Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2020 Matthew 26:28.

Matthew 26:28.     ​For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
 
Ah Lord eh…it’s just one of those days! Yuh know when nothing seems to go right. Chuh! I got up late, what else is new eh? (smile) Then I began writing the Bit…but lo and behold the Roofers finally showed up to fix my roof, from which shingles had blown off during the strong winds in the past couple of weeks. So I dealt with them, then came back to the Bit, only to discover that I could not find all the information I needed to continue in that vein. Steups! And it was a very interesting vein. That meant I had to discard all that I’d previously written and start all over again. 

So obviously I’m not a happy camper, as I hear the roofers pounding on the roof, for a significant outlay of money, and I am having to reset my thoughts. But I’ll just have to grin and bear it, as I keep telling others when they go through some annoying times. (smile) And on this Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, why should I expect to have no problems eh, when Jesus trials were just coming to a head? If we expect to rise with him, then we should also expect to suffer with Him. 

Anyway, on this Maundy Thursday, so called because of Jesus washing His disciples feet. He also instituted the ceremony of Communion or Holy Eucharist, during what we call the Last Supper that He held with His disciples at the beginning of the Passover Feast. It was a very moving supper. First off, as they sat eating, Jesus declared : ‘Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.’ (Matt. 26:21) What a bombshell to throw out to your followers on a supposed day of rejoicing!  

Obviously that stirred up things. ‘And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, (“that indicated the highly personal and intimate nature of the betrayal”) the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.’ (Matt. 26:23-24) Steups! Just had another interruption. The roofers were finished and I had to go and pay them. But we’ll get through it, with the Lord’s help…and it will be good! (smile) 

Now after that, there’s a verse that in my opinion is very significant, but you never hear anybody really talking about. ‘Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master (Rabbi), is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said (it)’ (Matt.26:25) In other words, Jesus told him, ‘yes.’ So how come more attention isn’t paid to that by any of the gospel writers eh? Matthew and John and Simon Peter were there. But as John writes, I guess Simon and he were too busy with their own li’l drama, with John, the disciple Jesus LOVED, (Hn!) leaning back on Jesus’ chest, and Simon motioning that he should ask who it was. 

And according to John, ‘Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop (a piece of bread) when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (not Simon Peter). And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly…. He then having received the sop went immediately out, and it was night.’ (John 13:26-27, 30) 

Now according to John, nobody in the gathering knew why Jesus spoke thus to Judas, possibly thinking that because he held the communal money, he was to go out and buy things for the feast or give to the poor. (John 13:28-29) But the scholars seem to think that possibly only John heard the exchange between Jesus and Judas.

 ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it (drink from it all of you – hence the communal cup); For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Matt. 26:26-28). Oh friends, what a monumental moment that was! 

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘Jesus took bread: The head of the Jewish household was accustomed to doing this during the Passover Feast. Jesus gave a completely new significance to the action. This is my body: During the Passover feast the Jewish householder took bread in his hand  and said, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt,” meaning of course, that the one represented the other. 

By His words the Lord changed the whole significance and emphasis of the feast from looking back to the typical redemption from Egypt to faith in the redemption from sin accomplished by His death. The bread and wine were only outward symbols of our Lord’s death. Nothing in the Gospels indicates that these were to be viewed as a means of grace, sacraments, or that they were physically necessary for one’s salvation.’ 

Yes friends, celebrating the Eucharist is important, but it’s only and outward sign of our inner acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Saviour. And we have one more set of explanations from the scholars. ‘The cup: Three cups were passed around by the Jewish householder during the Passover meal; the third, which is probably the one referred to here, being known as “the cup of blessing.” My blood of the new testament taken from the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus 24:8, (please read it) with allusions to Jeremiah 31:31 and Zechariah 9:11. 

The covenant in Exodus was sealed with blood. The word ‘testament’ (Gr. diatheke) can also mean “a covenant.” Shed for many for the remission of sins: Here is a clear statement that the death of Jesus was necessary to enable God to forgive sins. It, in fact, made it right or morally justifiable for Him to do so.’ 

