Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.
 

Well thank the Lord, some early morning showers of blessings graced the parched earth in my area! And I’m sure the earth was mighty thankful for them because it has been a few dry and hot days since they were last watered. And now the earth looks nice and clean as the reflection of the shining sun sparkles the drops of water on the green leaves and green blades of grass. 

Oh friends, there’s nothing like being cleansed; and that in body, spirit, mind and soul, for it cleans, refreshes and brings a new perspective to our thinking, to our way of life!  That’s why Bruh David pleaded with God in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) 

So let’s all send that prayer heavenward this bright, clean and beautiful Saturday morning nuh, as we take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote states: ‘Whether it’s forced or invited, change is inevitable.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! There are only three things in this world we’re very sure about; death, taxes and change! And the comforting thing about them all, (smile) is that they all often come at some unforeseen and unbidden times.

 But change is a must, if the human race expects to survive. And we’re going through such a time right now with the double situations of the Covid-virus pandemic and the protests in streets all over the world. Things are going to change before those two babies are put to bed, that’s for sure! And this next quote falls in line with what we’ve just been talking about. I also like its expansiveness. (smile) ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ 

Now that might boggle some of our minds, but it really is true. And right now we’re seeing the perfect example of it; sickness all over the world and protests all over the world. Those things are not relegated to small pockets of our world, but the entire universe, where much change, much improvement is certainly needed! And when it’s all over, the entire earth will have effected some change(s) be they large or small, but hopefully good and necessary. 

Yes, nowadays, the whole world is our playground; it is indeed a global village, where most things affect everybody in every part of it. For example, even the dust from the Sahara Desert, thousands of miles away, is currently affecting the citizens of Jamaica. It’s really a small, small world! 

Now the next quote is especially significant to the Christian believer. ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ And I say that, not only because it’s a useful way to view life, but with Christ as Lord of our lives, there’s nothing we cannot do, since all things are possible with Him, because He is God incarnate. And remember, He strengthens us to do whatever He requires us to do. That leads us to this quote, a rather interesting one, and one that’s also significant to the believer. (smile) 

‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ And isn’t that the living truth friends? It surely is! And it’s also what Christ expects from His followers; steadfast diligence that nurtures an attitude of excellence. We know that we can’t be perfect, but if keep reaching for high levels, levels of excellence in all that we do, we will get as close to perfection as an imperfect being can get, and that’s what Jesus desires of us. But this last quote is the champion, (smile) and is again especially significant to believers in Christ Jesus. ‘If you believe in a cause, be willing to stand up for that cause with a million people or by yourself.’ 

Yes people, standing up for whatever we believe in is extremely important, whether it’s with a throng of millions, or by ourselves! If we don’t do that, then it says that we don’t truly believe what we profess. And standing up for our beliefs is NEVER easy, not even with millions involved, like the worldwide protests we’re now experiencing.  So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you’re standing up by yourself. But standing up is what we must always do, especially as faithful saints of Christ. 

And in these trying and troubling times it is even more important than ever for us to stand up for what we believe in, namely the gospel, the good news of Christ and His kingdom, which is at hand. This is a significant moment in time when the Lord our God is calling mankind to repent and return to His fold, and we are the workers on whom He is depending to get that job done. Remember Jesus words to His disciples when He saw the multitude that needed saving. ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt. 9:37) 

Well friends, the good news is that we Christians are the labourers that the Lord is sending forth to reap the harvest of an unsaved and evil world. And no, it’s not easy, but I guess it’s time to remind us of the terms of discipleship which we agreed to. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.’ Now do you remember agreeing to that? If you consider yourself a follower of Christ, then you either explicitly or implicitly agreed to it. And you can’t complain that you didn’t read the fine print. (smile) Ignorance is no excuse!  

I’d also like to emphasize the point that taking up one’s cross and following Jesus is a DAILY exercise, not a once in a while, an occasional thing, as so many of us supposed Christians believe and do. Every day we need to get up and be counted; like soldiers, be prepared to stand our ground on matters of principle, in unity, on the true foundation of God’s Word which is our guidebook and lifeline. That is the only way Christ’s church will ever be successful! 

So let’s take some time today to ponder our walk with Christ nuh; let’s check out whether we’re really taking up our crosses DAILY and following Him, then, with the Lord’s help, make whatever changes are necessary. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet calls obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2019 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    ​And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 

Ay mih people, is Tuesday…and the ole fella is tired. Just finished having a nap after breakfast. Believe me, it was hard to get up, and I still can’t catch mihself, so if some strange things happen in the Bit, don’t be surprised eh. (smile) Today seems to be a rest day, as the people who were supposed to come from the country to visit won’t be coming, but some of the town folks will, so it won’t all be rest. 

