Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2019 John 1:9.

John 1:9.    ​That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
 

Ah friends, sorry that we’re somewhat late this Tuesday morning, but I had to go out the street to do some early morning blood work, and after I returned, I had to find something to break the long fast required for the bloodwork. (smile) Then I came down here and found a whole pile of e-mails to sort through. Steups! most of them were junk, but I had to check them out, just in case they had some important info to divulge. Chuh! I don’t know why people insist on sending me the same things, even when I say I’m not interested, block them or report them as phishing. But I guess that’s the price we pay for the convenience of the computer. 

Anyway, this Tuesday morning the sun is shining brightly, though it’s cold and icy, and filled with the remnants of the recent snowfall. Oh, I know it won’t contribute much, if anything to the temperature, but it sure does improve the psychological aspect by brightening up our spirits a little with its light. (smile) Don’t laugh though, because it’s been proven that light is oh so important in man’s life, especially in these cold, dark, dreary months of winter. As Cousin Sol says Ecclesiastes: ‘Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.’ (Eccl.11:7) 

But my fellow believers, the most important light in our lives is that of Jesus, who John correctly refers to: ‘That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ And is that ever wonderful news, because it ‘means that God’s revelation is universally available’ – to those who choose to believe, not ‘universal salvation,’ meaning whether you believe or not. And we can’t quote John there without quoting Isaiah, re the promise to Israel of the Lord’s servant. ‘And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end(s) of the earth.’ (Is. 49:6) 

Yeh friends, the light that the Lord promised Israel would also be a light unto the whole world, bringing salvation to all and sundry! And as always, the Lord’s promise was fulfilled; this one by the coming of Jesus to earth in the form of a man and dying for our sins to make us right with the Father once again! Wow! It has always been the Father’s intention, ever since Adam and Eve screwed up, to give us another chance at redemption, another option than that of dying in our darkness and thus having no other choice than to head directly to Hades, but it had to happen in His time. 

And yuh know that His time doesn’t correspond anywhere near to ours. (smile) Remember how Peter puts it: ‘But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) So when we think and/or talk about one day, the Lord is seeing and thinking of a thousand years! But getting back to the story of light, all down through the ages, the Lord has always been a major light in the lives of His followers. Let’s see how the scriptures put it. Hear Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

Very good questions my brethren! And the answer to both is ‘NOBODY!’ That’s because when we walk in the light of the Lord and in His awesome strength, we clearly see where we’re going, and nobody can mess with us. And Bruh David strengthens his argument in Psalm 36, when he declares: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps. 36:9) Yes friends, the Lord is indeed the fountain of life, the Creator, the Maker of ALL life, and when we walk in His light we will definitely see light. 

Thus the wisdom of the psalmist in Psalm 119: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) Glory be my people! When we sincerely follow the Lord’s Word, we’re surrounded by His amazing light, and it also displays in bright and living colour, the path we ought to walk! Thus there should be no disputing when Jesus says of us: ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ (Matt. 5:14a) He is there giving us the authority to be shining lights in this dark world, to be people who make a difference, who light up the life of others. Friends, it’s our essential mission! 

And He continues: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14b-16) So please, let’s stop hiding our lights nuh, instead let’s make them shine even more brightly around the world, as we do Jesus’ work! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know exactly who and whose we are. In one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

And now its action time my people! Much LOVE!

…God said…let there be light…and there was light… (Gen.1:3)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2019 Jeremiah 17:7.

Jeremiah 17:7.    ​Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
 

Well the promised snow did not come during the early morning commute yesterday as promised, but by mid morning it was certainly flying, and continued to do so for most of the day. So yesterday afternoon’s commute was, and this morning’s will be indeed a horse of a different colour! (smile) But please be careful, the white stuff sure looks beautiful when lying quiet and undisturbed, but when tangled with, it’s just as dangerous and deceitful as the prince of darkness himself. Looks like we might even have had a record amount of snow for this time in November, and the month might even be colder and snowier than usual. 