Oh my people, so many other important things happened on Maundy Thursday that we don’t have space nor time to talk about them. Like Jesus foretelling Peter’s denial, then going to the Garden of Gethsemane and praying for guidance and strength, so impassioned that His sweat seemed like drops of blood, and finally being arrested through Judas’ recognizing kiss and a mock trial, where Peter betrayed Him. But you can read all of that for yourself in the gospels. I just hope that this Bit makes sense and gives us some new insight into the last supper and it’s meaning, since I had so many interruptions and changes of mind set. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously granted to us to help us with our earthly work…spreading the gospel of Jesus. In strong voice, with sincere hearts – that’s the only way to do it (smile) –  ‘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 share those divine blessings as best and as generously we can with the tough constraints we’re currently under. Much LOVE!

…to be blessed is wonderful…but to share the blessing is heavenly…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2019 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.    ​Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 

Oh friends, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating and depressing than waking up excitedly to greet the new day only to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground! Chuh! And it only gets more annoying, frustrating and depressing when you look out and see the small, weightless, white flakes still falling effortlessly to God’s great earth! I’m chuckling here, but you know that once the white stuff flies, lives will undoubtedly become more serious and dangerous, because it looks good when it just covers the land, but it can certainly be the devil’s associate when you have to venture out in it. 

It’s a good thing we have Jesus yes, that awesome shepherd, who leads and guides His flock with masterful precision…! Give Him some thanks and praise people, for He’s certainly deserving of it! And isn’t it strange, but certainly wonderful, how in the northern climes when the snow flies, that’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus? Glory be mih brethren! The ole fella’s getting excited…so yuh better hold me back! I need to do like Jeeves says, have a modicum of circumspection… 

Nah, I don’t think so. When you’re excited about Jesus, you just have to let it flow! (smile) So we going to do just that by continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth, His supernatural conception in His mother Mary’s womb, the wonderful incarnation where He, Jesus, God, became flesh (incarnate) to come and dwell amongst sinful man, to personally experience our hardships and then gloriously deliver us from them through His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross, His triumphant resurrection on that wonderful Easter morn, and then His ascension back to heaven to be our friend and advocate at the Father’s right hand! 

How could it get any better than that eh mih people? No way Jose! We now have another, newer and much better option than his satanic majesty. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling when people refuse to believe in Jesus, and even go so far as to blaspheme His holy name and try to kick Him out of our society! Steups! What stupidity! Anyway, they will get their comeuppance in due time, because as the ole people say; time longer than twine, and when the good Lord ready, in His time, He will make all wrong things right. 

Now yuh see, all yuh get me so excited that I’ve gotten away from what we suppose to be talking about! (smile) And that’s the momentous occasion when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her about her favoured condition with God and the virgin birth she would have. And having listened to Gabriel’s spiel with, no doubt, bated breath, Mary finally found her voice. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’ Oh what a most plausible question, back in those times that is. Today we do that all the time through artificial insemination.  

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35-36) And so it should be, because the sperm that inseminated Mary was of God the Father, and we characterize children by their fathers, so it’s a no brainer that Jesus should be considered the Son of God. (smile) 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:35. By a process we cannot explain, Mary will find herself with child through no human agency. Conceived by God, Jesus would be of sinless nature, though no less human due to that fact.’ Wow! Both God and man at the same time! How marvellous! That means He could appreciate our trials and tribulations because He also suffered them, though He did not sin! Isn’t our God wonderful and ever so imaginative and far sighted? That’s why his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. 

