Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 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 unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 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.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘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 (vs.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, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, 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.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2014 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 called according to his purpose.

Well Friends, family, neighbours and strangers, top o’ this fine autumn Tuesday morn to all of you! And the question this morning is; are we living our lives to the full, is their sufficient joy and peace in our lives?
 
And if not, why not? Because that is one of the reasons our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave for coming to earth and sacrificing His holy and sinless life on our behalf; that we might have life, enjoy it more abundantly, without fear and worry and anxiety. (John 10:10)
 
And if we aren’t doing that, then something is seriously wrong somewhere in our lives. We need to investigate it and turn it around, sooner rather than later, so that we can get the full benefit of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross at Calvary.
 
And speaking of the cross, I heard a great line on the t.v. programme ‘At the Cross Live,’ last night that deals with prayer. And it says: ‘Prayer is LOVE in need, appealing to LOVE in power!’
 
Now isn’t that a wonderful definition? It certainly is! We, the folks of earthly LOVE, in need of sustenance and fulfillment down here, are appealing, are crying out to the eternal source of LOVE, our omnipotent Deity!
 
That brings me to a recent interesting happening in my life. Well every week I tape some religious programmes and watch them at my leisure. A couple months ago though, I suddenly saw this programme ‘At the Cross Live’ showing up as being recorded on my PVR.
 
Now I’d never even heard of the programme before, and so I queried myself as to what it was and how it came to be recorded? All of my immediate family members denied doing it, but Sunday after Sunday it showed up as being recorded. One day I finally decided to check it out…
 
And oh what a joy it’s been my people! It’s a late night, early Sunday morning Christian based talk show, or rather help line that comes on on one of the Christian t.v. channels. I don’t even know which one. (smile) A gentleman of Jamaican origin named Corville Peters hosts it, for two and a half hours from 1 to 3:30 a.m.
 
And Friends, what really grabs me about the programme is the sad state of some of the people who call in asking for help through prayer and guidance. Oh my fellow believers, there are innumerable numbers of our fellow man out there in this troubled world who are hurting in a terrible way!
 
Sometimes it just hearts my heart to hear the low, joyless, frustrated, painful lives they’re leading. And I must say that Corville does an excellent job of trying to comfort them and either bring them to Jesus for the first time, or renew their lapsed commitment to Him.
 
My point here people, is that if it wasn’t me, or any one of my family members who set the programme to record every Sunday morning – only for the first hour though – then it had to be the hand of our heavenly Father interceding in the affairs of my life, leading me to a programme that He desires me to watch!
 
That’s the only explanation I can come up with Friends. So how can I not believe eh, and with believing, try my best to live for Him? It just doesn’t make sense any other way.
 
So my fellow believers, I ask us all today, to please have faith, please stand strong and steadfast in the strength and LOVE and faithfulness of our wonderful God, because He does care for us, and is constantly moving in our lives in ways we might not understand, or even see.
 
But be assured that we are being closely watched, guided, blessed, comforted and healed by the ONE and ONLY LIVING GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 
 
And I know that those sort of seemingly unexplainable situations don’t only occur in my life, but in the lives of ALL believers! All of us have undergone moments of thought and ‘ponderation’ – I just like the word because it conveys a higher level of pondering (smile) – when certain unexplainable happenings happen in our lives.
 
That’s God, my brethren, our heavenly Father, moving in our lives in His usual mysterious manner, to put into effect His just as usual mysterious purpose, so that He can successfully work out the plan, the good plan, the good thoughts that He has towards us, as verified in Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28.
 
Oh Friends, I might as well quote those scriptures and use one as our Bit, since I don’t have one as yet, and I’ve just been talking off the top of my head, (smile) allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me.
 
Oh my people, that’s the beauty of writing this Scrip-Bit! Most days I don’t know where the Lord wants to lead me, but when the time comes for writing, He ALWAYS guides me to something or some place, though not always without some effort on my part! That’s why I can sincerely talk about faith, trust and hope in His everlasting guidance.
 
Anyway, enough of my prattling, here are the scripture passages, beginning with Jeremiah’s great proclamation and promise on behalf of our ever-faithful, ever-LOVING God.
 
‘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). Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer.29:11-13)
 
What wonderful promises my brethren! Promises on which we can stand steadfast and strong!
 
Now listen to Bruh Paul, as he corroborates Jeremiah’s promises to the early church 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.28:8)
 
Yes Friends, that’s indisputable, undeniable, gospel truth!
 
Now here is an interesting explanation of that verse from the scholars. ‘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 that 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 yes my brethren, we are ‘the called, ‘the elect!’ So let’s go out into the unfriendly, evil world today, knowing that fact, being buoyed and encouraged by it, and thus putting our best foot forward, by showing friendliness, kindness, LOVE, joy, peace, mercy and forgiveness, to further God’s great and glorious kingdom!
 
That’s not only true wisdom, but also our bounden duty. So let’s buckle down and do it nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…if we sit and ponder for a moment…we’ll certainly see many instances of God moving in our lives…both in the background and foreground…
 
P.S. It’s late…and long… and I think certainly worthwhile… but life happens to even the best of us. (smile) Much LOVE!