Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     ​…for without me ye can do nothing.

And then it was Saturday; that lazy crazy day of the week, where we laze around doing nothing for much of it, then in the evening we hit the party trail! But I think that this Covid-19 business has put a spoke in our party wheel, (smile) and it has probably made us even lazier than usual. Yes my people, this 2020 is the year of change; a year of change like no other most of us has ever seen, and I believe 2021 will be just as chaotic and confusing. 

But enough with the predictions, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And as is his wont these days, he prefaces them with: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But let me remind us that we are all those things ONLY if we have Jesus Christ as the mainstay of our lives! And also, we won’t repeat that preface again. 

So here then is the first quote: ‘I have the power to create change.’ And that’s true to some extent, if we’re willing to invest the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make and create significant change. Now that change can be good or bad, big, or small, we still have to take time to make it, and unfortunately, in this modern era, too many of us want change but are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort to make it happen, because we are a society of whiners, complainers and entitled. 

And furthermore, especially when it comes to changing ourselves, it’s impossible for us to do it alone; we need the divine power of Jesus! Remember His immortal words? ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now if that doesn’t tell the whole story, then I don’t know what does! (smile) 

And the second quote says: ‘I’m doing my best and that is enough.’ Well we’re certainly glad to hear that! And it is in fact enough, because your best is the best that you can do, and that’s all Jesus asks of us. But I doubt that many of us are indeed doing our best, because if we were, our world would not be in such a terribly evil condition; filled with so much hate, envy, strife, poverty, sickness, inhumanity, economic depression and suppression, etc. etc. 

In a time of so much plenty, sadly, there is so much lack and want. So fellow believers, can we up the ante, and begin doing our best for Jesus, so that our world could be saved, be renewed, because that’s the only way it won’t sink into the mire of hell. 

Now hear this next quote: ‘I’m in charge of my life and no one will dictate my path besides me.’ Wow! What a boast! But generally speaking, it is true. In most cases we are the pilot of our good ship, me, myself and I. The problem though is do we have the right equipment to guide our lives in the right manner? That’s the million-dollar question. And unfortunately, the answer is that most of us don’t have the parts necessary for such a big and bold task. But we think we do…and the enemy, Satan, encourages us to believe we do. 

But let me remind us here of a small verse of scripture that the Lord our Creator and Maker and Provider and Controller, had the prophet Jeremiah say to his people Israel many moons ago when they were in captivity in Babylon. ‘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. 29:11) 

Yes friends, our great God has a powerful and great plan for each life He creates. He doesn’t just create vikey-vie, but with a sense of purpose. And the truth is, though He has given us free will to do as we generally please, we will not fulfil the extraordinary plan He has set out for us, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, unless, and until we turn to Him and His word, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, and follow His commandments to the best of our ability. That is until we make Almighty God our Number ONE Priority! 

So the long and short of the story is that we can indeed do all sorts of things in our own strength, but they will never amount to what we can do with Jesus as the Guide and Leader of our lives. And this last quote proves it even more forcefully. ‘I know exactly what to do to achieve success.’ And the wise ones amongst us indeed do! Here it is in spades, in black and white, straight from the horse’s mouth: 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any clearer than those immortal words the Lord said to Joshua when He made him Israel’s leader after the death of Moses! 

Reading God’s word, meditating on and studying it, then putting it into practice is the best and only way to achieve lasting success. The world may inveigle you to do other things and give you some of its corruptible wealth and power, which don’t last, and which you cannot take with you when your body returns to the dust from whence it was formed. 

However, the incorruptible wealth you amass when you sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His dictates, those my people, you can take with you to heaven, where you already have more treasure stored up through the goodness, from the magnanimity of our heavenly Father! So let’s remember that without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing. But with and through Him,ALLthings are possible, and He is the one who causes us to get wealth and true, everlasting success!Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would turn his back…on everlasting life through Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2020 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.     ​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).

Well today is the big day friends; the final day for voting in the U.S. Presidential elections! And believe me, the only thing that’s sure, is that there will be a host more problems than we currently have because of all the craziness and foolishness that’s brought us to this crucial and most critical point. But I guess that means the world is unfurling as it ought to, according to God’s plans. Yes friends, never forget that regardless of what happens in our evil and ungodly world, our great God Yahweh is still in control and He allows whatever he wants for His divine purpose, and no man can say him nay! Argument done! (smile) 

And furthermore, I sincerely believe that this poem titled ‘Master Artist’ from our One Year Bok of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin is very appropriate for uncertain and difficult times like these, and crazy, anxious days like this one. So please pray with me: ‘There are days, Lord Frightening and mysterious When You seem to splash across The canvas of my heart with wasted strokes – Like an amateur artist Carelessly mixing pigment. 

