Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2018 Hebrews 10:22.

Hebrews 10:22.   Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

And the days of 2018 are passing by so quickly, with such topsy-turvy weather, we don’t know whether we are coming or going. We’ve already used up two weeks of the new year already, and gone from snow to rain and back again.  

But it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, which means a time for fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three are gathered, to give Him praise and thanks, and receive His mercy, forgiveness, grace and confidence in return. In other words, boosting our faith to meet the upcoming week. 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song; one of Frances Crosby’s old, but ever beautiful hymns, ‘Blessed Assurance.’ So with hearts aglow and spirits sincere, let’s raise our voices in song, offering up the sacrifice of our lips in humility and truth. 

‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.’  Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels, descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of LOVE. 

(Refrain) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long).’ 

Oh friends, what great assurance there is in singing those beautiful words of that hymn! We really couldn’t ask for much more nuh. Just knowing that Jesus is ours, and we are His, makes this troublesome life all worthwhile. Glory to God! Just imagine nuh, which we’ve been purchased by God, through the sacrificial death of Christ! We’ve been washed in His blood and cleansed white as snow! Glory Hallelujah! 

And to add the icing on the cake, we’ve been made heirs of salvation with Christ! Wow mih people! It just couldn’t get any better than that. That’s why we’re so honoured and grateful to sing praises to His name, while we wait, eagerly, patiently and  faithfully for His return, ‘filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE.’  

Mama Mia! What a fantastic individual is our Jesus! The only problem though is that the whole world doesn’t think of Jesus in such glowing terms. Even some of His own supposed believers don’t think that highly of Him, that’s why the author of Hebrews issued the plea to the early believers to hold to the new faith, and I am reissuing it to us in these modern times. 

Listen to this heartfelt plea. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); (Heb.10:19-23) 

Yeh friends, by Jesus destroying the veil in the temple covering the Holy of Holies, with the sacrifice of His sinless life, where only the high priest could go at certain times of the year, we are now able to go to God personally with confidence that He will hear and answer us. That’s why we are encouraged to stand strong in the faith, be assured that all that Jesus said and did and promised are true. 

As believers we can’t afford to waiver back and forth. We must keep hope alive and flourishing, because our God has promised us good things like salvation and everlasting life, and He is ever-faithful to His word. That I can personally testify to, because I couldn’t write this Bit everyday now for some eleven years without His faithful help. He proposed the idea, and He NEVER gives us projects to do without giving us the wherewithal to do them. So any time He calls you, just jump to it, for though it might seem difficult, even impossible, God will always help you. 

And having stood strong in faith and confidence, the author of Hebrews continues. ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:24-25) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important it is, especially as the Second Coming approaches, to fellowship, to gather, to assemble with each other so that we can stir up and encourage each other to spread LOVE and do good works. As the scholars say: ‘It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren. 

And the scholars further explain: ’10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food.’ 

So friends, that means we don’t just go to church at Easter and Christmas or once in a blue moon and believe we’ve done our duty. Our duty is to attend church regularly, so that we can encourage and strengthen each other. So let’s seriously consider our church attendance this year nuh mih breddren, and with God’s help try and do better. It will be a boon for all of us individually, and above all, Christ’s body, the church. Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t assemble… don’t fellowship…how can they share Christ eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.

Ah mih fellow believers, it’s so good to wake up to the best day of the week once again! Yes, it’s the Lord’s Day; time for worship and praise, fellowship and spiritual renewal on a more particular basis. 

So let’s not be found wanting, let’s ‘hie’ ourselves hither to His tabernacle today and with our fellow believers praise and glorify and exalt God’s holy name. And, as always, let’s open with a song, for there’s nothing that gets us in the mood, opens our hearts, minds and souls to receive God’s Word like a bout of praise and worship. 

And today, as we desperately plead for help for ourselves and our friends, families and neighbours all over the world, who are facing very disastrous times, there is no song more appropriate than this one: ‘What a friend we have in Jesus.’  

