Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2019 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   ​Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
 
Oh, it looks so beautiful undisturbed…but disturb it…and like a disturbed cobra it can bite you in an unexpected second! Ah friends, I’m talking about the blanket of snow that’s covering my area this morning. Yeh it does look white and beautiful when just lying there undisturbed by man. But once you get into it, if you’re not careful it can cause you all kinds of damage and disaster. So like we finally had a snowfall where the people we pay to clean our driveway had to do some work; the first time for the season. And I doubt it will be the last. 

Anyway, today’s the 3rd day of the New Year, let’s hope that we haven’t already forgotten our resolution to walk more closely with Jesus this year. And as we begin putting away this season’s Christmas decoration, we won’t also put away the Christmas spirit with it, but allow that wonderful spirit of Christ to dwell with us all year long. And that would make Christ’s heart just overflow and burst with joy! Why, simply because of the immense joy to be found in brotherhood! 

 Hear how Bruh David puts it in our Bit: ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.’ (Ps.133:1-3) 

Yeh friends, three simple verses make up that psalm, but they’re all so wonderful and appropriate to our Christian faith and walk in these treacherous and turbulent times! Hear this explanation from the scholars: ‘Psalm 133. This psalm is all about the preciousness of family unity. Its blessedness is exclaimed in (vs.1) and explained in (vs.2-3). It sanctifies (vs.2) and solidifies (vs.3).’ 

Ah mih people, if individual families in our society could only live that way eh…And even more importantly, if the family of Christ, His church could only do that…Oh what a wonderful place our world would be! We seem to have forgotten that Jesus came to make all nations, all believers in Him ONE! So let’s remind ourselves of some of the ONENESS that Jesus preached so avidly. 

He begins with this awesome statement: ‘I and the Father are ONE.’ (John 10:30) Then, as He prayed to the Father for us, Jesus pleaded: ‘And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be ONE, as we are ONE.’ (John 17:11) 

And later on in that same awesome prayer Jesus reiterates: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:20-21) Yes my people, Jesus is there praying that those like us, who believe after He’s gone, should also live as ONE. 

And the scholars specify ‘17:21. They may be …one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’  But friends, my contention is that if we live in spiritual unity, there ought to be much more organizational unity among us than is currently in vogue. We have thousands of sects and denominations and religions, all purportedly teaching Christ crucified, why is that eh? 

That doesn’t spell unity, but rather reeks of disunity and division in what is supposed to be one body of Christ. The enemy is using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer amongst the Christian brethren, and we are foolishly and compromisingly allowing him to do it! That’s not right nor wise my friends in Christ! 

Now hear Bruh Paul on the subject: ‘For as the body is ONE, and hath many members, and all the members of that ONE body, being many, are ONE body: so also is Christ. For by ONE Spirit are we all baptized into ONE body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slaves) or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE Spirit ….For the body is not ONE member, but many…Now are they many members, yet but ONE body.’ (1 Cr.12:12-14, 20) 

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s not rocket science, as Bruh Paul explains using our human body. Although our human body is made up of many dissimilar parts, it is still ONE body, and all the parts need to work together in harmony for the body to function properly. It’s the same with Christ’s church: we are made up of different races, cultures, languages, etc. but we need to come together and do Christ’s work as ONE, otherwise we defeat His whole purpose. 

Yes friends, like the believers in the early church, we need to get together in ONE accord (Acts 2:46) and pursue Christ’s work, not be fighting against each other like hungry wild animals. And if wild animals of the same type can band together against a common foe, why can’t we spiritually led believers do the same eh, instead of foolishly fighting against each other, even purporting it to be in Christ’s name? Steups! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring those wonderful Thursday Blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us, expecting us to dwell in unity. In loud and sincere voice: ‘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 let’s go out and share and declare those blessings over the less fortunate, for that’s a big part of the reason they were bestowed on us. Much LOVE!

…and be ye kind one to another…tenderhearted…forgiving one another…even as God…for Christ’s sake…hath forgiven you… (Eph.4:32) 

P.S. Yeh it’s long, but it’s also early…and it’s ALL for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘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 (don’t know what to do)

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 are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2018 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, amongst all the strife, war, hatred, anger and all the other negative stuff that’s taking place in our once beautiful world, I noticed one of the most foolish and insensitive actions take place yesterday. Yuh know the big contention that’s currently going on in the U.S… and some of you are asking which one? (smile) Well I’m talking about the recent major push to separate immigrant children from their parents. 

Now apparently, yesterday, the first lady of the U.S went to visit one of the centres where children are being held and she wore a jacket that had written on the back in big white letters: ‘I don’t really care, do u?’ How how insensitive is that eh? Even if you don’t care, half of the country you represent cares, and that’s only a slap in the face to them. But that’s the state of the U.S. these days. Matter done! 

