Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2019 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   ​Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 
To all my Scrip-Bit friends and family, ‘beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!’ Yes fellow saints in Christ, may God’s grace and peace be with us this day, as we go out to do His will. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of Bruh Paul’s favourite greeting. ‘1:7. Called to be saints: This tells how they got to be saints, namely by way of God’s call. (cf. Rom.8:30) Grace is the typical Greek greeting, whereas peace is the traditional Hebrew greeting.’ 

So canny man that he was, Bruh Paul put the two together to make his own. And believe you me friends, we need both the grace and peace of God, everyday we awaken to the cacophony and evil that’s currently going on in our world, if we’re to ever make a move forward! They are the only things that will keep us steady and steadfast and allow us to manoeuvre successfully in this world. 

And what is grace you ask? It’s simply God’s unmerited favour! He gives us stuff that we don’t deserve; stuff to help us get through this life in His way, as we seek first His kingdom. Just like mercy is basically not receiving the punishment we truly deserve. Yeh, they are simple terms, but are they ever important and effective if we want to live a truly Christian life! 

And peace…Oh friends, that’s the most wonderful of all God’s valued gifts. For when there is peace in your soul and spirit nothing moves you, nothing disturbs your equilibrium! Even in the most dangerous and life threatening storms you are calm and unmoveable because you have that wonderful peace of Jesus within you! Wow! 

And what kind of peace are we talking about, what peace is that, that’s so powerful it can calm us even in the time of storm? Remember, He’s the man who literally calmed the storm! ‘Even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) Oh friends, there is ONLY one kind of peace that’s so powerful, and that is the peace we receive from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when we sincerely believe in and follow Him! 

And all His saints gratefully cried out: ‘Thank You Lord Jesus! Thank You for Your amazing peace so that we can handle this crazy, strife-filled, ungodly and evil world!’ And why is this peace so different from any other kind of peace? Because it comes from Jesus and it’s just different. Hear him tell it: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

Hello there mih breddren! Jesus’ peace is nothing like what the world offers, because He’s conquered the world and all it’s evil, and like a mighty conqueror gives his citizens peace after the war, so does Jesus give His peace when you come to Him in humble sincerity. Hear these winning words of His later on. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 1:33) 

Glory to God my people! Jesus, by His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, has indeed defeated hell, death and the grave and taken away the keys from the evil one. Therefore in that immortal victory, all of His followers can find a substantial peace, a peace that’s not available to anyone else, or from anywhere else! 

As Bruh Paul so appropriately declared (yeh!) to the Romans: ‘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.’ (Rom.8:35-38) 

Mama Yo! What powerful and reassuring scriptures my brethren! If we sincerely believe in Jesus then all the problems of the world will not separate us from His awesome, amazing and ever-so-wonderful LOVE! That’s the power that’s found in Him! And you see it in Bruh Paul’s own life. All the trials and tribulation he endured, didn’t turn him away from Christ! In fact it made him stronger! 

As he said so powerfully in his missive to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul wisely put his guilt from his earlier harassment of the church, as well as all his previous successes in building Christ’s church behind him, so that he could press on to the high calling of God, meaning there was still work to be done, and he could not afford to rest on his laurels. 

Oh my people, the same thing applies to us today. Please, let’s put all our guilt and whatever else behind us and press forward to the high calling that God has in store for each and every one of us! It’s time we took the bull by the horns and just moved forward as one, as one body, as Christ’s strong and immovable church! Amen! (smile) 

And with that stirring plea, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings, outlining some of the grace that our God has so plentifully bestowed on us as believers in His only Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In full voice, sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Glory be mih people! But please note the proviso in that bountiful display of grace: we are not to hoard it, but to share it generously with others, just like Christ shared it generously with us! Much LOVE!

…sailing in this life… with Jesus as your guide and pilot…NO storm can disturb your peace of mind…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

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

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well it’s a glorious Tuesday morning, and the world is unfolding as it should! Yeh friends, the Almighty is on His throne working things out for our good in His own inimitable style, purpose and time! And who can say Him nay eh? Nobody whatsoever! 

So let’s just say ‘Thank You Lord!’ and accept all that He hands us with simple faith and enormous trust nuh. Then we will walk through this turbulent and topsy-turvy world with the everlasting peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me, friends, there’s nothing better in this world that that! 

Currently, we do all sorts of stuff, spend money on all sorts of things to find peace, like vacations, shrinks, alcohol, retreats, pills, etc. etc. It’s amazing at the amount of time and money we spend these days trying to relieve stress and get peace of mind. Hn! 

And we might find some for a while in those dubious avenues. But since they depend mostly on cumstances, they obviously don’t last long, and once you get back into the milieu of life, all those stressors come back against you and break down your walls of peace again. It’s just a never-ending negative cycle. 