Ah, but not to worry, for we have Jesus, and when we walk closely with Him, He makes everything right! And all His followers gave a loud, proud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless the name of the Lamb that was slain for us! Bless his holy name indeed!’ Oh friends, there never was, and never will be anybody like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And are we ever blessed to have Him as our guide and leader, especially in the evil and ungodly world in which we now live, where everybody wants to do their own thing, and right and wrong are whatever you figure them to be. 

That brings me to this sad, but ever so true commentary. It comes from a recent episode of the comic strip ‘Mutts,’ but is it ever so reminiscent of our current society. One of the characters, a cat, says to two dogs: “I’ve started and endangered list.” “What’s on it?” the dogs ask. The cat simply replies: “Empathy, compassion, kindness, sympathy, decency, sensitivity, integrity, altruism, affection, benevolence, heart, tenderness, LOVE, humanity, charity, grace, courtesy, tolerance, mercy, intelligence, leniency, understanding, common sense, goodwill, patience, wisdom…” 

Yes friends, you don’t have to be a believer, only a half-decent observer, to notice that all those good qualities above are being practiced less and less in this …I don’t know what to call it society! It’s the essence of everything that’s wrong with our current lifestyle! When those things are absent in any group of people, that group is certainly on the downswing towards chaos and anarchy! Why is that you ask? The answer is real simple: It’s those things that create a strong, well-functioning organization, a real and true society. 

The dictionary defines ‘society’ as ‘an organization of a civilized nation.’ And it’s impossible to be civilized without those positive and godly things playing a large part in any group that wants to succeed and grow. So what does that say about our society now eh, when all those things are fading away, and as the cat truthfully says, becoming endangered? Sadly, not a whole lot. But yuh know what? I just discovered that they’d left out one important factor from that endangered list…HOPE! ‘Glory be! And we all know friends that once there’s hope, there is indeed life! So if hope isn’t amongst the endangered habits, then there is still a chance for us to turn this thing around! 

And where does that wonderful thing called HOPE come from? From the Lord our God! Hear Jeremiah declare it: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ Wow! And in his Lamentations, he reiterates that sentiment, recalls the Lord’s goodness in his time of great sorrow and need: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Please notice my people, that it’s because of two things on the endangered list why we’re still around; the Lord’s compassion and mercy! That means we ought to show the same sentiments to our fellow humans. Now let’s look at some scriptures that encourage and fill us with hope in the Lord. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 31: ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24) And the sons of Korah declare: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation), and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we all know these awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:24-25) Yes friends, hope is not what we see, for if we see it, why do we hope for it? Hope is the essence of our very being, our spiritual connection with Almighty God! That’s why this verse from Zechariah, when he’s talking about Zion’s future king, is one of my favourites on hope. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’  (Zech. 9:12) 

Oh my people, the Lord God Almighty is indeed our stronghold, our rock, our fortress, and I’m pleading with us to be ‘prisoners of hope, because that’s our only positive solution to turning around our embattled and embittered society!  Now let’s go home showing that we’re true prisoners of hope, by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 action those words nuh! Much LOVE!

…when you’re a true believer…hope springs eternal…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.     If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
 

It’s a somewhat damp and foggy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, so please be careful all you who have to get out on the road, because you know the kind of craziness that exists on our roadways these days. If you can wait until the fog lifts, please do so. And today we’re going to look at a very interesting quote from one of the leading Protestant Theologians of our age, Jurgen Moltman (1926) of the German Reformed Church. And the quote says: ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! When we’re passionate about life, or anything really, we enjoy the experience that thing brings more than if we’re not passionate about it. And there’s nothing to be more passionate about than the LOVE of God and the LOVE of life! Unfortunately though, too many of us have lost the passion we once had for real life and for God, and instead have embraced the unrealistic, soul destroying, short-lasting and unproductive passion for worldly stuff. We have to remember that life is not, and will never be completely smooth sailing, but a combination of storms and calms, highs and lows, and ‘choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks.’ 

