Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2016 Philippians 1:12

Philippians 1:12.    But I would ye should understand, (want you to know) brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out (turned out) rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

‘TGIM! TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ the Christian workers joyfully declared. ‘Thank God it’s Monday and we get to go back out into the cruel and oppressive work world and win souls for Christ! What a glorious endeavour!’ 

Oh friends, that’s the stuff dreams are made of! And please note that our wise and wonderful Creator would not have given us the gift of imagination, the power to dream, if He hadn’t wanted us to use it. 

And we must not dream too small either. I read just recently, I believe it’s in one of Gramps Schuller’s devotions (Robert H. Schuller), where he said that if you could accomplish your dream on your own, then it was too small. Our dreams have to be big enough so that we need to enlist God’s help with them. 

And that’s gospel truth my people! Dreams by definition are supposed to be bigger than us. And can you believe what monumental improvement, thinking like we opened with, would make to our war-torn and strife filled world! Mama Mia! 

But sadly I don’t see that change, that upliftment in Christian thinking happening any time soon. Thankfully though, there are no limits, no restrictions on dreaming. (smile) Now let’s keep that dream alive by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the same enthusiasm and pizazz that we began with. 

So in sweet harmony and strong, melodious voice, let’s sing. ‘‘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!’ 

Now that was beautiful my people! You could see the fire in Jesus’ eyes and the energy in His spirit as He vigorously swung His conductor’s baton, guiding us in song.  

Wow! What a wonderful beginning to this Monday morning! And with our motors firing on all cylinders, and the adrenalin coursing mightily through our bodies, let’s go out into the sinful and disgusting world and do what we need to do to truly win souls for Christ! 

And all God’s people gave a purposeful shout of ‘Praise the Lord, for He is indeed worthy of our praise!’ 

Oh friends, the ole fella’s certainly on a roll this morning! (smile) But what’s the purpose of living, if we can’t be in high spirits more often that we’re in low ones eh? What did Jesus say about His coming to earth? He came that we, the sheep of His marvellous flock could have life in abundance. (John 10:10) 

And it would be a sacrilege, a sin, to live an abundant life in a lackadaisical, doh care manner. Life was meant to be lived my brethren, so let’s live it nuh! And that doesn’t mean in lustful and worldly fashion, but in a godly and righteous manner.  

Now I want to introduce our Bit here that shows how our God works in mysterious though sometimes difficult ways for His followers. We’ll continue today, from where we left off yesterday, that is with the missive that Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians while in jail in Rome. 

‘But I would ye should understand, (want you to know) brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out (turned out) rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.’ Now that’s a very interesting scripture my people. But let’s keep reading, before we try to dissect it. 

‘So that my bonds (chains) in (for) Christ are manifest (well known) in all the palace (by the palace guard), and in all other places (the rest of places). And many (most) of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil.113-14) 

Ah friends, what a strange, but rather efficient way to spread the gospel. But our God is full of works that we can’t understand. Now the listen to the scholars: 1:12. Things… have fallen out means “have occurred.” Paul tells the readers that his imprisonment has occurred for the purpose of furthering or spreading the gospel. 

The word rather suggests that the Philippians were anticipating bad news as a result of Paul’s captivity. He informs them rather to the contrary. In His wisdom and sovereignty God has deliberately designed His servant’s present circumstances, as undesirable as they may be, for the gospel’s benefit. 

Two positive results of Paul’s imprisonment are given in verses 13,14. (1) Caesar’s palace learned the gospel from him (v.13); and (2) many Roman Christians were stirred to preach the gospel during his bondage (v.14).’ 

And who says our God doesn’t move in mysterious ways eh? The Lord caused Paul to be imprisoned so he could have the close attention of the palace guards. If he had been preaching out on the street corner, he would never have had the undivided attention of such a large and influential audience. 

And even better yet, because of Bruh Paul’s captivity, the brethren outside got confident, found confidence in the Lord and began preaching the gospel too without fear. Now friends, those last two words -without fear – are very important, because they show the level of maturity and spiritual strength that Roman Christians got from the whole situation. 

Likewise my fellow believers, many of us might be in tight or tough circumstances and wondering why, but the Lord has obviously put us there for a purpose. So please, instead of crying and complaining, consider Bruh Paul’s attitude and look around and see if there be any you can minister to, for God might just have put you there for that very purpose. 

