Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2018 2 John 7.

2 John 7.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

It’s glorious out there friends! Both the sun and the Son are shining forth in all their brilliant glory! That’s why we can joyfully acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Most definitely my brethren! We’d be foolish not to rejoice in the good things our generous God has so richly provided, for they do outweigh whatever adversity comes against us. 

And I know that a lot of people are facing serious adversity all over the world, like those in North Carolina facing the ravages of hurricane Florence. But what yuh going to do eh? Just sit and bemoan your misfortune? That’s not going to help any, just make you feel worse. We need to get up and do what we can to ease the situation ourselves, plus have a good attitude, while turning prayerfully to God, our Creator and Provider. 

Remember friends, it’s God who created us and allows whatever comes against us to do so, so it just makes good sense to turn to Him in times of need. Remember too that He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, so He won’t leave us in the lurch all on our lonesome. If he decides that we should battle through the adversity, then He will be in there battling with us. That’s for sure! 

And the workingman gives us a good example of facing adversity in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Glory be! It’s the weekend and no more labour, no more labour, no more labour for that  wicked man called massa! He can’t touch me now, so I’ll just do my own thing; eat and drink and party hearty! And when I go back Monday, if I go back, I’ll deal with that then! But right now it’s the weekend which spells, party time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, he is pushing a bit to the extreme, but he’s not allowing his unfortunate work predicament to spoil his overall attitude. And so should we, my fellow believers. That’s why we have our Friday Chant; to keep us level headed and aware of what’s happening. As followers of Jesus, we can’t behave like the workingman, we need some more circumspection in our faith walk, but that doesn’t preclude us from having fun, fun within certain boundaries. 

So let’s chant up a storm today nuh! In unison and with sincere sincerity: (smile) ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, it’s time to relax from our weekly labour, but not get so relaxed that we forget about Lucifer and his ever constant attacks against our immortal souls. For as John the Revelator tells us in our Bit: ‘For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’ 

And it is! For how else would we get a sinless body to atone for our sins eh? Anybody born of man and woman will always have a sinful nature and won’t qualify as propitiation, atonement or worthwhile sacrifice for the myriad of sins we commit against a most holy God. Thus John warns: ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for), but that we receive a full reward.’ (2 John 8) 

Now hear the scholars on that verse: ‘8. The first and third we should probably be “you” (plural) according to many ancient manuscripts. It is dangerous for any person, including a believer, to follow teachings contrary to Scripture.’ 

And so it is! ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9) And per that verse, the scholars advise: ‘9. John makes Christology the central doctrine of the faith.’ But what else could it be eh? If the basic doctrine of Christ is not the central theme in the study and advocacy of Christ, then the whole thing is false. 

So John continues his warning. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him (give him a greeting) Godspeed. For he that biddeth him (greets him) Godspeed is partaker of (shares in) his evil deeds.’ (2 John 10-11) 

And if you’re wondering why that is, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘10-11. In the early decades of Christianity, local churches were planted and sustained by itinerant preachers and teachers. For those workers to survive, it was necessary for believers to show hospitality. However, one had to be sure that he was not aiding and abetting false teachers, that is, those with unorthodox views of the person and work of Christ. 

To take such people in, John says, is to endorse their teaching. John’s command forbids true Christians to actively support the ministry of false teachers. It is not a prohibition against having non-Christians (e.g. unsaved family members or neighbours) into one’s home – unless, of course, they are spreading anti-Christian doctrine, and seeking to use one’s home as a base of operations.’ 

And you know what friends? All of that still holds true today, because there are even more false teachers and preachers out there than in John’s time. So please, let’s be careful as to whom and what we open ourselves to nuh in these trying and oh so deceitful end times. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe exactly what Jesus says about Jesus…then you’re not believing the truth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2016 Psalm 95:2.

Psalm 95:2.    Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs of praise).

Oh friends, it’s a wet and windy Thanksgiving Saturday morning in my neighbourhood. And we are thankful for those showers of blessings, but we also have to be concerned about the savage swath that Hurricane Matthew has cut across Haiti, the Bahamas and Florida, in the last few days. 

And although it has been downgraded somewhat, it still has the ability to do severe damage to the Carolinas’ coast, through storm surges; raising the coastal water level so that it floods the land. Please, let’s offer up sincere prayers for all those unfortunate enough to be caught up in the devastation caused by Matthew. 

And when I think about Haiti, my heart just breaks for those unfortunate people. Steups! Over the last few years they’ve been consistently battered by hurricane, earthquake, sickness, constant poverty and widespread corruption. They don’t seem to get a chance to recover from one devastation before another hits. 

