Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2018 2 Corinthians 6:16.

Corinthians 6:16.   And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
 

Hn, hn, hn! I have to laugh this Saturday morning yes mih people! Why? Because instead of telling you that it’s another wet morning in my neighbourhood, I have to tell you it’s a white and snowy morning. Chuh!

Yes indeed, that white powdery stuff called snow, the enemy of mankind, (smile) is on the ground, on the rooftops…everywhere and everything that’s uncovered is just covered in white! (smile) 

Granted, it’s not a whole lot, but any snow at all is too much! And would you believe that the sun is shining brightly out there? Hn, hn, hn! I have to laugh again, because that’s possibly the second time I’ve seen it shine so brightly in the last couple of weeks.

But that’s life in the northern climes! Let’s just hope that this morning isn’t a prelude to a real snowy winter. And if so, we’ll just have to deal with it as best we can, with the Lord’s help of course. Amen! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he sent us a full slate of them this week, all very plausible.

So here goes: ‘Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.’ Ah friends, is that ever so important, especially for believers in Jesus Christ. We can’t just talk the talk, we have to even more importantly, walk the walk. 

And that segues quite nicely into the next quote, or the next quote segues quite nicely into that one. (smile) ‘My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.’ And that’s called living life by example!

And hopefully it’s a good example. Because as they say, ‘examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts.’ Yes my brethren, we often learn much better and quicker when we see the words in action, rather than just spoken. 

And I have to laugh here again, because, if I remember correctly, that quote about examples and precepts comes from a book titled ‘Joseph Andrews’ that I read in High School some fifty something years ago. But it has always stuck in my consciousness. That just goes to show the awesome power of the mind. 

And let’s sincerely hope that the children of today can say that their fathers were good examples. I know that I’ve been found badly wanting in some areas, but overall, I might get a passing grade. (smile)

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Greatness: There is nothing great about being better than somebody else. True greatness is achieved by being better than your normal self…yesterday, last month, last year, last failure and last success.’ 

And that’s basically true! Being better than somebody else is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially in Jesus’ economy. Remember what He said to the disciples when they were disputing about the greatest amongst them?

‘And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35) Yes friends, in Jesus’ kingdom, whoever wants to be first, must first understand the humility in being last and the servant of others! 

And the penultimate quote says: ‘The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.’ No disputing that friends!

As long as we are alive, again as believers in Christ, we are expected to grow and learn each and every day, and take everything in stride. As it says, ‘do what’s right,’ live obediently according to Jesus’ dictates. But please be careful about living in the moment, for we can overdo it. We have to give some thought to the future. 

And the last quote simply says: ‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Your body is the only one you have, and will ever have, and it goes with you everywhere, so you need to take very good care of it, if you want it to last a long time. Unfortunately though, too many of us abuse our bodies with riotous and licentious living, bad food, lack of sleep etc. 

And to make matters even worse, we don’t take the words of our Bit seriously. ‘And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; And I will be there God, and they shall be my people.’

Yes my fellow believers, if the Holy Spirit of God indwells us, then it follows logically that God lives within us, and wherever the Lord is it’s a holy and divine place, and therefore needs to be taken good care of. 

Thus Bruh Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah (52:11) as he continues after our Bit. ‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord.’ (2 Cor.6:17-18) 

That last verse is a combination of 2 Sam.7:14 and Jer.31:1,9. Bruh Paul always tried to use Old Testament scripture to back up His New Testament declarations, because unlike some current theories, the New does not negate the Old, it just backs it up and explains it further. 

However friends, the long and short of the story is that Christians ought to live holy lives, lives that reflect the true nature of God, who saved us and caused His Holy Spirit to dwell within us as a guide and leader. Therefore we need to separate ourselves from ‘actions, influences, or people that will contaminate us,’ and live by biblical principles and standards. Amen! Much LOVE!

