Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2021 2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.       For we walk by faith and not by sight.

And another summer Sunday is upon us, my dear friends in Christ! And you know that calls for praise and worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider; the One who LOVES us unconditionally, LOVED us so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf, that our sins could be forgiven and we could be adjudged righteous in His holy and glorious name. That’s why we praise and give Him thanks every Sunday. 

And today we’ll open with a very popular traditional gospel song titled ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ The precise author of the song is unknown, but obviously there are various theories. One holds that it goes right back to the days of slavery, sung by slaves as they laboured in the fields of the plantations in the Southern States of the U.S. of A. 

Another angle claims that Kenneth Morris an American composer, on a trip from Kansas City to Chicago, heard a porter singing the song at one of the train stops where he got off to get some fresh air. At that time, he did not pay much attention to it, but as he continued his trip the song just flooded his mind, and at the next stop, he got off the train and took another one back to the earlier station. He had the porter sing the song for him, and he wrote down the words and music. Then in 1940, after adding some of his own lyrics to add more breadth, he published the song. 

Now it does seem that Morris did arrange and publish the song for the first time, but another theory says that happened only after a group of musicians heard a live version in Kansas City and then brought it to Morris’ attention. The long and short of the story though is that it soon became a gospel standard, a Jazz standard and a part of American folk music. However, it is agreed that the first recording was done by the Selah Jubilee singers on October 8, 1941, in New York city. 

And now that we have some idea of its history, (smile) let’s sing an up-tempo version, a la Anne Murray, not like the traditional dirge renditions in new Orleans jazz funerals. In full, sweet, harmonious voice, with the appropriate background vocals, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. 

(Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain].’ 

That’s oh so refreshing my people! There’s nothing better in this life than a steady walk with Jesus. And that all started right at the very beginning when the Lord told the 99-year-old Abram: ‘I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless).’ (Gen. 17:1) One translation says: ‘Walk before the Lord in a way that is pleasing to Him.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! We ought to walk before our God and Creator and heavenly Father in a manner that pleases Him, not the lewd, lustful and ungodly way that so many of us walk nowadays. 

And the scholars tell us that the title of the song and the lyrics allude to these two verses of scripture. The first one is this popular verse: ‘For we walk by faith and not by sight.’ (2 Cor. 5:7) And that’s a foundational scripture friends, since in the Lord’s economy seeing is not believing, walking by faith and trust in His promises and power is what He expects of us. That’s the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

And the second scripture verse is another popular one: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ (James 4:8a) And I want to add this other verse that seems ever so appropriate. ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ James 4:10) Yes friends, if we don’t humble ourselves before the Lord, He certainly won’t lift us up, neither down here on earth, nor to heaven. (smile) 

Now here is this interesting commentary from the website Hymnary.org. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace after he asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

And Paul’s response to that was brilliant: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) 

Oh my people, regardless of how mature we are in Christ, it is impossible for us to walk righteously, properly, blamelessly or in a pleasing manner before the Lord without His anointing, His grace supporting us. Please, let’s always remember that. It’s His amazing grace that keeps us walking this earth, and without it, we are done like dinner! That means every day we must give God thanks and ask for His grace to do His will, to walk worthy of Him. Much LOVE!

…only as we walk in faith…will we be anointed with grace…                                                                                               

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2021 Ephesians 6:10.

Ephesians 6:10.       ​Finally, my brethren, Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.

Gather round friends, gather round, it’s that time again, the Lord’s Sabbath! That means it’s time for praise and worship, joyful togetherness by technological means, for our physical sanctuaries are still mostly shut down. But as we keep saying, worshipful togetherness by any means is preferable to no worshipful togetherness at all. 

So let’s do away with the talking, (smile) and get on with the praise and worship nuh. And today’s song of praise is one in which we don’t know the author’s name, but its words are so powerful and true that it has lasted for some time and has become a favourite of believers all over the world. It’s titled: ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ 

And friends, I can assure us that there’s no better person to walk this earthly journey in companionship with than Jesus Christ! For He is the way, the truth, the life and the light, also the author and finisher of our faith path. Yes, it just makes sense to follow the one who first blazed the awesome path that you desire to tread, because He knows the way best. So let’s raise our sacrifice of praise heavenwards nuh, with loud but sweet harmonious voices, and hearts filled with sincere LOVE for our Triune God. 

