Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Awright friends, it’s bright and sunshiny out there, so let’s get with the thanks and praise, as we all joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And we’d be very foolish and ungrateful not to do so my brethren, because that’s why the Lord made the beautiful day – so that His precious people could enjoy it. Glory to our Most High God, whose kind, gracious and LOVING thoughts are always upon us, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

Yes my dear brethren in Christ, our God only has our best interest at heart, but we foolishly screw it up when we don’t pay Him His much-deserved obeisance and obedience. Anyway, He’s also overflowing with forgiveness, so when we realize the error of our ways and come to Him in sincere repentance, He WILL have mercy on our poor human souls, and forgive us. That’s just how magnanimous and generous He is! 

And that’s why the workingman, even in his somewhat mislead agenda, can cry out in thanks and appreciation this Friday morning to the Most High: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! MamaYo! The weekend is at hand; the time to celebrate life is upon us. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s celebrate life! 

We alive and kicking, and the wisest man ever, Solomon, said that it was good for a man to eat drink and enjoy the fruits of his labour! So leh we do that nuh, celebrate the end of another back breaking week of slave-like labour, as we give thanks for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah friends, as always, I have no complaints re the workingman’s song, except that he takes the celebrating thing a little too far, so that he opens wide the door for Lucifer and his evil minions to get a foothold in his soul. And that’s why, as believers, our Friday Chant is somewhat different; still exuberant and enthusiastic, but with tighter boundaries and a li’l more circumspection. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, as we declare our thanks for the weekend to Almighty God. 

‘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.’ 

Yes people, we have to be careful to not go too far out on the limb of freedom, so that we don’t allow the enemy to muddy our clean, clear waters. And remember too, that not because a wide door or path has been opened to us, that we have to go through or take it, for oftimes, it is the enticement of the enemy. 

That’s why Jesus warned us: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

 And that’s the God awesome truth friends! Living and working for Jesus, does take away some of our wiggle room. (smile) Meanwhile, Luke puts it thus: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:24) Yes my brethren, the way to eternal life is narrow and fraught with difficulty, and only those who sincerely seek it and are willing to pay the price will find it. 

And it’s not only narrow, but there’s only ONE WAY, that through Jesus, as He succinctly informed doubting Thomas. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Right there you have that narrow, one-way street to eternal life my people! Jesus didn’t mince words; He told it exactly like it is: ONLY through Him can one get to the Father and bypass eternal damnation with Lucifer in the lake of fire! 

So what’s it going to be eh: eternal salvation in the amazing company of our Triune God, or hell fire and damnation with the fallen angels? It’s a decision each individual has to make for themself; nobody else can make it for you. They can suggest it, or even lead you to that narrow path, but it’s always going to be your decision to tread or not to tread it. 

 Let’s hope today my people, that we all make the wise decision; that to follow Jesus on the narrow but difficult and self-sacrificing path to victory and everlasting life. It’s the best and wisest decision we can ever make in this lifetime! And we will never regret it, all the way through eternity! Much LOVE!

…if Christ…who cannot lie…says He is the ONLY way to the Father…then it must be true…

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2018 John 10:10b-11.

John 10:10b-11.   I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Awright my believing brethren, what shall we say about this day eh? ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And what else? That this is the Lord’s Day and we WILL go to His sanctuary to give Him much praise and thanks, to celebrate our blessed lives and fellowship with others of the same belief! 

We shall also listen to His Word, let it seep into our hearts and souls, and consequently have our spirits refilled with God’s LOVE through His Holy Spirit, so that we can walk tall and strong, proud and confident, when we depart from His sanctuary! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised! And there’s no better way to praise Him than in song: He enjoys it, and it brings the best out of us. And today’s song of praise is a favourite gospel song from a few years back, one we all know and LOVE; it’s simply but oh so meaningfully titled ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

It was written by the gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, and first recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Unfortunately though, Edwin Hawkins died a few weeks ago, but in conjunction with his choir, he left the world a wonderful legacy in song. I also saw a wonderful rendition of it on You Tube by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation choir. Oh, Ray was so worked up that on his way off the stage he stopped at least three times and did a Happy Day dance! 

