Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2021 2 Timothy 1:12b.

2 Timothy 1:12b.     ​ for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

And it seems that the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden went off smoothly yesterday, with none of the expected fireworks. Thank God for that! We didn’t need anything else to further complicate the situation. 

And yes, there were a lot of nice words spoken about unity and getting along together, but let’s see how that works out in real life nuh, when the newness of it all settles down, and the hard slog of everyday politics begins. 

Thankfully too, that all three branches of the government are under the control of the Democratic Party, so there won’t be occasion for the acrimonious contention that existed recently with one party controlling two branches and the other one. 

But enough of all of that yes. Let’s pray that situation improves so that the whole world can concentrate on other important stuff, for though the American power is in decline, unfortunately what happens there, still affects most of us. 

And there’s plenty stuff that we don’t and never will know, but here are some things that ALL of Christ’s followers and believers ought to know. It comes from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, and it’s appropriately titled ‘I Do Know.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘There is much I cannot fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. 

I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that His thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands. 

I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know!’ 

Oh my people, can we really proclaim that with the ultimate certainty it deserves? I don’t think so nuh, because too many of us are still too fearful of the world and what it brings, and too in LOVE with the things it offers! And moreover, if we were that certain about the things of God, our lives would not be in the state of utter dismay, division and decline that they are currently in. 

The world is still holding too much sway in the lives of believers, and until we let most of it go, we will keep on being miserable and not able to truly appreciate our wonderful God and all the things and plans and good purposes He has for our lives. 

Let’s remember that the world is not the only entity that offers wealth and power and status, our great God offers them too, but under a different set up, and you don’t have to strive, kill yourself to achieve them, if He desires you to have them. 

And just like we have to bow to the world to get them, so do we have to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and they will be added unto us. The difference here is that God’s treasures are not fleeting and easily lost, but are lasting and immortal. 

And the Bible Promise for our reading, as well as our Bit, explain why we can have that immovable and unbreakable trust in the Lord God Almighty. Bruh Paul is writing to Timothy in his second epistle, exhorting him to endurance, something we badly need to also have in these oh so trying and tiring times. 

‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim. 1:11-12) 

Oh friends and fellow believers, can we make those statements with heartfelt certainty? I hope so, because to reach spiritual maturity those are things, characteristics that must show out in our everyday lives. 

Others must see that we’re not ashamed of Christ, not afraid of the world, but live for Him, because we have committed ALL we have and are to Him, and believe that He will do whatever He says, for His promises are always faithful and true. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:12. Persuaded (Gr. peitho). The perfect tense indicates that “I was persuaded in the past and remain so now.” That he is able to keep refers to the assurance of salvation which is committed…against that day, when we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’ 

Meanwhile, Peter, in his talk of believers being good stewards of God’s grace puts it thus. ‘Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful creator.’ (1 Pet. 4:19) 

And Bruh David puts it as only he could: ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only cause harm). For the evil doers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:5,7-9) 

Truer words were never spoken my brethren! So let’s do our best to live by them nuh, so that our lives can truly reflect the LOVE and compassion of God. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us so we can help others. 

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

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

And now, as good ambassadors of Christ, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as they were shared with us. Much LOVE!

…oh…the wonders of our great God…how magnificent and magnanimous He is… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2021 Ephesians 1:3.

Ephesians 1:3.     ​Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

And then it was good ole Wednesday, the day that gets us over the hump in our work week, that is for those of that are still working. By then we have become acclimatized to the rigours of the work week and have settled down in our spirits, knowing that we can’t get away from it all, if we want to make a living. What a wonderful thing that we have Jesus to encourage and energize us as we go through the ups and downs of this evil and cruel world! 

Can you imagine the state of our livers right now in these dismal, controversial and calamitous times, if we didn’t have Jesus to hold on to, to be our rock and place of refuge, our safe shelter from the storm? Brother! It would be like the bleak, damp, winter days that we’re currently having in my area, with no sunshine whatsoever, just a grey and dark hood over the land, with nothing to inspire soul, body or spirit. But as Bruh Paul says to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy of blessings, of much praise and thanks, because He has blessed us, conferred unimaginable benefits upon us. And as the scholars ask, ‘When did He do this? Probably in eternity past (cf. vs. 4-5).’ And I’ll quote those verses here for convenience. ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in LOVE. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children (as sons) by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.’ (Eph. 1:4-5) 

Ah precious people, it’s so wonderful to know that we have been chosen long ago to be God’s children and heirs through Christ Jesus, who, through His sacrifice made it possible to become holy and righteous and in right relationship with the Father. And what’s amazing is that the Father did this out of His own LOVE and caring for us, greatly desiring to offer us His grace and mercy so we would not die an eternal death, but live with Him in eternity, for ever and ever. Yes, we need to remember that it was all God’s doing and show the appropriate thanks and gratitude by living a life that’s worthy of and appropriate for a believer in Christ Jesus. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Can you imagine any other supposed god doing that for a bunch of ungrateful, disobedient people? Not on your life! But Yahweh, Jehovah God, the Deity we worship did it, because of the magnanimity of His soul and Spirit, the awesome LOVE He had for His most precious creation. Wow! 