An easy rocking but passionate version. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain]When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

[Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through. Take my hand and let me walk with thee, Blessed Jesus let it be…’ 

Oh mih people, what wonderful, passionate sacrificial praise! All heaven was singing along with us. And why not eh, since we were praising the One and Only Superstar in the universe! Now hear what the website Hymnary.org tells us re the song. ‘In that song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, 10b ESV) 

Yes friends, when Bruh Paul asked the Lord three times to take away the thorn from his flesh, whatever it was, the Lord simply looked at him and calmly told him to ignore the thorn, for His grace was sufficient for him to handle the problem, because our weakness brings out His perfect power and strength. What more could Bruh Paul say to that statement eh, but: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

Glory be, mih people! That means when we are weak the power of God takes over on our behalf! What could be better than that eh? Nothing really! That’s why the Good Book tells us in Joel: ‘Let the weak say I am strong.’ And I discovered an excellent explanation on that subject by Richard Roberts of the Oral Roberts ministries. He writes: ‘The Lord promises again and again in His Word that He will strengthen us. He knows that, as human beings, we often feel our weakness to the point where we don’t believe we CAN be strong. 

In Joel 3:10 we read, “Let the weak say, I am strong.” Notice that strength is first something we confess with our mouths. We SAY to ourselves, “I am strong.” Note, too, that the Bible doesn’t say we were strong or that we will be strong. It says we are to speak to ourselves in the NOW of our circumstances and say, “I AM strong!” What a good word that is to us when we are feeling weak…unable to cope or to bear up under the pressure, to be patient or have courage. In that very moment…in that very circumstance…we can claim, by our faith, the provision of God to us: “I AM STRONG!” 

On what is our strength based? Our strength is not in ourselves but in Christ Jesus who lives within us by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 40:28–29, the prophet said, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”Our strength does not come from our own abilities or power, but from the wisdom and power of God, which is poured into us on a daily basis any time we admit our weakness and ask Him to replace our weakness with His strength.’ 

I like how he explains that. I hope you do too. Then there’s this further scripture from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live by the power of God toward you.’ (2 Cor. 13:3-4) Now isn’t that marvellous and very reassuring? Yes, it certainly is. The same power that was with Christ in His weakness, will also be with us in ours! No wonder we worship and glorify Him and call Him Lord and Saviour. 

And we’ll let Richard Roberts have today’s last word. (smile) ‘The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, my brethren, Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10). Take that as God’s word to you today! You can be strong in any situation or circumstance you face today because the Spirit of God is strong within you!’ Much LOVE!

…God plus you…equals Almighty strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2021 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.     ​For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Snow, snow, go away, and come back some other day! (smile) That’s what we would all like this Sunday morning my brethren, but let’s be thankful for small mercies, namely that we don’t have to journey out in it to get to church to sing praises and worship our wonderful God. Yes, this virtual and technological worshipping is a pain in the neck, but it’s certainly better than no worship at all. 

So to show our thanks let’s begin by belting out this marvelous old hymn with lyrics by Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748) and the chorus by Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) Yes friends, we talking about ‘At the Cross.’ What a wonderful hymn, for it speaks to our most wonderful gift; SALVATION! Glory be! 

Let’s celebrate in song, our two blessed occasions nuh; when Christ was crucified for our sake and when we found Him and made Him our Lord and Saviour. Now, in an easy rocking tempo, with joy resounding from every note and word, let’s allow our sincere sacrifice of praise to be heard all over the world, and also in high heaven.

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) 

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine— And bathed in its own blood— While the firm mark of wrath divine, His Soul in anguish stood. (Refrain) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! (Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. 

(Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give my self away ’Tis all that I can do. At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! Now I am happy all the day…happy all the day…happy all the day…’ 

Oh my people, if you’re not happy all the day, then you don’t truly believe! Why you ask? Simply becauseour salvation was certainly earned at the Cross, for as the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23) And what’s the consequence of sin? The Good Book also spells it out quite clearly. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

And how is death changed into life? The Good Book also has the answer for that. ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without (the) shedding of blood (there) is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) That means friends, that all sinners were condemned to death from the very beginning of their lives because no animal or human blood was able to pay for us to have life anew. That could only be attained by the shedding of the blood of a sinless soul, and Jesus was the ONLY One around who could lay claim to that characteristic. 

