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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 April 2016 Matthew 25:40

Matthew 25:40.   And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Ah friends, thankfully the mess and muck of yesterday’s precipitation should have been mostly cleared away from the roads, so the trip to work this morning shouldn’t be that bad. But it’s cold, beastly cold, so please dress warmly, possibly your long johns (smile). 

Then let’s put a smile in our hearts which shows up on our faces and our conduct as we face the evil and godless world and evoke the gospel of Christ, and hopefully bring others to the truthful realization that He ONLY, is the way to salvation. 

And since today is Tuesday, it’s only mete and right that we declare our Tuesday Mantra. So as one 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’ 

Oh yeah, my brethren! We are indeed not what we do or what people say about us, but the beloved children of God! Glory Hallelujah. Once we believe in Jesus and surrender our lives to Him, we are immediately adopted into God’s fold and become joint heirs of the kingdom with Christ. 

What a bam bam! Joint heirs of the kingdom of God with Christ… Mama yo! Nothing could be better than that my people! So please let’s stop allowing the world to define us and have us foolishly running around like chickens with our heads cut off to live up to its standards. 

Remember we are working for our FRIEND Jesus to share His LOVE with a sinful world! That’s what defines us. Now I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Walking Together.’ 

And it says: ‘It would be sheer mockery, Lord It would be subtle hypocrisy For me to kneel Anguished and weeping Before Your cross Unless – As I walk with You now Down my personal Emmaus Road I introduce You With singing joy To the broken and bound The weary and worn The depressed and defeated Whom we meet on the way. And, Lord, I observe That as we walk together Foot traffic thickens.’ 

Oh friends, what glorious truth! As we walk together with Christ along our earthly path, and we meet the broken and needy and share the good news of Christ’s gospel with them, as well as any material help we can offer, we are indeed joined by others in our journey and Christ is indeed more glorified. 

Remember Christ said that He came to save the lost, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick and broken, and take care of the stranger, the widows and orphans. So it is necessary that we too, as brothers and sisters with Christ, look after the lost and needy. 

That’s why in our Bit, and also the Bible promise for the poem above Jesus declared: ‘And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s all about how we react to those who are suffering in this ungodly and evil world! If we spread Christ’s message and His material benefits amongst them, then we’ll be set on His right hand with the sheep… Oh glory to God for His goodness to the children of men! 

But if we spurn and/or ignore the lost and needy, regardless of all our other so-called good deeds, we’ll end up on Christ’s left hand with the goats… How sad! Because hear what He’ll say to that group. ‘Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. 

For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me no meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.’ (Matt.25:41-43)  

Brother! We certainly don’t want to be in that lot my precious people, because as we keep saying, eternal separation from Almighty God is the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. 

And Jesus spelled it out earlier on in Matthew when talking about rewards. ‘He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.’ (Matt.10:40-42) What glorious promises my brethren! 

And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ’10:41-42. In the name of a prophet (i.e., “as a prophet”). The meaning of this statement is that those who are not prophets themselves may share in the labour and reward of the prophets by willingly supporting their ministry. One of these little ones is a reference to the fact that even the smallest service done to the most insignificant of Christ’s servants shall be rewarded by the Lord Himself.’ 

Oh friends, yuh see that living and working for Jesus is not rocket science, but simply letting the goodness of our hearts flow to others, especially those in need! 

And we’ll end with these wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘He that oppresseth the poor (needy) reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor (needy).’ (Prov.14:31.’ 

Yes my people, when we honour the needy, we honour our God and Maker. So please let’s go out and do that with a sincere heart today nuh, and thus help our cause in Jesus’ eyes. That’s nothing but the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…being a Christian means…being a servant…a helper…a friend to the poor and needy…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Oh Friends, please be advised that the NHL Hockey Playoffs began last night, with several games on every night. And since I am a fan of the game, it means there will be several late nights, like last night, in the offing. Unfortunately, those late nights will obviously lead to late mornings, like this one.

So please don’t be too peeved and upset with me if the Bits are somewhat late in the next few weeks. (smile) It’s just a fact of life. There isn’t much I watch on the tube, but hockey is one of those things.

And a much better bit of news is that it looks like spring has finally truly sprung. Yesterday was warm, not hot, and beautiful, with loads of brilliant sunshine, and today is forecasted to be more of the same.

The temps are getting up to the mid to high teens, and that’s bringing out the pent-up winter frustration, so the hot rod cars with their loud engines and mufflers are now out on the road, the walkers, runners, cyclists and the ‘motorbikers’ are getting into gear too. So look out for the madness, especially after such a long and harsh winter.

