Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2019 Psalm 146:5.

Psalm 146:5.    ​Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord God.

 

Welcome to another day in the life friends, as God’s great universe unfurls as it should! Yes, however He’s planned it to unfurl, that’s how it will! And it’s unfurling in my neighbourhood as a wet and cloudy morning. Oh, yesterday I saw the prettiest set of rain I’ve seen around here in a long while, powerful and persistent, for almost half an hour, and not the drizzly type of rainfall we’ve been recently getting. But early this morning it did it’s drizzly thing again. (smile) 

Anyhow, though we don’t have the sun, we do have the SON; and that’s even better, for He is always riding shotgun with us, if we allow Him to. And in the fateful words of Bruh Paul, may the grace and peace of our marvellous God be with all you precious saints of Christ! And all those saints said a loud and proud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And now to boost our mid-week confidence, let’s say this Prayer of Confidence as drawn up by Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) in his Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me. ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear. I have made the right decisions. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely. For God is behind me. He will help me. 

If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank You, God! Amen!’ 

And friends, if you said that sincerely, I know that a flow of confidence is now surging through your soul. All thanks be to our wonderful heavenly Father and His powerful Holy Spirit that dwells within us, and leads and guides us inALL situations for our good! And that’s why we can therefore acclaim: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today!’ As well as: ‘Something good is going to happen through me today!’ That’s the confidence we have in our omnipotent and magnanimous God! 

And today, all we want to do is to highlight some scriptures on confidence. First, we’ll begin with what we should not do. Hear the psalmist from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9) And just for your info, the scholars tell us that verse 8 above is the middle verse of the Bible. 

And all of that flows smoothly into Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God. ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord God.’ (Ps.146:3-5) And if you want to hear why the psalmist says so, please read the next five verses. (smile) 

Then Cousin Sol wisely tells us: ‘Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation (trouble) of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught.) (Prov.3:25-26) What wonderful words of advice my people! 

And hear Cousin Sol again nuh: ‘In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.’ (Prov.14:26) Mama Mia! Does that ever boost one’s spirit! Yeh friends, true reverential awe of our great God imbues us with strong confidence! 

Meanwhile, the author of Hebrews puts it this way: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36) Yes my people, with God, patience and endurance mean a lot. We show our true colours, our confidence in Him when we do His will, then wait quietly and patiently for any reward that’s forthcoming. And usually there is. 

Now hear John from his epistle, re the children of God and righteousness. ‘And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth (practices) righteousness is born of him.’ (1 John 2:28-29). 

And the scholars explain: ‘2:28. Wishing to please the Lord, and not be ashamed before him at his coming, ought to motivate believers to stand firm, to abide in him.’ And so it should be, my fellow believers! If we believe He is righteous and truthful, and will keep all His promises, then that certainly ought to motivate us to stand strong and steadfast in His word! 

And finally, more wise words from John. ‘These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired (asked) of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (vs.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer isaccording to His will.’ And so it is my faithful brethren! If our prayers aren’t in accord with God’s will, we’re simply wasting our time praying them. But when we have the confidence that we’re doing His will…oh what a happy day it is! 

And today’s just such a day! So please let’s go home now declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our position, our great confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ. With loud voice and sincere sincerity (smile): ‘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 yes, that eternal future with Christ will be more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith and confidence in Almighty God…is what allows us…to move mountains here on earth…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2019 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.    Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Saturday, oh Saturday, how do I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways: I don’t have to wake up panicky to an alarm and rush out to take children to a babysitter and school, then to a job that I dislike, while sitting in traffic and getting there tired and disgruntled. I don’t have to spend 8 hours working with people who are mostly jerks. I suppose they think I’m one too, but that’s okay. 

 

I don’t have to clean the house, do laundry or take the children out, if I don’t want to. And if the children aren’t happy with that state of affairs, then I can drop them off at their grandparents who will just LOVE to entertain them for the day, since they seldom see them during the week. Then I can spend the whole day on the couch eating junk food, or in bed with my hubby! And yuh tell me I won’t LOVE you Saturday! No way Jose! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And I particularly like this one: ‘Always have something beautiful in sight, even if it’s just a daisy in a jelly glass.’ 

