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 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

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

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2019 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.    ​Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 

Oh friends, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating and depressing than waking up excitedly to greet the new day only to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground! Chuh! And it only gets more annoying, frustrating and depressing when you look out and see the small, weightless, white flakes still falling effortlessly to God’s great earth! I’m chuckling here, but you know that once the white stuff flies, lives will undoubtedly become more serious and dangerous, because it looks good when it just covers the land, but it can certainly be the devil’s associate when you have to venture out in it. 

It’s a good thing we have Jesus yes, that awesome shepherd, who leads and guides His flock with masterful precision…! Give Him some thanks and praise people, for He’s certainly deserving of it! And isn’t it strange, but certainly wonderful, how in the northern climes when the snow flies, that’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus? Glory be mih brethren! The ole fella’s getting excited…so yuh better hold me back! I need to do like Jeeves says, have a modicum of circumspection… 

Nah, I don’t think so. When you’re excited about Jesus, you just have to let it flow! (smile) So we going to do just that by continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth, His supernatural conception in His mother Mary’s womb, the wonderful incarnation where He, Jesus, God, became flesh (incarnate) to come and dwell amongst sinful man, to personally experience our hardships and then gloriously deliver us from them through His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross, His triumphant resurrection on that wonderful Easter morn, and then His ascension back to heaven to be our friend and advocate at the Father’s right hand! 

How could it get any better than that eh mih people? No way Jose! We now have another, newer and much better option than his satanic majesty. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling when people refuse to believe in Jesus, and even go so far as to blaspheme His holy name and try to kick Him out of our society! Steups! What stupidity! Anyway, they will get their comeuppance in due time, because as the ole people say; time longer than twine, and when the good Lord ready, in His time, He will make all wrong things right. 

Now yuh see, all yuh get me so excited that I’ve gotten away from what we suppose to be talking about! (smile) And that’s the momentous occasion when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her about her favoured condition with God and the virgin birth she would have. And having listened to Gabriel’s spiel with, no doubt, bated breath, Mary finally found her voice. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’ Oh what a most plausible question, back in those times that is. Today we do that all the time through artificial insemination.  

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35-36) And so it should be, because the sperm that inseminated Mary was of God the Father, and we characterize children by their fathers, so it’s a no brainer that Jesus should be considered the Son of God. (smile) 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:35. By a process we cannot explain, Mary will find herself with child through no human agency. Conceived by God, Jesus would be of sinless nature, though no less human due to that fact.’ Wow! Both God and man at the same time! How marvellous! That means He could appreciate our trials and tribulations because He also suffered them, though He did not sin! Isn’t our God wonderful and ever so imaginative and far sighted? That’s why his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. 

And to prove my point, listen to this bit of news that Gabriel shared with Mary to boost her spirit. ‘And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) Yuh see how our great God moves in mysterious ways? Elisabeth had been barren for all of her life, but like Sara and Hannah, in her old age she was blessed with one of God’s special people, John the Baptist; Christ’s forerunner; the one lighting His way, crying out from the wilderness: ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Yeh friends, our God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knew that when Mary heard of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, her spirit would be boosted. And in my humble opinion, there’s no more touching, heartfelt and faith-showing scripture than Mary’s answer to the mind-blowing info she’d just received. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Mama Mia! What faith and trust and surrender in such a young woman! Even today we’d have serious problems with such a situation. But can you imagine the negative connotations that held for her in a small Jewish town; betrothed, but unmarried and with child, and supposedly not her betrothed’s child either? But she didn’t whinge and whine; just said, so be it. I do hope that Mary’s story will speak to us today and raise our level of faith, because it’s such a faith inducing epic. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us who live and breathe to do His holy Will. As one, in strong voice, believing as we speak: ‘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!’ 

Now don’t forget, we’re not to hoard those God-given blessings, but to share them generously with others! Much LOVE!