So let’s sing it out, loud and clear, heartfelt and sincere, as we bring to remembrance all that Jesus has done for us, and has promised to do, both in the good times and the rough times, and the simple, but awesome fact that there’s NO ONE greater, or more important than Him, in our lives. 

The hymn was apparently written by one Joseph M. Scriven in 1855 to com­fort his mo­ther, who was across the sea from him in Ire­land. It was orig­in­al­ly pub­lished anon­y­mous­ly, and Scriv­en did not re­ceive full cred­it for al­most 30 years. 

With sacrificial praise from our lips then, let’s tell our story. ‘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. 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer. Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer. Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.’ 

Oh friends, what wonderful words of peace, comfort and reassurance! But yuh know, the most poignant and reality based words in the hymn are: ‘O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ 

That’s ever so true my people! A lot of our pains and problems stem from either our foolish pride or lack of knowledge, because both keep us from taking those same pains and problems to Jesus in prayer. And who knows what the results might have been, had we taken the time to go to Jesus in prayerful mode. 

And strangely, even in these times of serious disaster, many so-called believers won’t even consider turning to God in prayer, again because of foolish pride. Amazingly though, it’s the unbelievers, who most of all, in rough times, find their voices and cry out to God for help and mercy. 

Oh my brethren, please remember that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe. It’s God’s stated means of communication with us. So if we don’t pray, then effectively, we’re not communicating with the Most High God, our Creator and Provider. And who suffers for that lack of communication eh? Not God, but us! 

And though God might not answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, He always answers them, whether it be ‘Yes, No, Not Now,’ or whatever. The problem is that we’ll never know His answer until we carry our problems to Him in prayer. 

Why do you think Jesus communicated the thinking in our Bit? ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Because prayer is ever so important, so essential for mankind. It’s as important as food and water. If we don’t have those two ingredients for a while we die. We also die, spiritually, if we don’t have prayer. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ I couldn’t have said it any better my brethren. 

And why do you think Bruh Paul made that bold pronouncement to the Thessalonians eh? ‘Pray without ceasing?’ Because it’s such a vital part of our existence! 

So friends, on this Sunday in September, when our world seems to be falling apart right before our very eyes, let’s be wise, remember the words of Jesus and Bruh Paul and get back to prayer; constantly and diligently, sincerely and humbly. That is the wisest action we can take in what seems to be the approaching end times. Much LOVE!

…prayer is spiritual food…essential for the believer’s soul…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2016 Matthew 5:6.

Matthew 5:6.   Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Well ah hear them coming down the road singing: ‘This is Friday, yes is Friday…And we going to party some of the weekend away. We going to fellowship some too. And get in a li’l rest too, so we can be fit and ready for the new workweek on Monday. Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends!’ 

Well what could I say to that eh friends? Nothing much, for they had me beat, including all the necessary things for a successful weekend in their li’l ditty. Now, if that only was the modus operandi of the majority of us, then we’d be in fine shape come Monday. 

But unfortunately many of us still cling to the negative approach of simply wasting away the weekend in debauchery and riotous living. Thus still making it necessary for us to chant our Friday Chant seeking a different and much better perspective.  

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, how we waste our earthly lives by not following God’s word found in His Holy Book, the Bible, where He sets out the rules for godly living. And the sad part is that it’s not onerous at all. There are two basic rules; LOVE God, and LOVE each other. 

But sadly, too many of us have trouble following those simple directions. I guess they’re just too simple. We seem to need stringent rules and regulations spelled out to the letter; like don’t do this, and don’t do that. We can’t seem to break down the big, general directions for ourselves. 

Oh, if only we could be dialled in sincerely to our Bit: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ 

Yeh my people, if only we could be hungry and thirsty for the righteousness of God, rather than the unrighteousness of this sinful and evil world! What a wonderful world it would truly be! 

But the truth is that we can’t give up, those of us who feel that way, must continue fighting, continue hoping that by living the righteous life, others will see what a blessed lifestyle it is, and desire to join us. That’s why we’re still down here on earth yuh know; to show others the right way and help them come to Jesus for salvation and eternal life. 