Why? Because it’s just about admiring beautiful things; things that the Lord made just for us to admire, like the beauty of nature and all therein. There’s nothing better than to be able to feast one’s eyes on something beautiful, whatever it may be, because it just lifts our spirits and reminds us of God’s greatness and helps us to truly appreciate His LOVING-kindness towards mankind! 

And these next two seem to go together: ‘There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’… ‘Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.’ 

Yeh friends, our God didn’t make us to live small, unimportant lives, but to live big ones, with big dreams that will stretch us, dreams that will seem impossible, that will then leads us to partner with Him, to whom nothing is impossible, to make them come true. Remember Jesus came to earth to die, not only to pay for our sins, but also for us to have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) 

And abundant life doesn’t mean living below our capabilities, but trying to reach for the stars, with His help of course! And believe me, too many of us believers are not stretching ourselves to our full potential, merely settling for mediocrity, for merely what life offers, instead of reaching out for what God meant us to have and to be!  

But please remember, we’re also supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world! And you can’t make a marked difference unless your salt is indeed salty and spread out, and your light is shining big and bright! (smile) And dreams will always conquer facts, because facts are static and unchangeable, but dreams can be big, wide, far-reaching, changeable, and with the help of the creator of the universe, possible! 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘There are things that always seem impossible until they are done.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! How many times in our own lives have we figured or claimed that something is impossible, then we simply hunker down, put our best foot forward, ask for some supernatural help…and voila! There it’s done and no longer impossible! 

And I guess here we should note Jesus’ immortal words after making the statement about a camel passing through the eye of a needle to his disciples. (Matt.19:23-25) Obviously they were amazed, as we too are, even now. ‘But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt.19:26) 

Please friends, please, let’s never forget that: any and everything is indeed possible with our great God, and if it falls within His will for our lives, He will make it possible for us! That’s why we can’t live small, cloistered, non-dreaming lives, but have to reach up and out for what He’s planned for us. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.’ Yes my people, in this life there will always be some kind of fear in our lives, so talking about its absence is not reality at all. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t have courage, because as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘courage is doing it afraid.’ And that’s oh so true! 

In this crazy, divisive, evil, wicked, strife-filled, war-torn world, fear is the number one emotion in so many of our lives. And there is cause for some fear even when walking in our own neighbourhoods, but remember that some of the most repeated words in the Good Book are these two simple ones: ‘FEAR NOT!’ 

From Genesis to Revelation they are used to encourage us not to be afraid, because God knows that fear is a meaningful emotion in human lives, but when we walk compliantly with Him, there is no need to be afraid, because He is in control of EVERYTHING! Thus Jesus’ affirmation to the people when He told them to seek first the kingdom of God: ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

It’s simple friends, if we make God our Number ONE priority, we need not fear anything in this whole wide world! And if that didn’t touch you, then listen to Jesus again: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if you can’t truly believe and trust Jesus’ words, what’s the point of calling yourself a believer eh? 

And we’ll close with this scripture that all of us know, but not enough actually take to heart. Hear these electrifying words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) Therefore my brethren, I implore us, let’s not only remember those powerful and true words, but as of today, let’s action them in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds nuh, for they will certainly stand us in very good stead in this life! Much LOVE!

…believers ought not to be live in fear…but in courage…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2019 Jeremiah 10:23.

Jeremiah 10:23.    ​O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
 

Well friends, we’re seeing another brand new day! Bless the Lord, oh my soul! Yes, obviously the number of our days have not yet been accounted for, so there is good reason to give our great and most generous God much thanks and praise for lengthening our glorious days on planet Earth! 

I don’t know about you nuh mih people, but the ole fella sure isn’t ready to give up this earthly life as yet. Though it can be rough and tough, it’s the only one I know, (smile) and I still have plenty work to do for the Lord. In fact I haven’t done anything really worth talking about as yet, which means the best days of my life are still out there before me. Glory be! 

And before you go thinking that I’m boasting or counting on my own efforts to bring that glorious future to pass, hear me say and acknowledge, like Jeremiah: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ 

And I wish that the whole world, this evil and ungodly society in which we now live would come to that realization, sooner, rather than later, so that our wonderful world can find some peace and much less war and strife. Instead of counting on our own strength, we ought to be praying like Jeremiah: ‘O Lord, correct me, but with judgement (justice); not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jer.10:24) 

And believe me my brethren, if the Lord really pours forth His anger on us, as He has the right to, in view of our abominable, sinful and ungodly behaviour, we will be brought to nothing! The scholars tell us:‘10:24 –25. Jeremiah surrenders to God’s program of judgement but asks that the necessary chastisement not be carried out severely (cf. 46:28; Hab.3:2).’ 