Oh, yesterday was certainly a busy day, out and about in the hot sun, visiting a friend in the afternoon, stopping along the way for a couple of the famous Devon House patties – add a piece of a nice bread pudding to that – then getting home just in time to shower and change and go back to an Open Week Library function on the university campus, acknowledging and celebrating some of the educational books, some twenty of them, published in the last year by university people. 

That was a good time too, some singing by a young lady, Mrs. Alicia Taylor, I believe that was her name. Then we had some fine words from our guest speaker, Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, wine and scrumptious finger food and good mingling. Just for your info, they appreciated the ole fella’s lively spirit. And why wouldn’t they eh? (smile) Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to what the Lord put in my heart and soul to talk about today. 

And friends, today’s topic is oh so important; it’s possibly the most important element in a Christian’s life after acceptance of Jesus…and we talking about FORGIVENESS! Yeh fellow saints, it’s so important that Jesus included it in the prayer He taught His disciples, and consequently us, to offer up to the Father, each and every day: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ Oh precious people, those words are so important that we ignore them to our peril. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus again. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) Yes people, as always, Jesus spells it out loud and clear: forgive and you will be forgiven; do not forgive, and you will not be forgiven! It’s as simple as that. But you know that we selfish and sinful humans like to ask, even beg the Lord for forgiveness, but hesitate, no, bluntly refuse, to offer forgiveness to others. How can that ever stand us in good stead eh my fellow believers? It certainly won’t. 

But even putting aside Jesus’ warning, what we foolishly don’t seem to realize is that forgiveness is not really for the other person but for us. When we forgive, we are set free from whatever bitterness and anger and any other negative emotion that we’re holding on to by not forgiving. A Bruh Paulian sentence that! (smile) Ofttimes the other person, or persons, are not even aware of any wrong they’ve done you, or know and really don’t care, so it’s just you who’s holding and strangling your soul with all that ungodly emotion. 

And you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you forgive them either. You just make a conscious decision to do so, ask the Lord for His help, let it go, and move on with your life. Yeh, I know it’s seldom that easy, taking into consideration some of the awful wrongs that have been done, and are being done in these evil times, but like life itself, it is a process, and the sooner you make that decision to forgive  and actively work towards that forgiveness, the sooner it will happen, and the better off you will be. 

Now hear this rather informative exchange between Jesus and Peter on the subject. ‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times.’ (Matt.18:21) Peter must have figured that he was being very generous to forgive his brother seven times. But listen to Jesus’ answer. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:22) Mamacita! Can you imagine forgiving somebody 490 times – especially for the same wrong! Not many of us can, but it’s what we’re required to do if we want to be faithful believers and workers for Jesus. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, highlighting the Christian virtues, admirably guide us in this respect. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of (tender) mercies (heartfelt compassion). Kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

Friends, that means we need to be forbearing and forgiving until we die, or Jesus’ comes back, because NONE of us will ever arrive spiritually before those times! So for all of our sakes, let’s ponder the state of our hearts today, and see if there be any unforgiveness in them nuh, then ask the Lord to help us. As Bruh David requested of the Father: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) And you know the Lord will always answer that kind of prayer if it’s sincere.  

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with all sincerity: ‘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!’ So let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness benefits the forgiver…more than the forgiven…both emotionally and spiritually…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2016 Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5.    I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.

Top o’ the morning to you my Scrip-Bit family on this bountiful Saturday! I know it’s been an exhausting week, but that’s what the weekend is there for – rest. And I do hope that we’ll all get plenty of rest and relaxation as we take down our Christmas decorations and lights from the tree and from around our homes. Now the physical Christmas season might be drawing to a close, but the spiritual season of peace and goodwill to men never closes. Let’s remember that and act accordingly. 

And I definitely could not pass up this poem from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hours of Power Devotions, because I believe it deals with something we desperately need to acknowledge, believe and remember in this most promising year of 2016, that ‘GOD LOVES ME!’  That’s the title. 

And it says: ‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. God LOVES me! Even when I’m at my worst – God LOVES me. Even when my faith is dim – God LOVES me anyway! It is incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’ 

Ah friends, what incomprehensible and fantastic news indeed that Almighty God LOVES each and every one of us! Glory Hallelujah! God knows us each by name my people, and He takes great interest in all the goings ons in our lives. 

