Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘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) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘17:21. They…may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity. (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yehhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong and sincere voice now:  ‘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 please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2019 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   ​Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
 
Oh, it looks so beautiful undisturbed…but disturb it…and like a disturbed cobra it can bite you in an unexpected second! Ah friends, I’m talking about the blanket of snow that’s covering my area this morning. Yeh it does look white and beautiful when just lying there undisturbed by man. But once you get into it, if you’re not careful it can cause you all kinds of damage and disaster. So like we finally had a snowfall where the people we pay to clean our driveway had to do some work; the first time for the season. And I doubt it will be the last. 

Anyway, today’s the 3rd day of the New Year, let’s hope that we haven’t already forgotten our resolution to walk more closely with Jesus this year. And as we begin putting away this season’s Christmas decoration, we won’t also put away the Christmas spirit with it, but allow that wonderful spirit of Christ to dwell with us all year long. And that would make Christ’s heart just overflow and burst with joy! Why, simply because of the immense joy to be found in brotherhood! 

 Hear how Bruh David puts it in our Bit: ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.’ (Ps.133:1-3) 

Yeh friends, three simple verses make up that psalm, but they’re all so wonderful and appropriate to our Christian faith and walk in these treacherous and turbulent times! Hear this explanation from the scholars: ‘Psalm 133. This psalm is all about the preciousness of family unity. Its blessedness is exclaimed in (vs.1) and explained in (vs.2-3). It sanctifies (vs.2) and solidifies (vs.3).’ 

Ah mih people, if individual families in our society could only live that way eh…And even more importantly, if the family of Christ, His church could only do that…Oh what a wonderful place our world would be! We seem to have forgotten that Jesus came to make all nations, all believers in Him ONE! So let’s remind ourselves of some of the ONENESS that Jesus preached so avidly. 

He begins with this awesome statement: ‘I and the Father are ONE.’ (John 10:30) Then, as He prayed to the Father for us, Jesus pleaded: ‘And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be ONE, as we are ONE.’ (John 17:11) 

And later on in that same awesome prayer Jesus reiterates: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:20-21) Yes my people, Jesus is there praying that those like us, who believe after He’s gone, should also live as ONE. 

And the scholars specify ‘17:21. They may be …one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’  But friends, my contention is that if we live in spiritual unity, there ought to be much more organizational unity among us than is currently in vogue. We have thousands of sects and denominations and religions, all purportedly teaching Christ crucified, why is that eh? 

That doesn’t spell unity, but rather reeks of disunity and division in what is supposed to be one body of Christ. The enemy is using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer amongst the Christian brethren, and we are foolishly and compromisingly allowing him to do it! That’s not right nor wise my friends in Christ! 

Now hear Bruh Paul on the subject: ‘For as the body is ONE, and hath many members, and all the members of that ONE body, being many, are ONE body: so also is Christ. For by ONE Spirit are we all baptized into ONE body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slaves) or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE Spirit ….For the body is not ONE member, but many…Now are they many members, yet but ONE body.’ (1 Cr.12:12-14, 20) 

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s not rocket science, as Bruh Paul explains using our human body. Although our human body is made up of many dissimilar parts, it is still ONE body, and all the parts need to work together in harmony for the body to function properly. It’s the same with Christ’s church: we are made up of different races, cultures, languages, etc. but we need to come together and do Christ’s work as ONE, otherwise we defeat His whole purpose. 

Yes friends, like the believers in the early church, we need to get together in ONE accord (Acts 2:46) and pursue Christ’s work, not be fighting against each other like hungry wild animals. And if wild animals of the same type can band together against a common foe, why can’t we spiritually led believers do the same eh, instead of foolishly fighting against each other, even purporting it to be in Christ’s name? Steups! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring those wonderful Thursday Blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us, expecting us to dwell in unity. In loud and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now let’s go out and share and declare those blessings over the less fortunate, for that’s a big part of the reason they were bestowed on us. Much LOVE!