And turning back to our Bit, talking of the spiritual blessings conferred on us, the scholars ask: ‘Where are these blessings located? In heavenly places, that is, in heaven. As the Christian’s citizenship (Phil. 3:20), high priest (Heb. 4:14), hope (Col. 1:5), and inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) are all “in heaven,” as his treasure (Matt. 6:20-21) and affection (Col. 3:1-2) are to be “in heaven,” so also the Christian’s blessings are “in heaven.” These spiritual benefits were granted to the believer and are retained in heaven for him, being progressively dispersed to him on earth in accord with his need and Christian growth.’ 

Oh my people, as we grow in spiritual maturity, we receive more of our heavenly blessings here on earth. It’s like the money we save in the bank; when we need it we take it out. And yuh know what? It was all done through Christ Jesus! Yes, from day one, the Father planned to bless us through His magnificent Son. That was just how it had to be to be done, so it would be authentic, be just and right as demanded by His holy, righteous and just position as judge of the universe! So none of it is an accident, but a well prepared and thought out plan designed to meet all the needs, desires and commitments of all concerned. 

Bless His holy name my fellow saints for being so kind, considerate and compassionate, when we didn’t even deserve one iota of His LOVE, grace and mercy! So why we do refuse to bow down and worship Him eh? Why are we so enamoured with and are so desirous of worshipping a fallen angel, who has nothing of substance to offer but eternal death and damnation, a mere creation of God, just like us, who couldn’t defeat God, but was kicked out of heaven for rebelling against His Creator? 

Do we think that with us in tow, he can now defeat God eh? Hn! Friends, God is the Creator and Controller of this universe, and NOTHING happens in it unless He allows it. I don’t know why that’s so hard for us to accept, especially when our frailties, weaknesses and mortality show that we are no match for the Almighty. 

Friends, it should be oh so clear that we are fighting a losing battle by trying to turf God out of our society. He made it and controls it, and He’s not going anywhere. Look at how long we’ve been trying to resist His word and invitations, thousands of years, and yet still they are here with us today, stronger than ever. Shouldn’t that tell us something? 

Yes! That it’s a waste of time fighting God. And it’s best, as the ole saying goes: ‘When yuh can’t beat them, join them!’ That makes so much sense in these trying and disastrous times my people, since as our efforts are meeting with no success whatsoever. But as they also say, ‘you can only lead a horse to water, but you can’t make Him drink.’ Let’s hope that I have at least led us to Christ, and once we get there, I know that He will do the rest. (smile) 

So for those of us who are truly interested, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and most enviable position in Christ Jesus! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And my brethren, please remember that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! That’s the promise of Jesus!Much LOVE!

…step out in faith…trust in Jesus…and you won’t regret it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2020 Matthew 5:14.

Mathew 5:14.     ​Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Yes friends, we pretty late this chilly Saturday morning. And as usual, it’s because the ole fella did one of his real late nights, or early mornings, and the ole bod rebelled at getting up at the normal time without sufficient rest. (smile) And who says our body doesn’t have a mind of its own eh? So we’ll just get right down to business on this last Saturday before Christmas. 

Just imagine it nuh, Christmas is only six days away! And what a joyful time it will be, despite the many problems and much strife in our current world, because the birth of Jesus was the beginning of true hope for mankind. Glory be! And every time His birthday rolls around we’re filled with such hope, joy, LOVE, wonder and gratitude that we set aside our earthly problems to rejoice in His everlasting goodness, grace and mercy! So let’s see what our friend Anselm had to tell us this past week nuh, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the new style persists, of prefacing each quote with these words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But then I have to turn around and remind us that we can only be all those things if we’re truly in partnership with Jesus, for awesomeness, calmness, happiness and contentment don’t occur unless you have a strong personal relationship with the One who provides those things; Jesus Christ! Matter done! 

