Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2021 Revelation 2:7a.

Revelation 2:7a.     He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rainy days and Thursdays always get me down! Now that’s not really true, because there’s nothing like a rainy day to bring peace and quiet to your life. A rainy day just seems to draw one closer to one’s Maker, in that it brings a serenity and calm to one’s soul and spirit. And that’s how I feel today, as we open with some heavenly blessings. It just seems that when the rain falls the world is not as noisy and busy, and do we ever need to lessen the futile busyness and unnecessary noise in this modern technological age. 

So if it’s rainy in your area, please take a few quiet moments and spend with your Maker… and hopefully do less talking than listening, because I believe we tend to talk to God much more than we listen to Him, that’s why sometimes we take so long to get answers, He can’t get in a word edgeways. (smile) But since the Lord so generously gave us breath to face another glorious day on planet earth, let’s turn to the promise we made yesterday, to continue looking at some stuff from the Book of Revelation. 

Yesterday we stopped where Christ told John to write down some messages to seven particular churches, to be sent by seven angels or messengers. We won’t go through them all, just some that I think are most important. And the first one is to the church at Ephesus: ‘Unto the angel (messenger) of the church at Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks (lampstands). (Rev. 2:1) 

The seven candlesticks which Jesus walks amidst represent the seven churches to which he has messages (1:11) The seven stars in His hands represent the angels of the seven churches. According to the scholars: ‘The angels may be either literal angels, each of which has a special guardian ministry toward one specific church (cf. Heb. 1:14), or the human leaders or pastors of these churches. Angel literally means “messenger.” 

And Jesus continues: ‘I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience (perseverance), and how thou canst not bear (endure) them which are evil: and thou hast tried (tested) them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars. And hast borne (persevered), and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted (become weary). Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first LOVE.’ (Rev. 2:2-4) 

The scholars tell us that ‘The city of Ephesus was one of the most important commercial and religious cities in Asia Minor. The most famous temple of the goddess Artemis (Diana) was located there. It was also John’s headquarters before his exile. Ephesus served as the “mother” church to the others, all of which were connected by the same Roman road. And though the church is commended because of its soundness of faith and its perseverance through persecution, its people have come under Christ’s discipline for having left (not lost) their first LOVE or former devotion to Christ.’

 Does that sound familiar my people? I think it should, because a lot of us supposed believers are not as devoted to Christ as we used to be. Our devotion has dropped off at a time when it should be at it’s zenith! But as always, our Saviour offer us a lifeboat. ‘Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except (unless) thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’ (Rev. 2:5-6) 

Yes friends, the scholars tell us that the solution the Ephesian problem is threefold: ‘(1) remember your former devotion to Christ; (2) repent of the present lack of LOVE and devotion; and (3) return – that is, do the things that were characteristic of the devotion of the church in its earlier years. Christ threatens to discipline the church by removing its light (candlestick). Today, Ephesus is in ruins, and it’s church is gone.’ 

Now was Christ’s discipline a pertinent factor in the demise of the church at Ephesus? Who knows? But it’s surely a good question for us to contemplate in these ungodly times. And as per the Nicolaitans, the scholars say they ‘were probably a libertine, antinomian sect (rejects laws and moral values) who attempted to use Christian liberty as an excuse for self-indulgence and immorality.’ 

Then comes the second letter: ‘And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue (congregation) of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried (tested); and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ (Rev. 2:9-10) 

A tough request that friends, but it’s also the same request the Lord is making of us today: stay faithful to the end, and He will bless us with a crown of eternal life. And just a few words from the scholars on the plight of Smyrna, ‘whose name meant “Myrrh” a fragrant spice for anointing dead bodies. It was a rich and beautiful city, some fifty miles north of Ephesus on the shores of the Aegean sea, whose believers were undergoing persecution and had been reduced to poverty. They were being reviled by unbelieving Jews. They received no condemnation from Christ but were encouraged to endure suffering faithfully. Faithful persecution through trials will bring a crown of life (cf. James 1:12). The second death is eternal destruction in the lake of fire (20:14-15), reserved for all unbelievers.’ 

Oh my people, our church life and devotion to Christ is definitely not up to scratch, and we do need to come up higher, especially in these troubled times. Please listen to what Jesus says after every message to a church: ‘He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ It’s a straight up warning, and to each church He promises something different if they repent and/or stand strong. 

To the church at Ephesus, He promises: ‘To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’ (Rev. 2:7) And the scholars explain that ‘the promise to him that overcometh probably applies to all Christians with genuine faith (cf. 1 John 5:4-5) and will be fulfilled as believers enjoy the blessing of the New Jerusalem (22:2,14), the paradise of God.’ 