And if you don’t believe that He knows and LOVES us like… like an earthly father LOVES His children, then just think about the heartache He endured on our behalf when He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, on the cross so that we could be reconciled to Him. If that wasn’t true LOVE, then I don’t know what true LOVE is nuh. 

So, as we go about our daily lives, please, let’s hold that fact first and foremost in our hearts and minds, and let it boost our faith, for it’s something NO ONE can ever take away from us. 

And our Bit bears out the Father’s LOVE in spades: ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, why would a holy God forgive us our sins, if He didn’t truly care about us eh? Even when He knows that we’ll keep on being disobedient, He still continues to forgive, once we come to Him in sincere repentance. I don’t know about you all nuh people, but I will LOVE and honour and glorify anyone who treats me with such LOVING-kindness! Ah friends, from the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, sin has been the bone of contention between God and man. For as Bruh Paul says in Romans: ‘For all have sinned, and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) 

And that’s no lie mih breddren, all of us have gone astray like lost sheep, doing our own thing, not obeying God’s law. And as John tells us in his first epistle: ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John1:8-10) 

Ah friends, it is ever so important that we own up to our sins, otherwise we’d not only be deceiving ourselves, but also making God a liar by denying His Word that says we’re all sinners. On the other hand, confessing our sinfulness, leads to a just and faithful God cleansing us of our unrighteousness, our sin. What more can a sinful man ask eh? Not much more my fellow believers. 

And we’ll conclude this series of messages on sin, its confession, repentance and forgiveness with the words of a well-known sinner, but also a man after God’s own heart, Bruh David, from Psalm 51 – a prayer for cleansing, after his disastrous episode with Bathsheba. 

‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified (found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest…. 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not away thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:1-4, 7-13) 

Ah mih people, yuh see sin can affect any human being regardless of their power and status! God was generous to a fault to Bruh David, but yet the sinful nature we’re born with keeps trying to pull us away from God. ‘Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.’ (Ps.51:5) 

But friends, the great part of it all, is that though Bruh David sinned grievously against the Lord, He forgave him when he confessed and repented of his transgressions. The price he paid was steep, with confusion reigning thereafter in his family, but the forgiveness was surely worth it, because it meant that he was still a child of God, sincerely LOVED and cared about by the heavenly Father. There can be no better situation than that my people. 

So please, let’s be wise and confess our sins to Almighty God nuh. And even though the consequences of our sin might be pretty tough, believe me, the forgiveness will always outweigh it. Much LOVE!

…the forgiveness of sin…can only be accomplished…on the heels of sincere confession and repentance…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2015 Matthew 7:20

 Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Come on my people, it’s Monday morning, the start of a brand new workweek, so let’s get up and get going! Time to join the battle against the infidel, and our Leader and Saviour Jesus Christ is already at the front waiting on us. So please let’s not keep Him waiting any longer than is necessary. 
 
And if you’re tired, lazy and out of sorts this Monday morning, it’s your own fault. You knew that the battle would be joined early o’clock, but you just didn’t prepare yourself properly. 
 
Now that’s definitely not the mark of any good and faithful soldier, much less one of Jesus’ army, fighting the most important fight in the universe against the powers of evil and darkness. That sort of slackness, of unpreparedness is definitely not becoming, and will not be tolerated amongst the followers of Jesus. 
 
And now that I’ve railed at us, given us the management spiel, (smile) let’s see if we can do something about our tardiness and lack of enthusiasm by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty zest.  
 
As one harmonious choir 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 Friends, that wasn’t bad, but we’ve surely done better. And though our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t displeased, He would have appreciated a much better showing. So to make up for that, let’s get out there and rail against the enemy, bombard them with the good news of the gospel of Jesus and thus enable them to see the true Light and the only Way to salvation and eternal life. 
 
And remember what we were talking about yesterday? Re Jesus’ warnings about false prophets and entering through the narrow gate, and by their fruits you shall know them? Well today we’ll continue with that topic, headed by the same Bit. ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ 
 
Yes Friends, that’s ever so true; by their fruits we shall know the good and true ones from the corrupt and evil wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing.  
 
As Luke so nicely puts it: ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.’ (Luke 6:45) Oh my people, what indisputable truth! 
 
So my brethren it will be definitely in our best interest if we plead to the Lord, like Bruh David did when Nathan castigated him for his adulterous ad murderous liaison with Bathsheba. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 
 
And we should also pay particular attention to Jesus’ words after the Bit. ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. 
 
