Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2018 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 

Looks like a gloomy, ‘riney’ day. But who knows eh? By the time I go back upstairs after writing the Bit, bright sunshine might be flooding the land. The weather is so temperamental these days; temperamental like… wisdom dictates that I not say it, else I might just have a whole horde of women on my case like a plague of locusts. (smile) 

But brother, a majestic clap of thunder echoed through the area sometime in the early hours of the morning! It resonated like a true thunderous boom – that’s the only comparison I can find. I haven’t heard one as loud and powerful as that in a long time. It sure did catch my attention though I was caught up in the throes of sleep. 

This interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional also caught my attention, and I’m going to share it once again because we desperately need this kind of prayer in these desperate times in which we live. This one’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Wow! And you should know who that friend is! 

But please pray with me. ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a friend we do indeed have in Jesus! None else can compare to His everlasting friendship! And He backs that up with the words of our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! The most valuable gift we can give to someone is our life on their behalf. 

And Jesus did just that for us! Glory to the Most High God for preparing such a wonderful plan and then bringing it to fruition! And we have to give Jesus much thanks and praise too, because if He wasn’t obedient to the Father’s wishes, we’d ALL be headed for hellfire and damnation eternally. But because of His death on the cross at Calvary, we have a second option; salvation and eternal life, but only through belief and faith in Him. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that deal with friendship. First off is Cousin Sol’s famous statement that: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) That just happens to be the true purposes of a friend and brother; to stand by one’s side, especially in the rough times. And as the Greek philosopher Euripides said so long ago: ‘Friends show their LOVE in times of trouble, not in happiness.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, we do have the greatest friend in the universe always by our side, that’s Jesus, but we do need a few human friends too, but not too many, as Cousin Sol wisely says: ‘A man that hath friends, must show himself friendly,’ (Prov.18:24a) meaning that if you have too many friends, you’re likely to come to ruin. 

And that’s the gospel truth, as some of us have experienced, and we still see happening in our society everyday. Those people with the large entourages never seem to last long, because when their money is gone, so are the supposed friends. However, Cousin Sol does wisely continue: ‘and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24b) That’s Jesus my people! 

But there are a few human friends who will stick closer than a brother, and we are certainly blessed if we can find just one of those. One like this moving bit of scripture indicates between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi, after their men-folk had passed into eternity and Naomi decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem. Naomi tells Ruth to go back to her people. 

‘And Ruth said, Entreat me not (urge me not) to leave thee, or to return (turn back) from following thee: for wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.’ (Ruth 1:16-17) What faithfulness my brethren! 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:16-17. Ruth’s faith and faithfulness are in evidence throughout the book, as expressed here in her commitment to Naomi’s God as her own. Ruth’s own concern for Naomi is bound by a strong oath made before the Lord Himself.’ 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so wonderful and faithful and rewarding that for her kindness and steadfastness to Naomi, Ruth ended up being the great-grandmother of Bruh David, and thus of the lineage of Jesus! Wow! Imagine that nuh! A pagan woman being in Jesus ‘ lineage! Only our God could and would do such nonconformist things. (smile) And we don’t have time for that other great friendship between Jonathan, Saul’s son, and Bruh David. But you can read about it in 1 Samuel 20. 

Yes my people, let’s hope that in this lifetime we can all have at least one lasting and faithful friendship, because we all need one. Now let’s go home declaring (spelled it right) our Thursday Blessings, letting the world know what it’s like to live and work for Jesus. 

Altogether now, in sincerity and truth: ‘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 remember we were given those blessings to share with others, not to hoard for ourselves. So please let’s go out and faithfully do that nuh, in Jesus Name. Much LOVE!

…when we are steadfast and faithful in our friendships…the Lord reciprocates with overwhelming godly favour… 

P.S. I went upstairs a while ago, and the sun is out. Glory be! And yes, it’s long…and late, but good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2017 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Oh friends, what a sick, crazy, evil and ungodly world we’ve become eh! Everyday is some new disaster, either man-made or natural! 

And the latest is the killing of some 59 persons in the glitzy tourist town of Las Vegas, and the injuring of hundreds more participating in a country music festival across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Vegas Strip. 

The killer, a supposed quiet, retired, ex-accountant apparently had numerous weapons in his room on the 32nd floor of the hotel and just began firing indiscriminately through the window at the crowd. Obviously the crowd of over 20 thousand stampeded, which only made matters worse. 

