Today​’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2019 John 3:3.

John 3:3.   ​Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 
Rain, rain go away, come again some other day! Chuh! I like rain, but after experiencing it for my last three days in Tobago then coming back home to it, it’s become a tad much. And the warnings of extensive flooding don’t help. But how to keep us happy eh? 

When we have a lot of sunshine, and it’s hot, we complain. A lot of cold and snow also cause bitter mutterings. And we don’t like it much when it rains on our parade either. (smile) And when you’re sick and feeling lousy, like I am, that state of affairs doesn’t help matters either. So I guess there’s just no pleasing us and we just have to learn to live with whatever Mother Nature supplies. End of story! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. But first let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I talked about Peter cutting off the high priest’s ear; it was actually the servant of the high priest’s ear he cut off. 

I knew that very well and it was what I intended to write, but somehow or the other didn’t write that. And you can imagine my disgust when a friend wrote and pointed it out to me because I don’t like to make mistakes in the Bit. But I guess that only shows I’m human and thus not infallible. (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.’ I guess there is much truth to that statement as passion is usually a driving force in our lives.

However, passion alone will not bring us to our destiny, we need other things like wisdom, knowledge, help and perseverance. In other words, blood, sweat and tears must be combined with our passion to provide success! (smile) 

And that segues in nicely to this other quote: ‘You’ve been given the innate power to shape your life…but you cannot just speak change, you have to LIVE change. Intent paired with action builds the bridge to success. You can’t just want it; you have to do it, live it…BE it! Success isn’t something you have; it’s something you DO!’ 

Ah friends, we see there it’s all about the doing, the living, the action! We just can’t sit on our fannies and expect things to change or our lives to be good because we wish it or talk about it. Yes, there is power in our words, but that power needs to drive us to action, to actually doing something to bring about the changes we desire! 

But then we come to this quote that appears to throw a spanner in our wheel: ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ So true, so true my people! Whatever we try to do, be it good, bad, or indifferent, things rarely run as smoothly as they should, or as we expect them to. 

But that’s just life! Life that seems to take pleasure in mucking up our best efforts! But that’s where things like patience, perseverance, ‘stick-to-it tiveness,’ and don’t give up come in! And as true believers in Christ, we all know that giving up is not in our vocabulary.

Remember Jesus said that we’d have problems in this evil and ungodly world, but we can handle them with grace and a smile, because He’s already overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

Now here is the last quote: ‘We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? We have one life when we’re born of our mother’s womb, and then a second when we’re born of the Holy Spirit which brings us into serious communication and an intimate relationship with Almighty God! 

Jesus said it quite plainly to the Pharisee Nicodemus who came by night to enquire about Jesus’ awesome power and works. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ 

Yes friends, to be included in the heavenly realm we all need to be born again of the Spirit as Jesus also told Nicodemus, when, in his confusion, he asked about entering his mother’s womb a second time.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7) 

And the scholars provide this interesting explanation: ‘3:3. Verily, verily (lit. “amen, amen”) occurs only in John’s gospel, and then always for emphasis. Born again may be translated either “again” or “from above.”

Perhaps both ideas should be combined here, to indicate the repetition of an act from another source. John might have said “again” had he wished to indicate repetition of an act from the same source. Only John uses this expression in the gospels. 

This concept of the New Birth includes these implications: (1) It undercuts Jewish dependence on being sons of Abraham (cf. 8:39). (2) It reveals that there must be a work of God “from above” since the Jews considered children (new births) to be God’s blessing. (3) It teaches the necessity of a new beginning.’ 

Yes my brethren, to be able to enter God’s kingdom a spiritual rebirth is absolutely necessary. But it’s also very simple. All we have to do is to believe that Christ died for us on Good Friday, as we commemorated yesterday. And then that He rose triumphantly from the dead and the grave, as we will celebrate tomorrow on Easter Sunday! 

Oh my people, there’s no better time to give our lives to Christ than RIGHT NOW! So let’s BE BORN AGAIN nuh, at this most exciting and emotional time of Easter, as we celebrate Christ’s total victory, His complete annihilation of the evil enemy Satan, ruler of hell, death and the grave! All Heaven will rejoice if we do! Much LOVE!

…eternal spiritual life…calls for spiritual rebirth today…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2019 John 3:3.

