Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2018 Galatians 6:7.

Galatians 6:7.    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Okay friends, the consecutive long weekends are over now. You have to get back to working five day weeks, so let’s hope that you are well rested and churched, so that you have the wherewithal to make it through the whole week. Hope that you haven’t gotten so spoiled that you expect every week to be a short one. (smile) I know it’s very easy to get accustomed to that sort of easy living. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and regardless of the circumstances or the weather, we have to get up and go to work. So let’s roll out of the warm bed and get the ball rolling by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that awesome song that revs our engines and activates our adrenaline. With some enthusiasm now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, yuh feel the good vibrations that immediately wash over us as we sincerely declare those words? Now let’s keep those good vibes going as we hit the road. Don’t allow the bumper to bumper traffic to get to us. Let’s try and be at peace in the storm, using the perfect sense of peace that Jesus instills in us all when we become believers. 

Remember that this too shall pass, because we need to be bright and bubbly when we do get to work, so we can do good things on Jesus’ behalf. We can’t afford to be sour and miserable and let the enemy steal our joy, thereby making us incapable of sowing and bearing good fruit for Christ.  Thus the important warning from Bruh Paul in our Bit. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ 

Oh my people, let’s not ever fool ourselves into thinking we can deceive or outwit God.  That’s impossible since He sees all and knows all. This means if we sow bad seeds then we will reap bad fruits. And we can only sow good seeds and therefore reap good fruits only if we are operating from a good spiritual place, a place with Jesus first and foremost in our hearts. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal.6:8) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider application. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction. Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’ 

And I know it sounds simple, but it’s not so easy in reality, because our natural sinful nature, in conjunction with the evil lures of the world, constantly exert great pressure on us to be carnal minded. But Bruh Paul admonishes us further:  ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart).’ (Gal.6:9) That means we have to keep on keeping on friends, don’t give up, regardless of how difficult times might be, because we will be well rewarded if we finish our race and stay strong in Christ. 

‘As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9) So my faithful brethren, since we are to be divinely rewarded, it is essential that we seize every opportunity to do good, especially to our Christian brethren. And we’ll close with a gentle reminder of the fruit of the Spirit. (smile) ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23)  

Yes my people, let’s go out and practice that kind of stuff today nuh, because it is of Jesus, because it will help to build His LOVE Revolution, as well as bring divine rewards. Much LOVE!

…to bear good fruit…one must be a branch of Christ’s vine…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2016 John 15:12‏‏

John 15:12.    This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

Well mih people, it’s another bright and bountiful day in God’s great world! Glory Hallelujah! 

Oh I know that many of us are facing all kinds of persecution and problems and it might not seem like a bright or bountiful day, but the essence of the situation is that we’re alive, and thus have the HOPE and assurance that things can and will change, once we keep on walking steadfastly with Jesus! 

Therefore, let’s all loudly and proudly declare, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes friends, regardless of what the day holds, let us endeavor to rejoice and be glad in it. Let us not allow the enemy to steal our joy by filling our heads with nonsense. Life might be rough, but remember that our God is good! Glory be! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra or Prayer of the Beloved, right off the top to get us set on firm footing. All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Yes my people, we are not defined by any of the world’s standards; our true definition is simply, children of God, and thus LOVED by Him. Nothing else really matters. 

All we need to do is trust Jesus, our Friend, Saviour, Lord, Brother, Master, etc. etc. and share His overwhelming LOVE with the world, as He so simply but eloquently declares in our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

Ah friends, it’s such a simple but profound statement! One which we are not following as strongly and steadfastly as we should, thus we are not getting the results that we ought to get, so that we can further the LOVE Revolution of Jesus. 

Jesus is all about LOVE yuh know! It’s His greatest attribute; an attribute that encompasses everything else, and if we truly have it, we will be in the best place that we can be. 

And today I want to share a passage from my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness. The quote is from one Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), a French Catholic philosopher of much renown, who was apparently raised a Protestant, then became an agnostic before converting to Catholicism. 

He reputedly said: ‘We don’t LOVE qualities, we LOVE persons…’ 

And that’s how it ought to be. But instead we tend to qualify our LOVE for others by their behaviour, events or other actions and things. That’s not right my brethren. Our God LOVES us just for who we are, not because of anything we do or say. 

