Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 October 2022 Psalm 146:5.

Psalm 146:5.       Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

Awright friends, it’s another colourful, sunshiny autumn morn in my area! All thanks and praise be to our great and merciful God! Yes, I’m surely thankful for being able to see this lazy Saturday morning unfurl. And wherever you are, whatever the weather or your personal situation, if you opened your eyes this lazy Saturday morning, then I’d strongly advise you to also give much thanks for that heavenly blessing, because there are many others who did not get that awesome opportunity of seeing a new day. 

Please remember these immortal and very wise words of the psalmist from way back when. ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:4-5) And with that wise and wonderful scripture under our belt, (smile) let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now this first quote tells an awesome truth. It says: ‘We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.’ And I know that many of us can identify with that, because it’s when we are not productively engaged that we get into the most trouble and feel the most fearful. As the old saying goes, the devil finds work for idle hands to do. And it’s quite true, for when you are inactive your mind wanders to all sorts of unlikely places and scenarios, many induced by the enemy’s suggestions and deceptions, and thus you are more susceptible to fear and anxiety. But when we are busy doing stuff, especially God’s will for our lives, there’s little or no time for fear to intrude into our hearts, bodies and souls. Glory be! 

Then there’s this interesting quote: ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ And I believe there’s much truth in that, for in achieving one’s goals, provided they are worthwhile in God’s eyes, then your personal growth is also enhanced in ways you cannot see or even imagine. But that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us, has planned from day one for each of His creations; growth and maturity in His fold, steadily moving forward to a likeness or uncanny resemblance to His Son Jesus Christ. 

As Bruh Paul writes in Romans: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) Yes friends, from the very beginning God planned to make every Christian increasingly more like Christ, moving them along life’s path from glory to glory. (Eph. 3:18) So technically speaking, whenever we achieve goals, be they bad or good, we grow either in godliness or evil, but God’s avowed purposed is for all to grow in likeness to His Son, and I guess Satan also wants those under his control to grow in evil-doing like him. 

And it all segues quite nicely into this next quote. Yes, the second quote is like unto the first. (smile) ‘Dreams don’t have to just be dreams. You can make it a reality; if you just keep pushing and keep trying, then eventually you’ll reach your goal. And if that takes a few years, then that’s great, but if it takes 10 or 20, then that’s part of the process.’ Now that’s what we’re talking about! Dreams become goals, and goals become reality, but not necessarily in a short time, for early on there are usually mistakes and failures, but through persistence, and strong belief in God and one’s goal, you can eventually succeed. 

If you look around our world at the many stunning inventions and amenities we enjoy, they all began with a dream, that was then turned into a goal, and then worked hard and long at to achieve. From the dream to the reality, it’s all a process, more often long than short, and it’s the same with our becoming like Christ; it doesn’t happen overnight, or easily, but it’s a lifelong process with plenty of ups and downs, however, there’s a marvellous reward of salvation and eternal life at the end. 

And this next quote amplifies it all. ‘The moral of my story is the sun always comes out after the storm. Being optimistic and surrounding yourself with positive LOVING people is for me, living life on the sunny side of the street.’ Now isn’t that what we are all seeking and searching for? To be surrounded by positive LOVING people, that will help us live on the sunny side of the street. Unfortunately though, that’s one of the most difficult things to do in this current evil, ungodly world, because Satan’s appeal is so widespread that people can no longer be trusted to have your back. 

We’re becoming increasingly greedy and selfish, behaving like ungodly crabs in a barrel, all struggling to reach the top without regard to the welfare of those around us. So, we must be optimistic, for that’s what Christ, our Leader teaches, but we must also be very careful in these treacherous times of whom we let into our private sanctuaries. And yes, after a storm, there’s usually the sun shining brightly, but please note that there are more storms in the forecast, because storms are simply a natural part of life. 

We just have to be as prepared as we can be, and trust our Lord and Saviour to lead and guide us through them successfully, since we don’t have the power to do so on our own. That’s why the Good Book warns us in Psalm 146: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation)…Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps. 146:3, 5) Now that says it all friends: Mankind can’t help us with salvation, and his trustworthiness in earthly matters also leaves a lot to be desired. Only Jehovah God can be trusted to help us fix our lives in a worthwhile manner. 

And that brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.’ And my fellow believers, the only time and place you can truly see beyond yourself is when you see yourself through the eyes of our gracious and merciful God. When you are convinced that salvation is yours, that you have been reconciled to the Father, have become a child of God, made righteous through belief and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, with total surrender to His awesome will for our lives. 

That is the pinnacle God wants us all to desire, to reach for with perseverance and trust, and eventually achieve. So please, let’s keep reaching forward for said pinnacle nuh, because it’s where the Prince of Peace dwells, and only when we get there, will we ever find true peace. Much LOVE!

…peace I leave with you…my peace I give unto you…not as the world giveth…give I unto you…let not your heart be troubled…neither let it be afraid… (John 14:27) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 October 2022 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.         …the joy of the Lord is our strength.

One more time on the merry-go-round called the workweek my friends. Yes, I know, it can get somewhat tiresome doing the same thing week after week for thirty or forty years, then looking forward to a dreary retirement of doing absolutely nothing. (smile)  But unfortunately, that’s the way our world system is set up, and the sooner we stop allowing the same old, same old, bland way of life to get us down and depressed, the sooner we will be able to go about enjoying the abundant life Christ died for us to have. 

We can’t always have exciting new stuff to boost our spirits, because that’s just not the way life runs. And besides, in today’s world of numerous technological inventions, we have so many amenities, opportunities and toys to occupy our time, that we should never be bored. Sadly though, despite all those joys and toys, I don’t think there’s ever been a time before where boredom has afflicted so many people. The problem might just be we have too much stuff, too many opportunities and options at our fingertips, and we don’t have to work as hard as in earlier times to satisfy our selfish desires and pleasures. 

And the best way to get to that point where the worries, problems, boredom and misfortunes of the world aren’t stealing our hard-earned joy, is by having Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Good Shepherd! That’s because, with Him as our foundation stone, the life we build will be as solid as a rock, and the world will not be able to touch our Christ-like spirits. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that prove our point nuh. As per Jesus being our strong foundation, the Good Book tells us that Jesus Himself quoted these words of Psalm 118:22-23 to the chief priests and Pharisees when they dismissed Him as a son of the devil and not the Son of God. ‘Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone): This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’ (Matt. 21:42)  

Jesus was referring there to Himself, whom the Jewish leaders were rejecting as the Messiah, thinking that He wasn’t a good enough subject on which to build God’s kingdom, especially since He came preaching LOVE and peace rather than the war and hate they expected the Messiah to bring, so that they could get out from under the servile conditions of Roman rule. But little did they know that it would be the same rejected figure of Jesus, despised, brutally beaten and horribly abused who would indeed bring salvation and reconciliation to the world. 

And that all falls into sync with Jesus’ parable of the two foundations. He warns: ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was built upon a (the) rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 724-27) 

Oh my people, that just goes to show that if we build our lives on the strong rock that’s Jesus, if we hear His words and do them, then nothing in this world will be able to destroy us, for He is always there to help, to look after, to lead and guide us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. But if we don’t follow Him, then the world and all its evil doings and doers will simply tear us apart like rain washes away sand. And that’s why the Good Book also tells us that ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

So, if you don’t have the joy of Christ engulfing your weak and sinful spirit, then the enemy will be able to control you, causing you to do all sorts of things that are against God’s will. And that’s how you begin guarding against the boredom and sinful lusts of this evil world. Accepting Jesus Christ as the foundation stone of your life is the first move. Then you begin building upon that foundation by reading His Word and doing what it says. 

Now, it doesn’t all happen overnight, or is it easily done, but it’s a lifelong journey, fraught with problems, but also filled with learning, with meditating, with tests of our faith, but all of it faithfully promised to be eventually worked out for our good, to those who are called and who sincerely LOVE the Lord. (Rom. 8:28) 

Thus, living for Jesus is a lifestyle very different from that promoted by the enemy and the world. And one of the most important aspects of that lifestyle is prayer; sincere communication with our Lord and Saviour. It’s always our best first line of both offence and defense, where we go to our wonderful God for help in whatever situation we find ourselves, with whatever problem we have, be it big or small. So, since there’s no time like the present, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one strong and sincere voice. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, my fellow saints, let’s not forget that to get God’s blessings, we need to have right motives in our hearts and be good examples of godly living. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 August 2022   Psalm 4:8.

Psalm 4:8.        I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.

And as we come to Thursday, the penultimate day in the work week, many of us are feeling a sense of anticipatory relief quietly washing over us as Friday and the weekend draw near. However, our sense of anticipatory relief should not be emanating from the nearness of the weekend or any man-made factor, but from our nearness to Jehovah God; the personal intimacy we share with the Creator of the universe and all therein, which includes our frail and fragile bodies and souls. 

For ONLY He can give us sincere, rock-solid promises and security when life doesn’t go the way we desire. ONLY our great God can assure us of His peace, mercy, grace and salvation when things go wrong and the darkness and the evil of this ungodly world clouds our very lives. And yuh know what friends? There is so much evil and darkness in our world right now, that at some stage and time of our lives, some of that pervasive negative influence will automatically invade our lives, at least for a short season. 

