Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2019 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

 

Awright my people, let’s do our Monday morning thing nuh: arise, give thanks for seeing another wonderful day and being imbued with the grace and mercy to face it, then get ourselves together and get out into the war-like world and battle valiantly for Jesus! Oh what a joy and a privilege it is to fight under Jesus ‘banner! Especially since there is no doubt whom the victorious conqueror will be…Jesus Christ Himself! In fact, He’s already won the battle, having defeated the toothless lion Satan and taken away the keys of hell, death and the grave through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension! All praise and glory be to our Lord and Saviour my brethren! 

However, since we’re only frail humans, it’s obvious that not all of us will be bright and beautiful and enthused so early in the morning, that’s why we have this antidote for what ever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it’s specially programmed to get us in to the swing of things. (smile) So let’s declare it like we truly mean it nuh. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Gotcha mih breddren! The Holy Spirit is working miracles in you right now…I can see it! Your attitude has improved, you’re smiling and anxious to get into the fray now, singing psalms and hymns as you get ready, and promising to do your best, be diligent and excellent in Jesus’ name! And that’s the way it ought to be friends…Jesus’ people being ready, willing and able to do battle on His behalf at the beginning of each and every day, but more so on a Monday morning, the first day of the workweek, for generally speaking, how you begin is how you finish! 

That’s why it’s oh so important to believe and action what the scriptures tell us: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ What wonderful words of wisdom precious people of God! And yuh know what, to make it even better, we have the best example possible when coming to running the ofttimes difficult and always contrary race of life in our Lord and Saviour. 

As the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) Yes my fellow saints, Jesus didn’t have it easy; He was shamed, ridiculed, despised, humiliated, flogged, suffering all the negative aspects of rejection, but He never gave up, He simply focused on running the race His heavenly Father had mapped out for Him…and so too should we. 

Jesus knew there would be rewards for His obedience…and so will we. Yes, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and it won’t be easy for us either, but that’s why we were given the Helper and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to assist us in doing it. The problem though is we have to buckle down and follow the Spirit’s leading and guidance, if we want to be successful in this earthly race. 

Now here are a couple of encouraging words from Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize so run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body (discipline it), and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified).’ (1 Cor,9:24-27) 

Yeh my people, if we don’t want to be disqualified from Christian ministry and lose our heavenly rewards for that service, then we need to discipline both our bodies and our spirits. That’s the ONLY way we can run a successful earthly race, and thus be able to say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh friends, I can’t say much more than that, except to implore us to go out today and fight a good fight, run a good race in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…pray, believe and stay steadfast…so that you don’t get weary…in running your earthly race…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 

Well, well, well, if it isn’t that wonderful day called Sunday! The one where we ought to visit the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him thanks and praise and fellowship with other believers, hear His holy Word and receive strength to face another daunting week in this evil and ungodly world. Unfortunately though the ole fella is unable to do that since he’s way out in the wilds of northern South Africa, with no TV or internet. But the Lord knows his heart and will hear whatever prayers I send up to him this day. (smile) 

So, obviously without access to the net, I can’t get words for a song, therefore we’ll just have to sing our own individual songs. (smile) As Bruh Paul says: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’  And as James declares: ‘Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) So since we’re all merry, let’s sing psalms nuh…and we don’t need any internet to do that. (smile) So let’s sing this rather appropriate psalm # 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah!)’ 

Yeh friends, anything, or anybody who draws breath in this crazy world ought to give the Lord God Almighty much thanks and praise just for that fact alone, because it is through His omnipotence and generosity that we are even able to draw breath, much less enjoy all the other benefits! Anyway, my Sunday began with a 5.a.m. wake-up call from our guide Fortune, so we could get to the Lodge for coffee and take off on the morning game drive by five thirty. 

