Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well it’s a glorious Tuesday morning, and the world is unfolding as it should! Yeh friends, the Almighty is on His throne working things out for our good in His own inimitable style, purpose and time! And who can say Him nay eh? Nobody whatsoever! 

So let’s just say ‘Thank You Lord!’ and accept all that He hands us with simple faith and enormous trust nuh. Then we will walk through this turbulent and topsy-turvy world with the everlasting peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me, friends, there’s nothing better in this world that that! 

Currently, we do all sorts of stuff, spend money on all sorts of things to find peace, like vacations, shrinks, alcohol, retreats, pills, etc. etc. It’s amazing at the amount of time and money we spend these days trying to relieve stress and get peace of mind. Hn! 

And we might find some for a while in those dubious avenues. But since they depend mostly on cumstances, they obviously don’t last long, and once you get back into the milieu of life, all those stressors come back against you and break down your walls of peace again. It’s just a never-ending negative cycle. 

However my brethren, however, when we find peace in Jesus, the true peace, all those things are rendered obsolete and useless, because the peace that our Lord and Saviour offers is a whole different kind of situation. Listen to how He puts it to the disciples, and consequently to us, in our Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

What reassuring and confidence building words my people! The kind of peace that Jesus gives us is entirely different to the peace that we get from the world. His is a heavenly peace that doesn’t fluctuate in times of storm or times of calm. One is able to stay steadfast and strong through all of life’s unnerving and disastrous circumstances. 

Now wouldn’t you rather have that kind of unmovable peace than the unsatisfying kind we get from the world? Of course! But then you have to put your trust, surrender your life to Jesus to get it. 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes to the church at Philippi, the kind of peace we get when we let Jesus be the guiding beacon of our lives. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) Mama Mia! What a beautiful state of affairs mih breddren! 

And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and His ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so too the word ‘guard’ should be highly appreciated by us today, because in spite of the free society we supposedly live in, there are more guards, private and public, armed and unarmed than I believe we have ever experienced before in our type of society. Everybody seems to be fearful and guarded…everybody except true believers who have truly received the peace of Christ that passes all our human and finite understanding. 

Now none of what goes before means we should not be concerned or that fear won’t ever come upon us. It just means that we will be able to handle whatever comes against us with the wisdom, grace and help of God. We won’t always be in a tizzy at the slightest uneven part of our earthly journey. 

And we have Isaiah’s song of praise declaring it in spades: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) 

And what can be more soothing and reassuring than Bruh David’s immortal words that end Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8) That says it all friends: To find true peace, put your trust in Jesus! 

So let’s go home now boldly proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And we know the corollary to that is to action those words; truly go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…it deserves saying again…true peace can only be found…in Jesus…

P.S. And after reading the Bit, I’m chuckling here friends, because I just realized that it pertained to me a whole lot, was a kind of testimony of the way my life has gone in the last year and a half. What with all the sickness and otherwise and the growth in faith and patience. Oh, I’m still a work in progress, but a much quieter, peaceful, faithful and trusting work. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2018 Psalm 107:43.

Psalm 107:43.   Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the LOVING-kindness of the Lord.

So friends, it seems as though our long string of continuously beautiful, sunny days has finally ended. We did get a sprinkling of rain this morning and it does look somewhat cloudy out there. But you know what they say: after the rain comes the shine, so we’re not giving up on a sunny day just yet. (smile) 

But is it ever heart warming and reassuring to know that regardless of the physical weather, the bright and everlasting light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS out there, shining forth for our benefit! Bless His holy name, my people! Oh my, my, He is such a wonderful being that we can NEVER go wrong by hooking up our lives to His bandwagon. 

You know how we usually elicit a negative vibe when we join a bandwagon just for our aggrandizement. Well friends, in this case, it is simply wisdom to jump on Christ’s bandwagon, for He is the BE ALL and END ALL, the Alpha and the Omega, and there is no negativity whatsoever in joining His show. Wow! It’s all positive and sensible vibes my brethren. 

In fact, when you don’t jump on Christ’s bandwagon, that’s where the negativity and unwise behaviour begins. That brings us to our Bit, the last verse of Psalm 107, in which the psalmist details and declares God’s wonderful works to the children of men. And in true wisdom he closes by declaring: ‘Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the LOVING-kindness of the Lord.’ 