So to the quotes, and I believe we can tie the first two together: ‘I’m bold, beautiful, and brilliant,’ and ‘My body shape is perfect in the way it’s intended to be.’ And yes, we ought to become bold, beautiful and brilliant when we become members of Christ’s august body, the church, because according to Bruh Paul: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold ALL THINGS are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

And when all things become new in Christ my brethren then we do become bold and beautiful and brilliant because we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God which is sent to live in us and make us that way; bring us to a wonderful maturity in Christ! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh! And that maturity in Christ certainly gives our spiritual bodies a perfect body shape. I can’t say the same for the physical aspect, although with Christ in us and we in Him, some have been known to pursue right eating and consistent exercise to make our physical bodies look pleasing to the eye of the beholder. (smile) 

Then there’s this quote: ‘ I’m open to new adventures in my life.’ Oh yes friends, when we work and live for Jesus, we’re always open to new adventures. We have to be, because undertaking or being involved in new adventures is one of the many ways He uses us to promote His gospel. As a member of Christ’s church and body, you can be sure that life will not be humdrum and very ordinary all the time. 

Something new, or some variation of the old will always crop up to keep you on your toes, actively involved in His awesome ministry. And I can testify to that from personal experience. Since I’ve gotten closer to God, so many unexpected things have happened in my life, that sometimes I just have to sit down and ponder them in true amazement. So yes, walking with Christ is an adventure in itself. 

But this next quote, ‘I’m free to create the life I desire,’ is definitely not true if you are a serious believer in Christ. And to tell the truth, you’re not even free to create the life you desire if you hold the prince of darkness as your standard bearer, because he too makes certain unwarranted and disliked demands of his followers, which don’t fall into step with their own plans for their lives. So you’re never totally free to live the life you desire, because as they say, you have to bow to somebody; either God or mammon. 

And even then, life itself takes pleasure in throwing a monkey wrench into our best laid plans. But the best of all the worlds though is bowing to Christ Jesus, the One who’s name is above EVERY other name, and the One to whom EVERY knee will eventually have to bow. So the earlier you do that, the better it is for all concerned. (smile) 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘I allow my light to shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.’ Now that will certainly please the heart of Jesus, for that’s what He longed for, when He spoke these encouraging words during His earthly sojourn. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (a lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

And that’s the indisputable truth friends; a city that’s set on a hill can’t hide its light, neither do we light a light only to then hide it. But light is to drive away darkness and that’s what Jesus came to earth to do; to drive away the darkness from our imprisoned lives, give us a future and a hope, an expected end, not calamity, which darkness will always cause since you can’t see where you’re going. And that’s why too His word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light to our path; (Ps. 119:105) so that it can safely guide us as we traverse this dark and evil world. 

That’s why Jesus’ next words are ever so important. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Oh my people, we are Christ’s ambassadors in this dark world, that means He expects us to shine brightly, to do His work diligently and efficiently, so that all the world can see what His Father and Him and the Holy Spirit are all about; abundant earthly life, LOVE, joy, salvation and eternal life! 

And only as we diligently spread the Word and sincerely live the example, will others be willing to embrace our wonderful God and all that He so gloriously stands for! And when that happens, then we make that last quote ever so true; our light shining brightly, and allowing others to shine their light’s brightly too, so that God can be greatly and wonderfully glorified! Much LOVE!

…in this oh so dark world…Christians need to turn on their high beams…right now…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2020 1 Peter 2:2.

1 Peter 2:2.    ​As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
 

Another Monday friends… Yes, one more in the long line of Mondays lined up for us to go through in our work experience! And hopefully some of us might eventually wise up and realize that it doesn’t make sense to go through the Monday morning blues every week, and thus find ways to minimize the weekly frustrations and consequently decrease our stress levels and add a modicum of happiness to our lives. (smile) That’s the basic hope of our Monday offering. 

But sadly, for whatever reason(s), not all of us will be able to do that, which means we will always have need for our Monday Morning Battle hymn to help us get our Monday fix of spiritual adrenaline from heaven on high, through the Holy Spirit. Now that’s not a bad thing, but with age and experience, we’re expected to achieve spiritual maturity, meaning our food types ought to improve too, move from soft, baby food, to adult stuff, like meat and spuds. (smile) 

But my people, what the Lord desires more than anything else is that we come to Him, in whatever state we’re in, humbly and sincerely when we need help, regardless of whether we’re still eating baby food when by age and Christian experience, we should be eating solid stuff. (smile) So let’s come before Him now nuh, humbly and sincerely crying out for help, but confidently expecting Him to help, because that’s His awesome promise, and He keeps His promises. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And our God is so wonderful, that the answer is on the way before we’ve even finished our supplication! Wow! Give Him some thanks and praise my fellow believers (steups!) for being such and awesome and compassionate Deity! Just look at how we’re all energized and smiling, how our attitudes have suddenly changed, and now we’re excited to go out and work for Jesus! That’s the power of the Holy Spirit friends doing the Father’s timely bidding! 