Now let’s check out some scripture on the subject. Yesterday we saw the Lord offering free spiritual food through Isaiah, to all and sundry. Listen to Jesus now, as He talks to the Samaritan woman at the well. 

When He asked her for a drink of water, she was most surprised because the Samaritans and the Jews did not have good relations. But Jesus kindly told her. ‘If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have giving thee living water.’ (John 4:10) 

The living water there refers to the Holy Spirit. Yes friends, when we turn to Jesus for drink for our soul, He generously offers us the Holy Spirit. And later on, when the woman was perplexed by Jesus’ argument, He told her. 

‘Whosoever drinketh of this water (from the well) shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (a fountain) of water springing up into eternal life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful promise! And though she did not fully comprehend Jesus’ words, the woman was smart enough to realize that Jesus was offering something very valuable and very desirable. 

Unfortunately though, today way too many of us refuse to have anything to do with Jesus, and even those of us who do claim to be involved with Him, our passion and enthusiasm for His way of life is sadly lacking. 

We don’t have the true zeal, the burning desire to emulate Him, otherwise His body here on earth, the church, would not be as lacklustre and waning in importance as it is. Now listen to Isaiah as he talks about the punishment of the rebellious. 

‘Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl (wail) for vexation (grief) of spirit.’ (Is.65:12-13) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we have to look forward to when we seek for and honour the righteousness of God! 

And we’ll end with a couple of verses from ‘The Magnificat,’ Mary’s song of joy to the Lord when He anointed her to bear His Son, Jesus Christ. She solemnly declares: ‘And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 

He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent away empty.’ (Luke 1:50-53) 

Oh my precious people, please understand that only by hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of God in this calamitous world, can we ever be filled with the true living water of Christ. Much LOVE!

…the living water of Christ…is free to all those who sincerely receive Him…as their Lord and Saviour… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2015 John 14:6

John 14:6.  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Oh Friends, I don’t understand it nuh; it’s a mystery that I can go to bed feeling fairly okay and wake up a few hours later experiencing serious pain in places that weren’t paining before I went to bed. Hn! I thought rest and sleep were supposed to calm those things, not heighten them.

Chuh! I woke up a little while ago with my right knee giving me beans, and that hasn’t been hurting me, it’s the left one that’s recently been problematic. So there I was subsequently, hobbling around like the old man I refuse to be, trying to put out the garbage and chuckling somewhat unhappily to my self.

But yuh know what, it’s a conspiracy! Yes Arthur (arthritis), the minion of the evil one, is desperately trying to humble me before his wicked master. But please tell Arthur for me that that will NEVER happen!

Not as long as our great God sits on His throne in heaven on high, which He will do forever, neither as long as our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus stands by His side advocating on my behalf, or as long as the Holy Spirit dwells within me! 

No Friends Lucifer will never get his evil hooks into me, or wrap his mushy tentacles around me, once the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are in control of things. And to bring that even more forcibly home to Mr. Arthur and his evil boss, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, which is most appropriate in this situation.

Please wail with me people: ‘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 yes my people, if we want to make it successfully through this wicked and ungodly world we have to constantly keep our focus on Jesus! There is no other way! Remember His promise of salvation in our Bit ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh to the Father but by me.’ And He is also the LIGHT of this evil and darkened world.

And I like how the scholars put it, re our Bit. ‘14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He is the way!’

And that’s an awesome truth that ALL believers need to acknowledge, to write indelibly in their hearts, souls and minds if they want to have a successful journey with Him. Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the Lamb that was slain for us, whose precious blood was spilled at Calvary’s cross so that we could gain atonement from our abominable sins!

Yes my brethren, Jesus is indeed THE GREATEST! The ONE and ONLY Superstar! All our hopes and dreams begin and end with Him. As the author of Hebrews so wisely reminds us; He is the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb.12:2)

Or as the scholars put it. ‘He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ So we don’t have to do any more trail-blazing, just follow the straight and narrow path that He has laid out for us, all the way to salvation and eternal life with Him and the Father. There’s absolutely nothing better than that in this confused and troubled world!

