Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

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

Well it’s a bright Saturday morning in my area, and there seems to be nothing new under the sun, (smile) as Cousin Sol said so long ago. (Eccl. 1:9). The vote counting and ridiculous claims and incitement to unruly behaviour is still happening down south in the U.S. What a ridiculous example is being set by a once proud and mighty nation eh! But I guess as the ole people would say, ‘after one time is two.’ 

And as it happens with men and nations, when we get too big for our britches, we generally end up falling to our knees in misery and discord. Anyway, we’re still waiting to see how the drama, that rodeo down there plays out. But however it does play out, one thing is for sure, the results and ongoing sentiments won’t be nice and sweet and friendly. (smile) 

Enough on that topic now. It’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We only got three quotes this week, so that should make my life easier. (smile) And he is still prefacing them with ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are.’ So I won’t repeat it the preface, but please be careful to remember that we are only awesome in and with Jesus in our lives. (smile) 

And the first quote is ‘I don’t need someone else to feel happiness.’ And that’s oh so true. Too often though we depend on others to do or say things to make us happy. But please note that happiness is a feeling, a feeling which can be turned on and off at a whim, or change of circumstance. It’s a frail and fickle state or emotion, ofttimes with no suitable or strong foundation to keep it flowing. However, we are quite capable of raising that feeling of ebullience on our own. 

It’s become a habit though, to claim that so and so has made me unhappy, or happy. But the truth is that no one can really make us happy or unhappy but ourselves. We hold the key to either situation, by allowing others to influence us one way or another. Now joy is a different thing. That comes from a strong state of inward satisfaction, a solid foundation, which doesn’t change with every change of direction of the wind or life, and which even in tough situations, like we’re now facing, keeps us strong and steadfast. 

And it’s under those conditions that we can claim the next quote: ‘I’m calm, happy, and content. My imperfections make me unique.’ Now let’s deal with the last part of that quote first. Our imperfections don’t need to make us unique nuh, because our Creator has already done that. He made us in His own image, (Gen. 1:26) He blew His breath of life into our nostrils, (Gen. 2:7) That means each and every one of God’s creation is a unique being! There are no two people exactly alike. 

As Bruh David so famously said in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ (Ps. 139:14) Yes my people, we are all magnificent and unique creatures, but unfortunately not enough of us can lay true claim to the first part of the quote, because too many of us are not calm, happy and contented. Yes, the current situation of a pandemic and all sorts of strife is stressful and can tend to erode our calm and contented situation. 

However, if one’s foundation is built on Jesus, then friends, you can withstand anything, any kind of stress or strain or evil circumstance that tries to steal your joy and calm and contentment! For Jesus is our rock, our solid foundation! As Nehemiah said way back when, ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous acclamation and truthful proclamation eh! (smile) That’s why joy and happiness are different. For true joy comes from having Jesus in our hearts, but happiness is from man, that’s why it’s ephemeral; short-lived, flaky, vapour-like, with no solid foundation. And years later, Bruh Paul put it bluntly to the church at Corinth: ‘For no other foundation can no man lay than that that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.’ Yes my people, Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY true foundation of this world. He built it, and if and when necessary, He will destroy it. No man can do it unless He allows it. 

As the psalmist so avidly proclaimed long ago. ‘The stone which the builders refused (rejected) is become the headstone of the corner (chief headstone). This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.’ (Ps.118:22-23) Ah my fellow saints, Jesus came to earth to build His kingdom, but oh so many rejected and abused Him, and He even quoted that scripture in His relating of the parable of the wicked husbandmen. (Matt. 21:42) 

But thankfully, down through the ages, mankind has slowly woken up to the reality that Jesus is the only real Saviour available to ease hurts and pains and bring joy and gladness to the soul, and we have begun accepting Him as the foundation of our lives, though certainly not on a wide enough scale, so no wonder the minions of the evil one now have the world in grip, in a strangle hold, and causing endless strife and negative commotion. 

