Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 October 2019 Psalm 100:5.

Psalm 100:5.    ​For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

 

It’s chilly, dark and cloudy, and also wild and windy…but it’s HOME! Home sweet Home! Yes friends, the ole fella’s back in the cold northern climes. And though the tropical warmth and sunshine of J.A. would be nice, there’s something about home that just draws you in, that you greatly appreciate even if you are coming from a palace to a hovel. 

That’s the power, the heart power of the word HOME. It has something else, a powerful intangible that nowhere else has for us, and that’s why it’s such a big deal in our lives. And today I want to share with us another big deal in our lives, that’s the LOVE of God, through a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is aptly titled ‘YOU LOVE ME!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Yesterday, God, I was soaring Like a graceful eagle And You LOVED me. Today I feel like a blob And You LOVE me. Tomorrow I may ask “Whatever happened to disturb me yesterday?” And You’ll LOVE me. God, there are innumerable things I cannot begin to comprehend But the one great certainty In all my life is this: I KNOW THAT YOU LOVE ME.’ 

Oh my people, that is one thing we all ought to know for sure; that our heavenly Father LOVES us! And if we don’t, then our faith is not real, or strong, or whatever you want to call it, for how can we not know that God LOVES us with a fierce and undying LOVE after reading scriptures like these eh? 

Listen first to Bruh Paul nuh: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

Now if putting out yourself for others who don’t particularly care for you isn’t a showing of strong LOVE, then I don’t know what is nuh?  And John puts it thus: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God isLOVE.  

In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

Ah mih people, what a powerful and true dissertation! But now listen to it straight from the horse’s mouth; from the Son Himself: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Now if the only begotten Son, the One who actually died to pay the enormous price for our sins, says that’s how it was, then it must be so! 

So please friends, if we don’t know anything else, let’s be sure that our heavenly Father LOVES us, because He was willing and able to pay the great price it required to wash away our abominable sins, even the price of a broken heart and forsaking His only Son for our benefit! And we’ll see, that once we accept that most pertinent fact, everything else will flow smoothly, because everything flows from His everlasting LOVE! 

And thus we can sincerely sing these praiseful and adoring words of the psalmist: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (the whole earth): Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100.1-5) 

That’s the Bible Promise from our poem, and it’s the gospel truth my people! Oh friends, our God is so good and wonderful that He’s even provided those of us who want to do His bidding with miraculous blessings to enable us to do so. We call them our Thursday Blessings. But they’re not operative until we declare them, so let’s declare them now nuh, in full voice and sincere faith. 

All together: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now please remember those wonderful blessings are for us to use, to share generously, not to hoard selfishly.Much LOVE!

…there is no fear in LOVE…perfect LOVE casteth out fear… (1 John 4:18)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2019 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
 

Good news and bad news friends! The bad news first: My PSA level did not drop to ZERO, as I had desired! But the good news is that it did drop a fair amount, enough for the medics to decide I don’t have to do any more radiation therapy at this time! Wow! Praise His holy Name my people! We will just monitor it and see how it goes over the next few months. 

And in keeping with that fear that so many of us have today, about cancer or whatever else it is that threatens us, in this evil and ungodly world, I have some wonderful news and ideas for us to stay fear free. We’ll begin with this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately titled ‘Fear Not.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear Not.” Surely you would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would you command it so explicitly If you could not keep me from fearing. God, You have given me a Fear not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. 

Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’  

And no my people, if you cry out to Him, He will not be less kind to you than He was to Bruh David! The important thing is to take it all to Him, cast all your care and fear upon Him, for He cares for you! As you can see He’s already provided all the ‘Fear Nots.’ Now it’s we who must make the next move and come to Him in heartfelt sincerity and truth, so that He can bless and restore us. 

And to add to all that, let’s listen to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional as he talks about ‘Courage from Faith.’  He says: ‘The Bible is filled with commands to be courageous. Someone counted the “fear nots” in the Bible and discovered that there are 365 verses with this divine command – one for every day of the year! 

Verses such as: ‘Fear not…When you pass through the waters…they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned…For I am the Lord you God. I will be with you.’ (Is.45:1-3) ‘Be strong and of a good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Josh.1:9) 

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of LOVE and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ (Matt.17:20) …Observe now how faith is the force that sets you free to succeed.’ 

Yeh friends, FAITH is the great mover and shaker in a believer’s life! As the Good Book so wisely informs us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about FAITH! And faith only comes through first believing, then surrendering one’s life to God, then trusting Him to take us through all the rough times we face successfully. Until we totally give up our lives to God, we’ll never be able to have much faith. He wants ALL of us, not bits and pieces that we choose to surrender. He can’t paint a proper picture, or build a perfect structure if we only give Him some of us. 