To the church at Smyrna it was: ‘He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.’ (Rev. 2:11) And that’s the gospel truth friends! If we persevere in good faith with Christ until the very end, we will not be cast into the lake of fire. Now shouldn’t that give us a strong sense of purpose, especially as we draw near to the end of this church age? I should think so. But sadly, not all of us agree on that point. However, for those of us who do, let’s go home this rainy Thursday declaring (wrong again!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

As one 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Our next move is to now go out and share those blessings just as generously as our heavenly Father shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord does not expect perfection from His followers…but He does expect diligence, devotion and excellence from them… 

P.S. Sorry for the length and lateness of the Bit, but I messed it up and had to rewrite it. Chuh! Much LOVE!                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2021 Psalm 107:6.

Psalm 107:6.     Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

Give it up for Thursday friends! Give thanks for the renewed breath of life flowing through us, with the Lord’s new mercies and compassions, fresh off the line, made especially for today! It is certainly an immense pleasure and privilege to do life with Jesus on another new day! Oh, glory be my people! Therefore, like the psalmist of old, we can most definitely declare (steups!) in grateful appreciation: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’ (Ps. 107:1) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, we ought to be continually pouring out our thanks to the Lord God for His unending goodness to the children of men! I hate to think what would become of us if His mercies and compassions were not always available to us, despite the inherent sinfulness in our souls. And Psalm 107 is such a magnificent acknowledgement of God’s goodness to mankind that we going to look through it and cull some wonderful scriptures from it. 

Here is the first one: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.’ (Ps. 107:2) And yuh better believe that is what we ought to be crying out in loud voice and sincere appreciation my brethren, because the Lord went out of His way to redeem us from eternal separation and destruction by sending His sinless Son to die on the cross to atone for our abominable sins! Now isn’t that something to be proud of and everlastingly grateful? It surely is! So why aren’t we proud of Him, and shouting out to all and sundry His wonderful mercies eh? 

Because we are a bunch of proud and arrogant ingrates! And why do I say so? Just listen as the psalmist continues. ‘And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness is a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps. 107:3-7) 

Yuh see that mih people, when Israel found themselves in difficulty from their gross disobedience, they cried out to the Lord and He saved them from their problems. And I like how Asaph puts it in Psalm 50 – God is the judge. Talking about sacrificial offerings of animals, he speaks on God’s behalf. ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer up unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:12-15) 

Yeh friends, that’s how the redeemed of the Lord ought to behave! No wonder the author of Psalm 107, takes issue with us and sadly declares (spelled it wrong there too): ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.’ (Ps. 107:8) We should have no problem in doing that nuh mih bredrin. But unfortunately, we seem to have just such a problem. 

And here’s why the psalmist tell us to give thanks and praises to our great and wonderful God. ‘For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners). Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High:’ (Ps. 107:9-11) 

Oh precious people, those words speak directly to our situation right now. We stubbornly and arrogantly rebelled against God, trying to kick Him out of our society! And what happened? ‘Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.’ (Ps. 107:12) Any fool can see the obvious resemblance there to our current society, where we are suffering all kinds of problems and the more we try to solve them in our own strength, the greater the mess and confusion we’re making. 

So what’s the answer eh? It’s obvious friends: ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces).’ (Ps. 107:13-14) Yuh know, it still boggles my puny mind, that in all the troubles that we currently facing in this sick and strife filled world, very few of us, and none of the powers that be, are even considering calling unto the Most High God Jehovah for help. We’re only concerned about doing it in our own strength. 

But what about the God of our fathers eh? Have we forgotten so quickly how good He was to them when they called out to Him in troubled times? It certainly seems so. But friends, please believe, that our problems will not be solved until we turn back to the God of our fathers, and do like the psalmist says: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:15) 

And now that we have set us straight on that matter, (smile) let’s go home declaring (oh yeah!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which our magnificent and magnanimous God has seen fit to bless us most generously with to do His earthly work. In one loud and sincere voice: ‘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 has 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Oh my faithful believers, we are ever so blessed, that we can’t truly appreciate it! However, let’s go out now and generously share all those wonderful blessings with others who so desperately need them nuh, for that’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…man’s first responsibility…is to praise God… to give Him thanks…to glorify His holy name…                                  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2021 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.     ​In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Good morning my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh what a glorious day to be alive! One more day walking with Christ, our wonderful Lord and Saviour, on this confused and troubled earth, but knowing that He has the awesome power to make a way for us and provide all that we need, for He sincerely promised that if we walk with Him, we’ll never want for anything that’s necessary and that our souls will be filled with the amazing peace that He offers all His followers! 

Wow! That means we need nothing or no one else but our dear Jesus, for He’s on our side, and all we have to do is stand strong and tall, don’t worry, and do what He asks of us. No other organization in this whole wide world has the benefits that we Christians have, so please let’s enjoy them nuh, and stop being miserable, worried and depressed, because the Good Book has always told us to not worry or fret, but to be of good cheer. 

