Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2020 Matthew 10:36.

Matthew 10:36.    ​And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
 
So here we go again for the umpteenth time… and we still have umpteen more times to go! (smile) Yes friends, it’s that stalwart day we call Monday, the one that gets us moving, but which we all like to hate and unrealistically blame for so many of our woes. Unfortunately though, we can’t get away from it, especially the way our Western society is set up. 

And I believe that if Tuesday was the first day of the work week, we’d intensely dislike Tuesday just like we do Monday. The dissatisfaction merely stems from the fact that the first day means we have to get up off of our fat fannies after a lazy and self-indulgent weekend and go out to make a living, accompanied by all the other unpleasantness and headache that action brings with it. (smile) 

And since we’re prisoners of hope, we believe that every Monday morning there is one less person suffering from the Monday Blues of those who wisely associate with us. In other words, at least one person matures and grows spiritually each week, so that Mondays no longer affect them as negatively as before. Wow! That is what you’d call great hope! (smile) But since with our great God ALL THINGS are possible, that’s not too great a leap of faith. 

Luckily for some of us though in Ontario and five of the other Provinces, today we’re celebrating the provincial statutory holiday called  Family Day. That means many of us in those provinces won’t be going out to work today… And no it’s not a day to party hearty, but to spend in communion with one’s family, to get to know each other better and bring it closer together, (smile) because in these modern times, the main pillar, the  foundation of our society, the family, is sadly falling apart and becoming of less and less importance. 

So let’s see if we can’t get one more person over the hump nuh, by humbly and confidently going to the throne of grace and asking for leading and guidance. All together 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 though we said that the holiday was not for partying but for renewing the family, you could hear quite a bit of slurring and hoarseness in some of those voices, signifying that they were already into the mind numbing and tongue tying sauce. (smile) But for those who have to get out into the chilling cold, or burning heat, or anything in between, it was a most worthwhile exercise since they have felt their energy and enthusiasm suddenly grow, their thoughts become positive, and they now walk with a strong sense of purpose; that purpose being to go out and do good work for Jesus! And who says our great God isn’t able eh? Foolishness! 

But on a more serious note friends, since today is Family Day, I thought we’d look at the condition of that most marvellous and worthwhile institution in our current society. As we said earlier, for a number of reasons, over the last couple of decades, the family has become rather fragmented and not as strong, or as important as it was once. But you know it has been the backbone, the one stabilizing influence that we could count on during man’s rather scarred, torn and tattered history. 

It was the one thing we could always come back to. It was the rock, the foundation on which every society was built. Even the extended family was pretty strong and useful in its time. But sadly, right now, the pure, direct family is falling apart, and the extended isn’t even recognized again. Oh friends, our society is falling apart through moral turpitude, depravity and wickedness, just like back in Micah’s day when he bewailed Israel’s moral failure. 

‘The good (faithful, loyal) man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly (successfully), the prince asketh (asks for gifts), and the judge asketh for a reward (a bribe); and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up (scheme together).’ (Mic. 7:2-3) And isn’t that way it is today my brethren; greed, power struggles and corruption running blatantly and rampantly! 

And two verses later, Micah continues: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic. 7:5-6) Now how can a family like that ever stay together and make a positive impact on our society eh? No way! 

But Jesus also warned of the failure of this foundational institution in times of persecution: ‘And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.’ (Matt. 10:21) Now families have always fought, but these days it seems to be way out of line. And we seem to be making Jesus’ words a real reality: ‘And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.’ 

Oh friends, there’s simply too much infighting amongst families in these turbulent times, and it’s obvious that if the basic foundation of our society fails, our society won’t be far behind. So I implore us today, this Family Day, to spend some positive and productive time making our families strong nuh, so that our society will rebound with glowing promise. Much LOVE!

…families must be built on the solid rock that’s Jesus…not the shifting sand that’s Satan…

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 27 January 2020 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.   ​and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
 
Life’s realities: ‘Ugh! AnOtHer MoNdAy?’ Didn’t we JuSt have one LasT WeEk!?’- or – ‘Today I will celebrate MoNDay! I will embrace the potentiality of the new week…tinged by the after shocks of the old week…’ Yes friends, those are the realities of life as found in the funnies! And it sure is strange how we find so much real life in the comic section of our newspapers…actually one of the few places that we find real life nowadays, as everything else is now about virtual reality, for real reality no longer seems to exist. (smile) 

And the first comment comes from the Mutts Comic strip, appropriately under the heading of Sourpuss’s Dear Diary, and the second from Between Friends, but they all reflect the truth of our Mondays in this crazy, evil, strife-filled and divided world! Whichever camp you fall in though, we have the real and true antidote to relive your pain. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; it’s a sincere prayer that does yeoman work on our behalf. So let’s go to the throne of grace in all humility, but confidently expecting a positive answer to our heartfelt supplication. 

