Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.     If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
 

It’s a somewhat damp and foggy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, so please be careful all you who have to get out on the road, because you know the kind of craziness that exists on our roadways these days. If you can wait until the fog lifts, please do so. And today we’re going to look at a very interesting quote from one of the leading Protestant Theologians of our age, Jurgen Moltman (1926) of the German Reformed Church. And the quote says: ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! When we’re passionate about life, or anything really, we enjoy the experience that thing brings more than if we’re not passionate about it. And there’s nothing to be more passionate about than the LOVE of God and the LOVE of life! Unfortunately though, too many of us have lost the passion we once had for real life and for God, and instead have embraced the unrealistic, soul destroying, short-lasting and unproductive passion for worldly stuff. We have to remember that life is not, and will never be completely smooth sailing, but a combination of storms and calms, highs and lows, and ‘choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks.’ 

Yeh friends, as someone once said, ‘setbacks are only opportunities in disguise.’ Therefore, though we may not like them, and they may prove to be difficult and frustrating, we still need to embrace them as important aspects of our lives, because we know that it is only through setbacks and adversity that we truly grow. We can’t hide from the difficult things, or those we don’t like, else we’ll never know or experience the true fullness and joy of life. Those who are passionate and enthusiastic about life, despite its many shortcomings, are the ones who rise to the top of the enjoyment heap. (smile) 

And the BEST way to handle life’s ups and downs is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives! If you didn’t know that before, then you know it now! (smile) Oh my people, with Jesus as the mainstay, the mainmast, the pilot of our lives, we can remain calm through every storm, and handle every high and low with equanimity. But only the LOVE and acceptance of Jesus enables us to have those wonderful qualities! And why is that eh? Because when Jesus enters into our hearts and lives He puts the power of His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and it’s that Holy Spirit that leads and guides, teaches and convicts, comforts and LOVES us, so that we can handle whatever comes against us with a good and sane attitude. 

Now, before we go any further, let’s make one thing real clear; following Jesus is wonderful, but it’s not always easy! And unless you’re ready to truly hunker down and do what He asks, then you’ll find yourself frustrated and unhappy from the very get go. So let’s look at some of the important but difficult stuff that Jesus laid out for His followers. The first and most important, but also most difficult requirement is laid down in these words of our Lord and Saviour to the disciples. ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ That statement there usually stops many of us right in our tracks! The idea of denying ourselves and taking up a cross doesn’t sit well with any of us, but to follow Jesus they are necessary prerogatives. 

And here’s what the scholars have to say about it. ‘16:22-28. Deny himself, that is, refuse his own claims upon himself. Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38, and implies a lifting up of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ Ah mih people, although it seems like we’re asked to give up so much for Christ, the reality is that we get back much much more than we give up when we’re steadfast and sincere. 

Now here’s what I LOVE about Jesus; He can give you comfort at the same time as promising adversity. Listen to Him to the disciples, and consequently to all His future followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that 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 glory be my faithful brethren! What a mighty promise! The world is full of trials and tribulation, but when we embrace Jesus, we can have His peace! And what kind of peace is that? Listen to Jesus again: ‘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) 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes that peace to the Philippians nuh. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) And what kind of peace is all of that? The scholars explain: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

Yeh friends, when you walk sincerely with Jesus, ALL bases are covered! That’s not say you won’t have problems and face adversity, but you will be able to handle them with the awesome help of the Holy Spirit! Wow! Now, for those of us who truly believe and try to be faithful, let’s go home lifting up our crosses high, so the whole world can know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

So let’s go out and do exactly that nuh my faithful brethren, as it behooves us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to walk with Christ…is to walk in true peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2019 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.    ​Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

‘Sleeping in, sleeping in…that’s what we do on a Saturday morning!’ Yeh people, that’s why so many of us like Saturdays; no getting up early and rushing off to work, we can sleep in and laze away the whole day if we so desire…unless we have young children to look after, or lot’s of house work to do. (smile) But however you take it, Saturday belongs to us! Praise the Lord! 

We also need to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Nothing happens unless something is moved.’ And I believe that’s fairly true. If everything stays the same, nothing much will happen. However if something is moved, it’s liable to stir up stuff, either desirable or undesirable. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘The larger the change, the more people will resist it. Thus, make it seem so tiny and trivial that people don’t even realize it.’ And I guess we would all agree on the first part; the bigger and more invasive the change, the more opposition one will get, although one will get some opposition to any change at all, big or small. 

And as to the second half, I’m not sure that a serious change can be made so small that people won’t even notice it. That’s because serious change usually comes in big packages, and you do notice big packages. I’d say, if the change is worthwhile, then the size of the package doesn’t really matter. 

Although the norm nowadays is for politicians to hide important changes in large omnibus bills covering many things, hoping that you won’t have the time or energy to dig and delve into them that much. Oh the crooked, tangled and evil web we weave, when we practice to deceive! But that’s the politician’s raison d’etre; spin, spin, and more spin! 

For example, this Monday is our Federal Election here in Canada and the four political parties involved are making all sorts of glowing promises, but the sad reality is that when one of them gets in power, none, or very little of what they promised will ever see the light of day. And don’t fool yuh fat, they will have some reason that sounds plausible for reneging on their promises. 

But let’s move on the next quote, since there’s nothing much we can do about the politicians right now. On a point of interest though, we advocate putting up righteous Christians for election, but most righteous Christians don’t want to become embroiled in the serious and dangerous charade that is politics. And many of those who do get involved, end up compromising their godly principles in the hothouse that is modern politics. 

And that’s a good lead in to the next quote: ‘The day the power of LOVE overrules the LOVE of power; the world will know peace.’ Oh how true that is my brethren! The LOVE of power is so prevalent these days, that it’s seen from the top of the socio-economic ladder, where all the leaders now want to be defacto dictators, right down to the bottom, where things like bullying and advantage taking have become serious problems on social media platforms and even in places like kindergarten. 

That’s how far the LOVE of power has eclipsed the power of LOVE! And the way things are going, I doubt we’ll see a reversal until Christ comes back and sets up His eternal kingdom. Now here is the last quote, which says:‘When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.’ 

That’s for sure my people! In a whole lot of situations, the only change that’s possible is ours. We see that in our Christian life all the time. And there’s no better example than when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ 

Yeh friends, once we accept Christ, we can’t be the same old sinful people that we once were. We have to become new people, morally new and different, change ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it to Nicodemus in so many words. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) That means change is expected, a new beginning has to be made, for Christ’s lifestyle does not mesh with that of the world. 

And that lifestyle is simply described by Bruh Paul in his message to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Yeh friends, our new lifestyle in Jesus should be walking in the leading and guiding of His Holy Spirit, not that of the flesh. 

‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom.8:5-8) 

So let’s spend some time pondering that today nuh; whether we are still walking in the flesh, or in the Spirit, and ask the Lord to help us, for the world and it’s sinful ways still offer powerful attractions to our fallen nature. Much LOVE!

…to be in Christ…one must become a new person…

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…

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…

 

 

 

 

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