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…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2018 Titus 2:11.

Titus 2:11.    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

Sunday, oh Sunday! It’s Sunday my brethren! That means all roads lead to the Lord‘s sanctuary for some special time of prayer and praise, worship and fellowship! What a glorious morning it will be as we gather to give thanks and get strength and mercy in return! The Lord will be just bubbling over with joy this morning as we come to exalt His holy name, show humility and reverence to His majestic Being and renew our faithfulness by believing His promises. 

And there is no more appropriate hymn to open our worship session than the old faithful, ‘Standing on the Promises of God.’ It’s a wonder how these old hymns just seem to last forever, but that’s because they are based on the infallible truth of God’s word. So without further ado, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips, strong lungs and sincere hearts. 

All together now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.)  Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] 

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.]’ 

And isn’t that the best place to stand my fellow believers? Yes sir, right there on the faithful and everlasting promises of God, for there is none as faithful as Him! He never makes promises unless He intends to keep them. So any promise you see written in His word, will most definitely be kept. Yuh see how He promised to send the Jewish people a Messiah, a Saviour, and He did! 

They just misunderstood the circumstances. They were looking for a warrior king, to lift the heavy burden of servitude from their shoulders under harsh Roman rule. However, the Lord had a peaceful, LOVE touting rabbi in mind; one to save their sinful souls from eternal damnation. 

And today we’re going to listen to Bruh Paul’s words to his protégé Titus on the subject of Christian living, how we can prevent the loss of our souls  to Lucifer, through accepting the faithful promise of Christ. It starts out with our Bit: ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.’ 

Yes friends, God LOVED His human creation so much that He could not exclude any from His plan for salvation. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.’ (Titus 2:12-15) 

Absolutely nothing has changed down through the ages friends. It is still the way we ought to live if we consider ourselves believers in, and followers of Christ. Hear the scholars’ explanations on that passage. ‘2:11-15. The salvation that appeared to all men is based on God’s grace that has provided salvation universally for all mankind through the unlimited atonement of Christ. 

That blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ refers to His second coming. The use of the definite article “the” with the first noun “God” and the connecting “and” indicates that the first and second “Saviour” (nouns) are one and the same person. Our “great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” is thus one and the same person, clearly proving the deity of Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, I guess the scholars’ are referring to the Greek text in that last sentence. But we don’t need any evidence or reassurance that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was deity. It’s evident from all that He did while He was here on earth. Only someone with divine power could have done His miracles, and endured the ‘sufferation’ He did on our behalf without going out of His mind. 

But all of that aside, let’s listen to Jesus’ promise to come back for us. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

So my friends, if we sang about standing on the promises of God earlier on, and then declared that Christ was deity, then simple logic would conclude that we should believe and stand on the promises Christ made in those verses. (smile) So let’s stand strong on them nuh, for He is coming back again, sometime soon, this time in all His glory and splendour, the warrior King that the Israelites first dreamed of. 

And He is going to take us home to heaven to dwell there with Him until eternity, if we believe in Him, obey His words and live the lifestyle He desires. So what’s it to be eh friends? Let’s hope we all vote for Jesus, for that’s wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing as beautiful…as living for Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2018 Psalm 48:14.

Psalm 48:14.   For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

And there was joy in the morning, because it was Sunday; the day most Christians choose to rest and to gather in fellowship to sing and praise their marvellous God. And believe me friends, there’s nothing better than worshipping Almighty God and singing His wonderful praises. Therefore, let’s begin the proceedings by voicing the beautiful and true words of the old, but dearly beloved Isaac Watts hymn, ‘O God our help in ages past,’ written a couple of centuries ago, but still going strong. 

In strong, harmonious voices now, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘O 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. O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

What words of immortal truth my people! Our great God has indeed been our help in times past, and is also the One we place our future hope upon. He’s been our shelter from innumerable storms and He’s the One we will dwell with in eternity, after this earthly life is over. And to further expand His resume, He’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present! Hn! What a truly mighty God we serve! There is no other supposed deity who even comes close to Him, because He is the Only True and Living God! 

That’s why we can proclaim with strong conviction like the psalmists, the sons of Korah, do in this verse that’s our Bit.  ‘For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.’ 

There’s no more left to say my fellow believers, that says it all! Our God is so amazing, so awesome; that we have no doubts whatsoever about serving and worshipping until the end of time! No one can come between us and our God, because He is everything we need and want…and then some! 

Hear how Moses puts it in his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God’ (Ps.90:1-2) 

Wow! As the French would say, ‘Tres Magnifique!’ Yes that’s our God; magnificent in every way my people! No wonder the sons of Korah open Psalm 48 with this verse. ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.’ (Ps.48:1) 

And later on they declare: ‘We have thought of thy LOVING-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgements.’ (Ps.48:9-11) Yeh friends, our God is also just and righteous! What more can we ask for eh? Nothing really, because He possesses all the elements and attributes that make up a true godly Being. 

Now listen to the sons of Korah from Psalm 47 – God is the King of all the earth. ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen (gentiles): God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.’ (Ps.47:6-9) 

And so He should be my people! Our God deserves exaltation, reverence and glory to the fullest degree, not to mention obedience, obeisance and LOVE! Remember, ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) That’s another feather in His cap! (smile) ‘And God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) How can we not LOVE, honour and obey Him eh friends, He’s such a wonderful Deity! 

Unfortunately though, the sinful world we live in, and our own fallen nature cause many of us to shy away from God. But that’s not wise friends, for He is the only One who can save us from a life of disasters and eternal damnation, through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why we need to get even closer to God, so that we are not on the outside looking in when the day of final judgement arrives. For it will indeed be a sad day when unbelievers are thrown into the lake of fire. 

Please ponder that fact and see if it’s to your liking. And if it isn’t, then you need Jesus. And remember in this year of 2018, we’ve resolved to have a closer walk with our Lord and Saviour. So let’s sincerely do that nuh, since it will be definitely to our benefit. Much LOVE!

…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…

 

 

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