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils (demons)? and in thy name done many wonderful works (miracles)? And then will I profess unto them; I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ (Matt.7:21-23) 
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, please remember the broad way that leads to destruction, and the narrow gate that opens unto the difficult road to heaven, which only a few find. (Matt.7:13-14) 
 
Now listen to the scholars. ‘7:21-23. Not everyone professing Christ is genuinely saved. Even the outward verbal acknowledgement of His lordship is in itself not enough to save the unbeliever apart from true repentance and faith. A genuinely saved person is one that doeth the will of my Father, the Greek present tense suggesting that he is continually living in obedience to the will of God as the normal course of his life.’ 
 
I can’t put it any clearer and truer than that my brethren. If we want to enjoy salvation and eternal life with Jesus, then we have to make the sacrifice, forsake the evil things of this world and be obedient to His will, just like He was obedient to the Father’s will and sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us. 
 
In the long run Friends, it all boils down to an individual decision to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus or not. Just remember that there are always consequences for disobedience. Much LOVE!
 
…so the last shall be first…and the first last…for many are called…but few are chosen… (Matt.20:16)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b‏

Nehemiah 8:10b. …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

‘Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…pita pata, pita pata. Oh listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…’ Hn!  And next thing I knew I was hypnotized, lulled back to sleep for a couple hours. Wow! That’s the hypnotizing, beguiling power of the falling rain!

Yeh Friends, I was up at six o’clock, but lay there listening to the beguiling sounds of the falling rain, and then it was suddenly after eight. And going to bed fairly late this morning didn’t help matters any. Well at least I got a couple more hours rest. Glory be!

Anyway, today is Friday…as if you all didn’t know, and consequently sang back to me, the Friday mantra. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend is finally here, and it’s going to be wonderful; lots of rest, relaxation, fun and fellowship. Thank God it’s Friday!’

Hn? What are you doing to me my people? Am I hearing right, or are you all just saying that to lull me into a false sense of believing that you are turning around your lives, giving up the things of the world for the things of Jesus? (smile) I really don’t know, but like Jesus, I’m going to have hope and faith and believe for the best; that you’re really changing.

Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant like we mean it nuh. As one 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 my brethren, without that revitalization of our spirits we won’t be able to do the job that Jesus desires of us. But even more importantly, we also need the groundings of our Bit to successfully do Jesus’ work. ‘…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

That’s for certain sure my people! Without the joy of God flowing through our souls, we won’t be able to do much of anything at all! That’s why, as I said yesterday, the ole crook Lucifer tries to steal our joy in God, since without it we are weak and powerless. We therefore need to maintain that joy of Jesus in our spirits ALL THE TIME, so that the enemy can’t get a successful shot at us!

And we’ll continue today looking at some scriptures which declare the importance of God’s joy in our lives. And there’s no better place to see the importance of God’s joy in our souls than in Psalm 51 – Bruh David’s prayer for cleansing, after Nathan had confronted him with his abominable sins re Bathsheba.

Bruh David cries out to God: ‘Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:9-13)

Yes Friends, Bruh David had gotten the evil desires of his heart, but he had lost the joy of his God. We need to be very careful about what we ask for or desire, because oftimes it can move us away from the redeeming and joyful presence of God and make us sorrowful.

Now listen to Jeremiah in his personal lament. ‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.’ (Jer.15:16) Oh my people, does the Word of God bring joy and rejoicing to our hearts? It certainly ought to.

Meanwhile Peter tells us this about being distressed when caught up in much temptations. ‘That the trial (genuineness) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ (1 Pet.1:7-8)

What powerful tools are faith and belief in Jesus Christ, my brethren! For though we’ve never seen Him face to face, yet we so strongly believe and trust in Him that even when we’re tried and tested, we still retain the unspeakable joy found in His Spirit.

And James puts it in simple straightforward terms. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ (James 1:2)

And the scholars explain that ‘These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’

Yes Friends, when we look at everything from the standpoint that it comes from God, who has promised to work everything out for our good, then we can accept whatever comes against with joy, knowing that we will come out better, more Christ-like in the end.

Then Jude tells us: ‘Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling (stumbling), and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.’ (Jude 24-25)

Ah mih people, with those words of absolute truth and wisdom we’ll end today’s message. Now let’s ponder all that we’ve read and make the conscious decision to keep the joy of God always in our hearts, minds and souls, so that we can reject the advances of the enemy and stand strong in the name and faith of Jesus! For that is indeed the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…and my soul shall be joyful in the Lord…it shall rejoice in his salvation… (Ps. 35:9)