All the way back in Genesis 42 and 43, we have this example of when Joseph’s brothers came down to Egypt to buy food in the famine and Joseph kept his brother Simeon as a pledge that they would return, and then they found the money they had paid for the food back in their sacks. But were they ever scared on their return with Benjamin, and had Joseph invite them to his house. But Joseph’s steward told them. ‘Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.’ (Gen. 43:23) 

And when yuh talking about being cheerful despite prevailing unfortunate circumstances, Jesus was the master of that! His words were always cheerful and uplifting. Some of His favourite words were ‘Do not fear,’ and ‘Be of good cheer.’ Let’s look at a few examples to encourage ourselves nuh. Remember that time when he healed the paralytic man? The Good Book tells us: ‘And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy (paralyzed man), lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy (paralytic); Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’ (Matt. 9:2) 

And I just LOVE how Jesus liked to annoy the scribes and the Pharisees, for when He said that, their thoughts immediately turned to blasphemy. ‘And Jesus, knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether (which) is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.’ (Matt. 9:4-7) 

Oh mih people, if we have such a mighty individual, High Priest and Saviour on our side, why do we keep worrying eh? Who knows? I guess, only God and the fearful individuals. And then, we come to the instance where Jesus is walking on the water in the early hours of the morning towards the disciples fighting a torrid storm in their li’l boat on the rough Sea of Galilee. ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:26-27) That’s when Peter took courage and walked on the water, until his courage failed him. 

And then we have this magnificent example when Jesus began talking seriously to the disciples about His approaching death and all the other things that were to come. He said to them. ‘Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own (place), and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 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.’ (John 16:32-33) 

And that’s the awesome truth friends! Jesus has overcome the world, thus we can be cheerful despite whatever is happening around us. And please note, that though all the disciples deserted Jesus in His time of need, His heavenly Father did not! All glory be to our great God and Creator! And some of Jesus’ last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, was also a promise of never to leave us alone: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And it’s a promise He faithfully keeps by having His Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts when we receive him as Lord and Saviour. 

And yes, it’s not easy living for Jesus, and all those encouraging words don’t always work for us. But I found, or rather was led to (smile) a passage from a Devotional by Camille Fronk, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, written on April 30, 2004 and featured on the Brigham Young University website. Please listen closely to Camille. ‘I wish to focus my remarks today on the role of Christ’s enabling power in our ability to feel cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement. 

The process could be explained this way: The more we know the Savior, the longer becomes our view. The more we see His truths, the more we feel His joy. But it is one thing to know that’s the right answer in a Sunday School class and quite another to experience firsthand a cheerful outlook when current circumstances are far from what we hoped. If we would develop faith to apply the Atonement in this manner and not merely talk about it, awareness of imaginary finite boundaries, inadvertently placed on the Savior’s infinite sacrifice, can be meaningful. Consider two false assumptions that, if pursued, will block our appreciation and access to the Lord’s divine assistance.’ 

And she explains those two false assumptions as being thinking that because we are Christians, we can avoid tribulation, and that we can trust in our own efforts. And yes friends, those are two major stumbling blocks in our Christian walk. But Jesus specifically said that we would all face tribulation in the world, especially if we believe in Him, and try to do His work in this evil and godless society in which we live. And please don’t forget about that scripture verse we are always quoting: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

What’s the point of talking about it if we don’t practice it eh? None whatsoever. So let’s hold our heads up high nuh, and smile, although things might not be going too good for us, because we have Jesus and His promises to keep us strong and fortified. Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us so that we can do His earthly work. 

Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s our turn to share those blessings just as generously with the unfortunate others around us! Much LOVE!

…faith and light will overcome fear and darkness…every time… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2021 Isaiah 12:2a.

Isaiah 12:2a.     ​Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:

 Aye mih people, can you believe that we are already entering the fourth month of this most controversial and troubling year of 2021? We thought 2020 was bad, but this one could be even more problematic. And would you believe that we’re on the verge of another province-wide lockdown in this wonderful Province of Ontario? 

And no, it’s not an All Fools, or April Fool’s joke. It seems that all the ICU Departments in the hospitals are filled to overflowing, and we’re back up to some two thousand cases of Covid a day. And yuh better believe more confusion will reign after that decision is announced, because some things that were originally locked down, will apparently now stay open, while others that seem similar will stay closed. 

Why is all of this happening eh? Is it because with vaccines available, some people are no longer obeying the few options we have to keep the virus in check? Or is it that the new variants are more highly contagious and the vaccines are not working so well on them? No one seems to have a good answer for our predicament, which might just be a combination of those two things, and even more. And though this is a serious matter, at times it seems even jokified, that the great creation called human beings with all their knowledge and understanding and foolish pride can’t get a handle on a li’l virus, that you can’t even see without a powerful microscope. 