The same thing goes for us today my brethren, we are wise when we understand that living with and for Jesus is the best avenue to take in this ungodly and evil world. It’s the ONLY path to the ONE and ONLY true God, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and NOBODY comes to the Father but through Him. 

So why are we fighting so hard to remove Him from our society eh? I really can’t understand it, when He is the source of ALL that we are, ALL that we have, and ALL that we can ever be! That’s why Bruh David could solemnly declare in Psalm 64 – Plot and punishment re the workers of iniquity who think their evil doings will not be discovered. 

‘But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves (stumble over their own tongue): all that see them shall flee away. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.’ (Ps.64:7-9) 

Oh precious people of God, are we paying attention to what’s happening to the wicked, are we fearing the Lord and declaring His work as we ought to? I don’t believe enough of us are doing so, else our world would not be in the terrible mess in which it’s currently in. And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to Cousin Jeremiah, as he talks about how disobedience brings God’s punishment. 

‘And I will make Jerusalem heaps (a heap of ruins), and a den of dragons (jackals); and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. Who is the wise man, that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through? 

And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; But have walked after the imagination (stubbornness) of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them. 

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall (bitter or poisonous water) to drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen (Gentiles), whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.’ (Jer.9:11-16) 

And that is exactly what he did, although, in His mercy and LOVING-kindness He did not consume them entirely! Oh my brethren, if God could do that to His special people for their disobedience, why wouldn’t He do the same to us, especially after he broke His own heart, showed us how much He LOVED and cherished us by sending His only Son Jesus to die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our sins once and for all? 

He poured out His heart friends, so that we, the lost of the world could be found and saved by believing in Jesus, and we’re repaying Him by wanting to cast Him out of our society? Hn! That surely is not wisdom my brethren! 

And just for your information fires are indeed passing through the land and burning it up into a wilderness. We have volcanoes spewing forth fire and brimstone in Hawaii and Guatemala, and some 30 wildfires burning in 9 states of the Western U.S. 

Anyway, for those of us who have attained some degree of wisdom and truly endeavour to follow Jesus, let’s go home today declaring our Wednesday Wail, boldly letting the world know of our position in Jesus. Let’s wail in strong voice with sincere hearts people: 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And everytime I think how glorious that future with Jesus will be, I just want to hold on to him tighter! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…I implore you…please, please hear…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and yuh know what? The ole fella slept in some. (smile) But who wouldn’t want to sleep in when the spring rain is falling gently on the land, moistening and nourishing it after a long, dry, hard, ugly winter, so that the beauty of nature can sprout and gaily flourish in the spring time? 

Yeh friends, spring is God’s most colourful and productive season where He advances His grand plans for the rest of the year, letting us know through the beauty of a resurgent nature that all things are possible with Him in the lead. Glory to our great God, my people! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he was on a happiness trip this week, because all of them either deal with happiness or being happy. (smile) 

Here’s the first one. ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ Now that’s invariably true; regardless of your circumstances, be they good or bad, you are the one who ultimately controls your happiness, although oftimes we unwisely allow others to do so. 

And the next one says: ‘Happiness …is governed by our mental attitude.’ I guess that’s basically true, although our circumstances play a large part in our happiness. Then there’s: ‘Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.’  Now you might not plan the results, but you definitely put forward the actions which you believe will bring about certain results that you desire. 

Next up is: ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.’ Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Happiness depending on thoughts? But yes, they do to a large extent. And the last quote tells us: ‘Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy, and make the most of where you are.’ 

A lot of truth in that too, especially in this ‘I and me,’ selfish generation. We certainly don’t care about each other as much as we should, so it’s best if we try to enjoy where we’re at, at any particular time, without depending too much on others or our circumstances. 

That leads us to today’s Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Now friends, that is the Christian way! All this talk about striving to be happy just confuses and muddles us up. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we currently are encapsulated. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

Yeh mih people, that’s how Christians ought to live. But remember it’s a learned behaviour, through practical experiences and the hard knocks of life, consequently, it doesn’t happen overnight. And we need to have the joy of the Lord as our strength to accomplish it. Or as Bruh Paul tells his Philippian readers: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that is a magnificent verse of scripture; possibly the most endearing and reassuring for true believers. But as always, in God’s economy, we have to believe it first, before we see it. And if by faith, we don’t believe it, then we’ll never see it. That’s the foundation of our Christian way of life: all things are possible through Christ, if we believe that they are. 

