Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2019 Romans 15:5.

Romans 15:5.    ​Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
 

Welcome to another glorious day on God’s great earth my people! And it just happens to be Friday, the day that so many of us look forward to, because it heralds the death knell of our workweek and the arrival of the weekend! And this week has indeed been a rough one for the ole fella; being sick, going into the city several times to see medics, as well as losing my cell phone. 

Yesterday the bus was full to overflowing, had to stand up all the way into T.O. Never saw it so filled before. And to make matters worse, a problem cropped up with some sensor in the bus, so that the driver had to pull over and stop several times until the sensor quieted down. 

Then my appointment with the ‘dragon lady’ my ophthalmologist, slated for three o’clock, was never fulfilled until six. But they warn you it’s usually a long wait to see her. (smile) So I never left the hospital until minutes to seven, and the train took another fifty minutes to get to my stop. So you see why, like the ordinary workingman, I’m glad to see Friday too. (smile) 

Listen to his spiel today: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! Brother, can’t wait for the day to finish nuh! It’s been so busy around here this week…and the boss man just smiling a big, broad smile because business good and we working we tail off for the few dollars he paying us. But that’s life, I suppose! Once yuh doing an honest day’s labour, though not for an honest day’s pay, I guess yuh on the right track. 

And it looks like it going to be another warm, summerish weekend, so yuh better believe I’m going to take full advantage of it! Drinks and party and whatever else have you! Need to relax after all the slave work I put in this week yes! Thank God for Fridays and weekends! Don’t know how I’d manage without them nuh!’ 

And I’m sure many of us believers feel the same way…though I hope we don’t go down the same troubled and disastrous road that the ordinary workingman has chosen. As believers we can’t afford to get that far out on the limb, because then we’re liable to fall of right into the waiting hands of the ole devil, our certified enemy. So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which echoes most of the same sentiments of the ordinary workingman’s but is somewhat more cautious and sensible. 

All together now, like we really mean it: ‘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!’ 

Yeh, we too can have fun and frolic, but not to the extent that the workingman craves, we have to be on our p’s and q’s, always keeping a watchful eye out for the enemy. And the word for today friends is ‘UNITY!’ Unity amongst friends and families, but more so amongst church brethren, amongst believers in Jesus Christ! And it’s sad, very sad, that there is so much disunity and unpleasant division betwixt and between the supposed believers in Christ. 

And yuh know mih people, once we’re not united, the enemy has won the first round in the battle, because then it’s very easy to conquer us once we’re as divided as we currently are. Yuh know how many supposed friends and family don’t talk to each other because they belong to competing religions? Competing religions eh! Steups! But Christ didn’t die for us to have religion, but relationships, salvation and eternal life in good fellowship with Him and with each other! 

So please listen, and listen good, and let’s put into action, these fateful and oh so important words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome on the subject of unity in Christ. ‘We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (weaknesses) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (being built up). For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 

For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore ye receive one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.’ (Rom.15:1-7) 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, we all talk about been involved in a battle with the enemy, but yet we are divided amongst ourselves, warring amongst ourselves, and oftimes over petty, foolish stuff. How can we win anything if we’re not unified eh? We’d be so much further ahead in the battle against Satan and his evil minions if we would just put away our supposed differences and focus on our plentiful similarities. And I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart to see the nonsense, the trivial, petty jealousies and power struggles going on within His church! 

Listen to the scholars as they explain. ‘15:1-3. Strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak: The strong brother is morally obligated to take the initiative and bear with the weak brother in those things that bother him. The stronger brother must forego his liberty for the good of the weaker, so he is not offended or impaired in his spiritual life. The best example is Christ who took our sins upon Himself.’  

Ah friends, Jesus is ALWAYS our best example in all we do. We all talk a good talk, calling His name a lot, but we certainly don’t emulate Him as much as we should. Please, let’s change that nuh. Possibly stop calling His name as much, and instead emulate Him more, put His words and actions into action, rather than just talk about them. 

And above all, for heaven’s sake, let’s STOP fighting amongst ourselves over trivial, unimportant stuff nuh. We’d certainly be much further ahead in the battle against evil and wickedness than we are right now. Much LOVE!

…divided…as we are right now…we will be conquered…united…as we should be…we will be the conquerors…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2019 Galatians 6:14.

Galatians 6:14. But God forbid that I should glory (boast), save (except) in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
 

And then it was Sunday…the third Sunday after Easter, that great and momentous day when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ rose triumphantly from the grave, sparking a new way of life…that of resurrection, salvation and eternal life, and thus creating a spiritual revolution that has not been matched since, and will never ever be matched! 

And that’s because the Easter Sunday triumph encapsulates God’s greatest gift to man; atonement for his sinful soul, through Jesus’ sacrificial paying of the gargantuan price it took to redeem man’s sins worldwide for ever and ever! But pay it He did! And that’s why we LOVE, honour and adore Him so much and trek to His sanctuary every Sunday to praise, give thanks, worship, fellowship and hear His Holy Word that provides confidence and comfort for the upcoming week. 

And as always, we open the proceedings with a song of praise, worship and thanksgiving, and today’s hymn is one of my real boyhood favourites, ‘When I survey the Wondrous Cross.’ I remember how at Easter Time that old hymn written by Isaac Watts, apparently on the basis of our Bit, would resound within the walls of the old Anglican Church in Scarborough, Tobago, when a full congregation belted it out. That’s before Hurricane Flora blew it down in 1963. 

So please, let’s do it justice this morning nuh, because the Cross is the symbol of our faith; it’s where our sins were laid to rest and our lives given back to us through our heavenly Father’s ambitious and most audacious plan. Enough talk though, (smile) let’s sing out that soulful anthem with heartfelt sincerity and true gratitude. 

