Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2019 Mark 16:15.

Mark 16:15.    ​And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 

And so we come once more to Friday, the day that we all long and wish for, especially in the summer time, when we get to go out and do all those fun things outside. (smile) And believe me the hot days are upon us right now, with temps of 30 and 30 something degrees predominating. And if we don’t get some rain soon, we’ll be complaining about how it too hot! That’s just the nature of the human animal, we just LOVE our comfort and are never satisfied even when we get what we ask for. 

And the 4th of July party is still in full swing down in the U.S. of A. And the workingman feels as though he’s died and gone to heaven. Hear him nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is finally here! What would we do without the weekend eh? The slave master and them would gladly work out we soul case if we give them the chance, and for next to nothing too, because they so blooming greedy! They preach a good preach about sharing, but is only talk oui. 

But enough about them evil people yes. Is the summer time now and the weekend, we time to get out there and party, party like there was no tomorrow! And who knows whether there will be any tomorrow eh? What they say? You live today and tomorrow you die? Well then lemme live it up today eh? For who knows if I’ll wake up tomorrow? And the weather is fine, the beer’s cold, the grill’s waiting …and the winter soon come back! So lemme enjoy the fruits of mih labour eh, as Solomon says, that’s mih God-given right! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh friends, we do have to thank the Lord, but not only for Fridays and weekends, but for all that we have, because it all comes from Him! Remember how Bruh David put it: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Oh my people, what words of marvellous truth! Our wonderful God does it all for us! Without Him, we’d be absolutely nothing! Jesus said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) So please let’s remember that as we chant our Friday Chant this beautiful summer’s day with a strong sense of purpose and reverence. 

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!’ 

And that’s what it’s all about yes my faithful brethren, furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth, bringing forth fruit in His name! That was His last command to the disciples; what we call the 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) 

So that’s our bounden duty: to teach and preach and baptize and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, bringing unbelievers to the realization that they badly need His free healing and saving grace, so that they can enjoy salvation and eternal life in the beautiful halls of heaven! 

Now here is something that I’ve never noticed before, Mark’s version of the Great Commission, because everyone seems to be fixated on Matthew’s take on the subject. But though Mark’s is somewhat different, it’s just as interesting. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned). 

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:15-18) 

What magnificent promises my people! But we have to believe and get out there and do the work Jesus commanded us to do before we see them coming to pass. And the last verse of Mark’s gospel tells us what happened after Jesus left them and ascended into heaven. ‘And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following (accompanying signs). Amen.’ (Mark 16:20) 

Yuh see that mih people, when they did as Jesus asked, He did as He promised; being with them as they did His work! And it’s the very same way He will be with us in these evil and ungodly times when we step out in faith to spread His word, whether it be as preachers, evangelists, teachers, etc. or just by being good, ordinary Christian folks, letting our Christ-like lives speak for us. It’s all about staying securely attached to the vine! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe in Jesus…then you need to work His work…and show good fruit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2019 John 17:17.

John 17:17.   ​Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 

Can you believe it friends, it’s the first day of February already! Wow! The days are certainly slipping by quite quickly. It seems like just last week we were celebrating New Years, now Valentine’s Day is already upon us. (smile) And the iron grip of the deep freeze has been loosened a little, it’s only minus 18 in my neck of the woods today! Glory Be! 

And by Sunday we are promised temps just around freezing, even some rain. Hn, hn! What a weather cycle! But as I keep saying, we sincere believers in Jesus have all the parts to handle whatever comes against us, through His ever glorious strengthening! Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

Now since today is Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself nuh. And as always, he has plenty to say: ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday oui! But Brother! This past week been cold suh! It seems as though every time I step outside it want to freeze off my li’l nutsies! (smile)

But in this country yuh know yuh can’t stay home from work because it cold, else yuh get fired…and believe me, the slave driver at my place was just itching to fire somebody this week who claim that they was sick, when is the cold have them fraid to come out to work! 

