Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2020 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.    ​There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.
 

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve now reached the middle of the Lenten Season. But unfortunately there’ll be no public celebrations in green this year as the lockdown of the world continues… with the panic moving right along with it! Ah Lord eh! Canada has now barred certain people from certain places from entering the country. You’ll have to check out the Canadian Government Website to find out exactly who or whom are no longer welcome.  And sadly, every day, it seems to be getting worse; more people contracting the virus, more people dying, more empty shelves in the groceries and supermarkets, more places closing, but absolutely no word of how and when this pandemic will end, and certainly no reassuring news of some antidote been found to contradict the virus. 

But friends, when the Lord made man, He instilled one truly admirable quality in him; that of hope which leads to faith; of being able to fight through extremely tough situations with His awesome help. And in these turbulent and tremulous times, with no positive end in sight and no medical solution on the near horizon, it’s our faith and trust and surrender to Almighty God that is going to get us through. And to bolster our faith and courage and lessen our fear, here’s ‘A Great Message for the moment.’ A beautifully written piece by one Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM. I received it from a friend yesterday, and thought I just had to share it because it was so true and beautiful and uplifting. Please read carefully, inwardly digest and take the necessary outward actions. It’s titled “Lockdown!” 

‘Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is buying panic. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. 

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary. All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting. All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way. 

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To LOVE. So we pray and remember that, Yes, there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is buying panic. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes, there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes, there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of LOVE. 

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe, listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again. The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by LOVE. Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, SING!’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that touching! I certainly hope that it resounds powerfully within each and everyone of us. And if you will, please share it, because it’s the first positive reaction I’ve seen throughout these crazy and panic-filled times. And strangely enough, earlier on this morning, when I got up and went to the bathroom, I heard birds singing outside for the first time this year, and smiled to myself, thinking, spring is near! Glory be! (smile) 

And the psalmist said it in spades, so long ago: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord, he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 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.100:1-5) 

Precious people, just in those five verses the psalmist has spelled it all out for us; the Lord God is good and mighty, and we need to bow before Him with singing and praise and thanksgiving! And singing has always been a way to ease the pressures of life. As another psalmist says: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:33-34) And as Bruh Paul told the Ephesians on how to be Spirit-filled: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Ah my people, that is the first move we ought to make in this crisis; seek God! And I do hope that we see His hand at work in this fear-filled time, because it is present. It’s His way of reining us in, of bringing us back to our senses, and as the author says above, of showing us how small we really are and how little control we do have over our lives and situations. It’s His way of bringing us back to him, killing our false and foolish pride, of showing that the most important thing is not worldly wealth and power, but His righteousness. That’s why His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said so emphatically during His earthly sojourn: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

But no, we in our false pride and bravado, with the li’l intelligence we’ve gleaned over the years, have now gotten so big for our britches, that we now desire to, and foolishly believe we can remove our Creator from our society. Hn! What a nonsensical desire and belief! And I have to sadly chuckle when I think about the small virus that the Lord has used to bring us to our knees. Think about it nuh people. Some small, simple, unknown infection is driving the mighty mankind crazy! Can you believe it? 

But yet in all the confusion, many of us are finding, new hope, stronger faith, trust and LOVE! And why is that? Because as John says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ And having said all of that, my faithful followers of Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! 

In strong voice with sincere hearts in these trying times, let’s be strong in our Triune Godhead. ‘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 in our current situation, we do need to share the warm, reassuring LOVE of Christ and His amazing friendship with each other more than ever. Much LOVE!

…when you’re sad…sing songs of praise…and you’ll reclaim your joy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
And on this first Saturday in the new year, there is a veneer, a patina of snow on the ground. (smile) Oh, it’s not much, but we haven’t seen any for a few days now because the temperature has been around 4 or 5 since New Year’s Eve. But let’s not get too complacent, these are the northern climes in the winter season, and as such, are supposed to receive a fair amount of snow. So though climate change has somewhat disrupted the schedule, don’t worry, we will get our fair share eventually. (smile) 

And with that prognostication – what a way the ole fella using big words this morning! Just hope he’s using them right. (smile) So let’s stay prepared! Anyway, it’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he continues aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he’s certainly waxed long and wise this past week. 

Hear this first one: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ Now how can I find any fault with that eh, since it calls for sincere belief, endurance and perseverance, three of the most important aspects of a believer’s life. 

