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

Isaiah 1:18.   Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Welcome, welcome, one and all to a brand new day in God’s great universe! And it’s not only a new day, but also one filled with new mercies and blessings from our heavenly Father, stuff he made specially for today. 

He threw out all the left overs from yesterday and began from scratch this morning, so those who LOVE Him and are called according to His purpose can bask in the sunshine of His everlasting goodness. 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve and worship my brethren! But remember YOU have to communicate with HIM, to get those goodies!  He doesn’t just hand them out willy-nilly. (smile) 

And would you also believe that today is the 1st of February? Brother! We were just singing Auld Lang Syne a few days ago, welcoming the New Year, now we’re already hot into the bacchanalian bash called Carnival, with Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day falling the same time in two weeks. Is the year flying by or what? 

Let’s hope that we all are keeping our New Year’s resolution, that of walking ever closer with Christ this year, strong and in good order, because that’s the only way we will be successful in this crazy, troubled, war-like, evil world. 

And you know friends, the ‘One thing that turns the world from an ugly place to a beautiful place is LOVE. LOVE gives the world hope!’ And is that ever so true my people. Without LOVE permeating our hearts and souls, we simply have no hope, since hate is all about destroying, but LOVE is about building; building together in close harmony. 

But sadly, if we look around our world right now, there is very little, if any building, everywhere is simply destruction, both manmade and natural. How does that augur for the future of our planet eh? It’s not very encouraging. If we keep on destroying everything in our path, the future generations will be left with nothing. 

Is that what we want for our children, and our children’s children? Even the evildoers will answer no to that question, but none of us are doing anything substantial to stop if from coming to pass. That’s why we’re crying out now, in our Bit, like the prophet Isaiah did on the Lord’s behalf, many centuries ago to the Israelites. 

‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all about mankind sitting down and reasoning together if we want to see a better world. And the two verses after our Bit clearly spell out the consequences of not doing so. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured by the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

Oh my people, we don’t have to wait for the Lord to tell us that. It’s written ever so plainly in our behaviour, where there’s so much dissension and disunity, even amongst family, much less between countries. Consequently, strife is all-pervasive, and wars are a dime a dozen. It’s easier to pick out where there is no strife than where there is strife, because there are so much fewer of the former. That’s to tell you how bad it is. 

But turning back to our Bit. Let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their blood guiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

Oh mih breddren, from way back then, our wonderful God was prepared to forgive sins to those who turned in repentance to Him, and today He is still in the forgiving business. All we have to do is turn to Him in true repentance. Are we willing to do that so our world and our children can enjoy a better standard of life in the future? 

I do hope so, because with all the amenities and advances in technology we now have, the most important aspect of our society, personal relations between humans is at a low ebb, and until we fix that, nothing else will make life any better. 

Now, for those of us who choose to LOVE the Lord and obey Him, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong conviction: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

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

Now let’s go out and do our bounden duty; share those blessings with others, as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…only by talking to each other…in good faith…will our world ever improve…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice now. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2014 Matthew 6:33

 Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 
 
And then it was Saturday! Another exciting day in the Christmas season Friends! (smile) Oh I know that many of us are tired from all the Christmas activity and just want to lie down and rest. Well what’s stopping you eh? Just do it.

If the body and soul are crying out for respite, then it’s your duty to give them respite. They can’t continue being stretched and stressed out without losing their power and elasticity. Like a rubber band, the more you stretch and pull them, the loser and less effective they become.
 
Anyhow, here’s an appropriate quote from my Friend Anselm, that’s meant to inspire you for a better tomorrow. And this one comes from Abraham Lincoln. It’s simple but full of wisdom. All it says is: ‘In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.’ And that’s oh so true my people!
 
Now here is Anselm’s take on the subject. ‘It doesn’t matter how long you live, but how much you lived during the time that you were here. So many of us get caught up with age and aging and forget that it’s not about turning back the clock or staying young forever, but trying to get the best feeling that you can out of each moment of your life.
 
Abraham Lincoln was known for being handy with words, so it’s no surprise that he was able to make a quote like this, especially since he was able to pack a lot of life in his 56 years.’
 
Now how much life are we willing to pack into our years eh? It all depends on us my people, for we choose the kind of life we want to live, be it positive or negative, filled with the Word and promises of Almighty God or with the ungodly and lustful things of the world.
 
And the smart money my brethren is always on the things of God, because they have more intrinsic value and last longer than the shallow, bright but flimsy and flaky things of the world.
 
That’s why Friends, I’m encouraging us on this last Saturday in 2014, to sit down and quietly and seriously ponder the direction of our lives. Let’s check on how we spent this past year. Did we do a good, bad or indifferent job? Did we make even some small difference in the world around us? Did we reach the goals we set?
 