John 3:3.   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 

‘Driving, driving…’ Yeh friends, the ole fella went driving himself in that nasty weather yesterday, for the first time in some five weeks, and it wasn’t bad. It was like sex and riding a bicycle…you never forget how to! (smile) And though the weather was gloomy, the roads weren’t too bad. And above all, I had my trusted sidekick Jesus, riding shotgun beside me, so there was no need to worry. Glory be! 

What a way we can feel safe when we know He’s always right there beside us eh, as well as dwelling within us through His Holy Spirit! Christians therefore have no reason to be afraid of life and whatever it brings. But unfortunately too many of us are still fearful of even our own shadows, much less the trials and tribulations of life. But we won’t get into that right now, because the workingman is waiting to sing us his weekend song. (smile) 

And he wails out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And yuh better believe the weekend is upon us! What would we do without the weekend end eh? I refuse to even think about it! All I know is that I’m going to be enjoying mihself, having a good time, eating, drinking and doing whatever I want over the next couple days, regardless of the weather and what anybody else thinks! And if they don’t like it, then yuh know what they can do…Go jump in the blooming cold lake and freeze their nutsies off, because this is my time, and I’ll do what I so and so want to do with it! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, sometimes it would be nice to be like the working man and just go about one’s life with such gay abandon, but that unfortunately leads to serious problems eventually. So please, let’s be thankful that we’re believers in Christ Jesus who don’t adhere to such unbridled behaviour! 

Jesus needs His followers to be more restrained in their exuberance, but that doesn’t mean forfeiting fun and laughter, just being more cognizant of the dangers that lie in wait when we let the horses run wild. And that’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat less rah rah and self-serving than the workingman’s song. So let’s belt it out now with the same fervour and even greater appreciation than the workingman did nuh. 

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

Yes my brethren, we have some boundaries to stay within, because we don’t want to fall into the ever-waiting trap of the evil enemy and his evil cohorts. Consequently, we’re not allowed to behave like leggo beasts as the workingman can do, and certainly does. And I just espied this interesting list on one of the many bits of paper beside my computer. It tells us seven things we need to do to be a true follower of Jesus. I believe I got it from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley). 

Here they are: (1) Be born again. (2) Pray. (3) Listen to Him. (4) Believe Him. (5) Obey Him. (6) LOVE Him. (7) Suffer for Him. Now those are certainly ALL things true believers should do! We can’t leave out even one of them, else our faith walk will suffer serious negative repercussions! But the most important of them all is indeed the first one: ‘Be born again.’ That’s because if we’re not born again we can’t get into Christ’s organization and then the other things don’t matter. 

And that’s exactly what Jesus told the Pharisee elder, Nicodemus, who came to Him under cover of night to find out whom He really was. Now Nicodemus did admit: ‘Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles (signs) that thou doest, except God be with him.’ (John 3:2) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘3:2. By night: Probably he (Nicodemus) feared criticism. John refers several times to “fear of the Jews” (see 7:13; 9:22; 12:42-43; 19:38). Nicodemus accepted Jesus as a teacher and a rabbi from God who worked miracles, but Jesus was not impressed with the depth of Nicodemus’s belief or understanding. Many unbelievers still agree that Jesus was “a great man.’ 

And no doubt, He was, but He was also much more than that; He was the Son of God! Thus Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ That says it all right there my people! We have to be born of water and the Spirit to be a part of  Christ’s kingdom. There must be a new beginning in our lives! 

That’s why Bruh Paul emphasizes to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation); old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) Yeh friends, to get truly hooked up with Christ, we have to become new people, and change our old ways, which don’t sit right with Jesus’ philosophy. I guess a simple way to put it is, we have to stop singing the workingman’s song and belt out the Friday Chant instead. (smile) 

And finally, as Bruh Paul tells the Ephesians: ‘If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:21-25) 

Ah mih people, to get in with Jesus we have to become totally new people, be born again, change our old habits! And Bruh Paul lists some of the practical things we need to do when we become born again in Ephesians 4:25-32. It might be a very good idea to open our Bibles and read that list today. I’m sure it will give many of us cause to stop and ponder our lifestyle and ask God for help in whatever area in which we are deficient! That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…that which is born of the flesh…is flesh…that which is born of the Spirit…is spirit…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Can you believe it friends, it’s already the first day of August, which means that the summer is almost over! Steups! Only thirty more days before the cold weather begins ominously creeping in… And oh, sometimes it doesn’t even creep in, it just comes roaring in full blast. So we need to make as many special summer memories as we can this month, because with the strange weather patterns going nowadays, who knows what will happen. 