…and be ye kind one to another…tenderhearted…forgiving one another…even as God…for Christ’s sake…hath forgiven you… (Eph.4:32) 

P.S. Yeh it’s long, but it’s also early…and it’s ALL for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2017 Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38.   Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.

Awright friends, it’s the first day of the week; the best day of the week; the most restful and peaceful day of the week; the day when we choose to gather most in praise and fellowship to Almighty God! And if you haven’t figured out what day it is as yet, well it’s Sunday! Glory Be! The Lord’s Day; the Sabbath; the day the Lord rested…after a week of hard labour. (smile) And that’s what He requires of us; a day of rest, where we spend most of our time and energy concentrating on Him. And today is that day! 

So let’s open the proceedings as always with a song of praise, that old hymn, ‘Rise up O men of God,’ written by William Pierson Merrill in the early 20th century. But have you ever noticed that the old hymns sound more powerful and sacred than the newer ones? Perhaps because they were written in a time when we were holier and more righteous, had more time for God; more reverence, more respect, and we weren’t trying to remove Him from our society. 

Anyway, let’s burst out in song, in sacrificial praise, sing these words like we truly mean them, because Christ’s church badly needs to rise up in these amoral and sinful times. Let’s raise the roof with harmonious voices: ‘Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings. 

Rise up, O men of God! The kingdom tarries long. Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong. Rise up, O men of God! The church for you doth wait, her strength unequal to her task; rise up, and make her great! Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where his feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of Man, rise up, O men of God!’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know if there has been any other time in the church’s history that it’s members have needed to rise up and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ more than now nuh! The church is filled with too many divisions, too many religions which also have too many denominations and/or sects, too many bad leaders, false prophets and con-men, and everybody is teaching their own brand or slant, or scam of Christ’s supposed message. And the evil ones are just laughing their heads off as they divide and conquer us. 

Oh my fellow believers, until Christians come together and get rid of the distrust and petty discord that separates us, until we truly ‘Lift high the cross of Christ,’ and ‘Tread where He has trod,’ we will never retake the world for Christ. But that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today’s sermon is based on the God-like attitude of GIVING as described in our Bit. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ 

And before we try to dissect Jesus’ words, let’s look at how the Lord gave to us nuh. First it was the breath of life, then LOVE, the sinless life of his Son Jesus Christ, while we were yet sinners, mercy, grace, salvation, eternal life etc. etc. All those things that we did not and could never deserve, the Lord gave to us out of the generosity of His wonderful heart. Wow! 

So I don’t see how in all reason, common sense, devotion and LOVE for Him we can afford to be selfish, ungrateful, unkind, greedy and not wanting to give with a generous heart; one supposedly made in the image of His heart. And it’s not rocket science friends. All Jesus is saying, is that the same way you give, it will be given back to you. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you give out of a generous heart, you will be rewarded with generosity. Out of a grudging and greedy heart, you’ll receive grudgingly. 

And one of the best illustrations of this in the Good book is Bruh Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, re God LOVES a cheerful giver. Read with me: ‘Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before (on ahead) unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty (beautiful gift), whereof ye had notice (promised) before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty (generosity), and not as of covetousness (grudging obligation). 

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall also reap bountifully (generously). Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor.9:5-8) 

It couldn’t get any clearer than that my brethren! Remember, it’s all based on attitude and motive; ‘a willing heart and a sincere desire to participate in the offering.’ Your giving must not be done because of what you think you’ll receive in return, or you are compelled to give. 

And please note, as the scholars point out, Bruh Paul is not advocating “prosperity theology,” that is, that every generous believer will be financially wealthy.’ If you read the rest of the chapter you’ll see that it only promises that you will prosper by all your needs being met financially, so that you can keep on giving (vs.8), and spiritually, that you’ll increase in everything (vs.12) 

Anyway friends, let’s just remember that the Lord looks at the state of our hearts and not just our talk or outward actions before He makes any decision pertaining to us. So let’s try and clean up our hearts nuh. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a truly generous heart…begets true generosity in return…Christianity 101…