Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2020 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Now this weather scene is getting to be a bit much yes! Can you believe that after a wet, rainy and icy Sunday morning that by ten a.m. the sun had come out and it became clear and dry, though somewhat chilly, and stayed so for the remainder of the day? Wonder what kind of weather we will experience today eh? But I’m not bothering mihself over it nuh, because with it’s contrariness, if you take it on, it will just drive yuh crazy! You just have to be prepared for whatever comes and say, the Lord be praised! (smile) 

And can you also believe that we’re already into half of January? Time sure isn’t wasting time… like some of us! (smile) Wonder how many sure-fire resolutions have been broken already? No doubt many. But it’s Monday, and that tired, sickly, lazy and unenergized feeling is afflicting some of us, like it will always do, so let’s take our problems to the Lord in prayer as we ought to. Let’s humbly, but confidently declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and receive His awesome help to cure our ailments. 

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!’ 

And as always, the positive heavenly reply is not long in coming. We soon feel our spirits lifting, our energy pumping up, and our desires for Jesus, His Word and His work burning like a righteous fire in our being! (smile) Like poor Jeremiah who was tired of declaring the Lord’s word because he was being mocked continually, and thus decided to give up speaking it. However he found that he could not. Why? ‘But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (of holding back) and I could not stay (endure it). (Jer. 20:9) 

Ah friends, many of us sometimes feel like Jeremiah; getting a lot of negative reactions when we try to speak God’s word, but we cannot give up, we have to endure, whatever it takes. It’s that spirit of NEVER GIVING UP, regardless of our circumstances, or who comes against us, that divides Christians from the rest of the human race. Once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit fills you with His awesome strength and courage so that you can keep keeping on with Christ as your Guide and Leader. 

He didn’t have it easy on this earth, and neither will we. But as He faithfully promised: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ And He certainly has friends, by dying on the cross to save our sinful souls, and then coming to life once again, thus defeating, hell, death and the grave for all time! And we’ll just quote a few scriptures to highlight the truth of what Jesus said in our Bit. 

As pertaining to His peace, hear Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus regarding the unity of ALL believers. ‘For He (Christ himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

Yes precious people, Christ broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, namely the Mosaic Law which was made to protect the Jews from pagan influences, but which they improperly used to make themselves feel superior to the Gentiles. But Jesus got rid of all of that by making us, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles, One new man, a unified Church. 

And as per having tribulation in this evil world, hear Bruh Paul to Timothy, re the coming days of apostasy (backsliding). ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-13) And we certainly are seeing it all in these strife-filled end times. 

And per overcoming the world, listen to these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) 

So friends, we have it all in Jesus, God Himself, all that we need to successfully navigate this fallen and sinful world. So there is absolutely no need to worry when things seem rough. Just call on Him and He will faithfully see you through. Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…Jesus is only a prayer away…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2018 Ephesians 6:11.

And once again it’s Sunday friends: our day of rest from mortal toil. A day where we are expected to spend time in worship and fellowship with other believers in the house of God, so that our souls and spirits can be renewed and refreshed and our Creator praised and exalted. 

And as always, each Sunday we begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, because there’s nothing the Lord likes more than hearing His praises sung, and it also softens our hearts, enabling them to be more receptive to His Word. And the song we’re going to sing is an ole favourite, the American Christian Hymn, ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.’ 

But before we get into it, let’s look at its supposed history, a rather interesting one. Apparently it was written by a Presbyterian Minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858, who at that time was an associate of one Dudley Atkins Tyng; a Pastor recently ‘removed from his local Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery. Duffield assisted Tyng in supporting an evangelical revival in Pennsylvania. 

In March 1858, Tyng gave a sermon at a YMCA meeting of over 5,000 men on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord”, converting over 1,000 men listening in the crowd. The following month, Tyng was maimed in a farming accident. Before he died a few days after the accident he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

Duffield then wrote the hymn based on those words. At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield gave a sermon based on Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and ended it by reciting the new hymn he had written as a tribute. After first publication, the hymn was popular and was sung by both the Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. 

The hymn also became popular among British revivalists and within public schools in England. As a result of the images of Christian militarism in the hymn, some people object to the hymn, and some people do not stand to sing it’  With such a colourful and controversial history, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. 