My only comment is that I hope our biggest fantasy, well not really a fantasy, but rather a goal, is to walk closer with Jesus this new year of 2020! Now if we do that, then things will be awesome, the Lord will work out everything for good, as He’s so faithfully promised! Glory Be! And following on from that, is this gospel true quote. ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Now friends, that is an eternal truth we can never escape! All of us want to be great. But too many of us don’t realize that to be a notch or two above the ordinary also takes more sacrifices than it does to be just ordinary. Take a close look at the lives of any great person, and you’ll see the abnormal amount of sacrifices he or she made to reach the level we consider great. Rising up in this life was never, and will never be easy. Look at Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God; His achieved His greatness at considerable sacrifice, the ultimate in sacrifice, His sinless life. 

And as followers of His, we are also called to make sacrifices. Most likely not as much, or as painful as He did, but definitely some that will indeed hurt our flesh. So, if we want to truly follow Jesus this year my brethren, we have to be prepared to make some serious sacrifices, not merely talking a good talk, because walking in His footsteps calls for exactly that! And this next quote is long but wise and very doable, and one we should all try to implement, with Jesus’ help of course. 

Listen up: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. Things to think about for 2020: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ 

And it’s rather unfortunate, but quite true, that ALL of us can take those six steps to heart this new year and implement them in our lives! But please remember that the most important step is the last one: ‘PRAY!’ Yes friends, prayer is ever so important because it means serious communication with God; the source, the fountainhead of all that we are, of our very being; the holy, immortal and omnipotent One who fashioned us in His celestial image, and breathed His awesome breath of life into our dirt based bodies! 

So having said all of that, here’s the last quote: ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for you to get it right.’ And what do we mean by that? Well two scriptures stand out in my mind right now. The first is Jesus’ assurance to his disciples, and consequently to us His modern-day followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And so He has my fellow believers. He has defeated hell, death and the grave, and has the keys of both heaven and hell attached to his key ring, so we don’t have to worry about anything, just  receive His awesome peace that passes all the understanding our puny and finite minds can muster, and be cheerful because of all the wonderful things He’s done on our behalf. 

But nonetheless this next scripture is the one that will really cause us to enjoy all the blessings, and endure with strong faith, all the ‘sufferation’ that’s inherent in a believer’s life. Again, the wise advice of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Now my people, that’s our first step for this new year. Please, let’s take it, and take it very seriously, so that our greatly disturbed, badly directed, desperate world and all therein, can benefit from God’s goodness! Much LOVE!

…2020…must be the year…we sincerely talk the talk…and even more importantly…walk the walk…in Jesus’ name… Amen!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 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.
 

Ah friends, yesterday was beautiful; bright and sunshiny…and as always, also filled with the illuminating and reassuring presence of Jesus! Wow! That surely made it an extraordinary autumn day. (smile) The good thing though is that we’ve been promised another one like that today… Glory be my people! Let’s hope the weather forecasters are not wrong nuh, because Sunday is the worst day for any kind of precipitation, because we then conveniently use it as an excuse not to join other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise, worship, give thanks and exalt His holy name.

And it is indeed a very handy and common excuse, so please don’t deny it. But yuh know what; rain, sleet or snow doesn’t stop us from going out to party. That just shows how high the Lord is on our list of priorities. He should be at the head of the list; as Jesus wisely advised: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…’ (Matt. 6:33) And if He’s not, then we will eventually have to answer, why not? Let’s stay in the moment though, we’ve come to praise and worship Almighty God and hear His Word, so lets commence in our usual fashion with a song.

But first, listen to how it became today’s song nuh. A couple of days ago, as I laid me down to have an evening nap, the thought of what song to use this Sunday suddenly flitted through my mind, and just as suddenly the answer came: ‘Because He Lives!’ That wasn’t even on my radar of possibilities, but it seems like the Lord wanted to hear that one today, and who am I to say Him nay eh? (smile) So let’s get it all together nuh and sing those wonderful words, penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither, outlining and praising Jesus amazing work on our behalf.

Now, in soulful, heartfelt and grateful harmony, let’s raise our voices to heaven on high, where Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand, advocating for us, and let Him know without a doubt, how much we truly LOVE and appreciate Him! ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus. He came to LOVE, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus)

How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living…Just because He lives. And life is worth the living…Just because He lives, And life is worth the living…Just because He lives.’