And even more importantly my people, faith is only built by going through hard times, when we have to buckle down and truly believe His words, ‘DO NOT FEAR!’ And like everything else we do in life, the more we do that, the better we become at it, and the stronger our faith grows! Glory Hallelujah! 

Now hear how Bruh David said it in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the Righteous. ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear (reverence) him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him.’ (Ps.34:4-9) 

Mama Mia! What encouraging words! And remember friends, when Bruh David talks, he doesn’t talk from hearsay, but personal experience. So there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t believe his word and do as he says and did! And now that we’ve conquered our fears, (smile) by completely surrendering our lives to Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and 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 having said it, let’s go out now and do it nuh my precious saints of Christ! Much LOVE!

…fear is Satan’s tool…while faith is Christ’s…and that’s undoubtedly the stronger one…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord: So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. So thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

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

And if we’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2019 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.    ​Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain)and their wine increased.
 

Well my people, it’s a rather wet and windy day in my neighbourhood, and most likely in some of yours too. But yuh know what? Through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit which indwells us, we can both enjoy and make good use of the somewhat negative circumstances! Wow! Give our Lord and Saviour much thanks and praise for the enjoyment of life that’s been made ours through His magnanimous sacrifice at Calvary’s cross nuh, for He is fully deserving of it! 

To tell the truth, because of our limited and finite minds, we can’t even come up with a truly ‘gratitudinous’ (smile) answer to His sacrifice, so great is the price He paid for our spiritual freedom! But nonetheless, we’ll muddle along with our limited vocabulary because all He really desires is simple praise and thanks and obedience. 

And just to show how great a relationship is possible with our wonderful God, check out this marvelous poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Beautiful Things Happen!’ And indeed they do when we partner with Jesus! 

Please pray with me: ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet You day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed by changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To Your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Glory to our great and most wonderful God my faithful brethren, because that is the gospel truth! Our Lord does more for us in one day, than we could ever do for ourselves in a whole lifetime! That’s why we ought to treasure and exalt and praise and be obedient to Him! But my favourite line in the poem is ‘I learn how deeply I am treasured by You.’ 

Ah mih people, the Lord certainly treasures us yes, because when we were still sinners, God showed His awesome and unconditional LOVE for us by sending His only Son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we could renew a right relationship with Him! (Rom.5:8) How touching and heartwarming is that eh? Very! Only a truly caring personality would make such a sacrifice! And our God is caring, if nothing else! 

And that’s surely borne out by Jesus’ comments: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And also in His parables about the lost, sheep, coin and son: ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke:15:7) 

Oh friends, that just goes to show how much our Godhead treasures even the lost, in fact they don’t want to lose even a single soul to the evil one. And now we come to the scripture passage on which the above poem is based, and which is also our Bit for today. 

From the ever-encouraging words of Bruh David in his evening prayer of trust in God. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:7-8) 

Oh precious people, that’s the living truth! When we surrender our souls to the perfect trust of God, such joy and gladness permeates our souls, more than even in the time of harvest when we reap the benefits of our labour. And thus we can lie down and sleep in peace, without any worries about what’s’ happening in the world and our individual lives, since our great God, in His awesome trustworthiness keeps us safely under His broad wings, like a mother hen does her chicks! 

Thus the psalmist concludes in Psalm 97, re the Lord is far above all gods. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (His holy name).’ (Ps.97:10-12) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, that is wisdom of enormous proportions! So please let’s be wise and do it nuh. And we can begin right now by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong, sincere voice 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!’ 

So let’s go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and friendship with others, as He’s asked us to do nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’re a believer…and there’s no joy in your heart…then something’s seriously wrong…talk to the Lord about it… 

P.S. It’s short and sweet today! Give the Lord thanks for that! (smile) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2019 James 1:19.

James 1:19.    ​Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
 

And then it was Tuesday…Whatever happened to Monday eh – the day that we thought would kill us, that we’d never get through? Ah mih people, like all those other Mondays, which we thought would be so destructive to our psyche and body, it has gone the way of the dodo, spinning uselessly into the annals of History, no more to be seen again! 

Wow! What philosophical enlightenment! (smile) But here is something that we seemingly cannot, or just will not put into practice: ‘A Quiet Tongue!’ This from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I just could not pass it up because it’s so apropos to our loud and oh so talkative times! I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those reminders that we need to hear again and again. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, a revealing fact Began to surface today: I talk more than I listen. I seem to be thoroughly convinced That my ideas My inspiring experiences My bits of wisdom Are exactly what all my friends need. Too often I break into conversations Confident that my enlightened insight Will solve the predicament – Whatever it is. Obviously I feel more comfortable When I’m expounding. 

