Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2018 John 10:11.

John 10:11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Ah friends, sorry for the Bit’s lateness, but I went to bed late, got up late, and had a few things to do before I began writing. But the good news is, here I am at last! Glory! Glory! (smile) 

 Oh isn’t it just great to be alive? To be able to laugh and sing, run and jump, (not me… just yet), and even cry once in a while? It surely is, especially when we are living with and working for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Oh praise His holy name my faithful brethren; exalt the name that’s above EVERY other name, to whom ALL knees MUST eventually bow! 

Yeh, that’s our Messiah, our Prince of Peace, our heavenly Advocate, Our Burden Bearer, Our Comforter, in fact our Be All and End All, our EVERYTHING! Wow! Are we ever so blessed to have a Leader of such awesome proportions! Let’s give Him the thanks and praise He deserves…and all day long at that! 

Yeh, the ole fella’s in a joyful, exclamatory mood this morning! And why not eh? I just got some most excellent news; news that my heart problems have improved…Glory to God! And I’m now medically fit to travel…Oh mih brethren, that’s the best news ever! 

It’s been almost three years that I’ve been parked up here without the ability to get on an iron bird. But yuh know what, as I keep saying our God is ever so faithful, because many a day I’ve lain in my bed and looked through my window at the iron birds coming and going to and from the nearby airport, wondering when I’d be able to get on one. 

And the Good Lord has always quieted my heart by promising that one day, in the not too distant future, He will lift the medical limitations and free me from this onerous bondage… And now He has done just as He has promised! Bless His holy name! So in light of that extraordinary faithfulness, why wouldn’t I just offer up my whole heart and soul, thanks and praise to Him eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 

But enough of my excitement…let’s get on with the Bit. It’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. And we do have a whole slew of then this week, all dealing with change. And we will begin with this one: ‘If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.’ 

I’m not so sure about that nuh, because the human animal is so eccentric and confusing, and dislikes change so much, that a lot of us will probably prefer to be irrelevant rather than to change. That leads us to this quote: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ 

Now that I definitely disagree with! In my many years and much trial and testing on God’s earth, I’ve usually found that the price of change is usually much higher than the price of standing stationary. In particular the effort that one has to put out to make whatever change is necessary. That’s why so many people just stay the same way in the same place. 

That’s why this next quote is the living truth! ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ Now that’s exactly why so many of us resist change, even change that’s obviously in our best interest! Change just doesn’t come easy. And this one mirrors the truth of the last. ‘The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.’ And so it has my brethren… though not always for the better! 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ And isn’t that that the undeniable truth people? Unless our world changes, and drastically too, and also towards Jesus, until we stop trying to drive God out of our society and instead, embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, our world will just continue sinking inexorably, relentlessly into the muck and mire of Lucifer’s evil empire. 

And that is not what our Saviour came to earth and suffered so much for. That’s definitely not why He suffered such pain and humiliation and eventually gave up His sinless life on that wooden cross at Calvary. If He wanted us to become part and parcel of Lucifer’s evil empire, He would have just remained in His cozy corner in heaven enjoying all the exotic delights provided by His Father. But He sacrificially gave all of that up to come and save our sinful souls. 

Remember friends, Lucifer is the master of thievery, lies and deception, an evil genius in leading mankind astray. Just look at how he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s still doing it to us to this day. However Jesus declared, and proved it too: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:10-11) 

And there is absolutely no doubt that that’s what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary; give His sinless, holy life on behalf of our abominable sinful souls, so that the Father could justifiably forgive us and reconcile us to Himself. So why are we still foolishly running behind Lucifer and his evil, lustful, carnal, ungodly way of life eh? A way of life that will only lead to eternal separation from our heavenly Father; the worst fate that can ever befall a human soul! 

I don’t know the answer to that nuh friends, but I am surely trying my best to stay away from that end result…and I sincerely hope that you are trying to do the same, because that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2018 Romans 5:9.