…what a wonderful world this would be…if our faith was as big as Mary’s…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2019 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

 

Awright my people, let’s do our Monday morning thing nuh: arise, give thanks for seeing another wonderful day and being imbued with the grace and mercy to face it, then get ourselves together and get out into the war-like world and battle valiantly for Jesus! Oh what a joy and a privilege it is to fight under Jesus ‘banner! Especially since there is no doubt whom the victorious conqueror will be…Jesus Christ Himself! In fact, He’s already won the battle, having defeated the toothless lion Satan and taken away the keys of hell, death and the grave through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension! All praise and glory be to our Lord and Saviour my brethren! 

However, since we’re only frail humans, it’s obvious that not all of us will be bright and beautiful and enthused so early in the morning, that’s why we have this antidote for what ever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it’s specially programmed to get us in to the swing of things. (smile) So let’s declare it like we truly mean it nuh. 

As one 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!’ 

Gotcha mih breddren! The Holy Spirit is working miracles in you right now…I can see it! Your attitude has improved, you’re smiling and anxious to get into the fray now, singing psalms and hymns as you get ready, and promising to do your best, be diligent and excellent in Jesus’ name! And that’s the way it ought to be friends…Jesus’ people being ready, willing and able to do battle on His behalf at the beginning of each and every day, but more so on a Monday morning, the first day of the workweek, for generally speaking, how you begin is how you finish! 

That’s why it’s oh so important to believe and action what the scriptures tell us: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ What wonderful words of wisdom precious people of God! And yuh know what, to make it even better, we have the best example possible when coming to running the ofttimes difficult and always contrary race of life in our Lord and Saviour. 

As the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) Yes my fellow saints, Jesus didn’t have it easy; He was shamed, ridiculed, despised, humiliated, flogged, suffering all the negative aspects of rejection, but He never gave up, He simply focused on running the race His heavenly Father had mapped out for Him…and so too should we. 

Jesus knew there would be rewards for His obedience…and so will we. Yes, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and it won’t be easy for us either, but that’s why we were given the Helper and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to assist us in doing it. The problem though is we have to buckle down and follow the Spirit’s leading and guidance, if we want to be successful in this earthly race. 

Now here are a couple of encouraging words from Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize so run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body (discipline it), and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified).’ (1 Cor,9:24-27) 

Yeh my people, if we don’t want to be disqualified from Christian ministry and lose our heavenly rewards for that service, then we need to discipline both our bodies and our spirits. That’s the ONLY way we can run a successful earthly race, and thus be able to say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh friends, I can’t say much more than that, except to implore us to go out today and fight a good fight, run a good race in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…pray, believe and stay steadfast…so that you don’t get weary…in running your earthly race…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2019 John 3:16.

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

Happy Easter my people! Well at long last the endless rain seems to have ceased! Glory Be! Oh it’s nice having rain but not for days on end. Even too much of the most valuable things can become annoying when you have them in too large a quantity. Yes, even too much money and too much LOVE are annoying! (smile) 

What I could use more of though is better health. Oh I’m feeling much better today than I did yesterday, but still not up to scratch. But we’re working on it. And today being Easter Sunday, probably the most important day in our Christian faith, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ rose triumphantly from the grave, conquering the foolish foe Satan, once and for all time! 

Oh what joy that brings to believers! And I know that all the places of worship will be filled today, as even the worst church-goers fill the pews on this most memorable day! I don’t understand why they only chose to attend on Christmas and Easter, but we’ll just be thankful that they are there. (smile) 

And as always we begin the real proceedings with a song of praise and worship, and this morning there’s no better hymn to open with than the Charles Wesley composition of ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today!’ As one commentary so appropriately concludes: ‘It has been considered by many Christian hymnologists as being the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse of “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus. Learn more from the lyrics and story below!’ 

Yes friends, let’s do so as we belt out those words of victory which show the awesome power of our magnificent Lord and Saviour. All together now, in full voice with hearts seething with joy as the day demands. ‘Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following 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 power to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s really a lesson on Christ’s Easter Sunday resurrection! Every line spells out a significant aspect of the resurrection story. But the line I think that brings the truth home most powerfully and significantly is ‘LOVE’S redeeming work is done!’ 