But this morning at a Bible Study I cringed when I read Your command In the first chapter of James: “Don’t ever forget That it is best to listen much Speak little, and not become angry.” At first I wanted to run. But as the words kept battering away At my guilty heart I finally circled them with red ink. Now, Lord, please help me to obey them. Remind me daily, hourly That listening is a discipline and a discipline always costs. I know I must pay a price. The price for me Is a listening ear And a quiet tongue.’ 

Mama Mia! How true is that of so many of us, believers included! And the sad part is that the sudden surge in communication technology has made it even worse. It’s like a free for all out there now with the advent of social media and all its octopus-like tentacles, reaching into every aspect of modern day society and creating such a loud, ear–hurting noise that many of us have to run from it. Or we’d be wise to run from it. 

We talk so much that half the time we don’t even know or understand what we’re saying. But you can’t say that to anybody, because we all feel we’re so knowledgeable about whatever situation we choose to expound on. The truth is though, that most of us don’t know a blooming important thing about most of the things we choose to expound on! (smile) 

And we’d be so much better off if we’d just shut up for a while and listen, that’s listen attentively, rather than talk, than break into conversations that we know li’l if anything about. What a quiet and wonderful place our world would be if only Christians did that eh! And it’s not like that the Good Book has not commanded us to do so. But who listens to the Good Book nowadays eh, unless it’s something that’s convenient for us eh? 

And the Bible verse for our poem and our Bit for today is that of James’ awesome warning. ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And is that ever so true friends! 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars on those two verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ That’s stuff we’d do well to read and put into practice! ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

You can’t dispute that friends. But who listens nowadays eh? Not too many of us, since we all want to be the focus of everybody else’s attention! But hear these wise words from Cousin Sol nuh: ‘In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.’ (Prov.10:19) Gospel truth that! The more we talk the more chance we have of committing sin. 

And then there’s this: ‘He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent (calm) spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent) is counted (considered) wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.’ (Prov.17:27-28) 

Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, what wonderful words of wisdom and advice from the supposedly wisest man that ever lived; Cousin Sol! Please, please, let’s wake up and take it nuh, because we’re talking ourselves into more and more difficulties and disasters every day. Just listen to the explosive rhetoric that’s being passed back and forth by our world leaders today nuh; it’s nothing but ammunition for anger, strife and war, of which we already have more than enough in this troubled world. 

So I implore us to not heighten the ammunition level, but rather lower it, by talking less and listening more. And now that we’ve taken all of that o heart, written it indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups, wrong again!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with a sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 it’s time for us to go out and share that unconditional, undying LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, as He so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…set a watch (guard), O Lord…before my mouth…keep (watch over) the door of my lips… (Ps.141:3)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2019 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.    ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a cloudy, ‘riney’ kind of day in my neck of the woods…at least that’s how it’s begun. But we all know that could change by mid morning and the sun could explode out of the sky in a terrible tantrum of heat and light that has us begging for mercy! (smile) Hopefully the sun will come shining through later, but not in such a striking and unpleasant manner. 

In the meanwhile, hear this fabulous promise from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s called ‘A Family Pledge.’ Please pray and promise with me: ‘We will permit God to use our conflicts and mixed emotions as lessons in quiet growth. With LOVING patience, without ridicule or judgement, we will support each other in the gradual untangling of built-in defenses. We will focus on each other as persons made in the image of God. 

We will seek to please rather than to pressure, to delight rather than to demand, to give rather than to get. We will share the humdrums as well as the highlights, the tears as well as the laughter, the defeats as well as the victories. We will not insist on perfection – rather we will anticipate growth. 

We will not compete for the mountaintop, rather we will climb the mountain together. We will wait for each other if one of us gets behind. We will lift our hearts in a celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible. We will LOVE each other as we do these things.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what wonderful sentiments and promises! Wow! Can you imagine if only the Christian families truly decided to instill those values and plans and promises, how wonderful our world would be! The family would return to its rightful place in society as being the most important unit. Then the unbeliever would really know what a true Christian is like, because all that we’ve promised above is merely Christianity 101! 

Yes, it’s all about LOVING each other, putting each other first, letting go of resentments, of competition, and instead seeking togetherness, of sharing, both the highs and lows, the joy and tears, growing together. As it so strongly states: it’s all about ‘lifting our hearts in celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible!’ 

And is that ever so true! It’s only God’s amazing LOVE flooding through our hearts, souls, bodies and minds that makes a true family LOVE possible. But yuh know the most important word in that last sentence friends? It’s GRATITUDE! Yeh people, we’re not truly thankful for God’s LOVE, otherwise we’d gladly share it with each other. 

And gratitude, more than anything else is what’s sadly missing in our world! We’re not a very thankful or grateful society anymore. We’ve become so selfish and greedy, envious and jealous, that there’s no room left for thanks, or rather sincere thanks in our society. And the sad part is that that undesirable attitude is also present in Christ’s body, the church, much much more than is called for. 