And to prove my point, listen to this bit of news that Gabriel shared with Mary to boost her spirit. ‘And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) Yuh see how our great God moves in mysterious ways? Elisabeth had been barren for all of her life, but like Sara and Hannah, in her old age she was blessed with one of God’s special people, John the Baptist; Christ’s forerunner; the one lighting His way, crying out from the wilderness: ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Yeh friends, our God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knew that when Mary heard of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, her spirit would be boosted. And in my humble opinion, there’s no more touching, heartfelt and faith-showing scripture than Mary’s answer to the mind-blowing info she’d just received. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Mama Mia! What faith and trust and surrender in such a young woman! Even today we’d have serious problems with such a situation. But can you imagine the negative connotations that held for her in a small Jewish town; betrothed, but unmarried and with child, and supposedly not her betrothed’s child either? But she didn’t whinge and whine; just said, so be it. I do hope that Mary’s story will speak to us today and raise our level of faith, because it’s such a faith inducing epic. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us who live and breathe to do His holy Will. As one, in strong voice, believing as we speak: ‘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 don’t forget, we’re not to hoard those God-given blessings, but to share them generously with others! Much LOVE!

…what a wonderful world this would be…if our faith was as big as Mary’s…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2019 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 

Ah mih people, it looks like the ole fella’s been in lost mode this past week yes! First, I lost my I-pad in the Paris Airport, then I came home and got sick, then apparently on Monday when I went into the concrete jungle called Toronto to see the medic, I lost my cell phone. Brother! So now I am without cell phone or I-pad, and have a lousy cough that’s just irritating my asthma. 

I can do without the cell phone and the cough, but I miss my I-pad, because now I can’t play any games before I get my daily naps. (smile) Life’s certainly strange yes, for at first I didn’t want an I-pad, complained that it was too much technology, but they made me take it so I could stay in the electronic loop. And now I miss it. Chuh! I put in a Lost and Found Report on it, cost me money, and I’m still waiting to hear from them. 

According to my young daughter, the loss of the cell phone though was God’s mysterious movement because it’s time I got into the 21st century with a smart phone so I can stay connected. But I think it might just be His desire for me not to have a phone at all, (smile) because most of the time it’s turned off anyway. But who knows eh? We’ll just wait and see how it all plays out. Anyway, those are my present woes. 

However, when I opened the Good Book earlier on, it opened at these wise words of Cousin Sol, acting as the Preacher. ‘The preacher sought to find out acceptable (delightful) words: and that which was written was upright, even the words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads (to stimulate to action), and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies (collections), which are given by one shepherd. 

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:10-14) 

Mama Yo! That says it all friends! Our main duty on this earth is to reverence God and obey His commandments, and be very careful of our deeds, because He will eventually expose them all in the time of judgement, so we’d better make sure that they are mostly good deeds, whether they are done in secret or in public. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘12:12-14. God has not answered every problem of life, but He has commanded man to live joyfully, responsibly, and wisely. Finally, the controlling factor of all of life should be the fear of God, that is submission to God and His revelation (cf.Prov.1:7) The certainty of divine judgement demands it.’ 

And who in his right senses wouldn’t want to live joyfully, responsibly and wisely eh? Only a fool who has no knowledge of God! And since most of you won’t go and look up the above recommendation, I’ll spoon-feed us, as usual. (smile) Proverbs 1:7 declares (Steups! Yuh know I couldn’t even spell that right! What’s it with me and that word eh?) 

Anyway, Proverbs 1:7 declares (spelled it wrong again!) this most important warning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ Yes my people, as I said earlier on, only a fool will turn away from worshipping, adoring, obeying and exalting Almighty God, because that’s where it’s all begins in this life, and also ends in the eternity of time! 

And the scholars make an interesting point here: ‘The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So “the fear of the Lord” should always be before us if we sincerely desire to search for wisdom, since we can’t acquire it without that reverential awe of the Most High God Jehovah. 

Now just a couple more scriptures to reiterate what Cousin Sol has said. Hear Moses, as he tells the Israelites about the Great Commandment. ‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.’ (Deut.6:2) That doesn’t require any rocket science to understand it. 

Now listen to the prophet Micah. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic.6:8.) That doesn’t require any rocket science degree to understand it either! 