So please my fellow believers, let’s stop killing ourselves to acquire the things of the world which we believe will make us happy, because happiness is but a fleeting illusion, if we depend on our circumstances, or other people, or our possessions to make us happy. Those things and people can change from one day to the next, thus will what we call our happiness. 

But if we find joy, which is a constant state and does not change with circumstances, then we’re in a much better position to live a contented life. But on the other hand, real joy can only be found in the Lord God Jehovah; in His strength, His promises and His eternal and unconditional LOVE, because they never change, but always stand steadfast and strong, and therefore can be relied upon to keep us anchored and well grounded. 

Oh friends, since we’re running later than I expected, I’ll close with this one piece of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that covers it all: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my faithful brethren, if we put God first in EVERYTHING that we do, we’ll want for nothing, we’ll be contented, joyful, happy and have all we need in this earthly life. That’s the promise of Jesus…and He doesn’t lie! Much LOVE!

…he who places wants above needs…will always be left wanting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2016 Psalm 91:2.

Psalm 91:2.    I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 

Ahoy there me ole shipmates! (smile) Monday’s in the books…Glory be! So let’s begin Tuesday on the right foot nuh by declaring our wise and godly intentions. ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes friends, that’s the only sensible way to greet this new day of life that we’ve been granted; in joy and gladness! All other ways are filled with numerous pitfalls and disappointments.

At least when we are rejoicing in the goodness of our God, we can be strong and steadfast in times of misfortunes, standing on His ever-faithful promise to never leave nor forsake us. 

Now let’s bolster all of that by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with supreme belief and overwhelming faith and trust. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me.

I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Ah mih people, what a beautiful and reassuring declaration! 

Wow! Knowing that I am the beloved of God and a true friend pf Jesus is just the ‘mostest’! (smile) There isn’t even a real word to truly convey the importance and satisfaction of those situations.

And to be true followers of Jesus we must base our lives on what Jesus says about us, rather than how the world beholds us. That is ever so important to kingdom living my people! 

And let’s not forget the last part of our Mantra: ‘share His LOVE with the world,’ for that’s one of our basic purposes on planet earth.

In Jesus’ world, we need to both believe and do, otherwise we’re out of sync, out of step with our Lord and Saviour. And that surely won’t do. 

Now here’s a li’l something that ties in with our Leader’s expectations. I’m not sure where I got it from, or if I’ve ever shared it before, but it does hit the nail right on the head in today’s message. 

It says: ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag!’ 

Oh friends, those are certainly words of truth for anyone to live by, but more so for Christians, because our heavenly intercessor, Jesus, expects us to live by a definite standard of excellence.

And though it’s not an easy motto to live by, we can successfully attempt it through our station as beloved children of the Most High God, Jehovah! 

Especially when we have the faith to declare like the psalmist in our Bit. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’ 

What wonderful words for a believer to both hear and declare my brethren! It just ramps up our faith, encourages us to be bold and confident in all that we do, knowing that God is on our side. And as the scripture says: If God is for us, who can be against us eh? (Rom.8:31) 

NOBODY my people, NOBODY! That’s because our God is the greatest Mover and Shaker in the entire universe! 

And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name!’ 

And we have a great example of all that in the unique style of the psalm from which our Bit is taken. Yesterday we saw where the psalmist was declaring God’s wonderful attributes of strength and protection; today we’ll hear where God declares His side of the story. 

Listen up: ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. 

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder (cobra): the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps.91:9-16) 

Oh friends, what glorious promises from the Creator of the universe for those who sincerely believe in Him and surrender their lives to Him with absolute trust and faith! 

Listen though, to these words of caution from the scholars. Psalm 91: An important caution is necessary here. The great promises of verses 3-13 should not be taken in an absolute sense. One may not be presumptuous in applying them – Satan has already suggested that (Matt.4:6-7). 