So let’s open our hearts and mouths and allow our voices to soar to high heaven with these few simple but oh so meaningful words. Remember, half the beauty of the song is in its call and response style, so let’s call and respond in all sincerity and truth nuh, letting our magnificent and magnanimous God know how deep is our joy, in having the wonderful privilege of worshipping Him. Hn! I hope that makes sense. 

But anyway, enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (oh happy day) 

Oh happy day (oh happy day) He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how could we not be ecstatic eh, when Jesus washed away our sins, cleansed us with the blood He shed on Calvary? He also taught us how to watch, to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! Glory be! We’d be foolish and ungrateful if we didn’t appreciate His stellar and selfless efforts on our behalf. 

Just look at what our Bit says: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ And that’s exactly what Jesus did my brethren! He gave His life so that we could enjoy abundant living in concert with the Father; redeemed, made righteous once again, with salvation and eternal life the end benefits. 

That means Christians ought to be the happiest people on Planet Earth…and show it in our behaviour too. For why would anyone want to come to Jesus if we claim to have so much wonderful stuff when we believe in Him, but our attitudes and demeanour are sour and miserable and definitely don’t reflect the joy we talk about so much eh? 

If our everyday lives aren’t filled with hope, happiness and heavenly thoughts and longing then we’re not true believers and/or Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in vain. Please friends, let that not be the case, because it would break both the Father and Jesus’ hearts. 

So please let’s make every day a happy day nuh; watching for His promised return; fighting the many evil enemies who want to discredit Him and turn us away. But they don’t know that when we get on our knees, both literally and figuratively, and pray to the Father in His name that the battle is as good as won! Glory Hallelujah! 

And with all of that good stuff, the rejoicing just comes naturally. Ah mih people, we have so much to look forward to when we sincerely make Jesus our Lord and Saviour. And when our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’re sealed forever as a child of God, our bonds are so ironclad that nothing, or no one can ever break them. That’s how powerful association with the Lord and His heavenly host is. 

So today, let’s step right up to the plate and hit the devil right out of the park for a large home run. That’ll show him to mess with Jesus’ people! Much LOVE!

…as a believer in Jesus…we’re promised joy for ever more…now who in their right senses would refuse that eh…

 


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh my brethren, the Caribana holiday weekend is in full swing with lots of festivities happening all around the province, especially in and around Toronto. But that’s no excuse to stay away from church today. 

Most of you won’t remember the days when nothing of any relevance happened in the city on a Sunday until after lunch. That gave people a time to visit the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with others in worship, praise and thanksgiving, while receiving His blessings and confidence for the upcoming week. 

And though those times are long past, as true believers, we are now expected to make that decision for ourselves. So let’s make sure we give God some of our time today nuh. There’ll be lots left over afterwards for us to play and have fun and enjoy our lives. That’s exactly what He wants us to do, but only after we’ve spent some valuable time with Him. 

So as always, let’s begin with a song of praise, to both give God some glory and soften up our hearts to hear and receive His awesome Word. And today we will sing a hymn penned long ago by an interesting lady, Charlotte Elliot (1789- 1871) 

‘The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. 

Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, “Just as I am” and “My God, my Father, while I stray.” Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done.’ 

So let’s sing with that heartfelt and plaintive simplicity that her most popular hymn calls forth: ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the beauty of finding and coming to Jesus: You can do so just as you are! You don’t have to clean up yourself or anything like that, cause He will do all the cleansing and whatever else you might need, when you come to Him. Isn’t that great? It surely is! 

Any other deity wants you to come clean and polished, but Jesus, our humble servant and friend is willing and able to do the dirty work Himself, just like He washed His disciples feet when He was here on earth. (John 13:1-20) Yeh friends, Jesus welcomes with open arms, anyone who sincerely comes to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ It’s as simple as that! 

Once you’ve come to the end of yourself and realize you can’t get any further ahead on your own strength, all you have to do is turn to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him to come into your heart…and He will. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, body and soul…and you will find Him. And when He comes and knocks on the door of your heart… gladly and humbly open it and let Him in and say a joyful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

People believe that becoming a child of God is difficult, but on the contrary, it’s one of the easiest families to become a member of. However, living according to His rules and regulations and doing what He expects of us after we become His brother or sister, that could become somewhat difficult, because the Father seeks excellence and wants us to conform as much as possible to our Big Brother’s image, especially in terms of obedience. 