But thank the Lord, the devil man didn’t get a chance to fire anybody, because everybody come out this week…and we was punctual too! Almost give the man a heart attack when he couldn’t fire nobody or deduct money because yuh late! But is the weekend time now, we time off, and time to party…

And believe me not even this cold weather going to stop we from enjoying we self! Yuh don’t have to go outside to enjoy yuhself. So we’ll be living it up large inside, this weekend. Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes mih people!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman is truly something else yes; he lays it all on the line, does whatever he feels inclined to do; loses himself in the bacchanalian manner of life without a care in the world. However, as followers of Christ, we cannot afford to be that free and easy. We have borders and boundaries to protect us from the constant attacks of the enemy. Thus our Friday Chant is different to the workingman’s song. Chant it with me now nuh, in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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 friends, ours is a more sanctified, set apart lifestyle, since we don’t want the devil messing with our minds and lives. Remember where Jesus prayed for the disciples, and ultimately for us? ‘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 also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah friends, yuh see how Jesus was right on the ball? He didn’t want us to be a part of the world, but knew that we could only bring the world to Him if we went to it. And He asked that we be sanctified, separated from the world by the Truth, God’s Word which is totally true! And just like the Father sent Jesus to earth to preach the gospel and bring sinners to the truth, Jesus has sent those who believe in Him out to do the same thing. 

Our purpose, the mission of Christ’s church is the same as His mission. And please note Christ’s prayerful plea, that we should ALL be one in spirit and purpose, for without spiritual unity our mission would fail miserably. Oh friends, sanctification of Christ’s people is oh so important if we want to do Christ’s work properly! 

Hear how Bruh Paul greets the church at Corinth: ‘Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.1:2-3) 

Ah mih people, we cannot be sanctified in Christ unless we have a right relationship with Almighty God. Hear how Jude puts it: ‘Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified (set apart) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and LOVE, be multiplied.’ (Jude 1:1-2) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses: ‘1: Sanctified and preserved are in the perfect tense: Christians are once and continually “set apart” and “kept.” They are kept for the return of Christ (see v.21).’ ‘2. Believers who have sought God’s mercy also receive peace (“inner assurance” and “stability”) and LOVE.’ Now doesn’t it make sense to be sanctified and seek God’s mercy? It certainly does! 

Ah friends, there are many other scriptures throughout the Good Book that deal with sanctification. I’d advise us to take some time and look them up, because sanctification is very important in the life of a true believer. Much LOVE!

…believers can only be sanctified…through the work of the Holy Spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2019 Luke 4:24.

Luke 4:24.   ​And he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
 

And it continues, seemingly unabated…Yes friends, I’m talking about the iron grip that the soul, body, spirit and mind numbing cold spell currently has on most of North America! Brother! It’s something like minus 23 degrees Celsius in my area. In one part of Minnesota yesterday they said it was minus forty, not Celsius, but Fahrenheit. 

Can you imagine what walking around in that weather is like? Give you a li’l example; yesterday evening I took my fresh self and went across the street to get the mail from the communal mail boxes, and would you believe that by the time I got back from the say twenty yards walk, two minutes exposure, I was coughing and hacking like nobody’s business. And the message for all you people down in the southland, where it’s always nice and warm, is please stay there! 

I know that plenty of you want to come a foreign because you believe that it’s so wonderful, but it’s not really as wonderful as you believe and your friends and family don’t just go out and pick up money from the street or the trees so that they can afford to send you all the setta money and expensive foolishness that you all ask for. If you don’t have a work down there, you can at least plant something and stay alive. Up here, if you don’t have a job, nobody gives you much of anything. 

And believe me, you have it real good down there yes. For when it rains you can call and tell the boss it raining, so you not coming to work. Up here though, in all the ice and snow yuh can’t call and tell them it snowing or too icy for you to come in, else most likely that’s the last phone call you’ll make to that number. You get my drift? (smile) 

And I recently saw a video that hit the nail on the head. This Jamaican fella, dressed to the hilt in his snow clothes pleading to his people back home not to send and ask for anything before March, and not the beginning of March, but the end, because it so and so cold, and he has to go out and work in it, and it not easy… so please doh send and beg for anything before the end of March! 

And I think that’s a very good idea for us to adopt because it really hard and unfair to the people up here working their tail of in the cold to send back money and stuff for their people lazing and lounging in the sunshine waiting for the big barrel to roll in or the call to go to Western Union! Steups! I guess by now you know my take on the situation; it’s totally ridiculous! I’m blessed I don’t have any family or friends who behave that way. Thank you yes Lord! 

And now that I’ve finished my rant, what’s next eh? (smile) And I think we’re going to talk a li’l about criticism today. Now Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power Programme) says that ‘Criticism is training: a temporary opportunity for a permanent gift.’ And so it is, if you are wise enough to accept the criticism for whatever it’s worth. 

