Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2020 John 20:29.

John 20:29.     Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen me, and yet have believed.

Well I guess the best way to get into winter mode is to have two snowfalls as close together as possible. (smile) Yes, that seems logical. Anyway, by the time we cleaned up the first one yesterday, we had another one last night – not as bad as the first, but snow is snow! (smile) But thankfully the sun is shining brightly this morning, so we have an abundance of sunshine, both physically and spiritually through our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus! Nothing could be better for our souls! 

And what’s there to talk about this morning eh? Oh, I truly forgot that we’re now into the month of December when we celebrate the birth of Christ, so the Christmas hustle is on, just with a Covid-19 flavour. (smile) Yes, we’re into the church season termed Advent, where we symbolically look forward to and celebrate the first coming of our Lord a couple of thousand years ago in the manger at Bethlehem, with all the glory and pageant of angels singing, shepherds and earthly kings coming to pay Him homage, bringing gifts of frankincense, incense and myrrh. 

Yeh mih people, it is one of the big celebration times of the Christian’s year, when the Father acknowledged that we were irreparably lost and sent His only Son to earth in the form of man to eventually save us from our abominable sins and the overwhelming cloud of darkness which we were then living under. To show us the light, and provide salvation, eternal life for those who were willing to believe in Him. What a glorious start to a new way of life that was, though many refused to believe and accept Him at His word. 

That brings us to the point in His story, after he had sacrificed His innocent blood on the cross of Calvary, and rose triumphantly from the dead, even His disciples refused to believe that He was their real Lord and Saviour, alive in living colour. And He showed Himself first to some of them, who believed. But one who wasn’t there, Thomas, refused to believe until he had placed his hands in the scars of His hands and side. 

And when Jesus finally appeared unto the twelve at once, and offered Thomas the chance to ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing.’ (John 20:27) Only then did Thomas delightedly crow: ‘My Lord and my God.’ (John 20:28) 

But Jesus had a warning word for Him and for all of us who would come after Him down through the ages.‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen me, and yet have believed.’(John 20:29) What a serious statement and warning that is my people, especially for believers in these deceitful, treacherous and uncertain times. 

Believing is of the utmost importance for us to get through them. We can’t only talk belief in these days of utter confusion, we need to show our faith, our belief in serious action, to let others know that we truly hold Christ as our Lord and Saviour and that He is, and will keep on helping and guiding us through the fear and anxiety caused by all the disaster happening in our world. And if they want to be as worry free as we Christians are, they need to, and can certainly accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, and He will also deliver them from their fear and anxiety. 

But only by our actions friends, by highlighting our compassion, LOVE, mercy, grace and genuine forgiveness, by helping them in whatever sphere they need help, can we ever hope to win them over to Jesus. They especially need to see His awesome peace within us, in this much less than peaceful time. We must action these momentous words of Jesus. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27). 

Oh precious people of Christ, when we truly believe, a divine kind of peace rises up in us, giving us the confidence to face the world no matter what comes against us. But then we must sincerely believe in Christ Jesus to get that kind of peace, for the world doesn’t give it. What the world has to offer is not real peace, but an insincere kind of peace; faked, just like so many more of its offerings. But when we truly accept Christ and what He has to offer, it makes a big difference in our lives. 

Here’s how He characterizes it: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow mih bredrin, what powerful, but oh so true words! Jesus has conquered hell, death and the grave, so He does have the authority to make such an earth shattering statement! And if you truly believe in Him, then you too will be able to find an inner peace despite all the turbulence that’s happening around you. 

Yes, the essence of the whole programme isBELIEF! And sincere belief at that, not a wishy- washy, flakey, doubting, wavering kind of belief. And we’ll end with these marvellous and true words of John the Baptist, who was the harbinger, sent to bear witness of Christ’s coming and His divine personhood. ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but hath the wrath of God abideth (remains) in him.’ (John 3:36) 

Now it could not get any plainer than that; believe and you have life, do not believe, and you perish. And the very important thing about it all is that every individual has to come to that decision for themselves. Others can lead or guide you, but it needs to be a personal decision to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. So for those of us who have truly done so, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world in no uncertain terms, our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether 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 if you truly believe, and endure unto the end, then your future will be indeed more glorious that you can ask or imagine.Much LOVE!

…believe…only believe…that’s all Jesus asks… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2019 John 3:3.

John 3:3.   ​Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 
Rain, rain go away, come again some other day! Chuh! I like rain, but after experiencing it for my last three days in Tobago then coming back home to it, it’s become a tad much. And the warnings of extensive flooding don’t help. But how to keep us happy eh? 

When we have a lot of sunshine, and it’s hot, we complain. A lot of cold and snow also cause bitter mutterings. And we don’t like it much when it rains on our parade either. (smile) And when you’re sick and feeling lousy, like I am, that state of affairs doesn’t help matters either. So I guess there’s just no pleasing us and we just have to learn to live with whatever Mother Nature supplies. End of story! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. But first let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I talked about Peter cutting off the high priest’s ear; it was actually the servant of the high priest’s ear he cut off. 

I knew that very well and it was what I intended to write, but somehow or the other didn’t write that. And you can imagine my disgust when a friend wrote and pointed it out to me because I don’t like to make mistakes in the Bit. But I guess that only shows I’m human and thus not infallible. (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.’ I guess there is much truth to that statement as passion is usually a driving force in our lives.

However, passion alone will not bring us to our destiny, we need other things like wisdom, knowledge, help and perseverance. In other words, blood, sweat and tears must be combined with our passion to provide success! (smile) 

And that segues in nicely to this other quote: ‘You’ve been given the innate power to shape your life…but you cannot just speak change, you have to LIVE change. Intent paired with action builds the bridge to success. You can’t just want it; you have to do it, live it…BE it! Success isn’t something you have; it’s something you DO!’ 