But before we go any further, let me remind us of this momentous and everlasting truth: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! Wow mih breddren! And is he ever Good and Omnipotent! He had to be; otherwise we’d be ALL now heading for Hades to dwell with Lucifer, instead of having the option to look forward to heaven with Christ! Praise His Holy Name! 

And it really surprises me that so many people refuse to even look at the option with Jesus that brings light to our souls, even thumb their noses at it and stick staunchly with the prince of darkness and evil. Why are we so afraid of light eh? I guess because our deeds are evil and we’re afraid to expose them to the light because then others will see our true colours and know that we’re not what or who we claim to be. 

But friends, when you wisely choose Jesus, that’s not a problem, because He washes away all of that muck with which you’re covered. His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary has already paid for all your sins for all time, and you become a new creation in Him, washed white as snow, atoned for and reconciled to the Father, with the amazing opportunity to go right to the throne room and talk personally with the Father. 

Wow! What an awesome privilege that is my breddren! Yuh think Lucifer has time for you like the Lord does? Yuh think Lucifer is waiting to care for and comfort and relieve your sorrows like the Lord is? Not on yuh life! Lucifer just wants to get you into more evil and compass your soul with more pain and sorrow.  

Thus Bruh Paul tells us in our Bit, in his second letter to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ Glory be mih people! What a blessing it is to throw off our old sinful, fleshly nature and receive the new, refreshed spiritual nature of Christ! 

That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus when he asked about eternal things. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) That means a new beginning, however a spiritual one, must be had to be associated with Christ. 

As Jesus further told Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes); and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8) 

Yes friends, once we get in with Jesus, we no longer live an earthly or carnal life, we begin living a spiritual life, one from the inside out, not vice versa. That’s because once you become a believer the Holy Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within you and lead and guide you in a spiritual manner. 

As Bruh Paul reminds us when he wrote to the church at Rome, dealing with life in the Spirit: ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life, and peace.’ (Rom.8:5-6) 

So to keep on lusting after the things of the flesh, the things of the world is death. However when we become spiritually minded, live in obedience to Christ’s Holy Spirit, we achieve a sense of peace and look forward to eternal life. And Bruh Paul puts it all nicely together earlier on in his missive to the Roman church. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Ah friends, knowing that, how can we not LOVE and revere the Lord eh? If we have the slightest amount of common sense or wisdom, that verse would surely enlighten us to the fact that if we hang out with Jesus, through God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness, His unmerited favour, we won’t get what we deserve; eternal damnation, but rather eternal life. It’s up to each individual though to make a choice. Let’s hope we all make the right one. 

And for those of us who have already made the right decision, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proudly letting the world know our position in Christ. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 my fellow believers, as I keep saying, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…why foolishly choose death…when we can wisely choose life eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2016 John 5:24.

 John 5:24.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.

Well well my faithful believers in Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed once again to see the start of a new week!

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

But my brethren, we can, and we will do better than that this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day. Let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise and worship and thanksgiving from our lips, as we sing the old but still beautiful and soulful song, ‘I believe.’ 

With heartfelt sincerity and true belief, let’s sing. ‘I believe for every drop of rain that falls  A flower grows  I believe that somewhere in the darkest night  A candle glows  I believe for everyone that goes astray  Someone will come to show the way  I believe  I believe  I believe above the storm the smallest prayer  Will still be heard  I believe that someone in the great somewhere  Hears every word  

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry  Or touch a leaf  Or see the sky  Then I know why I believe  Every time I hear a newborn baby cry  Or touch a leaf  Or see the sky Then I know why I believe  (Why I believe).’ 

Ah friends, that touched a sore spot in my soul! Hope it did in yours too. It just goes to show how the small and simple things of creation can play a big part in our spiritual lives. 

Now the story goes that ‘I believe’ was commissioned in 1953 by a lady named Jane Froman, who was troubled by the Korean War so soon after World War 2. She asked these four guys, Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl and Al Stillman to compose a song that would offer hope and faith to the populace. And it certainly does! 