And yet, we up here complain about petty stuff, most of us not knowing the ravages that natural disasters can cause. I can tell you about it, because I saw the wind blow in 1963, when Hurricane flora blew down Tobago in a rather short time period. 

The weather forecast people said the storm would hit somewhere around five in the evening. Hn! Believe me, by three o’clock sweet Tobago was a wasteland. It doesn’t take long, and you can’t believe the damage that the wind can do. 

Anyway my people, let’s give plenty, plenty thanks for our blessed situations and pray sincerely for those not as fortunate. And since it’s Saturday, I’ll share a couple of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Here’s the first one: ‘An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’ 

And is that ever so true my brethren. If we follow that foolish policy of revenge it will only make all of us blind. And then we’d be like Jesus says: ‘they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14) 

I guess that’s why so many of us are in the ditch right now; there are too many blind people leading the blind. I think it’s time we take off the blinkers yes friends, so that we can see where we’re going, so that we can follow the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus. 

Furthermore, we should listen to Bruh Paul’s admonition to the church at Rome. ‘Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.’ (Rom.12:19). That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions my brethren. 

And that segues us very nicely into Anselm’s next quote. ‘I don’t have time to hate people who hate me, because I’m too busy LOVING people who LOVE me.’ 

Now if we’d all do that, what a wonderful world this would be! And friends, if it’s one thing I’m very thankful for is that I never had that urge for revenge or the ability to hate, like some of us do. 

Of course I’ve disliked some people over the years, but never so strong as to call it hate. And though I’ve wished for some folks to get their comeuppance, I’ve never been led to have revenge at all costs. Those negative situations just lead to more bitterness and complications in an already bitter and complicated life. 

Oh, enough of all that negative stuff yes, let’s get into some praise and thanksgiving, by declaring these great words of the psalmist from Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. 

Please declare with me: ‘O come let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs of praise). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (height) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. 

Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work. 

Forty years long was I grieved (disgusted) with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart (go astray), and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:1-11)  

Oh friends, oh friends, please, on this thanksgiving Saturday morning, let’s not be like the foolish Israelites who saw the great miracles of God when he led them out of Egypt, yet hardened their hearts against Him, so that none of those who left Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb ever entered the Promised Land. Even the great man of God, Moses, only saw it from afar off because of his disobedience.  

Instead, let’s be wise nuh, and worship and bow down and sing songs of joy and be thankful for all the blessings that we enjoy from our rock, our salvation, our magnificent and magnanimous God and Creator, today and every day. For that is indeed wisdom to the nth power! Much LOVE!

…I’m giving thanks for all I have…I’m giving thanks for everything…I’m giving thanks…I’m just giving thanks…giving thanks…for all I’ve got…giving thanks…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.    For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ah friends, this Monday morning is one day many of us should be ever so thankful that we’re not living on the Eastern coast of North America, because of the terrible blizzard that passed through that area on the weekend, dropping humongous amounts of snow on the ground. Ah Lord eh! 

On the news, I believe it was Saturday, I heard a woman saying that she and her family had been snowbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 12 hours. Another woman and her family, on another highway, had been snowbound for some twenty hours. Can you imagine that – sitting in a car for so long, the windows all frosted and you being anxious about running out of gas and possibly freezing to death? 

One of those two women had their diabetic father with her, on his birthday to boot. Not a very pleasant way to spend your birthday at all. I believe though, that one of those families was fairly close to a gas station, so they were able to get some food and refreshment. I don’t how much that helped though, when you couldn’t drive, and you were still a long way from home. 

Please let’s remember in our prayers the millions of people along the Eastern seaboard who are still undergoing the ravages of the snowstorm. So let’s have no complaints and churlishness because you have to get up and go to work. Let’s just sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with extra gusto and thankfulness. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

That was good friends, but I don’t think that our choir director, Jesus, heard enough thankfulness in our voices. (smile) But He does know that we believe His words found in our most encouraging and uplifting Bit. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And how could we not believe those beautiful, eternal life-giving words eh, unless we’re real dense and full of foolish pride? And I know that some of you might be tired with the same Bit for so long, but my people, that is possibly the most important statement in the entire Bible. It was the ONLY reason that Jesus came to earth! 

And if you can’t feast on those miraculous and momentous words for a few days, then I’d strongly suggest you question your faith.  And I can’t guarantee that it will finish today either, for there’s still a fair amount of scripture to be studied on it. And we’ll begin with the immortal words of John’s first epistle, re God is LOVE! 

‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

Now let’s stop right there and get some valuable explanations from the scholars. ‘4:7. John returns to the theme of mutual LOVE. Perhaps the false teaching he felt compelled to combat had contributed to suspicion and contention in the fellowship. In contrast, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. 

He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others.  Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor.13).’  

Oh my brethren, I do hope that that helps us to better understand the precept of God’s LOVE; His LOVE for us, as well as our LOVE for Him and for others.  It must be accompanied by true belief in Christ and obedience to God’s Word! 

Now let’s continue with the scripture. ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:8)  

We have to stop here again my people to get a little insight on that verse from the scholars. ‘4:8. John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of the many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’  

Yes friends, our God is what in sports parlance we’d call an all-rounder – has many parts to His nature! However, He is not just a jack of all trades, but indeed a MASTER of them all! (smile) 

And you know what? I think we’ll stop there for today, since I don’t want the Bit to get too involved and difficult to understand. So, the Lord willing, we’ll just have to continue it tomorrow. (smile) 

Bear with me friends, it’s all for a good purpose, to our benefit.  And I do hope that our understanding and appreciation of God’s LOVE has improved, has grown today, because that’s what it’s all about. Much LOVE!

…And now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1Cor.13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2013 Psalm 89:1

Psalm 89:1.  I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday…Friday the 13th! Now does that raise fears in your spirit, re it being an unlucky day? I surely hope not, because there’s absolutely nothing to fear from a Friday that falls on the 13th day of the month.
 
It’s just a bunch of superstitions dating back to who knows when and where! They can’t even decide where it originally came from. So we’ll repeat, there’s nothing to be afraid of on this Friday 13th December 2013, or any other Friday 13th at all!
 
And that’s especially so if you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, our wonderful Lord and Saviour. He’s faithfully promised to save us from any evil, so there’s nothing to be afraid of. And just in case you’re one of those who have difficulty handling a Friday 13th, then you’re probably suffering from ‘Paraskevidekatriaphobics.’
 
Yes Friends, it’s a big word for a fear that ought not to exist! So please keep joyfully shouting ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ because whether it’s called black, or misfortune, or unlucky Friday, it’s still the day before the weekend, and there’s no labour for two, whole, big, long days! (smile)
 
And to keep us on the right track, let’s chant our Friday Chant with much affirmation nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Now that’s the right way to view the weekend my people! And in conjunction with our Bit, we shall certainly stand strong this weekend.
 
Our Bit comes from Psalm 89, which deals with God’s sure promises to Bruh David. It’s a contemplation written by Ethan the Ezrahite, a man of much wisdom, (1 Kin.4:31) and also one of the singers in Bruh David’s band. (1 Chr.15:19)
 
So he was well qualified to declare in the opening verse: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’
 
And this Christmas season my brethren, is certainly a time to sing of and make known to all and sundry, the great mercies and the everlasting faithfulness of our omnipotent and magnanimous God!
 
Look, He promised to deliver us from sin and its ravages, death eternal, and in response sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to do it, thus giving us the two greatest gifts ever known to man; salvation and eternal life! Wow! Now how can we not jump and shout for joy at those two life saving and life giving situations eh?
 
And as the psalmist continues: ‘For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.  Selah.’ (Ps.89:2-4)
 
And all of that is gospel truth my Friends! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these scriptures which declare and establish that LOVING-kindness and faithfulness of our eternal God.
 
Psalm 102, a cry in distress, puts it thus: ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
 
But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed (descendants) shall be established before thee.’ (Ps.102:25-28)
 
Who says our God isn’t merciful, LOVING, faithful, omnipotent and true eh! He certainly is my people, as all of us can attest to in so many aspects of our lives!
 
And we’ll end today with this outstanding verse from Isaiah, where the faithful are called to courage. ‘Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken).’ (Is.51:6)
 
Oh my people, please hang on tightly to those words of our ever-faithful God, because it’s in His words, His promises, that we find courage, perseverance and steadfast faith to bear our burdens as pilgrims on this evil, ungodly earth!
 
And we’ll have more corroborative scripture on this topic tomorrow to boost our spirits, provided the Lord’s in favour, of course.
 
But till then my Friends and fellow believers, please, please, let’s stand steadfast and strong, and sing staunchly and proudly of our God; of His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His forgiveness, His grace and all the other wonderful stuff that He’s so faithfully and LOVINGLY provided to help us on our short sojourn here on earth. Much LOVE!
 
…when God’s people stand strong…in faith…LOVE…and mercy…the whole world takes notice…and stands up in respect, in veneration…of His awesome majesty…