Romans 5:9.    Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Welcome, welcome to the Lord’s Day my faithful breddren! And we all know what that means: an uplifting visit to the Lord’s house, to sing and praise and worship and fellowship, hear His Word and just have a good ole time renewing our spiritual lives! Wow! There’s nothing like the faithful together singing the praises of our great and wonderful God my people! 

If you saw Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday, you’d have seen how praise and worship can light up the spirits of a crowd of believers. So today, in anticipation of hearing God’s Word, let’s soften up our hearts and lighten up our spirits by singing praises to our God in this old and much LOVED hymn ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus,’ written by Robert Lowry and published way back in 1876. 

So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. All together now: ‘What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.) For my pardon, this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) 

Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Now by this I’ll overcome; Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Now by this I’ll reach my home, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Glory! Glory! This I sing; Nothing but the blood of Jesus, All my praise for this I bring, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Nothing but the Blood…Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih people, truer words were indeed never sung or spoken, for ALL that we are is based on the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary! Without that shed blood we’d still be mired in sin for now and all eternity. As the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and, come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) 

In short friends, it means that ONLY the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross of Calvary can wash away my sins, cleanse my soul, allow the Father to pardon me. In Him ONLY, can I find peace and hope, righteousness, salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

Christ’s blood is the most powerful element that ever washed this earth! It atoned for our sins; justified us, sanctified us, reconciled us, made us righteous and gave us entrance to heaven’s throne room! Oh my, my! What other substance on earth can do, or could have done all of that eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE! Nothing but the blood of Jesus! 

In it there is power, forgiveness, LOVE, humility, healing, patience and perseverance, so much so that after two thousand years it is still as effective as ever. Wow! The blood of Jesus! We even plead the blood of Jesus in tough times, confidently calling out to the Father for mercy because of the shed blood of His Son! But enough of me spouting off, (smile) let us quote a few scriptures that show the importance of Christ’s blood in our lives. 

And the first one that comes to mind is one that we all know: ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) And that He did! Then Bruh Paul elucidates to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).’ (Rom.5:8-11)  

Ah friends, it seems quite complicated, but it’s really quite simple: God LOVED us so much that it broke His heart to see us headed to Hades with Lucifer, so He decided to do something about it. The only problem was that because of His holiness and justice, He couldn’t just pardon sin with a wave of His hand. Our sin had to be paid for, for want of a better term, in hard currency, (smile) and that currency under the Old Covenant was animal blood. 

As Hebrews reminds us that through Moses, the Lord commanded the Israelites to continually shed animal blood as short term atonement for their sins: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.’ (Heb.9:22) So there had to be blood shed if the Lord wanted to reconcile us to Himself. And besides, the blood had to be sinless blood, and unfortunately His Son was the ONLY One who fit that bill. 

No doubt the Lord found Himself in a quandary, but He LOVED His greatest creation so much that He decided to break His own heart and offer up His one Son as the perennial sacrifice for our sins! Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. Hear how Peter puts it. ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible (perishable) things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (aimless conduct) received by tradition from your fathers. 

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (revealed) in these last times for you. Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.’ (1 Pet.1:18-21) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the only wise place to place one’s faith and hope! Much LOVE!

…the shedding of Christ’s blood paid for our sins…and His resurrection pays for our eternal salvation…what a giant is our Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2018 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Rise and shine my people, it’s a brand new Monday, of a brand new work week, and it’s overflowing with brand new mercies and blessings! Glory to God my brethren, for He will never leave us to suffer unnecessarily. Where there is no way, He will make a way! And when it seems we’ll be consumed by the fires of this world, oh friends, He’ll bring us through them unscathed, not even smelling of smoke. 

What an awesome God we serve my fellow believers! And it’s the same with the floods; when they seem ready to overwhelm us, to drown us, He’s promised to bring us through them safely. So what is there for us to be afraid of in this world eh? Absolutely NOTHING! Because the universe belongs to our God, our Father, and He is in total control and will not let evil overcome His children! 