And furthermore, ‘Several melodies have been written for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”. The one used most often now was written by George James Webb, who had originally composed it in 1837 for “Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”, a song in a secular musical show performed on a ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean it. ‘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. 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.’ 

Yeah friends, that’s exactly what is required of us as followers of Jesus. We’re in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil and we must acquit ourselves as brave, courageous and loyal soldiers of Jesus. And the best words in the Good Book to describe our situation comes from the pen of Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re putting on the whole armour of God. So let’s read and inwardly digest those fighting words nuh. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:10-12) 

Oh my people, you might not see our enemy, but believe me, he and his cohorts are real, and they reside in many who hold high office in this realm. And as loyal Christians, we need to battle them to the death, or until Jesus returns. But like any soldier going into battle, we have to take serious precautions: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on), the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

Fellow believers, only when we’re wearing God’s armour are we able to withstand the powerful foe that will keep on coming against us with evil schemes and demonic attacks. But we need to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, (the knowledge of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character and moral conduct). And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (a sense of eagerness or willingness to advance against the devil and take the fight to him). 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, (trusting God and believing His promises), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of (dispel all doubts induced by) the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation (the assurance of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (rhema; selected verses of Scripture): Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18)  

Yes my brethren, we need to have all the accoutrements of war, but without prayer, it’s all in vain. Prayer is indispensable to our cause, and we must be vigilant in praying for all our fellow believers. ‘Spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ There you have it friends, a quick discourse, or hopefully, to some of us, a jolting reminder on Spiritual Warfare 101.  Now let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ…be well armed…stand strong…and pray always…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2018 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Oh mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies and blessings, so let’s be wise and enjoy it and give the Lord thanks for allowing us to see it nuh! 

And I’d certainly like to know what it is between me and lighting yes! Remember a couple of days ago I told you about going out on my front porch to see the rain and how two flashes of lightning immediately drove me back inside? 

Well yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my porch reading, waiting for my young daughter to come and pick me up and take me out. The rain was merely drizzling, when out of the blue, a fiery bolt of Zeus’ lightning suddenly lit up the dark and dreary-looking sky. Then soon thereafter, Thor unleashed a thunderous thunderclap of thundering thunder! (smile) Hn! Yuh know where I ended up? Back inside, of course! 

Ah Lord eh! A body can’t even sit down quietly on his porch without being threatened eh, without fearing for his life! (smile) And quite appropriately, today we’re going to talk about fear, starting with some wise insights on the subject from Uncle John (John Hagee). 

And the first thing he says is ‘Don’t let fear destroy you.’ But sadly we live in such fearful times, when both the physical world and mankind seem to be in serious upheaval that fear is rampant, even among Christians. However, according to Uncle John, the two words that Jesus used most were ‘Fear not!’ And He did indeed tell us quite often not to be afraid, but so many of us lack spiritual maturity that we let fear rule our lives. 

Now hear are some things Uncle John said we should not be afraid of in particular and good reasons why not. The first is: ‘Don’t fear death – For Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Don’t fear the past – Because it’s forgotten and forgiven. Do not fear the unknown – Because God is the revealer of every secret. Do not fear powers and principalities  – Because you have the power of the cross. 

You have the power of Jesus’ Name. You have the power of His Word. You have the power of His blood. You have more firepower than the U.S President… (smile) And it comes to you just with the mention of the name of Jesus!’ 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see all the reasons why we should not be afraid. Jesus is the omnipotent ruler of this world, and if we’re supposed to be living under His umbrella, His jurisdiction, then we should have little or no cause to be afraid of anything! 

And we’ll continue by highlighting a few scriptures where Jesus told His people not to be afraid, beginning with our Bit. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the indisputable truth! Why else would He have sent his most precious possession, His Son, to die for a bunch of ingrates like us eh? But we can’t just sit on our fannies and do nothing. We have to genuinely seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as watch and wait for Jesus’ return. 

And earlier on, while telling them whom to fear and whom not to fear, Jesus declared. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Oh my, my! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life. 12:5. God is the One with this power (to cast into hell) (James 4:12).’ And since I LOVE you all so much, and want you to know the scriptures, and know you won’t look it up for yourselves, I’ll spoon-feed you with that verse. (smile)  

It occurs when James is talking about us having consideration for our brother. ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:12) And that’s a very good question with all the unsubstantiated judgemental behaviour that’s going on these days. 