So what did Almighty God in His divine wisdom and incalculable LOVE do? ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) Yes my people, God placed ALL of our sin on Jesus, so that He could pay the price for ALL sin for ALL time! Christ was guiltless and sinless, but the Father LOVED us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son for us. Oh my bredrin, which one of us would have given up our only son to be a sacrifice for a bunch of ingrates eh? None of us would have willingly done it, like the Father did! 

So we should just be thankful and jump for joy and just fall all over ourselves to do Jesus’ bidding! Can you imagine the ‘sufferation’ He underwent on our behalf; the flogging, the crown of thorns on his head, the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in His side, crucified naked, the mocking, the shame, the resentment and hate that was thrown His way…all on our behalf? As the hymn says about Jesus bruised and battered body ‘bathed in its own blood…His soul in anguish stood…for crimes that I had done…’ Steups! Then we get up and spout a whole lot of foolishness and don’t take the whole thing as seriously as we ought. 

And simple eyes-water is not good enough. Why? ‘But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe. Here, Lord, I give myself away ‘Tis all that I can do.’ Yes friends, we can never repay Jesus’ sacrifice, the best that we can do is surrender our lives to Him and worship Him as our Lord and Saviour, LOVE Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, being ever so thankful for His saving grace. And John puts it thus in his first epistle. ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:2) 

That means Christ’s sacrificial death satisfied the Father’s requirement, the justice needed to pay for sin, now and for all time. What more can we ask eh? And some of us might be wondering why the Lord did all of that? Bruh Paul explained it to Timothy. ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:4-6) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, Jesus’ sacrifice was proof that the Father wanted ALL to be converted. So he’s done His part, the rest is now up to us. Much LOVE!

…the foot of the cross…the best place to find Jesus…and lay your burdens down…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2020 Philippians 2:5.

Philippians 2:5.    ​Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
 

And here we are again, another Sunday without corporate worship! But friends, they might be able to keep us apart physically, but never spiritually, for the mighty Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwells in all of His saints and can traverse physical space so that we can still come together in worship through the technological revolution. How can they keep God’s people apart eh? Never! But enough talk, (smile) let’s get to some worship. And today’s song of praise is a wonderful, well-known hymn by blind hymn writer Francis Jane Crosby, better known as Fanny Crosby. 

And the website Godtube had this to say about the hymn. ‘Each and every day we sing praises to His name. We are thankful for all of the blessings that He bestows upon us. The lyrics of the classic hymn ‘Blessed Assurance’ is the perfect way to worship. And when you hear the story behind the hymn, you will be even more in awe of His amazing grace. Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins!’ 

And the synopsis of the story is that Fanny Crosby, born in 1840, became blind as a baby through a badly treated eye infection. Then her father died shortly thereafter, and while her mother went out to work to support the family, she was raised by a Christian grandmother who ‘became her eyes, vividly describing the physical world.’ This obviously helped to develop Fanny’s descriptive abilities. She also nurtured Fanny’s spirit. ‘She read and carefully explained the Bible to her, and she always emphasized the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn’t learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge.’ 

At 12 years of age, Fanny entered the New York Institute for the blind and never looked back after that, eventually teaching at the school for some 23 years. The story continues that while visiting one evening with Fanny, her friend, composer Phoebe Palmer Knapp played a tune on the piano for her and asked what she thought it sounded like. Fanny’s reply was, ‘Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!’ And the rest is history; they continued singing the melody and writing the lyrics together. Now isn’t that a wonderful story? It surely is, showing the power of God’s Spirit, what we can do with a li’l help from our supportive friends and family! 

So let’s finally sing that wonderful hymn ‘Blessed Assurance’ nuh. (smile) In strong voice, in perfect harmony, with deep soulful feeling, echoing straight from our hearts, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise. ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood (Chorus: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.) 

Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels, descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. (Chorus…) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. (Chorus: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long…. Praising my Savior all the day long.)’ 

Oh my people, heaven was touched! And as always when we sing praises to Jesus, all of heaven joins in, even the Father, for He is indeed worthy of much praise and worship and glory. And while all of the praise and worship is going on, Jesus just sits there blushing, with a shy smile on His face, for He still not enamoured of the limelight. (smile) 

And to justify it all, the Good Book explains: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:5-11) 

Ah friends, Jesus’ sacrifice was no easy task, but because of the LOVE for His Father and perfect obedience to His will, He endured the shame and ‘sufferation’ of the cross. Oh, if we could only have a li’l more LOVE for the Father, who LOVES us so much, that He sacrificed His only Son for us, and be just a tad more obedient to His holy will, our world would be such a wonderful place, not the crazy, troubled maelstrom that it now is. 