Now listen to these encouraging and uplifting words from the author of Hebrews, where he issues a plea to the early believers to hold on to their new faith. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say the flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching’ (Heb.10:19-25)

Oh Friends, that same plea is crying out to us today, in these dark and dismal times! Jesus is the ONLY WAY to overcome them!

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars re those verses: ’10:20. Jesus Christ is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God (cf. 4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6).’ Please check out those references my people, as they will certainly help to enlighten us in the scriptures.

’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39). The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it take much more to stir up another to LOVE and to good works.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends, it’s much easier to stir up strife than LOVE, especially in these godless times!

‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is the outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’

And I say a loud and proud ‘Amen’ to that! There we have it Friends, the reason for going to church, for Christians assembling together in the name of Jesus Christ!

Now let’s go out today, and every day, and work diligently, sincerely and faithfully on behalf of our Lord and Saviour nuh, for that is the ultimate wisdom of this life. Much LOVE!

…following the path that Jesus blazed…and doing His will…brings the greatest joy and eventual richest reward…spending eternity with Him…

P.S. Oh Friends, I know it’s long and late, but that’s all made up for in its wonderful information and its intrinsic beauty! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


O Friends, you all have to excuse the ole fella yes, because it’s ‘Summertime, And the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumping, And the cotton is high. Your daddy’s rich, and your mama’s good lookin’, So hush little baby, Don’t you cry.’
 
Yes my people, those memorable lyrics of the George Gershwin song, ‘Summertime,’ were particularly apt last night. Oh, and just so you know, my daddy wasn’t rich, but my Mama Molly was sure good lookin’! (smile)
 
And it’s not like I did anything special last night. I just hung out some with the duchess, then when she went to bed, I listened to some music and watched the first half of the Argentina – Netherlands soccer game.  But it certainly kept me up until the wee hours of the morning – two o’clock, I believe.
 
And though I know that Willie Shakespeare said something in one of his plays about going to bed late means being up early, I didn’t arise until six o’clock this glorious summer’s morn!
 
Let me warn us right now, I’ve never been an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy, more of a night owl, so if the summer weather stays as beautiful as it is, don’t expect to see the Bit early every day. For when the summer magic and craziness hits me, I am liable to get involved in stuff that doesn’t include, or rather, precludes going to bed early. (smile)
 
And there, now that I’ve warned us, let’s see what else I have to say for myself? Nothing really nuh, for the sleep is still enveloping my mind, the caffeine hasn’t taken effect as yet, the allergies are acting up, and I’m simply asking the good Lord to help me endure. What a way to practice what you preach! (smile)
 
And my brethren, asking the Lord to help you endure is never a bad thing; in fact it’s always a wonderful way to go, especially since in our Bit, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so seriously warns us: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
So as true believers, we are ALL expected to hang in until the very end! And you don’t need to tell me that that’s not always easy, because I’m experiencing one of those hang in there, enduring times right now. (smile)
 
But Friends, please remember that with our serious buckling down, and with Jesus’ generous help, we can endure any and every thing! And it’s so important that we do, since almost everything in this wide world calls for some kind of endurance or another.
 
So, like the last couple of days, let’s continue looking at some interesting and important scripture passages on endurance and enduring. Listen to Bruh Paul natter at poor Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)
 
Yeh mih breddren, a good soldier endures all that comes against him! And like Bruh Paul and Timothy, we’ve been chosen to be soldiers by Jesus Christ in His wonderful army. That means we need to endure hardship, with a smile, if possible. Hn!
 
Meanwhile, James, in talking of patience in affliction, says: ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near).
 
Grudge (grumble) not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
 
Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:7-11)
 
What a hard row to hoe my people, but vitally necessary amongst believers!
 
Now hear Jesus to those who had followed Him after He miraculously fed them. They weren’t really interested in the miracles, just looking for more physical food. ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27)
 
Yes Friends, in real life we throw away lots of physical food because it cannot endure, but as believers, we need to seek spiritual food that lasts, that’s not here today and gone tomorrow. And only through close association with Jesus Christ can we find that kind of everlasting food.
 