Oh friends, oh friends, that was such a moving rendition that it caused tears to well up both in the Father’s and Jesus’ eyes! And it just boggles my imagination to think that people don’t take Jesus seriously, but still abuse and blaspheme His holy name like they did way back  when He came to earth and gave His sinless life as a sacrifice for us, so that we could be reconciled to, made right with the Father!

That’s the major reason that He came, as He so eloquently declared in the scripture that we all know and cherish, but still don’t take seriously enough, otherwise there wouldn’t be as much sin and unrighteousness still existing in our world. ‘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.’ That’s it right there in a nutshell friends! God’s LOVE and compassion for us sinful children was so great that He sacrificed the sinless life of His only Son to pay for our sins, for always and ever.

Jesus became the official sacrificial Lamb for ALL mankind, and that’s why the words of our song are so true! We can live now, without fear of the future, because His death and resurrection opened up a bright new, righteous world for us! He defeated hell, death and the grave so that we could be pardoned, and an empty grave and a downtrodden Satan are there to prove it! And it’s gospel truth that He came to LOVE, to heal and forgive, because we see it all in living colour in His ministry, both here on earth, and continuing in heaven above.

As He further declared: ‘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) And so said…so done! And is it ever mightily reassuring to know that because Christ lives, our children don’t have to fear the uncertain circumstances of this life either? But the greatest part though friends, is on that fateful day, when we cross over to the other side, when we’ve left pain and war and all negative things behind, He’ll be there waiting for us with opened arms, sincerely declaring (steups!): ‘Oh welcome thou good and faithful servant…welcome home!’

That’s certainly worth all the negativity, all the ‘sufferation’ down here on earth my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh; let’s do as He says and abide in Him, for His reasoning is flawless: ‘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 15:5) Matter done! Much LOVE!

…to experience true victory…and real glory in eternity…one must hook one’s cart to Jesus’ horse…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2019 Matthew 6:25.

Matthew 6:25.    ​Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?
 

What a way we’ve reached Wednesday, the hump day of our work week, rather quickly! (smile) And I know that many spirits are now relaxed and looking forward to the weekend. But friends, let’s not look too far ahead, for many things, both good and bad, can happen in the interim time. So please, let’s concentrate on today, and do like Bruh David said: ‘This is the day, the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

That’s the best way to live people, taking one day at a time, and enjoying it too, because God has made the wise decision to only give us one day at a time to live. That’s hard enough to handle, so why bother ourselves too much with the upcoming days eh? As Jesus said: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow); for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) 

Yeh mih people, as the scholars explain: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’

And that brings us to some truths about worry from Pastor Corville Peters of the ‘At the Cross Live’ Television Programme. He says: ‘Worry doesn’t take sorrow out of tomorrow, but it does take the joy out of today. Worry pulls tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine. Worry doesn’t help us get ready for tomorrow because God only gives us strength for today.’ 

Wow! What words of indisputable truth my fellow saints in Christ! Worry doesn’t help us at all, it just drags us further down into the mire of life. But unfortunately a whole heap of us nowadays, Christians included, go to the devil’s life school of worry, and worry about everything, resulting in no peace and joy in our lives.

It’s true that our world has become a rather formidable place to live securely and without worry, but if you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, then your worries should be at a minimum after hearing this awesome advice from our Lord and Saviour. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ And it is indeed my people! 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions. To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’ 

Mama Mia! What words of awesome truth my brethren! Yes, I know it’s hard to not have, and yet to be comfortable and satisfied, but that’s the way it is in Christ’s kingdom. Remember how after our Bit, He points out all the wonderful aspects of nature and its mindless creatures; how they grow and thrive through God’s help, and that we’re much more important to God than them, so why would He not look after us just as well eh? He knows what we need better than we do. (Matt. 6:26-32)

The problem though is that we have to stop worrying about our material needs and possessions, and instead: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we make God our Number One Priority, put Him FIRST in our lives, then all that we need will be given unto us. Note, it doesn’t say all that we WANT, but all that we NEED! Remember what we said above? ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ 

So please, let’s stop all the needless worrying that’s killing our spiritual selves, holding back our maturity in Christ, and instead, concentrate on seeking God and His righteousness, for He’s also promised, that if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, which let’s the world know of our steadfast and faithful position in Christ Jesus.