And if we don’t know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, it will be nigh impossible to get rid of it, once its evil, ungodly, octopus-like tentacles get a foothold in our souls and bodies. But when we know Jesus as Lord and Saviour… Oh then… ‘Beautiful Things Happen!’ Yes, they do my brethren, as this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin ascertains. So please read it with me, with a sense of anticipatory relief. (smile) 

‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet you day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Wow mih people! That is the God awesome truth! Our great and wonderful God can do so much more for us in one day than we can ever do for ourselves in an entire lifetime! But we have to believe, to buy into Him and His Word with the utmost confidence. We must be filled to the brim with the hope and faith that He is able to do all that He promises. That’s the only way to enjoy the marvellous wonders of a personal intimacy with Him. 

And I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to believe that our Heavenly Father, our Creator LOVES us and only desires the best for us nuh, when He sent His ONLY son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross of Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven and we could get back into His good graces. The Good Book says it so clearly and beautifully: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Yes friends, why would anybody, man or God, allow their only child to die for a bunch of sinful ingrates eh, unless they had a real true and genuine LOVE and compassion for them? 

And Jesus Himself said it to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And that’s exactly what He went out and did; laid down His life for us, so that we could obtain forgiveness, be reconciled to the Father, and have salvation and eternal life through His substitutionary death. 

So please, let’s forget this foolishness that God doesn’t LOVE us, and remember instead that He is our Sovereign Lord, as well as our Father, and just like we don’t take nonsense from our children, He doesn’t take nonsense from us. And just like we provide rules and regulations for our children to follow, likewise, there are rules and regulations we need to follow if we want to end up in His fold. And just like we punish our children when they don’t toe the line, so He punishes us when we move away from the straight and narrow path. 

But the one big difference between us and our heavenly Father is that He NEVER puts us out of His fold, NEVER asks us to leave when we misbehave to the point where He can’t take it anymore. That’s because He is long-suffering, LOVING and compassionate, while we human parents have a finite amount of patience and LOVE, and when we reach that point, we ask our children to leave our homes, and ofttimes have nothing more to do with them, unless they come up to our levels of responsibility. 

But our heavenly Father doesn’t do that. When we succumb to the evil and darkness of this world, that’s when He gets down and dirty and comes seeking us with a passion that can never be matched by a human parent, and He sticks with us through all the dark and tough times and helps us to renew our strength and confidence. The evil enemy Satan doesn’t do that, because he has no LOVE for us. He just wants to drag us as deep as possible into the mire in which he’s immersed. The deeper we sink, the more he gloats. 

And I’m chuckling here, because in my passion to prove that God LOVES us, it seems like I’ve completely forgotten about our poem, and the Bible Verses on which it was based. But that’s how it is when the goodness and grace of God gets into your spirit. And that’s exactly what our poem is saying; although life can be rough and tough, walking with Jehovah God is so wonderful, so mind boggling, so unexpectedly different, that at any moment anything can happen, a new adventure could just rise up unexpectedly and carry you away to a land of bliss you’ve never known or even expected. 

And finally, (smile) here are the Bible verses on which the poem is based. None other than the last two verses of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. Please read and inwardly digest with me, these wonderful words of Bruh David. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that eh! When we sincerely have Christ in our lives, then our hearts are filled with gladness, and we can lie down and sleep in peace despite all the troubles around us! Now it just doesn’t happen overnight, or with no effort on our part, but the Lord is such a good God that He bestows benefits and blessings on us that we don’t truly deserve, but which enable us to do His earthly work, to be good ambassadors on his behalf. We call them our Thursday Blessings, which we need to say out loud for them to be activated. 

So, let’s do that right now nuh. In strong and confident 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and use those magnificent blessings to help others come to Christ. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…LOVE never fails…LOVE never gives up…LOVE is the be all and end all… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 August 2022   Psalm 147:5.

Psalm 147:5.      Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (cannot be measured).

And the week keeps moving right along to this new and sparkling day of Thursday, where all God’s mercies and compassions are also new. Yes friends, it’s a new batch of those wonderful things that our great and merciful God has brewed up afresh this Thursday morning, since we’ve either used up yesterday’s batch, or He just doesn’t like to use leftovers on a new day. (smile) But whatever the reason, we ought to give Him much thanks and praise for being the awesome God He is! A God of LOVE, Mercy, Forgiveness, Grace, Justice and Righteousness, Salvation and Eternal Life, all in one! 

Yes! As the psalmist so rightly declares: ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (cannot be measured).’ (Ps. 147:5) And I’m chuckling here because that was not what I meant to write, but once I got into the description of our marvellous God, I just got caught up and lost in it! Oh, it’s so easy to do that when you truly appreciate your Creator and the Provider of your livelihood. 

Anyway, what I had intended to say was something like this. Have you ever noticed that despite all the happenings in our world and in in our individual lives, the forces of nature never stop carrying out their jobs, they never change from one path to the other? The days keep moving on, the birds keep singing, the flowers keep growing as the bees keep buzzing around them, seasons change from summer to winter and back again, the sun rises in the day and the moon at night, with no interruptions, regardless of the wars, strife, hatred and enormous evil that fills the world. 

That can also be attributed to the amazing power of our God, for His creation of the universe with its beauty and continuity, and oh so intricate workings, still leaves us awe stricken when we truly consider it. That’s also why the psalmist proclaimed that all creation ought to praise Almighty God. So please read with me, these beautiful words from the opening verses of Psalm 148, a psalm of universal praise. 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him from the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise ye him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps. 148:1-5) 

That’s what I’m talking about my people; the mighty power and awesome creativity of our magnificent God. He simply commanded all those things to be made and put in place…and they were! And what I truly like is the following verse, where the psalmist proclaims: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ (Ps. 148:6) Glory be my faithful brethren! The Lord’s made a decree that will never pass! Wow! Can any other supposed god or idol do that? No way Jose! 

But the psalmist doesn’t stop there, for there are more things than the heavenly beings and bodies to praise the Lord. So, let’s continue reading: ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures) and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour: stormy wind fulfilling his word. Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:’ (Ps. 148: 7-10) Yes, friends, the psalmist then turns there to the things of the earth; even Mother Nature ought to praise the Lord because she is so wonderfully made! 

And no, he hasn’t forgotten God’s greatest creation; mankind, the only thing He didn’t speak into existence but actually made with His two hands! So let’s continue reading. ‘Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven.’ (Ps. 148:11-13) 

Now we getting down to brass tacks mih bredrin! The Lord God Almighty deserves the praise of all His creation, especially mankind, whom He’s made in His own image, and gave His breath of life, His Holy Spirit to aid us in living a good and abundant life on His marvellous earth. That’s why the psalmist concludes the psalm with these telling words. ‘He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 148:14) 

Now do we still need encouragement to praise our great God? We shouldn’t after reading of all His mighty works and experiencing His LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, grace, compassion and salvation. But we’re such a disobedient, stubborn and prideful human animal that we take pleasure in using our free will to thwart the Lord’s desires for us. But yuh know what friends, the joke is really on us yes, because we’re not doing the Lord anything by being disobedient and intractable, we’re only harming ourselves. 

Think about it nuh! The Lord is sitting on His fine throne in His marvellous heaven, enjoying life, while we are down here struggling with sin and evil, the punching bag of the enemy, stubbornly refusing God’s LOVING advances, filled with all sorts of good things to make this life and the other more wonderful than we can even imagine. Nothing we do will affect God’s good living, except possibly break His heart for the umpteenth time by stubbornly and foolishly refusing His wonderful gift of salvation and eternal life. 

So, who’s the loser in this whole scenario eh? Definitely not God, the Creator…but we foolish human beings, the created! But thankfully our God is so good, and a handful of us are wise enough to accept His marvellous offer. That’s why, to do His earthly work, He’s bestowed so many undeserved blessings on us. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and it’s time for us to declare them so that they can be activated and show out in our lives. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s go out now and use those blessings to encourage others to come to Christ in all sincerity and truth. Much LOVE!

…let everything that has breath praise the Lord…and even those that don’t have breath…let them also praise Him…for He rightfully deserves the praise… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 April 2022 Luke 24:5b.

Luke 24:5b.      Why seek ye the living among the dead? 

HAPPY  EASTER! 

It’s the big day friends; the day we’ve been so eagerly awaiting – that’s Easter Sunday! That most memorable day of Christ’s resurrection, which resulted in a resounding victory over his satanic majesty, the prince of darkness and his dark dominion of hell, death and the grave! And is it ever a perfect day for a resurrection; bright and sunshiny, though somewhat cool. It’s the most joyful day in Christendom because Christ’s resurrection made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and the free gift of salvation and eternal life a blessed reality! Oh, please give Him a shout of praise and honour my people. 

And do I ever like this commentary on the day taken from the Simple Series musical ‘Mercy Tree,’ which was featured on the album inspired by the message and mission of Billy Graham, titled ‘My Hope.’  It says: ‘We have gathered today to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

And we most certainly have reason to celebrate my people! It’s the day of mankind’s greatest gift, next to his creation; when the Lord blew His breath of life into man’s frail and fragile body! It’s not every day that your sins are forgiven, and you can look forward to a life of close encounters with your Lord and Saviour. So that’s indeed a cause for celebration! 

And to get us started on that celebration, we are going to sing this most appropriate hymn written by one of the great hymn writers of all time Charles Wesley, titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today.’ ‘It’s considered the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus.’ But before we get into the actual singing, I have one more commentary to share, and I’m not sure where I got it from, (smile) but it is very interesting and uplifting. 

Please read with me. ‘In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. 

The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.’ 

So let’s do exactly that nuh friends, lift our ‘alleluias’ in sacrificial praise this Easter Sunday morn of this controversial and difficult year of 2022. Therefore, in an upbeat tempo, with loud voices, joyful hearts and souls, let’s sing this magnificent anthem of praise. ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! 

LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Yes mih bredrin. That’s indeed a magnificent song for a magnificent day, and we did full justice to it. Praise the Lord! And I do hope we noticed the focus in every verse on the resurrection of Christ as mentioned above. And I particularly like the line that says: ‘LOVE’S redeeming work is done,…’ To me, that describes it best. It’s all the work of LOVE, which it so truthfully is: beginning with the Father’s LOVE for us, then the Son’s LOVE for the Father, which led Him to an obedient death on the cross. 

But the story of Christ’s triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday is never complete without some retelling of it from the Good Book, how the women came to the tomb early in the morning to embalm Jesus, wondering how they would roll away the stone, but much to their amazement found the stone had already been rolled away and the tomb was empty. And they saw two men standing in the tomb with shining garments. They bowed their heads in fear, but the men said to them, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying , The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words. And they returned from the sepulchre and told all these things unto the eleven and to all the rest.’ (Luke 24:1-9) 

Now all the gospels give their version of the resurrection events, But there’s something about John’s version I like. Where, after the news of the empty tomb was noised about, Peter and John went to the tomb and also found it empty, and they too went away perplexed. ‘But Mary Magdalene stood without (outside) the sepulchre weeping, (this was her second visit) and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence (carried him away), tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say Master (Teacher). Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not (stop clinging to me); for I have not yet ascended unto my Father: (do not worry, I’m not going away immediately): but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and he had spoken these things unto her.’ (John 20:11-18) 

What a moving story of reunion and reconnection my people! And I believe it’s important to note that Jesus chose a female, Mary Magdalene to be the first human contact on His resurrection day, and not one of His male disciples. She apparently was one of Jesus’ trusted female followers, female disciples, who travelled with Jesus and His ‘nowherian’ band (band of no fixed abode). And females were indeed an important part of Christ’s ministry, but I guess because of the paternalistic nature of the society their importance was consistently overlooked, just like it still is today. 

Anyway friends, I hope this short treatise (smile) on Easter Sunday has encouraged us, made us more aware of the great importance of this day in the annals and life of our Christian faith, for without it, there would be no Christianity, no salvation, and no eternal life, just hellfire and damnation. So please let’s rejoice, be merry and enjoy it, but let’s take time to consider how important Jesus really is to us, and repledge our allegiance to him on this Easter, this Resurrection Sunday! It’s the least we can do to show our eternal gratitude. Much LOVE!

…no resurrection means…no church…and worst of all…NO Rapture… 

P.S. Sorry it’s so late…but dem’s the breaks! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 April 2022 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.      ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

A BLEESED GOOD FRIDAY! 

And then it was Friday…Good Friday to be exact; the end of our Lenten season, the day our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross of Calvary to pay for our abominable sins! And why that name on one of the most horrendous days in History? There are all sorts of reasons, but I like this one. It’s a Good Friday in the sense that on this particular day, ALL of our sins were washed away! That’s not only what‘s good about it, but what is exceedingly and abundantly wonderful! 

Yes, we know that Christ suffered terribly on our behalf, but that’s considering the glass half empty. However, looking at what that sacrifice entailed and accomplished – atonement, forgiveness of sins – means looking at the glass half-full. And no one wanted, or wants anyone to undergo such ‘sufferation’ as Jesus did – and that’s the only word that can truly explain what He went through for us undeserving and ungrateful sinners – but without someone sinless paying for our sins we would ALL still be headed for damnation and hellfire with no options of salvation and eternal life. 

And since Jesus was the only sinless soul available, it was obvious that the Father had to sacrifice Him if He wanted our sin debt to be paid. And oh, how it hurts my heart when I consider the unfairness and misery Jesus went through on our behalf. Sometimes I don’t even want to read about the shame hurled on Him during the mock trials He went through. And the flogging, oh brother, that wicked beating that cut His back to tatters brings tears to my eyes. 

Then the ignominy, the embarrassment and humiliation of dragging that heavy wooden cross on which He would be crucified through the streets of Jerusalem, falling under its weight, just like he would later fall under the weight of our sins that the Father would ultimately lay on His shoulders. It’s like our modern-day trait of having someone dig their own grave. Just listen to this description of Christ’s early suffering as told by Matthew, and if it doesn’t break your heart and bring tears to your eyes…then…I don’t know what to say about you nuh. 

After Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified, ‘Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall (the governor’s headquarters where everyone could see), and gathered unto him the whole band (cohort) of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited (twisted) a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put on his own raiment (clothes), and led him away to crucify him.’ (Matt. 27:27-31) 

Oh friends, can you imagine how Jesus must have been totally humiliated, especially after only a week earlier, the same crowd that had cheered His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, singing ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ was now shouting ‘Crucify Him!’ But yuh know what, our heavenly Father is always a kind and LOVING God, and even in the depths of Jesus’ despair, though He knew that He could not take away the cup that Jesus must drink, He could soften the blow somewhat. Thus, the following scriptures: ‘And as they led him (Jesus) away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.’ (Luke 23:26) 

Oh my people, do you think that Simon just happened to appear there when Jesus was so exhausted and broken after all that He’d suffered in the last several hours. No, I don’t think so. I think the Father, knowing the terrible state that Jesus was in, placed him there for just that purpose. And isn’t it strange that the first three gospels all named Simon by name, a supposed casual passer-by? Mark even named his two sons, Alexander and Rufus. And every Good Friday since then, we too are also calling Simon the Cyrene’s name. As they say, people are not named in scripture without a purpose. So the story had to be true. 

And I like what this one author, Chris Nye, says on importance of Luke’s words, ‘that he might bear it after him.’ That means Simon was walking behind Jesus with his cross. Nye writes: ‘Before his arrest and betrayal, Jesus said to his would-be followers, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To be a Christian is to live a “cruciform life,” a kind of existence that is shaped by and through the cross. 

We bear the cross Jesus provides for us. This is precisely what Simon did and precisely what we must do too. As St. Paul wrote, we do this so that we may know Jesus “and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). Simon of Cyrene, following behind Jesus with the cross, is the picture of discipleship. Christ has gone first. He has gone and is going to where we cannot. Still, we follow in his steps, bearing the cross behind him.’ 

Ah mih fellow saints, the cross is indeed the symbol of our faith! Everything in Christianity points to it and leads away from it. Without the cross there’d be no solid foundation for us to build our lives upon. And we all know the rest of the story of that First Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified naked like a jay bird, the ultimate shame in His Jewish faith, between two thieves, with nails in his hands and feet, and left hanging on the cross for some five hours in the hot midday sun to die from dehydration and loss of blood. The ultimate cruelty ever devised by man! 

But we also know that Jesus bore His ‘sufferation’ like the true Son of God that He was, mostly in silence too. His only complaint being at about the ninth hour, when He cried out to the Father: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, on that old rugged cross, bearing the sins of the whole world on His shoulders, that was the ONLY time that Father and Son had ever been separated, and apparently that was the only thing that troubled Jesus deeply. He was otherwise so in control that He promised the repentant thief crucified with Him: ‘Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:43) 

Even in His misery, His dying moments, Jesus was cognitive enough to plead on our behalf. ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) He is asking forgiveness for the people who are unjustly crucifying Him, the same ones for whose sins He was sent to atone for! Now doesn’t that say everything about our magnificent Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? It certainly does! What a fine example He is for us to follow! And that’s all He’s asking of us this Good Friday, this immortal day on the Christian calendar; to take up our cross, just like He did His two thousand years ago, and faithfully follow Him to salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not faithfully bearing your cross…then you’re not following Jesus… 

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but I had to go to church, because the 10 o’clock service was the only one we have today. But as always…better late than never. (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘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. 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 15:4-5) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful voice: ‘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!’ 

So now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8      

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2022 Romans 10:13.

Romans 10:13.     For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

HAPPY  VALENTINE’S  DAY!

Come on down, all you big Monday players on this day of LOVE! It’s time to make a move, to rise and shine and get on with Christ’s work! The day is already well on its way, and we can’t let it get too far ahead of us, else we’ll miss a lot of opportunities to tell this troubled world about Christ who wants to save them and give them eternal life. And that’s our job, as ambassadors and agents, as disciples and true believers in the Son of God, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary to save sinners from eternal damnation. 

Remember Jesus’ Great Commission to His followers? ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

And the simple fact is that people can’t be saved unless they know, unless they hear the gospel of Christ. As Bruh Paul explained to the church at Rome, using the words of the prophet Joel 2:32 in the first verse here ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.’ (Rom. 10:13-15) 

Wow! Bruh Paul was a true wordsmith; especially good at pulling words from other writers and adding them to his, like he did with that last sentence of verse 15, which comes from Nahum 1:15. And what was that all about? The scholars explain it thus: ‘10: 14-15. In presenting the universal application of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: 

First, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content (c.f. 4:18 – which refers to Abraham being the father of many nations through faith); third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’ 

And then we come to the big question, as declared in verse 13 above: What is this thing called salvation? And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘10:13. Salvation is the most common biblical expression used to identify the subjective changes in people’s lives, when by faith they have received the benefit of the Christ’s death and resurrection. The term implies deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. It occurs in Scripture in three phases. First the Christian has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin (Eph. 2: 5, 8). 

Second, the Christian is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin in this life (Gal. 2:19-20). Finally, when the Lord returns, the Christian will be saved from ALL the physical results of sin and of God’s curse on the world (Rom. 8:18-23). Illustration: Although Jesus used the word only once (Luke 19:9). He used many other expressions to describe salvation. The dramatic change in Zaccheus was proof of his salvation. Application: The Christian today should also demonstrate a change in his life to confirm this “so great a salvation.” 

And that phrase comes from Hebrews 3:2. Which says: ‘How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.’ Now that’s another good question to ask ourselves today. And I like how the article on the topic by John Piper, found on the desiringgod.org website explains it. 

The author says: ‘The point of this paragraph of God’s Word is that there will be no escape for any of us who neglects our great salvation. Verse 3: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” What’s the answer to that question? The answer is, There is no way we will escape if we neglect such a great salvation. Now this is a sobering word for the world and for the church, because most people do neglect the greatness of salvation. 

How many people do you know who give serious, sustained attention to the salvation accomplished by Christ—who LOVE it, and think about it, and meditate on it, and marvel at it, and feel continual gratitude for it, and commend it to others as valuable, and weave it into all the lesser things of their lives, and set their hopes on it? Do you live this way? Is it not astonishing how neglectful even professing Christians are of their great salvation?’ 

Now that’s the awful truth! Not enough of us take salvation as seriously as we should. So please let this be wakeup call for us nuh, and let’s begin to take God’s awesome free and LOVING gift of salvation the way we ought to. And we can begin right now by going to Him in sincere prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His divine help. 

Altogether now:  ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

It now behooves us to keep our promises, if we want the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

… it’s our bounden duty…to spread the LOVE of Jesus…every day…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 November 2021 Matthew 6:21.

Matthew 6:21.     For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And then it was Wednesday…and we have our second wind…we pushing on relentlessly in the name and the power of Jesus, knowing that Friday and the weekend are just around the corner, and we’ll soon have another opportunity to gather, worship and praise our great and wonderful God, while He refreshes us for another fateful week in the trenches of life! 

Brother! Is that a great sentence or what? Reminds me of some of the convoluted ones Bruh Paul writes. So I’m not in such bad company then. (smile) But seriously though, Wednesday, the mid-week workday, is one where we should take a moment to take stock of how our week is going and if we need to make any changes or even ramp up our faith. It’s a suitable time to consider if we are actually doing what we planned, or still just talking the talk, without any, or enough of the walk that’s necessary. 

Remember, we are merely human beings with all kinds of frailties and weaknesses and we can easily get sidetracked by the enemy and the ungodly world. That’s why we need to keep a steady check on how we are progressing, if we are truly storing up heavenly treasures though living this earthly life. Jesus said it quite plainly, as He is wont to do. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:19-21) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Wherever our treasure is hidden or laid up, there also will be our heart, because our treasure is ever so important to us. That’s why so many of us think of the banks so often. (smile) And why not eh, if all our money is in there, hopefully readily available to us when we need or want it. 

Now let’s check the explanation the scholars offer of those verses. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasure in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

And truly, earthly treasures are not bad in and of themselves, it is when we concentrate all our efforts on accumulating them and don’t have time for God in the unwise pursuit of what Cousin Sol calls ‘vanity’ or futile stuff. Furthermore, if we focus on earthly wealth, we stand a good chance of losing it to moth, rust and thieves. And yet furthermore, (smile) when your earthly days are over, you can’t take any of it with you. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothes) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim. 6:7-8) 

The scholars explain. ‘6:7. And it is certain we can carry nothing out (or, “because we are unable to carry anything out”). Man enters the world at birth possessing nothing. In order to teach him that he will exit the world in the same manner – taking nothing with him. This is a divine means of showing man that since material wealth is relatively insignificant, he should pursue the important things mentioned in verse 11.’ And as per ‘6:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

And my fellow saints, I would certainly be amiss if I did not point out the important things mentioned in verse 11. (smile) Bruh Paul writes: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (the LOVE of money and striving for other earthly wealth – vs. 9-10): and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ (1 Tim. 6:11) 

Oh, and will I ever be my sweet self and throw in verse 12 for good measure, (smile) because it so desperately applies to us in these very dangerous and desperate times. Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim. 6:12) Now that’s exactly what we need to do in these perilous times my faithful brethren. 