And the devotional goes on to say: ‘No matter what happens to us in our lifetime, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, strong or weak, ill or well, we ALWAYS HAVE ROOM FOR LOVE. Unqualified LOVE and caring cost nothing. Despite out financial position, allowing ourselves to LOVE, allowing ourselves to be LOVED strengthens and lends greater value to our lives.’ 

And that my fellow believers in Christ is indisputable truth! When LOVE becomes the most important factor in our lives, we are raised up to another level, a level to which only LOVE can bring us. 

Now listen closely to this next part of the devotional, which corroborates what I’ve said above. ‘In LOVING others and being LOVED, we are reminded that people, not events or even characteristics, are the important elements of our lives. 

We don’t look for perfection in our LOVED ones, and we’re freed of the notion that we must earn another’s LOVE. LOVE balances our lives; it helps us to keep sight of our values and priorities.’ 

And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! The Lord would certainly not LOVE us if He was looking for perfection, because we are not perfect. So why do we try to put others in certain situations or force certain characteristics and traits in them before we LOVE them eh? 

Please, let’s stop doing that and just LOVE others for who or whom they are nuh; creations of God. That’s the only way to truly LOVE! 

And as John so wisely reminds us in his first epistle: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that ye should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Oh friends, ofttimes that’s why we don’t LOVE people; because our deeds or intentions are evil and theirs are not. But hear these poignant and ever so true words from the end of the Valentine’s Day writing in our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

‘LOVE knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my people! Yes, LOVE will always be left standing when everything else fails! Let’s truly believe that and work it into all aspects of our lives nuh. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on LOVE with the timely words of John. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11) 

That’s the wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…I will remember today…that I LOVE people for themselves…not for their potential…the LOVE I receive…is given just as freely…  (From the One More Day Devotional).

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2015 2 Chronicles 26:5

2 Chronicles 26:5.  And he sought God in the days of Zechariah who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

Well Friends, as the world turns, the universe is unfolding as it should. (smile) Yes, the Lord in His wisdom has set it that with every rotation of the earth on its axis, a new day is born, and it just so happens that today is the birth of a wonderful day called Monday. Glory Hallelujah! 

It’s the first day of our workweek, so let’s be up and at ‘em nuh, for our very livelihoods depend on it. And when we bring a pleasant and positive attitude to it, it works to our benefit. If we keep on muttering and complaining, it just sours us and builds a whole lot of negativity in our spirits. 

In other words, Lucifer wins the first battle of the day. And that’s not right or wise my people, for then, most likely he’ll continue winning most of our daily battles, because we reap what we sow, and by our less than stellar beginning, the first thing we sowed was negativity. 

Anyhow, away with Lucifer! He is just a liar and a deceiver, primed to steal our joy and peace. So let’s counteract his evil ways with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which puts us in the safe, productive and confident zone that’s ruled by Jesus.  As one harmonious and enthusiastic choir, let’s raise our voices to heaven in a sacrifice of praise. 

‘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!’ 

Good going friends! Our choirmaster, Jesus, though not thrilled, was not displeased with our effort. So let’s get out there and do our thing in His glorious name! 

Now it’s time for our Bit. ‘And he sought God in the days of Zechariah who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.’ 

Oh Friends, I don’t know how often we’ve made that point nuh; we prosper when we seek the Lord. But still too many of us refuse to believe it and plod on unsuccessfully under our own steam. That’s the wisdom of a fool my brethren! 

And today’s Bit is talking about the sixteen year old Uzziah (Azariah in 2 Kings) who reigned in Judah after the death of his father Amaziah. And the Good Book declares: ‘And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah did.’ (2 Chr.26:4) 

Oh, before we go any further, according the scholars, the Zechariah named above, is not the same one who wrote the prophetic book of Zechariah. So let’s get that straight. 