All together 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 what I like about this prayer, is that on a Monday morning when we cry out to heaven for help, before we’re even finished, our great and wonderful God has already instructed His Holy Spirit to begin moving in the spirits and souls of His children, to energize and strengthen them, so they can confidently and bravely go out into the great unknown and do Christ’s work with diligence and excellence. Wow! And who says our God isn’t a magnanimous and magnificent Deity eh? 

On a point of interest: The ONE and ONLY! There could never be more than one of Him, cause there’s just not enough space for two such Beings to exist in the same universe! (smile) And I like it when I get carried away talking about God’s magnanimity and greatness…the words just flow unbidden… it just comes naturally with the territory. 

But seriously speaking my fellow believers, (steups!) the main reason we can go out and do Jesus’ work without any fear is because of the awesome promise He made at the end of the Great Commission: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Now we need to believe that in spades, if we are ever going to make any headway against the enemy. 

And I like two instances of Christ’s reassurance to Bruh Paul when things seemed to be getting out of hand. The first is down in Corinth. The Good Book tells us: ‘And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit (compelled by the Spirit) and  testified to the Jews that Jesus was (is the) Christ. And when they opposed themselves (disagreed with him), and blasphemed, he shook his raiment (garments), and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.’ (Acts 18:5-6) 

But nonetheless, several prominent Jews and their families believed (yeah!) and were baptized. And notice too, that the Holy Spirit never pressed Paul to talk to the Jews until he had back-up with Silas and Timothy. And furthermore: ‘Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace (don’t keep silent): For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee (attack you): for I have much people in this city.’ (Acts 18:9-10) 

Mama Yo! Yuh see how our God keeps His promises! Bruh Paul had no idea that there was plenty of help to be found in the city. It just goes to show friends, that our Lord and Saviour can indeed be trusted to look after our welfare; spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. That’s why Bruh Paul could afford to tell the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

The next event I want to point out is when Bruh Paul appeared before the council in Jerusalem and dissension broke out between the Sadducees and Pharisees over the question of the resurrection of the dead, which the latter believed in, but not the former. The situation got nasty, bedlam broke out, and the captain of the army, fearing that they were going to tear Bruh Paul to pieces, sent his soldiers to take him out by force to their barracks. (Acts 23:1-10) 

But the Good Book says: ‘And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.’ (Acts 23:11) Yuh think we God don’t know what He doing? Bruh Paul was His main man, especially to us Gentiles, He wouldn’t let him get hurt before he finished His work. 

Likewise friends, our God won’t let anything untoward happen to us while we still have work to do. Life might get a tad rough and troublesome, but no one will stop us from doing His will. Please remember that and let’s go out into the world today, and everyday, with that attitude of victory percolating deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Much LOVE!

…if yuh working for Jesus…then yuh know yuh safe from all harm…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2020 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.    ​Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 

Now whoever says that our God isn’t a good, great, faithful and rewarding God, tell them I say deh lie eh! Ah friends, I see God’s goodness everyday in little things, but sometimes in somewhat bigger ones, like something that happened to me yesterday morning. Yuh know the snowfall was a fairly big one, so after church I decided to go out and tackle my drive and the walkway. I turned on my car stereo, opened the trunk and was out there shovelling and dancing for about fifteen minutes, possibly done about one fifth of the two car drive, when all of a sudden, behind me, I heard: ‘Hi Randy! Let me do that nuh!’ 

It was my much younger neighbour and his son from the house opposite to mine, both with snow shovels in their hands. And they took over the job, wouldn’t let me do much, kept telling me to rest. But having some pride, I felt somewhat uncomfortable just watching them do everything, so while they were doing the driveway I did the front steps and the walkway leading up to them. That made me feel a li’l more useful. (smile) He didn’t even me allow me to pour the salt on it, but did that too. 

Obviously the job took much less time than if I had done it on my lonesome. Now was that merely a simple blessing from the Most High, or a pointed message letting me know that I wasn’t physically capable of doing it all on my lonesome? I’m taking it as both, (smile) because to tell the truth, I don’t even know if I could have done it all at once having seen how much was out there, especially with the duchess on my back, fearful that something tragic would happen, wanting me to leave it and come inside. (smile) 

And making the situation even more memorable, my neighbour promised to come over and help whenever I needed it!  So how can I not be grateful and thankful eh? And how can something like that not strengthen my faith and belief in Almighty God eh mih people? Only if I’m not a true believer! But I like to think I am, that’s why I want to encourage those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning to join us in that mysterious and miraculous act of communion that we call prayer, where we offer thanks to God for His many blessings as well as cry out to Him for help in times of need. 