It’s Friday, and the workingman is out there singing his happy song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The working soon finish… and the partying soon start! What a bam bam! It’s going to be party fuh so in this summertime weather! Nobody going to stop we from carrying on anyway we want! 

And who doh like it…Hn! Tough tits yes! Let them try to do something about it nuh. They don’t know how we grateful for the break from all the weekday slavery nuh, both physical and mental. Steups!  Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yeh mih people, we Christians are also grateful for Fridays and the weekends, but we just show it in a less bacchanalian way. (smile) We don’t go to the extremes, like the worldly culture around us does. So let’s chant our corresponding Friday Chant and show them how we believers do it nuh. 

As one sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, we have a more organized way to spend or use our weekends – while celebrating, still keeping our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ uppermost in our minds and behaviour. And I just spied a quote from a Daily Bread Devotional that highlights it quite nicely. I’ve shared it before, but it’s important enough to share again and again. ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Everyday we awaken, we need to commit ourselves anew to Christ! That’s the only way we can stay on the tried and true path that leads to the Father. That’s why the psalmist declared in our Bit: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’  

Yeh mih breddren, the only way to stay committed to Christ is by constantly reading, meditating and putting His word into action, for the enemy is fighting an ever-constant battle to win our souls. Remember those memorable words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death? 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

Oh friends, that one verse says it all: to be prosperous and have success, one must know the word and practice it! And yet we wonder why so much of us individually, as well as nationally are not having success. But the answer is right there before our very eyes; turn to God and do His will. That’s not rocket science; it’s plain and straightforward. 

And though in some cases it might be somewhat difficult to do, the Lord has faithfully promised us His awesome help all along the way. But like the workingman, many of us seem to prefer Beelzebub’s easy and sinful ways, which only lead to hellfire, death and eternal damnation. 

Yuh see how EVERY TIME, Israel turned away from God how they suffered, and how we are suffering now in our ungodliness? It’s no mistake that our world is currently engulfed in all sorts of negative problems; the hand of God and a touch of His wrath are upon us. Notice I said only a touch of His wrath, because we could never withstand the full force of His anger. 

Oh friends, the Good Book is the inspired Word of our Creator and it does not lie. So why do we think we can go against what it says and be truly successful eh? That’s why I’m imploring us, like the Lord implored Joshua and all the other leaders of the faith, to sincerely meditate on His Word, talk about it to our children and each other, and then put it into action. That’s the ONLY way our desperately struggling world and us will ever know peace and success. Much LOVE!

…how can the blind lead the blind out of darkness eh…only through the light inspiring word of Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2018 Acts 16:31.

Acts 16:31,   And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).

Greetings and salutations friends, this Thursday morning from our heavenly father, the Most High God, Jehovah! He sends His great LOVE and new mercies so that we can handle this day successfully, if we walk sincerely with Him. That is the key to everything; walking sincerely in His will. 

And I want to let us know that God is with us, the same way He was with Jesus Christ when He was here on earth, so we have the wonderful privilege of calling on Him as Jesus did. Glory be my people! And it doesn’t make sense having the privilege if we don’t use it. 

So let’s set our sights to call on God, at anytime, anywhere, and for everything, because that’s what He expects of us. He wants to be involved in each and every aspect of our lives, so please don’t keep Him out of anything, even the simplest aspect of our daily living, otherwise we could be in danger of losing wonderful insights, guidance and blessings. 

That’s why the Daily Bread devotional thought tells us: ‘To take the fear out of living, put your faith in the living God.’ Truth of enormous proportions my brethren! For it’s only faith that conquers fear! The world expects us to be fearful, but our God desires us to be faithful! Which are we going to chose eh? 

Fear is easy, you just kowtow, give in to it and let it run roughshod over your life. Faith however calls for us to be strong, to withstand adversity, even when times look extremely bad. It calls for pain and sacrifice, even when we don’t seem to have any more breath left in our bodies. Faith says, while there is hope there is life, and with God ALL things are possible! 

And that’s what we are called to as Christians; being strong and steadfast in our belief and living for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ, so that we abominable sinners could be reconciled to Him. No other faith has such a simple but moving and compelling narrative. That’s why some people think it is too good to be true. But true it is my brethren! And there’s no rocket science involved. 

That’s why when Paul and Silas prayed and the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and the prison keeper went to kill himself, thinking that all the prisoners had escaped, Bruh Paul warned him. ‘Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. 

And brought them out, and said, sirs. What must I do to be saved? ‘And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).’ (Acts 16:28-31) 

Yeh friends, that’s how simple it is. Believe, only believe in Christ and you shall be saved! It couldn’t get any simpler than that. But us complex humans think that anything so simple is of no use. Sometimes that might be right, but in this case it is definitely wrong. 

