Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2018 1 Corinthians 12:14.

1 Corinthians 12:14.   For the body is not one member, but many.

Ah friends, how nice it is to get a spring-like break amidst the bone-chilling cold of winter that’s been dogging us for some time now! And this past week has certainly been like that in my area. The temps have mainly been above freezing and it might even continue like that for the next couple of days. 

But I guess you can’t get the good without the bad, for though it’s been warm, it’s been rainy and cloudy, with flooding in several areas. More rain and flooding are expected this weekend across the U.S. South and Midwest. But I’ll take the rain and whatever, over the snow any day. (smile) That’s possibly because I’m not personally experiencing any flooding. Let’s pray for those who are undergoing that kind of disaster right now my brethren. 

And since today is Saturday, it’s time to look at some of the quotes our friend, Anselm, sent us this week, in his heartfelt attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one says: ‘You can’t knock on opportunity’s door and not be ready.’ That should be obvious. Why would you be seeking an opportunity if you were not ready and able to undertake it eh? But unfortunately, a lot of us misguidedly do it. 

And the second tells us: ‘Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.’ What glorious truth that is my people! You’re never really defeated until YOU decide to give up! How can you be defeated if you keep on fighting, keep coming back again and again eh? 

And that philosophy applies ever so much to Christians, because in our Lord and Saviour’s vocabulary there is NO GIVING UP! Why should there be, when ALL THINGS are possible through Christ? That’s a very significant aspect of the believer’s walk with God, and his ability to grow in Christ’s image. If you don’t believe that, then you’re lost from the very start. 

Now listen to this quote. ‘Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.’ Now I don’t know if you need to look so far ahead – possibly take it in smaller increments – but you do need to decide what you’re going to be all about later on in life, so that you can do the stuff that’s necessary to get you there. 

However, with the believer, it’s a li’l different. We need to discover God’s calling for our lives, so that we can walk successfully in His will. Yuh see, what we might like to do in the world, is not always what the Lord wants us to do. And as a faithful believer and follower, it behooves us to find God’s purpose and follow it as closely as possible. 

And the last quote says: ‘Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners.’ And that’s oh so true! You can’t really enjoy success if you’ve achieved it all by yourself. Success is meant to be enjoyed with others. 

In the first place, you will very seldom achieve success if you don’t surround yourself with positive, successful thinking people. That’s why there are clichés like ‘no man is an island’ and  ‘you can’t go it alone.’ 

And Bruh Paul took pains to point out that the church of Christ is one body, though it’s made up of individuals, hence his writing to the church at Corinth that includes our Bit. ‘For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slave) or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.’ (1 Cor.12:12-14) 

Yeh friends, believers are all a part of ONE BODY; that of Christ; of His Church! Regardless of colour, creed or race, once you receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you are baptized with His Spirit that immediately comes to dwell in you, and you become a part of that big body called Christ’s Church. 

As Bruh Paul philosophizes to the church at Rome. ‘For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another.’ (Rom.12:4-5) 

Ah mih people, in every organization the members have different functions and duties, which holds that organization together. If those members don’t perform their functions in a serious and positive manner, then the organization won’t last long. It’s the same way with Christ’s church. If we, as members, don’t play our individual parts, then the body won’t function as it should. 

And that’s exactly what’s happening in Christ’s church right now. There is too much anger and resentment, too many power struggles and cliques, too much dissension and disunity, too much diversion from the original gospel, with people preaching all sorts of different things and filtering in new interpretations as dictated by the world. How can Christ’s church be successful under those conditions eh? NEVER! 

That’s why Lucifer and his evil cohorts currently have the world in a stranglehold; they are united, but Christ’s people are not. Yes my fellow believers, until we stop talking and fighting against each other and come together as one, evil will rule the world. Now let’s sit down and ponder that. Is that what we truly want? Much LOVE!

…unity and solidarity should not be mere words in Christ’s church… 

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit. It’s Saturday, so I slept in. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2016 James 2:14

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 

 

Well my people, it’s the first Sunday in the New Year, and still the Christmas season, so I expect all the churches to be filled to capacity today with believers to give thanks and praise to our most wonderful God for causing us to see not only a new day, but also a brand new year charged with unlimited possibilities. 