So let’s confidently and humbly go to the throne of grace declaring (yeah!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, seeking heavenly succour. All together 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 since our motives were right and our hearts sincere, we know the Lord heard our prayer. We also know that He answered it, judging by our suddenly enthused spirit and rearing to go attitude. (smile) So let’s do just that nuh; get out into the evil world and work the works of Christ, because we all have a job, a plan that He’s envisioned for us. 

And of this one thing we’re sure, that God won’t allow His plans for us to go astray, regardless of the circumstances, for as Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ Yes my brethren, we can be sure that whatever God begins in us, He will complete it! 

And the scholars explain: ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’ 

Neither will the saving work He began in us be ever abandoned or unrealized my people. That means we have real security in Jesus, and therefore, though we may sometimes falter, even fall, we can be assured that our wonderful Triune God will keep raising us back up if we don’t lose faith, never give up, but sincerely stick with the omnipotent Three In One Deity that created, and still rules the universe. That’s wisdom of infinite proportions friends, so let’s diligently seek it nuh! Much LOVE!

…God’s plans…ALWAYS come to fruition…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2020 1 John 5:14.

1 John 5:14.    ​And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
 
So it’s the first Monday of the new year, how are we going to greet it eh? How are we going to operate on this opening day of the first full work week of 2020? Are we going to be sour and miserable and tired like we’ve been for a lot of the year just past? I do hope that since most of us have resolved to walk closer with Jesus this year, that most of us will also adopt a better attitude, through regular fellowship and better rest programmes, so that we can bear plenty good fruit for Him. 

And yes, I know that we’ll have some backsliders every week, because that’s just the nature of the human animal. (smile) But we’ll always have a backup plan to lend strong support, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And I suspect that plenty of us will need it today since we’re still recuperating from the season’s celebrations. (smile) 

So as one strong and confident voice, let’s float our prayer up to heaven. ‘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 almost immediately, we feel the Holy Spirit moving within us to give us what we asked for. Wow! What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! And why are we so confident in our prayers eh? John explains it thus in his first epistle. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired (asked) of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) 

Mama Mia! What other faith has such a built in confidence builder eh? None. As the scholars explain: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (v.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’  Now that’s the fly in the ointment my faithful brethren: we have to ask for stuff that fall’s within God’s will. So we can’t afford to be too frivolous and ask for stuff that’s carnal minded. 

And John furthermore states in an earlier chapter, as he discusses LOVING one another, not merely in talk, but in deed and in truth. ‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (persuade) our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:19-22) 

And what does all of that mean? We’ll let the scholars explain it: ‘3:19. Cain (v. 12) was “of that wicked one”, believers are of the truth. And hereby: John seems to be saying that assurance of salvation comes in part as one reaches out actively in caring for others (preceding verses).’ Yes friends, believers ought to be involved in the truth, in faith as well as deeds. 

‘3:20. In light of John’s strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might begin to despair. He assures them that, although our feeble attempts to honour God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our self-awareness (cf. 1 Cor. 4:4) and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves. He sees not only our actions, which at times are thwarted or misguided, but also the motives and intentions behind them.’ And the intentions and motives of our hearts are ever so important in our faith walk my people, because that’s what God judges us by, not simply our outward actions. 

‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers! A successful prayer life cannot be had without a righteous daily life. And I think that’s a fitting note to end on today. So please, let’s sincerely ponder our prayer lives based on the above facts nuh, and try to come up higher this year of 2020, with the Lord’s help of course!  Much LOVE!

…confidence in God…comes from knowing His truth…and living according to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2019 Psalm 73:26.

Psalm 73:26.    ​My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
 
Awright, so it’s the Monday after Christmas and the one before the New Year, and yuh feeling even more miserable, tired and sluggish than normal, what with all the fattening food and drink you recently guzzled and imbibed and the resultant lethargy it produced! (smile) Yeh friends, I know the feeling, there’s no celebration like Christmas, and seeing the wide variety of goodies available, can really make you gluttonous. I’ve already put on a couple pounds and the season not finished yet. 

And though we know we going to feel terrible come Monday morning when is time to go to work, we just can’t turn away from the pile of good looking and sweet tasting food and drink available. And now we paying the price; can hardly get up, and we complaining everlasting, as though somebody did we something. (smile) But that’s the style nowadays; blame everybody else for our mistakes. Anyway, doh worry, we have your problem covered, and by the time we finish, you’ll be so energetic and enthusiastic to go to work, you won’t even recognize yuhself. 

