Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline!

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2019 Luke 11:13.

Luke 11:13.   ​If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
 

Ah Friends, it’s still white and somewhat beautiful, but possibly even more dangerous, deceptive and slippery because it’s also deeper! Yeh, not a single snowplough nor sand truck has come by to work on my neighbourhood since the first snowfall on Friday, and it’s been snowing some everyday since! I wonder where the people whom we paid so much money a couple months ago to clean our drive way are eh? 

And I’m sure the crooked councilors on the City Council are soon going to write me raising my property taxes, citing the increased cost of snow removal, when they’re removing less and less snow every year! Chuh! And the worst part of it all is that I’d planned to resume driving today, and celebrating by driving to church, planning to boast about how I had the best shotgun rider, Jesus Christ riding shotgun with me! (smile) 

But the powers that be seem to have had other ideas. I don’t even know how deep the snow is in my driveway, and there aren’t even any tire tracks in the lane. Added to that, I’ve never driven this car in so much snow yet, because I only got it in the summer, so I don’t know exactly how it will react. 

And I definitely don’t want to go out there and screw up my shoulder fighting with the steering and whatever else might happen. I even tried to contact my pastor to find out what was happening but could not get him either. So I decided to err on the path of caution, and stay home. So having said all of that to say nothing, (smile) let’s have church! 

And today we’re going to be opening the celebrations with those wonderful words of John Newton that we all know and LOVE so much, ‘Amazing Grace.’ And as the GodTube website tells us: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology—it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced. Later in life, Newton became a supporter and inspiration to William Wilberforce who lead the fight to pass the British Slave Trade Act in 1807, which abolished the slave trade in that empire.’ 

Ah my people, our great God works in such wonderful and miraculous ways, that if He could save a die-hard heathen like Newton, He can save any of us. So let’s sing those awesome words with true heartfelt gratitude, giving all praise and thanks to a most merciful and gracious God. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih breddren, can you imagine those words being written by a drunken, profligate sailor involved in the slave trade eh? But the story goes that on March 21, 1748, Newton’s ship was being battered by a major storm and he was lashed to the helm to try and keep the ship on course. He was there from one o’clock till midnight. 

That’s plenty time to think when one’s life seems to be slipping away. And apparently it was during that time the Lord knocked loudly on the door of his heart, and he never forgot it, writing:  “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.” 

How many of us has God delivered out of deep waters eh my people, and not necessarily deep waters literally, but figuratively? Oh people, I am one of those He delivered out of deep waters literally on Lake Ontario many years ago, and whenever I remember that traumatic experience I surely give Him thanks and praise. 

And, “Many years later, as an old man, Newton wrote in his diary of March 21, 1805: “Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise.” Only God’s amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. Newton never ceased to stand in awe of God’s work in his life.” 

And neither should we, my believing brethren. It’s also been said that Newton, though he realized the folly of his life, still felt that he was beyond saving, even if the Good Book was true; that is until he read the reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’  

Now that’s a very good question my brethren! One we should truly ponder ourselves, like Newton apparently did. And while doing that, we should also consider these most appropriate verses from James. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yeh friends, God is the Creator of Everything, and Giver of ALL good things! He’s ONLY and ALWAYS GOOD! He ‘s immutable, DOESN’T change! And all those who have been redeemed are His firstfruits; the first step in His redemption plan for ALL creation! 

So let’s consider all of that today nuh, and hope and pray and ask Him to help us come up higher in our faith walk and our undying LOVE for Him! That’s all we can do as mere mortals. But the right motives of our hearts do make a big difference with our heavenly Father! Much LOVE!

…the GRACE of God…the most powerful MOVER and SHAKER in His universe… 

P.S. The quotes above come from the GodTube website and John Newton Discovered Amazing Grace @Christianity.com. 

P.P.S. And would you believe, just as I’m about to send out the Bit, I hear them cleaning my drive way! Steups! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2019 Psalm 30:12.

Psalm 30:12.   ​To the end that my glory (my soul) may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.
 
Aye mih people, what’s this world coming to eh? Supposed friends are so faithless and fickle nowadays that it’s not funny! Hear my story: Just recently that panacea for all ills, sleep was my best friend, at least that’s what I thought. Anytime I put down my head, I would fall asleep shortly thereafter. But recently; within the last week or so, it’s been a completely different story; I sleep for a few hours, then suddenly wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed and can’t get back to sleep regardless of how hard I try. 

