggest Possibility Thinker ever, Jesus Christ, live their lives; with a total sense of purpose, that has Him leading and guiding them, with no give up in their vocabulary, because give up doesn’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary! With Him, EVERYTHING, and ANYTHING is possible! Remember when He talked to the disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, and they were so amazed, wondering who then who could be saved? (Matt. 19:23-25) 

Then He spoke these memorable words: ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) Now my fellow believers, that’s something we should write indelibly in our hearts, souls and spirits; something we need to hold on to tightly, because that’s what gives us hope in the dark and troubled times. Certain things we want to happen might not happen, but once we believe that ALL things are possible with God, then we won’t give up or lose hope, because at any moment the Lord could reach out and touch us positively in our less than desired circumstances or situations. 

But if you don’t believe that God can do the impossible, then your hope will die as soon as all the man-made solutions are exhausted without a positive result. And long before Jesus ever came, the prophet Jeremiah begun praying thus for the safety and security of his people Israel: ‘Ah Lord God behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard (difficult) for thee.’ (Jer. 32:17) 

That’s the gospel truth my faithful brethren! And we’ve lived to see it in so many instances, especially the most electrifying one, where the Lord God Almighty raised His crucified Son, Christ Jesus from the dead, with the awesome promise that those who believe in Him, will also see a marvellous day of resurrection in a wonderful time to come. It just takes believing, enduring, persevering, not giving up, and trying our best to do His will – and let’s not forget that He’s always there to help us! 

And we can go even further back to when the Lord promised that Sarah, Abraham’s wife would bear him, a son, an heir to his vast fortune, and Sarah laughed, though she later denied it, because she had been barren for so long, and was then in the downward spiral of her life, when that seemed impossible. And yuh better believe that raised the Lord’s ire, and He admonished Abraham, saying: ‘Is there anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.’ (Gen. 18:14) 

Yes my fellow saints, the Lord doesn’t take kindly to us doubting His promises. And to prove His awesome power, it wasn’t until some twenty-five years later, when Sarah was ninety, and Abraham one hundred, He fulfilled that promise, and Isaac was born to the supposed old folks! So please, let’s not ever doubt the power and might of our great God, we do so to our own detriment. And I like how, after Jeremiah’s prayer, the Good Book tells us: ‘Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, is there any thing too hard for me?’ (Jer. 32:27) 

Oh my people, the Lord is LOVING and kind and all those wonderful things, but He certainly doesn’t take kindly to us doubting, or trying to take away His amazing power and glory. And I think He sent the definitive message on that through the prophet Isaiah, where He proclaims with the utmost certainty: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And all down through the ages, in His own way and time, He’s proven that, and will continue to do so until He finally destroys the wicked and creates the promised eternal home with Him as our light and God. (Rev. 21:3) 

Now it’s time for those of us who sincerely believe and sincerely try to do His will, to go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ 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!’ 

Remember now, we are called on to endure, to persevere, and if we do, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So, let’s show Jesus’ awesome power to a disbelieving world by hanging in there steadfastly to the end nuh mih bredrin! Much LOVE!

…the One who created the universe and all therein…still is…and will always be in control of it… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 December 2021 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Well it’s another dark, cloudy, damp winter’s day…just like the past few have been. No wonder so many people are depressed and sad, for that’s what miserable weather can do to you if you don’t have Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. But when you have Yeshua, as your Guiding Light, even the worse weather won’t get you down. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) probably one of the enemy’s new tools, won’t disturb your calm soul. (smile) 

And some of you might be wondering what’s SAD? ‘It is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Some of the common symptoms include having low energy, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, having problems with sleep and feeling sluggish or agitated.’ 

It’s also been associated with the lack of sunlight during the winter months, and one of the treatments is having bright artificial light engulfing you. But when the LIGHT of the world dwells within you, in the form of the Holy Spirit, then you ought not to suffer from those seasonal bouts of depression, because Jesus constantly shines His light in your life and provides enough motivation for you to get on with His earthly tasks. The world tries to drive us crazy with all its busyness and complicated living, but Jesus keeps us calm and unshackled from the annoying and debilitating ways of the world. 