…defile not the temple of God…both physically and spiritually…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Here we go again friends, getting up to go and labour on a Monday morning; a rather chilly one in the northern climes, with a brisk wind blowing to liven it up. (smile) As Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) would say: ‘Lively up yourself and don’t be no drag…’ 

Yeh mih people, unfortunately we’ve got to get a move on if we want to survive, much less get ahead in this evil and cruel world. And to help inspire us, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster. 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, when we’re dressed in the Lord’s spiritual armour, we are invincible. So with the adrenaline raised by the valiant proclamation of our Battle Hymn (smile) let’s get a move on nuh, get into the world and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name, for that is what we were created to do. Being a Christian is not easy, because you have to undergo tests, trials and tribulation, to build your faith, so you can grow and be promoted in God’s kingdom. And the fact that a large proportion of the world will be against you for just being a follower of Jesus, makes it even more difficult. 

But listen to these amazing, astounding, reassuring and comforting words of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, High Priest and heavenly Advocate; Jesus Christ, as He declares in our Bit. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye  shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Wow friends! What an earth shattering statement! And there was no hesitation or doubt in Jesus’ voice when He said it. He was one hundred and ten percent sure of what He was saying. That means that we too can be one hundred and ten percent sure of all that He said. He opened His heart to the disciples and consequently to us, to give us His peace that’s like no other peace; the one that passes all human understanding. And though He knows that tribulation will be our lot in life, He assures us to be of good cheer. 

And some of us will sneer at that statement, complaining that those two things are mutually exclusive. Not if you are a follower of Christ, because He has overcome the world and all the tribulation therein. Therefore, with His help, we can handle anything that comes against us. Please remember that my people. With God and us working in tandem, we are a majority, capable of defeating anything and anyone that dares to challenge us.

Remember that verse from Philippians? ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) Well that’s the gospel truth friends! But you have to believe it, have the faith to put it into action. And though I’ve recently quoted these upcoming verses to you my brethren, I believe I have to quote them again because they are so relevant to our Bit, and the more often we hear them, the deeper they will sink into our consciousness. (smile)  

Hear Bruh Paul elucidate and expound to the Roman church nuh. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers, until we all feel that way, espouse that same conviction, we won’t be able to reach the heights of service that the Lord has planned for us. The workers of iniquity sincerely believe in their cause, and are more than willing to fight for it. Christians also need to sincerely believe and be willing to fight for our righteous cause, if we want to defeat them. 

Oh my brethren, the long and short of the story then is; if we want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to succeed, then we have to come together as ONE, and fight our battles as ONE, in Jesus name. There is no middle ground. Much LOVE!

…Christ died that His church should be united…not divided…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2017 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Well friends, that white stuff looks like it’s here to stay for a while yes! Steups! And more is forecasted to fall over the next couple of days. Brother! So the folks who so desire might get their white Christmas after all. Good for them! 

The rest of us will simply have to suffer in silence, (smile) because that’s just the way it is: if you live in the northern climes, then you can expect snow in the wintertime. 

But somehow you never seem to get accustomed to it. And in any case, we’re lucky or blessed, because with the effects of climate change, we don’t get half as much snow now as we used to get when I first came here forty something years ago. 

Oh how sweet it would be to be lying in the sun on the warm beaches of God’s li’l Acre, Tobago! But right now that’s just a dream for the future. You can’t allow those dreams to die though. (smile) 

Now, since it’s Saturday, -and several different kinds of hot, nourishing soup are being concocted up Calder Hall Road in Tobago – Oh just smell the beautiful, mouthwatering aroma nuh! Dreams friends, dreams; without them we’re just empty vessels. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this week. Listen to this first one: ‘Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.’ Yeh mih people, what we do today is important, because that sets the tone for our tomorrows. If you want to have good, productive tomorrows, you have to begin by having good, productive todays. 

And remember that ‘All things are difficult before they are easy.’ Well I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘all,’ but certainly many things begin with such difficulty that unless we’re strong, focused and truly committed, we’re likely to give up before we really get started. 

But here’s a li’l secret: ‘When life gets blurry Adjust your focus.’ Ah mih breddren, unfortunately life is getting very blurry these days, and there is only so much focus to adjust. Only if you are focused on Jesus can you have enough leeway for proper adjustment. 

Another helpful hint is to ‘Start telling the universe what you want instead of what you don’t want.’ Yeh more positive talking and thinking will certainly be of more benefit than dwelling on the negatives of life. And finally, remember this: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ 

Oh friends, you’ll be surprised at how much our attitude controls our life, especially in our Christian faith. Sour attitudes simply suck! They turn others off and away. On the other hand, a good, positive, pleasant attitude draws people to you and encourages them to either help you, or be helped themselves. 