And yuh know, all this turbulence that we’re currently experiencing, that the enemy is perpetrating, that God is allowing, is just a simple cry from Him for us to turn back to Him, not try and shut Him out of our society, for He knows that without Him, we are nothing, our lives would be total chaos. Jesus didn’t mince words, He said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

How long is it going to take us to realize that’s the gospel truth eh friends? We need to have the same mind that Jesus had, as Bruh Paul describes it: ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem (the) other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but also every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil. 2:2-4) 

Yes friends as believers in Christ, we are to live harmoniously, like He did, otherwise all our big talk is worthless, and more a hindrance, rather than a help to the kingdom! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but action calls for sacrifice…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2020 1 Peter 5:7.

1 Peter 5:7.    ​Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
 

One more Sunday, one more day of technological fellowship and thanksgiving. Hn! And are we ever getting good at it! But it’s never ever going to be the same as worshipping our great God in a physical space together, with hugs and kisses and handshakes and godly greetings, because the Lord made us to be people of physical fellowship, not this over the airwaves stuff. (smile) But since we don’t have much choice right now, let’s enjoy what we have, because the Lord is ALWAYS pleased with praise and worship however, or wherever we perform it. 

So let’s get to some praise with this awesome and oh so appropriate hymn for these turbulent times, written by John W. Peterson (1921-2006) and titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if that isn’t the living truth friends, then I don’t know what is nuh! Therefore, with raised voices, in heartfelt sincerity and soulful harmony let’s thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for His unbiased understanding and sincere empathy, because as a man, He experienced the trials and tribulation of earthly life, like we’re currently doing. 

Now let’s unleash our sacrifice of praise which our God LOVES to hear. ‘No one understands like Jesus; He’s a Friend beyond com-pare. Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for You there. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) No understands like Jesus; Every woe He sees and feels. Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus ….) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail. You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail. (Chorus…) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way. Though you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon You today. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) 

Ah mih people, in this time of sickness and strife, there’s no better place to cast our care than upon Jesus, for remember He understands what we’re going through, since He also went through dark nights of rejection, discouragement and enormous pain and suffering. So our troubles are nothing new to Him. That’s why Peter tells us so emphatically: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ And that’s gospel truth or God would not have sacrificed Jesus and have Him pay for our sins. 

And Jesus Himself dearly and desperately wants us to come to Him for hope, comfort and succour, peace, LOVE and joy; all the wonderful things that heaven allows. Hear Him in the Great Invitation nuh… and don’t tell me yuh tired hearing it either, because if we’d only listen and accept it, we wouldn’t have half the problems we now have. So please listen up and positively action the invitation, the greatest one that’s ever been offered! ‘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 friends, I don’t understand us nuh; man is supposed to be the wisest creature in the universe, but when we find ourselves in trouble and can’t get out of it on our own accord, we still refuse to turn to Jesus for help. We prefer to suffer in our despair and tribulation. Now is that wisdom? Not in my book! And the sad part is that the scriptures have so many encouraging and comforting words, if we’d only wake up and own them. Let’s check out a couple nuh. Hear this one from the longest chapter in the Good Book, Psalm 119: ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me (given me life).’ (Ps.119:49-50) 

Oh my people, we were created to use the Word as a lifeline; to give us hope and comfort from our afflictions! So why aren’t we using it eh? And hear Bruh David from Psalm 61: ‘Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.’ (Ps. 61:1-3) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, if Bruh David, a man after God’s own heart, could cry unto the Lord when his heart was overwhelmed and find succour, why can’t we eh? 

Now hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ (Rom.15:4) Yes mih bredrin, the scriptures were indeed authored so that we could have hope! And if in these disastrous times you don’t have hope, then turn to the scriptures, that’s simple common sense! If there’s one thing we need to live this life successfully it’s hope! Without it, we’re dead in spirit. 

And here’s something I believe I’ve quoted before, but it’s ever so timely right now. It comes from an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope,’ by one Joshua Ryan Butler. And he unequivocally states: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything.’ 