And Friends, on this Thursday morning in mid –April, I want to remind us of some rather important facts as they pertain to our faith. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, but they are the words of the prominent American churchman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

And he reputedly said that: ‘Religion can never be the answer to human problems. All of the religions of the world are inadequate. Christ alone is the Answer. Christ alone understands. Christ alone forgives. Christ alone eliminates your guilt.

Christ alone saves and then assures you that you are God’s child and the most wonderful person possible! Christ alone fills the human heart with LOVE –joy- peace- self-confidence. No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Oh my people, my people, what wonderful words of utmost truth and wisdom! There is nothing in that passage that can be disputed! So please, please, this morning let’s allow those fateful words of truth to sink into our hearts, minds and spirits, so that they can reinforce, renew and reinvigorate our passion and joy in our faith and in Christ Jesus!

We need that sort of renewal regularly, because in these last days the enemy is fighting mightily, to keep us from believing and acknowledging the wonder and worthiness of our faith.

And I like that last part of Dr. Shoemaker’s statements: ‘No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Why, you ask? Because if all of the previous statements are true, which they are, we ought to have such LOVE for our God, ourselves and our neighbours, that nothing whatsoever can diminish the light and joy of Jesus in our souls and lives.

That brings us to our Bit. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sorrow that filled Jesus’ heart when He saw His people so lost and scattered, without any proper guidance, just going astray any which way? Remember Isaiah’s prophecy, re comfort through trust in the Lord?

He said: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11)

And that is exactly what Jesus came to do my people! He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read John 10 and you can hear Him expound on the theory of the sheep and the shepherd, as pertains to Himself.

First, He tells them a parable. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:1-5)

Ah my brethren, all of that is oh so true! Now listen to some useful explanations by the scholars. ‘10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. (the pen where the sheep were kept at night). The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees. See also verse 8.’

’10:3. Sheep know only their shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced in area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’

Obviously the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He was talking about. ‘Then Jesus saith unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:7-10)

And at the remembrance of that wonderful news, all God’s people gave a mighty and glorious shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the awesome shepherd of our flock; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly!’

So my people, in ending, let me remind us, that if we are the sheep of Jesus’ flock, then it is of the utmost importance that we listen to His voice, and follow Him and Him alone. If not, then we’ll be marked for certain death, as all else are merely thieves and robbers, come to kill, steal and destroy.

So let’s open our ears and quite clearly hear our Master’s voice and follow Him down the straight and narrow, but safe path where He will inevitably lead us. That my brethren, is certainly wisdom and understanding of a heavenly nature! Much LOVE!

…all we like sheep have gone astray…but Jesus in His LOVING-kindness…has found us and brought us safely back to His fold…oh what a joy…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2014 Matthew 6:15

Matthew 6:15.    But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Oh Friends, do you realize that we’re already in the middle of August, and that just last week it was July? (smile) Yes mih people, the days are certainly rushing ahead fast and furious. The summer’s almost over! Where did it go to eh?
 
In another few weeks the trees will begin divesting themselves of all their beautiful green foliage, getting ready to face the harsh reality that’s winter in their total nakedness, when food and nourishment become scarce.
 
Let us hope though, that no human brethren are doing, or planning to put that same strategy into effect, for there is always nourishment and succour available in the body of Christ.
 
Let me put that in more practical terms; there should always be food, clothing and comfort available to those in need, from Jesus’ earthly body, the church.
 
That’s one of the basic reasons the Lord instituted tithes; so that His personal storehouse would always have supplies for the poor and needy, for the stranger, the widow and the orphan. Note that God has a very special place in His heart for those people, and has provided for them thus.
 
Oh my fellow believers, are we tithing to our local church? We should be, for without our generous gifts, Jesus’ church would not be able to function as it ought.
 
Remember that the church is not merely the building, but even more so the believers who occupy it. And we can’t maintain the buildings, or do the outreach and missions desired by Christ without the generous help of the congregation in terms of talent, time and finances.
 
Everybody wants to see their church buildings looking spiffy and fine, and want to hear about all the good work that body of Christ is doing in their community and around the world, and that’s a very worthwhile dream and wish, but we also need to be practical and realize that none of it can happen without the generous support of the parishioners.
 
So I urge us today, to check our individual generosity to our local church, and seriously consider raising our levels of giving, in terms of time, talent and money, for that’s the only way the church, as Christ’s body here on earth, will survive and grow the way He desires it to.
 
Hn, hn, hn! Yes Friends, I’m here chuckling because I don’t know where all of that came from. I certainly wasn’t intending to write about it. I guess it must have come from the church warden’s meeting I attended last evening, where one of the topics we discussed was finances, and the need to improve, to upgrade ours. And I guess that would be the situation in many other churches too, hence the Holy Spirit’s leading to give voice to it.
 