And most importantly, did we make any headway in our New Year’s Resolution of following Christ more closely? Have we grown in maturity and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour? Remember, that is the ONLY real resolution you need to make, because once you concentrate on following Christ, everything else falls into place.
 
For as Jesus so rightly says in our Bit, which is taken from the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes my fellow believers, when we seek God FIRST, He makes everything else fall into place for us. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to work and pay attention to things, but that we don’t need to strive and worry and feel anxious about our lives and livelihood.
 
As Jesus reminded the disciples before our Bit. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?
 
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?
 
And why take ye thought for (worry about) raiment (clothing)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed, dressed) like one of these.
 
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
 
Therefore take no thought (do not worry), saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.’ (Matt.6:25-32)
 
Matter finished Friends! Jesus spells it our like it is. If our heavenly Father can look after the things of nature so well, why wouldn’t He look after us, His most important creation, just as well eh? Even Cousin Sol, in all his worldly finery, was no match for the simple lilies of the field.
 
So my people, the life affirming choice is now ours to make. Please, I implore us to use the great wisdom and common sense that’s at our disposal to make the correct one, for the colour and tenor of our earthly lives, as well as where we spend eternity depends on the choice(s) we make today. Nuff said. Much LOVE!
 
…a word of advice…one can never go wrong by choosing Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2014 Ecclesiastes 11:6

Ecclesiastes 11:6.   In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper (which will succeed), either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Well Friends, it’s Thursday 4 December – another glorious day in the life! (smile) But can you believe that it’s almost Christmas, and therefore almost the end of the year? Now 2014 has been a real tumultuous year in man’s history, but as true believers we stayed strong through the Holy Spirit of Jesus that indwells us.

That brings me to a question I haven’t asked in a long while – how successful have we been in keeping our New Year’s resolution of having a closer walk with Jesus?
 
We have to check on that now, my people, because another new year is upon us, and it just doesn’t make sense to get into a new resolution without having assessed our progress on the last one.
 
So please, in these last days of 2014, let’s get quiet with God, let’s get introspective, look inside and truly evaluate our attempts to know Christ better. And let’s not beat ourselves up, feel convicted yes, and ask for forgiveness if we haven’t done as well as we ought to.
 
Once we have been sincere in our efforts, Jesus will understand, and anyway, 2015 will provide us with another opportunity, since our major resolution every year is simply to come to a fuller knowledge of Jesus, our wonderful Lord and Saviour. Yes Friends, we must continue to grow closer to Christ, every day and every year!
 
Now let’s reaffirm this affirmation. (smile)  ‘I can do all things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I’m not settling for where I am now. I’m stretching myself, and pursuing what He has put in my heart. God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I am determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I can do through Christ.’
 
And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!’
 
Yeh mih breddren, just remember that we can do all things through the empowerment of Jesus Christ! And we have to do, because if we don’t do, then nothing’s going to happen. Remember that Christianity is an action movement.
 
That brings us to our Bit, an action statement. ‘In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper (which will succeed), either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s certainly an action Bit! And as we said yesterday, it’s just another take on God’s universal principle of sowing and reaping. You must sow to reap. And in particular, we have to sow good seed if we want to reap a good harvest. The old people would tell you that you can’t plant peas and expect to reap corn. So whatever you sow, that you shall reap.
 
And we have a couple of rather poignant and telling scriptures that address the subject. Listen to these wise words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
 
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:7-10)
 
Ah mih people, it’s all right there in black and white; we need to live good with everybody, especially our fellow believers! Now let’s check out some more detailed explanations from the scholars.
 
‘6:7. Mocked (outwitted, outfoxed): To disobey God’s commands and then escape divine punishment would be to outwit God, thus making a mockery of Him and His Word. Soweth means “does,” “practices.” Reap could also be said “be requited,” “recompensed.” Contextually, the Galatians cannot disregard the command to support their Christian instructors (v.6) and escape divine discipline.’
 
‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider applications. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction.
 
Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’
 
‘6”9. Since it is only a matter of time before Christians shall “reap” divine reward (v.8), then he is not to be weary in well doing.’
 
‘6:10. Owing to the certainty of being divinely rewarded (vv.8-9), believers are urged to seize each opportunity to do good. Contextually, doing good refers to the ministry of restoration (v.1), bearing one another’s burdens (v.2), supporting teachers (v.6), sowing to (living in accord with the leading of) the Spirit (v.8), and general perseverance (v.9). Believers are to minister first unto them who are of the household of faith (Christians), and second, to the rest of the world.’
 
Ah Friends, I thought it necessary to share those explanations because I want us to better understand the scriptures we read. And I do hope that they served the intended purpose.
 
Now let’s close with true words of wisdom from the prophet Hosea’s warning, re the punishment of Israel, words that are ever so applicable to our world today.
 