What does that tell us eh? That mankind is not as powerful, knowledgeable, and smart as we think, and that we’re only an imperfect created being, who ought to bow to his Creator and obey His commandments, not belittle and blaspheme His holy name and try to eradicate Him from our society. I don’t know why we can’t learn from other people’s mistakes nuh. 

And we have a great example from which we can learn; that’s the demise of the archangel Lucifer, (Is. 14:12-16) a created being so much more powerful than us, but who, in his foolish pride and selfish ambition tried to overthrow Almighty God, and was kicked out unsavourily from heaven with the other angels, who foolishly sided with him. They were committed to a life of hell on earth after enjoying the glories of heaven, and eventual eternal damnation. So, why do we think a lesser mortal like us can overthrow our Creator eh? 

It’s so senseless, so ridiculous, and on this Holy Thursday morning, the day before our Lord and Saviour, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago, I’m pleading with us, that instead of trying to get rid of God, to embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, because He is the one who created us, and still looks after us, the One who owns the future and thus holds our future in the palms of His mighty, scar flecked hands. 

Yes friends, instead of turning away from God, we should thank Him for all that He’s done for us, the breath of life He’s given us so we can go through today, the family and LOVED ones He’s provided, the food on our tables, the roof over our heads, the opportunity to get wealth and so much more! We should be offering thanksgiving for His mercies and not blasphemy! 

And the Good Book opened today at this most appropriate song of triumphant praise from the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. So please offer praise with me. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedest me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (awesome deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is. 12:1-6) 

Now that is the kind of stuff we should be doing and saying my people, in appreciation of all that our wonderful God has done for us. Remember all the pain and sorrow Jesus suffered that we could be saved from hell fire and damnation! And on the day before we mourn His sacrificial death, this is a rather good time to think on all the things we’ve spoken about this morning and get ourselves together so we can raise up His name instead of tear it down. And to further show our appreciation, let’s declare (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’  

Now friends, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, not selfishly store them all for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…religious ritual…without spiritual reality…is worthless to our sovereign God…

P.S. Isn’t it wonderful that it’s so short today! (smile) Much LOVE!

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8             

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2021 Matthew 17:5.

Matthew 17:5.     ​This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Here we are again people; alive and kicking on another wonderful day in God’s great universe! And all I can say is that we are BLESSED! Most certainly BLESSED to awaken to this day, even though everything’s not going our way. But we are also assured that God is on the case, looking after our affairs, setting it up so that in the end everything will work out for good! 

Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! Let’s give him some thanks and praise nuh, for allowing us to see another day, for all the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new just for today! As I said a few days ago, with our God, there’s no stale stuff left over for the next day! No sir! Every day, everything is brand new! 

And do we appreciate His wonderful blessings? I certainly hope so. But it’s obvious that many of us still don’t appreciate Him, else we wouldn’t be trying so hard to get rid of Him from our society. And how many times do I have to remind us that He won’t ever allow it eh? He’s the supreme ruler and if it’s one thing He doesn’t play with it’s His glory. 

Hear what He says on that subject nuh, through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) Here Isaiah is talking about the servant of God (the Messiah) coming to earth to glorify God through His earthly ministry. And though man may, and has most certainly disobeyed God and tried to give His glory to false gods and graven images, from God’s perspective, He, the Lord, the Creator will not allow it to happen. 

Oh, He might declare that He is a jealous God, in respect to His covenant with believers, (Ex. 20:5, 34:14) But He is not a selfish God, and He does share His glory with His Son Jesus Christ, who is a member of our Triune Godhead, as so many passages of scripture declare. 

Let’s look at a few nuh. Matthew records Jesus words as He foretells His passion (death) thus: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) Meanwhile, Mark puts it this way. ‘Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ (Mark 8:38) 

Now hear Jesus from John’s gospel, as He speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself (on his own authority); but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of (what is) mine, and shall show (declare) it unto you. All things the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.’ (John 16:13-15) 

And some more from John, when Jesus prayed for Himself and His own. ‘These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee: As thou hast given him power (authority) over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self (alongside thee) with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ (John 17:1-5) 

Oh friends, those are words of extreme importance to us believers. Why, you ask? Because the time had come for Jesus to be glorified on the cross and in the resurrection, and that the salvation and eternal life we so highly cherish, depended directly on Jesus’ glorification. Let’s also remember that ‘Eternal life is more than an endless existence. It is a personal relationship with God.’ 

