Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2020 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 
At last friends, at long last, yesterday I was able to sit on my front porch and enjoy the welcome the heat of the noonday sun in just an ordinary spring jacket, no big, bulky coat! Glory be! And I mean actually feel the heat gloriously exuding from the sun’s rays, as I turned my bare face up to it and said a most grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ Yes mih people, those of you living in the tropical climes can laugh as much you want, but I know a good thing when I experience it, and am extremely grateful for whatever it is. Is how many months now we haven’t really felt the sun’s heat up here eh? Too many! So let’s be grateful for whatever little we might receive. 

But sadly, as Job so wisely said, you can’t expect to get the good without the bad, and thus there was also the bad with the good yesterday; the annoying sounds of lawnmowers, and the grass isn’t even green and growing properly yet, plus the whining sounds of electric drills and saws, with motorcycles and cars loudly revving their engines in anticipation of summer, although this one might not have the ‘ownwayness’ usually associated with the season because of Covid-19 restrictions. So let’s hope that yesterday was the first of many such days, and that I will soon be able to go out on my porch at two in the morning in just shorts and a T-shirt! A body can certainly dream eh! (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s come back down to earth and check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is not only interesting but totally true: ‘Improvement begins with I.’ Oh friends, if only more of us would recognize that truth! Improvement does begin with the letter ‘I’ as well as at the person, ‘I, me, myself!’ Any improvement in our lives must begin and end with us personally. Nobody else can really do it for us. Yes, they can encourage or even help us, but the basic desire and overall effort must come from us. 

We will never improve unless we want to do so, and then put that desire into blood, sweat and tears action, for it’s only those characteristics that bring about any real and true improvement in our lives. That takes us to this next quote: ‘My life is constantly under construction. There’s always something to improve.’ And isn’t that the indisputable truth? It surely is, since once we’re still alive, even in our old age, there are always areas in which we both need improvement and can also carry out the improvement. Now they might just be small things, but you’ll be surprised at the huge differences small changes or improvements in our lives can bring. 

That’s why we’re told to never stop learning, it not only makes us wiser, but also keeps us alive longer. (smile) And then there’s this: ‘All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.’ That’s another indisputable truth! You cannot improve or make any real progress when you’re comfortable. It’s just a fact of life. As we said above, it’s only in actions that bring out blood, sweat and tears can true improvement or progress be made. And if you don’t believe me, just try it and see nuh. Try to improve without any real effort, and see how far you get. 

Now this next quote is also the gospel truth, as no doubt many of us have eventually found out. ‘If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter, but if you continuously compete with yourself you become better.’ Ah friends, some competition is healthy and useful to drive us along, but when that competition becomes all there is, all that you’re living for, then you lose the whole beauty and essence of whatever you’re doing, and eventually your soul just becomes more negative, especially if you’re not winning those things for which you compete. You begin to resent and even hate those against whom you’re competing, get irrational and angry and begin doing illegal or unlawful things just to win. 

And this doesn’t hold true only in the outside world, but also in the church, where there is a lot of unnecessary competition for whatever reason, which leads to many cliques and much jealousy amongst the saints of Christ. Please remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the church at Corinth when those believers were arguing about whom they belonged to, Paul or Apollos. Christ’s church is one body, and like the human body it has many different parts with each part playing a different role, performing a different function, just like our hands, feet and eyes perform different functions, but are all important to the proper functioning of our bodies. 

Likewise, Christians are co-labourers, and it doesn’t matter who’s planted and whose watered, Paul or Apollos, because in the long run it is God that gives the increase. The most important thing is for us to do what we’ve each been called to do, but to all build our work on the strong and stable foundation that’s Christ our Lord and Saviour! (1 Cor. 3:1-15) And this last quote exemplifies all that we’ve said, but it also helps and encourages us to improve and accomplish. ‘When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.’ 