It’s like the saying you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And that’s definitely the kind of attitude we need this Christmas season of peace, LOVE and good cheer, because that’s what Christ came to spread amongst us angry, evil, warmongering humans. Yeh friends, Jesus did come to save us, but that salvation is not automatic. We need to first turn to Him and accept Him before we can find salvation. 

Listen to the Lord’s promise to the children of Israel during their time of captivity, which in the first place happened because of their gross disobedience. ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place (Jerusalem). 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:10-12) 

It’s the same basic idea and promise God held out to Jews and Gentiles alike when He sent His only Son Jesus into the world to save it. Jesus made that very clear several times. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…’ (Luke 9:56) 

Oh my people, Jesus came as a Saviour, not a destroyer. However, like any other offer, His is also dependent on acceptance. Saving grace, salvation doesn’t just fall on everyone like a blanket. No, we have to come to Jesus and consciously accept His offer of salvation. 

Like the Lord said through Jeremiah: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yes friends, salvation and eternal life have been guaranteed to us through the sinless sacrifice of Jesus’ life, but we have to go seeking it diligently and sincerely in and through the Lord. Until we come to Him and confess our sins with a humble heart, salvation will elude us. 

The important thing my brethren, is truly searching and seeking out God because we can’t handle our sinful life any longer and we need the forgiveness, the mercy, the grace, the comfort and LOVE that only He can provide. 

So this Christmas season, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, I implore us to sincerely seek out the Lord and let Him give us all that He’s promised to those who diligently search for Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…anything worthwhile is worth seeking…and nothing’s more worthwhile…than the saving grace of Jesus…so please be wise…and seek it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. 

The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2016 Proverbs 3:5-6.

Proverbs 3:5-6.    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths.

Well friends, it’s the first Saturday in the northern climes fall season.  So what is it to you eh, you ask? Well if you’re living in a tropical climate, then it means zero, zilch (smile). But if your abode is in the north country, then you have to start taking out jackets, sweaters, long pants, and long johns for some, and put away the skimpy tops and shorts till next summer. 

The thing that annoys me about autumn though is that sometimes the days look so bright and warm and sunny, and you go out dressed for such, but as soon as the sun begins to set, the cold weather creeps in, and you find yourself not suitably dressed for it. And yet, many of us still flaunt the macho image by being not properly dressed in those in-between times. 

That’s why so many people get sick around this time. Anyway, to each his own, and as the man said, if you don’t pay me now, you’re going to pay me much more later on, when things like arthritis begin to take their toll. It’s just like Christians who don’t do what they are supposed to, and pay a hefty price later on. (smile) 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And the first one is certainly good advice. ‘Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.  Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.  Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.’ 

Yes friends, we should not dwell on the negatives in our lives, but we must learn from them and then move on to the bright future that lies ahead, gloriously waiting for us, as we follow Jesus. 

And the second one is ever so true. ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ 

Gospel truth mih people, and I can testify to that on a small level. But you’ll notice the numerous hangers’ ons, the large entourages that travel around with the reigning celebrities in good times. However, when the rough times come, a lot of it from spending lavishly on those same leeches and parasites, they simply disappear and look for another sucker.  

And the best way to prevent such shenanigans is by paying heed to our Bit. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths.’ 

Ah friends, truer words were never spoken, or better advice ever given! 

Hear how the scholars explain it nuh.  ‘3:5-6. Three commands are given: trust, meaning “rely on, depend on”; lean not, meaning do not depend on your own native instincts; and acknowledge him, meaning have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life. The result of such devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.’ 

It makes perfect sense my brethren! God is the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Creator of the universe and He controls every aspect of it, so He is obviously the best person to get into partnership and fellowship with, if we truly want to be successful. 

Now one thing is for sure, He will not forsake you when times get rough and you have to ride the bus rather than preen in the limousine. He will be right there riding the bus beside you. That’s the kind of God we worship my people; faithful and trustworthy to the very end! 

And listen to how Cousin Sol continues after our Bit. ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.3:7-8)  

More wonderful words of wisdom my fellow believers! Unfortunately though, we can give others the best advice possible, but it’s still their decision to act on it or not. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. The same goes for human beings, especially in these godless and ever so lustful and sinful times! 