Froman seems to have introduced it on her T V. programme, and it became the first hit song ever introduced on the tube. It’s been recorded numerous times by different artists and consequently, over the ensuing years, has become both a popular and religious standard.  

And since it has touched a sore spot in our souls, I believe that it has made us very receptive to God’s word this Sunday morning, as we go to church to hear it preached, and praise Him in fellowship with other believers. 

Oh my people, we all need to get our weekly fix of fellowship and worship, which leaves us refreshed and uplifted, encouraged and strong, ready to face another week of fighting in the trenches. Without that fix friends, we won’t be able to withstand the trials and tribulations that will come against us. 

So please, let’s not deny ourselves that most necessary washing and cleansing and rejuvenating that occurs when we fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary on a Sunday morning. In other words, please, let’s get up and get out to church! It’s the best thing we can do, the best gift we can give ourselves today. End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ Yeh friends, it all turns on that simple but beautiful, life changing and life-giving word ‘belief!’ 

Here Jesus is talking to the Pharisees about the Son’s relationship to the Father, after they desired to kill Him because He healed a sick man on the Sabbath.  It’s so simple; if we hear His word and believe in the Father who sent Him, then we’ll face no judgement and embrace everlasting life. Wow! What a wonderful opportunity! 

But the foolish, self-righteous Pharisees refused to believe. And there are a lot of people like them to day still, who in spite of all the proof available, still refuse to believe. But that’s their hard luck! You can’t make anyone believe, even when they are in possession of all the facts. 

Now let’s look at a couple of other Scriptures where Jesus placed the all-important emphasis on belief. And we all know the famous lines following these two verses, where Jesus was talking to Nicodemus. 

‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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.’ (John 3:14-16) 

There again my people, in two consecutive verses Jesus reiterates the power of, the necessity for belief. And He’s still saying it today! But in this evil and ungodly world people are not paying attention to His word. We still are following the foolishness of Lucifer. 

Steups! What a pity! Life could be so wonderful if we’d all, or at least a majority of us would truly believe in Jesus. But I guess them’s the breaks. We all reap what we sow. And if we don’t sow belief in Jesus, then I guess we won’t reap eternal life. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus to Martha, after her brother Lazarus had died. ‘Jesus said 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. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:25-26)  

Ah friends, Jesus was again signifying there His power to give eternal life! And what was Martha’s reply? ‘She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:27)  

Yes precious people of God, Martha was smart, she believed! Now what about us eh, do we believe too? And I mean truly believe, not merely paying lip service. I sincerely hope that we do, because it will mean the difference between enjoying eternal life in Christ’s presence, or everlasting death with Beelzebub!

Personally, I don’t think there’s any doubt about the wise and sensible choice. Hope you recognize and make it too. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we WILL believe in Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2016 Philippians 1:29

Philippians 1:29.    For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Well friends, all the Good Friday hoopla is finally over. The feast of the Passover is in progress. The Romans and the ruling Jewish class are happy that Jesus the interloper, troublemaker and very possible threat to their power and political status is dead. They are exhaling a big sigh of relief and resting satisfied in the culmination of their most heinous and criminal act; causing Jesus to be crucified on lies and circumstantial evidence. 

Thanks to Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, His lifeless body is now lying in a new tomb sealed by a big rock, with soldiers guarding it, so that there is no chance of any mischief from His rag tag band of followers. 

Meanwhile, in reality, that group of followers have fled hither, thither and yon, fearful for their own lives, because of their association with Jesus. Sincere disappointment also clouds their spirits, because they had had such high hopes for and in their leader. All His great sermons and miracles and wonderful philosophy had fuelled their hearts and minds with dreams of a much better and brighter day. 

But now, in the blink of an eye, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem some six days earlier, (Palm Sunday) everything  had suddenly been turned topsy-turvy by His sudden betrayal, arrest, mock trial and death on that wooden cross at Calvary. I guess, like any of us mired in a similarly difficult situation, they were wondering what would become of their lives, since they had given up everything to follow Jesus. 

