Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

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

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2019 Philippians 4:19.

Philippians 4:19.    ​But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
 

Welcome folks, welcome! Welcome to the first snowfall of this winter season in my area! And if you have forgotten, the snow does look beautiful when it covers the rooftops and the grassy areas. And how can you not admire it as it’s falling down like li’l pearl teardrops, so innocent and unassuming! (smile) Yeh, but it could also be the devil in disguise. Thankfully though, right now it’s the wet stuff that’s falling, so it’s not really causing any problems on the roads, and whatever is on the grass and rooftops hopefully won’t stay long as the day warms up. 

Ah mih people, it’s a wake up call to begin winterizing; take out your winter attire; hat’s boots, scarves, gloves etc., winterize your cars, get your snow shovels and snow blowers ready, make sure your furnace is running efficiently and all the other little things we need to get done as we set in for a long, cold season. Ah, you friends living down south don’t know how blessed you all are nuh, because winter can be such a frustrating, difficult and expensive time.

And the days can be so dark and dreary, that they automatically weaken your spirit and your desire to do anything constructive. But as always, our great God is right there with us, providing the necessary sustenance, the necessary strength of all kinds, and lifting our spirits so that we don’t fall prey to the negative emotions of despair, hopelessness, and the winter blahs, or what we now calling ‘SAD,’ Seasonal Affective Disorder). 

And there are two paramount scriptures that we need to hold dearly and tightly come the winter blahs. The first is that ole faithful; ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called (elect, saints) according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Ah friends, there is no better time to believe that verse of scripture than in the upcoming months of winter, as it gives us a solid foundation to handle all the negative winter stuff that comes against us, knowing that our wonderful God is working out everything, both good and bad, in our favour, because we truly LOVE and trust and surrender our all to Him! 

And the next verse is like the first, (smile) producing overwhelming hope and faith in a rough and tough season. Remember these awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our magnanimous and magnificent God WILL satisfy all our needs as we sacrifice our thoughts, words and deeds in His honour.

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (v.18) the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their “need” (1) according to his riches, that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources; (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” on “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’ 

And we know that our God keeps all of His promises, so there is no need to be anxious over our earthly needs. And to really help us set up this strong winter foundation, let’s bring to mind some other foundational and faithful scriptures nuh. (smile)

Remember this big and oh so important one from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Himself? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That says it all right there friends, but as they say, there’s strength in numbers, so check out this one. ‘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.’ (1 Pet. 5:6:7) 

Mamacita! What can be more beautiful or inspirational eh? How about this one? ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:’ (2 Cor. 9:8) There again my people, we have the promise of God’s power, His generosity and unfailing faithfulness!

And we’ll close with some of the most awesome and inspirational verses in the Good Book; the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:1-4) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful words of hope and reassurance! And they are not meant to strengthen only those of us preparing for winter, but for ALL believers, so that we can remain strong and steadfast against the enemy, and do the work God has planned for each of us.

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, blessings that the Lord has magnanimously granted us so that we can do His holy will. All together in strong voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we’re sincere in those pronouncements, then the next step is for us to go out and put those blessings to work in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…I will never leave you…nor forsake you…that’s God’s faithful promise…believe it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Well my Scrip-Bit brethren, in these northern climes, it’s a chilly Monday morning out there! Yes, it’s winter, so what else do you expect eh? ‘Oh we tired with it!’ comes the sullen reply. ‘Chuh! We tired with the snow and the ice…and the cold…and all the other problems that winter bring!’ But that’s nothing new eh? It’s something you ought to be accustomed to by now… 

‘Foolishness!’ is the angry reply. ‘Who could ever get accustomed to that nonsense eh, much less like it? That’s why they call it the winter of our discontent! Every blooming time it comes around we discontented, so much so that we get sad and miserable and develop the winter blues, what they now call some big name…can’t even remember the blooming thing…Oh…Seasonal Affective Disorder! Yes, it happens every winter season, so how you could tell me about being accustomed and contented eh?’ 

And there is a point to be made there my people. When the dark, gloomy, often sunless, snowy and slippery days get into your blood, it’s hard to be enthused about the weather, especially if you have to be getting around on P2 (on foot). But as believers in Jesus Christ we have a somewhat different take on the situation (smile). 

We are encouraged to believe the best, even when we experience the worst. Now that’s not easy to do, or even comprehend, but with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, if we’re serious, we can overcome all odds. 

And for those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning, let’s apply some salve to our wounds nuh; let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, call upon the omnipotence and mercy of our heavenly Father to give us some succour down here on a turbulent and ungodly earth. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

And yuh see friends, our prayer has barely reached up to heaven when it’s quickly answered! Note the smiles on our faces now; the lifting up of our spirits, and the desire to get out there and work diligently and excellently for Jesus! That’s what we call the awesome power of prayer! With sincere heart, right motives and strong belief, any and everything is possible in Jesus’ realm! 

But the responsibility to call out for help, through prayer, remains solely in our hands. If we don’t ask in prayer, we won’t get. And that needs the power of belief, both to get us to pray, and also for us to expect whatever we’re praying for to happen. And Jesus says it quite plainly in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that TWO conditions are necessary there; asking for in prayer, and believing. If those two aren’t present, then all bets are off. As Jesus also said earlier on: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt.7:7-11) What an interesting question my people! And yuh see how Jesus builds up to it, ever the logical philosopher! (smile) 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars: ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continued prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves no excuse for failure.’ 

Yes friends, we have no excuses if we don’t pray, or if our prayer requests fail. As James, in his two cents worth on the topic declares, (wrong again): ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (earthly pleasures).’ (James 4:2-3) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that nuh my fellow believers. We either don’t ask, or ask for the wrong things, for the wrong purposes, and ‘instead of wrestling with God in prayer,’ we ‘are striving with one another.’ 

So today, let’s consider our lives nuh, both our earthly relationships as well as our prayer life. Let’s ponder on how we treat others and the things we ask for and the motives behind them. Then as always, let’s ask God for His help to do better. He will NEVER refuse such heartfelt pleas! Much LOVE!

…if the heart and the purpose are not right…then Lord will obviously say NO…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2018 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
And the spinning wheel spins…but no one knows where it’s going to stop! And isn’t that the awesome truth friends! But thankfully our spinning wheel has stopped on Tuesday…and hooray! The rain seems like it’s finally stopped too! Praise be!

Brother! Yesterday this area was as dreary and gloomy and rainy as I’ve seen it in some time! I went out in the morning in rain…came back in rain. Went out in the evening in rain…came back at midnight in rain! 

Chuh! And it wasn’t even like it was good showers but a puerile, incessant drizzle, which is more annoying than a big shower, which just comes down and stops.

Today has opened dark and cold, let’s hope it’s not more SAD weather. (smile) Anyhow, to conquer all of that negativity, here is an interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it, ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ And do we ever need hope in these trying times! 

Please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You, Lord. Amen!’ 

And that’s what hope is friends, a positive expectancy that God is working on our behalf! Bless His Holy name. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen TO ME today…Something good is going to happen THROUGH ME today!

That’s how we need to feel each and every day my fellow believers. I know it’s not always easy to be upbeat and positive, but the more we are, the better our lives will be. 

And please remember that great promise of the Lord’s that gives us eternal hope. Bruh Paul reminded the Romans of it: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ 

Yeah friends! What a mighty promise that! And if it’s one thing we’re very sure of is that our wonderful God keeps ALL of His promises! Glory be! So let’s ride on that sure wave nuh, like a surfer seeing a big one coming and just dying to ride it. Once we LOVE the Lord and are called to do His work, He will eventually work out everything for our benefit. The catch there is that oftimes backbreaking word ‘eventually.’ 

The Lord does His work in His time, and nothing is really going to change that. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts, wisdom and knowledge are greater than ours, so we just have to be patient, persevering and long-suffering and wait for Him to work His work. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but in the end it will work out magnificently, if we don’t lose heart and faint or give up. 

And the only way to overcome all the heartache, trials and pain my people, is to have the attitude that it’s all for our benefit, to grow and mature us, to make us more Christ-like. Remember we can’t grow unless we face some adversity, since we don’t truly grow in the good times. 

But the Lord NEVER gives us more than we can handle, and even when it seems so, He’s ALWAYS there with a helping hand to take us through the flood and the fire! Oh my brethren, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Give Him some much deserved praise and thanks nuh! 

Ah friends, when we are the called, the elect, the saints of God, we LOVE Him with such a fierce and undying fervour, that no matter what happens we’ll NEVER leave His fold! As Job said so magnificently so long ago: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ (Job 13:15) 

What a powerful statement my people! Like the scholars declare, those first words of that verse ‘express the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust God.’ Oh my faithful brethren, can we say those words and mean them? We ought to be able to as true believers in Christ. 