Oh, He knows that it’s impossible for us to be Jesus’ perfect clone, because He made us imperfect, but we still need to come as close as humanly possible, and He does help us. So if you’re down and dirty, sick and suffering, downtrodden and abused, and you just can’t take it anymore…please turn to Jesus, He will accept you JUST AS YOU ARE, and care and comfort you like no one else can. It only takes a simple, but faithful prayer request. 

Here’s how Jesus put it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Yes friends, Jesus is the answer to ALL our problems…but we have to go to Him with a sincere and humble heart. Much LOVE!

…there is no other invitation in the universe like Jesus’…which asks so little…but delivers so much…that’s why it’s called…the Great Invitation…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well mih breddren, it’s Sunday morning, time to get thee hither to the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, praise, worship and exalt our heavenly Father and receive His blessings and confidence through His word for the upcoming week. 

Now yesterday we looked at the quote of our friend Anselm that talked about being judgemental in our youth, but after life humbled us with some serious life-lessons, we became more compassionate. Well since we dealt with judgmental attitudes yesterday I want to deal with compassion today. 

And it so happens that I went looking for a hymn on compassion to match our topic, and in the Lord’s grace and mercy was pointed to this beautiful modern hymn written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Lennox Getty and Stuart Townend. And it’s appropriately titled the ‘Compassion Hymn,’ with words that are ever so appropriate and heart-rending, putting our focus directly on Christ and His compassionate work on our behalf. 

You can google it and hear the beautiful melody and music that will definitely touch your heart and soul.  So let’s sing it out soulfully now nuh friends, in a medium tempo, in strong voice, with heartfelt sincerity, truly meaning the words of sacrificial praise that we offer. 

‘There is an everlasting kindness You lavished on us When the Radiance of heaven Came to rescue the lost You called the sheep without a shepherd To leave their distress For your streams of forgiveness And the shade of your rest 

And with compassion for the hurting You reached out your hand As the lame ran to meet you And the dead breathed again You saw behind the eyes of sorrow And shared in our tears Heard the sigh of the weary Let the children draw near 

(Chorus: What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live  An offering of praise As we show the world your compassion) We stood beneath the cross of Calvary And gazed on your face At the thorns of oppression  And the wounds of disgrace For surely You have borne our suffering And carried our grief As you pardoned the scoffer And showed grace to the thief 

(Chorus: What boundless LOVE…) How beautiful the feet that carry This gospel of peace To the fields of injustice And the valleys of need To be a voice of hope and healing To answer the cries Of the hungry and helpless With the mercy of Christ (Chorus: What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live  An offering of praise As we show to the world your compassion) (repeat)’ 

Wow! Isn’t that just beautiful friends! It’s like a listing of all that Jesus has done for us; and it all falls under the heading of COMPASSION! No one has ever showed compassion like our heavenly Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; that seems to be their middle name, as our Bit and the other scriptures we’ll share attest to. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh friends, we should all be extremely grateful that the Lord is merciful and compassionate yes, else we’d be lost in hellfire a long time ago. And are we ever blessed that His compassion for us is brand new every day! Glory be mih people. And we’re going to highlight God’s greatest act of LOVE and compassion through the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

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

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! In that while we were still sinful enemies, still estranged from Him, He showed His great and unconditional LOVE for us by sending His Son to die on our behalf, so that we could be reconciled to Him. 

Mama Mia! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Exalt His holy name!’ And the best way we can do that friends, is by showing our LOVE and compassion to others, be they believers or not. 

Remember what we sang in the chorus above: ‘What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live An offering of praise As we show to the world your compassion.’ Yeh, we claim that we show the world your compassion every day. 

But is that really true, or is it as true as it can and should be? I don’t think so friends. If we were really showing the world God’s compassion through our actions, our world would not be such a divided, strife-filled and unhappy place, pervaded by so much poverty and sickness. 

So please, let’s get serious and begin living the words we sing nuh. Remember if it wasn’t for God’s compassion, we’d never have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and would be still hell bound instead of heaven bound. Much LOVE!

…only true compassion heals the wounds of the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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