Frankly Your colours appear unblended Your strokes haphazard. Instead of design I see blobs of distortion. Today, Lord This very hour Dissolve my apprehension Renew my confidence Settle my conviction That You have planned The total design. Finally, Lord When the finished canvas Is luminously displayed Make this my song of affirmation: The pattern is perfectly clear.’ 

Oh mih bredrin, isn’t that the crazy, unblended, unplanned, helter-skelter pattern that so many of us are seeing as our lives today? But believe me, our great and wonderful God has not made us in a wishy-washy manner. He’s taken great pains to make us all different and unique individuals, so why wouldn’t He plan our lives and destinies properly too eh? Remember, He’s a diligent and excellent God! All He does has been perfectly planned to coincide with whatever divine purpose He has in mind. Nothing is ever left to chance in His realm, though it might ofttimes seem so. 

But please, please, let’s remember what the Good Book proclaims about our lives nuh; the Bible Promise for our poem and our Bit for today. ‘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. 29:11) Oh mih people, our God is not an evil God, but one of peace and LOVE, justice and mercy, righteousness and forgiveness! That’s why we can be assured that His plans for us are all for good and not evil. 

Remember how Bruh Paul put it to the saints at Rome? ‘And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Yes friends, if we are called to do God’s work, and we sincerely LOVE Him, then our lives will eventually work out for good, regardless of what trials and tribulations we might endure on this evil and sinful earth. That’s the Lord’s promise! And we know that He’s a faithful keeper of ALL His promises, never reneged on a single one yet, and never will, so there’s no need to doubt His awesome words of truth and promise! 

But that’s where our expectations, our heartfelt beliefs, our hopes and dreams, in other words, our faith comes in. Remember too, that in God’s economy we need to believe it before we see it. And if we don’t believe it first, most likely we’ll never see it. And the only way to build our faith to a level where we can accept God’s promises and Word without any doubt is by reading, by studying, by meditating on and by speaking His Word found in the Good Book! For as Jeremiah continues on the Lord’s behalf after our Bit. ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:12-13) 

Oh precious saints of Christ, that’s our problem right there in a nutshell: we haven’t been calling on the Lord, haven’t been praying sufficiently to Him, paying sufficient attention to His orders. And even when we have attempted to call on Him, our hearts have not been right, our motives have been false and selfish. And we all know that the Lord checks out our hearts before He considers answering our prayers. Remember too Jesus’ declaration of the greatest commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt. 22:37-38) 

So you see, mouth service just won’t do, if we’re truly interested in serving the Lord. ALL of our heart, soul, body and mind must be involved! Serving the Lord calls for TOTAL immersion of self, which we obviously haven’t’ been doing, and all these trials and tribulations are a wakeup call for us to turn back to him in a serious manner, with absolute conviction of His goodness and mercy, LOVE and forgiveness, justice and righteousness. That’s just the way He set it up, and if we don’t obey, then there will be consequences, for there are always consequences to disobedience. 

We’ve all seen and experienced that with our earthly fathers, so what yuh think will happen if we disobey our heavenly Father eh? Lollipops and ice-cream? No way Jose! That’s why Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) keeps reminding us that the best way to live this earthly life is to ‘obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him.’ We can’t go wrong with that wise and sensible approach friends. 

So for those of us who are sincerely and seriously trying to live like that, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and vociferously proclaiming who and whose we are. All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’  

Now let’s keep our vow and go out and action those words nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY true faith in God…will bring light to the darkness…and set the captive free… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2019 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.   ​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).
 

And then there’s the calm after the storm… But sometimes the aftermath of the storm is more dangerous than the storm itself, especially when it’s a Monday morning and you’ve got to crawl out of your hole, or from under your protective rock and make your way to work in cold, icy minus plenty degrees weather. Steups! 

After being in your warm cocoon all weekend, it’s no joke to get out and face the frozen, dangerous streets. But that’s our lot. If you want to eat and drink and have a roof over your head, you have to find the wherewithal to get with the programme. (smile) And there’s no better way to do that than with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Bless His Holy Name my people! 

Oh friends, He’s done so much for us, is still doing, and has promised to continue doing, even until eternity! There’s never been – or will ever be a more wonderful person than Him! Please give Him lots of thanks, for He deserves every ounce of it…and even more! 

And since not all of us possess the necessary parts to handle the day successfully, let’s turn to our Maker and heavenly Father in prayer, the most powerful force in His universe, and cry out to Him in all sincerity, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote for all that affects us this January Monday. In unison now, with whatever enthusiasm we can raise: 

‘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!’ 