And we’ll end as we began, with memorable words from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race),
 
I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8)
 
Oh my people, my people, it is imperative that when our last days on earth are drawing nigh, that we are able to say words similar to those of Bruh Paul, because we have, obviously with God’s help, endured everything that’s been thrown at us!
 
If we can say that in all truth, then we’ve done our best, and there’s nothing to worry about, because that’s all our wonderful God expects of us; our very best.
 
So today, and every day hence, let’s ensure that even if we do nothing else, we endure for Jesus’ sake. That’s wisdom from above! Much LOVE!
 
…I have fought a good fight…I have finished my course (race)…I have kept the faith…oh how beautiful those words sound at the end of every believer’s life…  
 
P.S.  And who says I’m not truly enduring this morning eh, since the ole computer decided to freeze on me just as I was about to send out the Bit. Ah Lord eh! The Lord surely tests us on what we preach! And I’m not even done yet! (smile) But with the Lord’s help, the ole fella is enduring! Glory Hallelujah! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2014 John 6:29

John 6:29.   Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

It is Monday Friends… and all over the world people are excited, joyful, enthusiastic and everlastingly grateful that they have jobs to go to on this fateful last day of June 2014!
 
But yuh know what, we can also say: It is Monday Friends… and all over the world lots of people are sad, in despair, fearful, crying, and even dying  because they don’t have jobs to go to on this fateful last day of June 2014!
 
And paradoxically, both statements would be true!  Unfortunately though, I do believe that in these very trying and challenging economic times the latter statement and/or situation contains the greater the number of people.
 
So my brethren, if you are one of those lucky ones in the minority, one with a job this Monday morning, then I’d strongly suggest you put some cheer in your heart, a smile on your face and get a move on, instead of pouting and childishly complaining, of being miserable and downcast because you have to go and do a little labouring, so that you can eat bread.
 
Chuh!  Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Thessalonians on the subject: ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ (2 Thess.3:10)
 
Oh Friends, it’s a good thing that we don’t rigidly enforce that command nuh, else many more people would be starving than currently are! However, since we are only mere mortals, and complaining is a part of our natural heritage, (smile) let’s get some much needed encouragement from our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s sing it with a zest and a zeal that will move the forces of heaven!
 
As one beautiful sounding, harmonious choir 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!’
 
Oh Friends, that was most excellent! Jesus was proud of us! Now let’s see if we can keep Him proud concerning the terms of our Bit. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.’
 
Remember yesterday we saw where the crowd was following Jesus looking for physical food, but He was more interested in giving them spiritual food, and told them so. After which they enquired what they had to do to perform the works of God, and Jesus replied with our Bit.
 
And still in a quandary, after receiving His answer, ‘They said therefore unto him, what sign showest thou (will you perform) then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
 
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
 
Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:30-35)
 
Oh my people, what beautiful words of encouragement, wisdom and truth! Only our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, could have uttered them so movingly, so touching to the heart!
 
Now I’m not sure if the people who heard Him live on that day, really understood what He was talking about, but we do. And since we are His representatives here on earth, it is our bounden duty, our responsibility to get out into the evil, ungodly world and let the unbelievers know what is what.
 
So today, as we venture out into the wide and wicked world, to begin a new week of work, let’s remember to give Jesus some air time; let people know by our words, who He is and what He’s done for us, and will also do for them if they accept Him. And then, by our actions, let them see how He expects us to behave.
 
Friends, that’s all Jesus really expects from us. And it’s not hard to do, if we truly believe and want to be His true disciples. So let’s get on with it nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…today I’m going to try and change the world…just one moment at a time…by letting Jesus work through me…

 Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2013 Ephesians 6:13

Ephesians 6:13.    Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 
Awright Friends, the Canadian Thanksgiving Party done now! It’s time to go back out and labour; to start clearing the land and planting more good seeds, so that, with God’s grace and mercy, we can reap another bumper harvest next year.
 
