Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have 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.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have 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.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2018 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

And it’s just another day of winter weather! (smile) No, the rain and higher temps have not melted the ice and snow on the ground, so please be careful if you have to go out. Ah friends, what yuh going to do eh? If you want to live in the northern climes then you’ll just have to grin and bear it, obviously with the help of our heavenly Father. 

Now before we go any further let me share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but it’s so important, especially in these rough and difficult times, that we need to hear it again. It comes from a message titled ‘God Needs Us.’ And so He does. Why? 

Because ‘Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead us on the way. He has no tongues but our tongues to tell us how he died. He has no help but our help to bring us to His side.’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! Christ has no one else to do His work and spread His wonderful word but us, His earthly ambassadors. 

And if we don’t do it, do it diligently and with excellence, then His church, His LOVE Revolution will fail, and much of the world will go to hell in a hand basket with Lucifer. Christ’s sacrificial death would also have been a waste of time, because He died that ALL people could have access to Him. And I’m sure we don’t want either of those things to happen. 

So that’s why we, as Christians, have to get really serious about our work for Christ and improve in all areas, with His help of course. Once we have contact with other human beings, Christ wants to use us, wherever we are, in whatever we do, to bring others to Him, so that they too can enjoy the free gift of grace that brings salvation and eternal life. Remember, He died so that sinners could be saved from their sins. 

As a man, Christ could only be in one place at one time, that’s why when He ascended to heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in His disciples and all those others who would believe in Him, so that they could go out and perform the words of our Bit: the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

And that is what they did my people. And that’s also what we are expected to do. Christ can only work, and is working through His Holy Spirit in our minds and bodies so that we can get His message out, which is becoming more urgent with each passing day, as He prepares to return and take His rightful place as our Lord and King. And unfortunately, when He does return, all who are not then a part of His church will be left out forever. 

That’s not a very nice fate to suffer, so it’s imperative that we His disciples and followers ramp up our efforts to bring the numerous unbelievers out there to Him: ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ (Matt.28:20a) Yeh friends, we’re all teachers in some form or fashion, either by the words we speak or the lives we live. 

The spreading of the Word is not left to pastors and church elders only, but to ALL those who believe. We all have something important to impart to another human being on the topic of Jesus. Let’s remember that nuh and get serious about the way we live our lives and what we say to others, for we are representatives of Christ, and whatever image we portray is the image others will get of Him. 

Please note that much of the recent swelling of the rolls of the ungodly can be laid right at the feet of so-called believers. We have been too wishy-washy and hypocritical in our walk with Christ and others have seen it and therefore been put off of Christ. That’s a crying shame my brethren! Instead of turning OFF people from Christ, we ought to be turning them ON to Him. 

And there’s no need to be afraid or ashamed of our belief and faith in Christ, because at the end of the Commission He faithfully promised: ‘and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:20b) There you have it my people, Jesus’ promise to be with us ALL the time, even to the end of the world. 

So why are we afraid or ashamed of speaking out and living for Him eh? Remember, man can only kill the body, not the soul. However Almighty God can kill both, so if you choose to become a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser, then you’re in for big trouble. 

Oh my fellow believers, hear this explanation of the Great Commission from the scholars. ’28:18-20. The Great Commission brings the first Gospel to its grand finale. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honoured their martyred leader. 

Here is a far different scene. The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory by the risen Saviour through His disciples.’ 

And so it is my fellow believers, so let’s treat it as such and do justice to Christ’s victory nuh. It’s the wisdom that’s been granted to us. Now let’s go home declaring to all the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

Sincerely, loudly and proudly 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!’ 

More gospel truth friends! So let’s go out and diligently share it nuh, as we’re meant to.. Much LOVE!

…a wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble)…but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health…  (Prov.13:17)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2018 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh friends, we late! Yuh like how I included you all in that, even though you all are not to blame? (smile) That’s what they call ‘author’s convenience.’ I guess the ole bod was just more tired than I realized, and when I did open my eyes it was already minutes to nine. 

Well no palavering, let’s get right down to business, which begins with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘God’s Promises.’ 

Please read with me. ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances. 

There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain through our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness. 

Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people? For sure! When times are good, it’s easy to trust God, but it’s in those dark and difficult times that God wants to see us sincerely trusting Him and waiting patiently for His timing, because that’s when He knows that we are growing in faith, we are becoming more Christ-like, mature Christians. 

Yeh friends, trusting God when the circumstances are negative and you don’t understand what’s happening; you’re doing right, but wrong things proliferate, is indeed difficult. But we have to learn that with God, a promise is a promise, regardless of the circumstances that surround it. 

And it’s only by undergoing such tests that we will ever be truly able to trust God and wait on His impeccable timing. One thing’s for sure; He is NEVER late! We might think so, but if you check out the facts of the situation, you’ll discover that He is ALWAYS right on time. I can tell you that from personal testimony. 