Judas, His betrayer, has gone and hung himself, remorse and guilt having gotten the better of him. Then Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times, was tearing out his hair, wondering how he could have done something that stupid and cowardly. Mary, Jesus’ mother, per His dying directive, had gone to live with John, the disciple whom He LOVED. And the once solid band of believers was now in total disarray. 

It had all happened so suddenly that they had all been taken by surprise, although Jesus had tried to warn them of His impending troubles. As they were going up to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, Jesus had tried to tell them what was about to happen. 

‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles (Roman rulers): and they shall mock him, and shall scourge (flog) him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.’ (Mark 10:33-34) 

But obviously none of them were paying serious attention to His words. Even the night of the Last Supper, when He informed them that one of the group would betray Him, they still didn’t take it seriously, although they all wondered and asked if it was them. But now things had come to up bump; the Master was dead, and they were like lost, fearful sheep scattered to the four winds, without the LOVE and guidance of their shepherd. 

Yes friends, that was the general state of affairs in Jerusalem, come Saturday morning. I guess it taught that first band of believers a serious lesson; namely that being associated with Jesus could be a dangerous endeavour, entailing suffering and persecution. 

I sincerely hope it has also taught us that too, some two thousand years later, as our Bit details. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

It’s not all wine and roses my people, we ofttimes have to get down and dirty and also suffer some on Jesus behalf. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great life, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other, but like life itself, there are problems and difficulties to encounter, bear and overcome, obviously with Jesus’ help. 

As Bruh Paul declares earlier in the chapter: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ (Phil.1:21) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1:21. For explains why Paul is just as happy to magnify the Lord by death as by life (v.20). It is because to him, to live is Christ. He means that living consists of serving and glorifying the Son of God; apart from this, his life has neither meaning nor purpose. 

But why is Paul just as content to magnify Christ by death? Because to him to die is gain; that is even though living and serving God are good, death is a graduation to something better: it is a promotion to the heavenly presence of Christ and perfect fellowship with Him.’ 

Now friends, all of that is perfectly true, but like most of you, I don’t think I’m ready for that heavenly promotion just yet. I still have a lot of serving and magnifying and glorifying to do down here on earth. (smile) 

But seriously though my people, like Bruh Paul, our main objective, whether down here on earth, or in heaven on high should be to seriously magnify Christ. That ought to be our basic desire; whatever we do or say should have God’s glorification as its number ONE objective. 

Yuh see all the really rough times Bruh Paul went through fearlessly for Christ’s sake! And Christ brought him safely through them all! Now most of us won’t have to go through anything like that, but we will meet opposition and even persecution, if we become and behave like serious followers of Christ. 

Now that is the number ONE question: how many of us are willing to go through trials and tribulation in Christ’s service? 

And what better day to ponder and consider that question my people, than on the Saturday between Good Friday, when Christ sacrificed His life on the cross, and Easter Sunday, when He rose triumphantly from the grave? 

Please, let’s all do that today nuh. And hopefully we’ll all come up with the same resounding answer: ‘Yes! We will go to the grave magnifying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! After what He’s done for us, we can do nothing less!’ 

Now let’s go out and put that promise into action this Easter Saturday nuh, before we have time to think about it and change our minds. (smile) Much LOVE!

…by His stripes we are healed…by His precious blood shed on the cross we are saved…thank You Jesus for salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2016 Psalm 53:1‏‏‏

Psalm 53:1.   The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

Oh friends, there is so much I want to say this beautiful Thursday morning, but I simply can’t say anything! Chuh! 

Has that ever happened to you? My mind is a jumble of thoughts and whatever else that I can’t seem to make sense of, but I’m not worried because I know that our great and magnanimous God will eventually look down on me with empathy and guide me to what He wants me to say. 

I guess that part of my problem is that I have a touch of the flu and cough that’s causing my asthma to act up a bit. And there’s nothing that drives me bonkers like coughing. 

Anyway, I went to the funeral of an old schoolmate yesterday afternoon in Mt. St. George – and now I realize why it’s so named, for we had to drive up a steep, winding road littered with potholes to reach the church, then come another steep winding one to get back to the main road. 

It’s a good thing the duchess wasn’t my co-pilot, because I don’t know if we would have made it back safely. (smile) 

The funeral was well attended, and I saw people whom I hadn’t seen in donkey’s years (smile). The deceased lived in the U.S but was brought back home to her village for burial, exactly what I want to happen to me. 