Case in point; I went to bed about 12.30 last night and by four o’clock I was up. I went to the bathroom, then got back in bed, and just turned and tossed because sleep had deserted me. Now I don’t know whether that was the work of the enemy, or simply the Lord telling me to get up and write the Bit, but I was adamant that I wasn’t getting up at such an ungodly hour of the morning. 

And so I lay there sleepless, turning and tossing, until about 6.45, when I finally got up, had a hot shower, dressed for church then came down to write as much of the Bit as I can before going to church. Ah Lord eh! But how can I be expected to live a balanced life eh, if I don’t get sufficient sleep? (smile) Don’t worry though friends, we won’t belabour the point, especially in this year of 2019, where our complaining is going to be minimal. Hear that…? 

Instead, we’re going to be obedient and do what we ought to; go to the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with other believers; praise His holy name, give Him much thanks, listen to His word and just revel in all the goodness and mercy He has to offer. So saying, let’s belt out this Fanny Crosby song titled, Praise Him, Praise Him,’ which ‘celebrates Jesus as our “blessed Redeemer” and praises his amazing gifts of salvation and redemption.’ That will soften up our hearts and make us more receptive to His amazing, encouraging and reassuring word. 

All together now: ‘Praise him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth – His wonderful LOVE proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory, Strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children – In His arms He carries them all day long: (Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!) 

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered and bled and died; He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified! Sound His praises – Jesus who bore our sorrows – LOVE unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong: [Refrain] 

Praise Him! Praise Jim! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth for ever and ever, Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet and Priest and King! Christ is coming, over the world victorious – Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong: [Refrain]’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what powerful and uplifting words and sentiments! Jesus is so important to us eh, that we can’t even begin to consider the ramifications! (smile) Our Saviour, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Salvation and pathway to the Father! And we could go on and on… That’s why we ought to esteem Him so highly and praise Him as much as possible. 

As Bruh David so emphatically declared in Psalm 30 – A thanksgiving for deliverance from death. ‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth (sackcloth of my mourning), and girded me with gladness.’ (Ps.30:11) Oh friends, that’s exactly what Jesus has done for us: taken us out of the depths of Hades and made us a new home in heaven on high! Glory Hallelujah! 

That’s why Bruh David emphatically continues: ‘To the end that my glory (my soul) may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.’ Oh my people, my people, that’s how we ought to be; constantly singing praises to Almighty God, being thankful and spreading His word and miraculous deeds to all and sundry! Not being silent and keeping it all to ourselves as so many of us do! 

However, I’ve got to go now, the duchess is ready to take me to church. Can’t keep her waiting now. (smile) Soon Come… 

An hour and a bit later, we’re back. Had a good fellowship, just no singing at this early morning service. I’m singing in the Bit. (smile) And Bruh David continues his entreaty and promise to give the Lord thanks and praise in Psalm 35 – A prayer for rescue from enemies. ‘I will give thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much (a mighty) people.’ (Ps.30:18) Now that’s what ALL believers ought to be doing, not being fearful and timid and refusing to spread the good news of Jesus! 

And hear how Bruh David ends that psalm: ‘Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all day long.’ (Ps.35:27-28) 

Oh friends, if we sincerely favour Jesus’ cause, then we ought to be glad and shout for joy and magnify His name and speak of His righteousness and sing His praises all day long! That’s what a faithful follower does! So let’s get serious and do what we know we ought to do nuh. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…let everything that hath breath…praise the Lord…shout Hallelujah…praise ye the Lord…shout Hallelujah… (Ps.150:6)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2018 Ezekiel 20:19.

Ezekiel 20:19.    I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them.

Aloha one and all! It’s Friday morning in Kingston, J.A! Glory to God! We’re alive and kicking, and very grateful for that fact! Ah mih breddren this will be another holiday of unforgettable memories! Chuh! When I sit in my rocking chair and reminisce, this will be definitely one of my favourite reminiscences.

Yesterday morning I took the Knutsford Express from Mo Bay to Kingston, and after a three and a half hour drive through some lush green and beautiful mountain scenery, amongst which large, beautiful homes nestled, we arrived in the hustle and bustle of Kingston Town. Brother, has it ever grown and gotten busier since my days some fifty years ago! But you can never mistake the unmistakable, unique flavour of Kingston, because it has a flavour all its own.