And most important of all; please, let’s all preach the gospel of Christ WITHOUT FEAR, for in the gospel itself, we have oodles of protection. Much LOVE!

…in whatever circumstances a Christian finds him or herself…they are expected to share the good news of Christ…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:6.   Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Ah friends, it’s the best day of the week – Sunday –the Sabbath of the Lord! That means it’s time for worship and praise and thanksgiving and fellowship, so that we can glorify our heavenly Father together and receive His endless LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness in a renewal of our spiritual strength and well-being! Wow! 

And what better way to begin our day than with a song of praise. So please sing with me, this old but highly treasured hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.’ Let’s raise the roof with our sincere and heartfelt praise, so that heaven stands up and takes notice. 

‘Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee; holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, who wert and art and evermore shalt be. 

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see, only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea; holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Yes my brethren, a most appropriate way to get us clearly tuned into our God, with no static buzzing around to distort the message, ready to hear His word and consequently have His Holy Spirit move in a godly manner within us. 

And from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional comes this prayer titled ‘MY WALK.’ I might have shared it before, but what’s to stop us from sharing it again eh? (smile)  

Please pray with me. ‘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 I do hope we all mean that friends, because there’s really nothing as powerful as a positive idea in the mind of an obedient follower of Christ! And if we’re truly sincere, God will put just such an idea into our minds and cause us to successfully run with it, right to the finish line. 

Now most likely whatever God puts in our minds to do won’t be easy, but we know that He will ALWAYS assist us in any task we undertake on His behalf! 

No wonder Bruh Paul could write to the Philippians: ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:3-6) 

Yes my fellow believers, Bruh Paul is letting the Philippians know that he continually thanks God for their help in spreading the good news of Christ, even from the very first day that they heard it, right up until the time of his writing. He was also grateful for their prayers and financial support. The church at Philippi was a strong one early on in its formation. Thus Bruh Paul could write the words of our Bit, confident that they would grow and mature under the Lord’s tutelage and guidance. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. 

This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

Now friends, doesn’t that just give us encouragement and reassurance, since it’s the same programme the Lord has in mind for each believer. His avowed desire and purpose is to conform us as closely as possible to His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and once He’s begun that process, He won’t stop until He takes us home or Christ returns to earth, whichever comes first. 

Please remember my Christian brethren that God is ever-faithful, and once He takes you under His comforting wings, He’ll never let anything untoward happen to you. In other words, we are secure in His everlasting LOVE, care and concern. 

And Bruh Paul ends this section with more reinforcement. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and judgement (discernment): That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:9-11) 

Oh my people, the same expectations have been set in place for us in these modern times. Nothing has really changed. God’s plan is still the same for all of us. 

And the scholars explain. 1:10. Things that are excellent means “things that really matter.” This refers to important issues. As the Philippians’ LOVE increases in knowledge and discernment (v.9), they will be able to accurately distinguish the vital and worthwhile things in life from those that are not. 

Contextually, the readers’ LOVE for Paul vexes them as they are anxious over his imprisonment. He wants them to perceive his imprisonment as being among “those things that really matter” because of the good that God will bring out of it. The purpose for such discrimination is that ye may be sincere (or, morally pure) and without offense till the day of Christ.’ 

And re ‘1:11. This verse could be translated, “Filled with the fruit that is righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ for the purpose of glorifying and praising God.” The believer who is pure and without offense before God (v.10) has divinely developed in him a practical “righteousness” or daily moral life that measures up to God’s standards in character and conduct. The ultimate purpose for this “righteousness” is to glorify God.’ 

Ah friends, that says it all. So let’s ponder what we’ve said today and see if we’re measuring up to God’s standards, then sincerely ask Him to help us do better. That’s both common sense and eternal wisdom! Much LOVE!

…without exception…believers are expected to bear righteous fruit…for the purpose of glorifying Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2016 Psalm 68:3‏

Psalm 68:3.    But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Well mih people, I believe it’s what many consider the big day, Friday. But please don’t quote me on that, since I’m not so hot on what day it is. (smile) 

However, if you’re going along and you hear lots of people declaring ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and a wonderful weekend is on the horizon. We taking a break from the slave labour, and instead is lot’s of partying and summer fun! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Then you can really believe it’s Friday. (smile) So since I am hearing all the hullabaloo over Friday, then I guess it must be okay for us to chant our Friday Chant and get a better perspective on how to spend the weekend. 