Oh my people, I don’t even remember how that prayer came about nuh, but it was obviously through the munificence, the most generous and bountiful grace of the Lord, because every time I pray it, it surely lifts my spirits. And I do hope it does the same to yours…

And I can see it does, because your eyes are now bright and shiny, instead of the old dull, hurting look they previously had; your shoulders are lifted up and strong, and your smile is as beautiful as ever, and above all, you’re prepared to do battle with the wicked and ungodly enemy in Jesus’ name! 

Ah friends, like the ole fella’s on a roll this morning. I hope some of the enthusiasm and LOVE rubs off on you all and lifts you higher in Jesus, because that’s the whole purpose of this exercise! Enough of me though, let’s see if we can find some scripture to reassure and build our needy souls. Soon come… 

I’m back, a minute later, with some wonderful news and promises! Hear the Lord our God, through the voice of Jeremiah, the prophet: ‘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).’ 

Oh friends, that’s a promised scripture that we all know and claim to LOVE, but we don’t really hold on to it as strongly as we should, even though we know that ALL God’s promises are faithful and will be fulfilled. Just like we hear Bruh Paul telling the church at Philippi: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

But we don’t take it as seriously as we should. But our God doesn’t begin things and not finish them. So if He’s poured out His grace in you and saved you, then why would He not keep you safe and strong until His Son returns eh? No reason whatsoever my believing brethren! 

Now let’s continue the reassuring words of Jeremiah to the Israelites who would soon be taken captive to Babylon because of their continued disobedience. ‘Then ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Ah friends, obedience is ever so necessary if we want to truly serve the Lord, but even then, we still have to seek Him, with all our hearts, if we want to find Him. Our God doesn’t like halfway measures.

When we come to Him, we must come with all that we have! So let’s ponder on all that we’ve talked about today nuh, and please, please, HOLD ON to all those wonderful promises that our God has made us. We’ll be so much better of when we do, for that’s the epitome of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…faith in God’s promises…leads to both earthly and heavenly delights…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2018 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Ah mih people, this Sunday morning we can go to the Lord’s sanctuary without any fear of slipping and sliding or getting in an accident because of the dreadful weather! Glory be! The ice is slowly disappearing as the weather gets a little warmer. But last week it was something else. And that ice-storm was not half as bad as one a few years ago. They are worse than just the ordinary snow storms. 

Anyway, that’s in the past now, let’s look to the glorious spring weather that’s ahead of us and go to fellowship with other faithful believers, to sing and praise and make merry to Almighty God, and receive His resurgent confidence and enthusiasm in our tired and empty souls. Some of us might need two weeks resurging, since we didn’t get any last week. (smile) 

But whatever, or how much ever we need, we know we will get it in the Lord’s house, so let’s open as always with some praise and worship,  with this foundational hymn ‘Standing on the Promises of God’ written by Russel Kelso Carter, a professor in the Pennsylvania Military College of Chester.

 His bio reads thus: ‘While there he was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church. He became very active in leading camp meetings and revivals. After failing health forced him to abandon this work, he studied and became a medical doctor as well as a writer. He wrote novels as well as hymns.

Yeh friends, it’s obvious he knew what he was talking about when he wrote the hymn. So let’s declare it now nuh, with joyful voices and sincere hearts, because those are such wonderful promises we have to stand on, that mere words alone couldn’t do them justice. 

As one glorious choir now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.) 

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. 

[Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain].’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, doesn’t that just elevate your soul and spirit to new heights of rapture? (smile) It ought to since we have such golden promises made to us by a most faithful Deity. And today friends, we are going to check out some of those awesome promises found in God’s word. 

And we’ll begin with one that lays the foundation for them all, the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy re the truth of scripture, as stated in our Bit. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ 

That is the first step my brethren; to acknowledge that the word of God is true, and though written by mortal men, was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, under God’s authority and guidance, and it is indeed a guide book for earthly living in righteousness. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim.3:17) There we have it friends, guidance and regulations to lead a godly life. 

Here are some useful explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Inspiration of God (lit. “God-breathed.”) describes the unique character of scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. 

For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (Gr. artios, “proficient, capable”) is having everything needed to do what God wants.Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’  

Mama Yo mih breddren! Where can you find another all-encompassing tome like that eh? Nowhere else in the world but in the Christian faith! Glory to our great God, who in His endless wisdom gave us ALL that we needed to live the kind of life He desires of us. And so having acknowledged that the word of God is true, let’s look at a couple of promises that are contained therein. 