And today friends, we want to talk about spiritual immaturity, the fact that we ought to grow in our Christian faith and move on from Christianity 101 to higher grades and not have to keep repeating the elementary aspects of our faith. There are several scriptures in the Good Book that deal with the subject, a few of which we want to share, beginning with Peter’s admonishment: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ (1 Pet. 2:1-2) 

Yuh see that friends, young Christians, like babies need milk to grow, they too need to learn the elementary aspects of God’s Word. But unfortunately, many of us don’t grow spiritually, we remain carnal, doing the things that Peter advises against. Thus Bruh Paul also had to admonish the Corinthians. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food); for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor.3:1-4) 

Of course they are, since spiritually minded believers (steups!) don’t fight about who converted or baptized them, because it’s team work. As Bruh Paul says two verses later: ‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:6) Yeh friends, whatever work we do for God, in the long run, it’s He who causes our work to bear fruit. Let’s remember that and stop arguing amongst ourselves as to who’s doing better than the other, because that only causes strife and disunity and destroys our witness. 

Unfortunately, the continual warfare between the flesh and the spirit is a human trait that still exists, and is still causing disunity and division in Christ’s church today. As it was embarrassing to Bruh Paul with the Corinthians, so it is embarrassing today to see people who should know better, because of their long walk as Christians, still fighting and envying over petty stuff. And the scholars tell us that the flesh and spirit warfare was a big part of Bruh Paul’s writings, (cf.  Rom.7:14-8:13; Gal.5:17). Please check out those scriptures, for they are very important and enlightening. (smile) 

And the author of Hebrews didn’t pull any punches, but put it all in a direct manner. In his appeal to believe, he writes: ‘Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered (explained), seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time (by this time) ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (sayings) of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (solid food). 

For every one that useth (partakes of) milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat (solid food) belongeth to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised  (trained) to discern both good and evil.’ (Heb. 5:11-14) 

Ah mih people, too many of us are still drinking milk when we should be eating solid food, and it’s only causing serious problems in our church and our world. Please, for Christ’s sake, and with the Lord’s help, let’s try and do better nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is too much warfare…between too many immature believers (yeah!)…in Christ’s church…  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2018 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Oh mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies and blessings, so let’s be wise and enjoy it and give the Lord thanks for allowing us to see it nuh! 

And I’d certainly like to know what it is between me and lighting yes! Remember a couple of days ago I told you about going out on my front porch to see the rain and how two flashes of lightning immediately drove me back inside? 

Well yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my porch reading, waiting for my young daughter to come and pick me up and take me out. The rain was merely drizzling, when out of the blue, a fiery bolt of Zeus’ lightning suddenly lit up the dark and dreary-looking sky. Then soon thereafter, Thor unleashed a thunderous thunderclap of thundering thunder! (smile) Hn! Yuh know where I ended up? Back inside, of course! 

Ah Lord eh! A body can’t even sit down quietly on his porch without being threatened eh, without fearing for his life! (smile) And quite appropriately, today we’re going to talk about fear, starting with some wise insights on the subject from Uncle John (John Hagee). 

And the first thing he says is ‘Don’t let fear destroy you.’ But sadly we live in such fearful times, when both the physical world and mankind seem to be in serious upheaval that fear is rampant, even among Christians. However, according to Uncle John, the two words that Jesus used most were ‘Fear not!’ And He did indeed tell us quite often not to be afraid, but so many of us lack spiritual maturity that we let fear rule our lives. 

Now hear are some things Uncle John said we should not be afraid of in particular and good reasons why not. The first is: ‘Don’t fear death – For Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Don’t fear the past – Because it’s forgotten and forgiven. Do not fear the unknown – Because God is the revealer of every secret. Do not fear powers and principalities  – Because you have the power of the cross. 

You have the power of Jesus’ Name. You have the power of His Word. You have the power of His blood. You have more firepower than the U.S President… (smile) And it comes to you just with the mention of the name of Jesus!’ 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see all the reasons why we should not be afraid. Jesus is the omnipotent ruler of this world, and if we’re supposed to be living under His umbrella, His jurisdiction, then we should have little or no cause to be afraid of anything! 

