Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2019 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

‘Monday…LOVE it or LEAVE it!’ That’s the advice from a recent panel of the comic strip ‘Mutts.’ And I would say that it’s very good advice, because what other sensible choices do we have eh? None that I can think of. I definitely won’t call the choice that too many of us make, being miserable and frustrated and tired on a Monday as being sensible, especially if you’re a true believer in, and a sincere follower of Christ Jesus, because He definitely gives us the parts, the wherewithal to LOVE Monday when we go to church on Sunday and praise and worship and glorify Him! 

Hn! I like that sentence. It sounds Bruh Paulian. (smile) Why yuh think He says to come to His house every first day of the week eh? It’s because He wants to rejuvenate and refresh us, so that we can go out and brazenly and confidently do His will starting bright and early on Monday, the second day! Ah, but since He created us, nobody knows better than Him how frail and weak we really are. That’s why He gave us the powerful communicating tool called prayer, so we can cry out to Him for help in times of need. And I know that many of us need help this Monday morning to get up and get out to labour. 

So let’s use that most useful and powerful tool named prayer, to inform the Lord of our desperate need for His help this morning nuh. Therefore, with one fervent and sincere voice, let’s float our Monday Morning Battle Hymn up to heaven in confident humility. 

‘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!’ 

And as always, before we’re even finished crying out for help, the Holy Spirit begins moving in our bodies and souls, strengthening and encouraging us, so that we can go out and fight valiantly for Jesus. And that all hinges on these motivating words of Jesus to His disciples. ‘Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Yes friends, it’s all about LOVING Jesus and doing works in His name so that our heavenly Father can be glorified. 

That was also Jesus’ purpose here on earth. Having foretold His betrayal at the Last Supper, and seen Judas go out to do his evil deed, Jesus declared to the other disciples: ‘Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.’ (John 13:31). He was referring there to His death, burial and resurrection, the plan the Father had sent Him to earth to accomplish. But let’s check out some advice from one of those who was there with Christ when He uttered those faithful words nuh. We talking about the stubborn and recalcitrant, hard to handle Peter, who later became such a tower of strength in the early church. 

Listen as he talks about living as servants of God. ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.’ (1 Pet. 2:11-12) Oh friends, are the Gentiles seeing our good works in Jesus’ name and thus glorifying God? Not as much as they ought to. But let’s see if we can’t be encouraged to do better by listening to Peter again. 

Hear him talk about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift; even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in ALL THINGS may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 4:7-11) 

Oh my people, the last days are truly upon us, and our world is still in a terrible mess, so let’s use those wise words to  galvanize us to victory in Jesus today nuh! Much LOVE!

…God created the universe…for the express purpose …of His glory…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2019 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

2 Thessalonians 3:3.    But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish (establish) you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).
 

Here we go again friends, the beginning of another work week! I know sometimes we shake our heads, sigh, and wonder if they will ever end. (smile) But the sad truth is that they won’t. They will keep cropping up every seven days, until they drive us crazy and we end up in the loony bin, we just get tired and give up, which, as a believer is not a viable option, or we get too old for the work force and they put us out to pasture, or the last option; the Lord calls us home. Until one or all of those things happen my people, most Monday mornings we will have to arise, whether we like it or not, ofttimes in the dark and in the cold, and join the human throng unhappily headed for a place called work. 

And please remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the Thessalonians, that he who doesn’t work, shouldn’t eat? (2 Thess. 3:10) So I don’t know why we don’t try and plan for it properly, so we’re not disgruntled and frustrated come Monday morning. You know the human spirit can rise above anything  if it really wants to, and if you are a sincere follower of Jesus, He will enable you to get over these weekly Monday morning blues. But as always, just in case you stumble, (smile) we’re here to catch you with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the perfect antidote for your ailment. So let’s turn to the most powerful tool in the universe, prayer, to help get our day started right. 

All together 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!’ 