And the sad part of the matter is that Isis, the Islamic State terrorists, boldly claimed responsibility for the attack, although no association or any other grounds for the claim could be justified. That just goes to show how sick our society really is, when we claim other people’s destructive behaviour as ours, without a shred of evidence. 

But enough of the bad news, here is some good news; good news about a wonderful friend we have, His name is Jesus. This comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. We’ve prayed it before, but we need to be reminded of it again, especially in these rough and anxious times. 

It’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Please pray with me. ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’  

And those words are ever so true my fellow believers! There is no greater and more faithful friend in this world that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Wow! What a majestic and mighty individual He is! He died for us, paid our sin debt in full, when He didn’t have to. That alone makes Him the greatest friend ever! 

And as he philosophized in our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Then my brethren, He went out and proved it, enduring some of the worse ‘sufferation’ known to man, all on our behalf. So how can He not be our greatest and best friend eh? 

However, there is a proviso, as He stated after our Bit. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:14) Yeh mih people, if we don’t do what Jesus desires, if we’re not obedient to His will, then we’re no friends of His. To be His friend, means to do what He requires of us. As simple as that. 

And hear this verse following those other two. ‘Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:15) 

And right there you have a couple of the main definitions of the word friend; sharing and trusting. Jesus so trusted His disciples, that He shared all the information that His Father had told Him. Consequently, He’s also sharing that info with us today, my fellow believers. 

He’s telling us all about the life God has planned for each and every one of us through His death, resurrection and ascension.  Right now he’s sitting at the Father’s right hand, advocating, pleading our cases to Him. How much more friendship can we need or deserve eh? 

But Jesus is so wonderful, that He doles out even more, through His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah mih people, what a glorious invitation! That from a sinless man who died so that we could live eternally, then sits in heaven pleading for us. Hn! We’d be rather foolish not to accept His friendship and His invitation to join Him in the magnificent and joyful halls of heaven! 

And to round it off in fine style, let’s end by declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – believers in, and friends of Jesus. 

With much gusto and sincerity 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 tell the good news story of Jesus and share His LOVE with the world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh how wonderful it is…to have Jesus as our best friend…there’s none more faithful…trustworthy…kind and LOVING than Him…

P.S. Please pray for the ole fella this morning as he goes into the city to do a heart biopsy procedure. It’s a fairly safe and common procedure, but a li’l prayer never hurts and oftimes helps. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2016 Psalm 66:4.

Psalm 66:4.   All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.

And then it was Wednesday… another glorious day to be alive and kicking! All thanks and praise be to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be reconciled to the Father, and thus enjoy sincere communion with Him once again! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise be to Jesus the Son for being obedient to the Father’s wishes! May He be glorified forever and ever. Amen!’ 

And the Father did just that by making His name higher than every other name, and having every knee bow to Him and call Him Lord, to the glory of God. (Phil.2:10-11) 

But you know what my fellow believers, Jesus is more than just our Lord and Saviour, He is also our best friend. Listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘What a Friend!’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as we say, once it’s nice, we can share it twice, and even thrice. (smile)  

Please read with me: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

And all of that is gospel truth my people! There is no better friend in the entire universe than Jesus! Please remember that so you can take ALL your concerns to Him and be received with comfort and LOVING-kindness. He will NEVER turn you away, regardless of the evil you’ve done. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous invitation! Please don’t let it go to waste! Now let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, confirming our great appreciation, LOVE, trust and faith in Jesus. 

Wailing: ‘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!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we need to be ever thankful for the wonderful breath of life that God has blessed us with! We must also stop allowing the past to control us, but instead stay strong and steadfast in our duties and look to the beautiful future Jesus has promised us. Remember He NEVER reneges on a promise. 

Consequently, with all wonderful mercies and blessings and grace that God has undeservedly showered down on us, we ought to honour Him by acclaiming our Bit. ‘All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord our God certainly deserves all the honour, praise and glory that we can give, for He is a most awesome, gracious and merciful Deity! Now hear what the prophet Zechariah has to say, re the glorious time when Zion shall reign supreme, with Jesus as the Judge. 

‘And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of the tabernacles.’ (Zech.14:16) Oh mih breddren, everybody will be trekking to Jerusalem to worship King Jesus! What a pilgrimage!