Now let’s look at a couple scriptures that teach the same thing as our Bit, beginning with Jehoshaphat when Moab invaded Israel. The multitude of Moab’s army was more than Israel could handle, so what did Jehoshaphat do? ‘And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Israel.’ (2 Chr.20:3) 

And what was the Lord’s response? He sent a message by one Jahaziel, telling them: ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s’ (2 Chr.20:15b) 

And then the next day, as they were preparing to go out to battle, ‘Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.’ (2 Chr.20:20) 

And to make a long story short, they went out to war singing praises to their God, and by the time they reached the battle ground all they found were the dead bodies of their enemies, and they had a field day in collecting their possessions. Yes Friends, they won a war without even fighting their enemy, because they believed in the Lord their God. 

Now the same thing happened when Hezekiah became king of Judah and cleaned up the idolatry, and set proper systems in place. The Good Book tells us: ‘And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.’ (2 Chr.31:20-21) 

King Asa also prospered when he made godly reforms in Judah, after a warning from the prophet Azariah. ‘And he (Azariah) went out to meet (before) Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) 

Now my people, that is as plain and straightforward as it can get. There’s no rocket science involved there, so if we refuse to seek God, both as individuals and as a collective society and then don’t prosper, we have nobody but ourselves to blame. 

So today Friends, let’s use the wisdom that God has granted us nuh and seek His holy face, so that our children and us can prosper. Much LOVE!

…follow God and prosper…follow Lucifer and suffer…that’s it in a nutshell…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b‏

Nehemiah 8:10b. …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

‘Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…pita pata, pita pata. Oh listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…’ Hn!  And next thing I knew I was hypnotized, lulled back to sleep for a couple hours. Wow! That’s the hypnotizing, beguiling power of the falling rain!

Yeh Friends, I was up at six o’clock, but lay there listening to the beguiling sounds of the falling rain, and then it was suddenly after eight. And going to bed fairly late this morning didn’t help matters any. Well at least I got a couple more hours rest. Glory be!

Anyway, today is Friday…as if you all didn’t know, and consequently sang back to me, the Friday mantra. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend is finally here, and it’s going to be wonderful; lots of rest, relaxation, fun and fellowship. Thank God it’s Friday!’

Hn? What are you doing to me my people? Am I hearing right, or are you all just saying that to lull me into a false sense of believing that you are turning around your lives, giving up the things of the world for the things of Jesus? (smile) I really don’t know, but like Jesus, I’m going to have hope and faith and believe for the best; that you’re really changing.

Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant like we mean it nuh. 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, without that revitalization of our spirits we won’t be able to do the job that Jesus desires of us. But even more importantly, we also need the groundings of our Bit to successfully do Jesus’ work. ‘…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

That’s for certain sure my people! Without the joy of God flowing through our souls, we won’t be able to do much of anything at all! That’s why, as I said yesterday, the ole crook Lucifer tries to steal our joy in God, since without it we are weak and powerless. We therefore need to maintain that joy of Jesus in our spirits ALL THE TIME, so that the enemy can’t get a successful shot at us!

And we’ll continue today looking at some scriptures which declare the importance of God’s joy in our lives. And there’s no better place to see the importance of God’s joy in our souls than in Psalm 51 – Bruh David’s prayer for cleansing, after Nathan had confronted him with his abominable sins re Bathsheba.

Bruh David cries out to God: ‘Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:9-13)

Yes Friends, Bruh David had gotten the evil desires of his heart, but he had lost the joy of his God. We need to be very careful about what we ask for or desire, because oftimes it can move us away from the redeeming and joyful presence of God and make us sorrowful.

Now listen to Jeremiah in his personal lament. ‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.’ (Jer.15:16) Oh my people, does the Word of God bring joy and rejoicing to our hearts? It certainly ought to.

Meanwhile Peter tells us this about being distressed when caught up in much temptations. ‘That the trial (genuineness) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ (1 Pet.1:7-8)

What powerful tools are faith and belief in Jesus Christ, my brethren! For though we’ve never seen Him face to face, yet we so strongly believe and trust in Him that even when we’re tried and tested, we still retain the unspeakable joy found in His Spirit.

And James puts it in simple straightforward terms. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ (James 1:2)

And the scholars explain that ‘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.’

Yes Friends, when we look at everything from the standpoint that it comes from God, who has promised to work everything out for our good, then we can accept whatever comes against with joy, knowing that we will come out better, more Christ-like in the end.

