Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2017 Exodus 34:6.

Exodus 34:6.   And the Lord passed by before him (Moses), and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

Aye mih people, my sincerest apologies for the Bit’s tardiness today, (smile) but I had one of those real late early mornings, and the ole bod simply refused to get up when I asked it to. But as they say, better late than never. 

And though a light drizzle is falling in my area, making it a somewhat grey morning, we know that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is shining brightly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Glory Hallelujah! 

And today, I want to share with us some exciting and reassuring words from Father Bob Colaresi’s opening remarks in the Spring Edition of ‘Between Friends,’ the newsletter of the Friends of the Society of the Little Flower (St. Therese of Liseux). 

He is talking about hope and renewal: ‘Spring is a time of HOPE. God is our God of HOPE. The Gospel is about HOPE – Renewed Life. The celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus speaks to the human drama of dying and rising – always rising to new possibilities, sometimes beyond our imagining.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my fellow followers of Christ? It surely is! For it was HOPE that our glorious Lord and Saviour was born, died and rose from the grave for us to have; so that we can embrace a new future filled with good things. 

And as the article in the Between Friends Newsletter also says: ‘Spring is a time to reflect on what we need to let go of so we can be alive with God’s grace, possibilities and freedom.’ 

Oh what a profound and true statement my brethren! Spring is not only the time to clean our homes and garages and get rid of unnecessary junk, but it’s also a time to clean our hearts, bodies and souls of the worthless stuff that’s gathered there, and is keeping us from having the true and right relationship with our heavenly Father that we so desperately need to have. 

So I invite us to day to have what we shall call ‘spring thinking,’ where we endeavour to cleanse ourselves of anything that’s not moving us towards God’s will for our lives. 

And one of the ways we can do that is simply by concentrating on the goodness of our God, as enshrined in our Bit. ‘And the Lord passed by before him (Moses), and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.’ 

Yeh friends, one of the easiest ways to avoid evil, is to concentrate on good; so that the mind has no place for the lies and deceits of the prince of darkness. But listen to what the Lord told Moses after our Bit. 

‘Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation.’ (Ex.34:7) 

Now the end of that statement sounds somewhat harsh, but with the coming of Jesus that was somewhat mitigated, for everybody now has to bear the consequences for their own transgressions. 

But Glory to God, there’s still mercy and forgiveness of sin! And nowhere is God’s goodness spelled out more succinctly than in Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians on the terms of grace and faith. 

‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved;) 

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show his grace in his kindness toward us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:4-7) 

How magnanimous is that eh my precious people! Our wonderful God LOVED us so much, that even when we were dead in our transgressions, He gave us an option to be lifted out of the mire, to rise godly and righteous, through the selfless sacrifice of His most adorable Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Wow! I can’t help saying it friends: ‘What a wonderful God we serve and worship! There’s NONE else like Him in all the world! Praise and Bless His Holy Name!’ 

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

So if that’s what we are about my brethren, then let’s go out now and share it with the rest of the world, as our friend Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…spring…the time of resurrection…of cleansing…of new beginnings…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2017 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.

And then it was a spring- like Saturday: with even more spring like temps forecasted into the upcoming week, except for a few short-lived pockets of winter weather in between. Ah friends, I’ll take that weather any time yes, especially since in my less than perfect state, I’ve been grounded, can’t go anywhere to get away from the winter season. 

By rights, I should now be in warm, sunny Tobago, but the good Lord in His mysterious and merciful manner, after causing me to be grounded, as promised, has made a way for me to handle the situation by making the place not as cold and snowy as it usually is. All thanks and praise to Him! I have to believe that otherwise I would just go crazy. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s check out a couple of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he endeavours to inspire us. The first one states: ‘Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.’ 

And we all know about that my believing brethren; it simply means no giving up, because while there is life there is hope, and with Christ, anything is possible. So we just have to play with the hands that we’re dealt. The Lord has a reason for dealing them to us. We just have to go to Him and find out how to play them. 

And the second quote is even more interesting. It tells us: ‘The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.’ 

Some of you might have heard that quote before, but it is gospel truth! And why is that? Because a lot of those people gave up, they refused to plod on with the talent that God gave them, and therefore so many unfilled dreams and actions died with them. What a waste! As they say: Talent will not, education will not, wealth will not; only patience, perseverance and hard work will. 