In one harmonious voice now: ‘When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! 

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? His dying Crimson, like a Robe, Spreads o’er his Body on the Tree; Then am I dead to all the Globe, And all the Globe is dead to me. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.’

People, O people, what a soulful and touching rendition of that old but ever so pertinent song! All of heaven was touched by it, bringing tears to many eyes when they heard the words of gratitude we sang from our souls, and remembered the agonizing, painful and heart-rending moments of Jesus’ excruciating pain on that lonely rugged cross some two thousand years ago! 

His ‘sufferation’ was enormous, no doubt about it. But as they say, without Good Friday, there’d be no Easter Sunday and no cause for our pandemonium of celebration! (smile) Because that’s exactly what Jesus’ resurrection caused; pandemonium! But let’s take a few moments and check out some of the remarkable and true words of the song nuh. 

That old rugged, but nonetheless wondrous cross, was certainly the one on which the ‘Prince of glory died.’ And He died for us friends! Imagine that nuh? The Prince of glory died for a bunch of ungrateful, disobedient sinners. That’s why the writer could genuinely say: ‘See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and LOVE flow mingled down! Did e’er such LOVE and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?’ 

Most definitely not my fellow believers! It was the greatest outpouring of LOVE the world has ever seen! And when mixed with the sorrow that was felt by His disciples as well as His heavenly Father, how could there ever be a more momentous moment eh? Not by a long shot friends! 

And to be truthful, we have NOTHING with which to repay that sacrifice! Even if the whole universe belonged to us, it would be ‘a present far too small; LOVE so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.’ And it truly does my people! Our lives, obedience, worship, LOVE and honour; in other words, TOTAL SURRENDER, is the closest we can ever come to repaying that enormous sacrifice! 

Consequently, all our earthly deeds are rather miniscule in comparison, meaning we have nothing, no accomplishments of our own to boast of. Our one true boast as the song says should be ‘in the death of Christ my God’…and His eventual resurrection! And that was Bruh Paul’s most ardent wish: ‘But God forbid that I should glory (boast), save (except) in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ 

And friends that should also be our position in Christ! The world should be dead to us, and we to the world! As Jesus desires of us, we should be IN the world but not OF the world! Bruh Paul renounced all his many noteworthy but worldly accomplishments. As the scholar say: ‘He renounced his old life and all its ways, along with its values and religious accomplishments in which he used to boast. Taking pleasure only in Jesus’ atonement and all the spiritual blessings it brings. 

‘What heavenly wisdom my fellow believers! Please, let’s spend some time to day considering and contemplating our own position on the subject nuh. And hopefully, with God’s help, at the end of the contemplation, we will also come to the same conclusion! Much LOVE!

…the ONLY thing worth boasting on…and glorying in…on planet Earth…is Jesus’ atonement for our sins…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ah Friends, it was just one of those days where the ole fella went to bed at a  Shakespearean early hour. (smile) Three o’clock found me sitting on my porch, but I didn’t stay long because the wind was in a rather frenzied state and had the poor trees dancing to an incredibly fast riddim, and it was also a tad chilly in my shorts and T-shirt.

It’s surprising that nothing seems to have been blown down, for since early evening the wind had been having serious histrionic fits. I had to close a couple of my windows because it was making such a fuss. And it’s still not completely over it’s bad behaviour, but just not as challenging as during the night.

Thankfully though, both the sun and Son are shining quite brightly this Wednesday morning. And since it’s Wednesday, then I guess it’s time for our Wednesday Wail. Please wail with me.

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

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

Oh my people, what a Friend, Lord and Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! Glory to God! I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh, for He is so LOVING, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving… And that’s just the tip of His attributes. It would take me half the day to name them all.

Yes Friends, having Jesus as the guide, the rudder and compass of our lives is the wisest action we can ever take down here on God’s great earth! I don’t know how I lived, how I existed before I truly let Him into my heart. Oh, He was always there, but lurking in the background, waiting for me to smarten up and surrender my life to Him.

As they say, hindsight is certainly 20-20 vision yes! For in hindsight, I can now see the many occasions on which He lent me a helping hand. Many times when others couldn’t or refused to help, He was the One who stepped into the breach and shored it up.

That’s why, now that I’ve truly bought into His plan, I can say with all sincerity and truth; what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And am I ever so grateful for His LOVE, mercy, comfort and grace which certainly makes this life worth living.

And I know that I’m not alone in that regard because the Lord works His magnanimous works in the lives of ALL who sincerely believe in and honour Him.

That’s why we can agree with Peter when he so wisely declares in our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

Yes my brethren, this new life of ours all stems from the resurrection of Christ. Without His resurrection, there would be no new creation of man!

And as Peter continues:’(We have been raised) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:4-5)

Oh Friends, what powerful and encouraging words and promises! But all of it indisputable, gospel truth!

Now let’s delve into what it all means with the help of the scholars. ‘1:3 –2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.”  Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation: Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vv.3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation.

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time.

Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’

Ah Friends, I do hope that the general descriptions, as well as the more specific ones help us to better understand what salvation is, and all that’s laid up for us in heaven, and also helps to increase our faith by knowing, by being assured that Almighty God, our Creator and Provider is constantly watching over us, and we can have no better security than that.

Now let’s ponder it all, then put it into action as our lives unfold, obviously with God’s help, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…oh what an auspicious, blessed and reassuring day…was that Easter Sunday morn…when Christ triumphantly rose from the grave…and gave us all the hope of future life eternal…with Him in heaven…