His commitment to that was so strong that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save us from our evil doings. So if this Monday morning you are troubled, in dismay, or simply tired and down in the dumps, then please join us in singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for it lifts our spirits and puts us back on the good foot, like Papa James Brown would say. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, as one purposeful choir, in strong voice and sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

Now that’s the antidote for whatever ails us this Monday morning! I’m sure you can feel your spirit rising and your soul being reinvigorated, as the adrenaline courses through your body. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit working in us friends! And with such a marvellous transformation taking place, we subsequently have to go out and work the works of Jesus, with a good attitude and a joyful spirit. 

It’s imperative that we let the world know, not only by our talk, but more importantly by our walk, of the abundant goodness of God and His exceeding faithfulness and their need to come to Him, just as they are, for comfort and succour. Yeh friends, we have to go out and do like the psalmist Ethan says in our Bit. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to ALL generations.’ 

Now that’s our bounden duty my fellow Christians! Remember Jesus’ Great Commission to His disciples and to all subsequent believers: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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.28:18-20) 

Yeh friends, as the scholars explain: ‘28:18-20. The triumphant living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christ) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. All power or authority (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.’ 

And it’s a joy to go out into this evil world and do that. Why? Listen to the psalmist as he further exalts the Lord, extols His wonderful attributes. ‘Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgement (righteousness and justice) are the habitation (foundation) of thy throne: mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth shall go before thy face. 

Blessed is the people that know the joyful song: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (our strength) is exalted.’ (Ps.89:13-17) 

Now, with all of that going for us, how can we not be excited and enthused, and delighted to go out and extol the wonders of our God eh? We’d be truly a sorry bunch of ingrates if we felt otherwise. Much LOVE!

…the mercies and faithfulness of our God…can never be surpassed by anyone else…for there is ONLY ONE GOD…the ONE we worship…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2018 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Ah mih people, this Sunday morning we can go to the Lord’s sanctuary without any fear of slipping and sliding or getting in an accident because of the dreadful weather! Glory be! The ice is slowly disappearing as the weather gets a little warmer. But last week it was something else. And that ice-storm was not half as bad as one a few years ago. They are worse than just the ordinary snow storms. 

Anyway, that’s in the past now, let’s look to the glorious spring weather that’s ahead of us and go to fellowship with other faithful believers, to sing and praise and make merry to Almighty God, and receive His resurgent confidence and enthusiasm in our tired and empty souls. Some of us might need two weeks resurging, since we didn’t get any last week. (smile) 

But whatever, or how much ever we need, we know we will get it in the Lord’s house, so let’s open as always with some praise and worship,  with this foundational hymn ‘Standing on the Promises of God’ written by Russel Kelso Carter, a professor in the Pennsylvania Military College of Chester.

 His bio reads thus: ‘While there he was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church. He became very active in leading camp meetings and revivals. After failing health forced him to abandon this work, he studied and became a medical doctor as well as a writer. He wrote novels as well as hymns.

Yeh friends, it’s obvious he knew what he was talking about when he wrote the hymn. So let’s declare it now nuh, with joyful voices and sincere hearts, because those are such wonderful promises we have to stand on, that mere words alone couldn’t do them justice. 

As one glorious choir now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.) 

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. 

[Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain].’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, doesn’t that just elevate your soul and spirit to new heights of rapture? (smile) It ought to since we have such golden promises made to us by a most faithful Deity. And today friends, we are going to check out some of those awesome promises found in God’s word. 

And we’ll begin with one that lays the foundation for them all, the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy re the truth of scripture, as stated in our Bit. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ 

That is the first step my brethren; to acknowledge that the word of God is true, and though written by mortal men, was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, under God’s authority and guidance, and it is indeed a guide book for earthly living in righteousness. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim.3:17) There we have it friends, guidance and regulations to lead a godly life. 

Here are some useful explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Inspiration of God (lit. “God-breathed.”) describes the unique character of scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. 

For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (Gr. artios, “proficient, capable”) is having everything needed to do what God wants.Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’  

Mama Yo mih breddren! Where can you find another all-encompassing tome like that eh? Nowhere else in the world but in the Christian faith! Glory to our great God, who in His endless wisdom gave us ALL that we needed to live the kind of life He desires of us. And so having acknowledged that the word of God is true, let’s look at a couple of promises that are contained therein. 