However my brethren, however, when we find peace in Jesus, the true peace, all those things are rendered obsolete and useless, because the peace that our Lord and Saviour offers is a whole different kind of situation. Listen to how He puts it to the disciples, and consequently to us, in our Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

What reassuring and confidence building words my people! The kind of peace that Jesus gives us is entirely different to the peace that we get from the world. His is a heavenly peace that doesn’t fluctuate in times of storm or times of calm. One is able to stay steadfast and strong through all of life’s unnerving and disastrous circumstances. 

Now wouldn’t you rather have that kind of unmovable peace than the unsatisfying kind we get from the world? Of course! But then you have to put your trust, surrender your life to Jesus to get it. 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes to the church at Philippi, the kind of peace we get when we let Jesus be the guiding beacon of our lives. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) Mama Mia! What a beautiful state of affairs mih breddren! 

And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and His ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so too the word ‘guard’ should be highly appreciated by us today, because in spite of the free society we supposedly live in, there are more guards, private and public, armed and unarmed than I believe we have ever experienced before in our type of society. Everybody seems to be fearful and guarded…everybody except true believers who have truly received the peace of Christ that passes all our human and finite understanding. 

Now none of what goes before means we should not be concerned or that fear won’t ever come upon us. It just means that we will be able to handle whatever comes against us with the wisdom, grace and help of God. We won’t always be in a tizzy at the slightest uneven part of our earthly journey. 

And we have Isaiah’s song of praise declaring it in spades: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) 

And what can be more soothing and reassuring than Bruh David’s immortal words that end Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8) That says it all friends: To find true peace, put your trust in Jesus! 

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

And we know the corollary to that is to action those words; truly go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…it deserves saying again…true peace can only be found…in Jesus…

P.S. And after reading the Bit, I’m chuckling here friends, because I just realized that it pertained to me a whole lot, was a kind of testimony of the way my life has gone in the last year and a half. What with all the sickness and otherwise and the growth in faith and patience. Oh, I’m still a work in progress, but a much quieter, peaceful, faithful and trusting work. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2017 Psalm 119:165.

Psalm 119:165.   Great peace have they which LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble).

Ah mih people, so early in the year we come upon a Friday the 13th, which causes many of us to get fearful, simply because of all the old-wives tales about the negative happenings that can occur on such a day. But that’s all they are friends, old-wives tales, so please don’t let them have any effect on us today. 

It didn’t seem to have any on the band of workers that appeared early this morning singing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! It’s the weekend once again! Though is only two days now…Chuh! All them nice long ones done come and gone now. 

But still the weekend is the weekend; no work and no massa looking over yuh shoulder. And best of all plenty eating and drinking and partying! Wow! Thank God for small mercies oui!’ 

Ah friends, although we’re in a new year, nothing has changed, the weekend is still looked upon as a time for hearty partying, which totally demeans its standing in our society and hides its true purpose. 

Instead, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a better perspective on the use of the weekend. In unison 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, that’s a more godly and sensible way to use our two measly days off from work, not simply delving into the depths of debauchery. (smile) 

And to add to it all, we have a rather interesting Bit for today. ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble). 

Now isn’t that rather inviting and promising? It surely is! If we LOVE the Lord’s word, then peace, no, great peace shall flow through our souls! Glory Hallelujah! 

Now who wouldn’t want that eh? The whole world is currently searching for peace, but unfortunately they are looking in all the wrong places, while the right place is before their very eyes – the Word of God. 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it in Proverbs, re exhortations to obedience. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov.3:1-2) 

Oh friends, why wouldn’t anybody in their right minds long for long life and peace eh, especially when all you have to do is to keep the Lord’s commandments? 

But I guess the majority of the world is not in their right minds, since they seem to abhor the keeping of God’s commands. And that’s exactly why the world is in its current state of immense turmoil and strife. 

Now listen to Isaiah from his hymn of praise. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) 

What a beautiful promise that is my people! If we keep our minds on God, He will sustain us in perfect peace. That means whatever is happening around us won’t detract from the peace we feel within. 

And I can testify to that, for when my mother unexpectedly died some years ago, while I was in California, I was upset and disappointed and all that, but nevertheless a certain calm, a certain peace reigned within my soul and I was able to handle the situation wisely. 

I can still remember those around me wondering how I was so calm, but that wasn’t my doing, my soul was simply flooded with God’s peace, and was I ever surprised by it. 

Listen to Isaiah again on the subject. ‘And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.’ (Is.32:17) 

Mama Mia! What an awesome promise from our awesome God! But how many of us know about it eh, or even choose to take it up? Not many enough! 

And we’ll close with this quote from Jesus Himself, the giver of all peace. He said it thus to the disciples. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Friends, if that doesn’t touch our hearts and wake us up, then I don’t know what else will. If the Prince of Peace offers you His peace, then that should close the deal right there and then. And please note, it’s an entirely different kind of peace to what the world has to offer. 

But mankind is so taken up with its own vain and futile self that we’re foolishly bypassing the very peace that we seek, and the consequences will be tragic if we continue to ignore the peace offered by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Please let that be warning to us. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…