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’14:16-21. The feast of tabernacles is the joyous feast of ingathering, rest, and thanksgiving. Israel celebrated it when they returned from the Exile (in Babylon). (Neh.8:14-18). The millennial reign of the Messiah is the realization of the Feast of Tabernacles. No other feast will be observed because the realities they foreshadowed will have been realized.’ 

Ah my faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, what a time of celebration that will be! Now let’s end with Isaiah’s take on the subject of Israel’s deliverance. ‘And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt; and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem.’ (Is.27:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, ALL roads lead to Jerusalem, where Christ will sit on the throne of His forefather, Bruh David, and rule the world! And all God’s children gave a loud shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to enact justice in the world, now and forever more. Amen!’ 

So friends, yuh see what a wonderful life and time we have to look forward to when we sincerely hook up with Jesus and obediently do His bidding? Please, let’s not be foolish and pledge our loyalty to any other, for there is truly NONE like Jesus! Much LOVE!

…oh what a friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and hopes to bear…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30‏

Ephesians 4:30.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

And a fine good morning to you all, my Scrip-Bit Family! And it is indeed a fine day to be alive, since new, unexpected blessings and mercies are in the offing! May the God, our God of peace and LOVE bless us all this Tuesday morning as we go about doing His holy will. 

And since today is Tuesday, I guess that calls for us to recite our Tuesday Mantra. So in one strong and sincere voice let’s affirm this wonderful affirmation. (smile) 

‘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 hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, the most important aspect of our lives is that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah! That’s the telling characteristic that defines us!  What we do and what we have are immaterial and unimportant when matched up with the fact that we are God’s children. Please remember that. 

And to corroborate what we just said about Jesus being our Friend, listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s  (Dr. Robert A Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I have ever shared it before, but it certainly is very apropos for today. So please pray this prayer with me titled ‘What a Friend!’ 

‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that is gospel truth! I can testify to it, as many of you can, because in the darkest, roughest and loneliest hours of our lives, our ever-faithful Friend, Jesus, is ALWAYS there with us, and helps us to come through those unnerving times. Glory Hallelujah! 

NO ONE else is ever ALWAYS with us! And for that reason we ought to feel safe and comforted in each and every circumstance and be able to fulfill the words of our Bit. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s something we should always try to do, because it shows a lack of trust and character on our part. The Holy Spirit indwells us to lead and guide us aright, on the straight and narrow path that leads to God. So if we continually grieve Him, then we’re showing a terrible lack of integrity, of morality and goodness of character. 

And how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. 

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:25-32)  

Now that’s how we grieve not the Holy Spirit my brethren! Basically by letting go of all our past behaviour and putting on the new man that’s in Christ. As we keep saying, it’s not always easy to give up our former habits and friendships, but with God’s ever-present help, we certainly can move along that long and challenging continuum of maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Now here are some more detailed explanations from the scholars. ‘4:25-5:2. This section gives practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (v.22) can be laid aside and how “the new man” (v.24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (v.25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the devil may not be given opportunity (vv.26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others, (v.28). 

(4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others (v.28) and not grieve the Spirit (vv.29-30). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vv.31-32).’ 

And there we have it in spades Friends; how not to grieve the Holy Spirit! So please, today let’s ponder all what we’ve read and, obviously with God’s help, try to improve our individual situations, re the grieving of the Holy Spirit, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…what a Friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and griefs to bear…what a privilege to carry…everything to God in prayer… 

P.S. You’ll notice that the font is slightly bigger, that’s because one reader complained that it was too small for her deteriorating eyes. I wanted to tell her, well just go and get some glasses nuh. (smile) But that would have been rude and unmannerly, and we pride ourselves on not being that way. Hope it helps some others with the same problem.(smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2015 Deuteronomy 13:4‏

Deuteronomy 13:4.   Ye shall walk after (follow) the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto (hold fast to) him.

Well hello there all you beautiful believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I do hope that this Tuesday morning finds you all basking in the glorious sunshine of His oh so warm and tender LOVE, for that’s the only way to truly live a good and successful life on this crazy earth.

And if by some unfortunate chance, you’re not basking in that brilliant sunlight of Jesus, then I’d strongly advise that you go to Him in serious and sincere prayer and humbly ask Him to rectify the situation, so that you can enjoy the peace and joy that He genuinely desires each and every one of His followers to have. That is your new birthright in Christ, and it makes no sense not to enjoy it.

And here’s a li’l something from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to support that contention. It’s aptly titled ‘Discoveries!’