And then again, sometimes we try it, but don’t get the results we want, or they don’t come as quickly as we desire, so we lose faith. But if we pay serious attention to Bruh David’s words from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked – we’ll see that after he says: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).’ He then specifies: ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps.37:3-4) 

Yuh see friends, we need to take pleasure in being obedient to God, before we can get the desires of our hearts. The Lord doesn’t just give out desires for no good reason; we first have to invest time, energy, trust and faithfulness in the relationship. Another thing we need is patience, here considered perseverance. 

Bruh David ends Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation thus: ‘Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:14) Notice how he emphasizes waiting, both at the beginning and at the end of that wonderful encouraging and uplifting verse. 

Ah friends, impatience is one of the serious mistakes we make as Christians. We want to apply the now for now system of the world, but that is not God’s way. He will give us all we desire, but in His own time and in His own way. And until we learn to wait patiently on Him, while keeping a good attitude and being obedient, we’ll never fully attain the great plans He has for our lives. 

More on this tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may He bless and keep us safely, and cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us, and give us His peace which surpasses all understanding. That’s my prayer for us this day. Much LOVE!

…only as we obey…trust in…give thanks…delight in…and are faithful to Almighty God…will our lives be truly blessed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2016 John 6:48‏‏‏

John 6:48.    I am that bread of life.

HAPPY  CANADA  DAY !

Happy 149th Birthday Canada! May the Lord bless and keep you strong and godly that you might see another 149 birthdays! Amen! 

And though you may have recently declined in some respects, you are still the best big country in the world! And I believe that with my whole heart. I don’t want to live in any other big country. I have spent more than half of my life here, and obviously there have been some rough times, like there are everywhere, but you’ve never mistreated me. 

And the truth is, if you can make it in the northern climes, you can make it anywhere in the world. It hardens and toughens you up, gives you belly and backbone, which so many of us sadly lack in these trying times. 

And without a doubt, the populace, at least the working populace is overjoyed that today is Friday and also a holiday, so there’s been much shouting and carrying on re ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday and this long weekend! The partying will be terrific! Lots of food and drink! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! (smile) Now to help us correct the overblown idea of the weekend being the time for excessive partying, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which offers us a much better perspective. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes friends, our lives would be much richer if we’d use that template for our weekend behaviour. Oh, and by the way, I’d be rather remiss if I didn’t throw in Granny’s wise advice for this long weekend. ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, please, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And better advice than that could not be given my people, for ole Lucifer is always sneakily trawling around, seeking a soft or unprotected spot in our spiritual armour to jump in and cause havoc. So please let’s not give him any chances during our celebrations this weekend nuh. 

And if you think things will be humming up here this weekend, just think about what the U.S. will be like as they celebrate their 4th of July Independence Day on Monday. Mama yo! The whole of North America will be jumping this weekend, and Beelzebub and his evil cronies will certainly be busy too! 

But if we just keep our wits about us, we’ll be fine, since the enemy has no power over believers in Jesus Christ unless we allow him to. 

Now let’s address our Bit; the same one of the past couple days. ‘I am that bread of life.’ 

Christ while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, had been trying to explain to His listeners who He was and His purpose here on earth. But they were most likely more concerned with physical bread to fill their stomachs than the spiritual kind that Jesus was referring to. 

Just before our Bit, He declares unto them: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ (John 6:47-51) 

What a wonderful invitation and promise my people! Do you want to live forever? Then eat the bread of eternal life that Jesus offers! It’s that simple. 

Today it might be for us, because we know the scriptures, but back then it was a tough thing for the people to imagine much less understand. And the Good Book tells us: ‘The Jews therefore strove (disputed) among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ (John 6:52) They didn’t realize that Jesus was speaking figuratively, rather than literally. 

‘Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat (food) indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by (because of) me. This is that bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.’ (John 6:53-58) 

Now imagine talking about eating your flesh and drinking your blood to any group of people at all, much less one forbidden to drink blood? (Lev.7:26-27) Obviously they were stunned and couldn’t fathom His speech. 