And I included that reminder about the Christmas season for those who only go to church at Christmas and Easter.  (smile) Now, for the life of me, I just can’t figure out why supposed Christians do that. Church was meant to be a fairly regular occurrence, not once in a while, mostly at the high times of our faith. 

To my mind, if you can’t go more often than that, then why go at all eh? What does that do for you and the other people in the church eh? Nothing at all, as far as I can see! 

So you claim to your friends and family, you went to church at Christmas and Easter. Big deal! That doesn’t cut it my fellow believers. And I’m sure that’s not what Jesus expects. 

You’ll notice that wherever He was on the Sabbath, He always found Himself in the synagogue participating in the services. That’s what He also expects of us; not a wishy-washy, once in a blue moon, stick your face inside the doors of the church. Remember the church is supposed to be the body of Christ, and how can it be a properly functioning body when so many members only show up occasionally? 

Friends, no man is an island, especially a Christian in this evil and godless world. You cannot make it successfully on your lonesome; you need the help, encouragement, sentiments of praise and worship, of exhortation and teaching, and the steadfast faith from which a gathering of like believers emanates! 

That reminds me of an old adage, re those who seldom go to church.  Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact saying, but they are words to the effect that the church and its doors would crumble, would fall down when the occasional goers show up. 

Anyway my people, since we have designated and dedicated 2016 as the year of HOPE and the astronomical rise of Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, it’s therefore necessary that we sincerely come together under the umbrella of the church and decrease all the divisions and dissensions that are rife and rampant within that supposedly august body. 

Now here are some quotes from our friend Anselm, who is always trying to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one is very appropriate for this season. It says: ‘Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.’ And do we ever need those attributes in these stressful and dangerous times! 

The next quote from Anselm declares: ‘If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.’  

Now I don’t know if that is the greatest of all blessings, but it sure is an important, indispensable teaching which builds confidence and chutzpah in our offspring. 

And the last quote segues nicely into this final one. ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that is the gospel truth friends! If we don’t have the courage to take risks, sensible ones now, (smile) we will never accomplish anything worthwhile. 

And that’s exactly what is happening to Christ’s church in these modern times. Too many of us are afraid, or just too sedentary to step up and do what needs to be done to further God’s kingdom down here on earth. And yes, many of us talk a good talk, but we need to remember that Christianity is an ACTION movement, and without deeds to back up the talk, it’s all useless. 

That brings us to our Bit, where James talks about faith that works. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Now that is certainly an interesting question my people.  And James continues his theory with this explanation. ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:15-18)  

Ah friends, the scholars have some interesting but long explanations here, though time and space might not allow me to copy it verbatim, but I believe it’s important enough to try. 

‘2:14-17. Can faith save him? This statement and others in verses 14-26 persuade some critics that James is teaching salvation through faith and works. Luther called this epistle “strawy,” believing it emphasized works too much. Today, some regard it as a late writing in which the author is reacting to Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith alone. This is not the case. 

James’ teachings reflect neither a negative nor a positive response to Paul’s teachings. For Paul, faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5) For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post-conversion works. 

Before salvation, these Jews had believed in the efficacy of works. Now some were reacting at the opposite extreme, imagining that works play no part in the salvation experience. James retorts that the kind of faith that does not produce works is not saving faith. As Calvin said: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.”  

Thus James’ question is not simply “Can faith save?” but as the Greek text may suggest, “Can that faith save him?” Can merely professed but undemonstrated faith save?  (See vv.21-24 for further discussion.) The Greek grammar expects a negative answer to the question that ends verse 14. Hence it can be rendered, “That faith (i.e. the one mentioned in verse 14a which is without works) cannot save.’ 

Ah mih people some interesting stuff for us to ponder on this first Sunday in the New Year. And the Lord in favour, we’ll continue this discussion tomorrow. Till then, please let’s darken the doors of our churches and get our New Year’s resolution to follow Jesus more closely into full swing nuh. For that’s wisdom of everlasting and eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…faith and works…one saves…the other complements it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2015 Psalm 97:7

Psalm 97:7.    Confounded be all they that (let all be put to shame who) serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Welcome my fellow believers to the first and best day of the week; Sunday! Two decades ago it was primarily a day of rest with mostly church going and family gatherings. But unfortunately the busyness and supposed advancement of life intervened and now almost everything is open 24/7. 