And that’s the kind of world we’re currently living in; one marked by death, and the only real hope for us to move from death to life, is to embrace Jesus and His wonderful revolution of hope, which ultimately fosters His LOVE Revolution. Yes friends, Jesus is, was, and always will be the ultimate revolutionary! Much LOVE

…want to be in a successful revolution… then join Jesus’…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2020 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.    ​So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 
Yeah! It’s the first day… the first day of the week my brethren. It’s Sunday…all day! And you know what that means, the church doors are open ready to welcome whosoever wants to come, but hoping that everybody will come. Yeh friends, that’s the hope of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that all will come to salvation and thus become a member of His earthly organization called the church, and, on a regular basis, show their faces at the physical structures created for those blessed members to come and celebrate, give thanks and praise and receive heavenly succour, so that we can go about His business the upcoming week with vim and vigour, zest and godly energy! 

And for those of us who have accepted that glorious invitation, let’s begin the proceedings as we always do, with a song, a song of worship and thanksgiving, praise and gratitude. And today’s song is a popular hymn with lyrics by Judson Van De Venter and music by Winfield Weeden, published in 1896, and appropriately titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ And do we ever need to do that…totally and completely, if we want to enjoy the good and abundant life He has planned for us. So let’s tell Him so now nuh, with sincere hearts and voices raised in praiseful sacrifice. 

As one soulful and harmonious choir: ‘All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His Name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all… I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all…’ 

Ah friends, I do hope we were all sincere in that sacrifice of praise because the Lord is going to look at our hearts and check our motives, and if we weren’t sincere then we’ll have to answer why and not be blessed as we desired. And the whole thing is simply about surrender my people, surrender to the one who gave His sinless life to atone for our sins and made us right with God, gave us the wonderful option of eternal salvation by His resurrection, and is still advocating for us with the Father. It’s a normal requirement my brethren, if we want to enjoy the fruits of His efforts. 

Look at how we give our allegiance to earthly organizations, many of whom don’t do a blooming thing for us! Why then should it be so difficult to give our all to Jesus, who gave His all for us eh? We’re just being selfish and greedy and carnal. But Jesus made it quite clear when He spoke about counting the cost of discipleship. The Good Book says: ‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned and said to them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-27) 

Wow friends, it sure looks like being a disciple of Jesus is not for the sorrowful or fainthearted! (smile) And Jesus certainly doesn’t want us to hate out families, because He is all about LOVE. He’s just saying that Him and His business must come first. Hear the scholars with some explanations. ‘14:25. Jesus had gained a wide hearing. Here was the temptation to water down the demands that discipleship entail. Yet in the following verses Jesus clearly does just the opposite.’ 

‘14:26. In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either/or that this verse sets up.’ Then Jesus in His inimitable style goes on to talk about building a tower and contemplating war, where the costs of both have to be considered before any serious commitments are made. (Luke 14:28-32)  

And the scholars say those verses are only found in Luke. And Jesus pinpoints the major lesson of the two stories in verse 33, which states: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ Yeh friends, to truly follow Jesus, one ought to count the cost. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but with His awesome help we can all handle it if we seriously commit our lives to Him. We have to be ready to give up a lot of stuff on His behalf. 

Remember the rich young ruler that came and wanted to be His disciple? (Matt.19:16-22) Jesus told him to first go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor and thus store up treasure in heaven then come back and follow Him. The young man went away sorrowful, because he had a lot of possession. Jesus didn’t really mean for Him to literally sell everything, but was merely testing His resolve. 

According to the scholars, His outward righteousness seemed fine, but he hadn’t really kept the commandments because his wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness; he LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour, the poor. And he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God. This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be Christian. 

So don’t worry my rich and well off friends, you don’t have to go and sell your possessions to be a disciple of Christ. (smile) But you do have to pick up your cross daily and follow Him, as He says early on in Luke. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now that’s the crux of the message my people: everyday we have to be willing to stand strong in His name and do whatever it takes to further His kingdom. Are we doing that in a satisfactory manner? I don’t think so, otherwise Christianity would be much stronger and much further ahead. So please, let’s spend some time today pondering our individual situations nuh, and ask the Lord to help us do better, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…discipleship…means to be willing to forsake one’s self…every day… for Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2019 Psalm 136:1.

Psalm 136:1.    ​O Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

 

Come now precious people of God, let us get ourselves together in fine style and fashion this Monday morning, and go out and do Jesus’ work with a good, upstanding attitude nuh! It’s the least we can do to show our gratitude for all that He’s done for us. And all God’s children said: ‘Praise the Lord!’ It’s amusing, but sad, that every Monday morning the enemy clogs up so many of our souls and spirits that we can’t function the way we ought to. It’s just something we have to keep fighting through though. 