Well there we were heading out in the dark at five thirty in the crisp morning air, hoping to see at least one of the big five we had not yet seen. And the big five are: elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and hippos. So far we’d seen the first two, but no trace of any of the other three. And believe me, driving out in that Land Cruiser in the darkness, especially as Fortune drives, is something else, because he slashes through and over the thickets with gay abandon. I learned early on, in my co-pilot seat, to keep my hands inside and move towards him when he began slashing through the brambles and numerous thorn trees. (smile) 

Unfortunately, we rode around the rough trails for a while without seeing anything besides some smaller animals, like guinea hens and impalas, or what they call McDonalds, because they have a big black, capital ‘M’ stenciled on their rear ends, that resembles the McDonald’s sign. (smile) What we did see however, was the spectacular rising of the early morning sun, coming up blood red above the eastern horizon, while the big, full moon still stood fairly high in the western sky! And as the Almighty God who made them so wisely planned it, the former eventually rose higher and commanded the day, while the latter decreased in stature and soon disappeared altogether. 

Sometime during that game drive though, the word came out that some lions had been seen, and we journeyed to the spot, joining two other groups of people. Now check out this scene. It’s my favourite of the whole trip. The male lion is lying quietly in the shade, barely discernible because his coat is so much like the brown, dry grass, while the female who seems to be in heat (it’s mating season) prances by him, goes off a li’l way, then lies down. Soon the king of beasts comes, mounts her from the rear, does his thing…and it’s all over in like five seconds. Then he casually strolls off and lies down below a shade tree, while the female moves off a short distance. 

It’s said that they have to copulate every twenty minutes, but I don’t think the lady waited that long, then she came back to the gentleman lying quietly below the tree, pranced around him, rubbed her rear end on him, and made all kinds of entreaties. But the ole boy was having none of it. He just lay their stoically, head held high in the air, till the lady got tired of not so subtlety making her intentions known and walked away to lie down on an incline where he could see her, and prostrate herself in all her glory. And I had to laugh, because a couple of minutes later, the ole boy just put down his head and apparently went to sleep, completely ignoring the lady. 

This just goes to prove the falsehood of the oh so prevalent and prevailing theory that a man never refuses a woman, that he will undoubtedly fall for all of her sensuous wiles and tricks! Let that be a lesson to you women! (smile) Man is not always as foolish and gullible as he seems! We left the scene shortly after the ole fellow put down his head, indicating that no further action was going to happen for a while, and eventually got back home around minutes to nine, had breakfast then went to sleep. We even told them not to prepare lunch because we were all so tired and filled with food. We’d come for high tea at four, before going out for another drive at four thirty. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much on that drive besides what we’d already seen. We went driving along the river, over and through the brambles and thickets, with Fortune’s dexterity, looking for hippos or leopards, but failed to see any. Then it was back to the lodge in time for supper. Oh, can you imagine I fell asleep on the way home driving through those rough roads with all the noise, with Fortune driving one handed while shining his spotlight from side to side with the other. I was surely surprised by that. Just goes to show how tired the ole fella was. Tomorrow’s another day though! Much LOVE!

…giving thanks and praise…for simply drawing breath…should be a top priority…..

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2019 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 

Oh, at long last we might have what can be termed a ‘riney’ day in my area! Wow! We haven’t seen one of those for so long that I’ve forgotten what they look like; cloudy and grey skies, wet streets, etc. (smile) But the parched and hard ground and the dry grass are enjoying it immensely, drinking up the heavenly blessings like there was no tomorrow. And who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway, only Almighty God, our Creator and Provider. 

So please let’s be thankful that we do have a today. And yes, the rain induced my late rising, so consequently the Bit is late. I heard it when it began to fall shortly after six, and had all thoughts of getting up at a decent hour, but you know the spirit is weak, and it just lulled me back into a beautiful dream filled sleep. Now that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh. And it seems like he was in a godly frame of mind this week, for they all have to do with our heavenly Father. Listen to this first one: ‘How has encouragement shaped your life story in some way? Who encouraged you, and how did they do it? How will you encourage someone in your life this week?’ 