And finally, these words from Peter, re Christ’s temporary glorification at the transfiguration. ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ (2 Pet. 1:16) Yes friends, Peter, along with James and John, were eyewitnesses at the transfiguration of Christ, when He was revealed in all His glory. (Matt. 17:1-8) 

The scholars tell us that ‘This was a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain represented all those who enter the kingdom by death or translation. The declaration of the Father, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.’ (Matt. 17:5) reinforces Christ’s dominion over His kingdom. Application: Since Christians live expectantly looking forward to the return of Christ, they ought to give Him first place in their lives today, just as He will have in the kingdom. (First Ref. Matt. 17:1-9; Primary Ref. 2 Pet. 1:16; cf. Heb. 9:12.) 

Now that makes perfect sense friends. It’s best to give Jesus first place in our lives right here and right now, so we can get accustomed to it, for when He comes in all His glory with His angels, we won’t have any choice. (smile) And it’s now time for us to go home proclaiming our Thursday Blessings. Note, I didn’t say declaring (awright!) because I was afraid of spelling it wrong. (smile) But I did spell it right there. 

So as one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

it’s wise…to get prepared for Jesus’ Second Coming…while we wait and look expectantly for it… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2021 Acts 4:12.

Acts 4:12.     ​Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

A good Thursday morning to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, all over God’s good world! Blessings, and peace, and the grace of our wonderful God be with us this blessed day! Let’s remember that our waking up today was both a privilege and a blessing from our Creator, and therefore not waste this awesome day, regardless of how difficult it might be. For every awesome day we spend in His sight is precious and blessed and there is a divine purpose for our being alive to share it. 

The main aspect being that of sharing His Word, the gospel, the good news of His Son Jesus Christ, which has forgiving, saving and resurrection power! Glory be my faithful brethren! For there’s no other name by which we can be saved from eternal death and damnation than by the name of Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Good Book, when Peter preached the word to the high priest and his compatriots. 

‘Be it known unto you all, and unto all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (the chief cornerstone).Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’(Acts 4:10-12) 

Now that’s a very important scripture friends, for if you’re not saved by the shed blood of Jesus, then you’re not saved at all, and therefore your eternal destiny is set with the fallen angel and his other foolish fiends. And I don’t think that any of us would like that to be our forever destination, or those our forever friends. (smile) Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we all are saved by the blood of Jesus, which includes hearing His word, believing it, and then living faithfully by it. 

It’s no easy task in this sinful and evil world, but the wonderful thing about belief in Jesus, is that when you come to Him in true sincerity, He gives you the power, the grace, the anointing to live the life he desires of you. Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour never asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal to do it. Bless His holy name! And if you still find it difficult to believe that Jesus is the ONLY source of salvation, then listen to these other scriptures. The Lord promised salvation through His servant from olden times. 

Hear the prophet Isaiah. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles. He shall not cry (cry out), nor lift up (raise his voice), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax shall he not quench (extinguish): he shall bring forth judgement (justice) unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement (justice) in the earth: and the isles (coastlands) shall wait for his law.’ (Is. 42:1-4) 

What a prophecy! And the scholars explain. ‘42:1-4. My servant is identified here as a person rather than the personification of the nation of Israel. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest, He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself. He is also called mine elect (bechiri, “set apart for a definite purpose”) and the One in whom I have put my spirit. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:18-21). 

The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement (or justice) to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact the most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ 

And should we ever be glad for that my people, because if it was to the Jews alone, then we would sadly be on the outside looking in. But that just shows the great LOVE that our Creator, our wonderful God, holds for all His creation, not wanting even one of them to be lost to eternal damnation! 

Now hear the angel of the Lord to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father when he found out that his betrothed, Mary, was with child before they were married. ‘…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (SAVIOUR): for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt. 1:20-21) 

Oh my brethren, so far we’ve been hearing from others about Christ’s purpose, now let’s hear it from Christ Himself, as He told it to the disciples when Thomas voiced doubt as to His going. ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father , but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:5-7) 

That’s the definitive scripture of them all my precious saints of Christ! Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father, and thus salvation. And furthermore, if, or when we know Jesus, we know the Father and have also seen Him, because Jesus is the spitting image of the Father! Mama Mia! That’s something significant for us to ponder on today. In the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, those tools which the Lord has given us to do His earthly work. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

So, if we truly believe, then it’s our bounden duty to put those blessings to work in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…you can’t say you believe in Jesus…and don’t do the things that truly reflect His awesome character… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2021 Hebrews 12:1b.

Hebrews 12:1b.     …​let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

It’s a new day people, so graciously granted to us by our heavenly Father, so let’s give Him some thanks and praise for it nuh, and promise to enjoy it to the fullest, while doing His awesome will! Yes friends, it feels so good to be alive on this Thursday morning, that despite all my difficulties, I still want to jump and shout for joy and sing praises to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! Hope you are also experiencing the same extraordinary feeling, because it is not a normal emotion that the world, that unbelievers can experience. 

That feeling of peace and calm, of LOVE and goodwill to our fellow beings, even when we are in the midst of a dreadful storm ourselves! And that feeling of euphoria, even in the darkest times is only possible when Jesus has first place in our lives. When we focus on Him, our lives take on a different quality, we rise to a higher level of humanity, we gain a strength and sense of purpose that enables us to run the race that our Creator has set out for us. 