My sister from my other family (smile) picked us up at the Bus Depot, and after taking us to lunch at a quaint J.A. restaurant, don’t remember its name, she left us in her apartment to rest.  And it’s a good thing that we did rest, because when some of the old U.W.I class of 69 began to show up, it got real hectic real fast! Now we’re all seniors many times over, but just like you couldn’t beat our indefatigable energy back in 1966-69, you still can’t beat it now!

And brother, did the old memories and reminisces fly! Most of us looked vaguely familiar to how we were back then, but there was no mistaking the camaraderie and friendship that three years at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica Campus bred! And the best part is that most of those who showed up were in the Social Sciences Faculty, so we didn’t only share social but also work related experiences.

Oh, by the way, if you added up the years of the dozen or so people that showed up, you’d probably come close to the thousand year figure. (smile) But all of us looked good and prosperous. Now that total would have even higher if several of our classmates hadn’t gone home to be with Lord a li’l bit early.

And I want to thank my big sister Maureen from my heart and soul for putting this amazing gathering together, because I hadn’t seen most of those people since I left the campus a half century ago. Just like how she looked after me in my campus days by writing my notes for the many lectures I missed, gone gallivanting somewhere about the country with friends – and I mean copying the actual notes from her notebook to mine, she’s still looking out for me fifty years later. The Lord bless her wonderful soul!

And as I sit here writing this, looking at her in the kitchen washing stuff from last night’s party, my eyes just flood with tears of joy and thanksgiving because she’s still the same warm, giving, caring and LOVING person she was all those years ago. So how can I say that I’m not amazingly blessed eh, when the Lord has brought such beautiful people into my life? It would be a certain lie, and the Lord would just cut me down to size.

Chuh! I had to stop there for a moment because I got all choked up. And is the ole fella getting choked up a lot on this vacation! (smile) But it’s Friday and we can’t leave out the workingman’s song for two straight weeks. So what’s he singing this bright, sunny, pay day Friday eh?

As usual, he opens with his thanks for Friday: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend here at last. Oh bwoy! Is also payday weekend, so you can imagine how the food and the waters going flow! Hope some of we not foolish enough to blow it all on drinks and pleasure and not pay we rent and we bills and buy food for we pickney them! It good to party and enjoy life when we work hard all week, but we must do what we need to do first. Mama Yo! I done pay mih rent and mih larder full, so is time for me an’ mih friends them to drink up the waters and stuff we face with food, as we thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends!’

Yes mih people, it’s all right to have fun after you have taken care of your immediate responsibilities. But still the workingman allows too much freedom for the enemy to infiltrate his soul. That’s why we believers have a different weekend song, we call our Friday Chant which keeps us rooted and grounded in the straight and narrow way.

So let’s chant up the usual storm, in unison 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!’ 

Yes friends, we need to keep up our diligence in the spiritual battle against the evil enemy. And the Lord has sent us this reminder this October morning. ‘I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them. And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.’ (Ezek.20:19-20)

Ah friends, the Lord is crying out to us in heart felt sorrow to come back to Him, to give up our evil ways and the worldly idols we’re now worshipping. Remember when He warned the nations long ago, they did receive punishment when they refused to listen. So I don’t know why we think it would be different with us. The Lord is LOVING and gracious and merciful and forgiving… but only for a time. When you continue in willful disobedience, you will pay a harsh price.

Unoo see all the natural disasters that happening in the world today? So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh, and return to where we came from nuh, when life was so good; the LOVING arms of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Please friends, please let wisdom prevail! Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is wont to say…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…words to live by…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2018 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

Ah mih breddren, I know you’re feeling it in your soul; the fact that you have to go out and labour this Monday morning! Hn, Hn! And yuh know what? Many of us will feel like that at the beginning of every week for most, if not all of our working lives. It’s just something about being away from work, for even a couple of days, that causes a disconnect, and it’s so difficult to reconnect. (smile) 

I think too that the human spirit has a built in aversion to very word ‘work’, as it brings to mind, toil, physical labour and all those things that run counter to our human nature. So please don’t beat yourself up if you’re one of those who have problems getting it together on Mondays, even though you’ve rested and fellowshipped and done all the right things. Just join with us as we take it to Jesus in prayer, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Believe me, it will do you a lot of good; lift your spirits and have you chomping at the bit to get out there and do excellent and diligent work for Jesus. I like to call it our antidote for all that ails us on a Monday morning. So let’s get busy and sing; sing with as much enthusiasm as you can muster, but make sure that your heart’s sincere. 

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!’ 