Wise words indeed friends, and sentiments we ought to seriously ponder, because we all need encouragement in this mish-mash and troubled life. And can you think of someone who encouraged you, and thus helped you change your life? I’m sure all of us can. 

But then the next question blossoms: whom can we encourage in our own walk of faith, today, tomorrow, this week, or even next year? Let’s keep a close eye out for that someone or someones, for there are oodles of people in these tremulous and strife filled times who are in need of serious encouragement, and one of our jobs is to encourage the lost and downtrodden with the good news of Jesus. 

And our friend Anselm must have been studying our Bit over the last two days, because the next quote is what we’ve been talking about in them: ‘When we walk in the Light, we won’t stumble in the darkness.’ And since we know that’s gospel truth, and we’ve spoken about it just yesterday, we won’t belabour the point, just remind us to make sure we walk in the Light of Jesus, if we don’t want to stumble in the darkness of Beelzebub! 

And hear this most interesting quote: ‘What’s the condition of your spiritual soil? Rocky, thorny, or rich in spiritual “nutrients”? Why? When you follow the Son daily, how does this practice impact your honesty and heart?’ Good questions all my fellow believers, and also stuff that we should ponder in accordance with the parable of Jesus, per the sower and the ground upon which he sowed his seed. (Matt.13:3-23) 

Please read it, and then ask the Lord to grace us as Jesus said: ‘But he that received seed into good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt.13:23) Yes friends, that ought to be our stated goal; to have a heart with fertile soil, where the Word will grow bountifully and produce a big harvest for Christ! Glory to God my faithful brethren! 

And this last quote quite rightly informs us that: ‘Prayer is the bridge between panic and peace.’ So it is my people, so it is! And I think it’s all brought out by the Lord’s announcement to Cousin Sol when he built and dedicated the temple to the Lord. Here’s what He said: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my fellow believers. Now, just think what a difference it would make, with all the wickedness and sin and evil that’s currently in our world, if we would just turn from those negative things, and instead seek the Lord with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, as He directed us to do! The world would be a greatly changed and unrecognizable place. But no, we insist on being sinful and wicked and thrusting God out of our society! So what else can we expect but hurt and pain and sorrow and panic eh? 

Now let’s look at a couple of other scriptures that celebrate the importance of prayer in our lives. And the first one is this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark.1:35) 

That’s one of my favourite scriptures, because it shows that though Jesus was deity in human form, He still found it necessary to communicate regularly with His heavenly Father, so why should we mere mortals be any different eh? No reason whatsoever, we need to do it even more than He did! 

And the second scripture is the prayer which Jesus taught His disciples; ‘The Our Father, or Lord’s Prayer.’ That is so rich and beautiful my people, and covers all bases too! But as I said sometime recently, it came from Jesus, so what else would we expect eh? Nothing but greatness from Him! 

And we’ll close with these two momentous verses from James, Jesus’ brother. ‘And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:15-16) 

And there are many more scriptures on the necessity and efficacy of prayer throughout the Good Book. But please my people, please, please, let’s not forget that prayer is the most powerful tool and weapon in God’s great universe, because that’s the method of communication He devised as a link between Himself and His people! And when we pray with sincere hearts and motives, He will answer us! 

And right now our strife-filled world is desperately in need of prayer from the righteous. So let’s open our righteous hearts and minds and souls and offer up prayers for our societies nuh. The Lord is waiting patiently and expectantly to hear from us, so that He can forgive our monumental sins and heal our disaster-filled land! Much LOVE!

…the believer’s motto…to pray…and yet to pray…and NEVER to faint…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   ​And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2019 Luke 16:23.