And to that we can all shout a most glorious ‘Alleluia!’ because that is what the whole exercise was, is and shall always be about; the unconditional, overwhelming LOVE of God for His wonderful, but oh so disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind! 

As Bruh Paul put it so simply, but powerfully to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) Yes friends, God didn’t wait for us to change from our rebellious ways, but showed us what true LOVE is really like, so that we can follow His example and forgive and LOVE each other, the same way he forgave and LOVED us without any conditions tied to it. 

That just brings to mind the most powerful verse in the Good Book, the one that says it all, and also appropriately spoken by Jesus, who should know what He’s talking about. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, it couldn’t get any better than that! Imagine that nuh? God LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His only Son so that we could be saved from hellfire and damnation! As Jesus said: ‘For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17) 

Truly my faithful brethren, I don’t know what else to say that will help us believe the awesome and heart-rending LOVE that our heavenly Father feels for us, and what made Him go through all the pain He endured, so we can come to this great day of Jesus’ triumphant resurrection and the wonderful option that all who believe in Him, will also one day rise from the dead! 

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ (1 Cor.15:21-22) Yes friends, this is the day, the day of Christ’s amazing resurrection that sets the tone for our faith, for our salvation and eventual resurrection too. 

So please enjoy it and give much thanks and praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as well as our heavenly Father, who planned the whole thing, and saw it through to completion, all for our sake! Much LOVE!

…without Easter…we would all be condemned to Hades…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11:   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.
 

Sunday morning’s coming down friends…in fact, by the time you receive this missive, it will have already come down! (smile) But don’t worry, God’s great universe is unfolding as it should. But what else do we expect from the great architect and planner eh? Nothing less than things running the way He planned them. 

And so it is with us, His greatest creation: He planned us to worship and praise Him and pray to Him and receive answers to those prayers. He also stipulated that once a week we should lay down our labour and gather in His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, and we have designated Sunday as our Sabbath, our day of rest and worship. 

So let me invite us to gather in the Lord’s house nuh. And let us be also glad, the way Bruh David was, when they invited him to go into the house of the Lord. (Ps.122:1) (smile) And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some praise and worship in glorious song! 

According to the Internet site ‘godtube,’ our song for today,’ To God be the Glory’ is a hymn with lyrics by Fanny Crosby and music by William Howard, possibly written around 1872, but first published in 1875. It soon became popular in Britain, but never had any success in the U.S until the 1950’s when it was added to the songbook of Billy Graham’s crusades. Now it’s one of our very popular hymns. 

And we can certainly understand why: Because it ‘celebrates the greatness of God and calls upon an appreciation for the wondrous things “He hath done.” It is a glorious hymn to be sung rejoicefully in the spirit of gratitude.’ And that’s no lie! So without further ado, let’s sing it nuh, in sweet, soaring harmony, rejoicefully, and most definitely in the spirit of gratitude! 

All together now: ‘To God be the glory, great things He hath done; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, And opened the life gate that all may go in. (Refrain Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.) 

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. (Refrain) Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see. 

(Refrain: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.) 

Oh friends, oh friends, that was beautiful! We sounded like the heavenly host that continually worships God. ‘The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.’ (Rev.4:10-11) 

O my fellow believers, is our great God ever worthy of tumultuous praise and worship, glory, power and honour! He certainly is! Just look at the marvellous things He’s done nuh! He LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His only Son, like a lamb on the cross at Calvary, so that His sinless blood could pay for the atonement of our sins! And with His resurrection, opened the gate of eternal life for anyone who believes on Him to enter into the halls of heaven! 

Wow! For that the Lord is certainly worthy of praise! And we ought also to rejoice over that perfect redemption performed by Jesus. And what a wonderful situation Jesus’ sacrifice caused, so much so that even the most disgusting offender is instantly pardoned once he sincerely believes! And in the doing of all those great things, our majestic God has also taught us great things! 

And if yuh think we rejoicing now through Jesus earthly work, just listen to Fanny’s words as she reflects those of the Good Book: ‘But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.’ Yeh mih breddren, the celebration now is incomparable to what it will be when we bounce up with Jesus face to face in the hallowed halls of heaven!  