‘Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy (LOVING-kindness or faithfulness); break up your fallow (untilled) ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.’ (Hos.10:12)
 
Oh my people, truer words were never spoken and more applicable for these frightening times. Please, I implore us to get a move on with that programme RIGHT NOW, because it’s our only hope to avoid the divine repercussions that will befall us if we continue living the ungodly, disobedient, sinful and evil life that we’re currently living. It’s the wisdom of heaven, my brethren! Much LOVE!
 
…you can’t continually sow evil and disobedience here on earth…and expect to reap good rewards from heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.  Be not afraid, only believe.

And then it was Saturday; a bright, vibrant, radiant day, made by Almighty God so that His people could rejoice and be glad in it! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful, ‘Thank you Father!’
 
Oh my people, can you believe that we’re more than halfway through July already, and also this year of 2014? I swear that the days are running faster than they usually do. And most of you will no doubt agree, because your lives also seem to be moving at breakneck speed, where one day just morphs into the other, without any apparent break.
 
And though I don’t remind us as often as I should about our New Year’s resolution of following Jesus more closely, I do hope that you are faithfully adhering to it. And you can tell me what you will, but the Father will read the truth in your hearts.
 
Anyway mih lovelies, this morning I want to share with you the opening couple of lines of the poem Endymion by the English Romantic Poet, John Keats (1795-1821) It reads: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass to nothingness.’
 
Now we all know that the value of art usually increases with age, but so too do people. As the days go by on our earthly journey, we get more mature and grace-filled, so that increased knowledge, experience and wisdom make us more valuable. The only problem is that unlike the physical works of art, we pass away to nothingness.
 
But that’s just our physical bodies. Our spiritual beings are still alive and kicking, especially in the LOVED ones that we have left behind. They continue to hold dear the traditions, the respect, the care and the LOVE that we lavished on them when we were alive. So all that and any other physical heirlooms we might have bequeathed to those around us will continue to live on, to survive, as they pass those things to others down through the ages.
 
So in essence, like the physical art, we too never pass into nothingness either. And here’s the end quote on the subject from the One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It bravely declares: ‘I am comforted by the traditions of family and faith and by the meaningfulness they add to my life.’
 
And that’s how it ought to be my brethren, for when we approach death’s door, it’s usually family we want to see, and faith we hold on to, so we can easily transition from this life to the next.
 
And it all boils down to one word: ‘BELIEF!’ We live a life guided by our beliefs. Hopefully the major belief is that in Jesus Christ, for it is the best belief to build your life around.
 
And I just LOVE how Jesus puts things so simple and straightforward, as He says to Jairus in our Bit: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
Nothing to it Friends, just believe. And it is truly that simple, we just like to make a fuss over it. We believe the nonsense, the lies that the advertisers tell us in their forked tongued messages without batting an eyelash. Hn! But when it comes to believing in Jesus, the most important belief in our lives, the one that will either separate us from God forever, or keep us on the inside looking out, we get all hot and bothered, ask a whole lot of questions and put up a whole lot of roadblocks. Why eh, my people?
 
I think that it’s generally because we’re afraid. It seems to be such a big decision to make, for it deals with our lives in the hereafter, something we don’t want to think about just yet, plus the worldly artifacts are so beautiful to look at and possess, and we erroneously believe that believing in Jesus means we can’t enjoy the good things of earthly life. But that’s a fool’s wisdom Friends, for Jesus said He came so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
 
The problem is that we don’t want any borders, any boundaries placed on our activities and behaviour, but yuh see what that desire is causing all over our world; strife and destruction. But my people, this life can only be lived in prosperity and safety if we adhere to certain strict guidelines. Anything else will only bring anarchy, as we’re seeing in so many places nowadays.
 
However Friends, I’m running out of space and time, so let’s get to some scriptures where Jesus highlighted belief in God. And there’s none better than the story of Him raising His friend Lazarus from the dead.
 
Jesus was out of town when he got the message from the sisters, Martha and Mary, saying ‘Lord behold he whom thou LOVEST is sick.’ (John 11:3) But despite His great LOVE for Lazarus and his sisters Jesus remained a further two days before He went to Bethany where they lived. By the time He got there Lazarus was already dead for four days.
 
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she ran to meet Him and rebuked Him, saying, ‘Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.’ (John 11:21-22)
 
Now is that strong belief, great faith or what my people! She just knows that whatever Jesus asks of God, God will grant. How many of us are even willing to say that today, much less believe it eh, even though we have much more info and insight than Martha did?
 
The Good Book continues: the conversation: ‘Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
 
Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?
 
She saith unto him, Yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:23-27)
 
What a powerful passage of scripture my brethren! Note the interplay between Jesus and Martha: He claiming to be the giver of eternal life, and she believing without missing a beat! That’s how it ought to be in all believers’ lives my Friends!
 