You’ll never get anywhere, be successful at anything without coming under some form of criticism, whether it be good or bad, and you need to develop a sense of resilience to it, if you want to truly succeed. Like someone else said: ‘To avoid criticism: Say nothing, do nothing, be nothing…’ So there you have the two options available; be damned if you do, and also be damned if you don’t! So what’s it going to be eh? 

As believers in Christ we’re expected to do and be damned! In other words roll with the punches, but get the job done. I don’t believe any of us will ever be criticized as much as Jesus was, and yet He persevered. Even His own family rejected His claim of being the Messiah. Look at how they treated Him in His hometown of Nazareth nuh. 

This Sabbath day He got up to read the scriptures in the synagogue there and read Isaiah 49:8-9 where he wrote: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4:18-19) Then He told them: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).’ (Luke 4:21) 

And they were all filled with wonder at his wisdom, but then they reasoned: ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ (Luke 4:22b) And it all went downhill from there, especially when Jesus declared: ‘Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.’ And isn’t that the living truth! People of fame and success are much less appreciated in their own homes and hometowns than elsewhere in the world. 

And Jesus made it even worse by telling them about the three years and six months of famine in Israel in Elijah’s time, that though there were many widows in Israel at the time, he was sent to a widow in Sarepta (Zarephath) a city in Sidon, outside of Israel. He also told them about the many lepers in Israel at the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian was healed. (Luke 4:25-27) 

And the response to Jesus words? The Good Book says: And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.’ (Luke 4:28-30) Can you imagine it my brethren, Jesus’ own people in His hometown of Nazareth, so enraged by His words, trying to cast Him over the nearby cliffs! 

Now I don’t think that many of us who want to work for Jesus will face such craziness, but we will face serious criticism from all around, even our friends and families, but like Jesus, please don’t let it stop us. Just imagine our position now nuh, if Jesus had succumbed to the overwhelming criticism that He faced in His three years of ministry! Now we’d be like crapaud done smoke we pipe! So let’s be strong and hang in there and do His work, so that we can be ultimately blessed with our Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice and plenty faith, let’s declare (right ho) them: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to go out and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…to successfully work for Jesus…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2018 Romans 10:15.

Romans 10:15.   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat dark and dreary looking Holy Thursday morning, and I’m making my apologies right up front. (smile) I’m a tad tardy today because I went to bed somewhat later than normal last night, or rather this morning. 

But not to worry, everything’s in fine shape. The sun might not be shining but the SON definitely is, and no more brighter than on this penultimate day before we celebrate His selfless sacrifice on our behalf some two thousand years ago. 

Give Him plenty thanks and praise my fellow believers, for when I think about what He so stalwartly endured for us, it severely pains my heart, although I know that if He hadn’t done it, our lives would not be as wonderful as they are today. 

And this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional shows exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Because of Christ’s cross, we can become friends of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s as simple as that. If Christ had not gone to the cross, we would not be able to have the wonderful and awesome relationship we now have with Almighty God! 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are but don’t truly recognize or appreciate it! Too many of us just seem to take everything for granted, but that’s not how it ought to be. A serious and most expensive price was paid for our freedom from the bondages of sin, and now we are expected to be grateful and give back something in return. 

And we’re talking about things like belief in Jesus, trust, and surrender to His Holy will, living and working diligently for Him. And as another Daily Bread quote tells us: ‘There is no better news than the gospel – spread it.’ Yes my fellow believers, spreading the good news of Christ’s gospel is paramount in our living for and serving Him, because that’s how others will know and understand what He died for and come to also believe in Him. 

For as Bruh Paul so plainly wrote in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) But then he puts forth the dilemma inherent in accomplishing that task. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) 

Now those are all important questions re the furthering of the gospel: how can people believe and hear and thus call on God if no one tells them about Christ eh? That’s impossible. Thus the next verse in Bruh Paul’s message, which is our Bit for today. 

‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ And that’s the indisputable truth my friends and faithful believers! There’s nothing as beautiful in this whole wide world as the preaching of the good news of Christ’s gospel! Glory to God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘10:14-15. In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: first, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. 

This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content; third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’ 

And we all know that indelible truth my brethren! Without God and His great unconditional LOVE and concern for us, there’d be NO salvation whatsoever! 