Then Jude tells us: ‘Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling (stumbling), and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.’ (Jude 24-25)

Ah mih people, with those words of absolute truth and wisdom we’ll end today’s message. Now let’s ponder all that we’ve read and make the conscious decision to keep the joy of God always in our hearts, minds and souls, so that we can reject the advances of the enemy and stand strong in the name and faith of Jesus! For that is indeed the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…and my soul shall be joyful in the Lord…it shall rejoice in his salvation… (Ps. 35:9)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b

Nehemiah 8:10b.    …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Oh Friends, I’ve got such a joy deep down in my soul this Thursday morning in June that I just can’t contain it! Wow! That joy just makes me feel like shouting out to the world what God has done for me! And I surely hope that you’re feeling the same way too, for that’s the beauty and benefit of being a true believer!

Oh my people, I’m talking about His unconditional LOVE, His constantly available grace and never-ending mercy, then the beautiful essence of forgiveness… and don’t even talk about salvation and eternal life! Oh my my! And what shall we say to the biggest blessing of all eh; His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Leader, Lord and Saviour!

Mama Mia! What an awesome Deity we serve and worship my brethren! So how can we ever doubt or believe that the great God who created us, doesn’t LOVE and care for us eh? Steups!

What more has He got to do my brethren before we can comfortably and assuredly put our entire trust in him, to completely surrender our souls, minds and bodies to His superior guidance through the work and presence of His Holy Spirit?

I really don’t know what it will realistically take for the numerous unbelievers and backsliders to truly understand what this life is all about nuh, one controlled by the mighty but magnanimous hand of Almighty God.

Ah Friends, we’re such small-minded doubters and disbelievers that it isn’t funny. So much so that even if God did miracles in our lives every day, we’d still have doubts and refuse to believe. But here’s the good news Friends, we, a relatively small band of true believers are here to change the world, we’re going to make a radical difference.

And the best way to do that is by living lives honouring God, giving Him all the glory. And don’t think that we can’t do it because we’re too few, for if we listen to this quote by Margaret Mead (1901-1978) the famous American cultural anthropologist, we’ll see that it’s very possible.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’

Gospel truth that, my people! Whatever serious changes that’s ever been wrought in our world have always been by a relatively small group of its population, and with the awesome power of Jesus riding shotgun with us… Oh my Friends, all and everything is possible!

And believe you me, that’s exactly what Jesus is calling us to do; to bring some radical changes to this wicked and godless world by spreading the good news of His gospel that’s overflowing with the most important elements of PEACE and LOVE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY, GRACE, SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

And all God’s people joyfully shouted out: ‘All praise, honour and glory be to the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of heaven and earth, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein!’

Now Friends, joy is something that’s always supposed to be in the spirit of the believer. As such, we therefore need to continually remember the words of our Bit: …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

Yes my people, without God’s joy coursing through our spirits, we are weaklings. That’s why Lucifer is always trying to steal our joy, because then he knows he can get his evil claws into us without too much effort.  

And if you listen to Jesus when He was talking to the disciples about the vine and the branches, you’d hear Him say to them. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) It’s obvious my people that we do need the joy found in Jesus to be able to live this earthly life fully and to be obedient to His will.

Then later on He said to the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) Yes my brethren, the joy of God is ever so important in a believer’s life. Without it, we’re powerless to resist the wiles of the enemy.

All through the Bible there are passages which proclaim the importance of godly joy in our lives. Let’s check out a couple of them. Listen to Elihu as he reasons with Job, re God’s calling on men to repent.

‘He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto (restore to) man his righteousness.’ (Job 33:26) Joy in the Lord is ever so important my brethren.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 16, where he’s seeking preservation and blessing. He ends it thus: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:11) And isn’t that absolute truth? It surely is! For once the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us, there will be joy in our souls.

Meanwhile, Isaiah, in his thanksgiving for God’s mercies, puts it this way. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout (with joy), thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6)

Yes Friends, that’s how a nation, a people behaves when the joy of the Lord is amongst them. And we’ll end with a few words from John, from his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4)

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13 (please look it up), but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’

Oh my fellow believers, that is indeed the gospel truth! And we’ll leave us this morning to each ponder our walk with Jesus, to see exactly how it is proceeding, and to strengthen it when and where necessary, with God’s help. Much LOVE!

