Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2017 Jeremiah 7:23.

Jeremiah 7:23.   But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

Oh friends, I looked out my bedroom window when I got up a while ago and was pleasantly greeted by a riot of colour in my backyard garden! 

Wow! The duchess’ green thumb is certainly on display with a profusion of red, green, yellow, pink, purple and white flora flourishing in the sunshine! 

Oh how I wish that our Christian faith could be flourishing as well as those flowers. But unfortunately it’s not. What with our numerous divisions and petty differences and stubborn refusal to come together, plus the ardent work of the evil enemy, our faith seems to be floundering some, with the enemy’s evil kingdom in the ascendancy right now. 

And all I can realistically do is call upon us, who read the Bit to energize ourselves, get truly serious about the spreading the gospel of Jesus and encourage those around us to do the same, if we want our faith to grow instead of falter and eventually die. For that’s exactly what it will come to if we continue our less than stellar efforts to advance it.

Each of us has to do our part in our little enclave of the world to bring it all together. That’s the desire of our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader Jesus Christ. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin which exemplifies what we’re talking about. It’s titled, ‘I Stake My Life.’ 

Let’s pray: ‘I stake my life totally Completely Permanently On the integrity of Jesus. Lord, Your integrity means You will do all You promised. You will see me through Every fiery furnace Every tempestuous storm. If not, Dear God Then nothing in this life Makes any sense whatever. Your part is to perform what You promised. My part is to trust and obey.’ 

Now that says it all my fellow believers! And the Lord IS doing His part, keeping His promises. However we ARE NOT doing ours, trusting and obeying, to the best of our ability, that’s why our lives and our faith are sub-par, not as flourishing as they could and should be. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem, our Bit for today, is ever so appropriate. ‘But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.’ 

Ah mih breddren, it’s obvious we’re not fully obeying the command of our God, otherwise our lives and our societies and nations and world would not be in such a strife-filled and stressful mess. 

It’s obvious that we’re doing like the Lord said the Israelites did. ‘But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination (stubbornness) of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.’ (Jer.7:24) 

Oh my fellow believers, can’t we see that we’re going backward and not forward with the elevation of the enemy in most walks of our lives? I believe, that as Christians we’ve become too comfortable and satisfied with the status quo. We’ve come to value the easy life and the pursuit of worldly things more than the pursuit of God’s righteousness. 

Our world is currently so full of distractions, and we’ve become so soft and flabby and fearful in our mental and emotional beings that the enemy finds it quite easy to draw us away from the things of God. 

Can you imagine God’s heartache as He desires so greatly to commune with us, His covenant people, but finds that we don’t seem interested in communing with Him? 

And as the Lord further instructed Jeremiah: ‘But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction (instruction): truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.’ (Jer.7:28) 

How abysmally sad that is my people, but it is the absolute truth concerning this society, where truth has fallen by the wayside, been made a mockery of, with foolish and foppish celebrations of all kinds and levels of truth. 

Steups! How can there be more than one kind of truth eh people? Truth is simply truth! Or else it’s false! Something is either true, or it is not. 

And this last word from Jeremiah which describes our current society to a ‘T.’ ‘And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.9:3) 

Ah friends, can we begin being valiant for the truth? It will warm the cockles of God’s heart so much, that He’ll increase the blessings that He’s already bestowed on us, if that is at all possible. 

Remember friends, it’s ALL FOR OUR BENEFIT, not the Lord’s! And let’s sincerely ponder and consider all that we’ve said today as we go home declaring our bountiful Thursday Blessings. 

‘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 since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and share them most generously with others, like the Lord did with us nuh, for that’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…in God’s society…when we obey…we prosper…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2017 Acts 1:5.

Acts 1:5.   For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Welcome friends to Pentecost Sunday; that great day in our faith, fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, when the Holy Spirit made its miraculous entry into the lives of each and every believer at the time, in Jerusalem, the city of God! 

Wow! What a momentous and memorable day that was my fellow believers! Before His ascension, Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem so that they could be baptized with the Holy Spirit. ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And as loyal followers they obeyed His command and stayed in Jerusalem, and were they ever amazed by the happenings on that fateful day. 

Hear how the Good Book puts it nuh. ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose of mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Can you imagine that scene on that fateful Sunday friends? It must have been literally and figuratively mind blowing with the sudden appearance of a mighty rushing wind, the cloven tongues of fire and all of a sudden their ability to speak in other languages! Glory to God for His omnipotence and His awesome generosity to His people! 

Now let’s clarify a couple of things. Jesus said in our Bit that the disciples would be ‘baptized’ with the Holy Ghost, but on Pentecost Day the Good Book says they were ‘filled’ with the Holy Ghost. I’ll try to paraphrase a long explanation that the scholars offer. ‘2:4. The filling and baptism are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. 

Note their contrasts: (1) Following Pentecost every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:13), hence the New Testament never commands the Christian to receive it. But the filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers, and so is commanded (Eph.5:18). 

(2) The baptism is permanent, happening but once for all. The filling is ongoing, occurring continuously as seen in the present tense imperative of Ephesians 5:18, that is, “Keep on being filled.” The verse commands: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (riotousness), but be filled with the Spirit.” 

Since Paul compares the influences of wine and the filling of the Spirit, the word ‘control’ can aptly express the idea of either. The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. Such control is neither universal nor unending, thus it must be commanded and does recur within the believers… 

The baptism is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit, at conversion brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer a part of God’s people, the church. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christian whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.’

Phew! Hope you all understand that friends. I guess we can compare it somewhat to God breathing life into us ONE time, but then we have to keep on refilling our lungs with air, if we want to stay alive. 

Yes my brethren, Jesus’ words certainly came true, as just before He ascended to heaven, He told them: ‘But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

And they certainly made mas (smile) in Jerusalem that day, (read the rest of Acts 2) and around the country later on, and we are now spreading the gospel of Jesus to all parts of the world with the aid of technology! Glory Hallelujah! 

Oh friends, I know it’s our custom to begin each Sunday with some praise and worship, but today I was filled with, controlled by the Holy Spirit to do it differently. (smile) I was so enthused by the Spirit’s working in me, that I had to get to the heart of the matter right away. (smile) 

And Oh, our church held a wonderful Pentecost Prayer Breakfast yesterday morning, with plenty good food, music, and fellowship from several other churches and denominations, plus a couple of Muslim leaders. And it was all rounded out by a moving address on ‘Prayer,’ by our new Bishop, Jennifer Anderson. As usual, a fine time was had by all. And I’m sure Jesus was delighted by that little bit of unity shown by His church, instead of the disunity we are so prone to show. 

Now let’s go home singing one of the songs we sang yesterday. And how appropriate it is eh on this Pentecost Day! So let’s raise out voices in song, and pour forth, the peace, joy, and LOVE that fills our Spirit. 

‘I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul. I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul, I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul. I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul, I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul.’ 

And that’s the way it ought to be my people! So let’s go out now and faithfully spread that peace, LOVE and joy the way Jesus desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…when the Spirit moves you…you’re helpless to resist…