Luke 16:23.   ​And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 
Another wet and cloudy morning! But that’s nothing new, and the good news is that the sun does look like it’s going to put up some kind of battle to come out later on. But the best news is that as believers in Jesus Christ we have His bright light surrounding us and living in us all the time! Glory Hallelujah! So, regardless of what the physical day looks like, we are always clothed in His sunshine! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

Unfortunately though, one community in the Ottawa Valley is still suffering from the effects of the recent floods, apparently their area has now been made an island with water all around it, and they have to use boats to get around. Hn! Can you imagine that? Please, let’s pray for them to return to normal soon, for all these unforeseen and unexpected difficulties when they drag out for a long time also take a severe toll on people’s humanity. 

But the fact that it’s Friday takes away a li’l of the rain pain, (smile) and the workingman is just dying to broadcast his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And the weekend’s here! But this blooming rain just looking to spoil my weekend activities yes! With the weather getting warmer, I expected to be able to go outside and frolic in just mih shirtsleeves and shorts…possibly even set up the barbecue and have a few while the meat cooking. 

But chuh! This rain becoming a real spoilsport yes! Curtailing all mih outdoor fun! You could only have so much fun inside for just so long, before the wife and children get tired of you. But anyway, thank God is Friday and the weekend oui, no more labouring for the greedy slave master for a couple days! Thank God for that small mercy yes!’ 

Yeh friends, many of us are thankful for the two days off from work, though as believers we don’t get as worked up as the workingman when the rain rains on our parade… ‘Who says so?’ you shoot back? ‘We have the same feelings like the workingman, but we just don’t show them to his extreme!’ Sorry mih people, sorry! And since we’re not that extreme, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh to show our less extreme feelings. (smile) 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, we are a li’l more reined in by Jesus’ dictates than the ordinary workingman is by his worldly desires. But please, let’s not resent it, because it’s only for our benefit! It helps to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal life, which we all believe is the best option we have going here on earth. 

You know there are ONLY two options; Satan and Jesus, and as for me and mine we will gladly follow Jesus because he has the best long-term plans and solutions. Satan has a lot of stuff he offers in the here and now, but what happens in the hereafter eh? Nothing but hellfire and damnation! And if you think that’s all a bunch of hogwash, then go ahead and accept the earthly benefits of the devil. But just supposing it’s true eh? What then when you pass into the next world? 

Some of us know the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, but for those of us who don’t, here is a brief outline. The Good Book says: ‘There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously (lived in luxury) every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 

And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried into Abraham’s bosom (enjoying the messianic banquet in Abraham’s company): the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (Luke 16:19-24) 

Now friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke that parable, and if, as we contend, He cannot lie, why is it so hard to believe the presence of hell eh? And please note the reply the rich man received from Abraham. 

‘But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’ (Luke 16:25-26) 

Yuh see friends, after our earthly death, there is no second chance. All the second, third, fourth and numerous other chances are present here on earth. And to make matters worse, there’s no mercy available in hell, just here on earth! And if you read the rest of that passage (Luke 16:27-31) you’ll see that in hell you’re still aware of what’s going on, both in heaven and on earth, but you can’t do anything about your situation or your family’s. 

As Abraham told the rich man when he asked for him to send someone to talk to his family about the terrible situation he was in. ‘And he (Abraham) said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ (Luke 16:31) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ’16:31. If here carries the weight of “since.” They were not paying attention to the light they already had. Hard-heartedness is not necessarily overcome by miraculous signs.’  

So friends, it just comes back to prove that we need to make the right decision before we die, and since we don’t know when that will be, it’s best to decide for Jesus RIGHT NOW, so that your salvation and eternal life can be secured, your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and yuh not lost somewhere down in the burning fires of hell, tormented like crazy, going through ‘sufferation’ that you couldn’t even imagine in earthly life, crying out, pleading for mercy, begging for just a drop of water to wet yuh flaming tongue! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus said…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will eventually feel…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2019 Romans 4:20.

Romans 4:20.   ​He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God.
 

Ah Lord eh! No rest for the righteous! (smile) A body can’t even get a chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning! That’s because I’ve got to attend an Ironmen’s Breakfast at 9.30 this morning. 