Ah friends, that’s why Christians are supposed to be the happiest and most joyful people in the world! We have been accorded such wonderful privileges and blessings down here on earth, along with the faithful promise of more to come in the afterlife that our puny finite minds can’t even truly comprehend them! 

I guess that’s why so many of us drag ourselves around like we’re bearing the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. Sorry friends, Jesus has already assumed that position! You don’t have to go around feeling sad and sorrowful and beating up yourself any longer. Otherwise you’re just making a mockery of Jesus’ sacrifice. And I’m sure you don’t want to do that. 

So please, let’s lift our heads, hands and hearts to the sky and shout a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord! You are indeed worthy to be praised! We LOVE You and bless Your holy name! Amen! And again we say: ‘Amen!’ Now let’s go home rejoicing in the goodness and wonder of our great Triune God – the ONLY REAL and TRUE DEITY that exists! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord…is the true believer’s strength…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 
Well the sun seems to be fighting a valiant battle out there against the dark, evil clouds that want to cover it up and shut it out from providing light for our day. But yuh know what friends? Whether the sun wins, or the dark clouds prevail, we will still be awright, in fact blessed, because we have the GREATEST, the ONE and ONLY, Jesus Christ in our corner, and He has the power to make ALL things right! Glory to God! 

So we don’t really have to be overly concerned about whether the sun shines or not, since Jesus is the true LIGHT of the world! Give Him much thanks and praise my people! And to further sweeten things, without His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, we’d all be headed for Satan’s hell instead of Jesus’ heaven! 

Wow mih breddren! No amount of thanks can ever be sufficient for those acts of selflessness by our Lord and Saviour! So let’s just worship Him, and praise Him, and give Him all the glory nuh, like we should, instead of trying to cozy up to Satan and his evil buddies, who only have evil in their hearts and no LOVE at all for their fellow man. 

No, we definitely should not be kow-towing to their values, their beliefs, their self-serving culture, seeking to build up their earthly treasures, because it all goes against the very grain of what our Leader Christ teaches us. Our concerns should be more heavenly than earthly. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay serious attention to our earthly life, but that our focus should not be so steadfast on it, that we lose sight of our life to come in heaven. 

Remember what Jesus said yesterday: that wherever our treasures are stored up, that’s where our hearts will be. (Matthew 6:21) Well the same way He declared to the Father, re our worldliness: ‘I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:14-17) 

Ah friends, once we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and His Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, we automatically become enemies of the world, hated by it because our ways don’t conform to their evil ways. And they shouldn’t because Jesus teaches a whole different way of life; one of LOVE and caring, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, and the world holds most of those things in scornful disdain. 

So as Bruh Paul said so unequivocally to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) Yes friends, we are to steadfastly resist being poured into the same mould as the world, for we are only pilgrims, sojourners here on earth, and our real home is in heaven. 

And the battle all begins and ends in our minds! That’s because the mind controls our actions. So that’s where the evil one keeps fighting for supremacy. But if we keep Jesus steadfast in our hearts and sight, we will be able to defeat the enemy.

And as John in his epistle so sternly admonishes: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ (1 John 2:15) 

It couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that my fellow believers. Satan is the ruler of this world, and if you LOVE the things in his world, then you cannot have true LOVE for the Father too.

As Jesus so rightly said: ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) And that’s gospel truth. So if the things of the world are our main focus in life, then I’m sorry friends, but we don’t truly have God in our hearts. That’s just the simple logic of the situation. 

And what’s the solution to the whole ‘confuffling’ situation? Again, Jesus provides us with the simple and straightforward answer: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Ah my people, please remember that God is the Creator and Provider of all good things, so it is certainly possible for Him to provide the things that we need in this world to live it successfully, but we have to be obedient to His will. It’s that simple. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (Spelled it right! Glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on His followers. All together now in strong voice, for remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

‘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 those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate. That’s Jesus great desire. So let’s go out and do just than nuh my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus can indeed be tough…but just think about all the wonderful rewards…both earthly and heavenly…that moths will not eat…that will not decay…or be stolen…

 

 

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