And yes, precious people of God, before we could even finish praying, the Holy Spirit had already begun working His miracles in our souls and spirits! Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! Please give Him some much deserved thanks and praise because most of us are now ready and able to go out and join the tumultuous fray that’s the working world, on Jesus’ behalf! And the thing we so badly need to remember here friends is that our God is FAITHFUL! Whatever we ask for in sincere belief, He will provide, if it’s within His will or plan for our lives. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us of that most salient and important fact: ‘But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish (establish) you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).’  No doubt whatsoever about that! And we’re just going to wind down with some scriptures on the Lord’s faithfulness. Bruh Paul mentioned it quite a few times. To the Thessalonians, he also said: ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:24) 

Then to the Corinthians: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) And also: “There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) Then to Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

And it’s most appropriate to close with this compelling verse from Isaiah, re, Israel, the Lord’s servant. ‘Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his (its) Holy One, to him whom man despiseth (the despised of soul), to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princess also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose (has chosen) thee.’ (Is.49:7). That was all about the coming of the Messiah, and we know that it was fulfilled with the coming of Jesus. 

Yes friends, our God is faithful; He will do whatever He’s promised, but in His own time. Look how long it took for the promised Messiah to come, centuries. But He did come…in God’s good time. I know His timing isn’t usually in concert with ours, but I can assure you, from personal experience, He’s NEVER late! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please…a faithful God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.    ​That men ought always to pray and not faint.​

 

Dress warm, leave a little earlier than usual, be extra careful, because the white stuff is supposed to be swirling around during today’s commute. Yeh, we’ve been promised a fair amount of snow this Monday, when we celebrate Veteran’s Day (U.S) and Remembrance Day (Can.), keeping in mind all those who fought in the great wars to help preserve our  democratic way of life.

So please do as our Tuesday Mantra advises, don’t worry or hurry. (smile) And since so many spirits are usually on the low side on a normal Monday morning, you can imagine what they’ll be like when we introduce the snow factor. But, as we just said, there’s no need to hurry or worry, because we have the ‘rightest’ solution to whatever ails you this morning, a simple prayer. 

Yes friends, we’re talking about prayer; the most powerful medium in God’s great universe; the method He designed for us to communicate with Him. So let’s do just that nuh; communicate with our heavenly Father, through a prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it takes our Monday morning problems to God asking for His awesome and generous help.

All together 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!’ 

Awright, that sounded sincere! And we know our heavenly Father thought so too, because He has already responded in a positive and productive manner. Our spirits have suddenly risen, and now we feeling strong like a lion, ready to take on the whole world single-handedly in Jesus’ name! (smile) Yes mih people, only our mighty, magnificent and magnanimous Creator could have made those quick and sudden changes in us, in response to our heartfelt prayer. And I believe one reason our lives can become somewhat wishy-washy, is because our prayer-lives are not up to scratch. 

That brings to mind some rather relevant words of Christ on the subject of prayer: ‘That men ought always to pray and not faint.’ He conveyed this, as was His won’t, through a parable, that of the wronged widow continually seeking justice from the unjust judge, until, fed up with her nagging, he finally gave her the justice she deserved. (Luke 18:2-8) And the scholars explain: ‘18:1. To faint means to “lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’  And is that ever so true my fellow believers. Prayer needs to be persistent and persevering. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Romans, re aspects of a true believer’s life: ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfast) in prayer.’ (Rom. 12:12) Prayer must therefore be a constant in our lives, if we truly want to connect, to communicate with God. And please remember that He is interested in all aspects of our lives, so that means we ought to communicate on all matters. No wonder Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians to ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means we should be always be talking to God. And remember too that prayer doesn’t have to be long like our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, it can be as short as ‘Help me God!” but it has to be sincere. 

And prayer is such an important part of our lives that even when Bruh Paul talks about putting on the armour of God and all that it entails, the last thing he mentioned was: ‘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 the scholars explain: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my people, let’s ponder all of that today nuh, taking serious stock of our prayer lives. Let’s remember that prayer ought to be a constant in our lives; in fact it’s INDISPENSABLE; meaning we can’t do without it, like oxygen to our bodies, we need it to survive spiritually. And with the Lord’s help, through prayer (smile) we can always improve. Much LOVE!