Oh my my my! That view from heaven is certainly breathtaking! Yes friends, when life seems to be giving us a rough time, we need to stop for a moment and think on, truly consider the goal we’re working towards, how we will feel when we’ve accomplished it, and let that view from the top energize, encourage and reassure us. For remember life is nothing but a bully-boy, and if it discovers it can beat you down continually, it will do so. But please remember these awesome and encouraging words of Christ: 

‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) And if you believe in Jesus, then you know that He is faithful to keep His promises. And the scholars offer us this marvellous explanation of what we have to look forward to.

’14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities include singing (Rev. 15:3), worship (Rev. 5:9), serving Rev. 22:3), ruling (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5), fellowship with others (Matt. 17:3), and eating (Rev. 2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev. 22:4), a life of rest (Rev. 14:13), a life of service (Rev. 22:3), a life of growth (Rev. 22:2), and a life of worship (Rev. 19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven (First Ref. Gen. 1:1; Primary Ref. Rev. 21:1-5; cf. Matt. 24:33).’ 

Now friends, please, let’s take a moment today out of our busy, lockdown schedules (smile) and sincerely peruse those scriptures nuh, and if they don’t raise up the joy, the anticipation that heaven offers, then I really don’t know what else to say. Much LOVE!

…when life becomes a struggle…look up…and remember…the awesome and faithful promise of heaven…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Saturday, oh Saturday; what a great day! Oh, let me take that back…no embellish it. Saturday is a great day -good for sleeping in, like I just did – (smile), but the real truth is that EVERY day is a great day in God’s world! 

How could they not be when you have the Holy Spirit of your Creator constantly walking with and dwelling within you eh? Oh, we ought to know that just because we call ourselves Christians and have Jesus beside us all the time, that all our days will not be worry and problem free. 

Unfortunately many of us supposed believers seem to think so, but if you look through the Good Book you’ll notice that some of the men and women of greatest faith and holiness, like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Uncle Job and Bruh Paul had more problems than some of their lesser peers, with the most important being our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And what makes every day a great day is basically our mindset and attitude. A positive approach to life is the best. Obviously there will be some negative circumstances, but the trick is to try and consider them in a positive light; like the Lord is testing us, and this too shall pass, and He won’t allow more than we can bear. 

Our God must always be prominent in our thoughts whether we are experiencing good or bad circumstances. As Job said when his whole life crumbled in mere moments, we can’t always expect good and not some bad. That’s just how life is in our fallen and sinful world. 

And I have personal testimony to that this morning. And before giving it, I have to exhale a ‘Steups!’ and an ‘Ah Lord eh!’ Why? Because I just came down to my office to write the Bit, and lo and behold I saw that one of the panels in the ceiling of the office had come apart. 

Obviously I was annoyed, and further annoyed when I tried to put it back together and found that I couldn’t do it by myself. I couldn’t raise my hands above my head and hold all the stuff together at the same time. Some years ago I could have done it, although it has always been a finicky job; as you fix one side, the other tends to drop out etc. 

And believe me, I can’t see any reason why that particular panel fell out, except to test my resources. (smile) But am I going to let it spoil my day? Obviously not! It’s relatively a small, unimportant thing, which can stay as it is until I can get someone to help me put it back together again. 

Yeh friends, too many of us allow little things to rattle us and get us off of our ‘A game’ and spoil the rest of our day. That brings us to the quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I only got two from him this week, don’t know what happened. 

But anyway, this first one segues in quite nicely to what we’ve been talking about. ‘Don’t think too much…. you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.’ And that’s quite possible. 

When problems befall us we tend to over think them, wondering why, what, when, wherefore and all the other questions, which only makes the current problem bigger than it ought to be. 

I could have done that with the fallen bit of ceiling, but it wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere, except miserable. And it at least brought home the knowledge that I’m not as agile and supple as I used to be. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.’ I really don’t know how to view that nuh, except to think that when we make wrong choices we can end up in places so desperate and helpless, that we are forced to turn to God for help to extricate us. 