And all God’s people joyfully shouted: ‘Thank You Lord for this year’s bountiful harvest! Please give us the health, strength, perseverance and wisdom to sow good seeds on fertile soil, so that we can reap an even more bountiful harvest next year and further glorify Your glorious kingdom! This we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen!’
 
Oh Friends, this morning my spirit is somewhat riled. Lucifer’s been getting to me through my printer. I put in a new ink cartridge, but it’s still telling me that the ink is low, and is printing stuff I can’t even make out. However, since the time for writing the Bit was imminent, I decided to leave the printer for later, when I had more time to fool with it. Please note that mih young D. (smile) 
 
And our God is so wonderful, that while going through some pieces of paper on which I have written possible stuff to share, I happened to come across this rather encouraging statement. I don’t know whether I’ve shared it before, or where I got it from, or who even said it – might even have been me (smile) – but it sure ‘deriled’ or ‘unriled’ my soul.
 
It says: ‘When a man or a woman has the conviction that he or she is doing the work God gave him or her to do, there’s a zeal and a courage in his or her soul that all the forces in this world cannot destroy.’
 
And that’s the God-awesome truth, my fellow believers, to which many of us can attest! For when we’re serious about doing God’s work, no power on this earth can stop us!
 
Right now I have to write God’s Bit, so I can’t allow Lucifer to mess with my mind, so to fight him off, I’ve put on all aspects of my spiritual armour, and now I’m ready for battle! Praise the Lord!
 
Ah Friends, I’m not joking. Most mornings before I begin writing the Bit, I ask the Lord to help me put on His spiritual armour, those fine accoutrements of spiritual battle… And He does. After that, I ‘m gung ho, and have the necessary resources to fight Lucifer to the death!
 
I’d strongly suggest that you all try it some time too. Go to Ephesians 6, and read from verses 10-20. But also write down the accoutrements of battle you need (vs.14-17) and keep it handy, so you can quickly refer to it in time of need. Better yet, learn it by heart!
 
And I think it’s much easier to learn if you start putting on your armour from the top. The helmet of salvation to guard your mind; the breastplate of righteousness to guard your inner man; the belt of truth so you can stay centred in the Word; the sandals of peace so you can go about in peace and tranquility; then take up that massive shield of faith to protect you from the fiery arrows of the enemy; and finally that magnificent sword of the Spirit, which brings man to his knees before Almighty God in conviction and repentance.
 
Wow Friends, what awesome battle gear! And would you believe that I don’t have a Bit as yet…
 
Ohhh! But I do now! Such is the mysterious and miraculous movement of our great God!
 
And out Bit so wisely and rightly says: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’
 
Now I believe we’ve used this scripture as a Bit before, but there’s nothing that says we can’t use it again, and as often as possible, especially when the time for it is ripe. And what I find most appealing about our Bit is the last portion: ‘and having done all, to stand.’
 
Yes my brethren, that’s what having on the spiritual armour of God allows us to do; to stand strong against the enemy.
 
Hear the scholars take on the Bit. ‘6:13. Wherefore means “because of this,” that is, because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry.
 
The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and Satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing oneself in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these, be ready, for the Devil will attack again and again.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, that is one other thing that we can be sure of in this life, beside death and taxes. No matter how we parry and trust the enemy away, ole Beelzebub will keep attacking us right up to the very second that the Lord calls us home.
 
Right at that very moment, the lying, deceitful one will show up and try to tear us away from God, telling us that there’s no heaven, etc. etc. So even at the last moment of earthly life, we have to be very careful to have on that spiritual armour.
 
Oh Friends, there’s so much more I’d like to share with you, but time and space are running out, so we’ll leave that for tomorrow, God willing of course. In any case, we already have enough spiritual food on our plates to read and digest today. 
 
Therefore my people, let’s ponder and meditate on it all, and plant it deep in our souls nuh, so that when the enemy attacks, we can face up to him with supreme confidence, and in God’s Great Name, boldly STAND! Much LOVE my brethren!
 
…no wise warrior goes into battle without good protective armour…
 
 

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