And it says: ‘Lord God Today You have penetrated My entire being With three glorious discoveries: When I am most weak You are most strong. When I am most fearful You are utterly faithful. When I am at my sinning worst You are at Your saving best.’

And isn’t all of that the God-awesome truth my people? It certainly is! For when we are at the lowest ebb in any aspect of our lives, that’s when our God is at His best. He’s always there to strengthen and raise us back up to where we’re supposed to be, to carry us until we catch our second wind.

Oh Friends, I never cease to enjoy the wonder of the great and merciful God that we serve and worship! He is indeed the BEST element in our lives!

And the promise associated with that poem is one that we all mentally know and LOVE, but in reality, don’t always faithfully feel and appreciate. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom.8:31)

More awesome truth my brethren! For if the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Creator of this magnificent universe and all therein is in our corner, then who in heaven’s name can successfully come against us eh? NOBODY, my people! Absolutely, NOBODY!

Please believe that. Today, let’s write it deep in our hearts, souls and minds, then allow it show in our lives, lives which are to be modelled on the never changing, always enduring command of our Bit.

‘Ye shall walk after (follow) the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto (hold fast to) him.’

Ah mih people, those are certainly words of heavenly wisdom, words to faithfully live by!

Now yesterday we looked at some scripture that reinforced or recast our Bit in a slightly different light. Today, however, we’re going to look at another very important aspect of the command set out therein; what happens, or will undoubtedly happen if we don’t follow it.

Listen to Moses as he delivers the living Word of the living God to the Israelites. ‘See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to LOVE the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce (announce) unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

That thou mayest LOVE the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.’ (Deut.30:15-20)

Oh my people, eons ago the Lord laid down the situation in clear and simple terms for the Israelites. And whether we like it or not, the same conditions apply even unto this day. So what more can I say that will make any difference it eh? Nothing really, since it’s all written right there in black and white in simple, everyday language.

All I can realistically do, is reiterate the Lord’s Word: ‘therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live… for he is thy life, and the length of thy days…’ That my Friends, is indeed eternal wisdom! Much LOVE!

…God has provided two avenues of living for us…blessing and cursing…we’ll be well advised to choose the first one…blessing…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Aye Friends, we are alive and kicking to witness another brand new day, filled with God’s wonderful mercies, blessings and forgiveness! Wow! Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is, even though the weather in my neck of the woods is wet and chilly and miserable.
 
Hn! I guess my brother and his wife must have carried back the wonderful Tobago kind of weather we’ve had for the last couple of weeks while he was here. (smile) Anyway, regardless of the weather, let’s give our great God appropriate praise and thanks for allowing us to see another day.
 
And today we’ll be talking about Friends. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to unfold, to pan out, since there is so much scripture dealing with subject, in good, bad and indifferent ways. But I’m going to be wise and simply put my faith in Holy Spirit to guide me into writing something sensible and useful. (smile) He’s been doing it for the last seven years, ever since I began writing the Bit, so why should He stop now eh?
 
I do know that we’ll begin with this poem from one of my favourite preachers, Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) taken from his Hour of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but it’s certainly worth sharing again in this context, since it’s appropriately titled, ‘WHAT A FRIEND!’
 
 It boldly and proudly declares: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a FRIEND I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’
 
Oh my people, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! And I’m sure that all of us can testify to the truth of those words, for we have all been befriended by God in our struggles in our pilgrim’s journey.
 
That brings us to our Bit; the overwhelming and oh so beautiful sentiments of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
Wow! That’s all I can say in reaction that revolutionary statement! And the great thing about it all, my fellow believers, is that after making such a momentous and controversial statement, Jesus actually went out and died for us!
 
And all God’s children gave a joyful and grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You for dying for us on the cross at Calvary and paying our sin debt in full!’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a debt we can never repay! And Jesus doesn’t want or expect us to repay it either. All He desires of us is what He says after our Bit: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:14-15)
 
Yes people, to be Friends of Jesus, all we have to do is believe what He’s told us, all that He’s heard from His Father, and then do what he asks us to do. But unfortunately, in these highly revolutionary and technologically advanced times, those words have fallen on deaf ears, as man boastfully beats his chest and feels superior, like he’s a god himself.
 
And sadly, we just can’t see how foolish that type of prideful behaviour really is, when with all our wealth, power and technological advances, we still cannot control the length of our days on this earth. The One who originally breathed His breath of life into us, still controls how long we spend on His earth.
 