The ‘Ironmen’ is a men’s group at our church. But I have to laugh when I consider that very few, if any of the group is under three score, and several are even three score and ten and over. (smile) But nonetheless, we are the Ironmen of St. Francis, committed to good works in the church and in the community we serve! Praise the Lord!  

And since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.’ 

And that’s fairly true! Most of us would much rather like to be heaped with undeserved praise rather than shrouded in deserved criticism. But remember friends, nobody has reached anywhere without some deserved criticism, and it shows how big a person you are when you can acknowledge your faults and foibles. 

Then there’s this: ‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’ I guess there’s also some truth to that statement, because in many of our problems lie the basic solution to them. If something isn’t working our right, then I guess the best way to find out why is by going back to the beginning and checking all the steps along the way. We’ll usually find the fly somewhere there in the ointment. (smile) 

Now hear this: ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ That’s indisputable! Success does call for at least those four things…and sometimes even more! And then we come to: ‘Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have… every DAY!!!!’ And that’s no lie my brethren! 

When we stand up strong to our problems and not be wishy washy and double-minded, we’ll discover that they are not half as problematic as they first seemed. Problems have this habit of pretending that they are bigger than they really are, and when take them at face value, they tend to intimidate us and make us wary and somewhat unsure of our ability to conquer them. 

But when we come up over them, with the help of God, we discover that they are much more manageable then we originally thought. So perhaps when problems overwhelm us, it might be best to take them each with a grain of salt (smile) before tackling them. 

And the last quote says: ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren, for it’s only when we face difficulties, that we get strong! And that applies to all walks of life. If you want to build physical strength, then you have to lift weights or do something that will cause your muscles to work hard and eventually expand. The same goes for spiritual strength. 

If you want to develop a greater faith in God, then you have to work hard at it, because it doesn’t just come by wishing. You have to go through trials and tribulations because we only grow when we overcome hard times. That’s just a fact of life. I’m sure you’ve noticed than when everything is nice and easy, no growth, be it physical, spiritual or emotional will really take place. 

It’s only when your heart’s been broken that you can appreciate the beneficial value of things like LOVE and romance. You obviously won’t like the broken heart, but because of it, the next time around you’ll certainly be wiser and more appreciative. (smile) 

And I don’t think we can find a better example of growing in faith than Abraham. Look at how at seventy-five the Lord told him to pack up and leave his family and just go, with no idea of where he was going. And every time the Lord told him to do something he did it, oftimes without a clue as to what was happening. And check out his approach to God’s promise of a child in his old age. 

The Good Book says: ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Rom.4;19) Friends, for decades Abraham had been trying to have a child with no success. Can you imagine the disappointment in a society that took children as a reward of God? 

Then the Lord promised him one when he was around a hundred and Sarah about ninety. Abraham must have shaken his head in amazement. But the Good Book continues: ‘He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it’s only because Abraham had gone through a lot of struggle, wandering all over the place and having one problem after another, but also having God bring him through them that his faith became so strong. Although he lapsed when he took his wife’s Sarah advice to go into her maid Hagar to produce the heir that didn’t seem to be coming from their own loins. (smile) And you know that caused untold problems. 

But look at how he was going to sacrifice the heir Isaac, when the Lord told him to. I’m sure he didn’t know what was happening. How could the Lord ask him to sacrifice the only child whom He had promised would give him more children that the sand of the shore? But in his heart he knew that the Lord would come through in some manner because He had kept ALL of the promises He’d made him over the many years of his nomadic existence. 

Friends, I assure us that the Lord will do the same for us, but I can also guarantee you that it won’t be all wine and roses, because we simply don’t grow unless we face some kind of difficulty in our lives. Remember that and keep the faith like Abraham did. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be well rewarded in the Lord’s time! Much LOVE!

 …you can’t appreciate the sunshine…until you have experienced the darkness…you can’t appreciate prosperity…until you have experienced serious lack…

 

 

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