And finally listen to Jesus in reply to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:36-40) 

Now if you didn’t believe Moses, or Cousin Sol, or Micah, Jesus says the very same thing! So we have no excuses now not follow His directives. And our God is so wonderful that for those of us who sincerely desire to serve Him, He gives oodles of blessings to enable us to do it! Wow! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! So let’s declare (right ho!) what we call our Thursday Blessings with loud voice and strong conviction: 

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

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

And lest we forget and get too caught up with foolish pride, (smile) those blessings are to be shared, not hoarded! Much LOVE! 

…let’s hope…that all we’ve said today…will goad us…into truly serving the Lord…(smile)

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long, and a tad late, but I likes it… (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2019 1 John 5:13.

1 John 5:13.    ​These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
 
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY U.S. OF A!

 

Yes while we are working today, the U.S is celebrating their Independence Day! And those who can swing it might be able to make it a four-day weekend! Just think on that nuh! (smile) But I’ll tell our U.S friends and family members the same thing I told the Canadian section last Monday, when we celebrated our Independence Day; be careful, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business,’ because if you don’t, the devil will mind it for you. That’s for certain sure. So please be aware while you’re celebrating.  

Now earlier on in the week we talked about the secondary message in John’s first epistle; that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)  Today I want to delve into the primary message of the epistle: ‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’ 

Ah mih people, what a blessed message! We have eternal life because we believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God! Glory to the Lamb who was slain for us! The sad part is that not all of us are assured of the fact that we are saved and heading for heaven. And the scholars offer this exhaustive explanation about assurance that I think I should share. 

‘5:13. The scriptures clearly teach that it is possible to know whether you are saved or unsaved. The assurance of the believer is not based on feeling, (though the Christian may “feel” saved), but on the principles of God’s Word. We can know we are saved because Christ is in our hearts (Col.1:27; 1 John 5:12), because of the witness of the Word of God (vs.10-11), because of answered prayer (John 14:14; 1 John 5:14-15), because of our understanding of the Scriptures (vs.20), because we keep His commandments (2 Cor.5:17; 1 John 5:18), because we LOVE the brethren (3:14), and because we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:16). 

Illustration: Paul claimed to have this inner confidence and was fully persuaded concerning the keeping power of God in salvation (2 Tim.1:12). Application: Because of this assurance, the believer need not be ashamed of Christ, even when He finds himself in difficult circumstances (2 Tim.1:12). First Ref. Gen.15:13; Primary Ref. 1 John 5; cf. John 10:28).’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s sure a lot of Scriptures to look up! But if we are in any doubt at all about our deliverance, about our saved state, then we should look them up. And even if we’re sure about it, we should still check them out, because in this evil day and age, we all need as much reassurance as we can get. And just for your info, I took a few minutes to look up those scriptures my brethren, and are they ever interesting and most reassuring! (smile) 

I can’t share them all here, but check out these two that follow our Bit. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired (asked) of Him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) And the scholars tell us: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (vs.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’ 

Yeh friends, please remember that: we can ask for anything we want, but our prayers are most effective when they are in line with God’s will! And I want to share one more scripture here dealing with something that’s ever so pervasive in our Christian society today; that’s being ashamed of Christ, being afraid to acknowledge Him in public. 

Ah friends too many of us today are in actual fact ashamed of Christ, but you can’t be saved and/or go to heaven if you refuse to acknowledge His presence in your life. Remember Jesus said it plainly: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

Yeh friends, you can’t be a Christian in secret, at least not in our free religious society. So please stop being ashamed of Christ! Stop letting the enemy make us afraid of possible negative consequences or otherwise. We keep saying that anything and everything is possible with God, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us…Well let’s show that in public nuh, let’s stop being wishy-washy and fearful! 

Let’s say and do like Bruh Paul, who, in writing to Timothy admonished: ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.’ (2 Tim.1:12)

Yes my people, Christ is indeed able to keep us assured until the judgement day! But we have to first believe it and then work at it! It doesn’t just happen by osmosis! So with that point made and our assurance of salvation being reassured, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings; those wonderful promises that the Lord has showered down on us to enable us to do His work. 