Yes friends, when we embrace all the promises that our God has made down through the ages, we are then able to rise to the occasion, and allow Him to lift us from glory to glory, ever becoming more faithful and Christlike as we live this earthly life. And these awesome words from the Good Book epitomize all that I’m saying. The author of Hebrews, which resonate like the words of Bruh Paul, but which some scholars doubt, gives us this news of great assurance about running our race. 

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) And I guess it’s only appropriate that I enclose the lengthy, but excellent explanation the scholars provide on that verse, so that we will get the real meaning and understand it perfectly. (smile) 

‘12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet the Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

This race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner, or the faithful Christian they must be removed.

 Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13).’  

There you have it friends, our race is all about faith, learning from the faithful exploits of those who have gone before us and setting glorious examples, glorious witness and testimony for those who are coming after us. And remember our race is not a sprint, but a marathon, and those require much endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual, that’s why we need to practice, and practice seriously if we truly desire to win our individual races. And friends, the ability to do that is certainly enhanced when Jesus is our focus, cause remember we can do all things through Him, who strengthens us. 

Thus, the second verse of Hebrews 12 boldly continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) Oh my people, that verse is key, for it is Jesus who began our faith and completed the first race in it. 

And the scholars declare it thus: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That makes Him the best example to follow in running our race. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb. 12:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’ Make no doubt about that my brethren! Jesus is the example that our heavenly Father wants us to emulate. Yes, He knows that it won’t be easy, but that’s why He has blessed us so profusely with all the parts and trappings to be successful. 

And let’s thank our lucky stars, or should I say, our heavenly Father, (smile) that very few of us will have to undergo and endure the sad and brutal punishment that Jesus endured for our sinful sakes. That means we need to show gratitude by putting our best foot forward in supporting and promoting His wonderful cause. And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s even given us the tools to help us do His work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Wow! So let’s remind ourselves of them as we go home this bright but cold Thursday morning nuh. 

As one strong, confident but humble voice. ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having declared them, let’s now go out, or stay in, or whatever, and share them with others, use them to benefit others, just as magnanimously as Christ has done with and for us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord knew we needed help in witnessing…that’s why He provided so many good examples…the best being Jesus…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2021 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.     ​I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Brother! I thought that 2020 went fast, but like this new year planning on going even faster! Is already Thursday the 7th, and the year just started. (smile) Just wish our calamities were going away as quickly. But what to do eh? We brought most of them on ourselves, and we’re not behaving in a manner that will encourage them to leave as quickly as they came. 

What a blessing to have Jesus on our side! The Good Book plainly and truthfully states it: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) That means, with His help, His awesome grace, mercy and strength, we can handle anything that comes against us, even if it is of our making. And furthermore, we’re also told: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

Yes mih bredrin, if Christ will strengthen me and cause the Lord to provide all my needs, who or what else do I need eh? NOTHING, or NOBODY! For Christ is sufficient in and of Himself! That’s why He instructed us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Oh friends, when we put Jesus Christ first and foremost in our lives, He will provide all that we need to live an abundant life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean rich in personal possessions, but certainly rich in spiritual things, maturity in spirituality, a good example of Christian living. So I don’t understand how so many of us refuse to follow Jesus, or only give Him lip-service and are not truly faithful to and in sync with Him. 

 I’m guessing that’s partly because living for Jesus is not easy. As His ambassadors, His earthly representatives, He expects a lot of us. He expects us to grow tremendously and shine brightly on His behalf, and that is ofttimes a difficult row to hoe. But as the ole people would say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ And that’s certainly highlighted in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled ‘The Pain of Growth.’ 

So please pray with me. ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. 

Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache and anguish. And very often in my suffering when I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

And that calls for a big ‘AMEN!’ my brethren. For it’s definitely through pain and somewhat uncomfortable circumstances that the Lord grows and matures us in His economy. And there’s nothing in that list of painful things above that Jesus never suffered on our behalf during His earthly sojourn. That’s why He can empathize with our suffering now. 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could confidently proclaim: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (empathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader felt every pain and suffering that we’ve ever felt…and more than any of us have ever felt to boot! And in Isaiah 53, Christ suffering is laid out, so much so that He’s known as ‘a man of sorrows.’ (Is. 53:3) And I like how the website www.gotquestions.org explains it. ‘Jesus is called “a man of sorrows” because of how much suffering He had to endure. He suffered first by leaving the glories of heaven and entering the human race as a man. Then He suffered all the things that humanity suffers, and then finally He suffered the wrath of God as the sin-bearer.’ 