But my brethren, if Jesus is in our lives, then we will be okay, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and to work everything out for our good eventually. And He’s awesomely faithful in keeping His promises! So if things are rough right now and we are hurting and wounded and seeing no avenue for healing, don’t worry, come to Jesus, just as you are, and He will gladly accept and heal you. 

And that brings us to the last quote: ‘I’m allowed to take the time to heal.’ Oh hurting ones, fear not, Jesus is the original Healer, and He will take His take His time with ALL those who come to Him for succour in sincerity and truth! Hear His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And that’s the gospel truth people! Only in Jesus can a body find true joy and rest and healing and salvation! So please accept him today nuh. He’s knocking at the door to the hearts of ALL men. For your benefit, open up your heart and let Him in nuh. It will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the only place for ONE STOP shopping…He satisfies ALL your needs and wants…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2020 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.     ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Wow! It’s Tuesday already? Yes mih bredrin, Monday done, and Tuesday take over now! Reminds me of Sparrow’s famous kaiso – Jean and Dinah – ‘The Yankees gone, and Sparrow take over now.’ So we have to forget Monday and concentrate on Tuesday, because we can only live one day at a time, for that’s all we get, all the Lord’s given us; one day at a time. So let’s be upbeat as we declare that this is the day the Lord has given us, and then let’s rejoice in it, because it’s been given to us by the Lord for that exact purpose! 

Yeh, it might be a li’l confusing, but you know what I mean. (smile) Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! That’s what the people of God do, for they have seen the light in the darkness, and that light, that bright, shining light, whose name is Jesus, is oh so good! Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

Now here’s an interesting quote that the Director of Alumni Relations of the University of the West Indies, Celia Davidson Francis, recently shared in her news update, as an encouragement to us all in these trying times. It comes from the work of the French-Algerian, author, journalist and philosopher, Albert Camus (1913-1960). 

He said: “In the midst of hate, I found, there was within me, an invincible LOVE. In the midst of tears, I found, there was within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found, there was within me, and invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found, there was within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” 

And that’s the living truth my people! We all have that little space within us that’s been set there by our Creator, that can come up strong when things get tough. The only problem is that we have to activate it for it to come to life and help us stand strong and push back at our enemies. And for us believers in Christ Jesus, it’s His Holy Spirit that helps us activate that push back. But again, we have to listen to the prodding and pushing and pleading of the Holy Spirit, as it leads and guides us, else nothing positive will happen. 

And my fellow believers, do we ever need the wisdom and advice of the Holy Spirit in these turbulent times to help us be strong and steadfast and walk the straight and narrow path as we ought. And we can outlast these tough times by listening to the Holy Spirit that dwells within each one of us. That’s why Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) could say without any hesitation: ‘tough times don’t last, but tough people do.’ That’s because the Holy Spirit of God enables us to be tough and withstand the tough times. 

And do I ever get a high from, and have to chuckle at the mysterious ways and the faithfulness of our wonderful God! Yeh friends, I just decided to stop and look for a scripture to corroborate what I’ve been saying, so I turned to the opened Good Book next to me. I hadn’t looked at it before, just saw that it had opened at Isaiah when I opened it earlier. And lo, and behold, what do you think I espied with my own two little eyes eh? (smile) This most amazing and encouraging verse that so deftly describes the actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives. ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is. 30:21) 

Oh my people, that’s what Isaiah said to the Israelites many moons ago when he appealed to them to turn to the Lord for help. But thankfully that has all changed for the better, because with the coming of Jesus and the New Covenant, each and every believer, as soon as they accept Christ as Lord and Saviour receives the Holy Ghost as well, who comes to dwell within them to lead and guide them into all righteousness! 

Glory be mih people! How blessed are we to have the Holy Spirit of God Himself dwelling within us, showing us the way to live a godly and righteous, a joyful and abundant life! Mama Yo! We couldn’t ask for anything more or anything better! Our big problem though is that we don’t listen, and/or we don’t hear. 