Yeh friends, as someone once said, ‘setbacks are only opportunities in disguise.’ Therefore, though we may not like them, and they may prove to be difficult and frustrating, we still need to embrace them as important aspects of our lives, because we know that it is only through setbacks and adversity that we truly grow. We can’t hide from the difficult things, or those we don’t like, else we’ll never know or experience the true fullness and joy of life. Those who are passionate and enthusiastic about life, despite its many shortcomings, are the ones who rise to the top of the enjoyment heap. (smile) 

And the BEST way to handle life’s ups and downs is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives! If you didn’t know that before, then you know it now! (smile) Oh my people, with Jesus as the mainstay, the mainmast, the pilot of our lives, we can remain calm through every storm, and handle every high and low with equanimity. But only the LOVE and acceptance of Jesus enables us to have those wonderful qualities! And why is that eh? Because when Jesus enters into our hearts and lives He puts the power of His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and it’s that Holy Spirit that leads and guides, teaches and convicts, comforts and LOVES us, so that we can handle whatever comes against us with a good and sane attitude. 

Now, before we go any further, let’s make one thing real clear; following Jesus is wonderful, but it’s not always easy! And unless you’re ready to truly hunker down and do what He asks, then you’ll find yourself frustrated and unhappy from the very get go. So let’s look at some of the important but difficult stuff that Jesus laid out for His followers. The first and most important, but also most difficult requirement is laid down in these words of our Lord and Saviour to the disciples. ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ That statement there usually stops many of us right in our tracks! The idea of denying ourselves and taking up a cross doesn’t sit well with any of us, but to follow Jesus they are necessary prerogatives. 

And here’s what the scholars have to say about it. ‘16:22-28. Deny himself, that is, refuse his own claims upon himself. Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38, and implies a lifting up of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ Ah mih people, although it seems like we’re asked to give up so much for Christ, the reality is that we get back much much more than we give up when we’re steadfast and sincere. 

Now here’s what I LOVE about Jesus; He can give you comfort at the same time as promising adversity. Listen to Him to the disciples, and consequently to all His future followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that 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 glory be my faithful brethren! What a mighty promise! The world is full of trials and tribulation, but when we embrace Jesus, we can have His peace! And what kind of peace is that? Listen to Jesus again: ‘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) 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes that peace to the Philippians nuh. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) And what kind of peace is all of that? The scholars explain: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, when you walk sincerely with Jesus, ALL bases are covered! That’s not say you won’t have problems and face adversity, but you will be able to handle them with the awesome help of the Holy Spirit! Wow! Now, for those of us who truly believe and try to be faithful, let’s go home lifting up our crosses high, so the whole world can know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

So let’s go out and do exactly that nuh my faithful brethren, as it behooves us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to walk with Christ…is to walk in true peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.
 

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate the fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or the “elect.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘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!’ And the natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).
 

And so we move on to Tuesday…  Brother, what a day that turned out to be! Up bright and early, in time to get out and catch the nine o’clock hotel shuttle to the waterfront, although our hotel is right on the waterfront. (smile) But it’s a convoluted trip to get where we wanted to go, to the docks for the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent some 18 of his 27 years in prison, having been sentenced to life, for treason by the white apartheid government. 

We bought our tickets at the Mandela Waterfront Museum, then had breakfast at a small café nearby. At ten thirty we boarded the small ferry, Sea Princess for the trip across the Cape Town Bay (Atlantic Ocean) to the Island. By the way, the ferry was full. That’s one thing about South Africa; they’re certainly mining the tourism aspects of their first Black President in a big way. That includes the Apartheid Museum in Joburg, which seemed to me to be more of a shrine to Mandela than a history of the fight against apartheid. 

Anyway the ferry trip took approximately thirty minutes to the island. Once there, we boarded a bus for an excursion around the small island, can’t remember the exact size the guide on the bus told us, but definitely not more than about 5 square miles. Apparently the island had been first a leper colony before being turned into a prison. 

Then after the bus tour, we were dropped off at the prison gates, where an ex-prisoner took us on a guided tour of the prison, showing us the old prison enclosures that were supposed to hold thirty something prisoners on double bunks, but often held fifty. That still holds true in many of today’s prisons, where overcrowding is still a serious problem. 