So when He asks us to undergo a spot of suffering on His behalf, we ought to just shut our blooming mouths and do it without the hemming and hawing we’re so famous for. What would have happened if He hemmed and hawed about going to the cross for us eh? When Jesus asks us to jump, the correct answer is simply, ‘How high Lord?’ 

And before we run out of time and space, let’s look at the Bible Promise that was used for the poem above. It comes from the great psalm 119: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:75-76) 

Yes people, the psalmist realized that God in His righteousness and justice would not afflict Him without a good reason. And furthermore, His LOVING-kindness, His unfailing LOVE, would comfort him during his trails, just like He promised. 

So please, if we want to be known as true and serious followers of Jesus, let’s cut out the foolishness nuh, and grow up, stop being selfish, petty and afraid and stand up to anything that comes against, because He’s faithfully promised to bring us safely and stronger through our trials and tribulation. And if you can’t believe His promise, what’s the point in being His follower eh? 

So for those of us who are willing to undergo the troubles of the world without too much complaining, let’s go home now sincerely declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, those magnificent blessings the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Wow! 

Altogether 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 please remember, those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but generously shared, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Lord LOVETH…He chasteneth… (Heb. 12:6) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2020 Matthew 3:17.

Matthew 3:17.     ​And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Awright, so we running a li’l long and late this cloudy Thursday morning… so what else is new eh? (smile) But that was just due to a rather late bedtime. I am trying to reform, to change my nocturnal habits, but even with the Lord’s help it is proving to be a somewhat formidable task. And I guess it would, if deep down you don’t really want to change. (smile) 

And have you ever noticed that when yuh running late that the enemy always manages to insert his obnoxious self into your business to try and make you even later? Well, just now, as I was coming down the basement stairs with my cup of java, the basement door knocked the elbow of my hand that held the cup and spilled some of it on the steps. Steups! Thus I had to stop and clean up the strong, sweet java wasted on the floor. And those are all my excuses this morning…and I am sticking to them because they are the indisputable truth! 

So what shall we talk about today eh friends? Well the Good Book opened today on an interesting subject, the temptation of Jesus, so I assume that’s what the Lord wants us to talk about. (smile) Anyway, after Jesus’ public baptism by John in the Jordan River, where John felt unworthy to baptize His awesome cousin, since He needed no repentance for sin, saying to Him: ‘I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?’ (Matt.3:14) But Jesus reasoned thus with him: ‘Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us) to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.’ (Matt.3:15) 

And the scholars explain: ‘3:15. Suffer it to be so means allow it to be or let it happen. Jesus sought this outward identification with John’s ministry to fulfill all righteousness. By identifying Himself with those He came to redeem, Jesus inaugurated His public ministry as the Messiah. In regard to the Jewish religious observances, such as synagogue worship, attendance at feasts, and payment of temple tax, Jesus always met the duties of a faithful Jew.’ And we all know what happened when Jesus was baptized by John. As a young boy, it used to be one of my favourite passages of scripture. 

Hear how the Good Book describes it nuh: ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matt. 3:16-17) Wow! Can you imagine being on the banks of the Jordan that day and experiencing that momentous experience! Unless is John alone who saw and heard it. 

And again we have some interesting info from the scholars: ‘3:16-17. In the process of His baptism Jesus went up…out of the water, the prepositions suggesting that He was completely in the water and came up out from it, again indicating immersion. The descending of the Spirit of God fulfilled the predicted sign to John in order to indicate the true Messiah (cf. John 1:33, Is. 11:2). The dove was a symbol of innocence and purity (cf. 10:16) and served as an ideal symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit. 

The voice from heaven is that of the Father (see also 17:5 where He speaks at the Transfiguration and just prior to the Crucifixion), giving His verbal approval to the ministry of His beloved Son. There can be no doubt that all three persons of the Trinity are actively involved here as distinct persons of the Godhead. The Father speaks, the Spirit descends, and the Son is baptized.’ 

Only our great God can do such things you say! And you are right! No other supposed deity can manage a task like that! And I’m chuckling here friends because I’m realizing that we are not talking about Jesus’ temptation but His baptism. And yuh think we God easy…not at all nuh, because that is what first came to my mind to talk about, but I figured that it was easier to get my mind around the temptation situation than the baptism. But the Lord, in His awesomeness, slyly guided me back to where He wanted me to go! 

Mama Mia! How can I not LOVE Him plenty plenty eh, because He is so faithful, and never gives me a task without giving me the enabling, grace, power, mercy and strength to perform it. Even when I shy away, He is wonderful enough to draw me back to where He wants me to be. And since we in Christ’s baptism, I guess it’s only right to check out the sign that John the Baptist was given for knowing the Messiah. Hear the Good Book from the gospel of John. 