And we’ll continue by highlighting a few scriptures where Jesus told His people not to be afraid, beginning with our Bit. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the indisputable truth! Why else would He have sent his most precious possession, His Son, to die for a bunch of ingrates like us eh? But we can’t just sit on our fannies and do nothing. We have to genuinely seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as watch and wait for Jesus’ return. 

And earlier on, while telling them whom to fear and whom not to fear, Jesus declared. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Oh my, my! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life. 12:5. God is the One with this power (to cast into hell) (James 4:12).’ And since I LOVE you all so much, and want you to know the scriptures, and know you won’t look it up for yourselves, I’ll spoon-feed you with that verse. (smile)  

It occurs when James is talking about us having consideration for our brother. ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:12) And that’s a very good question with all the unsubstantiated judgemental behaviour that’s going on these days. 

But turning back to Jesus. Listen to Him on Easter morning, having triumphantly risen from the dead. To those who first saw Him, He said: ‘Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.’ (Matt.28:10) What an occasion was Jesus’ resurrection eh friends! The most momentous occasion the world has seen so far! 

And we have time for just one more of Jesus’ ‘be not afraid.’ This one to His disciples on the boat on the stormy sea, and He comes walking towards them on the water. When they saw Him, were they ever afraid and cried out in fear that it was a spirit. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) Ah mih breddren, what else can I say eh? You heard it all from Jesus Himself! 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, a mark of Jesus’ bountiful benediction to His followers. All together now:  ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

The next step is to go out now and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate, because that’s why Jesus so generously endowed us with them. Much LOVE!

…the only fear mankind should have…is that of displeasing Almighty God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2016 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Ah friends, welcome to the second day of the 2016 autumn season! Autumn is the beautiful season, where the leaves turn all sorts of red and gold and brown and many different colours in between. 

And would you believe that the tops of a couple of trees in my neighbour’s backyard are already quite yellow and a few others are already turning brown, even though we haven’t had a cold day as yet. 

I guess the trees know something that we don’t, so like the ants, which are busy in the summer gathering their winter victuals, the trees are also making early winter preparations. 

And who says God’s universe isn’t great eh? The trees and the other living things know by instinct when to do what, meanwhile, mankind, the supposed great thinking machine, oftimes doesn’t have a clue. 

Anyway, I know many of you couldn’t care less about how nature operates naturally (smile), all you’re interested in is today’s Friday and you can joyfully shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend’s upon us at long last! It’ll soon be playtime! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Oh friends, the weekend will continue to be the bane of our existence until we learn to use it properly, with moderation in all aspects of our doings. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us good guidance on how to apply ourselves over the next couple of days. 

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.’ 

Yes my brethren, that is the better way! And it ties in very nicely with our Bit. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ 

Words of awesome truth and wisdom, my people! ALL we do and say, ought to reflect the characteristics and virtues of Christ, in thankfulness to Almighty God! 

In other words, we must try to always walk in the footsteps of Jesus! Oh, I know those are exceedingly big steps for us to fill, but with Gods help and our faithfulness and sincerity and perseverance, we can accomplish a sufficiently high calling. 

And today we’ll check out the Christian virtues that Bruh Paul spoke of before our Bit. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.’ (Col.3:12-15) 

Oh my people, those things are so important in a Christian’s life that Bruh Paul included them in almost all of his epistles. Now here are some explanations from the scholars on those verses. 

‘3”12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’ 

‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member.

For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

‘3:14. Charity is LOVE, here called the bond of perfectness. LOVE is the crowning grace completing the list of virtues required for perfectness or spiritual maturity. As a “bond” it binds all other virtues together in harmony and unity.’ 

‘3:15. The peace of God is the harmony and concord created by God among His people. It is to rule. The Greek verb means to act as an umpire who makes decisions in an athletic contest.

Thus, let the peace of God rule in your hearts means that when believers are at odds with each other, whatever course of action best maintains peace and fosters harmony is the course to be taken.’ 

There it is my people! And I do hope that we all now have a better understanding of what it means and takes to be a true Christian, and to therefore grow and mature in Christ-like behaviour. 

Remember all that we’re going through, is meant to bring us closer to a true reflection of Christ. Our wonderful God desires to see the image and behaviour of Christ in ALL of His people, that is the eternal goal. 

So as we go about our business today, please let’s take time to think about what we do and say, be quick to hear and slow to speak, and make sure that all our words and actions positively and LOVINGLY reflect the true image of Christ, for then we’ll be showing true wisdom and Christian behaviour. Much LOVE!

…LOVE…the crowning glory of God…

 

 

   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2015 2 Peter 1:8

2 Peter 1:8.  For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Aye Friends, this going to bed early is truly for the birds yes! Steups! I tried it last night and what a fiasco it turned out to be. 