And as Bruh Paul explains to Timothy: ‘(God) Who hath saved us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:’ (2 Tim.1:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God has it all planned out: from day one to the last day, it’s only a matter of waiting on His timing. And believe me, there’s no better dramatist than our God! If you haven’t observed that in your own life, then you’re not truly involved with Him, you’re not paying proper attention. End of sermon! (smile)

Now let’s go home declaring (Yay, spelled it right!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In powerful unison now and strong sense of purpose:

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we truly mean it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…the innumerable and immeasurable joys…of LOVING and serving Jesus…they can’t ever be quantified or qualified…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2017 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Well friends, that joy-filled day called Sunday has rolled around again! And with it, we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship, joyfully sing and praise His holy name. There’s nothing that can compare to a gathering of fellow believers singing and praising Almighty God! That’s because it’s the essence of who we are, why we were so gloriously made. 

So let’s not make me a liar (smile), let’s send up to heaven wonderful words of praise and glory, joy and thanksgiving as we sing the beautiful and grateful words of the hymn; ‘New every morning is the LOVE!’ Yes my fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with heartfelt song,. As an earthly choir, sounding like heavenly angels, let’s sing!

‘New every morning is the LOVE Our wakening and uprising prove; Through sleep and darkness safely brought, Restored to life and power and thought. New mercies, each returning day, Hover around us while we pray; New perils past, new sins forgiven, New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven. If, on our daily course, our mind Be set to hallow all we find, New treasures still, of countless price, God will provide for sacrifice. 

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be, As more of heaven in each we see; Some softening gleam of LOVE and prayer Shall dawn on every cross and care. We need not bid, for cloistered cell, Our neighbor and our words farewell, Nor strive to find ourselves too high For sinful man beneath  the sky.

The trivial round, the common task, Will furnish all we ought to ask; Room to deny ourselves, a road To bring us daily nearer God. Seek we no more; content with these, Let present rapture, comfort, ease As heaven shall bid them, come and go: The secret this of rest below. Only, O Lord, in Thy dear LOVE, Fit us for perfect rest above, And help us, this and every day, To live more nearly as we pray.’ 

Yes friends, each and every day the Lord showers down new mercies, blessings, grace, forgiveness, strength…you name it…He provides it free of charge. What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! I wonder if we truly realize that eh? No other faith on this earth can truthfully declare the things that we declare. 

Neither is any other faith as joyful, sorry, should be joyful as we Christians. And I corrected myself there because too many of us supposed believers walk around sad and lethargic, bowed and bending, as though we are carrying the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. But precious saints of God, two thousand years ago our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary and took all our burdens, all our sins, all our transgressions on His strong and comely shoulders! 

Why?  So that we would not have to be sad and miserable and burdened any more, but be filled with His wonderful peace, abundant joy and glorious unconditional LOVE! So why, as a group, are we so unhappy eh? Or rather why don’t we show the true external realities that our internal blessings ought to engender? Because we’re ashamed, afraid, lackadaisical, don’t truly believe…  

Who knows eh? But the long and short of the story friends, is as Jeremiah says in his Lamentations, which includes our Bit. Poor Jerry had been battered and beaten and locked up by his fellow countrymen when he preached repentance to them. But when he had time to reflect on it all, this is what he said. 

‘Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness), My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:20-23) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous testimony, based on gospel truth! And think about it nuh, Jerry didn’t have Jesus in the manner that we now have Him, and all the wonderful stuff that He bequeathed us. But yet still he (Jerry) knew on which side his bread was buttered, and despite his calamities, gave God the thanks and the praise He so rightfully deserved. 

Listen as he continues. ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Words of indisputable truth my brethren! 

And the scholars tell us that ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul.’ And they reference people like, Habakkuk, Job, Bruh David, Isaiah and Bruh Paul. So friends, serving God is wise, wonderful and right, but not always easy. But we have to remember too that the Lord will never give us a task to accomplish without giving us the wherewithal to accomplish it. 

That’s His outstanding modus operandi, as you can see from the records of all the great men of faith we just mentioned. They all  had it tough, but they all accomplished their given tasks with flying colours. God never forsook them, even when they were out of step with His plan for their lives, but was instead merciful and compassionate because He knew their human frailties would sometimes lead them astray. 

My precious people of God, it’s the same way He behaves with us. But we have to stand strong during our adversities and trials, otherwise we’ll forsake the good things He has in store for us. Hear Asaph tell us about the Israelites plight from Psalm 78 – A reminder of God’s goodness to Israel. 

‘For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in their covenant. But he being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away; and cometh not again.’ (Ps.78:37-39)  So friends, the Lord knows our capabilities, since He created us, and will not leave us high and dry because we make mistakes. 

Bruh David says it best in the closing verse of Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd. ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:6) And if we refuse to believe that, then it’s to our great detriment my brethren. Much LOVE!

…only the Lord’s mercies…through Christ’s shed blood at Calvary…keeps us from being annihilated for our abominable transgressions…

 

 

 

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