Anyway mih breddren, let’s see if we can finish up the message on forgiveness with this Bit today. ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you.’
 
Oh my people, my people, we can never overestimate the importance of forgiveness in the life of a believer! And it’s simply because we won’t be forgiven, if we don’t forgive. Jesus made that quite clear in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12)
 
Please note that it’s a conditional statement; forgive us, AS we forgive. Yes my brethren, only as we forgive, will our heavenly Father forgive us. So we had better get that written indelibly in our consciousness and practice it, otherwise we’re simply out of luck. Well not really luck, but you know what I mean; crapaud smoke we pipe, we up the stream without a lifeline. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that emphasize forgiveness. In this first passage, Luke has Jesus saying these most meaningful words when He teaches forgiveness.
 
‘Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent; forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.’ (Luke 17:3-4)
 
Oh Friends, that means that every time we’re asked for forgiveness, we MUST give it! ‘Thou shalt forgive him,’ is a command, meaning that no flexibility is allowed in our behaviour, even though the hurt is great and the forgiveness hard!
 
I know that sounds sort of rough and unfair my fellow believers, but that’s just the way it is in Jesus’ kingdom, and if you desire to be His follower, then you need to toe the line. It’s as simple as that.
 
Every organization has rules, and if you want to be a continual member, then you must abide by their rules. The same goes for the church of Christ!
 
Now listen to James as he talks about impartiality to all. ‘So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against (triumphs over) judgement.’ (James 2:12-13)
 
Yes Friends, it all comes right back to the elementary principle in God’s handling of the universe; you reap what you sow. So if you sow things like mercy, forgiveness, justice and LOVE, those are the things you will eventually reap, in greater amount than what you sowed too.
 
So please my people, let’s faithfully go out and sow the good things of Jesus today nuh, so that tomorrow, when our harvest comes in, we will reap the wonderful abundance that’s granted to those who sow in LOVE, forgiveness, justice and mercy.
 
As Cousin Sol would say, ‘that’s the wisdom for each and every age!’ (smile) Much, much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…and be ye kind one to another…tenderhearted…forgiving one another…even as God…for Christ’s sake…hath forgiven you… (Eph.4:32) 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2013 Deuteronomy 5:32

Deuteronomy 5:32.    Ye shall observe (be careful) to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
 
And the ice melteth… but then the melted ice freezeth… Yes Friends, that’s the kind of action we had going yesterday; mild temps melting the ice, but with that run off freezing up again during the colder night. What a bam bam! And with the inconsistent weather we’ve been experiencing, there’s no telling how it will all end.
 
Sadly too, there are still many people without power here in Toronto, down in the Maritimes and also over in Europe, where the weather has played havoc with them too this past week, although their problem was mainly rain and flooding.
 
Oh my people, this Christmas of 2013 definitely won’t go down as a wonderful one in many parts of the world. In fact, 2013 won’t go down in the annals of history as such a wonderful year period! What with all the disasters, both natural and man made, we experienced, plus what appears to be endless strife in so many parts of the world. And last, but definitely not least, the significant global economic contraction. Hn!
 
The sad part about the whole situation though is that the wealthy are getting wealthier and still living extravagantly, while the rest of the society is struggling to make ends meet, with their lifestyles plummeting down the socio-economic ladder. But what to do eh Friends? Yes, what to do indeed?
 
Ah mih people, there is ONLY ONE solution to our problems! Turn to Almighty God in serious, sincere and heartfelt conviction and repentance, then live lives that will honour Him! And until we do that, our earthly situation will continue to be disastrous and calamitous.
 
Oh Friends, this no hearsay, but what the Lord commanded Israel, His chosen people, from early on. Note when Moses called the people together and reminded them of the covenant the Lord had made with them at Mt. Horeb, which included the Ten Commandments, which he again reminded them of, and also how they were afraid and promised to do as the Lord said. (Deut.5:1-28)
 
Then the Lord sent them to their tents and told Moses the words of our Bit, which he was commanded to teach them. ‘Ye shall observe (be careful) to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.’ What’s so difficult to understand about that eh mih breddren?
 
And the Lord continued: ‘Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord you God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.’ (Deut.5:33) Again my Friends and fellow believers, very simple and straightforward instructions.
 
And it’s interesting to note that when the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, and when they did not, great calamity befell them. But although they experienced both the good and bad, subject to their obedience or disobedience, they still never learned and continued their naturally sinful rebellion against their God and King.
 
