Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.    ​Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

It’s that day friends, Sunday, when all roads lead to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise, give thanks and glorify His holy name, with a humble attitude and penitent heart! Yes, it’s time to refuel our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with His word and the encouragement and confidence that the faithful fellowship of like believers brings. And as always, we begin our worship with a song of praise.

Today’s praise offering is simply titled ‘The Promise,’ a wonderful song of contemporary Christian music, as sung by the Martins, that popular Christian Family Trio out of the Southern U.S. So let’s get soulful and sincere as we raise our voices to heaven, letting our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ know how much we LOVE and adore Him, and how grateful we are for all that He’s done for us through His sacrifice on the cross, but also faithfully keeping the promises He made while down here on earth. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony, let’s sing: ‘I never said that I would give you silver or gold, Or that you will never feel the fire or shiver in the cold. But I did say you’d never, walk through this world alone… Hnnnn! And I did say, don’t make this world your home. I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night, Or that loneliness was something, you’d never have to fight. But I did say, I’d be right there by your side… Thank You sweet Jesus! And I did say, I’d always help you fight. ‘Cause you know I made a promise, that I intend to keep…My grace will be sufficient in every time of need…My LOVE will be the anchor, that you can hold on to. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

I never said that friends will never turn their backs on you, Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool. But I did say, like me, you’ll surely be despised. And I did say, my ways confound the wise. I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death, Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest, But I did say, I’d be waiting, right on the other side… (yeah, yeah…He is waiting!) And I did say, I’ll dry every tear you cry. ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place, and someday, sooner than you think, you’ll see me face to face… And you’ll sing with the angels and the countless multitude. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

(Talk – I don’t know where you’ve been walking, but I know in life’s devastation, He will pursue you forever. You’ve picked the One who will never let you go! He’s able to do above and beyond anything we can ever ask or think. Hallelujah!) So just keep on walking, don’t turn to the left or right, And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light, That hell can’t separate us, and you’re gonna make it thru… This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. ooooooh, this is the promise, I’ve made to you…this is the promise, I’ve made to you…’ 

Ah mih people, where to begin eh? I really don’t know. Originally I’d thought of finding a scripture for every promise, but when I came to do it, I realized that it would be a humongous task, taking up much more space and time than I have. Anyway, I’ve found a passage of scripture, one that we know really well, that somewhat encompasses all our hopes, dreams, faith and assurance in Christ. Listen to Bruh Paul as he expatiates to the church at Rome. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39) 

Yeh friends, if we truly believe and trust and surrender our lives to Christ, NOTHING can, or will ever separate us from His eternal and unconditional LOVE! Now check out this explanation from the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is his purpose (cf. v.28).’ Who can thwart the well laid plans of the Creator eh? Nobody! 

And I’ll spoon feed us, though we know v.28 better than most other verses. (smile) ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called (the elect, the saints) according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Oh faithful saints, as the scholars say, God is working out all things for good, but we who LOVE Him can appreciate it best, because we LOVE Him come what may. Whatever happens doesn’t change our LOVE for Him one iota! And that’s certainly how it ought to be! So let’s go out and show that to a disbelieving  the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…and, lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt.28:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2018 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ah friends, as Prince Buster, the famed Jamaican singer said in his song so long ago; ‘It was a rough night last night…’ but not in the sexual way that he meant it. (smile) I spent the night in the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for doing a heart assisted implant today, that would help the ole ticker operate more functionally than it’s currently doing. 

Everything else was okay except the bed. Chuh! These new-fangled hospital beds are so expensive and can do everything except give you a restful night’s sleep. I found it too hard to lie on and very difficult to get up from. And brother…it just kills my back! 

But there’s always a good and bad side to every story…Hn! The good side is that the Lord might have intervened miraculously on the ole fella’s behalf. Yeh friends, if the findings are true, then heavenly intervention was indeed involved. And you must be wondering what I’m being so obtuse and obscure about. (smile)

Well there seems to be something called ‘ejection fraction’ that shows how the heart is pumping the blood and my figures were low to begin with and over the past year haven’t improved a whole lot which necessitated implanting the device. 

However, yesterday, when they did the usual tests, my figures shot up so remarkably that they had to stop and review the situation. That’s why I’m talking about miracles. 

Hold down now people, hold down… there’s a new twist to the story now. I just spoke to the doctor about the surgery and they have decided to postpone it, to err on the side of caution, until they do some other tests that will give them a clearer picture. Only problem is it takes months to get that done. 

But per his reasoning, if my heart has really improved, then I should be okay. Seems though that there are two different implants for the situation and until they are sure of what’s happening it doesn’t make sense to do any surgery which could complicate matters later on. 

Ah Lord eh! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Life is always full of surprises, and who knows when they will crop up. But when you’re walking with Almighty God, He gives you the ability to handle all that comes against you. 

Hence the awesome and always encouraging words of our Bit. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Not a single soul, for our God will fight them off on our behalf! 