Rather, the believer must recall that deliverance still has to do with the will of God and that even if harm should come, he can still be secure (cf. Luke 21:16 with 21:18 and Rom.8:28 with 8:35).’ 

All the scholars are saying friends is that we don’t take everything literally. Harm can still come to us, but even then, we can still be secure in the Lord our God.

Please read those scriptures (that’s your homework) to get a better understanding of what the scholars are talking about. I can’t spoon-feed you all here, (smile) because it’s just too much, and we don’t have the time or space to do it. 

Now let’s go home with a feeling of joy and gladness, based on the strong and true foundation of God’s word, filled with promises of security and deliverance and unconditional LOVE, for that’s the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…try me…test me…says the Lord Jehovah to the unbeliever…and you’ll find me faithful and true…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2016 Psalm 12:2‏

Psalm 12:2.   They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.

Well friends, the celebrations finally over! Canada Day and 4th of July done for another year! It’s time to get back to the common grind and daily task. And we’ll begin that by singing this favourite ode to Joy. 

In harmony now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day! 

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed, Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, lift us to the joy divine. 

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.‘ 

Good show friends, good show! Hope that joy stays with us all day as we focus on doing Christ’s work. 

Oh, and here’s a little story about that hymn. Apparently one Henry J. van Dyke wrote it in 1907. He wrote it while staying at the home of Harry A. Garfield at Williams College, Massachusetts. It was first published in the Pres­by­ter­i­an Hymnal in 1911. It also appeared in the Poems of Henry van Dyke, 1911.  

Van Dyke wrote: “These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ 

And it surely is my people! So let’s continue to hold on securely to that trust and joy and hope we find in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because it’s what keeps us truly grounded in this earthly life. It is our sure foundation. 

And to further build on that sure foundation, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra like we truly believe it. As one voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Oh glory to God my believing brethren! More solid and indisputable truth about the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful God! How reassuring and encouraging to know that we are His beloved children, and also the friend of Jesus! Nothing can be better than those two things! 

Now it’s our duty to go out and share the LOVE of our Lord and friend with the remainder of this our lost and quickly sinking world. But we can’t do it unless we’re very serious and diligent about counteracting the words and actions of our Bit. ‘They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.’ 

Yes precious people, that kind of ungodly activity is currently overwhelming our world, and obviously making it a place of hate and evil instead of one of peace and LOVE like our God and Saviour desire. These days one can hardly trust the words and actions of friends, much less strangers. 

Falsehood and flattery seem to be the name of the today’s game and they’re causing such havoc in the lives of so many people who are unfortunately coming under their spell. Bruh David declares in Psalm 41 –Abuse and assurance: ‘Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me (acted as a traitor against me). (Ps.41:9) 

No doubt a lot of us can attest to such traitorous treatment. That’s why we have to be ever so careful as to whom we let into our confidence. Meanwhile, in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Romans, he quotes various scripture passages to prove the presence and extent of the problem back then. 

‘Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ (Rom.3:13-18) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! The enemy right now is the driver’s seat, but it is our job to dislodge him and replace him with Jesus. But again, as I said earlier on, we need to be very serious and diligent about that duty if we want to be successful. 

We can’t afford to be lackadaisical and wishy-washy in our words and actions. We need to come up higher than the enemy if we want to defeat him. We need to be able to sincerely declare like Bruh David when he fled from his son Absalom’s rebellion. ‘I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:6) 

Yes my fellow warriors for Christ, until we can utter true words like those, until we can cast out our fear of the enemy, we won’t be able to break his stronghold on us and on the world. Remember, Jesus has already defeated hell, death and the grave, which means the enemy has no power over us unless we allow him to. 

So let us go out today, and everyday, with words such as these pouring out of our mouths and hearts. ‘We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfill all thy petitions.’ (Ps.20:5) 

Yes friends, we need to stand up very strong, steadfast and courageous in Jesus’ name, and battle to the death, if we truly want to defeat the enemy. There’s no other way. Much LOVE!

…Stand up stand up for Jesus…Ye soldiers of the cross…Lift high His royal banner…It must not suffer loss…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2016 Romans 12:12

Romans 12:12.   Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing (steadfastly) instant in prayer.

Welcome to another beautiful day in God’s great realm my people! 