Now here’s a li’l something for those of us who think that the Old Testament is passé, but that’s where Bruh Paul got the basis for his proclamation above. Listen to Isaiah as he reassures his people that the Lord will deliver Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good news of good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And several thousands of years later my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is still the absolute truth! Our God reigns supreme in the universe that He created! And He HAS brought salvation to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Oh what better news can there be eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Glory to God my brethren! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that our wonderful God has so magnanimously showered down on us because we believe. With strong conviction now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we sincerely believe that, then let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with others as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…believers lives and words…ought to be all about sharing the good news of Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2016 Philippians 1:12

Philippians 1:12.    But I would ye should understand, (want you to know) brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out (turned out) rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

‘TGIM! TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ the Christian workers joyfully declared. ‘Thank God it’s Monday and we get to go back out into the cruel and oppressive work world and win souls for Christ! What a glorious endeavour!’ 

Oh friends, that’s the stuff dreams are made of! And please note that our wise and wonderful Creator would not have given us the gift of imagination, the power to dream, if He hadn’t wanted us to use it. 

And we must not dream too small either. I read just recently, I believe it’s in one of Gramps Schuller’s devotions (Robert H. Schuller), where he said that if you could accomplish your dream on your own, then it was too small. Our dreams have to be big enough so that we need to enlist God’s help with them. 

And that’s gospel truth my people! Dreams by definition are supposed to be bigger than us. And can you believe what monumental improvement, thinking like we opened with, would make to our war-torn and strife filled world! Mama Mia! 

But sadly I don’t see that change, that upliftment in Christian thinking happening any time soon. Thankfully though, there are no limits, no restrictions on dreaming. (smile) Now let’s keep that dream alive by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the same enthusiasm and pizazz that we began with. 

So in sweet harmony and strong, melodious voice, let’s sing. ‘‘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!’ 

Now that was beautiful my people! You could see the fire in Jesus’ eyes and the energy in His spirit as He vigorously swung His conductor’s baton, guiding us in song.  

Wow! What a wonderful beginning to this Monday morning! And with our motors firing on all cylinders, and the adrenalin coursing mightily through our bodies, let’s go out into the sinful and disgusting world and do what we need to do to truly win souls for Christ! 

And all God’s people gave a purposeful shout of ‘Praise the Lord, for He is indeed worthy of our praise!’ 

Oh friends, the ole fella’s certainly on a roll this morning! (smile) But what’s the purpose of living, if we can’t be in high spirits more often that we’re in low ones eh? What did Jesus say about His coming to earth? He came that we, the sheep of His marvellous flock could have life in abundance. (John 10:10) 

And it would be a sacrilege, a sin, to live an abundant life in a lackadaisical, doh care manner. Life was meant to be lived my brethren, so let’s live it nuh! And that doesn’t mean in lustful and worldly fashion, but in a godly and righteous manner.  

Now I want to introduce our Bit here that shows how our God works in mysterious though sometimes difficult ways for His followers. We’ll continue today, from where we left off yesterday, that is with the missive that Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians while in jail in Rome. 

‘But I would ye should understand, (want you to know) brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out (turned out) rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.’ Now that’s a very interesting scripture my people. But let’s keep reading, before we try to dissect it. 

‘So that my bonds (chains) in (for) Christ are manifest (well known) in all the palace (by the palace guard), and in all other places (the rest of places). And many (most) of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil.113-14) 

Ah friends, what a strange, but rather efficient way to spread the gospel. But our God is full of works that we can’t understand. Now the listen to the scholars: 1:12. Things… have fallen out means “have occurred.” Paul tells the readers that his imprisonment has occurred for the purpose of furthering or spreading the gospel. 

The word rather suggests that the Philippians were anticipating bad news as a result of Paul’s captivity. He informs them rather to the contrary. In His wisdom and sovereignty God has deliberately designed His servant’s present circumstances, as undesirable as they may be, for the gospel’s benefit. 

Two positive results of Paul’s imprisonment are given in verses 13,14. (1) Caesar’s palace learned the gospel from him (v.13); and (2) many Roman Christians were stirred to preach the gospel during his bondage (v.14).’ 

And who says our God doesn’t move in mysterious ways eh? The Lord caused Paul to be imprisoned so he could have the close attention of the palace guards. If he had been preaching out on the street corner, he would never have had the undivided attention of such a large and influential audience. 

And even better yet, because of Bruh Paul’s captivity, the brethren outside got confident, found confidence in the Lord and began preaching the gospel too without fear. Now friends, those last two words -without fear – are very important, because they show the level of maturity and spiritual strength that Roman Christians got from the whole situation. 