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

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

Oh how blessed we are my fellow saints in Christ! But please remember that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…no need to worry…true believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit…until the day of Salvation…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2019 Isaiah 57:21.

Isaiah 57:21.     There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
 
No rain today! Glory to God! Just blue skies and cool breezes in Paradise…until the sun comes up hot and stinging around the noonday hour! But we can handle it better than the cold, for God didn’t make us to live in the cold climates. Yuh see the wonderful climate the Garden of Eden had? (smile) But mankind so hard ears and stubborn and own way, they decide that they going to live in the cold countries anyway, and do their own thing there. 

Ah Lord eh, it is the bane of mankind – always wanting to do their own thing! Jehovah God made us to do His thing, but from the very beginning we rebelled and did our own thing instead. And so it continued down throughout the ages. Listen to this scripture nuh from Isaiah, where through him, the Lord condemns Israel’s idolatry. After castigating them for having the righteous suffer and no one taking up their cause, He declares (steups – wrong again): 

‘But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore (harlot). Against whom do ye sport (ridicule) yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw (stick) out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood. Enflaming (inflaming) yourselves with idols (gods) under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts (clefts) of the rocks?’ (Is.57:3-5) 

Yeh friends, the Israelites forgot the God of their forefathers and made idols of all sorts of stuff and worshipped them as gods, they even practiced child sacrifice like some of the other pagan tribes around them! And I like how the Lord continues a few verses later: ‘And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.’ (Is.57:9) 

Oh friends we are doing the same things as the Israelites did; turning away from God, following pagan rites, debasing ourselves and worshipping the things of the world, rather than Almighty God! The things of the world are now idols, and we are even figuratively sacrificing our children on the worthless altars of these idols! How foolish is that eh? 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way (length of thy road); yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life (strength) of thine hand; therefore thou was not grieved.’ (Is. 57:10) 

Yeh, we found our strength as we developed all our technological stuff and got bigger and bigger and supposedly better, thinking that it was all our own doing and didn’t look back or even consider if what we were doing was right, just plowed right on in our idolatrous ways, until now we’ve become all-powerful in our own eyes and are hell bent on removing God from our society! As far as too many of us are concerned Jehovah God is an old-fashioned, outdated entity, who has no rightful place in our modern day lives! Ah Lord eh!  

And just as the Lord asked of the Israelites back then, He’s also asking of us today: ‘And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace (remained silent) even of old, and thou fearest me not?’ (Is.57:11) 

Ah mih breddren, in this godless and satanic age we neither fear God with a real fear, like the attack of a dangerous wild animal, nor fear Him in terms of reverence and awe! So many people in the universe still don’t know Him, and too many are turning away from Him to worship the worthless idols and false gods of other faiths! 

But please be warned, God’s eyes are upon us all the time! He knows our every move and every thought be it evil or good that we think and plan and when He’s ready, He will take matters into His own hands, and trust, me, we won’t like it when He does. 

As He said to Israel: ‘I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee. When thou criest (cry out), let thy companies (collection of idols) deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity (a breath) shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.’ (Is.57:12-13) 

Oh my people, please believe the Lord our God nuh for He doesn’t make idle promises; if He says He’ll destroy, then He will, and will likewise prosper when He says so. Hear this last piece of that chapter. ‘I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.’ (Is.57:19-21) 

That’s gospel truth my brethren! Wickedness might pay in the short run in this world, but in the long run it definitely won’t! So please be wise and refute evil and wickedness and sin and the ungodly ways of the world nuh! And when you believe and sincerely try to follow the One True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, look what happens: He showers down blessings on us like manna from heaven. So let’s declare (right ho) our Thursday Blessings with enthusiasm and heartfelt assurance nuh! 

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

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

Which other faith or supposed God promises and also delivers that kind of stuff eh? None but Jesus Christ! And those blessings are offered so that we can go out and share them with the less fortunate, so let’s do that now nuh and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…abhor that which is evil…cling to that which is good… (Rom.12:9b)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline!

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

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