The first one is a scripture that we all know and quote, but how many of us truly believe it eh? It’s from the prophet Jeremiah and says: ‘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.’ (Jer.29:11) 

But that doesn’t come just so friends. We have to pray, call upon God, seek Him with all our hearts, live the kind of life He expects of us, then we’ll see His mercy and favour and the plan He has designed for each one of His people. Now I think we only have space for one more promise; that from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.4:19) 

Yeh friends, because of the Philippians sacrifice on behalf of Bruh Paul, God will meet their need in a glorious manner through Jesus Christ. The same applies to us today my fellow believers – live the way God desires, and you’ll want for nothing. And we’ll end with these most appropriate words of Bruh Paul. ‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phill.4:20) 

More on the promises of God tomorrow friends, God willing. Till then, please walk safely with Him. Much LOVE!

…some promises have conditions…others don’t…but they are ALL readily available…

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 20 November 2017 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.   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).

Ah friends, the days are rolling by quickly and who knows how much time we have left to successfully perform any tasks, or bring to fruition whatever plans God has in store for us. That means we’ve got to get with the program right away; no excuses, laziness or procrastination, but be a diligent, hard worker and fruitful vine bearer for Christ. So that at the end of our days, He’ll greet us with that wonderful, big smile, a tantalizing bear hug, and the overwhelming invitation: ‘Welcome! Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Wow mih breddren, there can’t be any better welcoming words than those anywhere in the universe! But for our lives to play out that way, means we have to begin by being fired up this Monday morning; no whining and complaining; just seriously, sincerely and conscientiously going about the Lord’s business. Oh, I know some Monday mornings it’s difficult to roll out of the warm and comfortable bed to face our cruel and evil world, especially as the chills of winter descend upon us, in the northern climes.  

But that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; to boost our spirits, reverse all the negative effects of an undisciplined weekend (smile) and get us ready to face whatever comes against us with the energy, assurance, joy and peace that come from being a believer in, and a follower of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. So let’s blast it out as passionately as we can nuh. 

‘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!’ 

Awright mih people, yuh see how our Battle Hymn changes our entire perspective, how our passion rises as we trill it to the high heavens? So let’s keep that adrenaline flowing nuh, as we get out onto the highways and byways and make our way to the concrete jungles and hunker down to labour for another day. But all the while keeping the unbreakable promise of our Bit solidly grounded in our hearts, bodies, minds and souls. ‘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).’ 

Yeh friends, even when God punished the Israelites by having Babylon take them captive, He promised to bring them back to Jerusalem after seventy years. Hopefully, they would have learned their lesson by then. And it’s the same way my faithful brethren that the Lord has good plans for us, plans to give us hope, joy and peace. Why would He create us in His own image, give us His breath of life and then, when we screw up, send His Son Jesus to die for us, if He didn’t have good and worthwhile intentions towards us eh? 

Listen to Jesus tell it like it is: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my people, does that sound like a God who has bad intentions towards us? Certainly not! He wants only the best for us, that’s why He sent Jesus to die for our abominable sins; to give us a hope and a future; otherwise it would have been curtains for us, certain calamity through eternal separation from Him. And believe me, eternal separation from Almighty God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being! 

So friends, please let’s take this earthly life seriously, let’s take Jesus seriously, because if we don’t, we’ll end up paying an enormous price for the dubious privilege of being foolish.  We don’t have to be miserable and joyless, because Jesus came to give us joy, but we do have to be sensible, thoughtful and wise if we want to be welcomed in heaven. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will certainly feel…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Well Friends, it’s Saturday, what’s new with you eh?  What have you got planned for today? Hope it’s something that’s joyous and brings you delight…  And I hear some women quickly complaining in the background; ‘How the dickens could house work, cleaning and cooking be joyous and delightful eh?’ 

Sorry ladies, but that’s all part of life. Somebody has to do it and you were just unlucky enough to draw the short straw. (smile) Don’t feel too badly though, because I’m not planning on doing anything fun-like myself, just planning to spend most of the day in rest. 

Although I don’t know if that is such a wise idea, because I’ve been resting a fair amount lately, more than usual, but I’m still tired, more tired than when I wasn’t resting as much. 

Oh, who knows or understands the contradictions of this earthly life besides Almighty God? Nobody really nuh. We just have to trust Him implicitly and follow His lead and guidance for our lives, because as He promises in Jeremiah: ‘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.29:11)  

Yes my people, our wonderful God has good plans for us, so let’s be wise and place our lives in His faithful and mighty hands nuh. And if you don’t believe me about His good intentions towards us, then just listen to our Bit. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ 

Oh Friends, God’s LOVE is exceedingly great towards us, so great that our simple and finite human minds can’t understand it. That’s why some of us simply can’t wrap our minds around a Deity who LOVES fallen sinners so much. But listen to what Bruh Paul says after our Bit. 