…prayer is the basis of…ALL miracles…that’s how powerful it is…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2019 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    ​To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
 

Here we go again friends, the work week is upon us! Please let’s greet it with a positive reaction nuh since there is nothing we can really do about it. I learned that lesson a long time ago, after I quit a job to do my own thing, then had to go back to it when my business went under. I never intended to go back to that job, but then it was the easiest and best job I could get at the time and I certainly needed the money. 

So I just told myself, if you’ve got to go, then you might as well go with a good attitude, stop making yourself miserable everyday you have to go to it. And it worked for me. I eventually got to appreciate the job more then, than in my initial go round. So if it could work for me, it certainly ought to work for you too. But you need to make a conscious decision to do it, then follow through with that decision. 

However, until you get to that stage, (smile) you can join us on a Monday morning as we go to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking Him to grant us strength, wisdom and confidence to face the evil world for another week. Let’s do that now nuh; declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong conviction and belief, because when we ask in sincere faith, according to the Father’s will, we will receive His blessing and largesse. 

Altogether 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!’  

Ah friends, yuh feel it working? It surely is! Just check out your new energy level; your state of understanding and awareness, your level of excitement to get out and do Jesus’ work. They are all now higher and more intense than they were before we prayed, before we invoked the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! (smile) And talking about prayer, today we’ll check out Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel, because back then Israel was in captivity in Babylon because of their total disobedience to God’s Word, much like our world is right now. 

Listen to Daniel: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee…Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (Dan.9:8,10) Now friends, if we’re truthful, we will have to admit that the same shameful state exists in our society today, the only difference being that too many of us either don’t know the seriousness of the situation, or we choose to just ignore it. But our attitude towards our God and Creator right now is nothing less than atrocious, very foolish and unwise, and if we don’t smarten up soon, there will be a helluva price to pay. 

Yeh, the Lord is patient and long suffering and as Daniel says: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ But tell me friends, how long do you think He’s going to put up with our arrogant disobedience and efforts to remove Him from our society eh? For all those who think that we’re going to be allowed to do as we sinfully and disobediently please for as long as we like, please think again. 

If it’s one thing the Lord is very protective and proud of is His power and glory, and He will not allow no creation of His to take it away from Him. Just check out the foolish Lucifer nuh! He wanted to rise, to promote himself above his Creator, but where is he now eh, residing in the depths of hell as Satan! And so will we too, if we keeping on going in the evil and ungodly direction in which we’re currently headed. 

Hear Daniel explain it nuh: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster in store), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:13-14) 

That says it all my brethren! If the Lord punished Israel so severely for their disobedience, do you think He’ll allow us to get away with ours, which seems so much worse? I very much doubt it friends. Please note Daniel’s words back there: ‘for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth…’ That means, though He is LOVING, and forgiving and full of grace and mercy, He is also a God of justice and righteousness, and those things are very important to His character and nature. 

Why yuh think He went through the heart-wrenching scene of sending Jesus to die for us? Because righteousness and justice had to be done in whatever He undertook to save us. Please, please, let all of that be a serious and sincere warning to us nuh. We will not get away with continual sinfulness and disobedience. For certain sure, if we don’t repent and return to God, our number will play one day! Much LOVE!

…sinfulness and righteousness…cannot exist in the same place…

 

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘17:21. They…may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity. (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yehhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong and sincere voice now:  ‘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 please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2019 Matthew 22:37.

Matthew 22:37.    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! It’s somewhat windy and chilly… But everything’s still going our way!’ And for that we have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for allowing us to enjoy another joyful day down here on planet earth! Praise His holy name friends! Exalt Him to the very ends of the earth, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted!

