Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2020 Isaiah 32:17.

Isaiah 32:17.    And the work of the righteous shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 
 

So we greet another beautiful day with God’s LOVE, mercies and compassion! What a wonderful God He is; let’s rejoice, give thanks and be glad in it! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen! So let it be!’ Yes, the pandemic sickness and strife is still going on, possibly getting worse, but I have some good news for those of us who keep our focus on God, make him our number one priority, seek his kingdom and righteousness before anything else. And the good news is the coming reign of the righteous king. 

Isaiah saw it thus: ‘Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgement (justice). And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert (shelter) from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.’ (Is. 32:1-4) 

Oh my people, of course this has not happened as yet, otherwise our world would not be in such a disastrous state, but I assure us, it will happen one day, and possibly sooner than we think or expect. Isaiah foresees life to be pretty rough; ‘Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of the righteous shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (secure) dwellings, and in quiet resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place (brought low in humiliation). Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.’ (Is. 32:15-20) Yes faithful saints of Christ, one day it will be all right with our world. And in all the current tumult, you ask a nervous and expectant, WHEN? Unfortunately, I don’t know. Only our heavenly Father knows, for He’s set the times and places in His wisdom. 

But listen to how the scholars explain all of that scripture nuh. ‘32:1-20. The king who shall reign in righteousness is Christ Himself. The prophet foresees a time when government will exist that is totally characterized by righteousness and judgement (justice). Such a description does not fit even Hezekiah, the best of Judah’s kings. Rather, Isiah sees a much greater day coming when the godly character of Judah will be as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. This will be a time when the ignorant will understand knowledge (da‘at, moral discernment). He also sees a time of complete national conversion when the spirit will be poured upon us (cf. Joel 2:28).’ 

And the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, where it was made available to all mankind, already occurred on the day of Pentecost, but the rest is yet to come. And since we know that all God’s promises are true, we wait patiently and expectantly, we persevere until He decides it’s time for the Millennial kingdom to come. Now let’s see what that day of the Lord shall look like nuh. Isaiah says: ‘And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks (pruning knives): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Is. 2:4) 

I know friends that we’re all waiting impatiently for that awesome day! (smile) Hear how Bruh Paul characterizes life in the Spirit world and God’s kingdom nuh. ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:5-6) And later on he declares: ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.’ (Rom. 14:17-18) 

Meanwhile James puts it this way. ‘For where envying and strife (self-seeking) is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (willing to yield), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:16-18) And Cousin Sol adds his two cents worth: ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) 

And finally, the psalmist tells us: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble).’ (Ps. 119:165) It’s all God’s Word, so it has to be true, and if we’re wise and are God’s children as we claim, then we’ll follow it and proclaim peace all across the land! Now let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings, the wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us to do that work here on earth. 

Altogether, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 please remember, those blessings are not for us to selfishly store, but for us to share with others, just as the Lord has generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…sow in LOVE…reap in peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2019 Luke 17:17.