Obviously that has detracted from those things we once held sacred on a Sunday. However, that doesn’t mean that church attendance, rest and family gatherings are any less important now, perhaps they are even more important because there is less time and opportunity for us to engage in them with a lot of people on different work schedules. 

And worshipping Almighty God as a body of believers, Christ’s Church, is still of the utmost importance in our Christian faith. For it is where we get together to sing and praise the Lord, read the Good Book, hear it explained, and thus boost our spiritual selves, and consequently leave the house of worship renewed and reinvigorated in bodies, souls and minds to face another week of backbreaking and mind boggling labour. (smile) 

Again we might consider fellowshipping even more important now, because of the many more activities that vie for our time, and it’s so easy to put off that renewal of spiritual self in favour of some other worldlier pastime.  But Friends, as I keep reminding us, that is not a very wise decision, for basically how you spend your Sundays, that’s how your work week will bottom out. 

Why do you think the psalmist encourages us thus: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care).’ (Ps.95:6-7) 

Oh Friends, when we sincerely get together and worship the Lord our God, worthwhile emotions like peace, joy, togetherness and LOVE fill our souls. Then that enables us to put on the mind of Christ, to LOVE the Lord and reach out to others in need. 

And our Bit seriously warns us: ‘Confounded be all they that (let all be put to shame who) serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.’ 

And shame is putting it rather mildly my brethren, for listen to what the Lord said long ago, when He gave the children of Israel the Ten Commandments. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before (but) me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (worship them), nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting (punishing) the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands that LOVE me, and keep my commandments.’ (Ex.20:3-6) 

And having heard all of that Friends, I don’t see how we can now blithely hold the things of the world more important than our great God. And furthermore, the Lord thought it important enough to remind the Israelites, and us to ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, not thy maidservant, nor thy cattle; nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 

For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Now we won’t get into any divisive arguments about which day is truly the Sabbath day because that in no way furthers God’s kingdom, but suffice it to say that we must give one day each week to God. So whatever day our denomination chooses to worship Jehovah God, then we should be present to participate in the praise and thanksgiving and fellowshipping. 

You’ll notice too that Jesus considered it very important to attend the synagogue, and wherever He was on the Sabbath day, He made it a practice to faithfully attend. So if Jesus believed it necessary to go and worship the Father, who are we not to think it important eh? Ah mih people, I don’t know why it’s so difficult to get supposed Christians to go to church nuh, when it is required of their faith. 

One recently told me that they don’t need to go to church to have a personal relationship with Christ, and that is perfectly true. But Christ also said that He wants his followers to gather together as one body, His church, where fellowship would be paramount. 

No man is an island, and can’t live by himself, but needs other humans around him. Likewise, no Christian can live unto himself, but needs others of like faith and belief to help him walk the long and oftimes lonely and difficult road that is this earthly pilgrimage.  

Oh Friends, I’m pleading with us this Sunday morning to return to worshipping Almighty God in His sanctuary in numbers like we used to do. It is a requirement of God and our faith, and we each need it, the benefits are very worthwhile. 

So please let’s put God first in our thoughts this morning, and let it take us to His house, along with our children, so that we can sing and dance and praise and worship our wonderful Lord and Creator. That is what He desires of us, He says it in His word.  And it also signifies wisdom on our part, wisdom of the highest degree. Much LOVE!

…one can’t truly live for Jesus…if one is not a sincere member of His body…His church…and gather regularly with other believers in praise and worship…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2015 Psalm 40:9

Psalm 40:9.     I have preached righteousness (proclaimed the good news of righteousness) in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained (restrained) my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.

Well hello there you beautiful believers in Jesus Christ! How goes it this Sunday morning in mid-April eh? I hope that it meets you all safe and sound, and also up and about, preparing to go to church and praise and worship our wonderful God with other believers. For you know that’s the number one priority of a Christian on a Sunday morning.

Our God both desires and expects it of us, because He is always there ready to shower down blessings, mercy and forgiveness on us, whenever we gather to worship Him in sincerity and truth. That means that though you may have a personal relationship with Christ, that is not sufficient, you still need to meet with other believers in fellowship, to strengthen your bonds in Christ and to encourage, comfort and edify each other.