So as one now, let’s chant: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, we need to have a balanced weekend or else we won’t be able to rise to the occasion when Monday comes along. Now here’s a li’l reminder from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) re Mountain Moving Faith to help us stand steadfast and strong in Jesus’ name. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit! Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen.’ 

Yes mih breddren, that’s what we believers need today in this age of rampant ungodliness and fleshly lusts; a real mountain moving kind of faith that will keep us strong in the Lord, keep us focused on His will, not ours or the world’s. 

And I believe that if we follow the wonderful advice of our Bit, we will stay close to and strong in the Father. ‘But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.’ 

Ah friends, rejoicing and being glad in our God is one of the many great benefits we enjoy as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ! We’d be very foolish not to avail ourselves of such an uplifting and encouraging situation. 

Now let’s check out some more of those scriptures that exhort us to be joyful and thankful in the service of our great and wonderful God. And we’ll begin with these inspiring words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

Oh mih people, mih people, that couldn’t be said any better! Magnifying and glorifying and exalting God’s name is our bounden duty down here on earth! 

So much so that Bruh Paul exhorted the Ephesians: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

What a powerful and moving bit of scripture my brethren! 

Now here is some info from the scholars on those verses: ‘5:19-21. There are four results of being Spirit-filled (v.18). (1) believers speak to one another with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; that is, they exhort and instruct each other; (2) there is singing and the making of melody, of individual song and praise for the Lord; 

(3) there is giving thanks always – the Spirit enables the Christian to be grateful for all things divinely allowed to enter his life since they will be used for good; and (4) there is mutual submission, that is, showing deference to the wishes of one another, as long as that to which the believer submits is in the fear of God, which is to say, in accord with what pleases Him.’ 

Yes friends, it’s our duty and also a great enabler for us to be singing and giving thanks and praises to our God, to be exhorting each other and putting each other’s wishes before ours, for that’s the way of Jesus! 

Now hear some more words of Bruh David on the subject, first from Psalm 9 – Praise for God’s justice. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.9:1-2) 

And then from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness: ‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about (surround him). Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:10-11) 

What wonderful advice precious people! 

And we’ll close this set of messages with these enlightening words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:15-18) 

No better words than those to live by my people! So let’s get with the programme nuh and start living a more joyful life, for that’s wisdom at its highest! Much LOVE!

…oh, what joy and peace comes from being a follower of Jesus Christ…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2013 Ecclesiastes 8:1

Ecclesiastes 8:1.   Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness (sternness) of his face shall be changed.

Top o’ the morn, friends and faithful believers! And what does this Saturday have in for store for us eh? Most likely its home bound chores, grocery shopping, just taking it easy around the house, or having a little weekend getaway. 

But whatever it is, please remember to always have Jesus with you, in the form of His Holy Spirit, and preferably bow to His holy and wise leading and guidance, rather than your own fleshly lusts. 

The latter will only lead us eventually to sin and confusion, while the former will keep us on the straight and narrow path and enhance our righteousness, which is what we are called upon to do, and hopefully also desire in our hearts. 

The long and short of the story though, is that we all need to heed the leading and guidance from the Holy Spirit that indwells each of us, so that we can become more Christ-like, more mature in our Christian faith. And that means we all need to improve, to move further along the continuum that’s our faith. 

And to help us do that, here’s a little prayer from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. The title says it loud and clear: ‘I Want to Improve.’ So let’s pray for some improvement in our lives, in our LOVE Walk nuh friends. 

‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, simple, straight to the point prayers are usually the best, and I’m sure that many of us who sincerely prayed that prayer, will notice improvement in our lives sometime soon, because our God has promised to grant us whatsoever we ask for in prayer, once it coincides with His will. And improvement in our walk with Christ must surely be a part of His will. 

And here is our rather interesting Bit for today, wise words from Cousin Sol, posing as the Preacher. ‘Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness (sternness) of his face shall be changed.’ 

And is that ever so true friends! Wisdom is a helluva thing! Hear how Cousin Sol characterizes it in Proverbs nuh. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 

Ah mih people, in this life wisdom is certainly a necessity, but unfortunately too many of us lack it. And why do we? I guess it’s because we don’t sincerely seek it, or what we seek is not true wisdom in the sense of God’s word. Remember, the wisdom of the world is not the wisdom of God! 