So I guess the question can be asked, why should we be any different, or rather any better? Firstly because we’ve have a much more intimate knowledge of God, through Jesus Christ and the Good Book. Then we’ve evolved to possibly a higher level of natural intelligence, plus the historical lessons from the many nations down through the ages, who’ve tried to live without God and failed.
 
Unfortunately though, all of that just seems to have made us more stubborn and resistant to God’s Word, and more intent on doing our own, sinful, rebellious thing. But Friends, we keep saying that our God doesn’t change, neither does His Word, so why should our society fare any differently to all those others who were crushed for their disobedience eh? No reason whatsoever!
 
And it’s not like the Lord didn’t repeat His message numerous times to His people. But since time and space are against us, we’ll just look at one instance. Even in the choice of a King, the Lord was very adamant about how he should be chosen and behave. 
 
‘When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
 
But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
 
And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear (stand in awe of) the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
 
That his heart be not lifted up (proud) above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his day in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.’ (Deut.17:14-20)
 
Oh my people, nothing there has changed. We still need to have godly leaders, not corrupt, ungodly ones who are only intent on making themselves rich and powerful, but rather wise and honourable, leading the people in obedience to the Lord’s commands.
 
Obviously those conditions aren’t being maintained today, so why should we be so surprised at our demise eh? Our countries were built on the Christian ethic, so if we lose that Christian ethic, there’s only one possible result; our eventual downfall.
 
It’s high time for us to wake up my brethren, and return to sincerely worshipping the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD: He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
 
Remember what we’ve been saying for the past few days? That the Lord’s our Judge, our Lawgiver, our King, and that He will save us. Now if that’s true, and we really believe it, then let’s put all it entails into serious action nuh, for then we’ll truly be considered wise. Much LOVE!
 
…the Lord exalts the obedient…but the disobedient are trampled by His wrath…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2013 Genesis 17:1-2

Genesis 17:1-2.    And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless). And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
 
Oh Friends, is Sunday morning! Hear them church bells ringing nuh! Is we deh calling yes, saying: Come and worship, praise and thank Him; Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; our Prince of Peace; our Emmanuel; the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom every knee shall one day bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord indeed, to the glory of God the Father! 
 
What an awesome, divine, undeniable, indisputable truth my people! And all God’s children shouted ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
And continuing on with God’s promises to Abram, we see from our Bit, that thirteen years after Ishmael is born to Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian maid, the Lord comes back to Abram with the promise of giving him a multitude of descendants. ‘And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless). And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.’
 
Ah Friends, I wonder what went through Abram’s mind eh? Did he think thoughts like: ‘But Lord you promised me that some twenty three years ago, and still nothing has happened. I only have this child by Hagar which doesn’t seem to fit your plans. How long am I supposed to wait eh? Sarai and I are getting older and closer to death everyday.’
 
The important point here though my fellow believers is that despite what Abram felt or thought, his response to God’s promises was certainly respectful and reverential. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many (a multitude of) nations. Neither (no longer) shall thy name any more be called Abram (High, Exalted Father), but thy name shall be Abraham (Father of a multitude); for a father of many nations have I made thee.
 
And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. and I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed (descendants) after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed, the land wherein thou art a stranger (of your sojourning), all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’ (Gen.17:3-8)
 
Oh Friends, what a weighty set of promises to lay on a hundred year old man eh! Now to us it might seem like a lot, but back in those day men lived for hundreds of years and continued fathering children. (Gen.11:10-32) Even Abraham’s father, Terah must have sired him around age 130, since Abram was 75 when he left home and Terah died at 205 years old. (Gen.11:32)
 
So here’s poor Abram, God has piled up the promises: He’s changed his name from Abram to Abraham. All sorts of royalty will come from him, and the land of Canaan would belong to his descendants in perpetuity, and El Shaddai will be their God. Abraham’s mind must have been spinning. But God wasn’t done, He finally adds the clincher.
 
‘And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in (throughout) their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token (sign) of the covenant betwixt me and thou.’ (Gen.17:9-11)
 
Ah Friends, the stakes were now getting higher. As a sign of the covenant with God, Abraham, his male descendants and all other males born or dwelling in their community had to be circumcised. At eight days old every male child had to be circumcised. And anyone who wasn’t circumcised would be considered cut off from God’s people, a breaker of the holy covenant. (Gen.17:12-14)
 
Hear how the scholars put it: ’17:9-14. Abraham’s part in the covenant-making process was circumcision, which God established as a sign of the covenant to indicate that his offspring were uniquely dedicated to God. (Ex. 4:24-26; Rom. 4:11). A Hebrew who failed to observe this rite would be cut off from the covenant community. Circumcision was to serve as an outward sign of inward dedication to God. In itself it (circumcision) was neither efficacious, nor unique to Israel.’ 
 