Yeh mih people, we need to get down and dirty, put our noses to the grind stone and our hands securely to the plough, without looking back, if we want to be successful in this world. 

Now it’s time to bring in our Bit; that awesome fulfillment of one of Almighty God’s promises in Isaiah 9:6 – a Saviour for the world! ‘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.’ 

And it was all based on the magnificent and magnanimous emotion termed ‘LOVE! Wow! How wonderful is that eh friends? There are no words to suitably describe the emotion or God’s action. And today I won’t get into any ‘sermonizing,’ (smile) I’m just going to share some scripture passages that highlight the word LOVE and it’s association with Jehovah God. 

Listen closely my fellow believers to the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness (LOVE) toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ (Eph.2: 4-8) 

That ought to be self-explanatory to believers. Now hear John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us.’ (1 John 4:7-12) 

I don’t think there is a better treatise on the topic of LOVE, my brethren. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:15-17) 

And that’s my sincere hope and wish and desire for all of us today my brethren. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Well Friends, it’s Sunday. What are your plans for this first day of the week? Whatever they are, I hope it includes going to the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him with other believers, for that’s the Lord’s will for us.

And it doesn’t matter whether the sanctuary is a large church, a small hovel, or as our service will be today, outside under a large spreading tree, next to a river in a Provincial Park, surrounded by the beauty of nature. That’s all dependent on the weather though, because some rain has been forecasted for sometime during the night.

So Friends, it doesn’t really matter where, or how many people are there to worship. What did Jesus say on the subject? ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren, for Jesus is ever-faithful, He keeps ALL His promises. So getting together and fellowshipping with other believers is our number ONE PRIORITY for today. Please, let’s make sure we fulfill it.

Now let’s get right into our Bit, because we have a lot of scripture and scholars’ explanations to get through today. (smile) ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Yes my people, it is only because of God’s great LOVE for us that we’re not heading to hell and damnation, but to salvation and eternal life in heaven.  Let’s make sure we understand very clearly; salvation and eternal life with Christ has nothing to do with our personal efforts, because there is nothing we can ever do to deserve salvation. It’s all about God granting us His free gift of grace.

And now that we’ve understood that, let’s check out some scriptures on the intricate and intriguing attribute of grace. (smile) And we’ll start with Bruh Paul’s words which lead up to our Bit. He’s trying to explain to the Ephesians the attributes of faith and grace.

‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved;) And hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:4-7) What a magnificent God we serve and worship my brethren!

Now hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s response to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: (1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; (2) and hath raised us up together, that is, God has not allowed these Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and (3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into an intimate relationship with Himself.’

‘2:7. That…he might show (or, demonstrate): This denotes the ultimate purpose for all that God did for the Ephesians in verses 4-6. It is that throughout eternity He might make us understand more and more His goodness to us.’

Ah mih people, that’s some relatively heavy stuff, but we need to take our time and read, mark and inwardly digest it, because it’s all for our benefit.

And we’ll turn now to Romans 6, where Bruh Paul is talking about freedom from sin’s power. He opens the chapter thus: ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid (certainly not). How shall we that are dead (who died) to sin, live any longer therein?’ (Rom.6:1-2)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘6:1. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? If sin generates grace, should we encourage sin in order to cause more grace to be granted?’

‘6:2. God forbid (Gr. me genoito): Perish the thought; may it never be; don’t even think that way. This expression of unthinkable horror occurs in Paul’s epistles more than 60 times. He uses it whenever the thought suggested is too repugnant to entertain. Sin is singular in this verse and throughout this chapter. It refers to the sin nature.’

Now later on in the same chapter, where He’s trying to make them understand that Christians are under grace, the Spirit’s law, he declares. ‘For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the (religious) law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (certainly not). Know ye not that to whom ye yield (present) yourselves servants to obey, his servants (slaves) ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

But God be thanked, that (though) ye were the servants (slaves) of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered (entrusted to) you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.’ (Rom.6:14-18)

Some more heavy stuff Friends, but it’s time we stop drinking only milk and eat some solid food. (smile)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘6:15. Shall we sin? Paul now asks a slightly different question than he did previously. In 6:1 he sought to correct any misunderstanding as to the relationship of the believer to grace. Now he wishes to correct any misunderstanding that might arise as to the believer’s relation to the law. Neither the submission to the former, nor release from the latter, is to be construed as an encouragement to sin.’  