To be able to seek and find true wisdom, one must be deeply involved with God and His word. The good thing about true wisdom is that when you find it, it gives you a perfect springboard from which to launch everything else. But does man ever get perfect wisdom? I doubt it. Listen to how the scholars put it, and please note that I will intersperse the verses they quote between their commentary 

‘7:23-8:1. Solomon is known as the wisest man who ever lived, but even his wisdom was insufficient to understand life fully. (7:23) “All this have I proved (tested) by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.” 

In his search for wisdom Solomon found many sinful people (7:26) “And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets and her hands as bands (fetters or chains): whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.”  

But Cousin Sol found few righteous. (7:28) “Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one (wise) man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.”  In spite of the failures of wisdom, it is still the most attractive virtue since it helps bring inner happiness (8:1).’ 

Yes my believing brethren, God’s wisdom is certainly a thing we must all strive to acquire, if we want to live truly godly lives. And why is that? Hear Cousin Sol explain it in Proverbs. ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning: and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) 

Oh friends, without that elusive thing called wisdom, we are truly lost in this mish-mash world. Listen to Cousin Sol again, with this warning from Proverbs. ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7)  

Gospel truth that my people! The beginning of wisdom starts with recognizing the awe-inspiring God we serve. But fools have no interest in that, so how can they get true wisdom eh? It’s impossible to be truly wise, unless one has a good relationship with Almighty God. End of story! 

And we’ll close on this interesting note, re ‘a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine.’ Listen to how the Good Book describes Stephen when he was arrested, framed, railroaded, and brought before the council. ‘And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.’ (Acts.6:15) 

Oh friends, may we all go out today and have others see the true wisdom in our faces, wisdom that makes us seem like angels! Wow! Now wouldn’t that be something mih brethren! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom brings an angelic smile to the believer’s face…softening his stern look…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2016 Matthew 5:16.‏‏

Matthew 5:16.   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh my people, the great universe of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is unfolding as it should! Yes Friends, our magnificent God, Creator and Provider is sitting on His heavenly throne running things! Glory Be! 

And we, His most wonderful creation have been blessed to see another beautiful day on planet earth. Wow! You can’t beat that my friends. But now, the problem is what should our response be to such a bountiful blessing eh? 

Let me frame an interesting little scenario here. First of all Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) tells us from his Hour of Power Devotional to ‘draw close to Him (Jesus Christ). Catch His spirit and you will never be the same again. Let Jesus Christ redesign your self-image. 

Tomorrow morning try this prayer by Richard Grubb. “Good morning Christ. I LOVE You! What are you up to today? I want to be part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!” 

Ah friends, it’s indeed a simple but interesting and powerful prayer, in that it aligns us with Jesus Christ as soon as we awaken, gets us sincerely and securely hooked up with Him, our Guide and Leader right off the bat! That way we have less chance of going astray pretty early in the day. 

Then sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) from her devotional ‘Starting Your Day Right’ tells us: ‘Another key to starting your day right is not to dread things. Don’t lie in bed dreading the whole day before you even get up. Dread is a close relative to the spirit of fear. When dread enters, joy leaves. 

Dread sets you up for misery, because by choosing to dread, you decide that you cannot enjoy what you must do today. Be excited when you face new tests. Close the door to the mindset of dread. 

Decide early to enjoy every challenge that faces you today, knowing that God will be with you to make your path straight and to prosper everything you set out to do.’ 

What great advice my brethren! Oh my people, we need to immediately get in contact with Jesus when we get up, and don’t allow the spirit of fear to enter our lives and spoil our day before we even get moving. 

And to help us do that, Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) tells us from his devotional ‘Thirty Thoughts for Victorious Living:’ “God has commanded that we live in victory. That means no matter what you are going through, no matter how dark it looks, you can be encouraged that the darkness has to give way to light. Defeat has to give way to victory! 

But in order to open that door to victory, we must continually do what the psalmist did and constantly praise His name. Don’t go around talking about your problems: go around talking about your God! Don’t go around speaking words of defeat and failure; speak words of faith and victory! 

Quit worrying and start worshipping! Start praising and thanking God, and expect things to change in your favour. God will take you places that you’ve never even dreamed of, and you’ll start experiencing the victories that He’s commanded to be yours!” 