And having paid our respects to our God, Creator, Provider, etc. etc. let’s see what bits of wisdom our friend Anselm has to offer us this Saturday morning. Hear this first one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’

Now I don’t know if I agree with all of that nuh. Granted, you can’t be open to the slightest of offences, and people do project their own ideas on you, but you shouldn’t be immune to their opinions and action, because ofttimes, though their motives might be selfish, some of their ideas might be sound and thus beneficial. You need to have a tough character, so to speak, but also an open mind, for pearls of wisdom can come from even the most unlikely sources.

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘To avoid a breakdown, take a break for rest and prayer.’ And is that ever so true! There’s so much meltdown and breakdown in our society today because we live in a fast paced, dog-eat-dog, rat race where there’s never enough time for rest and prayer.

That’s because we don’t make time for it, being too busy trying to keep up with the world and all it’s distractions. And that’s especially true of believers! Oh precious people of God, please, let’s slow down, let’s make time for rest and for God nuh. That’s the only way we can truly enjoy this earthly life!

Then there’s this: ‘Be Impeccable With Your Words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.’ How true my friends, how true all of that is! But unfortunately nowadays most of that has gone out the window, into the trash can of history, especially in these times of all-pervasive social media and all the talking that’s going on.

We no longer think about what we say, before we say it, we just gush everything from the lip, regardless of the possible consequences. Sorry, no one considers consequences anymore, even though there are a lot of sad and tearful ones occurring each and every minute of each and every day!

And don’t talk about integrity nuh! What’s that eh? That’s what a lot of us might ask when posed with that quote. There’s no longer any integrity in our sad and sorrowful world. And that’s basically being of true and sound character, your word being your bond, given to trust and being trusted, fulfilling obligations as agreed upon, etc. etc. Even supposedly lawful contracts are being reneged on every day, so who’s going to stand on their word eh?

Christians ought to! True believers in Christ Jesus are supposed to stand by their promises, just like Jesus did and still does by His. None of us would be happy if Jesus broke any of His promises. We’d be ever so quick to pull Him down, to make a mockery of Him. But it’s okay for us to do it. Ah friends, as they say, what’s good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

Remember these immortal words of Jesus: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured you again.’ (Matt.7:1-2) Those are words of great truth friends, for whatever you give out, you will eventually get back; like a boomerang, all your deeds will eventually come back to haunt you, or what you sow, you will eventually reap.

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘More than you sow, and later than you sow.’ That’s why we have to adopt the principles mentioned in this last quote as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and also spread them world wide so that our world can be greatly improved. ‘More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More LOVE, less hate.’

Mamacita! What a wonderful world we’d have if those things played a larger role in our lives! And yuh know what my people? I believe that all of that quote falls under these simple but far-reaching words of Jesus, which He answered to the Pharisee lawyer who tried to tempt Him, by asking:

‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

And so it is indeed my fellow believers. The first and most important thing for mankind to do is to LOVE our Creator with all that we have! That sets the tone and direction for everything else in our lives. But the interesting thing in this session is that the man asked about the great commandment, and Jesus gave it to him, but He didn’t stop there. He continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40)

And our Lord and Saviour and Leader and God, Jesus Christ would never lie to us! So therefore it must be of the uttermost importance that we concentrate in this life on LOVE for our great and wonderful heavenly Father, then LOVE for ourselves, and also LOVE for our neighbours.

But friends, please pay attention to Jesus’ words, ‘LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ That means we can only LOVE our neighbours as much as we LOVE ourselves. And we’re not talking in a narcissistic way. But unfortunately, in these trying and troublesome times, too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, that’s why we can’t LOVE our neighbours. Remember, we can only give what and as much as we have!

And that’s a major reason why our world is in such turmoil. So please, today, let’s ponder the state of our self-LOVE nuh. And whatever state it might be in, let’s ask the Lord for His grace and mercy to bring it up higher, so that we can also LOVE others more, and fulfill His commandment, and thus make our world a much better place for our children and future generations! Let’s let out legacy be one of LOVE! Much LOVE!

…the basic Christian motto…do unto others…as you would have them do unto you…

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries