Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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!’ 

Yes mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2019 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   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.

 

And the rain fell with a vengeance, for much of the day! And it wasn’t the measly drizzle we’d been getting for the last li’l while, but full blown showers accompanied by booming claps of Thor’s thunder and threatening bolts of fiery lightning! The sun would come out for a li’l while and you’d think, ‘Yes, the rain’s over!’ But that would be a wasted thought, for shortly thereafter the rain would come pouring down again. Chuh! 

And that’s the worst kind of rainfall, because it just leaves you in limbo, never knowing what it’s going to do! But the good thing is that was yesterday, Saturday, today is Sunday, a different day completely, so let’s hope the weather will be different too. (smile) And it looks different, bright, but with some scudding clouds. 

But even if it’s the same, please, don’t let us allow it to stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to celebrate His day, the Sabbath, to give Him praise and thanks, to hear His faithful and wonderful Word, and receive His enabling blessings, without which we can’t successfully navigate the storms and trials of this earthly life. And as always, we’ll begin the celebrations with a song of praise and worship to lighten our souls and prepare our hearts to hear His Word. 

And today’s song is a fairly new one, written in the second half of the 20th century, by one Artie Glenn, but was popularized by one Elvis Presley. So let’s get serious, soulful and sincere as we raise up our voices in praise and thanksgiving to heaven, through the words of ‘Crying In The Chapel’ It’s a soulful morning friends, so let’s feel it in our hearts and souls and trill as one harmonious songbird. (smile) 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel, The tears I shed were tears of joy, Now I know the meaning of contentment, And I’m happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel, Where humble people go to pray. I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger, As I live from day to day. I’ve searched (I’ve searched) and I’ve searched, But I couldn’t find, No way on earth to gain peace of mind. 

But now I’m happy in the chapel, where people are of one accord (One accord). Yes, we gather in the chapel, Just to sing and praise the Lord. Oh you’ll search, and you’ll search, but you’ll never find, No way on earth to gain peace of mind. Take your troubles to the chapel, get down on your knees and pray, Then your burdens will be lighter, and you’ll surely find the way, Yes, you’ll surely find the way!’ 

People oh people! Such simple but heartrending words of absolute truth! Wow! And we sung it so sweetly that all heaven was moved to tears! Don’t you just like it when we move all heaven to tears? Of course, because it means that we’ve done something, touching, sincere and truthful! That calls for another ‘Wow!’ this auspicious Sunday morning. 

But on a serious note though, it’s certainly amazing how the sentiments in such a short and simple song could be so true. For example; the tears many of us shed when we go to church are usually ones of joy, because something happens within our souls and spirits and we’re lifted up, we become contented through the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us and renewing and refreshing us. 

And yuh know what? We don’t have to go to no big cathedral to search for God and pray, because we’ll find Him just as well in a simple chapel, where the folks are humble, because that’s one of the requirements of coming to Him in prayer. And we not asking for a whole lot usually – well some of us are (smile) but simply to grow stronger each day as we live in the presence of God’s amazing grace. 

And yuh better believe that there is no other way of finding peace on this ungodly earth than through the auspices of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That’s for sure! As He unambiguously told the disciples, and consequently us: ‘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.’ 

Yes friends, the peace we get from Jesus is nothing like what this world has to offer; it’s an out of this world kind of peace, that ONLY He possesses and ONLY He can bestow! And that’s why we end up being contented and cry tears of joy in the chapel! And the best piece of advice there is to take ALL your troubles to God’s sanctuary, or really anywhere quiet and convenient, get down on your knees and pray; unburden your heart before Him, and He will lift your burdens and show you the way. 

Just listen to Jesus as He makes this wonderful offer to ALL those who are weighed down and burdened nuh. We call it the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

How can you ever beat that offer eh friends? Nobody has ever offered anything even close to it. And yes, I do know that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are, but that’s in the lying and deceitful world of Satan, not in Jesus’ realm! He is God and has no cause to lie! And better still, He also has the power to perform whatever He promises! All praise and glory to His Holy Name! That’s why this song, ‘Crying in the Chapel’ is so perfect in its simplicity and truth! 

Oh how I wish more of us supposed believers would take hold of the simplicity of Jesus’ message and just run with them! It would make all of our lives so much easier. Our Lord and Saviour is not a complicated man, and His pronouncements are not complicated either. All He asks of us is to believe and obey! Is that so hard to do my people? Not at all! 

So this Sunday morning, let’s take a serious and sincere stand nuh promise ourselves to just live and work for Jesus, in whatever manner He desires of us! That’s the unadulterated, God-given wisdom of heaven, by which earth should be guided! Much LOVE!

…to whatever question you might ask…Jesus is the answer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 
And after a rainy Sunday for Mother’s Day, it looks like we going to have a rainy Monday for work too! Chuh! What’s with this rain eh? And I know for many people it’s like the brother and sister duo, the Carpenters said in their 1971 hit song ‘Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.’ 

Yeh, there’s something about rain that brings out the sadness and blues in us, like sunshine brings out the joy and gladness. And when it’s the first day of the workweek, it just makes it worse! But please remember my people, we have the eternal light, the light of all lights, Jesus Christ in our corner, so even if you’re feeling down and blue this rainy Monday morning, we just need to turn to Him for help, and He will gladly assist us. 

So let’s just lay it all before Him right now with true sincerity, as we declare (right ho!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one 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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! And I see its working, because you’re stepping higher and lighter already, and your eyes have that bright light of Jesus shining in them, and you’re just more business like as the Spirit of Jesus works on you. Glory to God! 

And today friends, the Lord has put it on my heart to talk to us, to remind us of that spiritual and protective armour we pray about every Monday, how important it is for us believers to be always ensconced in it. As Bruh Paul commanded the Ephesians: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful saints in Christ, we are in a war, a war against the forces of evil, and soldiers can’t go to war without proper protection. That’s why the scholars tell us to ‘put on’ denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. And to stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical position.’ 

So we need to be always aware of what’s happening around us and stand strong for Jesus. But what makes it even more difficult is as Bruh Paul says: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:12-13) 

Oh friends, please don’t take this all lightly, we are in a serious war with the satanic forces of evil, and a lot of it exists in the high places and powers of this world, plus there are fallen angels, demons and Satan himself. And besides, it’s not only a war being waged against the church proper, but also against individual believers like you and me. 

And the scholars explain verse 13 thus: ‘6:13. Wherefore means “because of this,” that is, because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry. The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these things, be ready, for the Devil will attack again and again.’ 

Oh friends, that last part is ever so true! If it’s one thing we can count on is that the forces of evil will always be on our case, especially since we’re believers, since their avowed plan is to make believers look foolish and fall for their wiles, lies and other evil schemes. That’s why we have to be ever so careful and take our Monday Morning Battle Hymn very seriously, because it’s a prayer for help, for the ability to resist the enemy, and even more to fight a strong and victorious fight in Jesus’ name! 

Oh my people, my people, believe me, the battle is getting hotter with each passing day, because the enemy is seeing that he’s losing and is trying to fight back; yuh know like how a wild animal behaves when its back is against a wall, so we just have to stand up strong and steadfast, dressed in our powerful armour, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us out to battle! Glory to our great God! 

And we’ll end there today. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the various parts of the spiritual armour that we need to stand before the enemy and defeat him. Till then, may the grace of God bless all His saints and keep us safe from harm, as we step out courageously to fight the enemy, and may we all live to fight another day! This we pray, in Jesus’ name! Amen! Much LOVE!

…God’s saints can’t fight His spiritual battle victoriously…if they’re not clothed in His spiritual armour…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2019 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Home…Home…Home at last! But home sick! Steups! Ah friends, it’s great to be home, but when you come home from vacation sick with an annoying cold it doesn’t help matters at all. You’re already tired from all the vacationing, (smile) and you just want to rest, to put sickness on top of it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

After the long flight and the hassle to get through the airport, I got home around eleven and expected to have a good night’s rest…Hn! What a pipe dream! I was up several times during the night bringing up stuff, my throat was raw, still is, making swallowing a tad difficult. But if one has to be sick, I guess the best place for that to happen is home. 