But turning back to Jesus. Listen to Him on Easter morning, having triumphantly risen from the dead. To those who first saw Him, He said: ‘Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.’ (Matt.28:10) What an occasion was Jesus’ resurrection eh friends! The most momentous occasion the world has seen so far! 

And we have time for just one more of Jesus’ ‘be not afraid.’ This one to His disciples on the boat on the stormy sea, and He comes walking towards them on the water. When they saw Him, were they ever afraid and cried out in fear that it was a spirit. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) Ah mih breddren, what else can I say eh? You heard it all from Jesus Himself! 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, a mark of Jesus’ bountiful benediction to His followers. All together 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!’ 

The next step is to go out now and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate, because that’s why Jesus so generously endowed us with them. Much LOVE!

…the only fear mankind should have…is that of displeasing Almighty God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2018 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.

Aw friends, what kind of crazy, evil, ungodly, unsafe world are we living in eh, when in broad daylight a young man can drive his vehicle into a crowd of innocent people and kill nine or ten of them and injure a whole lot more? Or another young person can enter a restaurant and just open fire with his AK 15, or some such firearm and kill four people? 

The first incident happened in Toronto, the northern section of the city yesterday, and the second down in Nashville, U.S, a couple days ago. It seems we’re safe NOWHERE on the planet. Steups! And then the popular excuse is that these people have mental issues. Chuh! Well then too large a proportion of our society has mental problems! And if that’s a fact, then why aren’t we addressing them properly eh? 

Ah mih people, nowadays our favourite pastime seems to be talk; talk for just talk sake, and get nothing done. Our society is fast going to hell in a basket and our politicians and power brokers still only seem to care about getting in power and lining their own pockets. It’s a good thing that we believers have Jesus and His many faithful promises to hang on to yes, otherwise I don’t know what would happen to us nuh. 

And as we continue looking at some of the many wonderful promises that our faithful God has made us, we open with one of the most steadfast and uncompromising, that contained in our Bit: ‘and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ 

What a powerful promise that is my fellow believers, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He sent the disciples out to proselytize the world! And it’s that kind of stuff that we need to hang on to as we navigate this unsafe and crazy world; look to heaven rather than to mankind who is as evil as the night is dark. 

And if that doesn’t quell your worries, then listen to this promise. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath saith, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

Glory be my breddren! What wonderful words of assurance given to us by our God and our Creator and Saviour. The author of Hebrews is there reiterating God’s promise to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

However friends, there is ONE thing God asked of Joshua, and is also asking of us in these dangerous and trying times: ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper (have success, or act wisely) whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, regardless of the number of great promises God has made us, we still have to take them to heart and stand strong under them. That’s our part of the bargain: stand strong and steadfast in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! But that’s exactly what a lot of us are not doing, thus our fears, worries and anxieties every day of our lives. 

Now hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church on the separation of Christ from His people. ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:34-39) 

Oh precious people of God, if that powerful assurance of Christ’s irremovable presence from our lives doesn’t move and reassure you, then I don’t know what will nuh! That’s possibly one of the greatest promises a believer has to hang on to. Once Christ comes into our lives, we cannot be separated from Him. He will NEVER leave or forsake us, unless we push Him away or turn against Him. 

Therefore friends, in these troubled times, I implore us to hold on tightly to the promises of our ever-faithful God, to stand strong and courageous as He asks of us, so that we can conquer this evil word in His name. Now let’s go home showing the world that we are indeed standing strong in Christ. Let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much vim and vigour. 

As one loud and purposeful voice now: ‘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!’ 

And if we’re sincere, then let’s go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and everlasting friendship with world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…standing on the promises of God…standing safe and secure… on the promises of God, my Lord…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2018 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ah friends, as Prince Buster, the famed Jamaican singer said in his song so long ago; ‘It was a rough night last night…’ but not in the sexual way that he meant it. (smile) I spent the night in the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for doing a heart assisted implant today, that would help the ole ticker operate more functionally than it’s currently doing. 

Everything else was okay except the bed. Chuh! These new-fangled hospital beds are so expensive and can do everything except give you a restful night’s sleep. I found it too hard to lie on and very difficult to get up from. And brother…it just kills my back! 