‘Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved 😉 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:5-7) 

Wow mih breddren! Glory to God! What more can we say to such unmerited and undeserved favour but ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and glorify Your great name and also for giving us Your Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! Thank You, thank You, thank You! 

And we promise to try and show our sincere appreciation and gratitude for your wondrous works towards us, by walking obediently in Your Holy Will. This we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’ 

Ah Friends, that wasn’t planned nuh. It just automatically rolled out after I read the wonderful scripture displaying God’s marvelous grace and mercy to us, while we were yet sinners. He must really and truly LOVE us yes, to do such extraordinary things on our behalf when we deserved none of it! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s responses to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: (1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; (2) and hath raised us together, that is, God has not allowed these Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and (3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into intimate relationship with Himself.’ 

Oh Friends what can be more wonderful than sitting in heavenly places with Jesus in the presence of God the Father eh? Nothing my people, nothing whatsoever! That’s why I don’t understand how we can become so ungodly and evil and so bent on turfing God out of our society, after all that wonderful stuff He has done for us. 

And Bruh Paul continues to enlighten the Ephesians and us. ‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Yes Friends, though we were made to perform good works, those good works don’t have any part in our obtaining salvation. It’s strictly by the grace of God. He was wise enough to know that if good works meant anything that proud and egotistical man would boast about it and make a mockery of it. 

Anyway, here is the scholars take on the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the underserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8). 

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. Every conversion in Scripture is an example of God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. 

Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref; Gen.6:8; Primary Ref; Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’ 

Nuff said my people. Hope it brings home to us the great and true LOVE that the Father has for His children, and the riches He’s bequeathed to us at Jesus’ expense. Much LOVE!

…But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… (Gen.6:8)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2015 Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11.   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). 

Well a good Monday morning to you all, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! Now I know that some of you are probably a bit under the weather, and are finding life rough down here on earth, but I doubt that many, if any of us are ready to check out and head for heaven, despite all the wonderful stuff that’s waiting there for us. (smile) 

We humans are something else yes; we complain vociferously about our life on earth, but nobody wants to check out the alternative just yet, because deep down we’re afraid, still not sure of what exists after this earthly life. 

So, since in our small-mindedness, we refuse to see through our eyes of faith and instead choose to stay with what we can see and touch, Mother Earth, then let’s stop complaining about our earthly lives, and do whatever it will take to make them better. We’re talking about things like going out to work this morning with a positive attitude and strong purpose, with our minds steadfastly focused on Jesus. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn as though we mean it. As one fantastic choir 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, that was good, heaven was pleased, but not good enough to deserve a standing ‘O’ and an encore. (smile) And to further help us with our earthly endeavours this Monday morning, we’ve been directed to a Bit that’s well known and full of promise, words of Almighty God spoken by the prophet Jeremiah.

‘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).’ Oh my people, my people, what a wonderful promise! 

And if we sincerely believe that our God is ever-faithful, then that should fill us with such joy and enthusiasm that we’d come out fighting each and every day. We wouldn’t be miserable, anxious and doubting, because then we’d truly feel that the Lord has our back, come whatever may. But it’s obvious that we don’t feel that strongly about it at all, since we are allowing the fears and anxieties of this world to determine our moods and attitudes.  

Now we know it’s not going to be easy, but with true belief and strong faith in the awesome power of our God, we are certainly able to do much better than we’re currently doing. Remember too, that we also have this awesome promise via the words of Bruh Paul to the Romans. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yes my fellow believers, God is indeed working all things out for those whom He has called and who LOVE Him. And they are best able to appreciate God’s purpose because they LOVE Him come what may, regardless of whatever happens. So if God has called us, and we LOVE Him, then there should be no doubts or insecurities re His intentions towards us. 

And all this is further enhanced and solidified by Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (keep doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

Yes Friends, God will not stop working His good work in us until Jesus comes again. Then and only then will it be completed, finished. Until such time we have to keep on moving along with the Lord, strong in faith, diligence, integrity and excellence. 

The scholars state it thus. ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’  

Have faith my brethren, for that also applies to us. The Lord had a purpose when He saved us, and that purpose will be carried out to the very end, that is, the Second Coming of Jesus in all His regal majesty, as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! Oh Glory to God for His wonderful promises, plans and purposes for our lives! 

Now, with all that godly power working in us, let’s go out into the evil world and fight a good fight in Jesus’ name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus called you…and you truly LOVE Him…then there’s no need to worry about anything…