Glory to God my fellow believers! Though He allows us to go through all sorts of stuff, ultimately, He uses everything for our good, as Bruh Paul says a few verses earlier. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) We couldn’t ask for more than that. 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul clarifies our Bit by reassuring us. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom.8:32) Yeh friends, if the Lord went to that length to sacrifice His only Son for us, why wouldn’t He freely give us lesser things eh? None whatsoever! 

Thus, Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-37) 

Oh my people, we are so blessed to have the Lord God of Hosts as our Guide and Protector, that we need nothing or no one else to advocate for us. No wonder Bruh Paul ends this remarkable chapter with these wise, wonderful and reassuring words. ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:38-39) 

Yes precious people of God, NOTHING in this world can separate us from God’s LOVE! Why? As the scholars explain. ’38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

So friends, with all that reassurance let’s go home with bountiful feelings, on this rainy morning in Toronto, heartily declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In full voice now: ‘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.’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that. Much LOVE!

…with God on our side…we should be afraid of nothing…    

P.S. Oh friends, sorry the Bit is so late, I never got to finish it at the hospital and I’m just getting home. It’s just been one of those days. Hope it makes some kind of sense. (smile) Much Love!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    These things have I 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.

Here we go again friends, getting up to go and labour on a Monday morning; a rather chilly one in the northern climes, with a brisk wind blowing to liven it up. (smile) As Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) would say: ‘Lively up yourself and don’t be no drag…’ 

Yeh mih people, unfortunately we’ve got to get a move on if we want to survive, much less get ahead in this evil and cruel world. And to help inspire us, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster. 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, when we’re dressed in the Lord’s spiritual armour, we are invincible. So with the adrenaline raised by the valiant proclamation of our Battle Hymn (smile) let’s get a move on nuh, get into the world and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name, for that is what we were created to do. Being a Christian is not easy, because you have to undergo tests, trials and tribulation, to build your faith, so you can grow and be promoted in God’s kingdom. And the fact that a large proportion of the world will be against you for just being a follower of Jesus, makes it even more difficult. 

But listen to these amazing, astounding, reassuring and comforting words of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, High Priest and heavenly Advocate; Jesus Christ, as He declares in our Bit. ‘These things have I 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.’ 

Wow friends! What an earth shattering statement! And there was no hesitation or doubt in Jesus’ voice when He said it. He was one hundred and ten percent sure of what He was saying. That means that we too can be one hundred and ten percent sure of all that He said. He opened His heart to the disciples and consequently to us, to give us His peace that’s like no other peace; the one that passes all human understanding. And though He knows that tribulation will be our lot in life, He assures us to be of good cheer. 

And some of us will sneer at that statement, complaining that those two things are mutually exclusive. Not if you are a follower of Christ, because He has overcome the world and all the tribulation therein. Therefore, with His help, we can handle anything that comes against us. Please remember that my people. With God and us working in tandem, we are a majority, capable of defeating anything and anyone that dares to challenge us.

Remember that verse from Philippians? ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) Well that’s the gospel truth friends! But you have to believe it, have the faith to put it into action. And though I’ve recently quoted these upcoming verses to you my brethren, I believe I have to quote them again because they are so relevant to our Bit, and the more often we hear them, the deeper they will sink into our consciousness. (smile)  

Hear Bruh Paul elucidate and expound to the Roman church nuh. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers, until we all feel that way, espouse that same conviction, we won’t be able to reach the heights of service that the Lord has planned for us. The workers of iniquity sincerely believe in their cause, and are more than willing to fight for it. Christians also need to sincerely believe and be willing to fight for our righteous cause, if we want to defeat them. 

Oh my brethren, the long and short of the story then is; if we want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to succeed, then we have to come together as ONE, and fight our battles as ONE, in Jesus name. There is no middle ground. Much LOVE!

…Christ died that His church should be united…not divided…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2018 Acts 8:35.

Acts 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

And the week and the year are rolling along like a downhill snowball. It’s already Wednesday, and we’re also into the tenth day of the new year. Time certainly is waiting for no one. 

And neither are the natural disasters, as they continue to roll along. Check out the 7.6 earthquake in Honduras a couple of days ago, and the mudslides that have killed some thirteen people in California after wicked rainstorms hit the scenic area that had already been ravaged by recent wildfires. 

Ah Lord eh! We can’t give up though friends, we have to keep keeping on despite those setbacks. But we do have to help however we can, especially with prayers. And in the face of these disasters, I believe it’s the ideal time be reminded of one of the most important facts in this world, and to acknowledge it with sure certainty. (smile)

And that fact is: ‘GOD LOVES ME!’ It’s gospel truth my brethren, and cannot be altered. Please pray this prayer with me from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that bears the above title. 

‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. God LOVES me! Even when I’m at my worst – God LOVES me. Even when my faith is dim – God LOVES me anyway! It’s incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, God’s great LOVE for us might be incomprehensible, but we don’t have to understand it, just accept it for the great truth that it is! So even if we don’t remember or learn anything else today, let’s solidify that truth in our hearts and souls today nuh, because that’s where everything begins. 

