Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In unison 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 to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2018 2 Corinthian 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.   For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And then it was Saturday; the day so many of us use to sleep in. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work, the aches and pains were too powerful. Hn! I went out yesterday evening, came home tired and went to bed early, so the body responded by being up early too. But them’s the breaks! What’s the saying? Early to bed, early to rise! 

So here we are, another week of work is over and we need to recuperate in just two short days. And it’s only if and when we’re walking wholeheartedly with Jesus that we can accomplish such a miraculous task. So please check Him out. He’s anxiously awaiting your call for help. 

And you can see that by the wonderful offer of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah people, what an invitation! There’s never been any like it, and will never be another like it, because Jesus is the only Being who can promise such stuff and actually provide it. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, we ought to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, but unfortunately I only received one this week. But it certainly is interesting and good enough for us to build around. So here it is: ‘The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But you know why? Because as true believers in Christ: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Glory be mih people! It’s our faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to see the things that are not as the things that are. We don’t first have to see something to believe it. We believe it and then we see it! Glory to God! 

That’s why we have those magnificent verses of scripture from Hebrews that tell us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb.11:1-3) 

Yeh friends, it’s faith that moves mountains; faith that allows us to believe what we don’t see, it’s through faith we believe that God spoke the world into existence from nothingness! And when we have great faith it can be counted to us for righteousness, like it was for Abraham. 

And then later on in Hebrews 11, we have that other famous verse on faith: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): 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) 

Oh my brethren, only through faith can one believe that God, the ephemeral, spiritual, almighty Being exists, because you can’t see nor touch Him. And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the scholars’ thoughts on the subject. 

‘11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does. (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament  (cf.3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. 

The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah friends, I hope (smile) that that li’l treatise on faith helps you to understand it better. And to end, we’ll get some more immortal words from Bruh Paul, this time to the church at Rome, on the subject of hope. ‘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) wait (wait eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Exactly my fellow believers! If you can see something, there’s no reason to hope for it. But if you can’t see it physically, then there’s all the reason to hope for it! So let’s wisely hope for all the good things we can’t see nuh, and through faith, believe that we have them and with perseverance wait eagerly for them! That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith…unless you first have hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2018 Romans 5:9.

Romans 5:9.    Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Welcome, welcome to the Lord’s Day my faithful breddren! And we all know what that means: an uplifting visit to the Lord’s house, to sing and praise and worship and fellowship, hear His Word and just have a good ole time renewing our spiritual lives! Wow! There’s nothing like the faithful together singing the praises of our great and wonderful God my people! 

If you saw Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday, you’d have seen how praise and worship can light up the spirits of a crowd of believers. So today, in anticipation of hearing God’s Word, let’s soften up our hearts and lighten up our spirits by singing praises to our God in this old and much LOVED hymn ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus,’ written by Robert Lowry and published way back in 1876. 

So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. All together now: ‘What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.) For my pardon, this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) 

Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Now by this I’ll overcome; Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Now by this I’ll reach my home, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Glory! Glory! This I sing; Nothing but the blood of Jesus, All my praise for this I bring, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Nothing but the Blood…Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih people, truer words were indeed never sung or spoken, for ALL that we are is based on the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary! Without that shed blood we’d still be mired in sin for now and all eternity. As the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and, come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) 

In short friends, it means that ONLY the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross of Calvary can wash away my sins, cleanse my soul, allow the Father to pardon me. In Him ONLY, can I find peace and hope, righteousness, salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

Christ’s blood is the most powerful element that ever washed this earth! It atoned for our sins; justified us, sanctified us, reconciled us, made us righteous and gave us entrance to heaven’s throne room! Oh my, my! What other substance on earth can do, or could have done all of that eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE! Nothing but the blood of Jesus! 

In it there is power, forgiveness, LOVE, humility, healing, patience and perseverance, so much so that after two thousand years it is still as effective as ever. Wow! The blood of Jesus! We even plead the blood of Jesus in tough times, confidently calling out to the Father for mercy because of the shed blood of His Son! But enough of me spouting off, (smile) let us quote a few scriptures that show the importance of Christ’s blood in our lives. 

And the first one that comes to mind is one that we all know: ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) And that He did! Then Bruh Paul elucidates to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).’ (Rom.5:8-11)  

Ah friends, it seems quite complicated, but it’s really quite simple: God LOVED us so much that it broke His heart to see us headed to Hades with Lucifer, so He decided to do something about it. The only problem was that because of His holiness and justice, He couldn’t just pardon sin with a wave of His hand. Our sin had to be paid for, for want of a better term, in hard currency, (smile) and that currency under the Old Covenant was animal blood. 

As Hebrews reminds us that through Moses, the Lord commanded the Israelites to continually shed animal blood as short term atonement for their sins: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.’ (Heb.9:22) So there had to be blood shed if the Lord wanted to reconcile us to Himself. And besides, the blood had to be sinless blood, and unfortunately His Son was the ONLY One who fit that bill. 

No doubt the Lord found Himself in a quandary, but He LOVED His greatest creation so much that He decided to break His own heart and offer up His one Son as the perennial sacrifice for our sins! Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. Hear how Peter puts it. ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible (perishable) things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (aimless conduct) received by tradition from your fathers. 