And to help us do that, we have this awesome prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we take our troubles to the Lord, asking for His beneficence in this our time of need, reminding Him that it’s His Son’s work we’re seeking strength, courage and wisdom to do. So altogether now, let’s raise our hearts, souls and voices to high heaven: ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, heaven heard that sincere, heartfelt prayer and the Lord immediately directed the Holy Spirit to begin working in us, to start energizing us so that we can go out and successfully do Jesus’ work; LOVING people, helping them, and causing them to want to come to Him to lay down their heavy burdens and find rest for their weary souls. No wonder the psalmist could pay the ultimate tribute to our God by declaring (steups!) in the very first verse of his psalm: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’ What  gospel truth friends! 

And the psalmist felt so strongly about it that he continued: ‘O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of Lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (Ps. 136:2-3) And yuh better believe that the other 23 verses of the psalm all end in “for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (smile) According to the scholars, ‘The psalm was no doubt sung antiphonally with the people responding with the refrain: “for his mercy endureth for ever.” The word mercy was important in the Psalter. It refers to God’s loyal LOVE for His people. He is in covenant with them, and He LOVES to be loyal to that covenant.’ 

And just to show how important mercy (LOVING-kindness) was to the psalmists, please check out Psalms 106 and 107, they both begin the same way. Jeremiah also declared it when he promised that Judah would be revived. ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives to return), as at the first, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11) 

And just to remind us, the Lord still delights in the sacrifice of praise. So if you’re in dire need of mercy, of LOVING-kindness, then that’s the way to go! (smile) Even Bruh David used it in his psalm of thanksgiving after he’d brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:34-36) 

Oh my fellow believers, we could not end this morning on a better note. So please, let’s cry out to our great God, He of our salvation, to help and save us, and offer up a sincere sacrifice of praise. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord!’ Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing that delights the Lord more…than hearing His awesome praises being declared…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2018 Mark 11:9.

Mark 11:9.    And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord:

Oh friends, it’s Sunday, Palm Sunday, that venerable feast day in our Christian history and calendar when our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem like a conquering hero, the king He was and is, riding on the back of a humble donkey, as the jubilant people spread their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on, and they kept singing, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful and moving spectacle that must have been, seeing and hearing the people give praise and honour and glory to our God and King, Jesus Christ. 

Likewise, this Palm Sunday morning, the Sunday before Easter, as we gather in the chapel, the sanctuary, or wherever, let’s lift up our voices in praise and glory like they did two thousand years ago, as we welcome Jesus into our hearts and spirits and surroundings. 

Let’s resurrect those shouts of Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest!’ As one awesome sounding choir now, let’s offer the sacrifice of praise through grateful lips from joyful hearts. ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest, Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Hosanna in the Highest. 

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb of God Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb of God Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Holy is the Lamb of God. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the King of Kings Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the King of Kings Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God 

Jesus is the King of Kings Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Hosanna in the Highest.’ 

Yeh friends, is it ever important that we lift up the name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, so that all people can bow their knees to Him and call him Lord and Saviour, for that’s exactly what He is. And now that we’ve offered praise and worship, our hearts and souls have been opened, ready to receive God’s word, that will bless and keep us for the next week. 

And here it is, describing Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. ‘And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethpage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he (Jesus) sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against (opposite) you, and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him 

And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.’ (Mark 11:1-3) 

‘All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Matt.21:4-5) 

‘And they (the disciples) went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without (outside) in a place (on the street) where two ways met; and they loose (untied) him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye do, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 

And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way (road): and others cut down branches off the trees, and strewed them in the way (road). 

And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.’ (Mark 11:4-10) 

‘And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Matt.21:10-11) 

And there we have it friends; the word of the Lord! And all God’s people declared a loud, grateful and confident ‘All thanks and praise be to our wonderful and sovereign God!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, He is indeed worthy of all the praise and glory our hearts and souls can muster! And you’ll notice that I interspersed the words of Matthew and Mark in our gospel reading so that we could get the full benefit of the information contained in both, since they each tell the story in a slightly different manner. 

Now I sincerely hope that the gospel story and the praise and worship have touched our hearts and souls today, and will make us confident and secure to go out and face another week of work. Until next time then, the Lord willing, walk faithfully and carefully with the Saviour. Much LOVE!

…Hosanna…Hosanna…save me Jesus…save me…is the right cry for us all to call out… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘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) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 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 unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 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.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘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 (vs.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, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, 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.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘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.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

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