Remember His fabulous claim: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12). Now that was no spurious or boastful claim, but the awesome truth! For when Jesus comes into your life, you become a new person. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be on Christ, he is a new creature (creation); old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

And that’s just the way it is my brethren! You can’t come sincerely to Jesus and not have serious changes in your life, because accepting Jesus, automatically means making some changes, giving up some of the ungodly ways of the world, though not necessarily all at once, but over time. Remember Jesus is not a hard task master, for as He says: ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:30) 

So He doesn’t expect you to change all at once, and will probably deal with you, one problem at a time, but deal with you He will. (smile) But in a LOVING and fatherly manner, unless you get stubborn and irascible. Then He can, and won’t be afraid to call in the heavy rollers to deal with your intransigence. 

Yuh know friends, when we live for, or claim to live for Jesus, there’s one overriding factor that’s necessary in all our doings, and that’s OBEDIENCE! Like with any organization, you can’t be a true member and not pay obedience to its leader, and its aims and goals. The same holds true for being a part of Christ’s body, His church. Obedience is the Number One Rule! 

And it’s not only something that Jesus asks of us, but something He also practiced. He’s not a leader, like the hypocrite Pharisees and them, who don’t practice what they preach. And the Good Book supports that truth by telling us: ‘And (Jesus) being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:8) 

Yes friends, Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross, like nobody really wants to, but because the Father asked, and that was the only way to justly save our sinful souls, He acquiesced to the Father’s wish. And that’s what we need to do as serious and sincere followers of Christ; acquiesce to His every wish, even when it seems difficult or impossible, because He never asks us to do something unless He gives us the wherewithal to do it. That’s the extent of His faithfulness. 

Wow! And the good thing about doing Jesus’ will is that there are also rewards attached to them. Just like we read in the Good Book about Jesus’ rewards for being obedient to the Father. ‘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 (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things 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) 

Ah mih people, likewise our obedience to Christ’s wishes will bring rewards, both here on earth and eternally. So, it’s ever so important that we obey if we want to be a solid rock of His church. And I believe the words of this old, reworked pop song, personify exactly what we’ve been talking about, and what it means to become a member of Jesus’ team. 

It says: ‘Since I met you Jesus, my whole life has changed… And everybody tells me that I’m not the same. Since I met you Jesus, I’m a happy man…I’m going to do my best to please you, In every way I can. I don’t need nobody to tell my troubles to…No, No, No. All I need is Jesus, He makes my life brand new. Oh, since I met you Jesus, all I want is you. Yes, since I met you Jesus, all I want is you.’ Now that’s what meeting Jesus is all about my people! 

And for those of us who have already met Him and are happy in His employ, and are doing our best to please Him in every way we can, then let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So, as one sincere, powerful and confident voice: 

‘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 yuh better believe my fellow saints, that if we endure until the end, that the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask of imagine! Wow! Praise His holy Name! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live this life…obey God and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 December 2021 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.     Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts:

Well, the wet, white stuff drizzling down out there, has my area white and slushy and messy. (smile) And you know that once man gets into something he just naturally makes a mess of it. The white stuff looks beautiful when it’s untouched by mankind, but after that…Chuh! It’s totally ugly! Anyway, with Christ in our lives, we can see anything, even the ugliest of the ugly, and it will look beautiful to us. That’s just how much His presence in our lives can accomplish. But before we can get to that state, or stage of mind, we first have to go through a metamorphosis, as described by this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Poems with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, aptly titled ‘Turnabout.’ 