One day while John the Baptist was baptizing by the Jordan, the Pharisees sent some messengers to find out who he was. And when John admitted that he was neither Christ, Elijah, nor Isaiah they wondered aloud why then was he baptizing if he was none of those three? (John 1:19-25) 

‘John answered them saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than me), whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me (ranks higher than I): for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 

And John bare record (witness) saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode (remained) on him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record (witness) that this is the Son of God.’ (John 1:26-34) 

Now doesn’t our God work in wonderful ways! And I’ve always wondered about John the Baptist and Christ’s relationship, seeing that they were cousins. But the scholars answered my question. They explain that ‘Before Jesus’ baptism, John knew Jesus only as a good cousin, not as the Lamb of God. Not until he saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus did John realize that He was the Son of God.’ Our God does move in mysterious ways, way beyond our level of thinking, so anything’s possible. (smile) And to avoid any controversy and confusion between the gospels of Matthew and John, I guess ‘the next day’ John talks about is the day after Christ was baptized. 

And now that we’re all up to date on Jesus’ baptism and not His temptation, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, that have been so magnanimously bestowed on us by our most magnificent and magnanimous heavenly Father. Altogether 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!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out, or stay in, in these Covid-19 times, and share them just as generously as they were shared with us. Much LOVE!

…except a man be born…of water and of the Spirit…he cannot enter into the kingdom of God… (John 3:5) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2020 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.     Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. 

Welcome to Thursday friends, the penultimate day of our work week, and this particular one that’s the first day of October in our crazy year of 2020. And though you must be tired of hearing me say it, (smile) the days are just running by like lightning! September just started, we just celebrated Labour Day, now September done already! It’s already Thanksgiving time in Canada. I don’t know if is me alone who find that the days passing by quickly nuh, but it scary, especially in the kind of year we been having. 

But the good thing about being a servant of the Lord is that though the times may be scary, we don’t have to be scared, because as we said yesterday our Lord, Creator and Guide looks after those who serve Him. ‘‘There may be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:6-8) 

Yes my people, when we seriously and sincerely interact with Jehovah God, He brings gladness and joy to our hearts, and we can lie down and sleep without any problems. As Bruh David so wisely says in Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God – when he fled from his son Absalom, who was fomenting discord and revolution against him. ‘But thou O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.  Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps. 3:3-6) 

Oh friends, what powerful words of faith!Now it’s definitely not a pleasant or easy thing when your son is trying to overthrow you, to kill you and take over your kingdom. (2 Sam. 15) But in one of Bruh David’s lowest times, he kept his faith supreme in the God of his forefathers. And what happened? The Lord pulled him through those tough times successfully, he eventually got back his kingdom from Absalom. (2 Sam. 18) 

Now that’s the kind of faith we believers need to exhibit in these pressing and uncertain times. And if we do, the Lord will see us safely through them, for we all know that this too shall pass, these times can’t last forever, but the ones who will come out successfully are those who hold on tightly to the hands of the Lord God Almighty. 

Yes, these are certainly dark and dubious times, but let’s look at some scripture that ought to uplift us as believers in God. The psalmist proclaims with authority: ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (his holy name).’ (Ps. 97:10-12) 

Now that’s the kind of thing believers ought to be doing right now; faithfully believing in the Lord, worshipping Him and rejoicing in His awesome goodness and glory! Now is the time my friends when we are expected to be more than ever the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Believers are expected to rise up when times get tough. As Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) so famously coined: ‘tough times don’t last, but tough people do!’ And we believers are expected to be tough people! And why not eh, since we have the Creator of the universe looking after us? 

Hear this verse from Psalm 112 – Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord. ‘Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man showeth favour (is gracious), and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion (justice).’ (Ps. 112: 4-5) Now that’s the kind of person we’ve been called to be, especially in these hurting and calamitous times; gracious, giving, lending, LOVING, just, and all the other things that describe a true believer! 

And yuh know Cousin Sol must have a word of wisdom to offer. (smile) ‘But the path of the just is as the shining light (bright light), that shineth more and more (ever brighter) unto the perfect day.’ (Prov. 4:18). Mama Yo! Trust Cousin Sol to say it like it is. Our lights are supposed to get ever brighter friends as we count down the days to Jesus’ triumphant return! 

And we all know this immortal verse from Isaiah. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) Yes, these disturbing times seem like we’re walking in the shadow of death, but remember the light that’s Jesus is constantly shining down on us despite our tough circumstances. 

But please my brethren, let’s remember these most powerful and memorable words of Bruh David from his immortal psalm – The Lord is my shepherd. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) Yea, mih people, the Good Shepherd is looking after us, so there’s no need to fear! That means we can now go home declaring (ah Lord eh…) our Thursday Blessings, which God has so generously blessed us with so that we can do His work. 

All together now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 though I shouldn’t have to remind us, just to be on the safe side, I will. (smile) Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…let your light so shine before men…in these calamitous times… 

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