Regardless of what our individual circumstances might be, we need to look upon everyday that we’re alive as a beautiful one, that’s the only way we will get through it without too many unnecessary headaches. 

Negative stuff will come against us, whatever we do, so there’s no need to add to it with a negative attitude of our own. Life happens to all of us, but it’s the ones who take life by the tail and deals with it in a positive manner that gets the winner’s crown. 

And now I want to share an interesting quote from the Father of Positive Thinking, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) on that most wonderful of emotions and attitudes, ‘HOPE.’ 

Dr. Peale is reputed to have said that, ‘Hope is the great power that can move you to success. Why? Because when a man expects to win, he does not hold anything back, but gives his project all that he’s got. Most people fail not because they lack ability, intelligence or opportunity, but they fail because they don’t give it all they’ve got.’ 

Now that ‘s packed full of truth my brethren! For hope is one of the most powerful motivators in God’s great world. It’s the starting point of everything we want or plan to do. Without hope, why begin anything eh? 

And furthermore, without hope, we can’t even have faith, which is what keeps us going during the hard times. So please, let’s never lose hope, because then it will be so much easier to lose faith, and then everything falls apart. 

Now let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with a whole lot of enthusiasm, energy and sincerity. Let’s say it like we truly believe it. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now ain’t that something truly wonderful friends? It surely is! For what can be more heartening and reassuring than being beloved by Almighty God, and also being a friend of Jesus, and getting to share His LOVE with a godless world? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 

That means there’s nothing for us to worry about. We don’t care what others say about us, we don’t have to rush and push to just barely get by. No my fellow believers, in our strong and steadfast belief and faith in Jesus Christ, all of that is worked out for us. 

So let’s not fuss and fume and bounce our heads against the proverbial wall when troubles come against us. Please remember who and whose we are, and just take everything to God in prayer! 

Enough sermonizing now though, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing (steadfastly) instant in prayer.’ 

Yes friends, as faithful believers in Jesus, those are some of the things we’re required to do! It’s a part of Bruh Paul’s sermon to the Roman church re the service of LOVE to All. 

Earlier on, he sets the stage by saying: ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’ (Rom.12:9) 

And what does all of that mean? The scholars explain: 12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional (exercise of will) caring for others, loving faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

Unfortunately though people, we are seeing less and less of that in not only the local churches, but also the church as a whole. That’s why there is so much dissension, which ultimately leads to divisions. Contrary to God’s word and desire, cliques, gossip, unfriendliness and hypocrisy abound in today’s church. 

Why is that eh friends, when we’re supposed to be the epitome of true LOVE, caring and compassion? The only reason I can come up with is that we allow the enemy to raise up our sinful, lustful nature, which causes us to think and act like the evil and ungodly world that surrounds us. 

But Bruh Paul is advocating the exact opposite. ‘Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another. Not slothful in business (lagging in diligence); fervent in spirit; serving the Lord… 

Distributing to the necessity (needs) of saints (fellow believers); given to hospitality. Bless (speak well of) them which persecute you; bless (speak well of), and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one to another. 

Mind not (do not set your mind on) high things, but condescend to men of low estate (associate with the humble). Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation). Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things). 

If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.’ (Rom.12: 9-11,13-20) 

Ah friends, it’s all laid out there for us; the basic application of our Christian faith! What more can I say eh? It’s up to us now to put it into action. 

And we’ll end with this explanation from the scholars. ’12:19-21. Give place unto wrath: Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:35 to show that only God has the right to avenge, and He certainly will avenge. 

Heap coals of fire on his head (cf. Prov:25:22). This may refer to a sense of shame or remorse engendered when we treat an evildoer kindly. Paul is discussing personal, not national enemies. He is not teaching pacifism.’ 

So friends, let’s ponder all that we’ve said today nuh, and see how it is reflected in our own lives, and then ask God to help us fix whatever is wrong. He will NEVER turn us down, or away. Always remember that. Much LOVE!

…be not overcome of evil…but overcome evil with good… (Rom.12:21). 

P.S. Excuse the lateness. I don’t understand it. I went to be earlier than usual, but still had a hard time getting up. (smile) Guess the body needs more rest than I’m giving it. Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

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