Chuh! I was up almost every hour on the hour, then couldn’t find a comfortable position to go back to sleep, and thus kept turning and tossing. 

Then I was finally forced to get up by my aches and pains. It surely seems like they have all come out of the woodwork this morning, and have me doddering around like a real old man. (smile) 

Don’t know how people lie in their beds for 8 to 10 hours nuh. I could not even make seven comfortably. After about five, if so much, things begin to go awry with me. 

But you know what Friends, I will take those aches and pains any day over the more serious problems that more than half the world has. I at least have a roof over my head, food on my table and a comfortable bed to sleep in, I just can’t spend too much time in it. (smile). 

However, a lot of our brothers and sisters around the world, don’t have those luxuries, and may never have them throughout their entire lives. What a sad tale in a world of plenty! 

At least I know that as the day goes along and I move around, my aches and pains will gradually diminish, but there are too many unfortunates in this rich world whose lives will never change without help, and it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can. 

We have to be people of excellence, of LOVE, care and compassion, as Jesus desires us to be, and share our good fortune with the less fortunate. That’s how people will know that we are true disciples of His. 

And while we’re on the subject of excellence, listen to this quote attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C). It says that ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ 

And that’s very true my people. You just don’t develop excellence overnight; you have to work at it continually. That means that excellence can only be achieved through repetition. And that is why we practice and practice and practice yet again, at the things we want to be excellent in. 

Nowadays everybody wants to be a supposed superstar, but unfortunately they don’t want to put in the effort and work necessary to become one. I think it’s the same with our Christian faith. We all want to be mature and righteous and otherwise, but we don’t want to do the things it takes to become such. 

Those Christian attributes don’t come overnight nuh mih people. Like everything else, they do take a lot of toil and time, effort and energy, misfortune and suffering. But the beauty of our situation though is that we have the powerful help of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in becoming excellent Christians, provided we’re willing to do what it takes. 

No other faith has that divine body continually with them, and I’m sure it disappoints Jesus when we don’t use His Spirit to the max, or in the best ways possible. 

Now let’s turn to our guidebook, the Bible, where we have this passage from 2 Peter that exemplifies all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like (the same kind of) precious faith with us through the righteousness of (our) God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE). 

For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’(2 Pet.1-8) 

Yes Friends, we already have everything we need to live fruitful lives, we just have to raise them up and work continuously at them. That’s the only way we can grow in spiritual maturity, which Peter is encouraging us all to do. 

And Peter doesn’t stop there, he also shows us the other side of the coin. ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) 

There we have it Friends; to become excellent in the knowledge and glory of Christ, we have to work diligently at it. And a large part of becoming mature in Christ is that as we grow, we also put our knowledge, faith, virtue, godliness, brotherly kindness etc. to work. 

For we ALL need to remember that our faith, Christianity, is not merely a lot of talking, but even more importantly, plenty, plenty action. So today, as we grow in faith, let’s also grow in our actions nuh, so that others may see our worthwhile fruits and desire to come to Jesus, and get what we have. Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruits ye shall know them…  (Matt.7:20) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2014 2 Peter 1:7

2 Peter 1:7.    And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).

And finally Friends, it was Friday…
 
And all around the world there were joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! This slaving for massa couldn’t done soon enough! The fun time, the weekend is just waiting to welcome us with open arms! Thank the Lord ever so much that it’s Friday!
 
My sentiments exactly Friends! But we need to be very careful that we don’t get carried away with the fun part of the weekend, that we also remember the rest part and the godly communication and fellowship aspects. And to help us do that, let’s get into our Friday Chant right off the top.
 
Sincerely, and 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.’
 
Yes my people, we have to find the right balance between fun, rest and time with God and other believers to refresh and rejuvenate ourselves, so that we can go back out on Monday and begin the whole workweek process all over again, take the battle to the heathen one more time.
 
That brings us to this quote, which I believe I might have shared before, but it’s so useful and wonderful that we need to be reminded of it every single day. It’s by George Elliston (1883-1946) a female American journalist, and it simply says: ‘How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.’
 
Mama Mia! And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my brethren? It surely, surely is!
 
There’s nothing in this whole wide world that touches us as much as kindness! But unfortunately it is something that’s so sadly lacking in our busy, selfish, evil, resentful and war mongering world. People look at you as though you’re crazy, mentally retarded, when you do an act of kindness. What sort of society are we living in eh?
 
The best thing that could ever happen is if everybody showered everybody else with kindness. Then we’d have the wonderful world we talk about so much!
 