Now listening and hearing are two entirely different things. The first means an active act or expectation of hearing something at some time or other. It’s like faith, so we’re paying attention, waiting with great expectation. Meanwhile, hearing is basically anything and everything that’s going through our ear-waves, stuff that we’re not necessarily expecting or paying particular attention to, stuff that we can ignore or do with as we please. However, as believers, we are supposed to listen to, to expect that still, small voice that’s the Holy Spirit to talk to us, to lead and guide us in the way we should go. 

Now too many of us don’t listen for that still small voice, or if we do, when we hear it, we ignore it’s advice. So what else can we expect but unwise doings then eh? Remember Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples? ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-17) 

And Jesus did fulfill that promise at the first day of Pentecost after He ascended back to heaven. That day all the disciples were sitting together in a room ready to enjoy the feast day; ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Oh mih people, what a glorious day that was; the day when believers were first baptized with the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised in Acts 1:5. ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And from that day onwards, all believers receive the Holy Ghost to indwell them, when they accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour! What a magnanimous and magnificent Deity we serve and worship my brethren! 

So let’s go home now letting all and sundry know who we are, and to whom we belong, by declaring (awrightttt!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

It now behooves us to go out and show that trust and spread that wonderful LOVE with those who don’t know Christ. Much LOVE!

…you can’t hear…if you don’t listen…and you can’t be successful…if you don’t obey… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   ​Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 

Well friends, the ole fella is up much earlier than he would have liked, but that’s because I have to go into the city to check on this ole heart of mine, to keep the appointment I missed during the big snow storm last week. And since I don’t want leave you all bereft of spiritual succour for too long, (smile) I had to get up earlier to write the Bit and get out on time. Last week it was an afternoon appointment, so I had time to palaver, but this week it’s in the morning. That’s how much the ole fella cares about you! Glory to God! 

So what shall we talk about this Wednesday morning, this Ash Wednesday morning, when all the frivolities and sinfulness of Carnival finish eh? I don’t have a clue! (smile) Hope those of you who participated in the festivities, wherever in the world, had a good time and didn’t go too much overboard and thus give the enemy some ungodly purchase in your souls, because it’s very easy to do that when you let your hair down, as so many of us do, at Carnival time. 

But now it’s the season of Lent in the Christian calendar; forty days and forty nights, a reflection of Jesus forty days and nights in the wilderness before He began His ministry and was tempted by Satan, but stood strong in His resolve to do the Father’s work. It’s a time where we hopefully get more spiritual, contemplate the things of God more, get into Bible Studies and spend more serious time with God. 

It’s when fasting and praying and self-examination become a larger part of our lives. The popular action is to give up things we enjoy for Lent. I don’t know if it really makes a difference to most of us, who just do it because it’s the norm, but if it helps to bring us closer to God, then so be it. Now let’s look at what happened to Jesus in the wilderness and how He handled it all. 

The Good Book says: ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

And the scholars have a long, involved explanation which I’ll share. ‘4:1. Following His public baptism, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness referring to the elevation of the Judean wilderness. The historical setting of the temptation, which was directed against Jesus’ human nature, indicates that this was a literal experience, which He really conquered, not merely a mental victory over His own thoughts. 

That Jesus was tempted of the devil is clearly presented as a fact. The attack against Christ’s humanity was a genuine temptation that would have overcome any ordinary man. However, Jesus was no mere man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (cf. 1 Sam.15:29), and this held His human nature in check. Some have objected that the impeccability of Christ (that He was not able to sin) denies the reality of Satan’s temptation. 

Such an objection is meaningless when one remembers that Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is nevertheless real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true of the temptation of Christ. One may attack a battleship with a canoe. The outcome of the attack will be certain defeat for the canoe, but the attack is nonetheless real.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus was indeed tempted of the devil, but did not succumb to that temptation, as the Good Book tells us. ‘And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered (hungry). And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:2-4) 

Yes my people, that temptation was real, and Jesus was there quoting Moses’ words of Deut.8:3, where he reminded the Israelites how the Lord humbled them in the wilderness and made them eat manna so that they could know that He was God, and that bread was not the most important thing in their lives, but His Word. As the scholars put it: ‘The source of bread, is more important than the bread itself.’ Oh so true my fellow believers! 