And if you don’t understand it all, let’s allow the scholars to explain. ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

And I so like to spoil us, that I’ll quote John 3:36. (smile) John the Baptist, not John the disciple, is testifying of Jesus: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ Yes friends, we have salvation and are going to heaven, through God’s free gift of grace, but in the meanwhile we have to make use of all the opportunities, benefits and blessings that that salvation brings to us here on earth. We have to live out our faith. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ (Phil. 2:12b) 

And these two paragraphs from an article on the subject by Ed Elliot on the medium.com website explains that verse much better than I can. Ed writes: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

But to do that successfully my brethren, means we have to spend serious time in the Word and with the Lord, as well as with other believers, encouraging and teaching each other. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that very thing, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And don’t forget that if we endure to the very end that the future will indeed be even more glorious that we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…why seek finite earthly treasures…when heavenly ones last till infinity…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had some important errands to run and as always, the best laid plans of mice and men do tend to go astray. (smile) Much LOVE!                                                                                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 November 2021 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.     Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh my people, on this bright and sunny but chilly Tuesday morning, let me greet you as Bruh Paul liked to greet his fellow believers. ‘Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.’ And I believe that’s one of the best greetings we can ever get, for what’s greater, more important and soul-satisfying than grace, mercy and peace from our Creator and our Saviour eh? Nothing! Absolutely nothing…well except for salvation and a place in heaven with them. (smile) But then, we only get that through His free gift of grace anyway. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! And with His marvellous breath of life still flowing through us on another brand new day, means that He expects big things from His marvellous children! Ah friends, I think I’m getting excited here, and likely to be carried away on the wings of that excitement, so I guess had better handle it with a modicum of circumspection. (smile) But that’s what happens when the goodness and grace of God gets into your spirit. 

And that’s as it should be too, otherwise, what’s the use of those goodies eh, if not for us to live the abundant, excited life in Christ? Like He so faithfully promised in that famous verse. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And that doesn’t mean only eternal life when we die and go to heaven, but a good life right here on earth too. And we ought to be excited about it, otherwise Christ’s death was in vain. 

And I believe that this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately expresses how our excitement in living for Christ, ought to show out. It’s aptly titled ‘You Cannot Be Hid.’ Please read with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered that it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. 

When You are the Great First in a home There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own Word says it so vividly: ‘It was known that He was in the house.’ 

And that’s how every Christian home should be reflecting Christ! People shouldn’t have to ask if we’re believers in Christ Jesus, they should be able to see it from our behaviour, from the acts of LOVE, prayer and kindness that exist in our homes. Unfortunately though, too many supposed Christian homes do not show these attributes, so others don’t know that Christ lives there. Remember what Christ said, that those who reject Him before humans, He would reject before His heavenly father. (Matt. 10:33) 

And not being able to see Christ in us, in the way we live our earthly lives, is indeed tantamount to rejecting Him before men. For some of His most important words to us was in the Bible Promise on which our poem above was based. Namely: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (a lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (a lampstand); and it giveth light unto the whole house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

And right there lies the crux of our problems friends: unbelievers are not seeing our light that comes from having Jesus within us, they are not seeing our good works, meaning that we are not doing enough of them to make a difference in this evil and ungodly world, otherwise it would not be so evil and ungodly. There’s no way for us to dispute the less than satisfactory Christ-like walk that we supposed Christians are taking in the world. Too many of us are either ashamed or afraid of showing out to others that Christ is a major, if not the most important person in our lives. 

Therefore, if our light isn’t shining in Jesus’ name, then it’s obvious we cannot do a good job for Him down here on earth. However, that’s our essential mission as believers in Christ. As the scholars explain. ‘The Christian is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is, a basket. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

Glory to God my people! And that last sentence says a lot about our incompetence and lack of shown excitement for Jesus. I mean that if we had shown even a little light, there would not be as much darkness in the world today as it is. And please note the recently completed Halloween celebrations, where it was all about darkness and ugliness and evil accoutrements! That ought not to be in a world full of Christ’s light. 

Anyway, we will all answer individually for our actions and non-actions come the judgement day, but please, it is not too late for us to step up our Christian activities and try to do better in whatever time is left to us down here on this troubled earth. And I’m asking that we do just that. Remember that we don’t have a spirit of fear, but of power, LOVE and a sound or disciplined mind, so let’s put them to work in God’s behalf, like we are supposed to nuh! It would be to the benefit of all mankind. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do our best for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, blissfully letting the whole world know who and whose we are, to whom we most definitely belong. As one, strong voice: ‘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 having said that so vociferously, (smile) it is now our bounden duty to go out and actively and joyfully share that awesome LOVE and amazing friendship of Christ with all those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christ gave up everything for us…why can’t we shine a little for Him eh… that isn’t too much to ask…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

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