I hope we all got that my people? Neither submission to grace or release from the law is to be construed as encouragement to sin! Right ho!

‘6:17. That form of doctrine (lit. “pattern of teaching”) which resulted in their conversion. Doctrine profoundly affects one’s life. The life tells the type of doctrine that has shaped it.’

‘6:18. The believer is not free to do whatever he wants. He is free only to do that which is consistent with the character of God. True freedom is freedom from sin.’

And please remember that my Friends. Now let’s seriously ponder the grace-filled stuff that we’ve read today, then try to put it into action with God’s help nuh, so that we can attain to godly wisdom. Much LOVE!

…only by believing in Jesus…and walking sincerely and consistently with His Spirit…can one be freed from sin…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2013 Matthew 13:22

Matthew 13:22.   He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
 
Oh Friends, it’s ‘Summer time! And the living is easy…’ Well not for those who don’t have A/C or a cool basement to inhabit these last few days. For it was another hot, humid day in my neighbourhood, except that there was a decent breeze during the day. But as soon as the sun disappeared, the wind did the same.
 
Sitting on my porch, late last night, I had to strain to see any movement in the leaves on the trees. And again, even the insects refused to come out of their cool lairs to play in the dark, as is their wont. (smile)
 
Today seems like it will be more of the same. We’ve been calling for summer all along, and now that we have it, we’re not too thrilled. That reminds us of the old saying; beware of what you ask for, because when you get it, it might not be all you expected.
 
But let’s get right to our Bit, because there’s plenty stuff to share. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’
 
Ah Friends, how sad it is when we allow the cares of the world to choke our godliness and make us unfruitful! But here’s this little prayer, or poem, from Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, which puts our shortcomings in the right perspective.
 
It’s titled, ‘My Walk,’ and goes thus: ‘O God, I’m inspired. For you have just impressed this truth into my mind: The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’
 
Now Friends, that’s how we should be walking with our God, in a positive manner, passionately doing His will!
 
And as Jesus adds in the last verse of the parable on the sower. ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt.13:23)
 
Yes my people, that’s how we ought to be; hearing the Word, understanding it, then using it to successfully bring forth fruit, win souls, get others interested in living for Jesus!
 
However, too many of us still keep resisting Him, paying more attention to the things of the evil, ungodly world, things that sadly only raise up the lusts of our flesh and the lusts of our eyes, and cause us to walk in foolish pride.
 
Bruh Paul pointed this out to Timothy when he told him: ‘Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having LOVED, this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.’ (2 Tim.4:9-10)
 
Yeh mih people, Demas fell under the world’s spell and deserted Bruh Paul. And unfortunately that sort of thing is still happening today; believers are still deserting God’s army to assuage their earthly lusts in the wicked ways of Lucifer. 
 
Meanwhile, listen to Bruh Paul as he tells the Ephesians about grace and faith. ‘And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
 
Among whom also we all had our conversation (conducted ourselves) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved.’) (Eph.2:1-5)
 
Yes Friends, all of us, like the Ephesians were once following the tendencies, values, pursuits and deeds of this evil world, until God sent Jesus to save us, and we became new creatures, new creations in Christ. Unfortunately though, too many of us are still following the world’s vision and values, foolishly reluctant to give them up and fully embrace Christ.
 
But listen to James talk about hearing and doing the Word nuh. ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 2:26-27)
 
That says it all Friends!
 
But here are a few words from the scholars on those verses. ‘In verses 22-25 James has rebuked mere listening – by the hearer who does not do. In verses 26 and 27 he rebukes mere doing – by the doer who leaves his inner life unchanged. James offers not a formal definition but three key aspects of pure religion: controlled speech, altruistic service, and separation from the world.’
 
Now my brethren, it’s up to us to choose whom we will follow, the world, or Jesus. I’d suggest you make that decision right now, because time is running out, and decide to follow Jesus, for that’s where the smart money, the wisdom and common sense lies. Much LOVE!
 
…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…