Yes my fellow believers, the only way we can truly benefit from God’s mercies and blessings is by staying positive, expecting success and victory in whatever we do, provided it is aligned with God’s Word. 

Ah friends, I wasn’t expecting this little combo to be so long when I dreamt it up, or more correctly was led by the Holy Spirit to put it together. But that’s how it turned out. 

Now I sincerely hope that that combination of things to do at the start of each new day and during it, will inspire us to come up higher, to get with God right from the very beginning and stay with Him all day long, so that He can successfully lead and guide us along paths of righteousness. 

And again, to help us through our earthly pilgrimage this Wednesday morning, the first day of June, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with sincerity, truth and lots of passion. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And is it ever so wonderful that all we’ve said today, when put into action, will certainly help us obey the command of Jesus in our Bit. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Yes precious people, the only way we can truly obey that command is by staying in contact with Christ from the beginning of our day, right to the very end, when we put our heads on our pillows to sleep, after thanking Him for bringing us safely through the day, and asking for a blessed and restful night’s sleep, so that we can awaken next day to do LOVE all over again with Him. 

And on that excellent note we’ll close for today, because the rest of stuff I had envisioned sharing will make it too long. And I always have in mind our short mind spans. (smile) 

So please my fellow believers, let’s go out today and make Jesus proud of us nuh, by shining our light in this dark world, being the salt of the earth, adding godly flavour to it, and doing good works so that our heavenly Father can be deservedly glorified. Much LOVE!

…oh what a thrill and a joy it is…to do LOVE with Christ…each and every blessed day…Glory to God…!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

As one 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’ 

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness). Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2016 Psalm 77:13‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 77:13.    Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?

Oh friends, I do hope we all had strong beginnings to our new work week yesterday, and that those strong beginnings will continue into today, Tuesday, as we do the Lord’s bidding and grow in strength and maturity in Christ Jesus. 

I had a good day yesterday as I was out and about in the city having lunch with some friends whom I hadn’t seen before and visiting some older folks at home. But boy, was the sun ever hot, and I was doing this stuff between noon and early afternoon. 

The duchess believes that this is the hottest the sun has ever been since we began visiting Tobago some four years ago. Who knows though? The sun is supposed to be hot in these parts, and that’s why I came, isn’t it; for sunshine and saltwater? (smile) 

Anyway, today I want to share something called ‘No Strings Attached,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. 

Listen up closely. ‘Christianity is a religion based on mercy. It is rooted in forgiveness. Of all the religions in the world, Christianity is the only belief system that accepts grace as the source of salvation. Every other religion is based on good works – work hard enough or be good enough and you will earn your salvation, your heaven, your Nirvana. 

Christianity alone says, ‘You can’t do it. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all suffer from guilt and shame. We are all victims. But Jesus has died on the cross with these final words: ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ (Luke 23:34). He has risen again. He has paid for my sins. He has paid for yours. The gift of salvation is free – no strings attached.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my fellow believers! And isn’t that the awesome and glorious truth. That’s why we can always loudly, proudly and truthfully say that OUR GOD IS THE GREATEST! 

And that provides the answer to our Bit: ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ 

Oh friends, I know I promised that yesterday would be the last day for that particular Bit, but if you were paying close attention, you’d have noticed that we only spoke about Christ’s birth, not his death, resurrection and ascension, as we had intended to. So obviously we couldn’t be finished. (smile) 

And in a few weeks’ time we’ll be coming up to those days of painful grief and then of joyous celebration, as we commemorate the Easter Season. And isn’t that a glorious season? 

It certainly it is, for though Jesus’ birth celebrated at Christmas time is huge. Easter is the fulfillment of God’s great promises, to provide a Messiah, to reconcile us to Himself and provide eternal salvation through His free offering of grace to all those who belief in His Son, Jesus Christ! Oh Glory to God my people! 

How can anyone be greater than Him when out of the goodness and LOVING-kindness of His heart, He sacrificed His One and Only Son so that we, His most precious, but also very disobedient and sinful creation could be righteously welcomed back into His holy fold? No other supposed deity can, or has ever done anything like that! 

As Gramps Schuller says above; salvation is a free gift of God, with no strings attached! All the sinner has to do is to believe in and on Jesus Christ! What could be simpler that that eh? NOTHING really! 

So when Good Friday rolls around, though it is filled with the pain and suffering and heartache endured by Jesus, we can still call it ‘Good’ because that is when our sins were paid for. 