And the Bible Promise for that reading is also our Bit for today; the wise words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the two foundations of life. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. 

And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt.7:24-25) Oh my people, Jesus couldn’t have put it any clearer than that! 

And I just have to share the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great master Counsellor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings” vs.28.’ 

Oh precious people of God, what more can I say eh, except to warn us about building our lives on the right foundation, for that’s what holds our spiritual houses up in time of adversity and storm. And the ONLY foundation available in this degenerate world, that’s strong enough to withstand calamity and storm is Jesus Christ! As Bruh Paul so wisely put it to the Corinthians: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.3:11) And that’s gospel truth friends! 

So please, as we go about our business to day, I implore us to seriously consider what foundation we’re building our lives on, and if it isn’t on Jesus, then please change quickly, for we know not when the storms of adversity will suddenly come and knock down our houses built on shifting and sinking sand. 

And with those words of wisdom frothing in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘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!’ 

And I have to remind us friends, that if we hold that righteous and positive course in Jesus, then the future will indeed be even more glorious than our puny minds can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…nothing built on a foundation of sand can withstand the elements for long…but anything built on the rock…Jesus…can withstand the elements…forever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2019 John 15:11.

John 15:11.   ​These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

What a lousy, miserable, pain filled night! Yes mih first born, the ole fella complaining! (smile) And I’m sure if you had a night like I had, you’d complain too! Can’t find a comfortable position in which to sleep, because everyone I try, some ole broken down joint cried out in anguish. Then having to get up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, courtesy of the radiation treatment. 

Steups! Is a good thing this radiation nonsense finish this week yes! Couldn’t handle no more of it nuh. Is since May I’ve been going down to the hospital every blooming day for the treatment. Now is July, time for it to done oui! And the sad part is that I try to stay away from the pain killers, since I’m already a walking pharmacy (smile) but this morning I had no choice, had to get some of father’s li’l helpers to keep the ole bod moving sprightly. And that’s my rant for this morning! (smile) 

Now here is what we should all be having…JOY! Yes friends, that’s the watchword for today – JOY! And we’ll check it out from a poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Please pray with me: ‘JOY! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Yes mih people, JOY is of the Lord! And as the poem says, anyone one who wants it can have it, they just have to ask for it! Now are we asking the Lord for joy? Or are we merely living with happiness determined by our earthly circumstances? I certainly hope we are doing the former because that is what Christians ought to have; it’s what Christ died for us to have. 

Hear these immortal words of our Lord and Saviour nuh, while talking to the disciples about Him being the vine and they the branches, who need to stay connected to Him, if they expect to grow and thrive. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:10-11) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that! The joy of Christ in us enables us to handle any situation that comes against us with wisdom and steadfastness. We don’t get wishy-washy because of our circumstances. Now hear some more of Jesus talking to the disciples on the subject of joy. At one stage He told them this li’l riddle: ‘A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) 

Obviously the disciples were confused and muttered amongst themselves over what His words meant. And Jesus, sensing their confusion, explained it to them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail (labour) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of (has given birth to) the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born into the world. 

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:20-24) 

Ah mih people, words of true wisdom and enlightenment from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Words that have stood the test of time and are still applicable to these evil and troubled days! Just knowing that with Jesus in us, and we in Him, and being sure that He will come again to take us home, to be with Him in paradise forever, ought to be such a great motivator for us to live and die for Him. 

And when you add that last piece about asking for anything in His name and the Father will grant it…Hn! Our lives ought to be overflowing with joy everlasting! For no other faith, religion, or whatever you choose to call it, offers that kind of assurance and satisfaction. Now obviously Jesus is not referring to asking for selfish, ungodly stuff, but things that fall under the Father’s will. 

Too many of us though use those words to ask for selfish, ungodly stuff, and when we don’t get it, rail against God and His word. But please remember that God is not sitting in heaven like a doting grandfather to just give us any and everything we want. He has a universe to run, and doesn’t have time for our selfish, childish, petulant needs. We have a serious part to play in this world, so please friends, let’s play it nuh. 

And as the Bible verse attached to our poem says: ‘Don’t be dejected or sad, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10) And that’s the gospel truth friends! That’s why the enemy always targets our joy in his attacks. He knows that if he can take away our joy, then we’ll become weakened, like Samson, when Delilah cut off his hair. (smile) 

And with all of that encouragement and assurance running through our souls, spirits and bodies, let’s go home now, joyfully declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday mantra, gladly telling the world who and whose we are. As one strong 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!’ 

Oh friends, what joy our sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world will bring both to us down here on earth, and to those in heaven above! So let’s get out there and share it nuh! Much LOVE!

…though living for Jesus…can be sometimes difficult…we still experience joy…unbelievable joy in doing it…

 

 

 

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