And to show how our God moves in mysterious ways, he took one home but also breathed life in to a newborn son of one of my surrogate daughters down here. Glory to God! 

Now a buddy and I was supposed to go touring today, but it seems that he imbibed a tad too much last night, so he is also under the weather, which means that tour will have to be put off indefinitely. 

Ah mih people, my time in sweet Tobago is swiftly drawing to a close, and as the duchess said recently, the problem is not how we’re going to face the cold up in the Northern climes, but how we’re going to leave this paradise? It will definitely be hard, although every day we complain how the sun is so hot. 

So I guess today will just be a day of rest and later this evening I’ll go to the Bible Study class up the road. I heard they missed me last week when I was in Trinidad. I missed them too, because it was a spirited gathering, West Indian style. And call me biased, but nothing beats anything, West Indian style! (smile) 

Now that’s the end of my news, but before we get to our Bit, I want to share these words of wisdom from one Leviticus, whom I assume was an olden Greek philosopher. And he is reputed to have said that: ‘He who attempts to resist the wave is swept away, but he who bends before it abides.’ 

And I rediscovered that in reality recently on the beach. I tried to fight off a big wave and it sent me crashing into the sand. But another one, instead of trying to fight it, I rode it successfully into the shore. 

The same way it is with life my friends, especially when we are getting up in age and can’t fight all the unusual stuff that’s coming against us; all the aches and pains and illnesses. We have to learn to bend with the tide, if we hope to continue living a full and enjoyable life. 

That also means we cannot emulate the people in our Bit. ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.’ 

Now, though we know better, the prosperity of the wicked can sometimes drive us to want what they have. Listen to the psalmist Asaph, as he discourses in Psalm 73 on the Mystery of Prosperous wickedness. 

‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Yes friends, although Asaph knew better, the sinful human nature still enticed him to be envious of the wicked in their earthly prosperity. And unfortunately it still does the same thing to us in these very trying and difficult times. 

But we need to see the treachery and deceit of material possession and earthly prosperity for what it really is; ofttimes a temptation of the enemy, and don’t allow it to get us caught up in its wicked tentacles. Because once we sell our soul for those things, it’s not very easy to get out of Lucifer’s contract. 

Now hear Bruh Paul to Titus on Christian citizenship and the basis of the Christian ethic. ‘Put them in mind to be subject to principalities (rulers) and powers (authorities), to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work. To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious), but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. 

For we ourselves also were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and LOVE of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed (poured out) on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. That being justified (declared righteous) by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:1-7) 

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, it’s only through God’s grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness, poured out on us through Christ that we are able to withstand the wiles and lies of the evil one. That means we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith if we want to resist the enemy. 

Now here is some info from the scholars on the term ‘regeneration.’‘3:5. Regeneration refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation experience that produces new life in the believer. To express this concept, Jesus used the expression “born again” in His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3:3-7). 

Regeneration is the work of God, through the Holy Spirit, of placing in one who has faith a new nature, capable of doing God’s will. The Holy Spirit is the agent or divine workman of this regeneration. His instrument is the Bible, which is likened to a hammer that judges sin (Jer.23:29), a mirror that reveals sin (James 1:23), a sword that defeats Satan (Heb.4:12), and a lamp that guides the believers (Ps.119:105). 

Illustration: People are instantaneously “born again “the moment they trust Christ as Saviour. (1 Pet.1:23). Application: Christians should be careful to cooperate with God in growing as children of God after they are regenerated, or given new life. (First Ref. John 3:3), Primary Ref. Titus 3:5. cf. Eph.1:15.).’ 

Oh friends, only by cooperating with God and growing in the likeness of Christ, can we ever hope to stave off the foolishness and deceit of the enemy! And it will benefit us all, if we looked up the references the scholars provided. (smile) 

Now let’s end with some more words of Bruh Paul to Titus. ‘This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’ (Titus 3:8) 

There’s nothing left to say my brethren, except that we should all go out, each and every day, being careful to do works that enhance the gospel of Christ, so that the heathen can see the true beauty in living for Christ and want to come to Him. It’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but good works cost something…Christians should be prepared to pay that cost…  

P.S. I know it’s long, but God’s word is worth it. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

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