It wasn’t good for Jesus, though He bore it with a stiff upper lip and all that, but it was surely good for us, because without Good Friday, we could not have had Easter Sunday, when He miraculously rose from the dead and with it offered the promise that all who die in Him, will again rise in Him! 

Oh what a great and LOVING God we serve and worship my people! THERE IS NONE OTHER LIKE HIM! That’s for sure. 

And what amazes me about the other faiths out there is that they either serve dead gods, or idols created by man’s hand. Now how can something I create be my god and do all sorts of stuff for me eh? It just doesn’t sound very logical. 

And please note too, has there ever been any other of the supposed gods who died and rose again from the dead? No way! Only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has ever done that! So why would I choose to worship any other God eh? 

And on another point of interest, has anybody else ever brought anybody back from the dead after they had been in the grave for four days? NO! 

But our Lord and Saviour Jesus did! Read the full account in John 11. He raised His friend Lazarus from the dead after he had been entombed for four days. All praise and glory to our great God! 

After praying to His heavenly Father, ‘he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin (wrapped with a cloth). Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.’ (John 11:43-44) 

Now tell me, who else has ever raised a human body buried for four days, and then raised Himself from the dead after being entombed for three days eh? 

NOBODY BUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! 

And we’ll definitely close this Bit (smile) with these true and immortal words of Jesus re resurrection and life. ‘Jesus said unto her (Lazarus’ sister Martha), I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26) 

Now friends, that’s a question we must all ask ourselves, and hopefully, for all of us, the answer is a resounding YES! 

And finally, hear this verifying statement from the scholars. ’11:25. I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ 

What more can I say eh? Nothing but I do hope that during these last few days the evidence I’ve provided has convinced us that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is indeed the GREATEST and the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD!  Much LOVE!

…in the beginning…God created the heaven and the earth… (Gen.1:1) …that says it all…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c

Nehemiah 8:10c.  For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 Oh welcome my brethren to another interesting and satisfying day of life on God’s great planet Earth! 

And as we keep saying, there must be a reason for us to have awakened this morning. So, after giving God some thanks and praise for bringing us through the dark night of sin into the glorious sunshine of Jesus, let’s get with His plan for our lives right away nuh. 

And since today is Wednesday, it means declaring our Wednesday Wail with much vim and vigour. (smile) As one wailer now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends, life is all about looking forward to a glorious future with Jesus! As they say; our best days are still ahead. And I do believe that. And how can we not be ever-thankful for the beautiful breath of God’s Spirit that’s flowing through us to give us what we call life eh! 

Now today I want to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but if I have, it’s certainly worthy of another go round in this dark and dismal world. 

He asks the question ‘Are You Happy?’ But I want to change it to ‘Are you Joyful?’ because happiness conveys a sense of now for now pleasure that soon fades, pleasure as the world sees it, not the long lasting joy that comes from a true relationship with Jesus. So in this passage, wherever we see ‘Happiness,’ let’s read it as ‘Joyfulness.’ 

So here goes: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together and you have happiness! Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that, even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! 

Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Oh what beautiful, words, thoughts and emotions my people! Especially knowing that our final destination is heaven, to live with Jesus forever! ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:4) 

And all God’s people loudly and proudly declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank the Lord for the promise of heaven!’ 

And that’s all fine and dandy my friends, but the truth, the reality is that we can’t have all those things, all that happiness, all that joyfulness here on earth, unless we are walking faithfully and steadfastly with Almighty God! 

And you ask why? Simply because, as our Bit says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

And that my people is an indisputable fact! We cannot be truly happy or joyful for any length of time, unless the Lord’s joy is running through us. The Lord’s joy comes from a sense of inner peace, of expectations edged with faith in God’s promises, and the practical LOVE He showed to us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for the atonement of our sins! 

No other faith can boast of those things! That’s why Jesus is the Truth, the Life, the Way and the Light that lights up this world of darkness! 

Now some of us might not know where our Bit comes from, or how it is tied in to the scriptures, so let’s go back in time. The Israelites had recently returned from exile in Babylon, and having settled themselves in their homeland again, in the seventh month they came together to celebrate and thank the Lord. 