It says: ‘God, for so long I thought that by praying I could change Your mind. Often I prayed Fervently pleading Until I felt Emotionally pulverized. Then I gradually began to grasp That the purpose of prayer Is to find Your mind and let You change mine. Little by little The turnabout is renewing me. Slowly I begin to feel A settling quietness. I wait while You woo me To Your will, dear Lord. I wait until my thoughts Harmonize with Yours. For in my deepest heart Despite my guarded resistance I somehow sense That what You want from me Is stupendously more Than anything I could Dream or wish or want For myself.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Our great and wonderful God wants way more for us than we can even think or imagine, but we keep belittling ourselves. And until we sincerely and seriously come to realize His awesome plans and intentions for our lives, we will always fall way below our God-given potential. And the first step towards that goal is to realize that the purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind, but to change ours, to bring our will into harmony with His. Remember He’s Number One, that means His will must be first and foremost in our lives. 

And even when we realize this, the turnaround doesn’t happen overnight, not even quickly, because it’s something we’ve got to become accustomed to, that must become a habit for us to successfully complete the metamorphosis. As the poem says: ‘Slowly I begin to feel A settling quietness. I wait while You woo me To Your will, dear Lord. I wait until my thoughts Harmonize with Yours.’ Yes my people, in all our dealings with our heavenly Father, a period of waiting is necessary. He can change us overnight, if He so desires, but then we would not appreciate the change like we should. 

Please note the butterfly; he begins life as a caterpillar, but he knows that flying is his ultimate end, and though he’s eager and anxious to fly, he knows that he must go through a period of waiting, of being a slimy, creeping, crawling caterpillar before he changes into a beautiful butterfly. And he also knows that the change from crawler to flyer is not going to be an easy one, involving many complications, but then too, he is willing to undergo that painful change from caterpillar to butterfly, so that he can achieve his divine destiny. 

Now that’s how we ought to be my brethren; willing to go through the changes, slow and painful though they may be, so that we can accomplish God’s divine plan for our lives. And the Bible verses upon which our poem is based are good, solid, meaningful ones from the pen of Bruh David, from that marvellous Psalm 139 – titled ‘The everlasting presence and power of God.’ They are the last two verses, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139:23-24) 

Wow mih people! What an awesome request! But it’s a state to which believers must strive to attain. A state of mind where we can confidently and seriously ask the Lord to check our hearts and deal with any negative or evil stuff that’s buried deep within. Only when we can do that, will we have attained to a state of grace that allows us the freedom to come and go to God without any fear or anxiety, because we know that He will not judge or punish us, but meet us right where we are with His amazing LOVE and mercy. 

Yuh see how Bruh David was always in God’s face, regardless of the wrong things he might have done? That’s why God could call him His friend and a man after His own heart. He always came to Him with His problems, was constantly praising and talking to Him. That’s how we ought to be. As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

That is what the Lord wants of and for us. To come to Him in prayer on each and every matter, big or small, being joyful and giving thanks, knowing that He’s in control and will eventually make all things right in our lives. But that depends on the levels of our trust in Him and our surrender to His divine will. And those can only grow over time, as we increasingly feel more comfortable with going to Him with all our problems and seeing His work in our lives. 

And if we want to see that ‘Turnabout’ in our lives then we must begin doing the things it takes as soon as possible, like right now! (smile) Because the longer we wait to begin, the longer it will take to happen, and we’ll miss out on a whole lot of good things in between. Yes friends, I can guarantee, that when you get comfortable with going to God on all matters, your life will change for the better. Oh…it might also get harder, but you will also be able to handle the difficulties better. (smile) That’s God’s promise. And He is faithful that promised. End of sermon. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely working on our turnabout, let’s go home declaring (awrighttt!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ 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 yuh better believe, that if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…the best habit we can ever form…going to God on every matter…prayerfully, joyfully and thankfully… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 December 2021 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.     Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings.

Well, we’ve opened unto a fairly decent Wednesday, the first day of December; with no snow and some sunshine. Yes, the clouds are there, tirelessly fighting for supremacy, but the sun is in ascendance right now. Thank the Lord! But friends, how I do wish that we, the followers of and believers in Christ had that unflagging, indomitable, unconquerable spirit like those clouds have as they fight the sun’s awesome power, where we never give up, where we are impervious to defeat and only think victory all the time! 