As one now: ‘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 if we stick steadfastly with Jesus, then that future will indeed be glorious, more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in Christ’s kingdom…all needs will be met…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

What a crying shame it is friends when one can’t lie abed late on a cloudy Saturday morning because the various aches and pains in your aching body won’t allow you to find a comfortable position in that place that’s supposed to be one of quiet peace and refreshing rest! Hn, hn! 

Yeh mih people, getting old is nice in many ways, but not so nice in others. The wisdom and experience one accumulates, plus the ability to say most of what you want and get away with it (smile) is marvellous, but I can’t say the same for the many debilitating effects age brings to one’s body. However, we can’t seem to have one without the other, so I’ll just say thank you for the good parts and just grin and bear the bad ones. And that’s enough complaining for this morning! (smile) 

Let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.’ Now is that ever so true! 

We all know that regardless of what today brings, tomorrow will show up right on schedule, because that’s the way our great God and Creator planned it! That means we can always have hope and faith that tomorrow, the new rising of the sun, will bring a different and better outcome to our circumstances. So please hang in there…and have hope for tomorrow! 

Now hear this one: ‘Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.’ That’s somewhat complicated, but it does contain some truth. In this world we’re usually creatures of habit and comfort, and nothing’s wrong with that, because we can’t have excitement all the time. 

But the same old, same old routine does get boring and frustrating if we don’t occasionally add a li’l zing and zest to it. That’s why every so often we need to take a risk, do something new and/or different, get out of our comfort zone for a spell, take a different way home from work, eat at a new restaurant, so we can add a touch of spice to our humdrum, mundane lives. 

But having said that though, we have to be careful that we don’t change just for change sake, which is what so many of us are doing these days. We use words like ‘this is the twenty first century; this is 2019, the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, etc.’ insinuating that because we’ve reached a certain level of time and space and evolution that things must necessarily change. But please note the old saying, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

And that’s gospel truth friends! If you really check it out, most of the things we’re doing, and the reactions we’re showing to the various changes in our world, the same things have been going on for ages, possibly just on a different level. So please, especially in these explosive times of social media and technological revolution, don’t change just for change sake, or because others are doing it. The Good Book containing the Lord’s wise and precious Word must still be our guiding light! 

And I’d like to take the last two quotes as one, because they are closely intertwined. Hear them: ‘When you fail, that is when you get closer to success.’ ‘Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.’ And they are both full of awesome truth since you generally don’t have success unless you have first failed, and you can only have success if you reach out for it. 

But what do we mean by success eh? Is it how the world terms it; the accumulation of power and fame and money and worldly glory, or celebrity status? Or is it how Jesus describes it; serving the lost, the poor and downtrodden, LOVING our God with all our being, and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, overcoming evil with good and going the second mile when it’s not necessary? 

Whichever path we choose though, the results will still be the same: we won’t always succeed the first time, or even the fourth and fifth, and we’ll never succeed if we don’t try, and that means try sincerely and wholeheartedly, give our all! Anyway, here’s the best path to any kind of success at all. Obviously it comes from the Good Book, God’s direct words of wisdom and warning to His servant Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh mih people, that’s Success 101 right there! And it hasn’t changed one iota since the Lord said them to Joshua! That formula for success remains constant forever because it’s God’s Word and his Word doesn’t change! And here’s something I LOVE about our God, although I don’t always appreciate it in my dealings with Him. (smile) 

He doesn’t just tell you something and leave you floundering, He often drives it home with another suitable and well placed nail, to oftimes encourage us, like He did there with Joshua, continuing thus: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that’s after telling him basically the same thing two verses before. But He knew that Joshua would need a lot of strength and courage to lead the wayward and stubborn Israelites and that was His way of encouraging Him. And He does the same with us friends! The Lord will NEVER leave us alone and ‘unencouraged’ when He knows that we definitely need encouragement! Please remember that! All we have to do is call on Him in sincerity and truth and He will answer appropriately. 

Now let’s end with Jesus’ wise and faithful words on the matter of success. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) No truer words were ever spoken friends! And if we’re wise, we’ll take them to heart and sincerely and diligently put them into action in our lives! Much LOVE!