Home where the heart is! Home where you’re most comfortable and relaxed, be it a humble hovel or a majestic mansion! Something about home just gives one a li’l more assurance in times of trouble or illness. But enough about my woes, (smile) it’s Friday and the workingman is waiting to sing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Good Friday…that means the long Easter weekend! Mama Yo! Party fuh so! And the weather should be good! Good thing that Easter fall so late this year yes, so it happen in springtime and not in winter! So many things to do, and places to go, and people to see! Chuh! Don’t know where to start nuh! But as they say, the best place to start is at the beginning! So ah guess we going to start with some eating and drinking and carousing! 

Brother! Who knows whether we going to be alive come next week Tuesday when we have to go back to the slave master slave labour? One thing ah know though; when we go back, we not killing we self over the work nuh. Leh him fire we, see how long his business going last nuh! But forget he now yes! Is time for me to do my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is a party animal if nothing else! But unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t afford to let our hair down like he can for fear of allowing the evil enemy to invade our righteous souls. But as I keep saying, that doesn’t preclude us from having a good time, we just don’t go to the extremes that the ordinary workingman does. 

And we have our own Friday Chant, which chronicles our thankfulness and wishes. So please, let’s chant it now nuh, in true sincerity and mucho enthusiasm. ‘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!’ 

Now, to the unbeliever, that might not sound like much, but to us believers, it’s short, sweet and to the point! (smile) And today, Good Friday, our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And some will ask why call it Good Friday when such a heinous, illegal crime was committed against an innocent person? 

That’s a good question my brethren. But the long and short of the story is that if Jesus had not died in place of us, our sins would not have been paid for, and we would not have been forgiven, redeemed, made clean and washed white as snow! Yes, it was a rough, unjust situation, but from the beginning of time the Father had decreed it to be the Son’s job to die for the abominable sins of His disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind. 

And yuh better believe it was no easy job that! The pain and agony, the ‘sufferation’ He had to endure was immense, seemingly unbearable, but He withstood it, all for our sakes, at the behest of the Father, who LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to lose even one of us to the evil enemy, Satan. 

That’s the most beautiful and compelling picture of LOVE that exists; sacrificing your only Son for a bunch of ingrates! Some people will call it crazy or stupid, but our heavenly Father called it LOVE! And since He’s the eternal Creator, He should know what He’s talking about. 

But I don’t know how Jesus handled all that unjust ‘sufferation’ nuh, without much complaining too. I guess He knew His role, and could not even consider disobedience to the Father’s wishes. As He told Peter on the night of His arrest, after Peter had cut off the high priest’s right ear. ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Yes friends, I wonder how many of us put such a high priority on being obedient to the Father’s wishes eh? 

And what I greatly admire about Jesus are some statements He made from His painful and agonizing perch on the cross. The first one is ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Even on the cross, His modus operandi was LOVE and forgiveness! 

Note His words to the criminal crucified with Him, who saw the light and sincerely pleaded: ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

But the most touching and heart-rending words of Jesus on the cross are contained in this verse. ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

Yes friends, what seemed to hurt Jesus the most was not the physical pain inflicted on His body, but the spiritual separation from His Father, the first time that had ever happened. And it had to be so since He was then the sin-bearer of the world, and the Father could not associate with sin. As the scholars explain: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 

And finally, the Good Book tells us: ‘And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46) And the scholars explain: ‘He cried with a loud voice, as a shout of triumph, and yielded up His Spirit. In other words, having borne the wrath of God’s judgement against sin, He knew He had triumphed over Satan and the curse of sin.’ 

Oh what a blessed day that was for us my people, as Jesus gave us such a wonderful example to follow, showing LOVE and compassion and obedience even in His last agonizing moments on that old wooden cross on Calvary! Please, please, I implore us to do a better job, to improve in our own showing of LOVE, compassion and obedience, because that’s all He asks of us! Much LOVE!