But there’s always a good and bad side to every story…Hn! The good side is that the Lord might have intervened miraculously on the ole fella’s behalf. Yeh friends, if the findings are true, then heavenly intervention was indeed involved. And you must be wondering what I’m being so obtuse and obscure about. (smile)

Well there seems to be something called ‘ejection fraction’ that shows how the heart is pumping the blood and my figures were low to begin with and over the past year haven’t improved a whole lot which necessitated implanting the device. 

However, yesterday, when they did the usual tests, my figures shot up so remarkably that they had to stop and review the situation. That’s why I’m talking about miracles. 

Hold down now people, hold down… there’s a new twist to the story now. I just spoke to the doctor about the surgery and they have decided to postpone it, to err on the side of caution, until they do some other tests that will give them a clearer picture. Only problem is it takes months to get that done. 

But per his reasoning, if my heart has really improved, then I should be okay. Seems though that there are two different implants for the situation and until they are sure of what’s happening it doesn’t make sense to do any surgery which could complicate matters later on. 

Ah Lord eh! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Life is always full of surprises, and who knows when they will crop up. But when you’re walking with Almighty God, He gives you the ability to handle all that comes against you. 

Hence the awesome and always encouraging words of our Bit. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Not a single soul, for our God will fight them off on our behalf! 

Glory to God my fellow believers! Though He allows us to go through all sorts of stuff, ultimately, He uses everything for our good, as Bruh Paul says a few verses earlier. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) We couldn’t ask for more than that. 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul clarifies our Bit by reassuring us. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom.8:32) Yeh friends, if the Lord went to that length to sacrifice His only Son for us, why wouldn’t He freely give us lesser things eh? None whatsoever! 

Thus, Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-37) 

Oh my people, we are so blessed to have the Lord God of Hosts as our Guide and Protector, that we need nothing or no one else to advocate for us. No wonder Bruh Paul ends this remarkable chapter with these wise, wonderful and reassuring words. ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:38-39) 

Yes precious people of God, NOTHING in this world can separate us from God’s LOVE! Why? As the scholars explain. ’38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

So friends, with all that reassurance let’s go home with bountiful feelings, on this rainy morning in Toronto, heartily declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In full voice now: ‘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.’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that. Much LOVE!

…with God on our side…we should be afraid of nothing…    

P.S. Oh friends, sorry the Bit is so late, I never got to finish it at the hospital and I’m just getting home. It’s just been one of those days. Hope it makes some kind of sense. (smile) Much Love!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Here we go again friends, getting up to go and labour on a Monday morning; a rather chilly one in the northern climes, with a brisk wind blowing to liven it up. (smile) As Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) would say: ‘Lively up yourself and don’t be no drag…’ 

Yeh mih people, unfortunately we’ve got to get a move on if we want to survive, much less get ahead in this evil and cruel world. And to help inspire us, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster. 

In strong voice 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, when we’re dressed in the Lord’s spiritual armour, we are invincible. So with the adrenaline raised by the valiant proclamation of our Battle Hymn (smile) let’s get a move on nuh, get into the world and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name, for that is what we were created to do. Being a Christian is not easy, because you have to undergo tests, trials and tribulation, to build your faith, so you can grow and be promoted in God’s kingdom. And the fact that a large proportion of the world will be against you for just being a follower of Jesus, makes it even more difficult. 

But listen to these amazing, astounding, reassuring and comforting words of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, High Priest and heavenly Advocate; Jesus Christ, as He declares in our Bit. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye  shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Wow friends! What an earth shattering statement! And there was no hesitation or doubt in Jesus’ voice when He said it. He was one hundred and ten percent sure of what He was saying. That means that we too can be one hundred and ten percent sure of all that He said. He opened His heart to the disciples and consequently to us, to give us His peace that’s like no other peace; the one that passes all human understanding. And though He knows that tribulation will be our lot in life, He assures us to be of good cheer. 

And some of us will sneer at that statement, complaining that those two things are mutually exclusive. Not if you are a follower of Christ, because He has overcome the world and all the tribulation therein. Therefore, with His help, we can handle anything that comes against us. Please remember that my people. With God and us working in tandem, we are a majority, capable of defeating anything and anyone that dares to challenge us.

Remember that verse from Philippians? ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) Well that’s the gospel truth friends! But you have to believe it, have the faith to put it into action. And though I’ve recently quoted these upcoming verses to you my brethren, I believe I have to quote them again because they are so relevant to our Bit, and the more often we hear them, the deeper they will sink into our consciousness. (smile)  

Hear Bruh Paul elucidate and expound to the Roman church nuh. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers, until we all feel that way, espouse that same conviction, we won’t be able to reach the heights of service that the Lord has planned for us. The workers of iniquity sincerely believe in their cause, and are more than willing to fight for it. Christians also need to sincerely believe and be willing to fight for our righteous cause, if we want to defeat them. 