So today, please let’s sit and consider our personal response to Jesus’ question; ‘Believest thou this?’ And hopefully, we shall all blurt out without hesitation: ‘Yes Lord: I BELIEVE!’ Much LOVE!

…it all begins with…believing…and it all ends with…believing…only believe…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2014 Daniel 2:20

Daniel 2:20.   Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his. 
 
Ah Friends, this being the season of winter, it’s nothing special to wake up and find a beautiful layer of snow covering the ground. I can’t help remarking how wonderful the snow looks when it lies quietly in the dark, or even in the sunshine, as yet undisturbed, undefiled by human hands and feet. (smile)
 
But you know that once we humans get into anything, or any place, we always cause disturbances and confusion. I guess that such is the nature of the beast. But that doesn’t mean because something’s in our nature that we have to automatically give into it.
 
For though sinfulness is our natural state, we don’t have to be always or thoroughly sinful, because Christ died and paid for our sins, so that we could be set free and live in holiness and righteousness before Almighty God.
 
And this Lenten season is a time for us to consider who God is, and what He means to us. It’s a time to delve into the Word of God to discover His truth, and also delve into our own souls to see how the contents of both match up. 
 
Then we need to aspire to, and work diligently to bring them into sync. For unless our lives are in sync with God’s Word, we are being disobedient, being rebellious, and will eventually pay a hefty price for that disobedience and rebellion.
 
So Friends, this is the ‘rightest’ time to consider how we’ve done so far in keeping our New Year’s Resolution to improve our walk with Christ this very meaningful year of 2014. Has there been noticeable progress, have we regressed, or have we just stood still? Only you and God can decide the answer to that question.
 
But it’s rather important that we monitor our walk with Christ, to ensure that we are indeed growing and maturing, as we journey along on our earthly pilgrimage. And we can see from the Scriptures that that is what Daniel and his three amigos, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (their Jewish names) were doing, when Daniel blessed the God of heaven and declared in our Bit:
 
‘Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his.’ And there’s not one iota of doubt on that proclamation my brethren!
 
For as Daniel continues: ”And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth (raises) up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know (have) understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
 
I thank thee and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.’ (Dan.2:21-23)
 
Yes mih people, our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God does all those things… and more! And I guess some of you who don’t know the story of Daniel are wondering what all the fuss is about.
 
Well Friends, it was a rather serious matter, one of life and death! The powerful Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, had a dream that deeply disturbed him, and so he called his wise men, his magicians and sorcerers to interpret it for him.
 
But when they asked him to tell them the dream, he refused. He wanted the wise men to both tell him the dream, then its interpretation. On top of that, he threatened to kill them all if they couldn’t do both things. (Dan.2:1-9)
 
In exasperation, the wise men finally told the king: ‘There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
 
And it is a rare (difficult) thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before (no other who can tell it to) the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.’ (Dan.2:10-11)
 
And they were quite right my fellow believers, except for one point; not ‘gods’, but the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is a most mighty and powerful Spirit!
 
Now that answer certainly didn’t sit well with king Neb, and he commanded that all the wise men in Babylon be destroyed. Now Daniel and his buddies were numbered amongst the king’s advisers, but when Daniel heard of the king’s decree from Arioch, the captain in charge of the cleansing, he wondered about the king’s haste, and was told the reason by the captain.
 
Daniel therefore went before the king and asked for some time to consider the matter. (Dan.2:12-16) And the scholars’ note here that ‘Daniel was obviously held in high esteem, as his ready access to the king demonstrates.’
 
And the Good Book declares: ‘Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing (decree) known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire (seek) mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish (be destroyed) with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.’ (Dan.2:17-19)
 
Then our Bit comes in. Oh Friends, oh Friends, I can’t help reminding us every day of the wonderful God we serve and worship!
 
The problem though is that you’ll never see it until you truly believe it! And unfortunately, there are too many of us who don’t believe it, consequently we don’t do the things necessary for God to show up in our lives, that’s why we are sadly plodding along in desperation.
 
But you can see, as the scholars wisely note, that ‘Even though Daniel had special, God-given attributes, he and his friends still had to pray.’
 
And that’s the crux of the problem right there, my people! We’re never too mature, too holy, too righteous, or too anything else that we don’t need to pray. If even, Jesus Christ, the mighty Son of the mighty Jehovah God had to pray, why wouldn’t we, poor mortal minions, His fickle and fallible creation, need to do likewise eh?
 
So Friends, please, let’s note the necessity of prayer in all our lives. For prayer is the method of close and positive communication with our Creator, and without it, we can do NOTHING, NOTHING AT ALL, in our own strength!
 
Please let that bit of wisdom sink deep into our hearts and souls today, so that we can walk a better and truer path to heaven and Father God Himself! Much LOVE!
 
…no prayer…means no communication with our Maker and heavenly Father…truly an unwise deed…for the consequences can be rather painful…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Previous Older Entries