And Peter, in his discussion on growing in grace reveals to us some of the touchstones, including our Bit, which we need to add to our lives for such growth.
 
‘And beside this (But also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’ (2 Pet.1:5-7)
 
What a revelation my fellow believers! For a lot of us so-called believers don’t show the kindness that we ought to, even to fellow believers. Remember what Jesus tried to drive into the disciples’ heads: ‘This is my commandment; That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12)
 
And as Peter so wisely and rightly continues: ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.
 
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet. 1:8-11)
 
Yes Friends, we need to bear all those fruits, if we desire to bring others to Jesus, and ensure that our rewards in heaven are also as great as they can be.
 
Now here are some explanations from the scholars’ on all of that. ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence.
 
Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agape) is volitional (of the will)) LOVE. This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers
.’
 
And more explanations from the scholars’. ‘1:10-11. Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living.
 
The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus, the one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven
.’
 
And Friends, since I know that all of us desire to have a very rich inheritance in heaven, please, I implore us, please let’s go out and do those things that we ought to do as true believers nuh, the things which will ensure that we have a rich heavenly reward. That’s simple common sense, as well as heavenly wisdom!
Much LOVE!
 
…Jesus simply went out everyday…doing good…so should His followers…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.     In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, it’s Thursday, the day before the big day, Friday, when we’ll be finally blessed with a couple days off from our labour! So let’s enjoy and celebrate this wonderful day with a shout of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father.
 
And all God’s people rose up with joy and delightedly proclaimed: ‘This is the day the Lord our great God has made. We SHALL rejoice and be glad in it! Amen!’ And so let it be my people.
 
Ah mih breddren, our God is something else yes. And this small testimony I’m about to offer here, just proves that His Word doesn’t lie.
 
James tells us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6)
 
Well Friends, I got up this morning and there are currently a few negative things happening in my life that I can’t understand why they are happening, for in the natural, everything should be hunky dory.
 
Well since I got up I’ve been talking to the Lord about them, asking for some wisdom and understanding. And lo and behold, just now, when I read yesterday’s Bit, as I usually do before writing today’s, I got the answer in a news flash.
 
Ah Friends, I couldn’t help but laugh as the answer just hit me from the words of the Bit. And I’m still laughing as I write this. And they say the Lord isn’t real, isn’t alive and kicking and moving in mysterious ways? Chuh!
 
Well I’m here to testify that they are oh so wrong. Because our God is indeed alive and kicking, and kicking real hard too, and He does answer prayer in all forms and fashions, as He sees fit!
 
And as I keep saying living for Jesus is not easy, but it certainly is interesting and exciting. I finally discovered that what’s happening is a test of my spiritual maturity. Yuh see, I have to be careful of what I write and/or say, because the Lord oftimes turns right back and tests me on those things.
 
So a word of warning Friends; be very careful in what you say, or ask for, or testify to, for it will no doubt boomerang right back on you. Ah Lord eh! I’m still laughing…
 
But let’s move on to our Bit, the challenging and encouraging words of Christ our Saviour: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Oh Friends, I know I said that yesterday was the last day for this Bit, but unfortunately, or rather fortunately (smile) there was so much stuff to say that I couldn’t get in all the scripture I wanted to. And remember, I don’t want to overburden us with too much stuff to ponder on at once. (smile)
 
And these are also important passages of scripture, so I just didn’t want to waste them, not bring them to your attention. So without further ado, let’s delve deeply and meditatively into them.
 
The first one comes from James, talking about patience in affliction. ‘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 the other, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take thy 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)
 
Yes my people, our God is indeed compassionate and full of tender mercy to those who wait patiently and endure whatever comes against them in His name!
 
Now here’s a word from the scholars: 5:7-8. The coming of the Lord: Few doctrines concerning Jesus Christ are taught in James. His vicarious (deputed, substitutionary) death and resurrection are omitted, yet Christ’s return is cited to encourage patient endurance. Early and latter rain: Farmers in Palestine absolutely depended on two rainy seasons, late fall and mid-spring, for their crops.’
 
And we’ll end with another awesome passage of scripture on patience, this time from Peter, as he talks about the example of Christ’s suffering. Listen up carefully and closely now my fellow believers.
 
‘For this is thankworthy (commendable), if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongly. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God.
 
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
 
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of souls.’ (1 Pet.2:18-25)
 
Ah my fellow believers, if that doesn’t put a dart of sorrow, repentance and wanting to do better in our hearts, then I don’t know what will. Jesus suffered so much for us, that we ought to be willing to suffer a little to bring His Words, His story to the heathen, ungodly world in which we currently live.
 
Please, as true followers of the risen Christ, let’s attempt today to improve our walk of faith, of LOVE, enduring any suffering, affliction, trials and tribulations that might come our way, with the same stoic, God-granted assurance and confidence that He displayed. For that is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…of all the necessary attributes for living a truly Christian life…patience might just be the most important and all encompassing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2013 Matthew 5:12

Matthew 5:12.   Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh Friends, the church bells are tolling this beautiful Sunday morning! They’re tolling to invite us to fellowship and worship as the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ down here on earth! Wow! What a special benefit and honour to be numbered in that most august society!

Many of you may remember growing up with the church bells pealing every Sunday morning and evening, calling all the faithful to the house that Christ built. I remember them quite vividly, because I lived only a couple minutes walk away from St. Andrews Anglican in Scarborough, Tobago, and I’d use them as a time piece, listening for when the last bell begin to toll, then I’d hustle off to get there just in time.

There were either two or three tollings, I don’t remember, but back then, when the bells pealed, you knew that almost the whole community was getting ready to go to church, regardless of their denomination. Unfortunately though, church bells tolling as a means of inviting the faithful to worship is now a thing of the past, like prehistoric dinosaurs.

The youth of today don’t even know that church bells existed, for there are very few around now, and even fewer toll, and likewise, even fewer attend church regularly. But my brethren, going to church and fellowshipping with others of like faith, is exactly one of the things Jesus had in mind when He commanded us to ‘Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’

That’s because it’s much easier for believers to rejoice and be exceedingly happy, in spite of persecution, when they are gathered together worshipping and praising Almighty God, whether it be in a church, a house, a thatched hut, a cave or in the open air. Togetherness is the bedrock, the foundation of Christ’s body! No wonder we’re not making the progress we should, since that body is so fragmented, divisive, quarrelsome and resentful of each other.

But Friends, it’s virtually impossible for us to stand strong in the face of persecution when we’re not in sync with each other. That only gives the forces of evil an excellent opportunity to further divide and conquer us. For as logic declares, a group can usually stand stronger together against a common enemy, than a single individual.

And my people, coming together is one of the things we desperately need to concentrate on, if we’re to ever survive the challenges and persecution that the evil world powers are plotting against us. And even as a group, we can’t do it without the omnipotence of Jesus working in and amongst us. So please, let’s seriously concentrate on coming together, rather than drifting further apart nuh. That’s the only hope we have of strengthening and growing Jesus’ LOVE Revolution.

And I have the perfect quote for that from an article I read earlier on in the Anglican Newspaper, November 2013 edition. I copied it for use at some future time, but in God’s mysterious workings, (smile) that time seems to be now. It’s written by Bishop Patrick Yu, on the subject of inviting people to church.

He writes that ‘Growth is actually the sign of all living things, including a living faith and a living church!’ Now that’s gospel truth my people! If we’re not growing in faith and fellowship, then to all intents and purposes, we’re spiritually dead.

Anyway, enough sermonizing from me for today. (smile) Let’s get to the scriptures I faithfully promised you yesterday. And the first one deals with the first part of our Bit: ‘Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:’

Peter puts it this way: ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.’ (1 Pet.4:12-13)

Yeh Friends, it’s definitely not an easy concept to grasp and then hold on tightly to, but we do need to believe that when we suffer for Jesus’ sake, we’re part of His suffering. Therefore, when He comes back in all His majestic glory, then we too shall participate in the overwhelming joy during those momentous times!

And James say it thus: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials). Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience.’  (James 1:2-3)

Short and sweet eh Friends! (smile) What a way we doing a lotta smiling today mih breddren! But that’s just the way it ought to be, if we’re exceedingly glad.

Now here’s what the scholars have to say: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.

The words in verses 2 and 3 (temptations and trying) are often regarded as virtually synonymous. If this were true, then the trials themselves would produce spiritual maturity. But they do not. Often, testings make Christians bitter instead of better, with no spiritual growth occurring. The Greek word for “trying” (dokimion) might be better translated as “approving.”

It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’

And all God’s people said a low, unenthusiastic ‘Amen,’ because they know that’s the living truth, and it’s hard for the flesh to handle!

But enough for today Friends, I don’t want to stretch your intelligence and busy lives by running on too long. (smile) So let’s ponder all that we’ve said and heard, then make some good and godly decisions, in as many areas as we can, obviously with the help of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whom the bells toll…for all mankind…why…so that they can come to Christ…to acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour…and receive the free…but oh so wonderful gifts of salvation and everlasting life…


 
 

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