Oh my brethren, the long and short of the story then is; if we want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to succeed, then we have to come together as ONE, and fight our battles as ONE, in Jesus name. There is no middle ground. Much LOVE!

…Christ died that His church should be united…not divided…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2018 Acts 8:35.

Acts 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

And the week and the year are rolling along like a downhill snowball. It’s already Wednesday, and we’re also into the tenth day of the new year. Time certainly is waiting for no one. 

And neither are the natural disasters, as they continue to roll along. Check out the 7.6 earthquake in Honduras a couple of days ago, and the mudslides that have killed some thirteen people in California after wicked rainstorms hit the scenic area that had already been ravaged by recent wildfires. 

Ah Lord eh! We can’t give up though friends, we have to keep keeping on despite those setbacks. But we do have to help however we can, especially with prayers. And in the face of these disasters, I believe it’s the ideal time be reminded of one of the most important facts in this world, and to acknowledge it with sure certainty. (smile)

And that fact is: ‘GOD LOVES ME!’ It’s gospel truth my brethren, and cannot be altered. Please pray this prayer with me from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that bears the above title. 

‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. God LOVES me! Even when I’m at my worst – God LOVES me. Even when my faith is dim – God LOVES me anyway! It’s incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, God’s great LOVE for us might be incomprehensible, but we don’t have to understand it, just accept it for the great truth that it is! So even if we don’t remember or learn anything else today, let’s solidify that truth in our hearts and souls today nuh, because that’s where everything begins. 

God first LOVED us, and to such a degree, that even when we were still sinners, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. That ought to say a lot to Christians, for no other faith has anything even close to resembling that awesome fact. And the added fact that God LOVES us in any state, wherever we are, should indeed raise our reverence and LOVE for Him. 

And as a direct consequence of that awesome LOVE, Bruh Paul is able to ask this enormous question in our Bit. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ 

What a striking question my people! And hear how Bruh Paul answers it nuh. ‘As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Acts 8:36-39) 

Mama Mia! What surety emanates from Bruh Paul on the subject my friends! He is certain sure that NOTHING whatsoever can separate us from the LOVE of God which flows down to us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And he’s quite right! 

But friends, are we each individually sure of that? I don’t know. But I do know that until that idea is written in stone in our consciousness, our faith will never be as great as it should be, because that’s the foundation stone of our faith: God’s LOVE is inalterable and everlasting. Once you receive it, it can never be taken away from you. 

That’s why they say that once you receive the faith of Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, you are sealed until eternity. Glory to God! Once your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it shall not be removed, unless you turn away from God and become the devil’s advocate instead. 

So friends, today, let’s be wise and build our faith on that solid bedrock, that solid foundation that’s Christ nuh, for it is eternal wisdom. And having taking in all of that, let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know about our amazing position with Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it will indeed be a glorious future my brethren, for as the Good Book says: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ (! Cor.2:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools…will deign to refuse…God’s great and unconditional LOVE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Oh friends of mine, it’s a beautiful white Tuesday morning in my area. Hn! Yes, we’ve finally registered our first significant snowfall of the season! It’s not too big a snowfall, and as always, it looks beautiful when unsullied by human passage through it. But trudging through it is something else…and so is shovelling it. Good thing I won’t be doing either of those activities today! (smile) 

Anyway, there’s lot’s of stuff I want to share this morning, so let’s get right to it nuh. And the first one is something called ‘The Tyranny of Things,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t remember if I’ve ever shared this before, but it’s ever so appropriate for these secular and selfish times, especially this time of year. 

Please read with me: ‘Materialism does not satisfy because it is tyrannical, and the human being was born to be free! We all know about the tyranny of things. We find that we don’t own a house – the house owns us. We are married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. 

After we have all our “things” purchased, delivered, and installed, and have enjoyed a fleeting sense of pleasure, we find that they are still dominating, dictating, and demanding. “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me, repair me,” they shout. 