And the Good Book continues after our Bit. ‘And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat (food) before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.’ (Acts 16:31:34) 

Yuh see how it easy it is to be saved friends. But it all depends on the state of our hearts; whether we’re ready to receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour or not. Obviously the jailer and his family were ready, especially after seeing the miracle that God had wrought; the jail doors being suddenly opened, and yet no one escaping. But in general, we should not look for miracles before we believe. 

When the Lord calls us we should respond positively, don’t try to fight it. And I can tell you from personal experience, that when you try to fight God, or ignore Him, your life just gets harder and more miserable. I did that when He first suggested the writing of the Bit. But when He wants you, He doesn’t give up. So it’s to your advantage, when He first calls to answer, ‘Yes Lord. Right away!’ You’ll save your self some heartaches. 

And yuh know what? When we truly believe, we are inordinately blessed. Let’s now declare our Thursday Blessings, enthusiastically letting the world know how wonderful it is to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

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

Yeh mih breddren, that’s what you have to look forward to when you put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…put not your trust in humans…but in the One who first created the world…then saved it…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome 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 and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice 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!’ 

And the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2017 Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38.   Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.

Awright friends, it’s the first day of the week; the best day of the week; the most restful and peaceful day of the week; the day when we choose to gather most in praise and fellowship to Almighty God! And if you haven’t figured out what day it is as yet, well it’s Sunday! Glory Be! The Lord’s Day; the Sabbath; the day the Lord rested…after a week of hard labour. (smile) And that’s what He requires of us; a day of rest, where we spend most of our time and energy concentrating on Him. And today is that day! 

So let’s open the proceedings as always with a song of praise, that old hymn, ‘Rise up O men of God,’ written by William Pierson Merrill in the early 20th century. But have you ever noticed that the old hymns sound more powerful and sacred than the newer ones? Perhaps because they were written in a time when we were holier and more righteous, had more time for God; more reverence, more respect, and we weren’t trying to remove Him from our society. 

Anyway, let’s burst out in song, in sacrificial praise, sing these words like we truly mean them, because Christ’s church badly needs to rise up in these amoral and sinful times. Let’s raise the roof with harmonious voices: ‘Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings. 

Rise up, O men of God! The kingdom tarries long. Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong. Rise up, O men of God! The church for you doth wait, her strength unequal to her task; rise up, and make her great! Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where his feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of Man, rise up, O men of God!’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know if there has been any other time in the church’s history that it’s members have needed to rise up and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ more than now nuh! The church is filled with too many divisions, too many religions which also have too many denominations and/or sects, too many bad leaders, false prophets and con-men, and everybody is teaching their own brand or slant, or scam of Christ’s supposed message. And the evil ones are just laughing their heads off as they divide and conquer us. 

Oh my fellow believers, until Christians come together and get rid of the distrust and petty discord that separates us, until we truly ‘Lift high the cross of Christ,’ and ‘Tread where He has trod,’ we will never retake the world for Christ. But that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today’s sermon is based on the God-like attitude of GIVING as described in our Bit. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ 

And before we try to dissect Jesus’ words, let’s look at how the Lord gave to us nuh. First it was the breath of life, then LOVE, the sinless life of his Son Jesus Christ, while we were yet sinners, mercy, grace, salvation, eternal life etc. etc. All those things that we did not and could never deserve, the Lord gave to us out of the generosity of His wonderful heart. Wow! 

So I don’t see how in all reason, common sense, devotion and LOVE for Him we can afford to be selfish, ungrateful, unkind, greedy and not wanting to give with a generous heart; one supposedly made in the image of His heart. And it’s not rocket science friends. All Jesus is saying, is that the same way you give, it will be given back to you. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you give out of a generous heart, you will be rewarded with generosity. Out of a grudging and greedy heart, you’ll receive grudgingly. 

And one of the best illustrations of this in the Good book is Bruh Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, re God LOVES a cheerful giver. Read with me: ‘Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before (on ahead) unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty (beautiful gift), whereof ye had notice (promised) before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty (generosity), and not as of covetousness (grudging obligation). 

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall also reap bountifully (generously). Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor.9:5-8) 

It couldn’t get any clearer than that my brethren! Remember, it’s all based on attitude and motive; ‘a willing heart and a sincere desire to participate in the offering.’ Your giving must not be done because of what you think you’ll receive in return, or you are compelled to give. 

And please note, as the scholars point out, Bruh Paul is not advocating “prosperity theology,” that is, that every generous believer will be financially wealthy.’ If you read the rest of the chapter you’ll see that it only promises that you will prosper by all your needs being met financially, so that you can keep on giving (vs.8), and spiritually, that you’ll increase in everything (vs.12) 

Anyway friends, let’s just remember that the Lord looks at the state of our hearts and not just our talk or outward actions before He makes any decision pertaining to us. So let’s try and clean up our hearts nuh. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a truly generous heart…begets true generosity in return…Christianity 101…

 

 

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