But friends, today, we know that Jesus was talking figuratively, meaning the Eucharist that we now celebrate. The bread represents His flesh and the wine His blood. So technically speaking, we have no excuses for not living forever, having eternal life, if we so desire. Unfortunately, many of us refuse it, but the wise choose it, because it is the word of God, the truth. 

Friends, I do hope that you are amongst that group of wise people who chose Jesus’ offer of eternal life, for that is the wisdom of all wisdom! Much LOVE!

…to refuse the Son of man’s offer of eternal life…is like committing suicide…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2016 Exodus 33:14

Exodus 33:14.   And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Awright my fellow believers, it’s the first day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means we need to be making our way to church at some stage of the day, to praise and worship and rejoice and fellowship with other believers. Now that’s not my directive, but our God’s.  (Ex.20:8-11) 

So if we want to be truly obedient then we will gladly do His will and don’t behave like it’s pulling teeth, like we’re being forced to go, and if we don’t, hellfire and brimstone might fall down on us. Now it just might… (smile)  

But please remember friends, this is for our good, not for God’s. He already has all He wants, and whether we praise and worship Him or not, will not change His situation, but it will surely change ours. 

So let’s stop being, stubborn, hardhearted and foolish and get ourselves to the Lord’s sanctuary, so that we can receive His blessings, mercy, encouragement, LOVE and revitalization to face tomorrow and the rest of the week strong and steadfast. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! All power and glory be unto Him!’ 

Ah mih people, what’s happening to our faith today eh? There seems to be more churches of different denominations, or no denomination, than ever before, but overall the total number of worshippers doesn’t seem to be increasing that much. What seems to be happening is that believers are leaving one church for another, so while some churches are packed to capacity, others are almost empty, especially of the youth of our society. 

It also seems that the youth of today can’t handle the staid, dirge-like, old fashioned worship of the established churches, and when they do go to church are opting for the more modern, new-fangled style of worship. Now that is something the established churches will have to figure out if they intend to survive this boomer generation. They’ll definitely have to invoke God’s wisdom and discernment to fix that problem. 

But enough preamble, let’s turn to our Bit. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ 

Oh friends, whenever we sincerely seek the Lord and diligently try to be obedient to His will, His presence surrounds us like a warm, protective blanket in the heart of winter. Hn! Many of us could use one of those blankets right about now, as the cold weather refuses to depart in peace from the northern climes. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to some scripture to corroborate the words of our Bit. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing – after Nathan the prophet had draped him up for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. 

He cries out to God for mercy and cleansing, admitting his sin: ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:7-13) 

Oh precious people, can you imagine the state Bruh David must have been in when he realized that God had marked his selfish and foolish abominations, after He had been so good and generous to him. Note his words in verse 11: ‘Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.’ He knew how essential it was to be in God’s presence, with His Holy Spirit leading him. Without those two things, he might as well be dead.  

And on a more current and sadder note, I recently read in the newspapers about Glen Campbell’s losing fight with Alzheimer’s disease. We all remember him from his hit making days, with songs like ‘Rhinestone Cowboy, By the time I get to Phoenix,’ and my personal favourite ‘Gentle on my mind.’ 

Now, at age 79, he’s living in a memory care community in Nashville, apparently not even able to play the guitar anymore. How sad. But his wife Kim had this to say: ‘Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God. 

There have been times when he’d walk over to the window and look at the beautiful trees outside, and he’d just raise his hands and say, “Thank you, heavenly father.” He could barely speak at all, but he could come up with “We’re so blessed,” or “Thank you heavenly father.” 

That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone, even if I’m not right next to him.’ 

And all God’s people said, ‘Amen.’ 

Let’s hope and pray friends, that any of us who head down that sad and lonely road, will also feel the comforting presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, even though we can’t put it into words. 

Now let’s end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. And every time I read the words or hear it spoken, I remember the most memorable reading of it I’ve ever heard, that by Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) one day from the Crystal Cathedral. The way he acted it out, it got stuck in my mind forever. 

Listen to these most appropriate words. ‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover (fall on, hide) me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps.139:7-12) 

And all of that is gospel truth friends! We can’t run nor hide from God, even if we are foolish enough to try. So please, today, let’s go about obediently doing His will nuh, for it’s in our best interest to do so. Much LOVE!

…to be eternally in God’s awesome presence…is why we were created…

 

 

Previous Older Entries