…one can never fully appreciate the joy of walking with Jesus…until one really and truly walks with Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2014 Psalm 145:4

  Psalm 145:4. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

Ah Friends, it looks like it’s going to be another day like yesterday in my area; snowy and rainy. But what yuh going to do eh? Not much, but dress for it and take your time along the wet, slick roads. That means you’ve got to leave home even earlier than normal, if you want to get to work on time.

Steups! Some of us can’t leave home much earlier than we already do, and that’s not only in wintry Canada, but all over the world, where traffic snarls are now a twice-daily occurrence. At the rate we’re going, it might just be better for us to sleep at work…Hn, Hn!

Don’t laugh, because it’s true, since the traffic going into the city is backed up before six a.m in my neighbourhood and by 3.00 p.m leaving the city. A lot of people have to leave home at 5 a.m if they want to reach to work for 8. That’s because they bought affordable housing out in the suburbs, and now that affordable housing is being decimated by the long and terrible time wasting commute.

But unfortunately that’s the new reality of modern day life. Lots of people are moving back to the city, but that’s only increasing the prices of accommodation there, so we end up with a catch 22 situation – live in the somewhat affordable suburbs and bear the traffic and commute burden, or buy exorbitant, overpriced accommodation in the city.

What ever you do though, you will pay for it, either in time or money. But Friends, as true believers in Jesus Christ, we can’t afford to let those things worry us, otherwise they’ll just drive us crazy. Oh, we must be concerned and pay close attention to them, but we can’t afford to let them burst our bubble, or kill our spirits and steal our joy.

That’s because we have the awesome promises of the Creator of the universe and all therein, that He will never leave nor forsake us, that nothing, no adversity will overpower us, for He has a wonderful plan and a great future for our lives, and if we trust Him, He will work everything out for our good eventually. Wow!

And all God’s people raised a grateful shout of joy to heaven: ‘Oh thank You heavenly Father for promising to look after us, even though at times we can be very disobedient to your Word. We LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’

And sadly my people, one enormously important area in which we have been very disobedient is not telling our children and the world about Jehovah God. We are indeed very guilty of not following our Bit: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’

Ah mih breddren, we’ve certainly done our most merciful and gracious God a grave injustice in that respect. We have failed to do as Moses warned the Israelites: ‘Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul (yourself) diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.’ (Deut.4:9)

Oh Friends, we haven’t seen as much as the Israelites had seen, but we have indeed seen enough to know that Almighty God is real, a real and living Deity! And if we haven’t taught our sons about Him, who will teach their sons about Him eh, and how will the great message of God be passed on to future generations?

Remember Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end.’ (Matt.28:19-20)

Oh my people, if those old time disciples hadn’t taken that Great Commission seriously and done as Jesus asked, we would never have heard about Him. That just shows how important passing on the message to the next generation is. It’s like the symbolic passing of the torch that we all so rave about in the Olympics. So let’s rave about passing on the wonderful Word of God too nuh!

And sadly, in our fear and lethargy we have allowed the evil powers of this world to take God out of the schools and other public places, resulting in less God in our society. The Ten Commandments, which should be the basic rules of any society that wants to flourish, are now being flouted with immunity, so why are we surprised when our society is quickly going to hell in a hand basket?

As a generation, we have a lot to answer for my people. We have not done as the psalmist Asaph so wisely said in Psalm 78 – A reminder of God’s goodness to Israel. ‘For he (God) established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright (did not prepare their hearts), and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.’ (Ps.78:5-8)

And Friends, if we’re honest, that last verse describes us to a T! We talk a whole lot about God, but like the hypocrite Pharisees that Jesus lambasted, we don’t walk the walk as well.

But it’s not too late walk it properly, to do as Bruh David declares after our Bit: ‘I will speak of (meditate on) the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly (eagerly) utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.’ (Ps.145: 5-13)

Oh Friends, oh Saints, that’s what we should be doing! Please, I implore us to go out and do it, so that the Word of God will keep being passed on from generation to generation. That’s our bounden duty, as well as heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…if we say we LOVE the Lord and don’t pass on His Word…then we lie…and are no better than the heathen…in fact we are much worse…