And so should we be praying too my friends, because our God is just as angry with us these days, as He was back in Jeremiah’s time, with the Israelites backsliding and disgusting worship of idols. It’s hard to see how Israel could have fallen so completely to idolatry in the light of all the Lord had done for them. 

But we are doing the same thing. In light of our prosperity and advancement, we now believe that it’s all our doing and are pushing God aside and leaning on, and in our own strength and thus worshipping the idols of material wealth and power. But please remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites way back when. 

‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee the power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18) And that most salient fact has not changed, not even one iota my brethren! It’s still the Lord God Almighty who gives us life and the power to get wealth! 

So how can we move away from Him and expect to prosper for any real length of time eh? That’s pure folly, utterly lacking in wisdom, the wisdom we like to pride ourselves so much on! It’s now time therefore to listen to some of the wise words of Cousin Sol, beginning with these most applicable ones: ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’ (Prov.16:18) 

It’s a fact of life that we all know, yet for some foolish reason believe that it will happen to everybody else, but not to us. That’s a fool’s wisdom friends! And hear Cousin Sol again. ‘The preparations (plans) of the heart in (belong to) man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes: but the Lord weigheth the spirits…A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov.16:1-2,10) 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘16:1. The Lord is sovereign, even over a man’s thoughts and words.’ ‘16:2. The Lord is the great discerner of motives.’ ‘16:10. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ And it’s not like we don’t know all of that, but we’re just stubborn, hardheaded and hardhearted, just like the Israelites were. But yet we expect to have a different ending than they did! Steups! 

Ah friends, that’s just more ‘foolish folly’! Remember, we can’t sow sin and ungodliness and expect to reap righteousness and justice! What we need to be doing instead, is as Cousin Sol wisely states. ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.’ (Prov.16:3) 

And furthermore: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body) and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.3:5-7) 

Oh my people, after accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour, those are possibly the wisest words in the Good Book! So please let’s actively live them nuh, not just talk them! They will cause us to be blessed with true health and strength! And talking about being blessed, its’ time for us to go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) the amazing Thursday Blessings that our magnanimous God has given us to work with here on earth. 

As one voice, in sincerity and true sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And just a reminder that those awesome blessings are to be generously shared in doing Christ’s work, not selfishly hoarded for our own selfish purposes! (smile) Much LOVE!

…it’s amazing…but totally foolish…how the created…can think…they’re greater than their Creator…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘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) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2019 2 Peter 1:8.

2 Peter 1:8.    For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Sunny days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yeh, let’s hope that today is nothing like yesterday, with rain straight through until late afternoon. Got caught in it going to an appointment some distance from home, and would you believe it was terrible; traffic just crawling, with road construction like everywhere, and the rain itself one minute petering out to a light drizzle, then next picking back up steam again. Good thing that it had stopped by the time I was on my way back home. 

And we can’t have no rain today because this evening David Rudder (the Crown Prince of kaiso) is down in the Bandshell in the Ex. And that’s a totally open space. So please pray that David gets a good chance to share his beautiful kaiso (calypso) offerings later. (smile) 

Now here’s another prayer, this one from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it: ‘A Prayer for Success.’ Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, all of that is so true! In the first place we must realize that what we do is not the most important thing in our lives, but who we are; beloved children of God! And that alone gives us a great chance for success. But as Gramps Schuller says, we need these three untouchables and ‘unmeasurables’; faith, hope and LOVE, to even enter the ring of success, much less to achieve it. 

And Peter expounds on the subject nicely, and quite at length in his second epistle. Listen to Him as he greets his readers and reminds them of God’s provision for Christian living, past, present and future. ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (2 Pet. 1:2-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, we see that our most magnanimous God has already given us all the power and grace and promises that we need to succeed in this life, but we have to now raise them up from our souls through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. 

And Peter then continues, re growing in grace. ‘And beside this, (for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’ (2 Pet.1:5-7) 

Ah mih people, that seems like a real rough row to hoe, but hoe it we must, if we want to succeed in this Christian walk of faith and LOVE! And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. 

Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agapen) is volitional LOVE (making a choice or decision to LOVE). This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.’ And so indeed it is my fellow saints in Christ! And Peter reason thus for his advice: ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! For there’s nothing better in this life than to have a good knowledge about Christ and produce good fruit in His image! And Peter further explains: ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) What a wonderful life is being set up in heaven for those of us who place Christ above all else and do our best to honour and obey Him! 

Hear how the scholars explain those last verses. ‘1:10-11. Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living. The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.’ 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that my people! Therefore let’s go home now joyfully declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail which let’s the whole world know of our serious position in Christ, since heaven is our ultimate home. 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 if you sincerely believe, then you’ll know that that future will indeed be glorious; so glorious that we cannot even imagine it! Wow! So let’s keep on hanging tight with Jesus nuh friends, for that is wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…success in anything…means learning and adhering to these three keys…hope…faith…and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11.    ​Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.
 

Oh my fellow believers, I bring you warm and plentiful greetings of peace and LOVE this Sunday morning from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Remember it’s the Lord’s Day; the day He rested after creating our universe, and He expects us to get in some rest today too, but also to join together with other believers in sincere fellowship in His sanctuary. And believe me, He doesn’t care whether our meeting place is a splendiferous cathedral, or merely a poor, broken down hovel. 

Remember what Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) Yes friends, our great and merciful God simply wants us to gather together to worship and praise Him and hear His Word so that we can be encouraged, our faith strengthened to go out and face the enemy with zest and confidence during this upcoming week. So today, please let’s make it a point to gather with believers of like faith and raise our hearts and voices to heaven in praise and exaltation.

And as always, we begin our proceedings with song, today’s being one supposedly chosen in a poll by the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, as being the greatest Christian hymn ever. We call it’ Holy, Holy, Holy.’ Some might not call it the greatest, but it surely is amongst the greatest! It was written by the Anglican pastor Reginald Heber (1783-1826), apparently for use on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost, a feast day in honour of the Holy Trinity. 

As you can see it speaks specifically of the Holy Trinity with several references to passages of scripture in the Good Book. The claim has also been made that John Bacchus Dykes composed a tune for this hymn in 1861 and titled it ‘Nicaea’ as a tribute to the First Council of Nicaea, which formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in 325. 

And now that we have all that knowledge of the tune’s origins, let’s sing it in loud, harmonious voice nuh, making heaven sit up and take notice. All together now: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty! God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy. sea; Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinful man, Thy glory may not see: Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee, Perfect in power in LOVE, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty, God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty, God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that all three personages of our Trinity were touched by that soulful and harmonious rendition! You know our God likes His praise. (smile) As the sons of Korah sang: ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.’  (Ps.47:6-7) 

But the words themselves are ever so relevant to the believer’s life.  Just listen to these sentiments nuh. ‘Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.’ And so should it my faithful brethren. Bruh David enshrined it in Psalm 5 when he declared: ‘My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.’ (Ps.5:3) And our God sure is ’Merciful and Mighty! No doubt about that whatsoever. 

As Isiah said when the Lord commissioned him, and he saw the wonder of the Lord on His throne with the seraphim all around Him. ‘And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.’ (Is.6:3) And so it is indeed my people! 

Then in the second verse of the hymn, we have the vision of John per the activities in heaven: ‘And round about the throne were four and twenty seats (thrones): and upon the seats (thrones) I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment (robes), and they had on their heads crowns of gold…. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts (living creatures) full of eyes (symbolizing wisdom) before and behind. 

And the first beast was like a lion (representing strength), and the second beast like a calf (representing service), and the third beast had a face as a man (representing intelligence), and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (representing swiftness). And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him (depicting movement); and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 

And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.’ (Rev.4:4, 6-11)) 

And that says it all friends! The scholars though expand on it some: ‘4:9-11. All of heaven worship the Father. The angels extol His character, and the elders (church) extol His creative powers. God has the right to rule and the sovereign authority to judge the earth, because He is both holy and the Creator of all.’ Please let’s remember that and live accordingly my fellow believers in Christ, for it will stand us in good stead down the road. Much LOVE!

…our Godhead…perfect in power…in LOVE…and in purity…

 

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

 

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