…Good Friday…the darkest hour…just before the breathtaking dawn…of Easter Sunday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2019 Isaiah 44:6.

Isaiah 44:6.    Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
 
Well it looks like another dark, cloudy, rainy, windy and stormy day here in Paradise! (smile) Yeh, it rained for much of yesterday, even through the night, and has begun again this morning, just when I have things to go out the street and do! Chuh! First time since I’m here I’ve seen so much rain fall. We’d get the li’l ten seconds drizzle or the two minutes showers, but not continuous stuff like this. 

But the land badly needed it because it was dry and brown everywhere. Can imagine the joy of the golf course owners up the street. You couldn’t use the golf vernacular of ‘greens,’ about it because it looked more like ‘browns.’ (smile) Even the sea is acting up some, as I watch the white capped frothing waves break over the nearby reef, then hurtle onwards, only to dash themselves against the rocky shore! But that’s Mother Nature, and try as we want, I doubt we’ll ever tame her, because she’s of God’s own making! 

That brings us to another important thing we can’t do; create gods for ourselves, or as Isaiah puts it, the folly of idolatry! Yes friends, we’re living in a rather idolatrous world, not so much the worshipping of pagan Gods, but of worldly things, places and people. We’re talking about the cult of celebrity that’s now dominant in our world; people who don’t’ know their A from their E, but we’re flocking to follow their insipid, eccentric lifestyles and ungodly ways. 

And social media is only enhancing the foolishness! We waste so much time on the nonsense, but have no time for the real, One True God, except to try and leverage Him out of our idolatrous society. Yes, these things have some useful purposes, but not when we become addicted to them as we are and place Almighty God on the back burner of our lives, if we even have Him on our stove at all! 

But please listen to the words of the Lord to the idolatrous society of Israel, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.’ Oh my people, those are words of absolute truth, as the nation of Israel found out to their utter detriment, when they refused to stop worshipping idols and other pagan gods. 

Listen further to the words of God: ‘They that make a graven image are all of them vanity (useless); and their delectable (precious) things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten (molded) image that is profitable for nothing? Behold all his fellows (companions) shall be ashamed: and the workmen they are of men (mere men): let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.’ (Is.44:9-11) 

Yeh friends, Satan has blinded our eyes and deafened our ears so that we can’t see or hear the nonsense, neither are we ashamed and regretful of the evil and ungodly lifestyle we’re living! And after that passage above, the Lord goes on to vilify the blacksmith, the carpenter and the tree cutter. And as to the tree cutter, the wood he provides, the Lord declares (right ho!): ‘

Then shall it be for man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part (half) thereof in the fire; with part (half) thereof he eateth flesh; he roastest roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 

And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, deliver me, for thou art my god…And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part (half) of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?’ (Is.44:15-17,19) 

Ah my people, that’s the exact same way we are behaving today, not literally, but figuratively! Now listen closely to the scholars take on those verses. ‘44:9-20. This expose of idolatry is the most taunting in all of the Bible. The prophet Isaiah, serving as the spokesman of Yahweh, reveals the utter foolishness of polytheistic pagan idolatry. The graven image (carved idol) is called vanity (nothing). Delectable things refers to the adornment of the idols with gold, silver and precious stones. 

The prophet announces that the idols themselves are their own witnesses. They see not, nor know. Therefore these inanimate objects are profitable for nothing. Isaiah then berates the workmen (artisans) for designing and constructing their idols in the figure of a man. He exposes the basic fallacy of idolatry, a god made in the image of man. Thus the prophet’s criticism of one who would worship and idol carved from the same tree that he would use for firewood is that he feedeth on ashes.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I can’t add a whole lot more to that nuh, except to remind us that we are spending too much time involved with the artifacts of man, and not enough with our Creator, our God, and that can only bring serious repercussions in the end. Now let’s go home telling the world about our safe and secure position in Christ by declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail. 

With sincere hearts and a strong sense of purpose: ‘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 believe me, that future sure will be glorious! Much LOVE!

…only through the acceptance of Jesus…will blind eyes be opened…and deaf ears made to hear…

 

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