God first LOVED us, and to such a degree, that even when we were still sinners, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. That ought to say a lot to Christians, for no other faith has anything even close to resembling that awesome fact. And the added fact that God LOVES us in any state, wherever we are, should indeed raise our reverence and LOVE for Him. 

And as a direct consequence of that awesome LOVE, Bruh Paul is able to ask this enormous question in our Bit. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ 

What a striking question my people! And hear how Bruh Paul answers it nuh. ‘As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Acts 8:36-39) 

Mama Mia! What surety emanates from Bruh Paul on the subject my friends! He is certain sure that NOTHING whatsoever can separate us from the LOVE of God which flows down to us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And he’s quite right! 

But friends, are we each individually sure of that? I don’t know. But I do know that until that idea is written in stone in our consciousness, our faith will never be as great as it should be, because that’s the foundation stone of our faith: God’s LOVE is inalterable and everlasting. Once you receive it, it can never be taken away from you. 

That’s why they say that once you receive the faith of Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, you are sealed until eternity. Glory to God! Once your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it shall not be removed, unless you turn away from God and become the devil’s advocate instead. 

So friends, today, let’s be wise and build our faith on that solid bedrock, that solid foundation that’s Christ nuh, for it is eternal wisdom. And having taking in all of that, let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know about our amazing position with Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth 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 it will indeed be a glorious future my brethren, for as the Good Book says: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ (! Cor.2:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools…will deign to refuse…God’s great and unconditional LOVE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2016 Romans 8:37.


Romans 8:37.   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

And then it was Saturday! A day when most of us don’t have to go out and labour, punch in and out on the man’s time clock. Oh what a blessing! Although we might actually work harder at home doing household chores than when we’re out labouring for the man. But at least we can do how much we want, when we want and at the pace we want. Glory to God! 

And would you believe, I have just the right inspiration this morning for us from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better day. 

And for this Saturday morning, Anselm advises: ‘Do something small and create a flow. Just clean your desk. Or pay your bills. Or wash the dishes. You just need to get started. When you have finished that small task you’ll feel more alert and ready to go do the next thing. You just have to get started to get motivated. So if you really don’t feel like doing anything, start with something small and work your way out and up.’ 

That’s pretty good advice my people, especially if you’re somewhat under the weather and you don’t feel like doing anything at all, but there are things you must do. Just start small and gradually work your way up to the big things. You’ll be surprised at how much you have accomplished at the end of the day. 

Ah friends, life is certainly strange yes! And why do I say that? Because some days you need to tackle the big things first, the ones you fear or dread the most, else you’ll just keep on putting them off and they’ll never get done. At other times, like today, it’s the small stuff we need to do to motivate us into doing bigger ones. 

And you know what? That ties in rather nicely to our Bit. But before we get to it, let’s set the scene with a couple of verses before it. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, what a marvellous bit of scripture! Bruh Paul says that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God which is found in Christ Jesus. Glory Hallelujah! That is something to sing and shout and gloat about my people! For once we have become new creatures in Christ, NOTHING WHATSOEVER can break that bond; neither life, death, angels, nor the evil powers that be! 

That should be very reassuring to all who come to Christ for rescue.  Knowing that even though we may be considered simple sheep to be slaughtered, the unconditional and everlasting LOVE of God shall never depart from us and will comfort us through each and any situation, be it good or bad. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

Yes my believing brethren, our God is the greatest power in the universe, because He created it and still controls it. Everything in it is subservient to Him. And His purpose for and towards us? Why, it’s something we all know, or should know. 

The Good Book generously shares it with us, in the uplifting words of Bruh Paul. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)  

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

Yeh friends, only those who truly LOVE God can appreciate the fact that even during our worst trials and tribulations, He is in the background working it all out for our good eventually. And I’m going to spoon feed you here again (smile) because the scripture is so phenomenal and relevant to what we are talking about.  

Listen to Job during his time of tribulation. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Now isn’t that the utmost in faith? It surely is! Job has suddenly lost everything, his family and his earthly possessions, through no fault of his own, or no evil deed, but yet still he carries the flaming torch of trust and faith in the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Mama Mia! How many of us possess such great faith today eh my people? Certainly not enough, for as soon as the first lash hits, and no succour is forthcoming from God, many of us begin to complain, lose faith and backslide. 

Hear the scholars on Job’s faithfulness. ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight.  Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’  

Ah mih people, there’s no more for me to say, except that we should sincerely ponder those scriptures that we’ve touched on today and try to see where they fit into our journey with Christ, and as always, turn to Jehovah God and ask for help in bettering ourselves faith wise. That’s the greatest wisdom available to mankind. Much LOVE!

…only when one truly walks by faith…and not by sight…can one truly appreciate the LOVE of God…found in Jesus Christ…