So join us in a moment of prayer, that most powerful tool on the face of God’s great earth. It’s something we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and it helps to dissolve all fears, doubts and anxieties; it cleanses all the ills that affect you on Mondays. So altogether now, in humility and sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Yes, I can see that the moods and attitudes are already improving. All glory to our great and wonderful God! And by the time you spin around and are ready to leave home, you’ll be so energized and enthusiastic, you’ll be ready to fight the most dangerous wild animal for Jesus’ sake! (smile) Yeh friends, that’s how mightily the Holy Spirit of God moves in us. That’s why we can proudly and confidently declare the reassuring words of the psalmist Asaph: ‘My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ 

Ah my brethren, even the godly psalmist Asaph, at one stage struggled to understand how the wicked could be so prosperous. That is: ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.’ (Ps.73:17-19)

In the sanctuary, he received a divine perspective on the situation. The Lord has set up the wicked to fail eventually. But Asaph did not realize that until then, and seeing the wicked prosper even throughout their entire lives, ‘it almost caused him to stumble spiritually and lose his faith.’ 

Thus he said, after understanding the situation: ‘So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden (held) me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.’ (Ps. 73:22-24)

Oh my people, let’s not worry about the prosperity of the wicked nuh, for the Lord has promised to deal with them accordingly, and we know He keeps all of His promises. Let’s just be concerned with our own personal relationship with our heavenly Father, for when the day of judgement comes, He won’t be asking us questions about anybody else, His focus will be directed on us personally. 

That means we need to get it right asap. And in that respect, I like the question Asaph poses just before our Bit. ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.’ (Ps.73:25) Now that ought to also be our stand if we truly mean the words of our Bit, because in truth, whom else do we have but our God-head eh? Nobody! 

So let’s end like Asaph did nuh: ‘For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee (are unfaithful). But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:27-28) 

And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord. Exalt His holy name, for He is worthy to be exalted!’ Much LOVE!

…the wise ones…live like if judgement day is today…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2019 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

‘Monday…LOVE it or LEAVE it!’ That’s the advice from a recent panel of the comic strip ‘Mutts.’ And I would say that it’s very good advice, because what other sensible choices do we have eh? None that I can think of. I definitely won’t call the choice that too many of us make, being miserable and frustrated and tired on a Monday as being sensible, especially if you’re a true believer in, and a sincere follower of Christ Jesus, because He definitely gives us the parts, the wherewithal to LOVE Monday when we go to church on Sunday and praise and worship and glorify Him! 

Hn! I like that sentence. It sounds Bruh Paulian. (smile) Why yuh think He says to come to His house every first day of the week eh? It’s because He wants to rejuvenate and refresh us, so that we can go out and brazenly and confidently do His will starting bright and early on Monday, the second day! Ah, but since He created us, nobody knows better than Him how frail and weak we really are. That’s why He gave us the powerful communicating tool called prayer, so we can cry out to Him for help in times of need. And I know that many of us need help this Monday morning to get up and get out to labour. 

So let’s use that most useful and powerful tool named prayer, to inform the Lord of our desperate need for His help this morning nuh. Therefore, with one fervent and sincere voice, let’s float our Monday Morning Battle Hymn up to heaven in confident humility. 

‘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 as always, before we’re even finished crying out for help, the Holy Spirit begins moving in our bodies and souls, strengthening and encouraging us, so that we can go out and fight valiantly for Jesus. And that all hinges on these motivating words of Jesus to His disciples. ‘Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Yes friends, it’s all about LOVING Jesus and doing works in His name so that our heavenly Father can be glorified. 

That was also Jesus’ purpose here on earth. Having foretold His betrayal at the Last Supper, and seen Judas go out to do his evil deed, Jesus declared to the other disciples: ‘Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.’ (John 13:31). He was referring there to His death, burial and resurrection, the plan the Father had sent Him to earth to accomplish. But let’s check out some advice from one of those who was there with Christ when He uttered those faithful words nuh. We talking about the stubborn and recalcitrant, hard to handle Peter, who later became such a tower of strength in the early church. 

Listen as he talks about living as servants of God. ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.’ (1 Pet. 2:11-12) Oh friends, are the Gentiles seeing our good works in Jesus’ name and thus glorifying God? Not as much as they ought to. But let’s see if we can’t be encouraged to do better by listening to Peter again. 

Hear him talk about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift; even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in ALL THINGS may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 4:7-11) 

Oh my people, the last days are truly upon us, and our world is still in a terrible mess, so let’s use those wise words to  galvanize us to victory in Jesus today nuh! Much LOVE!

…God created the universe…for the express purpose …of His glory…

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