…following Jesus and His righteous ways…is the ONLY path to true success…

 

 

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 7 August 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.     ​If any man will come after (desire to follow) me; let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 

Well hello, hello, you beautiful fellow saints in Christ! Blessings and mercy and peace and forgiveness and all the other good things that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has made available and possible to us! And they are plentiful and wonderful! That’s why Bruh Paul reassured the church at Philippi after they sacrificed their own wants to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And He has, and will continue to do so my faithful believers, even for those of you who are still tired and bedraggled from the Caribana partying. (smile) And note it’s Wednesday; the hump day, so only a couple more to go till Friday. You can handle it perfectly if you just keep hanging with Jesus, our Leader extraordinaire. 

And talking about Leaders, here is a quote on the subject, reputedly from one Sam Chand, a supposed leadership guru. It says: ‘Your ability to lead is equal to your tolerance for pain. Leading is bleeding – You need to be resilient.’ No lie about any of that my brethren! That’s why Jesus was and still is such a wonderful leader. 

His tolerance for pain, both figuratively and physically are off the charts. I doubt that any of us could have withstood the pain and suffering He did with little or no complaining. And He certainly bled – literally- on our behalf to boot! And He was certainly resilient too as His awesome resurrection on Easter morning showed! Satan could not keep Him down in Hades for long! So even by man’s standards Christ was an awesome leader! Glory to God! 

And something else that a good leader also has is what we term ‘charisma.’ And there are several definitions of it. Here are a few: ‘a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others; a divinely conferred power or talent; a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (such as a political leader); personal magnetism or charm; a type of leadership seen as extraordinary. The term “charisma” is used to describe a particular type of leader who uses “values-based, symbolic, and emotion-laden leader signaling” Whatever that means! (smile) 

But we know that Jesus had charisma in spades, everybody wanted to follow Him, until they discovered that following Him was not exactly an easy row to hoe. And Jesus set out His terms of discipleship quite clearly and up front, as He always did. ‘If any man will come after (desire to follow) me; let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ No mincing of words there friends. 

And I like how Luke puts it; we must take up our crosses ‘DAILY’ not just when we feel like it! And that’s a major problem with many a supposed believer because they think that taking up their crosses daily is a bit too much and too hard. It’s like the young rich ruler who came to Jesus asking what He must do to be saved. Oh, he gallantly answered that he did all the easy parts found in the Ten Commandments. 

‘Then Jesus beholding him LOVED him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast; and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.’ (Mark 10:21) And we all know that he walked away sadly because he could not fathom the thought of selling all of his possessions. 

But you’ll note too that the Good Book says that ‘Jesus LOVED him;’ that is felt compassion because He knew that following Him would never be an easy task, especially for one who had much worldly wealth. But as the scholars say: ‘10:21. Jesus identifies the one area that revealed the man’s true lack of devotion to God. A clear-cut issue must be decided.’ 

Oh friends, the same thing applies to us today. We have to truly decide whether the material things and ways of the world are more important to us than doing the will of God through the leadership of Christ! Now, just ponder on this nugget for a moment nuh: Supposing Jesus had thought the same way like the rich, young ruler and so many of us today, and reacted in like fashion, refusing to give up His wealth and health and good life in heaven, what would be our state right now eh? 

Crapaud smoke we pipe for sure! We’d be hell-bound with Lucifer forever! And remember too that the Father didn’t force Jesus to take up His cross nuh. He asked Him nicely, and because Jesus LOVED the Father everlasting and didn’t want to disobey Him, He took up His cross and daily carried it while here on earth. 

And what we have to realize friends and supposed believers is that taking up one’s cross doesn’t mean giving up everything we have, and/or not desiring the good things of life, but just denying ourselves when our desires cut across or conflict with the will of God. Remember Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) So if we put God’s business first place in our lives, then He will provide the necessities of life for us. Just like Bruh Paul said at the beginning of our Bit to the Philippians. 

And remember too Jesus’ words: ‘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) Now that surely doesn’t mean that His followers should live broken down, poor and bedraggled. In fact He expects us to be the exact opposite, the most joyful and fun-filled people on the earth, the salt and light of the world, because of all the good things His sacrificed life and blood has provided for us! 

So let’s smarten up nuh mih people, let’s pick up that cross daily and step out strong with it, because Jesus will also give us the strength and wherewithal to bear it gallantly and joyfully. Bless His Holy Name! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ. In strong voice with a sincere 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 if we keep shouldering our crosses daily, oh boy, oh boy, will that future with Christ ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…there’s no leader like Jesus…He’s already done ALL that He now asks us to do…and He helps us to do it too…Glory be…!

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