And that’s why our Bit tells it like it is. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And all God’s people shouted a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ because they know that that statement is the ultimate in truth. Yeh friends, when you belong to the most omnipotent force, the highest Being in the universe, you have no reason to fear what man can do to you. 

And as the sons of Korah continue to sing their song of praise and tribute: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.    Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, though the earth and all therein erupt in deadly turmoil, yet we who believe in Almighty God will not be afraid. Glory to God! So total is our surrender, so strong is our faith, hope and trust in Him, that nothing will move us, except His rejection. 

And we know that will NEVER happen! Not after He showed His undying LOVE and sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our abominable sins. 

So let us go forward this Saturday morning, filled with the strength, wisdom and understanding granted us through His Holy Spirit and make it a great day, spreading LOVE and the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry. That’s the way our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, desires it. Much LOVE!

…don’t fear man…but certainly fear God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2017 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.   I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me!

Well friends, it’s Easter Saturday; another season of Lent is over with the passing of Good Friday and Jesus is resting quietly in His tomb. Glory to God! We’re only waiting for the big day now; Resurrection Sunday, possibly the greatest day in the history of the Christian faith. 

I know many people prefer Christmas to Easter, but without Easter there could be no death, thus no payment for sins, no Resurrection and consequently no reconciliation with the Father, salvation and eternal life. We’d be left forever wallowing in the deep and deadly mire of sin. 

So Easter is indeed a most important time in our faith, that’s why we ought to celebrate it with joy and gladness, offering up songs of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father who made it all possible through His awesome, amazing, undaunted, unconditional LOVE for us. 

But please remember, that though Lent is over and the celebrations will begin today, we must not overdo it, and give occasion to Lucifer to penetrate our spiritual battle armour.  So let’s take Granny’s advice to heart, one more time; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ (smile) And that truly is some of the best advice we can ever receive my brethren. 

Now since today is Saturday, I guess we ought to take a look at some other advice, this from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us in our daily living. He had some interesting advice this week. Listen to this one. ‘Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.’ 

And that’s certainly an option that’s open to us all. It’s like the verse from Psalm 118 that we often declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ It’s our choice how we view and then spend the day; it can either be in a positive or negative manner. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.’ 

Now I don’t know if optimism is indeed the most important human trait, but it surely is a very important one, because it allows us to look on the bright side of every situation and gives us hope that things can get better, thereby lifting our troubled and worried spirits.. 

And this last quote reinforces all the others. ‘Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.’ 

And nobody knows that better than we Christian believers! Our faith in Jesus Christ can cause us to move mountains, as we believe that with our great God ALL THINGS are possible! 

And that brings us to our Bit: ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me!’ Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! 

Like in Bruh Paul’s life, when he made that statement to the Philippians, our God places us in certain situations, and then gives us the enabling power to handle them. Whether we be rich or poor, abounding or abased, weak or strong, God gives us the strength, the power to be content in them all, regardless of their complexity and/or painfulness. 

And we see this attitude and belief in all of Bruh Paul’s teachings, though how else could it be eh, seeing the rough, dangerous, nomadic life he led once he began preaching Christ crucified? 

Listen to him in the first epistle to the Corinthians. ‘ For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s only through God’s saving grace that Bruh Paul could have survived all the dangers and rough times he encountered during his missionary journeys. And the same thing goes for us; only through God’s grace are we able to bear the trials and tribulations of this earthly life. 

Now hear him in the second epistle to the Corinthians, as he talks about ministers in the New Testament. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God:’ (2 Cor,3:4-5) Yes friends, we are indeed nothing without God! 

Now let’s end with the immortal and authoritative words on the subject, from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

And if there ever was real gospel truth, that’s it! Without an association with Christ we are powerless to do anything, much less to bear much good fruit in this life. So the moral of the story is to get in good with Christ, and stay attuned to Him all the days of our lives. And there’s no better time to do so than right now at Easter; the time of His awesome, world changing Resurrection! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Christ…do our lives live up to their true potential… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2017 2 Peter 2:2.