That’s why Jesus and Bruh Paul talk about His body, the church. It resembles the human body because it is made up of different parts, but all come together to form one body. No one part can’t do it all by itself. Just like no man is an island, likewise, no Christian is capable of doing it all himself.

And if by chance you’re physically unable to get to a sanctuary, then turn on your radio or your TV, find a church program and let the powerful and ever-faithful Word of God filter into your heart through your ears. That’s why He gave us two ears and only one mouth; so that we can listen more than we talk. (smile)

Remember too the fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Romans:  ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ (Rom.10:17) 

And the scholars offer this important explanation. ’10:17. The word of God: Better, “the word of Christ.”  The reference here is to the oral communication of the gospel. Note that it is not faith in what is heard, but faith that comes about by what is heard. This is what Paul meant in 1:16 when he said the gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.”  

Saving faith is not man doing his part in response to God’s having done His part (synergism). Saving faith can come about only through the gospel. Salvation is God’s work alone (monergism). This also shows that there is no other way to be saved but by the explicit gospel of Christ.’

Yes Friends, faith is born, and then grows in us when we hear the word communicated orally. And I guess I’ll have to spoon feed you all here because very few, if any of you will condescend to check out Romans 1:16, so you can better understand the scripture. So here it is. ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ (Rom.1:16)

Please remember my people that the Word of God is the most powerful force in the universe! For as the scholars tell us: ‘1:16. The power of God: The English words dynamite and dynamo are derived from the word “power.” If Paul were writing today he would probably speak of atomic power. The gospel is so powerful that it takes people all the way into heaven.

Every one that believeth: The basis of salvation is God’s gracious provision. (Rom.3:23-26) But the only means by which the sinner can appropriate this gift is faith (10:9-17) The gospel is the essential content of that faith. This is why Paul is so burdened to preach Christ to the world.’

Ah mih people, the power of the gospel of Christ is truly marvellous and miraculous! Without it, our faith would not exist; neither would we enjoy salvation, reconciliation and eternal life! Please keep that front and centre in our lives, as we make our pilgrim’s journey here on earth.

That bring us to our Bit, where Bruh David declares: ‘I have preached righteousness (proclaimed the good news of righteousness) in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained (restrained) my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.’

Yes my brethren, the same way Bruh Paul was enthused to preach the gospel of Christ, that’s exactly how Bruh David felt about God’s Word, and proclaimed it loudly to all and sundry! That job has now fallen to us Friends, but are we expressing it with the great awe, zeal and enthusiasm like we ought to? I doubt it very much. A lot of us are ashamed of Christ, are afraid to talk about Him openly, even to our friends and neighbours, but yet consider ourselves Christians, His followers.  

But that’s not good enough my people. Hear how Bruh David continues after our Bit. ‘I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy LOVING-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation.’ (Ps.40:10)

Now that is what all believers ought to be able to say, and until we each can say that truthfully, then we’re not doing God’s will as we ought! Many of us instead of broadcasting the gospel and salvation boldly and diligently, we selfishly hide it in our hearts.  But Friends, that good news was not meant to be kept a secret; it was meant to be broadcast to all the world.

Remember Jesus Great Commission to the disciples:  ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even to the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20).

Yes my brethren, that is what all faithful believers in Christ ought to be doing; telling others about His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary; which paid for our sins from now until eternity, plus the free gift of salvation offered to us through God’s grace, and the wonderful promise of eternal life!

Wow!  Oh my people, if you believe that you have all of that, how can you keep it to yourselves eh? It’s a travesty of justice! So please, starting today, right now, let’s up the ante nuh, let’s get more interested and zealous about the cause of Christ, and go out and gladly broadcast it to all the world, for that’s our bounden duty, as well as the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…the good news of Jesus’ gospel …should not be hidden under a bushel…but brightly exposed for all to see and hear…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2014 Isaiah 61:3

Isaiah 61:3.  To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
 

And the celebrations went on late into the night! (smile) Well they might very well have, just not at my place. In fact, there were no real celebrations in my yard yesterday. We more or less took Canada Day as a day of quietness and peace, doing stuff around the house that needed to be done. And though I did get to bed rather late, it was certainly not from celebrating.
 
However, when called upon to arise and get going this morning, the old body totally rebelled. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom sometime after three o’clock and telling the Lord it was way too early to get a move on, especially since I hadn’t been to bed too long before that. But the next time I opened my bleary eyes it was after six o’clock. Hn, hn!
 
Now I’m sure there are a few of us in that predicament on this morning after. (smile) It’s a good thing though that my boss is such an understanding, forgiving and merciful boss, and He won’t rage on me or dock my pay, as some of the earthly bosses will do to those who are late this morning, especially after what has been an extraordinary long weekend for some.
 
Praise the Lord! What a life eh Friends! But these things do happen, even in the best of families. (smile)
 
Anyway, the word from my almanac for today is ‘COLLABORATE.’  And that is a most important word in all aspects of life! For remember that since no man is an island, complete unto himself, we therefore need to collaborate with others to get things done and thus have a decent and fulfilling life.
 
And the quote for today comes from Mattie Stepanek – Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek (1990-2004) American poet, peacemaker and philosopher, who published six books of poetry, he called ‘Heartsongs.’
 
Yes I know he was only fourteen when he died, but apparently his family suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which took his life and that of three other siblings at rather tender ages. Just goes to show how much we can achieve and accomplish either when pushed by things like upcoming death, or we truly put our minds to it.
 
Anyway, Mattie tells us this morning that ‘Unity is strength…when there is collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.’
 
Wow mih breddren! What an awesome truth! And that from a young pup too! It’s true in ALL aspects of life!
 
But unfortunately, nowhere is it sadly lacking and badly needed more than in the earthly body of Christ Jesus! His church is much too fractured and divisive, with way too many different religions and denominations, all purportedly teaching and celebrating the same risen Christ.
 
Well if we’re all talking about the same Saviour, and telling the same story, then why are there so many divisions eh? There can be only ONE truth, so there should be only ONE message! I guess it just means that people are seeing the message differently, and thus telling it in different ways.
 
But Friends, what a beautiful explosion of Christianity there would be in this evil and ungodly world if the true and faithful brethren in Christ would concentrate on collaborating, in getting together, rather than falling apart into small cliques and divisions! Glory Hallelujah! The world would certainly stand up and take significant notice!
 
Please remember that Christ’s church is supposed to be ONE BODY, just like the Holy Trinity is ONE GOD!
 
Sadly though, at this juncture in our history, that cannot be said of Christ’s body, when we’re fighting so terribly and frightfully amongst ourselves. How can we expect to hear good tidings of salvation under those negative circumstances eh?
 
How can we expect the Lord ‘To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’
 
It just isn’t realistic my people. The Lord’s seeking teamwork and unity amongst His children. How can we be truthfully called ‘trees of righteousness’ and ‘the planting of the Lord’ when we’re so disjointed and divisive eh, when we’re allowing the things of the world to drive us apart, rather than enjoining the things of God to bring us together?
 
The prophet Jeremiah spells it out very clearly for us. ‘Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in (the strength of) man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath (a shrub) in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.’ (Jer.17:5-6)
 
Yes Friends, that’s one side of the equation. Now listen to the other half of it, then tell me which half makes more sense, which one is wiser to follow.
 
‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8)
 
Yes Friends, those are the two options available to us, and it’s plainly stated what will happen in each. And just in case we hold deceitful intentions, please note that we can’t try to cover up our dark secrets while looking good on the outside, as we can do with men, for Jeremiah continues with the Lord’s declaration.
 
‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick) who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (the mind, the most secret places), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (deeds).’ (Jer.17:9-10)
 
For sure my brethren, the Lord will judge each individual by his or her actions. So it’s up to each of us to choose the option we think best suits us. But let me add a word of wisdom here; (smile) option two wins the contest hands down!
 
Oh Friends, we can’t glorify our great and wonderful God by fighting amongst ourselves, so starting today, right now, let’s seriously concentrate on trusting the Most High God Jehovah nuh, and consequently live in unity and collaboration with each other, so that we can reap the blessedness that He has prepared for those who truly LOVE Him and seek to be obedient to His will.
 
It’s not all that difficult to do, and furthermore, it is truly the wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing…therefore choose life…that both thou and thy seed may live… (Deut.30:19)

 

 

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