Oh mih people, yuh see the ole fella wasn’t lying when he said that it would do you good; lift your spirits and get you enthused for Jesus! Glory be mih breddren! There’s nothing like sincere and humble prayer to lift our spirits and get us back on the tried and true narrow path where Jesus reigns secure! 

And today I just want to remind us, to bring to our attention, the wonderful God we serve and worship, the way Daniel did when he prayed for his sinful people. He said: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion (shame) of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.’ (Dan.9:8) And believe me people, we are living in the most sinful times ever. 

Daniel thought his time was bad, but today he would hold his head and bawl at the atrocities and shameful stuff that we’re doing, and even considering some of it normal and right. Steups! Our world’s leadership is petty, greedy, self-seeking and ever so hungry for wealth and power! And to that end, the latest trend is that they all want to be dictators, but they are the most inept and inefficient group of leaders I’ve seen in my life time. And yuh know what? 

Unfortunately their behaviour sets the tone for our society’s lifestyle and behaviour. And it’s sad how we adopt their bad habits, including turning away from God. Ah friends, it’s a good thing we have the God we do have yes, otherwise crapaud surely smoke we pipe! For as Daniel rightly says in our Bit:‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord for not giving us our just desserts, but instead showering us with your LOVING-kindness and forgiveness!’ And so should we be ever grateful and thankful! Oh friends, I don’t know what it’s going to take for us to realize the seriousness of our world situation nuh, with all the negative, ungodly stuff we’re so blithely and blatantly affirming. 

And as the psalmist rightly asks in Psalm 130: ‘If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps.130:3) And the overwhelming answer to that is ‘NOBODY!’ Why? ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) Yes friends, we have all gone astray, overstepped our boundaries, transgressed God’s law! Put it any way you want it, we’re simply not good enough to stand before a holy and almighty God in our own right. 

However, as the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (reverenced with awe). I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 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.130:4-6) That’s how strong the psalmist faith was!  

And in closing, I’d like to strongly advise us all to do as he suggests; wait and watch for the Lord and faithfully and patiently hope in His word, ‘for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption.’ (Ps.130:7b) Much LOVE!

…only by embracing God’s mercy and forgiveness…will we escape eternal damnation…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2018 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

One more day, you beautiful people of Jehovah God! Yes, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth, to enjoy His awesome LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness! How can you beat that eh? You just can’t! So let’s begin by giving the Most High some praise and thanks for all that He’s done, doing, and will do for us, even though we don’t deserve it. 

Please pray with me: ‘Oh heavenly Father, thank You for this day and all the amazing promises You’ve made! We know that You are faithful to keep them, therefore we surrender our hearts, souls and bodies to Your everlasting mercy and grace. 

Please lead and guide us to do Your will, like Jesus did. Then receive us in glory, like You did with Him. We pray this in the holy name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, because of His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we can never give God enough thanks and praise for all that He’s done on our behalf. So please let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we should. It’s ONLY through His LOVING-kindness that we still exist. 

Now here is a li’l something from Uncle John (John Hagee) to titivate our minds. (smile) ‘Nothing has meaning until we live it. Meaning: it’s not what you know, it’s how you apply what you know.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! 

All the knowledge in the world won’t help you until you put it into action. So all those people who just keep on going to school for going to school sake, and not doing anything useful with the knowledge they acquire, are simply wasting their time and their lives. I know that they say knowledge is power, but only if you use the knowledge. 

And today we’ll contemplate what is the most important bit of knowledge a man can have, as we look at Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy regarding prayer. 

He opens the chapter thus: ‘I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority (a prominent place); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (reverence). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.’ (1 Tim.2:1-3). 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:1. First of all (or, “most important of all”): Prayer is to hold the preeminent place in church meetings. Four different types of prayer are mentioned here: (1) supplications are precise requests for specific needs; (2) prayers is a general word embracing various kinds of prayer – confession, adoration, and so on; (3) intercessions denote prayer to God on behalf of others; (4) giving of thanks refers to prayers of praise.’ 

And per verses 2-3, the scholars say: ‘There are three reasons why the prayers of verse 1 are to be offered “for all men”: (1) that Christians may enjoy a tranquil life (v.2); (2) such praying is good and acceptable to God (v.3); (3) such prayers help bring about the salvation of men (v.4).’ 