Then we were shown the small cells where Mandela and some of the leaders of his organization spent most of their prison time; a concrete enclosure, possibly six by six, overlooking a courtyard, containing a bunk and a red bucket for waste material. 

It seems that the ex-convict’s return to work as a guide at the prison was very cathartic, purging and cleansing for him. He recalls that on his first day on the job, he didn’t know what to say, but as the people began asking questions, he finally found his voice, until now, his unsettling experience as a prisoner there, doesn’t bother him like it once did. After that we walked back to the dock and boarded the ferry Madiba 1, (Mandela’s Xhosa clan name) and returned to the mainland. 

We got back around minutes to three, and little did we know then that the fun was just about to begin, (smile) because our next stop was supposed to be Table Mountain; that big, awe inspiring block of stone standing at the back of Cape Town, whose top seems absolutely flat when looked at from below. We got a taxi from the docks that drove us up the steep winding road to where the activities actually began. 

That meant joining a long line to purchase tickets, then joining another long one to get into an elevator to get to the cable car station. Once there, you then had to wait for one of the two cars to come back down from the brow of the mountain, because there seems to be only room for one at a time at the top. From down there though, against the great expanse of stone, the cars looked like playthings moving up and down on bits of small string. 

But they were actually big and solid, the bottom parts painted red, while the top was made of solid glass, holding at least twenty people, riding on solid cables of some strong substance. And as you went up or came down, the flooring slowly spun around, allowing a good overall look at the breathtaking landscape. And the top of Table Mountain is not flat at all! (smile) It’s hilly and rocky! 

But they have trails around which you can walk and see Cape Town and its environs down at the bottom, or the conjunction of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the other side. And the ole fella, with an extraordinary burst of energy, climbed all over and around it. (smile)  Any, which way you take it though, the sight is indeed breathtaking! And the South Africans not making joke with their tourism nuh, for as you walk around, there are several small glass enclosures at the top telling you about the history of the mountain and it’s colourful flora and fauna. 

The sad part though is that we had to wait some forty minutes, join another long line, to catch the cable car back down. By then it was after six, possibly closer to seven. Our taxi dropped us back at the waterfront, where there’s this big mall. Obviously the duchess wanted to go and look around, but I stopped in at Musica, a music shop, where a wonderful lady called Mary began playing me some wonderful South African Music. 

As I told her, I couldn’t come to South Africa and not get some South African music, especially after berating my young daughter for not bringing any for me on her trips to the Motherland. So there I was standing with earphones on my head, listening as the lady played. And each one she played, I told her to put that aside, and the pile slowly grew. 

Some one hour later, I looked around and saw the duchess standing next to me. Obviously she wasn’t thrilled because she had been waiting for me down the mall. But she knows that the music always comes first! Eventually though I bought a whole pile of C.D’s, won’t say how much, or at what price, so some people won’t get on my case, (smile) but I’ve got plenty of good listening ahead of me. 

Then we went down to the other end of the mall, ate some Thai food, then got the 9.15 shuttle back to the hotel and bed. Oh one other beautiful sight I forgot to mention: on looking out of my room, the harbour looks like a necklace of jewels with all the bright lights shining around it, and the marina right at the foot of the hotel. 

Oh friends, that was indeed one of the best, the busiest and most interesting days of my life. And I know some of you who know me personally, and know that I’ve been frail and sickly the last three years, must be wondering how I did all of that without falling down. Well it’s best said first by the words of Bruh David in Psalm 55: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).’ 

And secondly from the oh so appropriate words of the poem ‘Footprints’ by Margaret Fishback Powers: ‘He whispered. “My precious child, I LOVE you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings When you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.’ And all I can say to that is a loud and proud ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, for when I look back at that day, I’m sure that only one set of footprints was visible on the path that I trod, because the Lord physically carried me! Wow! He’s ever so good to those who LOVE and trust Him! 

Now let’s go home acknowledging who and whose we are through our Tuesday mantra: ‘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!’ 

And now, if we’re sincere, we’ll go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…by sincerely trusting our heavenly Father…we can do so much more…more than we can ever ask or imagine…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 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.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.’

 Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE You. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. I know that I build hard muscles in my heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. 