2 Peter 2:2.   And many shall follow their pernicious (destructive) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (blasphemed).

Oh friends, we constantly talk about the many wonders of nature, but oftimes forget its eccentricities! And I have a perfect example of that. 

Yesterday the rain fell around here all day, and not mere drizzles, but strong, steady showers. I even got caught in it going to and from the heart clinic in afternoon. It just went on and on, with the wind wailing and howling like crazy. 

Now at minutes to three this morning, on my way to bed, I opened my front door and looked out to view the situation. It was extremely wet and incredibly windy! However, at minutes after eight, when I finally got up and looked outside…lo and behold, it was white with snow! 

Mama Mia! I know I heard something on the T.V about wet snow in the evening, but apparently nothing happened until the early morning hours, and this was a little more than the wet kind. (smile) 

But yuh know what? It didn’t kill the workingman’s enthusiasm for the upcoming weekend…not at all! He was still out there in the cold, enthusiastically declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is here! At long last, our little break from sweatshop work and paltry pay! 

A man can’t even afford to really party on the slave wages we make…Steups! But we’ll certainly do our best! And we going to have a rollicking good time in spite of it! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, paltry pay is certainly a major factor in our world’s abject poverty today. Even in the supposed first world countries, it’s difficult to have a decent standard of living just working one job, so can you imagine what’s happening in the third and fourth class countries? Hn! Absolute robbery and immense ‘sufferation!’ 

And the last thing we need is a whole lot of partying and licentiousness. Our focus should be instead on action like what our Friday Chant advises. So let’s chant it out nuh in true sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, unless we renew and refresh ourselves over the weekend, we’ll be no good for the new week of work. That brings us to our Bit. ‘And many shall follow their pernicious (destructive) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (blasphemed).’ 

Now all of us have encountered some of that false teaching and blasphemy at some stage of our lives, and I reiterate, the only way to counter it is by knowing the Word of God. And you can’t know the Word of God unless you are constantly and faithfully and deeply immersed in it. 

Over the last couple of days, we saw what Peter had to say about the false teachers and prophets. Today we’ll get some insight into Bruh Paul’s predictions of apostasy, in his first letter to Timothy. 

‘Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing (deceiving) spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. 

Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats (food), which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified (consecrated) by the word of God and prayer.’ (1 Tim.4:1-5) 

Yuh see friends, Bruh Paul also knew how evil we’d become in the last days. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. 

‘4:1. Expressly means clearly. To depart means to apostatize. Apostasy is the deliberate and permanent rejection of Christianity after previous profession of faith in it. Doctrines of devils, that is doctrines taught by demons.’ 

‘4:2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (or, “by the hypocrisy of liars”): The demons of verse 1 expound their doctrines, not directly, but indirectly through such human ministers. These are further described as having their conscience seared with a hot iron, that is branded (scarred) in their conscience. 

Permanently defaced, the moral life of these hypocrites is scarred by sin as they carry around the awareness of their guilt, yet continue preaching to others.’ 

‘4:3. Two examples of demonic doctrines are cited here: (1) prohibition against marriage, and (2) abstaining from certain foods.’ 

‘4:4. Every creature of God is good (or, “Everything created by God is good”). This substantiates the remark in verse 3 that God created foods to be eaten, not abstained from.’ 

‘4:5. By divine statements (by the word of God) declaring all foods fit for man, and by the believer’s giving of thanks before meals (by…prayer), food is sanctified. This means food is set apart (reserved) for consumption by Christians.’ 

So friends, let’s remember today that there are numerous false teachers and doctrines in our world, trying to take us away from following the true Christ, and we need to be very diligent and careful in what and whom we listen to, else we can be very easily led astray. Much LOVE!

…the only antidote for false doctrine and teaching…thorough knowledge of God’s Word…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. 

The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one 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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…

 

 

 

 

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