Luke 17:17.    ​And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Well it’s Sunday once again, but this time we coming to you from the hot and hazy capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Now the ole fella is a li’l bit in doubt here, for it’s shortly after five in the evening, and I can’t make up my mind whether we should have church or not, because there’s a lot of stuff to share with you re my recent activities in this wonderful land. In any case, whatever I decide, I will have to leave you shortly, until whenever I come back from dinner with one of my sisters. 
Oh yes, I have plenty sisters here in J.A; not the biological kind, but the even more important, actual caring and LOVING kind, who enriched my stay in J.A fifty something years ago! And those kinds of people are ever so important in our lives, whether you see them constantly, or once in a blue moon; just knowing that they are there, and they care, adds a whole lot of satisfaction and glow to our souls. Sorry, got to go now, sis is here. (smile) See you soon. 
Back now mih people, shortly after nine my time, but ten, for many of you. Tried mih best to get back sooner, but just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t do mih sister a Spanish; eat and run. (smile) Then when I walked into the hotel lobby a group of medical people from the same graduating year were sitting there and they coerced me into joining them for about half an hour. And ah sorry, but the way it looks like we not having no church today. But don’t worry, the ole fella went to church this morning, up in the chapel on the university campus. 
To tell the truth, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in there. I knew about it, but in those days I suspect that I was not as God conscious as I am now. However the service was good, though somewhat long, with plenty praise and worship. The young lady who led us in that was truly excited about leading worship and I believe her enthusiasm flowed over into many of us. The University Chorale sang for us; a truly fine group of singers. 
The service was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.W.I Graduating Class of 1969 and the U.W.I Mona Library Open Week 2019, and the theme of the whole thing was ‘A HEART OF GRATITUDE!’ And as our preacher, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels so rightly said in his sermon, the graduates of that class who walked the campus some fifty years ago, looked good and were still healthy because of their heart of gratitude, exemplified by our return to celebrate and give thanks. Those were certainly true words. 
And the scripture was taken from Luke 17, where Jesus healed the ten lepers. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:11-13) They had to stay afar off because their illness was contagious. 
And as always, Jesus did show them mercy. ‘And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14) Back in those days, lepers were total outcasts and could only be integrated back into society, if they happened to get cleansed, by showing themselves to the priests and getting their permission. Thus Jesus’ directive for them to go to the priests. Now that’s the good part of the story, but what happens next is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about – a heart of gratitude. 
Hear the Good Book: ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.’ (Luke 17:15-16) Right there we see a major problem. Ten men were healed, apparently nine were Jews and one a Samaritan, the bitter enemies of the Jews. But as life would have it, only the Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus and the Father. 
As the minister said this morning, who knows, the Jews who didn’t return and give thanks might have believed that because they were the Chosen People, they were entitled to it. and that’s a major problem in our society today! Too many of us believe we’re entitled to too much, and are not grateful and thankful for what we have. We complain so much about what we don’t have, instead of giving thanks for what we do have. But hear the end of the story: ‘And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:17-18) That was a stinging rebuke to His Jewish people. 
According to the scholars: ‘17:18. Stranger literally means “of another race of people”; it therefore refers to a Gentile. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This non-Jew, Jesus points out is more spiritually minded than the nine leprous Jews. Yet “strangers” (to cite a use of the word from outside of the Scripture) were forbidden to enter the temple’s inner confines by prominent signs in the temple precincts.’ I guess that might have made it somewhat difficult for the Samaritan to show himself to the priests. (smile) But anyway, good manners and a grateful heart dictated that the other nine should have returned to Jesus and gave Him thanks. 
They were brave and bold enough to beg Him for mercy, but when He showed them that mercy, they couldn’t even come and say a simple ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Unfortunately, that’s the way too many of us also behave today, even supposed believers. Too many of us are not grateful for all the Lord has done, is doing, and has promised to do on our behalf! And that is totally wrong my brethren. Now hear how Jesus ends it. ‘And he said unto to him, (the Samaritan), Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19) 
And as the scholars say: ‘17:19. All were healed, but only one gives Jesus thanks. His salvation is complete.’ Ah friends, yuh see the great difference some thanks and gratitude made: The Samaritan was granted salvation, while the Jews were still adrift in their ungratefulness. Please, don’t allow that to happen to us nuh. It doesn’t take a whole lot to say, thank you and be grateful. It could certainly make a big difference in our lives, both here on earth, and in heaven too. Much LOVE!
 
…it is our bounden duty…to give thanks and be grateful…for all the Lord’s blessings…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2019 Romans 8:5.

Romans 8:5.   ​For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
 
And then it was Wednesday…and everybody breathes a small sigh of relief, for Monday and Tuesday are now past, and it’s just Thursday to get through before the big day of Friday! 

Ah friends, so many of us waste our time looking towards the weekend that we don’t get to enjoy the weekdays! The Lord gave us seven days in a week, why only enjoy two or three eh? That way we’re wasting the majority of them and not realizing our full potential of joy and joyfulness that the Lord has made available to us. 

By now, most of us should be mature enough, both in age and faith to realize that work is inevitable, and if so, we should just get with the programme! Furthermore, if we truly have Jesus in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, then we ought to be glad to have the chance to go out everyday and share Him and His Good News with others. Remember, that’s our earthly bounden duty. 

The long and short of the story is that the day of the week should not really matter, we ought to just get up and do what we have to do with a warm and LOVING spirit, even though the body might feel otherwise. Yes, the spirit is usually willing but the flesh is often weak!

Remember too that we’re no longer carnal, living just to glorify our fleshly needs and wants, but spiritual beings, living now to glorify spiritual desires. That means we’re to live life in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. 

And this is how Bruh Paul describes living life in the Spirit to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory be my people! If we’re walking in the Spirit, then the law of sin, the law of fleshly matters no longer condemns us! 

Why? ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:3) Yes friends, that ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ is basically ‘the influence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life to obedience and good works.’ 

Yes, it’s all about the Holy Spirit of Christ moving and working successfully in our everyday lives, our everyday walk of faith! ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh.’ (Rom.8:3) 

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘8:3. Law…was weak: There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands. The likeness of sinful flesh: Christ was truly human but not a sinner. (2 Cor.5:21).’ 