Ah friends, we see there it’s all about the doing, the living, the action! We just can’t sit on our fannies and expect things to change or our lives to be good because we wish it or talk about it. Yes, there is power in our words, but that power needs to drive us to action, to actually doing something to bring about the changes we desire! 

But then we come to this quote that appears to throw a spanner in our wheel: ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ So true, so true my people! Whatever we try to do, be it good, bad, or indifferent, things rarely run as smoothly as they should, or as we expect them to. 

But that’s just life! Life that seems to take pleasure in mucking up our best efforts! But that’s where things like patience, perseverance, ‘stick-to-it tiveness,’ and don’t give up come in! And as true believers in Christ, we all know that giving up is not in our vocabulary.

Remember Jesus said that we’d have problems in this evil and ungodly world, but we can handle them with grace and a smile, because He’s already overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

Now here is the last quote: ‘We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? We have one life when we’re born of our mother’s womb, and then a second when we’re born of the Holy Spirit which brings us into serious communication and an intimate relationship with Almighty God! 

Jesus said it quite plainly to the Pharisee Nicodemus who came by night to enquire about Jesus’ awesome power and works. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ 

Yes friends, to be included in the heavenly realm we all need to be born again of the Spirit as Jesus also told Nicodemus, when, in his confusion, he asked about entering his mother’s womb a second time.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7) 

And the scholars provide this interesting explanation: ‘3:3. Verily, verily (lit. “amen, amen”) occurs only in John’s gospel, and then always for emphasis. Born again may be translated either “again” or “from above.”

Perhaps both ideas should be combined here, to indicate the repetition of an act from another source. John might have said “again” had he wished to indicate repetition of an act from the same source. Only John uses this expression in the gospels. 

This concept of the New Birth includes these implications: (1) It undercuts Jewish dependence on being sons of Abraham (cf. 8:39). (2) It reveals that there must be a work of God “from above” since the Jews considered children (new births) to be God’s blessing. (3) It teaches the necessity of a new beginning.’ 

Yes my brethren, to be able to enter God’s kingdom a spiritual rebirth is absolutely necessary. But it’s also very simple. All we have to do is to believe that Christ died for us on Good Friday, as we commemorated yesterday. And then that He rose triumphantly from the dead and the grave, as we will celebrate tomorrow on Easter Sunday! 

Oh my people, there’s no better time to give our lives to Christ than RIGHT NOW! So let’s BE BORN AGAIN nuh, at this most exciting and emotional time of Easter, as we celebrate Christ’s total victory, His complete annihilation of the evil enemy Satan, ruler of hell, death and the grave! All Heaven will rejoice if we do! Much LOVE!

…eternal spiritual life…calls for spiritual rebirth today…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ah Friends, it was just one of those days where the ole fella went to bed at a  Shakespearean early hour. (smile) Three o’clock found me sitting on my porch, but I didn’t stay long because the wind was in a rather frenzied state and had the poor trees dancing to an incredibly fast riddim, and it was also a tad chilly in my shorts and T-shirt.

It’s surprising that nothing seems to have been blown down, for since early evening the wind had been having serious histrionic fits. I had to close a couple of my windows because it was making such a fuss. And it’s still not completely over it’s bad behaviour, but just not as challenging as during the night.

Thankfully though, both the sun and Son are shining quite brightly this Wednesday morning. And since it’s Wednesday, then I guess it’s time for our Wednesday Wail. Please wail with me.

‘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!’

Oh my people, what a Friend, Lord and Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! Glory to God! I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh, for He is so LOVING, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving… And that’s just the tip of His attributes. It would take me half the day to name them all.

Yes Friends, having Jesus as the guide, the rudder and compass of our lives is the wisest action we can ever take down here on God’s great earth! I don’t know how I lived, how I existed before I truly let Him into my heart. Oh, He was always there, but lurking in the background, waiting for me to smarten up and surrender my life to Him.

As they say, hindsight is certainly 20-20 vision yes! For in hindsight, I can now see the many occasions on which He lent me a helping hand. Many times when others couldn’t or refused to help, He was the One who stepped into the breach and shored it up.

That’s why, now that I’ve truly bought into His plan, I can say with all sincerity and truth; what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And am I ever so grateful for His LOVE, mercy, comfort and grace which certainly makes this life worth living.

And I know that I’m not alone in that regard because the Lord works His magnanimous works in the lives of ALL who sincerely believe in and honour Him.

That’s why we can agree with Peter when he so wisely declares in our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

Yes my brethren, this new life of ours all stems from the resurrection of Christ. Without His resurrection, there would be no new creation of man!

And as Peter continues:’(We have been raised) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:4-5)

Oh Friends, what powerful and encouraging words and promises! But all of it indisputable, gospel truth!

Now let’s delve into what it all means with the help of the scholars. ‘1:3 –2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.”  Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation: Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vv.3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation.

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time.

Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’

Ah Friends, I do hope that the general descriptions, as well as the more specific ones help us to better understand what salvation is, and all that’s laid up for us in heaven, and also helps to increase our faith by knowing, by being assured that Almighty God, our Creator and Provider is constantly watching over us, and we can have no better security than that.

Now let’s ponder it all, then put it into action as our lives unfold, obviously with God’s help, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…oh what an auspicious, blessed and reassuring day…was that Easter Sunday morn…when Christ triumphantly rose from the grave…and gave us all the hope of future life eternal…with Him in heaven…