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same way we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2019 John 13:15.

John 13:15.    ​For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
 

Oh my people, it’s a perfect beginning to what seems like a perfect day! The sun’s shining ever so brightly although it’s just eight o’clock in the morning, merrily reflecting off every possible surface. I was quite surprised at how bright it looked when I went outside a short while ago. And the temperature is nice and comfortable, so let’s hope it will continue like that all day. 

But the most important thing is that we’re alive to enjoy it! Yeahhh! Through God’s LOVING grace, mercy and forgiveness, we’re still around to enjoy another memorable day! Wow! Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow saints in Christ for being so wonderful to us when we don’t deserve any of it. 

But most of all, we have to give Him thanks for His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made right with the Father! Glory to God! That’s why the Daily Bread Devotionals could tell us: ‘In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.’ And furthermore: ‘We serve Christ when we serve people!’ 

Words of gospel truth my brethren! Jesus is the most worthwhile example of all that we should aspire to be! Yes, we can never be truly like Him, be perfect in every way, because of our inherent sinful nature and His accompanying deity, but we can certainly try to get as close as possible to perfection in our humanity. And serving others while having a heartfelt compassion for mankind are possibly the two most important ways we can model Him. 

Oh, we won’t forget spreading His gospel, but people are more receptive to that good news when we first assuage their physical wants. Meaning, if someone’s hungry, before we begin preaching, we should first feed them. And likewise, if they are naked, clothe them first before trying to shove the gospel down their throats. 

And unfortunately that’s a mistake we often make. We reach out to the impoverished, both in body and spirit, but we put the gospel first. But as Sparrow once said in a calypso, ‘Yuh can’t make LOVE on an empty belly!’ (smile) And that goes for almost every other situation. You’re not receptive to much of anything if you’re cold and hungry. So please, in our own li’l worlds or spheres of influence, let’s try and satisfy the physical needs of others before we begin preaching to them nuh. 

And sadly, there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in these supposedly prosperous times who are suffering severe and serious want, especially with all the natural disasters, like flood and famine and sickness, plus rampant greed and strife that’s occurring all over our world in these last troubled and trying days. 

And I just came upon a most interesting and ever so applicable statement of Bruh Paul’s to the Philippians, when he promised to send Timothy to help them in their faith walk. ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Christ’s.’ (Phil.2:21)  Yes friends, in this age of me, mine and my own, everyone is more concerned about seeking their own needs and wants than those of Christ. 

But remember He said that if we seek first His kingdom and the things that are important to Him, we would be granted all the other ancillary stuff. (Matt.6:33) Sadly though, very few of us really pay attention to those words and instead run off to do what we think is best for us. But I’m straying from the original topic; servanthood amongst the followers of Jesus. 

Friends, we ought not to be too proud to do whatever job is necessary, even if it’s the most menial of jobs, like sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. And again in Jesus, we have the best example possible, when He washed the feet of His disciples. That was possibly one of the most menial jobs in Israel in those days, reserved for slaves, since they wore sandals and their feet were always dusty and dirty. 

But Jesus stripped Himself at the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover, took a basin of water and washed every disciple’s feet. Why? Listen to His reasoning. ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master (Teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 

If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord (master); neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:12-17) 

Ah friends, as always, Jesus gives us some dynomite examples to follow! And is that one about doing menial jobs ever so applicable in these days, where we all are so proud and hoighty-toighty and only want to do the jobs that the world thinks are so uplifting and convey what it calls success. 

But please remember that though the C.E.O might make the most money and have the biggest say about how to do things, it’s the lowly factory workers who actually do the jobs, make whatever they sell. Without them, he wouldn’t be in His glorified position. Likewise we should never forget the poor and unfortunate around us and not be too big and proud to help them in whatever way they need it, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ was all about. 

And if we want to truly follow His example, then we have to do what He did! And having washed away some of our foolish pride, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole wide world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

All together now in strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

And if we believe it, then let’s follow Jesus’ example and go out and share His amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship! Much LOVE!

…no job…should ever be too menial…for a true believer in Christ…

 

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