So we spend the best years of our lives and the bulk of our money working for the “things,” until, discouraged and depressed, we discover that we have no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable avocations: visiting friends, having fun, and, yes, even going to church regularly. Thus mastered by materialism, tyrannized by things, we have no time left to do the deeds, or see the places, or visit the people, that would really give us great inner joy.’  

And isn’t all of that the living truth friends? It certainly is! In this materialistic, highly commercialized society, it’s all about things and stuff, especially at this season of Christmas. And in a couple weeks time, we’ve forgotten about all the stuff we bought – on credit; even get annoyed when we see some of the stuff, as we struggle to pay for them. Hn! Hn! 

So please, let’s take this advice to heart this Christmas season nuh, and not go overboard with the material stuff. Instead, let’s focus on the human relationships and spiritual processes that truly are the reason for the season, with Jesus being the main focus. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ More words of truth and wisdom, my brethren, whether you take them literally or figuratively! 

Time is flying by, and none of us knows how much we have left, so we need to use each second economically, purposefully and usefully, both in the human and spiritual realms. Darkness and evil have taken a stranglehold on our world, and as true believers in Christ, we can’t afford to let that happen. We need to push back…and push back hard too, if we want to make a difference in this crucial fight. 

And we have a quote ascribed to Antoine de St. Expury (1900-1944) the French author, poet and aviator. It says: ‘In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.’ 

And is that ever so true friends, especially for us Christians! We need to show the dark, evil and cruel world what true Christianity is like through the way we live our lives, rather than the way we talk. For one doesn’t always reflect the other. As the saying goes; ‘examples work more forcibly than precepts.’ 

So please let’s concentrate on living our lives as good examples of Christ’s LOVE Revolution nuh, so that the unbeliever will see our sincerity and want to follow Jesus too. That’s the whole point for our being here yes friends. 

Now let us take a quick look at the second part of our Bit; putting on ‘the armour of light.’ And all we have time for is Bruh Paul’s notable warning and brief description of God’s spiritual armour to the Ephesians. ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of darkness of this world (world rulers), against spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we’re dressed in God’s armour, can we stand strong and resist the evil one, for He will attack again and again. That means we have to be continually ensconced in our ‘girdle of truth, and breastplate of righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, bearing the shield of faith, having on our heads the helmet of salvation, and waving the sword of the Spirit in our right hand, with prayer and supplication’ driving us ever onward and forward! That’s our spiritual armour, and how we defeat the enemy. 

Now let’s go home declaring as we do on Tuesdays, our Tuesday Mantra, singing out loud and clear to the evil world who and whose we are. In full voice and sincere heart now: 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!’ 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are eh! Now let’s go out and put it all into action; share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…dark and evil times…call for Christians…showing their light…the light of Jesus…and leading the way…out of the darkness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

Ah yes friends, we’ve finally progressed to the magical day called Friday… And the workingman will most definitely remind us of that fact as he vociferously declares his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and slaving finish for this week! The next couple days is mih own to do with exactly as I please. And brother, yuh better believe I’m going to do just that! 

Wow! I’m going to eat down the place, if I want to; drink up mih liquor until ah black up and tumbling down; party like there was no tomorrow, and just thumb mih nose at the massa till Monday morning roll around again. Whew! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes, otherwise I’d just go crazy with this slave labour and a pittance for pay!’ 

Unfortunately my brethren, the ordinary workingman is finding it increasingly difficult to make a decent living in this prosperous world through the greed, incompetence and inhumane behaviour of those who own and control the means of livelihood. And sometimes you can’t really blame him when he goes overboard because the rampant injustice and strife in our society is more than enough to drive a body crazy. 

Luckily for us, we belong to the Christian faith, where our Leader Jesus Christ applies boundaries to our behaviour, so we don’t go overboard and fall into the tempter’s grasp. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it out now nuh, and thus give us the better picture of how believers ought to handle the weekend situation. 

In chorus 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we ought to put Christ first and get ourselves ready for another week of work, rather than add insult to injury by beating down our bodies even further and giving the enemy control of our lives. And for all of our blessings and good tidings, we have to thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as our Bit says: 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

And today we are going to delve a li’l deeper into verses 16-17 of Col.1, where Bruh Paul talks about the pre-eminence of Christ, to help us understand the full significance of our Bit. ‘For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things are created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist.’ (Col.1:16-17) 

The scholars then explain thus: ‘1:16. This verse provides the reason Christ is called the “first-born” in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this: Since by him were all things created, then, (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones…dominions…principalities…powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Eph.1:21; 3:10). 

“Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers; “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these heavenly beings reign; “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who wield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them. 

Striking a blow at the Colossian heresy advocating angel worship (2:18), this text forbids Christians to pay homage to angels or other heavenly beings created by God.’  And re ‘1:17. By him all things consist: That is by Him all things are held together; Christ now preserves all that He made in Creation.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ made it all, and now holds His creation together, as He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. So let’s remember that and thus keep everything in its proper perspective: Christ is Creator, Lord and Saviour, and the ONLY ONE deserving of worship and exaltation, not angels or any other beings He has made. 

Tomorrow we will touch some more on the angel situation, but for today, let’s ponder what we’ve said and keep believing, keep studying the Word and living it out successfully in this evil world, in Jesus name, I pray. Much LOVE!

…to whom eventually shall all knees bow…and all lips declare His awesome glory…JESUS…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

And moving right along, we run smack dab into Wednesday, the middle day of our workweek! And some of us heave a sigh of relief, knowing that two’s down, and only two more to go. But that’s okay friends, whatever works for you, to get you through the week is fine, once it has the power of Jesus involved in, or behind it. 

Glory to our great Redeemer, my brethren, who through the sinless sacrifice of His holy life, paved the way for our eternal salvation! We must always remember to give Him much thanks and praise each and every day of our mortal lives…and even when we get to heaven too, to spend eternity there with Him! 

Oh glory to God the Father for the LOVE with which He has LOVED us right down through the ages, despite our sinful ways and willful, protracted disobedience! 

That’s why we are in our current blessed position, and why all those who believe on the name of Jesus, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, and who diligently follow His will, will be enshrined in His Lamb’s Book of Life FOR EVER! Oh give God the glory of which He is so worthy my people! 

And as usual friends, some days I just have to chuckle at what the Holy Spirit leads me to write! None of the above was in my mind previous to writing it, but as I wrote, it just kept flowing, and my fingers couldn’t hit the keys fast enough. Obviously some of what I had planned for today can no longer be included, but that’s okay, because I believe this is a much better intro to our wonderful, uplifting Bit. 

‘Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

Oh what a Friend, and Advocate, LOVER and Redeemer, High Priest and Lord, King and mighty Fortress is our Jesus! He did it all for us! That’s why the Father exalted Him so highly! He is indeed the mighty Mover and Shaker of this world that He helped to create in the beginning of time! 

And if you don’t believe what the author of Hebrews says, who by the way I believe is Bruh Paul, because the writing is way too similar, then listen as Bruh Paul disserts on the pre-eminent Christ to the Colossians. 

‘In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born (first in rank) of (over) every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things were created by him, and for him: 

And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;’ (Col.1:14-19) 

Oh friends, that is indeed a mouthful, but it is the very basis, the foundation for and of our Christian faith! Without that sound and solid reasoning there would be no substance to our faith. The long and short of the story is that it all exists through, and hinges solely on Christ, the first-born, who Bruh Paul declares existed even before the Creation, and who created all that exists, thus He has the right to be pre-eminent, ruler of all that He surveys. 

Ah mih breddren, there are so many explanations provided by the scholars on these meat and potatoes scriptures (time we stopped drinking solely milk){smile), but we don’t have space to list them all, so I’ll just do what we can today, then tomorrow do the rest. 

And the scholars declare: ‘1:14. Blood reminds the Colossians of the enormous price and sacrifice paid to secure their redemption. Redemption, then, is achieved by the atonement wrought by Jesus’ death. See Ephesians 1:7 for “redemption.’ 

And yes my fellow believers, that same blood paid for our redemption too! Let’s never forget it! And you ask, how could we ever, since it’s the whole basis of our forgiveness and the atonement for our abominable sins? I don’t know, but some of us very conveniently do. 

Anyway, enough for today, don’t want to give us more than we can handle in one sitting; too much heavy food would just send us to sleep. (smile) So let’s end then with our Wednesday Wail, which authoritatively declares where we’re at in our spiritual journey with Jesus Christ, our eternal Lord and Saviour! 

In strong voice and true sincerity now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what a glorious future that will indeed be my people! Now let’s go out and tell it to all the world, as our Jesus desires! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus…I shudder to think what our lives would be like…both now and in eternity…

 

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