The first one is a scripture that we all know and quote, but how many of us truly believe it eh? It’s from the prophet Jeremiah and says: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end.’ (Jer.29:11) 

But that doesn’t come just so friends. We have to pray, call upon God, seek Him with all our hearts, live the kind of life He expects of us, then we’ll see His mercy and favour and the plan He has designed for each one of His people. Now I think we only have space for one more promise; that from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.4:19) 

Yeh friends, because of the Philippians sacrifice on behalf of Bruh Paul, God will meet their need in a glorious manner through Jesus Christ. The same applies to us today my fellow believers – live the way God desires, and you’ll want for nothing. And we’ll end with these most appropriate words of Bruh Paul. ‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phill.4:20) 

More on the promises of God tomorrow friends, God willing. Till then, please walk safely with Him. Much LOVE!

…some promises have conditions…others don’t…but they are ALL readily available…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2017 John 1:14.

John 1:14.   And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Well friends, the big day has come and gone; the purists got their white Christmas and I do hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful day with friends and families, keeping Jesus first place in your thoughts as He is the reason for all the celebrations. 

But yuh know what? Christmas Day might be gone, but the Christmas season is not over as yet, there’s still a lot of peace, LOVE and good cheer yet to be spread. And on this Boxing Day, here is something titled ‘It’s Christmas,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, to bring the Christmas season into true perspective. 

Please read with me: ‘It’s Christmas!  Sing! Rejoice! Celebrate! Let God create in you Colourful explosions Of joy and excitement. Smile away fears, push away tears. Out with pretense, in with praise. It’s Christmas! Open your heart to light To trust, to LOVE, to hope. Awaken slumbering memories Stir up stupendous dreams Anticipate surprises Open your arms wide.  

It’s Christmas!  Time for candles and cards For carols and cookies For brightly lit trees With the fragrance of pine. Time to hug and hold To think and thank Time to greet the world With the Good News.  It’s Christmas!  Thank God for life Thank Him for the manger For the splintered cross For the empty tomb. Thank Him for His only Son The Saviour of the world.  Shout! Laugh! Share! Care! And say to God On Christmas morning: “I entrust myself anew To You.” 

Oh friends, doesn’t that picture of Christmas sound wonderful? It surely does! And though we may not be in a position to do all that’s suggested there, we can ALL do the most important things, like give God thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and pledge our LOVE and allegiance anew to Him EVERY day! 

Ah mih people, the Lord God Almighty certainly went out on a limb for us when in His awesome LOVING-kindness He decided to save us from our sinful selves. The least we can now do is to show some sincere appreciation and gratitude as we enjoy all of the blessings and mercies that He’s poured down on us, especially in this season of Christmas, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, the beginning of the whole beautiful, heartwarming and revolutionary drama. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill to men!’ 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ How majestic and marvellous for the Son of God to become human and dwell amongst us! 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘1:14. Made flesh indicated the incarnation (the miracle) of God the Son becoming human yet remaining God, and bringing us into full conviction of Christ’s humanity. The use of flesh contradicts the Gnostic heresy that God could not be united with human flesh, which was seen as evil. 

Dwelt among us: John uses the word for “tabernacled,” here translated “dwelt.” The Old Testament tabernacle was where God dwelt among the Jews in the wilderness. In this context, God is dwelling in the person of Jesus Christ. We beheld his glory: Perhaps John refers to the Shekinah glory which appeared in the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The expression signifies the visible manifestation of God. John later uses glory to refer to Jesus’ life (2:11), death, and resurrection (12:23).’ 

So my people, we could not ask for a greater gift, especially at this time of gift giving. We need to remember that God the Father gave us the greatest gift ever, God the Son, in our veritable time of need; a time when we were headed directly for eternal damnation and darkness. Not that we aren’t still heading for it, but at least now we have an option to avoid it. 