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (revealed) in these last times for you. Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.’ (1 Pet.1:18-21) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the only wise place to place one’s faith and hope! Much LOVE!

…the shedding of Christ’s blood paid for our sins…and His resurrection pays for our eternal salvation…what a giant is our Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2018 James 1:19.

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

Oh friends, just relax and chill nuh, it’s Jesus time! (smile) And is it ever, in more ways than one! His LOVE Revolution is taking the world by storm and His Second coming is imminent – more imminent than many of us realize, so it’s definitely time to get involved with Him and His awesome movement. For you certainly don’t want to be caught on the outside looking in when He returns, because then, crapaud truly smoke yuh pipe! 

And just so you know, it wasn’t my brilliant mind that came up with our opening statement.(smile) I got it from a cardboard coaster advertising Carib Beer that I’ve had on my desk for years, but it’s usually hidden below some paper. However, while cleaning up the desk last evening, the Lord drew my attention to what was written on the coaster and intimated that it was a good opening for today’s Bit. Hn! Does He ever move in mysterious ways! 

Now here is something else He also requested in today’s Bit; something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is aptly titled ‘A Quiet Tongue.’ 

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.’ 

Oh my people, my people, does that ever describe so many of us, as well as our world today in general! With all the easy and open channels of communication available in these crazy times, we’re all chattering away at each other and nobody’s really listening to what the other is saying, because we all think we know better than the next person. 

I know that’s one of my problems, although I’m much better at it than was a few years ago. At least today I’m cognizant of the fact that I need to listen more. (smile) And James, in our Bit, does admonish and advise us most crucially and critically: ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And the thought just occurred to me, how much more effective James would have been if he had listened to his big brother Jesus, when He was alive than after He had died. But I guess that was God’s plan. Nonetheless, it’s solid advice we all need my brethren, especially believers! And why is that? James goes on to explain: ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘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.’ 1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from God.’ That’s such awesome truth my fellow believers, and unfortunately we both see and experience it everyday! 

So James continues: ‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls.’ (James 1:21) Invaluable teaching friends! 

To which the scholars declare: ‘1:21. Engrafted word might be better translated “implanted word” and may reflect Christ’s parable of the seed planted in four different soils (Matt.13:3-9). Both Christ and James focus on the proper hearing of God’s Word (Matt.13:13,19,20,22,23). 

One needs to hear that Word, for it is able to save your souls. Though this phrase accurately describes the Word’s work of producing initial salvation, it is better in this context to understand it as the Word’s ability to preserve and mature the Christian’s life through trials.’ 

And is it ever useful and important in that undertaking my people! In fact it’s what keeps us rooted and grounded so that we can bear those trials and tribulations that Jesus promised would come against us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) And so He has my fellow believers. 

That’s why we can now authoritatively and sincerely declare our Tuesday Mantra, as to who we are and to whom we belong. In full voice now: ‘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 to show our sincerity, let’s go out now and practice what we’ve just preached, as Jesus so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…unnecessary talking…and not enough listening…is the bane of man’s existence…  

P.S. It’s late… but it’s great! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2018 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 yes, a savage thunderstorm hit my area early yesterday evening and cooled down the heat and humidity some! I have to laugh though, because I went out on my front porch to check it out, but could only stay a couple of minutes as the wind soon began blowing the rain in on me and the incessant lighting wasn’t too appealing. Let’s hope that today is not as hot and humid. 

Anyway, today I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, something appropriately titled ‘A Family Pledge,’ and it’s oh so appropriate to individual families as well as the family of Christ, His church. 

Please pledge 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 friends, can you imagine the joy, especially in heaven, the goodwill, the glorious relationships in our cruel and evil world if we were to put those pledges into real action! And the sad part is that they don’t represent anything new, it’s just what we’re supposed to be doing all along, what we know we’re supposed to do but simply aren’t doing, 

That’s why Jesus died; so that we could be one big, happy and righteous family! Instead we’re allowing the prince of darkness and his evil cronies to invade our families and Christ’s church and turn them into dens of devilry. How sad my people! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit; immortal words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘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.’ (Matt.7:24-25) 

My friends and fellow believers, have we built our houses, both literally and figuratively on a rock? I certainly hope so for all our sakes, especially the figurative house that wisdom dictates must be built on the rock that’s Jesus in order for our souls to survive. 

Now listen to Jesus as he details the other side of the equation. ‘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.7:26-27) 

Unfortunately my brethren there are way too many of us who have built and are still building our lives and our houses on sinking sand; meaning not on the words and instructions of Jesus. Now that’s a seriously irresponsible and foolish way to go, for Jesus is the ONLY way to a secure, sincere and eventual eternal life with our magnificent and magnanimous Maker and Godhead. Anything else is simply foolishness and not true. 

But hear the scholars. ‘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 Counselor, 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).’ 

Ah mih people, please let us not be numbered amongst those who have laboured hard, but have built their lives on the wrong foundation; the opinions and doctrines of mortal men and not those of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, our Rock and safe place of Refuge. 

And for those of us who have built wisely, let’s go home now declaring to the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Glory be my people! Now let’s go out and do what we’ve just pledged; share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE…to LOVE…and yet to LOVE…that is the truly Christian way…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries