Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2020 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.    For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
 

And it’s a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday morning…Thank the Lord for Life and some spring blessing, so that in these cold and dry northern climes, His earth can return to it its wonderful green and flowery nature! Yeh friends, whatever the situations or circumstances in our individual lives and our overall world, we need to give our heavenly Father much thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness and mercy and grace to us undeserving children of men. For without those benefits, we’d be lost forever in a state of sin, shame, disgrace and eventual death! 

Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that brings home that very truth. It’s most appropriately titled ‘Wrong Question.’ Please pray with me: ‘My faithful God I see afresh this morning The grave error of my question “Don’t You LOVE me anymore?” I ought always to ask instead “How can You LOVE me so continually With such immeasurable LOVE?” Now that my fellow saints in Christ is the zillion dollar question – how can a holy, just and righteous Deity LOVE a bunch of ingrates so much eh? 

Well the answer is really quite simple: our God is also a God of LOVE, of mercy, of grace and of forgiveness, and above all, we are His own creation, created to have purposeful fellowship and communion with Him, so it’s obvious that He can’t simply throw us away even though we’re rather disobedient and sinful! Remember too that He’s also the God of second, third, fourth and unlimited chances. So it would be against His very nature to just cast us off without any form of help. As Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

Yes friends, the Lord cannot deny what He is, or go against His natural attributes. And remember too, He promised to redeem mankind after He kicked our forefathers Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for their unfaithfulness. So it’s finally come right around full circle: the Lord’s kept His word and gave us a Saviour in Christ Jesus, redemption and salvation bought and paid for by His precious blood shed sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. So alright, I said it was simple, and to the Lord it was and is; though to us it might seem rather convoluted. (smile) 

But precious people, all we need to know and believe is that Christ died to save us, and true belief in Him and His righteous cause will lead us to eternal life. And a li’l while ago, when I opened the Good Book, what positive and proactive and promising scripture do you think it opened at eh? Hear the voice of the prophet Isaiah: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ Mama Mia! That says it all my brethren! The Lord God of Israel is all of those things to us, and we need to badly acknowledge Him as them if we want to see long life and good days. 

Unfortunately though, our world has turned away from God and has made the prince of darkness it’s new leader. But friends, lemme tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ nuh; the Lord is not going to allow the fallen angel Lucifer to usurp His earthly creation, just like He didn’t allow him to usurp His heavenly kingdom. So for all of those who want to put their trust in Satan now, it will be a sad day for them when that day of judgement arrives, as it most certainly will. The Good Book says it quite plainly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:’ (Heb. 9:27) 

And then it will be too late to change our minds, so please, please, I beg of us, let’s disassociate ourselves from the darkness of the world nuh, and instead seek the light, the bright, shining and everlasting light of Jesus, for in Him will we find the true life, the true reason for living! And I just got a good allegory for that: like we doing social distancing now for Covid-19, the same way we ought to do social distancing from Satan! Oh yes, I likes it! It’s rather appropriate! Let’s keep our social distance from this world and all it’s sinful temptations and cling to that Master vine that’s Jesus, so that crapaud don’t smoke we pipe when the end times come. 

That’s wisdom at its highest mih people, so please let’s joyfully embrace it now nuh. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) defines wisdom: something you do now that will benefit you later on down the road of life! And believe me, clinging to Jesus is the most beneficial thing we can ever do in this life! And the scripture verses for the poem above is also rather apropos for today’s discussion. They’re taken from, or rather all of Psalm 117 – ‘The truth of the Lord endureth forever.’ 

So please declare (steups!) with me: ‘O Praise (glorify) the Lord, all ye nations (gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise (glorify) ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 117:1-2) And it couldn’t be said, any sweeter or shorter than that nuh mih bredrin. So let’s do it right now nuh; praise and glorify our magnificent and magnanimous God by declaring (Steups! Like I have to go back to school and learn to spell declare (yeah!) and its derivations yes!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

So in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 though the Coronavirus and social distancing might bridle us a bit, they certainly won’t stop us from sharing Christ’s LOVE and friendship with the many others who desperately need it in these calamitous times! Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely foolish…for one created…to trust another created…more than their common Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2020​ 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.    ​But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter

First there was Christmas – the birth of Christ, the greatest gift ever to mankind; then Good Friday – the savage torture, injustice and horrible crucifixion He endured for the payment of our sins; then today – Easter Sunday, His triumphant resurrection from the dead! Yes friends, today is possibly the most important of those three days, because without Christ’s resurrection our faith would be worthless, since eternal life would have been merely a pie in the sky promise. That’s why it’s ever so important that Jesus won the battle with Satan for the keys to hell, death and the grave and rose victorious. 

Jesus told it thus to John in His Revelation: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.’ (Rev. 1:17c -18) Oh my bredrin, it couldn’t be any plainer than that! And though we have no corporate fellowship these days because of the lockdown for the Covid-19 virus, it is still such an important occasion in our faith calendar that we must do our best to celebrate it with whatever means are at our disposal. 

And as always, we’ll open with a song of praise and worship, one that is ever so appropriate for this momentous occasion. It’s the old hymn by that magnificent writer, Charles Wesley, titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today!’ But before we get into it, listen to this enthusiastic monologue that opens the version of the hymn from the Simple Series Musical ‘Mercy Tree’ available on Youtube. ‘We have gathered to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

Mama Mia! What awesome truth that is! So, without further ado, let’s celebrate, let’s rejoice in the resurrection of Christ, the redemption of our sins and the sure promise of eternal life! In a rollicking, but soulful and harmonious fashion let’s sing the praises of Christ our wonderful King! ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! 

LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Oh friends, what a magnificent rendition of a magnificent hymn! Wow! And as somebody wrote, every word in it truthfully refers to Christ’s work in the resurrection! And I particularly like two statements therein. The first is ‘LOVE’S redeeming work is done!’ And is it ever! The enormous price of Christ’s life has been paid for our sins for ALL TIME! Now that’s certainly nice to know! And the other statement that captivates me is: ‘Christ has opened paradise.’ And that He surely has done, by giving us the option to believe in Him and spend eternity in His amazing presence. 

Now since all of us know the Resurrection Story itself, with the women coming in the early morning to check on Jesus, finding the tomb empty and two angels telling them that He is risen and gone to Galilee to meet them, and they running to tell the others, and Peter and John coming to check it out, and Mary Magdalene mistaking Jesus for the gardener until He calls her name, (smile) we won’t get into it, rather we’ll look at some other scriptures that have to do with our own resurrection and how we ought to behave. 

The first thing is Bruh Paul’s advice to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) Now that’s rather important if we want to set a good example to the unbelievers and create heavenly rewards. And yes, ministry is not an easy task, especially with the enemy constantly trying to spoil our testimony. We must be willing to suffer privation if we want rewards. And I like how Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:11-13) 

Yes friends, it’s all a matter of standing strong and faithful, of growing and maturing; of suffering with and for Christ, if we want to reign with him in eternity. As the scholars explain: ‘2:11-13. The principles of endurance are enumerated on the basis of the assurance of salvation.’  And there’s no better time for us to show true faith and endurance than RIGHT NOW in this scary pandemic situation! 

And to bring it all together, hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 15:54a-57) Now all of that is gospel truth my people. Death and the grave were defeated. They can’t touch us anymore, because of Christ’s victorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. And we owe it all to the great LOVE that our heavenly Father had, and still has, and will always have for us. 

But in the long run, the crux of the matter is our behaviour, as Bruh Paul said to Timothy above, and as follows to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:58) Oh my fellow believers, not because we achieved victory through Christ’s sacrificial death we can afford to now sit on our laurels and our fat fannies and do nothing. 

Please note, that the enemy, though he was soundly defeated by Christ, has not turned tail and run home whimpering, but has revamped his army of evil minions and is still out there fighting, trying to recapture his lost territory. That means that we also need to continue working as hard as we can, keep on fighting the good fight, doing what Jesus desires of us; spreading the gospel to all parts of the earth, and thus helping to making disciples of the unbelievers. That’s what Christ’s death, resurrection, redemption and atonement of our sins requires of us. So let’s get to it this Easter Sunday as we celebrate and rejoice over His magnificent victory nuh! Much LOVE! 

…though victorious in battle… a wise army…NEVER lets down it’s guard…or lowers its work ethic…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.    ​And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).
 
Prologue: Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s nothing new. (smile) I thought though that a heads up was necessary, since today’s Bit is somewhat different to what we might all expect on a day like today. But that’s where I was lead. So I hope it does make sense and it resonates strongly and deeply with us all. (smile) Much LOVE!

And then it was Good Friday! But you ask what’s so good about it, when they tortured our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so terribly, then nailed Him to a cross to suffer and die in the burning noonday sun? Well the simple answer is that we were, and still are, a bunch of disgusting, ungrateful sinners, and if we didn’t get some form of salvation, we’d all go to hell and be eternally separated from the Lord God Jehovah, our wonderful Creator. However, though the Lord is all powerful and can do anything, there is another side to His nature, one that’s just and righteous, and requires justice to be done. 

He couldn’t deny Himself, so though He LOVED us ever so much and wanted to save us from eternal death and damnation, it would not have been right to just forgive us without any payment for our sins. And the Good Book, His eternal Word, says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) It also stipulates without any hesitation or distinction: ‘For the wages of sin is death;’ (Rom. 6:23a) The Good Book also says: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).’ 

And right there is the roadblock. Something or somebody had to die to pay for sin. Now earlier on in the Old Testament, the Lord allowed the Israelites to kill animals in temporary atonement for their sins. Moses wrote in Leviticus on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.’ (Lev. 17:11) That’s why there was so much killing of animals and sacrificing and sprinkling of blood in the olden days; atonement called for blood. That’s also why the Israelites were not allowed to eat blood. (Lev. 17:10-12) 

But we also know that from the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned, and the Lord threw them out of the Garden of Eden, though He placed a curse on them, He also promised that by Eve’s seed mankind would one day be eventually redeemed. (Gen. 3:14-24) In that bit of scripture (vs. 21) the Lord also made more durable clothing for Adam and Eve by clothing them with ‘coats of skins,’ as opposed to the fig leaves that they had originally used to hide their nakedness. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This is how Yahweh provides clothing for Adam and Eve after their feeble attempt to cover their nakedness and shame. It is His way of demonstrating that He acknowledges their act of faith in verse 20. The word for “skins” presupposes the death of an animal and therefore the idea of blood sacrifice is clearly implied.’ 

And having said all of that, I guess I now have to quote verse 20 so you might get a better understanding of the topic. (smile) ‘And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; (life or living) because she was the mother of all living.’ The scholars say: ‘Eve comes from the verb ‘to live.’ Here is Adam’s act of faith, looking to the future with hope. This word sounds like the word used in this verse, living. Adam seems not only to believe that God spoke the truth, but also to have faith in the salvation God had promised in verses 15-16.’ Please read them for yourself. (smile) 

And life moved on through the flood and Noah, (Gen. 6-7) then the City and Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) and finally to Abraham, whom God promised to make a great nation of and from whose seed a Messiah, a Saviour would eventually come. (Gen. 12:1-3) And all through the ensuing years, in fact centuries, the Lord, through the prophets kept promising the Israelites, His Chosen People, Abraham’s main descendants the coming of a Messiah to save them from their sins. The only problem there was that Israel thought the Messiah would be a warrior king, coming to release them finally from all their days of slavery and impotence. 

That’s partially why when Jesus came, in the Lord’s much belated time, saying He was the Promised Messiah, but speaking peace and LOVE, so many doubted Him. That brings us finally to the real reason for Good Friday. I guess the Lord finally got tired of all the blood sacrifices and decided it was time to put on the grand show; so we have Jesus being born supposedly at Christmas time, growing up as the carpenter’s son, then ministering, doing miracles, healing and teaching and showing the people what their great God was like in person. As he said so often, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. 

But then His rhetoric and deeds were too revolutionary for the rulers of Rome and Israel, so they hatched a plot to get rid of Him. But little did they know that that was His express plan for coming to earth as a man; to die and be a once and for all blood sacrifice for man’s sins. That’s why He specifically said: ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life. That I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18) 

Yes friends, Jesus death on the cross was the next step in God’s plan to provide a real and serious but fairly easy option for us to be reconciled to Him and be redeemed. Remember no real atonement was possible but though the shedding of blood, and it still isn’t, except that Christ with His sacrificial death on the cross paid for ALL our sins once and forever. The father placed them ALL on His shoulder that extremely rough but nonetheless blessed day. That’s why we can afford to call it Good Friday. 

And don’t think that it wasn’t rather rough on the Father to turn away from His wonderful One Son. It was pure hell for Him. And I guess especially so when Jesus cried out on the cross: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46). Yeh friends, that must surely have broken the Father’s heart, because it was the very first and only time that He and His precious Son had been on opposite sides. But He had to do it, if He wanted to save mankind from their deadly sins. 

His ultimate plan of atonement and forgiveness, because of His righteousness and justice, called for a sinless soul, and Jesus was the only other sinless soul in existence, that’s why He was forced to sacrifice Him. And strangely, whenever I think about the Father sacrificing Jesus for us, an old song always comes to mind. It was made famous by BL&D, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires back in the late sixties, ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart.’ I always picture small, but powerful Keith Lynn singing that soulful ballad and consider How Jesus’ death must have broken the Father’s heart. 

And the sad part is that His heart is still breaking because two thousand years later we’re still reluctant to accept His magnanimous offer of salvation and redemption and forgiveness and eternal life through the sacrificial death of His wonderful and selfless Son Jesus Christ on this Good Friday, and His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday, a couple days hence. Please friends, let’s remember that without Good Friday, this rough and heart breaking day, there’d be no rejoicing and glorifying on Resurrection Day; Easter Sunday, and wisely make the most of the time we have left on this earth! Much LOVE!

…the wages of sin is death…but the gift of God…is eternal life…through Jesus Christ our Lord…  (Rom. 6:23)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2020 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    ​Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.
 
Well a fine Sunday morning to you my friends and neighbours! I do hope the Lord has blessed you mightily….and you better believe He has if you are reading this missive! (smile) He has indeed blessed us with the wonderful breath of life and clear eyesight to see the words I write. So for just that we ought to be eternally grateful. And if you add all the other blessings, then I don’t think we have the capacity for enough gratitude, (smile) but we’ll certainly try. 

And one of the ways we’ll do it is by gathering today, on His special day, in His holy sanctuary, or wherever we can, to praise and give thanks and hear His mighty Word. Oh my people, there’s nothing more moving and momentous that a group of believers fellowshipping with sincere praise and thanksgiving! 

So as always, let’s begin our proceedings with this old favourite by Isaac Watts, titled ‘At the Cross.’ And was that ever a turning point in the annals of man! So let’s convince heaven of our heartfelt thanks for Jesus’ death on the cross, and all that it accomplished in our sinful lives. 

As one, in strong, soulful and harmonious voice: ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! 

(Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. 

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’

Oh my people, my people, the wonder of the cross…words cannot truly describe it. Because it was there that the whole world was turned upside down and a new era in mankind’s story began! The story of salvation, of reconciliation, of total forgiveness, of redemption, justification, sanctification…and all the other good things that flowed…and are still flowing from Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! 

And as the song so rightly says: ‘Drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe.’ And is that ever the gospel truth friends! No amount of tears, of heartfelt eyes water can ever repay the debt of LOVE that we owe our heavenly Father. I’m sure our puny and finite minds can’t even begin to understand the heartbreak He felt in having to crucify His one and only, so amazing Son, so that a bunch of stubborn, hard-hearted sinners could have the option to be set free. 

But such was His LOVE for us, that He took the one holy, just and righteous avenue open to Him. And it wasn’t by chance He did that either nuh, but by conscious design. Why yuh think? Listen to Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, as he exhorts him to constant prayer. ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.’ (1 Tim. 2:3-4) 

Yes friends, that has been the Lord’s desire ever since the day He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. He doesn’t want to lose even one single soul of His most precious creation to the evil fool Satan. That’s why He went to such awesome lengths to get us back into right standing with Him. And He’s been saying it all the time. 

Listen to Him speak through the prophet Ezekiel: ‘Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.’ (Ezek. 18:23; 32) 

Yes my breddren, our magnanimous and magnificent God doesn’t want even those who want eternal death to die! How much more does He have to so to convince us to change from our wicked ways and live eh? I really don’t know if there’s any more He can do, except strip us of our free will and make us come to Him automatically. But He’s not going to do that, because He promised us free will and He doesn’t renege on His promises. 

And yuh know the second part of our Bit which talks about coming to the knowledge of the truth? Well here is what the Lord said through Jeremiah on the subject. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

For sure, my fellow believers, the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS MAN’S GLORY! And until we know that, accept it, and live it we’ll keep on being lost! And it’s only fitting to close with the words of Jesus on the topic. He said this when He prayed for His own. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.’ (John 17:3) 

Yeh friends, knowing the ONE true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is the ONLY WAY to eternal life! So let’s get smart and get to know Him nuh, so that come the last day, we will not find ourselves on the outside looking in, for that’s the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. Much LOVE!

…to know God…is to know the glorious truth…and be set free… 

P.S. Didn’t do anything yesterday because of the stormy weather. They wouldn’t even allow to me get a dip in the salt since it was so rough. I did get a burger and some jerk pork over at the beach hut though, and washed it down with two nameless exotic pink cocktails. (smile) Today is sunny, so let’s see what the Lord will bring to pass in my life. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2020 Galatians 5:13.

Galatians 5:13.    ​For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.

 

Well friends and neighbours, today is the day of the big snow storm! According to the weather forecasters Southern Ontario will experience oodles of snow from around midday today! And if we do, we can’t really complain nuh because we haven’t seen much of the white stuff so far this winter. But let’s hope and pray that they’re wrong, as they so often are, (smile) and that at least the quantity won’t be as much as forecasted, some 50 centimetres. And that is a lot of snow, which will just cause numerous problems, problems that we can do without right now. 

One last thing about the expected storm: it is blowing in from the south, down in the U.S. Yeh, contrary to popular opinion many of the storms we experience up here, both rain and snow, come from down south and don’t always flow the other way. Not because we’re further north, means that we’re automatically colder and given to more bad weather. In fact, the U.S. often has more bad weather than this blessed northern state! (smile) And since today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately, it seems like he’s only sent us two quotes this week. I can’t find anymore, even checked my deleted files to see if I had deleted any by mistake. So we’ll just have to make do with those two, the first of which says: ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.’ And that’s ever so true! We can never get power, real or imagined, over anything or anyone without some kind of demand being made on us. 

Look at all the high-flying people; athletes, celebrities, politicians, the wealthy, leaders of any type, be they countries or organizations; they all have power, but with that power always comes some sort of responsibility from which they cannot get away. Even as parents, we have power over our children, but we also have a responsibility to raise them right. Now those in power might use it inappropriately and don’t fulfill the responsibility inherent in their positions, like so many are doing nowadays, but believe me, that responsibility will seek them out, and oftentimes cause them to lose their power. 

Ah friends, power is akin to a ravenous beast; it might give you a head start, but it’s always there, nipping at your heels, knocking at your door, ever ready to take it away too. So remember if power is something that you seek, be very careful, because from the outside it looks glorious, but it’s also like a snake in the grass, ready to bite you, to trip you up in a moment. In other words, power cannot be trusted! 

And the next quote simply says: ‘Whatever happens, take responsibility.’ Now if our world would only accept that simple statement eh, what a wonderful place it would be! But sadly, these are the days of irresponsibility; a lot of it fuelled by the hideouts and platforms provided by the  social media scene. Nowadays very few of us are ready to take the blame for our own actions, instead we keep looking for others to pass the blame to. It’s become a sad reflection on our society. Even in the halls of power, amongst international leaders, the blame game is also being played out on that big stage. So what do we expect from lesser mortals then eh? The same kind of irresponsible behaviour. 

But yuh know friends, as the old people would say; do yuh do, but remember the chickens always come home to roost! In other words, have your fun, but your sins will eventually find you out; a day will come when you have to pay for them. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You’ll reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow.’ 

However friends, as true believers in Christ, we’re called to be different to the world. Christ has set us free, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed, (John 8:36) but we’re not to use that freedom irresponsibly. As Bruh Paul warned the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ (Gal. 5:13-15) 

Sadly though, we’re doing the opposite of Bruh Paul’s advice; using our liberty in Christ to hate and war with and devour and consume each other. But here’s an interesting take from the scholars on the Liberty and Responsibility of Christians based on 1 Cor. 9:19 ‘One of the results of redemption is the liberty of the believer. Christians are free from depending on the law and free from the bondage of their old nature. Christian liberty releases us to accomplish all our potential. But that liberty should not be abused to justify hedonistic behaviour. 

Although believers live in a state of freedom, concern for reaching others with the gospel and helping weaker believers grow will result in voluntary self-restraint in areas that might offend others, or hinder our efforts in reaching and helping people. Illustration: Paul referred to the example of eating meat offered to idols. He had the freedom to eat such meat, but he suggested that believers abstain because the practice acted as a stumbling block for weaker believers (Rom.14). Application: Believers should act responsibly in exercising their liberty if they wish to be most effective in service to Christ. (First Ref. Lev. 25:10; Primary Ref.. 1 Cor. 9:19; cf. Matt. 7:7).’ 

Yeh friends, though we are free to act as we please, we must always consider how we use that freedom, not take advantage of it to sin, or to hurt others who are not as strong in faith. Let’s ponder on that today nuh, and see how we shape up in the freedom scene, and obviously ask the Lord to help us come higher. Much LOVE!

…freedom is wonderful…but it’s not easy…for it also brings a lot of responsibility…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2019 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 

Well thank the Lord for eyes that opened again this Friday morning unto another new day in God’s great universe! Although I don’t think that many of us found the time to do it for real, since we were, and are still too occupied with the man-made commercial day called Black Friday! Ah Lord eh, another day to spend our money, or rather get into debt foolishly for things we don’t need, another snare of supposed sales to get you into the stores and spend what you don’t have. And it’s become so big over the last few years that even in Canada now it’s taken over, ostensibly to stop the northerners from going south to spend their hard earned cash and credit. 

And sadly, it just shows up man’s wild beast behaviour, as we rush and push and fight, and even kill to be the first into the stores, for the storekeepers are smart enough to only advertise a few items at a true sale price, so that mayhem can erupt at their doors. I don’t know how many Thanksgiving Day parties ended early so the participants could go and line up early for Black Friday Door Crashers! 

But let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say about all of that nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again oui! That means the weekend is here, and there’s no more work! And please doh tell me no nonsense about Black Friday eh! I work hard enough for my money, ah not going to go and throw it away now and buy stuff I don’t really need. And on top of that, to get out early and rush and push to get the few items on sale. 

No way Jose! Too much violence does go on in that Black Friday business nowadays yes! It just have we behaving like wild animals…even worse than wild animals, the way we fight each other to get in the stores and them. Steups! Let them do their do yes! I not going nowhere no stores today! I’m just going home after work, as usual, and just enjoy mih weekend, making my preparations for the real big and worthwhile celebration…Christmas! Would you believe Christmas just round the corner! Mamacita! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui people!’ 

And who says the workingman isn’t wise in his own simple way eh? There’s nothing that says you need a lot of education to be wise. In fact, in these foolish and tremulous times, more education seems to equal less wisdom. But thankfully there’s a group that specializes in wisdom, (smile) true believers in Christ Jesus. Although I’m sure many supposed believers are involved in the Black Friday crush. (smile) Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can show the world that we’re somewhat different. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s wisdom personified! If you are sincerely and diligently trying to do the will of Almighty God, then you are certainly numbered among the wise by those in heaven, though not necessarily by those on earth. But heaven is where it truly matters, since this earth will eventually pass away, but heaven, God’s Word and His Will, will not. That’s why Cousin Sol in his Book of Proverbs specified these awesome words of wisdom right at the very beginning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ 

Oh my people, that is indeed gospel truth! If you believe that the Lord made the universe and all therein it, then to know what the universe is all about, you must first know what’s Creator is all about. I think that’s simple logic. But hear how the scholars explain that verse. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Oh friends, how I wish that a much larger portion of this fractious world’s population truly feared, showed a reverential awe of the Lord! Then most of the nonsense that’s now happening would not even exist. And Job said it thus in his discourse on the subject. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price (value) thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.’ (Job 28:12-13) 

Then after evaluating the pros and cons of the matter (vs. 14-25) Job finally saw the light and announced: ‘When he (God) made a decree (set a limit) for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder (thunderbolt); Then did he see it (wisdom), and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) How much clearer can it get eh people? Not a whole lot! 

Now hear the psalmist: ‘He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’ (Ps.111:9-10) 

There’s nothing left for me to say nuh friends, since great men of God have already declared the truth of the matter. All I can do now is to implore us to diligently seek the Lord, seek His face, seek His amazing wisdom though a sincere and reverential awe, so that wisdom can be ours, this day…and forever more! Much LOVE!

…you can’t know the created…until you know the Creator…

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