Before Jesus came and sacrificed his sinless life on our behalf, we had no option but to go straight to Hades with Lucifer and his evil band. But all praise to Jesus for giving the option of believing in Him and thus having reconciliation with the Father and eventual salvation and eternal life! Wow! If that isn’t the GREATEST my brethren, then I don’t know what is! 

Now let’s go home this Tuesday morning, letting the world know whom and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with much gumption and truth. As one 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!’ 

And since we’re truly Christ’s people, then let’s go and truly share His LOVE with the rest of the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…there’s not enough thanks in the world…to truly give to Jesus…for His sacrifice on our behalf…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2017 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.   I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 

Well hello there friends and neighbours, welcome to another glorious day on God’s great earth. And the fact that today is Sunday, the Lord’s Day makes it so much better. That’s because we get to gather in the house of the Lord and sing and praise and worship Him and receive wisdom and understanding by listening to His word expounded to our receptive hearts!  

What an honour! Yeh friends, there’s nothing better than a gathering of Christ’s body, the church, where we exalt and glorify our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And we’ll get today’s show on the road by raising our voices to high heaven in the singing of the old but greatly cherished and popular hymn ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ So without further ado, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips in sweet harmony and sincere emotion.

‘I am weak, but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. 

(Refrain) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.)’ 

Ah mih breddren, a close walk with Jesus on this pilgrim’s journey here on earth is the BEST and WISEST action we can ever take! Why, you ask? Because He knows us better than anyone else and also cares for us more than anyone else! That’s reason enough for me to walk closely with Him. As Bruh David personally testifies in our Bit: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ 

Now if that was good for Bruh David, why wouldn’t it be good for us too eh? Absolutely no reason whatsoever my people! For our God doesn’t regress…in fact He got better after Bruh David’s time by sending His Son Jesus to die for our dastardly sins, so we could have the options of salvation and spending eternity in heaven with Him. 

Wow! How in heaven’s name can any human being consider themselves wise, if they don’t grab the opportunity to hang out with Jesus and hold on tightly to His strong and safely guiding hand eh? Any action other than that friends, is a fool’s wisdom, plain and simple! 

Listen to some of Bruh David’s justification for his stated position. ‘The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off (destroy) the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (crushed in spirit). 

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned or held guilty). The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned).’ (Ps.34:15-22) 

Yes my fellow believers, the Lord looks out for all those who sincerely surrender and trust Him enough to come under His marvellous wings! Does any other Deity offer such assurances? Definitely not! Who heals a broken heart and comforts a wounded spirit eh? None but the Lord God Almighty! Who hears the cry of the righteous and delivers them eh? The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that’s Who! 

And furthermore, our wonderful God has the wicked in His sights, ready to destroy them when the time is right. And Bruh David was experiencing all of that before Jesus came, and since He came and sacrificed His sinless life for us, things have gotten even better! We are now eligible to become children of God and joint heirs with Christ! Glory to God my brethren! 

And all of God’s saints declared loudly and proudly: ‘Blessed is the Lamb that was slain for us! May He live and reign forever! Exalt His holy name, give Him praise in the highest, for He truly deserves it!’ 

Yes friends, there is no other name that’s higher than Jesus’! That’s one of the ways the Father rewarded Him for doing His will without complaining. So, in light of all that, shall we truly take Jesus to heart? I certainly hope so. Otherwise we’d be making the biggest and most serious mistake of our lives. Remember believing in Jesus and accepting Him as Lord and Saviour is the ONLY WAY one can get to heaven and the Father. 

Remember, Jesus said it Himself: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) Remember too that Jesus doesn’t, or rather cannot lie, so if He says it’s so, then it’s so! Therefore it’s up to each and every individual who hears the gospel of Jesus to make a decision to accept or reject Him. 

But just to remind you, if you choose the latter option, you’ll be left on the outside looking in come judgement day, and it won’t be a very pleasant experience, to say the least. So please listen to the voice of reason crying out in this evil and ungodly world…and choose Christ. Much LOVE!

…be wise…hook up with Jesus…and let Him lead you to the Father…it will be heavenly…for all eternity…

 

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