That brings to mind Jesus’ parable of the rich man who had so much goods that he decided to build bigger barns to hold it all, then to ‘take thine ease, eat drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ (Luke 12:19b-20)
 
Yuh see mih breddren, all the wealth and power couldn’t keep him from dying that night. So doesn’t that make us look silly and stupid when we can’t control the one thing that makes us go, our very lifeblood, but we boast about everything else that flows from it, as though we are so superior?
 
Steups! Sometimes I think that man is God’s dumbest creation , rather than the brightest yes! But that’s another story for another day. (smile)
 
And we’ll close with the first verse of that old hymn that tells us so much about friendship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Sing it with me please people, because we all know it, though we don’t all put it into actual practice.
 
As one mighty choir now: ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, that says it all! Many of our problems exist because we don’t take them to Jesus in prayer. Just imagine the amount of peace we forfeit and unnecessary pain we bear, simply because we don’t do it nuh.
 
So let’s wake up today my people, and take EVERYTHING to our omnipotent and ever-faithful, ever-caring God, because that’s what He desires of us. And furthermore, our problems and pains will definitely be lessened, we’ll also have more peace in our lives, and our God will be pleased! If that isn’t heavenly wisdom, then I don’t know what is! Much LOVE!
 
…why be a martyr…by holding on to unnecessary strife and pain…when relief can be found…simply through words sincerely floated up on high…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2013 Psalm 135:15

Psalm 135:15.    The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
 
Oh my wonderful Friends in Christ, in light of something I have to share, I thought it would be an excellent idea to open with this hymn of praise.
 
So please sing with me. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.’  
 
And yuh better believe my people, that that’s the God-awesome truth! We suffer so much pain and grief because of our reticence, for whatever reason to take our problems to the ONLY PERSON who can truly handle them – Almighty God.
 
And on reading this poem from Dr. Robert H. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, I just had to share it. It’s titled, quite appropriately ‘What a Friend!’
 
And it so rightly and encouragingly declares: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me.
 
Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’
 
Oh mih people, mih people, doesn’t that just hit the right spot this morning! Because as Dr. Schuller so wisely and rightly says, Jesus is our one, essential, intimate Friend, who’s never yet failed us! And the glorious thing is that He never will!
 
The problem though is that too many of us refuse to believe it, and instead look to the foolish things of the world for guidance and solace. But Friends, please remember what our Bit so wisely says: ‘The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.’
 
And there is definitely no doubting that! For what can man do that God cannot change or do even better eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So it’s quite time we wake up and smell the roses and stop allowing the things of the world to control our lives.
 
And I’m going to make some of us happy by announcing that this is definitely the last day for this particular Bit. (smile) And hopefully, by now, the truth contained therein, will have sunk into our hearts, heads and souls and brought us to the reality of the ineptitude of the world situation, and the fact that only Jesus can alleviate it.
 
So let’s get into this last scripture which comes from Jeremiah, as expected, speaking of God and the idols. ‘Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen (Gentiles), and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
 
For the customs of the people are vain (futile): for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck (decorate) it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers, that it move not.
 
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.’ (Jer.10:1-5)
 
Oh mih breddren, what invaluable words; words of wisdom, power and truth! Nothing that man makes can get us to heaven, not even close! So why do we insist on hankering and running after the worthless and valueless things of the world eh, when the things of heaven are so much more important and worthwhile?
 
Let’s hope that this series of messages on the foolishness of worshipping idols has really hit home, and has at least lessened, if not completely cut out our idol worship.
 
Now here’s a word from the scholars. ’10:1-16. Considering the impotence of the false gods and the emptiness of false religion, men surely ought to worship the omnipotent Lord and King of the nations. God’s name, which is great, reveals His character and reputation. The term ‘name’ became a title for God (cf. Dan. 9:18-19; Amos 2:7; 9:12) and was applied in the New Testament to Christ (Acts 4:12; 5:41; 3 John 7).’
 
And as always Friends, it’s in our best interest to check out the references provided by the scholars, since they only improve our understanding of the Word. And we’ll close with this invigorating and uplifting scripture, which ably supports the scholars’ note.
 
‘But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
 
He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.’ (Jer.10:10-12)
 
And all God’s people declared a long, loud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen! And again we say, Amen!’ Much, much LOVE, my fellow believers in Christ!
 
…please remember…whatever keeps us away from God…that’s an idol…and its influence should either be completely eliminated…or at least greatly reduced…so that we have more time for God…