That’s the kind of faith and spirit we need more than ever in these over-the-top, mind-blowing times that none of us have ever before experienced. And instead of complaining like we do, we ought to be crying out to Jesus and living the way He wants us to, believing, as He faithfully promised, that everything will work out for good in the end, for those who sincerely LOVE and abide in Him. And as we promised yesterday, if God spared our lives, which He’s obviously done (smile), we’ll continue talking about that disgusting and ungodly attitude that we too often have, called ‘Complaining.’ 

Now yesterday we saw back in olden times where the Lord chastised the Israelites for too much complaining, especially when He was keeping them in food and drink. They didn’t like manna, and wanted meat, so He gave them so much meat that it eventually turned their hearts against it, became loathsome to them. And I theorized that the same thing is happening to us today with all the disasters, both natural and manmade, as well as the Covid plague that just won’t go away, because of our stubborn, foolish pride and disobedience to Almighty God. 

But enough of my theorizing, let’s turn to the New Testament for some words on the subject of complaining, since some of us wrongly believe that the Old Testament has nothing to offer us in these supposed modern times. And Bruh Paul, the wise man that he was, spoke to the subject in no uncertain terms in his letter to the Philippians. Listen as he tells them. ‘’Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ (Phil. 2:12-13) 

And we know that means not literally working for our salvation because that’s a free gift given by God, and has nothing to do with our works, but the carrying out of it to its logical conclusion depends on us. We need to work out the new life not just for our profit but for the benefit of others also. And if we work out and show the new life divinely worked in us, we will live worthy of the gospel, in harmony with each other, seeking the progress of the gospel. We will also regard each other as more important than ourselves, be concerned with the needs of our fellow brethren, and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus. 

In doing all of this, we will work out or express the new life we have through Christ. And having said a lot of that in the beginning of the chapter and elsewhere in his letter, Bruh Paul continues: ‘Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:14-15) 

Bruh Paul couldn’t be any clearer than that! Christians are not to be continual grumblers and complainers and disputers! Now remember, it’s God who is working in us, for us to do His good will and pleasure, and that can ofttimes be difficult, calling for sacrifices and such, but don’t lose sight of the fact that in the end it will all work out to our benefit. 

And I like the scholars’ explanation of verse 14. They say: ‘Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’ 

Wow! Now that declaration also stands for us today my fellow believers. And how I wish we could all function in such a Christian manner. But unfortunately, Christ’s church right now is a hot bed of grumbling and complaining, of cliques and groups resentful and jealous of each other, of a whole lot of antagonism and evil doings in the body of Christ! If we follow verses 12 and 14, then we would become blameless and harmless. But due to the significant amount strife in the current church this is presently not true 

And are we ever living in the midst of a perverse, crooked, evil and depraved world. Thus, we are expected to help the lost, since that’s the only way that they will ever know Christ. However, in doing so, we must try and not call our witness into rebuke or disfavour by behaving like the world. Instead, as Christ Himself describes us: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Oh friends, our crazy, discombobulated world desperately needs us to be bright lights shining in its evil darkness! Please, please, let’s come up higher nuh, so that we can be the kind of light that Jesus desires us to be. And one way to do that is by stopping the grumbling and complaining that we do daily, over petty and unimportant stuff. Don’t you think it’s breaking Jesus’ heart when He sees the disgusting and disturbing state of disrepair that His church has fallen into? I’m sure it does. And we can’t give Him wrong if sometimes He even asks Himself if His life sacrifice was worth it, considering our willful disobedience and unchristian behaviour. 

So we all need to look in the mirror and truthfully ask ourselves if we are indeed shining lights in the world’s darkness, or just adding to its darkness. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to be lights, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and enviable position in Christ 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 we need to be in it for the long haul, because those who endure to the end will find that the future is even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to…be in the world…but not of the world…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but life, as it is wont to do, unexpectedly intervened and delayed my writing. Thanks for the forgiveness! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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