Anyway, the Bible Promise for the story above is also our Bit for today. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ And that is more awesome truth my fellow believers! Too many of us have lost faith in the Almighty because it seems like He was taking His own sweet time to come to our rescue. 

But He is the Creator and the Controller, He sees the big picture and knows what He is doing. That’s why the verse after our Bit explains: ‘For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:36) 

Yeh friends, it’s usually after we’ve done God’s will, that we receive the promise, and nowhere does He say that it comes immediately after. In God’s economy, we usually have to wait for things to prove our faith. And furthermore, as the author paraphrases what the Lord told Habakkuk in Hab.2:3-4.

‘For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (delay). Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But ye are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ (Heb.10:37-39) 

Oh my people, let’s hope that that is true of all of us! Let’s hope that we learn to wait on God to fulfill the promises He’s made us, in spite of how long it takes, or how dark and dangerous it might seem. And what did Jesus say about all that in the Beatitudes, in the famous Sermon on the Mount? 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Ah mih breddren, Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that those who faithfully stood the test of time would be faithfully rewarded. Now would you like to be amongst that lot or not? I’d suggest that that’s where we should all be actively heading for, since that’s wisdom personified. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know without a doubt, just who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong conviction 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 that’s true, then let’s go out and share our friend Jesus and His awesome LOVE with the world, for there’s nothing He desires more than that! Much LOVE!

…there’s no bigger act of LOVE…than sharing the LOVE of JESUS…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere 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 the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.   I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

And the pace picks up, as the days dwindle down to the all-important Christmas Day! Please remember though friends, that it’s not about the world’s confusion and commercialism, but strictly about Jesus; His coming to earth in human form so that He could save said humans who mocked and crucified Him! 

And the sad part is that too many of us supposed believers tend to forget that scenario and just morph into the world system. And we do need to be reminded of the season’s purpose as it get’s easier to join the enemy’s ranks with the constant hoopla of ‘Happy Holidays,’ and not ‘Happy Christmas! So consider yourselves reminded. (smile) 

Now today I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin which so vividly shows what happens to us when we get caught up in the world system. It’s titled ‘Reversal.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘I said, Lord, look at me Just look at me All of life upside down – Tangled emotions smeared with fear Guilt Despair Disgust A prisoner of myself. The hopeless thing is that It’s all decided. I’m defenceless At the end of my rope Locked in And I’ve tried, Lord Tried desperately. 

But how does one see without eyes Or walk without feet? How, Lord? You said, Come unto me. You need not cringe Nor climb Nor compete Nor change Come even without feeling Without tokens Without merit or hope But come. Come now. I came And all of life Turned right side up.’ 

Wow friends! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve and worship! Yuh see, even when we allow the things of the world to get us tied up in knots; alone, depressed and fearful, we can go to our heavenly Father for succour…and just as we are too, hurting and lonely and lost. 

We don’t have to change before going to Him. He wants us to come just as we are, right then and there, and He will effect whatever changes are necessary, since we can’t do them for ourselves. 

So, this Christmas season, when so many of us get caught up in the topsy-turvy of the world system, let’s remember those very meaningful words nuh…’Come unto me…Come now…’ And with heavenly wisdom, let’s run into His fatherly embrace and receive the LOVE and the healing we need. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is our Bit, taken from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. It boldly declares the joyful proclamation of the psalmist: ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

Yes my people, that is indeed the way it is! In times of distress and calamity, when we call upon the Lord with a sincere and humble heart, He will hear us and relieve the pressure upon our human souls. That’s His promise! And we know that He’s NEVER, and WILL NEVER, renege on any of His promises, because He is faithful that promised. 

But WE HAVE to first go to Him with our problems in all sincerity and truth. Note, He said, ‘Come. Come just as you are…’ So the onus is on us to make the first move, otherwise we’ll just stay there stewing in the pot of affliction that we created for ourselves. 

Now listen as Bruh David celebrates the Lord’s goodness from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance – after he had been delivered from the hands of his enemies, especially Saul. ‘The sorrows (pangs) of death compassed (encompassed) me, and the floods of ungodly men (ungodliness) made me afraid. 

The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (confronted) me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of (from) his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears.’ (Ps.18:4-6) 

Yeh friends, our God is the best help in time of trouble! And if you’re wondering what happened after Bruh David cried out to the Lord, the Lord was angry and stirred up the world in Bruh David’s favour (vs.7-17) 

Then finally: ‘They prevented (confronted) me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay (support).  He brought me forth also into a large (broad) place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.’ (Ps.18:18-21) 

And therein lies the secret my brethren; not following the world system and departing from serving the Lord God Jehovah! If we stay faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us and lift us up in time of calamity. Please remember that. 

Now let’s go home proudly declaring to the world who and whose we are, through our Tuesday Mantra. All together 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!’ 

Glory be, mih people! Now let’s go out and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus that we just finished talking about, and try to make the world a better place. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more fulfilling and heartwarming…than sharing the LOVE of Jesus…

 

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