Likewise my fellow believers, many of us might be in tight or tough circumstances and wondering why, but the Lord has obviously put us there for a purpose. So please, instead of crying and complaining, consider Bruh Paul’s attitude and look around and see if there be any you can minister to, for God might just have put you there for that very purpose. 

And most important of all; please, let’s all preach the gospel of Christ WITHOUT FEAR, for in the gospel itself, we have oodles of protection. Much LOVE!

…in whatever circumstances a Christian finds him or herself…they are expected to share the good news of Christ…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2014 Psalm 66:19

Psalm 66:19.      But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 

Oh Friends, on this Monday morning, the first day of Holy Week, I have a rather interesting comment for you from the comics section of the newspaper. It’s from the Family Circus strip, depicting a family; husband, wife and four young children of varying ages coming out of church, when the young girl suddenly pipes up: ‘Grandma says this is where our religion begins – when we come out of church.’
 
And is she ever so right! As Bruh David declared in Psalm 8, God’s glory and man’s honour. ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings (infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger.’ (Ps.8:2)
 
And why is that first statement so right? Because it is indeed after we walk out the church doors that we need to put our religion into practice! While in church we are all of the same faith and belief, all enthusiastically glorifying God!
 
And that’s very easy to do because there are no adversaries in our faces in church, but once we leave the building, that’s where our adversaries pounce on us, and that’s also where we need to show our mettle, what we’re truly made of, if we can put all the stuff we just finished spouting in church into live action!
 
Ah mih people, it’s not inside the church that we show our faith to best advantage, but outside its doors, in the real world of trials and tribulations, anxieties and fears. Going to church just helps us to renew our faith as a group, thus enabling us to stand up strong to those problems and circumstances we face in the real world. And it’s on days like Mondays that we’re definitely called on to walk our talk of faith.
 
So on this Monday morning of Holy Week, the most important week in the calendar of our faith, because it’s when Jesus died for us, then was raised from the dead in glory, providing us with resurrection power and finally reconciliation with Almighty God. Therefore let’s go out to work with the right attitude and frame of mind, that we bring glory and not disgrace to God.
 
Let’s now sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the appropriate gusto it so richly deserves. (smile) ‘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!’
 
That was most excellent my people! And we need to carry that enthusiasm and zeal and LOVE for Jesus with us into the ungodly world that awaits us.
 
Our Monday Morning Battle Hymn is also an excellent example of our Bit: 
 ‘But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.’ Whenever we sing it, God hears and answers our requests with a revitalization of our spirits.
 
And yes, it was one of God’s mysterious workings that led me to leave today as the last day for our Bit. It’s rather appropriate since Holy Week is a week of intense prayer. So what better way to begin it than with sincere and faithful words of prayer eh? None really.
 
Now let’s get to our scriptural examples. The first comes from Bruh Paul in his missive to the Colossians, where in his opening remarks he advises them: ‘Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal (meanwhile) praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance (for the word), to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds. That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.’ (Col.4:2-4)

And this is how the scholars explain those scriptures: ‘4:2. Continue in prayer means “persevere in prayer.” Watch in the same means that the Colossians are to be mentally alert and spiritually sensitive to the needs for which they pray. With thanksgiving signifies that gratitude is the attitude in which prayer is offered. So the readers are to persevere in prayer with alert minds and grateful hearts.
 
4:3-4. The Colossians are asked to make two prayer requests for Paul and his associates: (1) that God would grant them opportunities both inside and outside of prison to preach the gospel (v.3); and that (2) the evangelists would make the truth manifest as they ought to speak, that is, to preach it with courage and clarity. Withal praying also for us means praying for Paul “together with” the prayer commanded in verse 2.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, those very things are also required of us today, possibly even more so than in Bruh Paul’s day since the world is much larger, in terms of number of people and settlements, and the evil and wickedness that abounds is surely greater and more perverse.
 
So with that observation, let’s end these messages on prayer with this most apropos scripture from Peter. ‘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.’ (1 Pet.4:7-8)
 
That, my Friends, is the best advice we can get this Monday morning, or on any morning at all. So let’s show our heavenly wisdom and graciously and gratefully accept it nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…without the twin peaks…the foundation stones of prayer and LOVE…we cannot truly claim to be followers of Jesus…