Now Friends, that wasn’t all that God laid on Abraham that day nuh: ‘And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah (Princess) shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of (by) her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 
 
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
 
And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
 
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.’ (Gen.17:15-22)
 
Oh my brethren, can you imagine your reaction to God laying all of that on you at one time? Mama Mia! But such was the strength and faithfulness of Abraham, that although he laughed and doubted in his heart that Sarah would eventually produce a son, nevertheless after the Lord left him, he took all the males in his household, including Isaac and himself, and they were circumcised according to the sign which God, declared would be the sealing of the covenant. That’s surely indicates great faith and trust.
 
Anyway Friends, enough for today. Let’s read, mark, ponder and inwardly digest what we’ve read and heard, because it’s important that we know where and how our faith came about.
 
Much LOVE!…if we don’t know where we’re coming from…where our roots lie…then how can we know where we’re going…what kind of fruit we shall bear…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2013 Matthew 25:35-36

Matthew 25:35-36.    For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday! And I know some of you are complaining, wondering what I’m so enthusiastic about, when you had a hard weekend of partying, and now you have to get up and go to work, when you don’t really feel up to it. But my people, see if you’d prefer to be in these situations that occurred last week and over the weekend.
 
We know that Calgary and High River and other parts of the Western Province of Alberta were flooded out, with loss of lives and millions of dollars of property damage. The same thing happened in Northern India. Then, over the weekend a runaway freight train, supposed properly parked on a hill in the Province of Quebec, somehow got loose and rolled through the tourist town of Lac-Megantic.
 
Just imagine nuh, a freight train with seventy something tankers of volatile crude oil on the loose, derailing in the middle of town and bursting into flames in the late night, early morning hours. One eyewitness said, “It was like an apocalyptic vision.’ And you know what the apocalypse is supposed to be like; pure fire and brimstone. 
 
That’s not all either, for on the weekend a big passenger plane crash landed in San Francisco’s airport, killing many, with the plane catching fire after it landed. Luckily some people were able to get out through the emergency chutes before it went up in flames.
 
And then there’s the Islamist militants setting fire to a boarding school in Nigeria, killing around thirty innocent children. All in the name of Allah. Ah Lord eh! The things we claim to do in God’s name.
 
Now Friends, would you prefer to be involved in anyone of those disasters, or would you much prefer to get up from your comfortable bed and go to work, even though you don’t feel so hot? You don’t need to tell me the answer, because I already know it. So just offer the Lord some heartfelt thanks for your fairly safe situation, then get up and let us sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a loud voice and much enthusiasm, ever thankful that we’re alive without such disastrous problems. 
 
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!’
 
So now that we’re fully awake, let’s get a move on, out into the ungodly world and fight a good fight for Jesus, and praying for those people involved in those disasters we spoke about above. We might not be able to help them physically or monetarily, but we can certainly help them spiritually, with prayer, the most powerful force in the universe.
 
Now let’s see what our Bit has to offer. ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’
 
Sorry Friends, but yesterday Isaiah took up all our time and space. Today though I want to quickly point out some other scriptures that deal with our Bit. First up is Ezekiel, chapter 18, where he talks about the soul that sinneth dies, and tells us what the Lord requires of us. ‘And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence (robbed), hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment.’ (Ezek.18:7)
 
Oh my brethren it would do us well to read all of Ezekiel chapter 18, so that we can get the full import of God’s desires. Now listen to James on the subject. ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27)
 
And more James: ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 2:14-17)
 
And that’s gospel truth my brethren! We can have all the saving faith in the world, but if we don’t help anybody in need, our faith is basically useless. Yes, we will still get into heaven, because we believe in Jesus, but our rewards will be next to nothing, because we have not done any Jesus-like acts to earn them. 
 
Anyway Friends, I think we’ll end here, because time and space is running out, and I have to keep in mind our short attention spans and our oh so busy schedules. (smile) But the Lord in favour, we’ll continue with this topic tomorrow, because I believe it’s very important that we get the message; that it’s not about us and our talking faith, but our faith in action in helping others.
 
Till tomorrow then, may the Lord bless and keep us safely under His mighty wings of LOVE, and may He cause His peace that exceeds all understanding to flow through our hearts, as we go about our daily deeds, praising and glorifying His Holy Name. I pray this on the holy and innocent blood of Jesus shed on our behalf at Calvary. Much LOVE!
 
…to be a true follower of Jesus…we must pattern ourselves after Him…that means going about doing good…just as He did…