So there we have it friends, prayer helps us live quiet, untroubled peaceful lives and helps with our salvation.  But all of it is a waste of time unless we truly understand the root purpose for it all, that’s found in our Bit: ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ 

Yes my people, that is our God’s greatest wish; that we all be saved and come to know the truth, which is: ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (Jesus’ sacrifice is proof of God’s will for all to be converted). Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity (truth).’ (1 Tim. 2:5-7) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:5-7. These verses provide a threefold evidence confirming the assertion in v.4 that God “will have all men to be saved”: (1) There being but one God implies that He must have the same desire toward all people, which is, namely their salvation. 

One mediator suggests His having made the same provision for all people, namely redemption. (2) Jesusgave himself a ransom for all (v6). (3) Paul’s being divinely ordained…a teacher of the Gentiles (v.7) shows that if sinful pagans are instructed in faith and verity (truth), then surely God does indeed want all to be saved.’ 

And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren, otherwise He wouldn’t have made all the provision He’s made, especially through Christ’s sacrifice. So please, let’s keep that first place in our minds, and wisely try to live the kind of life it suggests; a godly, prayerful and righteous one. Now let’s end with our Wednesday Wail, where we tell the world about our wonderful journey with 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!’ 

Ah friends, everytime I consider that glorious future laid up for us, I just LOVE Jesus more! Much LOVE!

…salvation for all…God’s number ONE desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2018 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And as the freezing temperature rose, the pervasive snow melted. But then the rains came, and the temps dropped somewhat again, causing the evil demon called ice to form. 

Yeh friends, the last couple of days have been somewhat icy, causing numerous accidents, both on the roads and n the sidewalks. Ice is way more dangerous than snow, because it’s ever so slippery, and oftimes you can’t even see it.  

Now today we are expected to get more snow, as the temperature plummets below freezing again. What a bam bam eh! But short of moving out of the country, to somewhere around the equator, there’s not much we can do but grin and bear it and handle it the best we can. 

And what amazes me is that this unpleasant state of affairs doesn’t faze the ordinary workingman one bit. He is intent on enjoying his weekend despite any weather setbacks, as he so vociferously declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weekend is here at last, especially since I had to work five, hard, long days this week. 

But neither snow, nor ice, nor sleet, nor heat is going to keep me from fully enjoying mih time off from massa slave labour! I’ve earned the right to celebrate, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do! Eat, drink and party fuh so! No holds barred baby! What else am I living for eh? Can’t take it with me when I go! So let’s thank God for Fridays and weekends, as we enjoy the good life!’ 

And what’s the good life eh friends? Feeding our carnal desires to the limit, with no real or sincere thoughts of Christ? I don’t think so. The good life must include Christ, otherwise it’s not good! Nothing’s wrong with eating, drinking and partying, but within decent limits: limits that don’t allow the enemy to get a toehold in our lives. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is a better gauge of what our weekends should be like. Let’s chant it now nuh, with sincerity and enthusiasm. ‘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 takes Christ into account, in fact, places Him at the very heart of the matter. It all revolves around Him. And as true believers, that’s how our lives ought to be set up; around Jesus! And why is that you ask? It’s obvious, from the proclamation Jesus makes in our Bit. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

Jesus had just told the disciples that He had to go away to prepare a place for them, and that He would come again to receive them unto Himself. ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ (John 14: 4) But Thomas, ever the doubter declared: ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?’ (John 14:5) That’s when Jesus made the foundational proclamation in our Bit. 

Oh friends, are we amongst the doubting Thomases in these modern times? I certainly hope not. For if we are, we are lost before we’ve even begun. And the scholars’ offer and interesting statement here on our Bit. ’14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way!’ 

And He showed that in spades by destroying the veil in the temple when He died, then rising from the dead, thus allowing any believing individual to come into the presence of God at any time, not only the High Priest once a year. And by shedding His blood on the cross, Jesus consequently made the sacrifice of animals for the forgiveness of sins of no more necessity. His blood was now the ONE and ONLY redeeming and atoning sacrifice! 

Oh glory to God my brethren! Listen to this scripture from Hebrews: ‘But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (creation). 

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered once into the holy place (Most Holy Place), having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth (sets apart, cleanses) to the purifying of the flesh. 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot (blemish) to God, purge (cleanse) your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’ (Heb.9:11-14) 

Yeh friends, Jesus offered His sinless life to the Father so that we could receive remission of sins, and the Father accepted His sacrifice. That’s why He is the ONLY way to the Father! Much LOVE!

…there’s only ONE way to get to heaven…through Jesus…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. I was somewhat tardy myself this morning. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Previous Older Entries