And all of that happened ‘That the righteousness (righteous requirement) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:4-5) 

Yes friends, it’s as simple as that…note I didn’t say easy! (smile) But if the things and problems and anxieties of the world are what drive our engines, then we will obviously be more concerned about them.

However, if the things of the Spirit, the things of God, are our driving force then we will walk more appropriately in the Spirit and not fulfill the carnal lusts of the flesh. ‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom.8:6) 

Ah my faithful brethren, it could not be put any plainer and more straightforwardly than that! Why? ‘Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.’ (Rom.8:7)

More simple logic friends! Carnality, or death, is not, nor can it be of God, because it involves sin, and God does not deal in Sin. Thus this conclusion: ‘So they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom.8:8) 

Neither is trying to sit on the fence, having one foot in both worlds the answer, for as Jesus so rightly said: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (at the same time).’ (Matt.6:24) You can’t serve both the world and God at the same time. Plus we ought to be in the world, but not of the world, and wherever our treasure is stored, there will our hearts be. 

Meaning that if we’re seeking the things of the world, then our hearts will be in the world, but if we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then our hearts will be looking heavenward.

And the last word on the subject is: ‘For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.’ (Rom.8:13) 

So for those of us who are truly trying to look towards heaven, to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh, let’s go home now defiantly and sincerely declaring (Steups! wrong again!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know our esteemed position in Christ, so that they too can work towards it. 

All together in strong voice: ‘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 what an amazing and glorious future it will surely be! Much LOVE!

…LOVE for the things of the world…brings death and eternal damnation…LOVE for the things of God…assures us of heaven and eternal life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Can you believe it friends, it’s already the first day of August, which means that the summer is almost over! Steups! Only thirty more days before the cold weather begins ominously creeping in… And oh, sometimes it doesn’t even creep in, it just comes roaring in full blast. So we need to make as many special summer memories as we can this month, because with the strange weather patterns going nowadays, who knows what will happen. 

But before we go any further, let me remind us of this momentous and everlasting truth: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! Wow mih breddren! And is he ever Good and Omnipotent! He had to be; otherwise we’d be ALL now heading for Hades to dwell with Lucifer, instead of having the option to look forward to heaven with Christ! Praise His Holy Name! 

And it really surprises me that so many people refuse to even look at the option with Jesus that brings light to our souls, even thumb their noses at it and stick staunchly with the prince of darkness and evil. Why are we so afraid of light eh? I guess because our deeds are evil and we’re afraid to expose them to the light because then others will see our true colours and know that we’re not what or who we claim to be. 

But friends, when you wisely choose Jesus, that’s not a problem, because He washes away all of that muck with which you’re covered. His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary has already paid for all your sins for all time, and you become a new creation in Him, washed white as snow, atoned for and reconciled to the Father, with the amazing opportunity to go right to the throne room and talk personally with the Father. 

Wow! What an awesome privilege that is my breddren! Yuh think Lucifer has time for you like the Lord does? Yuh think Lucifer is waiting to care for and comfort and relieve your sorrows like the Lord is? Not on yuh life! Lucifer just wants to get you into more evil and compass your soul with more pain and sorrow.  

Thus Bruh Paul tells us in our Bit, in his second letter to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ Glory be mih people! What a blessing it is to throw off our old sinful, fleshly nature and receive the new, refreshed spiritual nature of Christ! 

That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus when he asked about eternal things. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) That means a new beginning, however a spiritual one, must be had to be associated with Christ. 

As Jesus further told Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes); and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8) 

Yes friends, once we get in with Jesus, we no longer live an earthly or carnal life, we begin living a spiritual life, one from the inside out, not vice versa. That’s because once you become a believer the Holy Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within you and lead and guide you in a spiritual manner. 

As Bruh Paul reminds us when he wrote to the church at Rome, dealing with life in the Spirit: ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life, and peace.’ (Rom.8:5-6) 

So to keep on lusting after the things of the flesh, the things of the world is death. However when we become spiritually minded, live in obedience to Christ’s Holy Spirit, we achieve a sense of peace and look forward to eternal life. And Bruh Paul puts it all nicely together earlier on in his missive to the Roman church. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Ah friends, knowing that, how can we not LOVE and revere the Lord eh? If we have the slightest amount of common sense or wisdom, that verse would surely enlighten us to the fact that if we hang out with Jesus, through God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness, His unmerited favour, we won’t get what we deserve; eternal damnation, but rather eternal life. It’s up to each individual though to make a choice. Let’s hope we all make the right one. 

And for those of us who have already made the right decision, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proudly letting the world know our position in Christ. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 fellow believers, as I keep saying, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…why foolishly choose death…when we can wisely choose life eh…