‘And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street (plaza) that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the scribe brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding upon the first day of the seventh month.’ (Neh.8:1-2) 

Now friends, I think it’s very important that we listen to the scholars’ explanation here. ‘8:2. The time was the Feast of Trumpets (Lev.23:24) and was about September 27, 444 B.C. This was the most sacred of the new moons, and commenced the final month of the religious festivals (Lev.23:23-25; Num.29:1-6). The concept of understanding was important as Proverbs 1:2 indicates (cf. Ex.12:26-27; Deut.4:6; 6:6-9; 31:12-13). 

Mindless superstition was the mark of paganism (“They have not known nor understood.” Is.44:18-20), and had been the downfall of apostate Israel (Hos.4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”). Notice the stress on understanding in verses 2-3, 7-8,13.’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly what’s happening to our world today! We are suffering from a lack of knowledge and understanding of God, just like Israel was back then. Paganism is rearing its ugly head more and more, no wonder our world is going to hell in a hand-basket like happened to the apostate Israel! 

What do you think happens when a society, a nation, a world turns away from Almighty God eh? Obvious calamity! 

Oh my people, look at the number of places, cities and societies cited in the Bible who were destroyed because they had turned from worshipping and serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, including His chosen Israel several times. 

What makes us thing that our turning away from Him now will end any differently eh? And I’ll leave us to ponder that question today. Much LOVE!

…apart from Almighty God…mankind is doomed to destruction…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2015 Isaiah 9:2

Isaiah 9:2.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Well Friends, Christmas Day is over for another year…but not the season! Today is only Boxing Day, when many of you will rush to the malls to get those bargains so widely advertised. (smile) We still have lots of celebrating to do over the next two weeks right into the New Year! 

So we still need to remember that the birth of Jesus was, and still is the reason for all the hoopla all around the world and still pay our respects and reverence like the three wise men and the shepherds did. 

Anyway, I don’t know if I have shared this prayer before, but even if I have, it’s well worth sharing again. It comes from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s called ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. 

I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, after all that our God has done for us, how can we doubt His wonderful and heartfelt LOVE eh? But lots of people seem to do so, and sadly they will suffer for that mistake.  

Now it’s time for our Bit. But first let’s get some context of what it’s all about. Isaiah had earlier prophesied deliverance for Israel, however that would be only after a period of trouble and darkness. 

And he begins Chapter 9 thus: ‘Nevertheless the dimness (gloom) shall not be such as was in her vexation (upon who is distressed), when at the first he lightly afflicted (esteemed) the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea (he shall glorify the way), beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations (Gentiles). 

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is.9:1-2)  

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:1-5. The dimness of Israel’s rejection was especially prevalent in the northern tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali, which would suffer greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Galilee is named and identified with the nations (goyim, Gentiles). 

To those in the darkness of the north God promises to send a great light, which is quoted in Matthew 4:15-16 as being fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The prophet sees these events as though they were already happening. Thus he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’  

What great prophecy my people! And Isaiah could not have figured out all that by himself. It had to come from a Higher Power. And Matthew concurs in his gospel when he talks about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. 

‘Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, The Land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles; 

The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light has sprung up (has dawned). From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.4:12-17) 

 So Friends, Isaiah was quite right, for the child that was born unto us, called Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace etc. did begin His serious ministry in the region that Isaiah identified.  Oh glory to God my brethren for the might and depth of His Word! 

And we’ll get another prophecy fulfilled soon after Jesus’ birth. He was brought to the temple at eight days old, as per the Jewish custom to be offered to God and be circumcised. 

Now when Joseph and Mary showed up at the temple with Jesus, they met an old man named Simeon, ‘just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (Messianic hope): and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.’ Luke 2:25-26) 

And would you believe that day the Holy Ghost led him to the temple just as Mary and Joseph showed up? ‘Then he took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (God’s promise): for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  

A light to lighten (bring revelation to) the gentiles; and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of them.’ (Luke 2:28-33) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:32-33. Here for the first time the parents hear the startling prophecy that Jesus’ significance would extend even to the Gentiles. This would be surprising even if it had not come from an apparent stranger.’ 

It certainly would my people, and I can just imagine how Joseph’s and Mary’s mouths must have been wide open with wonder at the child they had borne.  

And yuh know what Friends, two thousand and odd years later, we are still drooling in wonder at the Christ child, as we should, because that is wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…no other baby ever born…can match the wonder that’s Jesus…

 

 

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