Before we close today though, I want to share some more of the scholars’ insight into Jesus fasting. ‘4:2-3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, a remarkable feat of human endurance, indicating the physical strength of the former carpenter. While the three major tests followed this period, other tests evidently had occurred throughout the 40 days (Luke 4:2). 

His real physical hunger serves as the setting for the first temptation by the tempter (Satan). The conditional clause, If thou be the Son of God, indicates Matthew’s purpose for including this record of Jesus’ victory: it proves that He is, in fact, the Son of God.’ 

Yes friends, He was indeed the Son of God, and Satan knew this to be a fact, that’s why He tried to break down His hungry human nature with the temptation of bread, knowing that a great victory would be his if Jesus succumbed. But instead Jesus stood strong and steadfast and rebuked the enemy and won the victory! All praise and honour to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Now friends, it’s our turn to stand strong and steadfast against the evil enemy! We don’t naturally have all the parts and power that Jesus had, but He’s faithfully promised that through His Holy Spirit, He will empower us to rebuke the tempter when He comes a calling in our earthly lives. And He’ll do just that if we sincerely turn to Him for help! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Wailing as one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Ah mih people, it will indeed be so very wonderful in those future times, that our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it! Think on it, and let Jesus warm the cockles of our hearts this Ash Wednesday morning! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time of personal introspection…and a closer look at the kingdom of God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2017 Mark 13:13.

Mark 13:13.    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And then it was Saturday mih breddren; a day for lazing around for some lucky ones, while others will be forced to do household chores ignored during the week, or go grocery shopping… 

Chuh! It’s always something eh? Whatever happened to the glorious promises that technological innovation would make our lives easier eh? Our lives are busier than they ever were! Yes we have much more stuff, but we also have much more stuff to look after. Anyway friends, there’s no need to worry, for it’s all under God’s mighty and wise control! Glory to Him in the highest! 

But it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Be congruent (in harmony, together), be authentic, be your true self. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ 

Ah friends, that’s how we ought to be, but in these fraudulent, selfish times, too many people are not their true selves, they are two-faced for whatever reason, thus they cannot live in harmony with themselves.  

And then there’s this one: ‘See the good in people and help them. I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.’ That’s a very good philosophy my people. We should always look for the good in others, but in these current times, we still need to be very careful about whom we let into our private space.  

Now listen to this quote: ‘Take care of this moment. I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.’ Much truth lies in that. Jesus said that if we sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all we needed to lead a good life would be provided. 

Then He concluded: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) That simply means that every day will take care of itself if you are living under the umbrella of the heavenly Father. 

And I like this last quote. ‘Persist. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Yes, precious people of God,, there’s an awful lot to be said about persistence. It will get us through the most agonizing and harrowing experiences or situations when nothing else will. 

And we have one of the best examples of that in our Bit. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ 

Ah friends, those are the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, expressed in the course of telling His disciples about the signs for the end times. Please note that those who shall be saved, are those who endure, persist, have the patience, the belly and backbone to stand up until the end, against all the evil and unjust stuff that will come against believers. 

And we are seeing a lot of that stuff happening nowadays my fellow believers, which means we have to band our bellies and stand strong and steadfast in Jesus’ name, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. We can’t afford to fall down, give up, and whimper out in fear now. This is the most crucial time in our history; a time when the sheep will be separated from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus, while the goats will lust for Beelzebub. 

And we will invoke the eternal wisdom of the author of the Hebrews. Hear this classic verse. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

What a magnificent verse of scripture that is my brethren! So strong that it ought to light a fire under us in these end times! We need lots of patience, perseverance and endurance my people if we’re going to fight the good fight for Christ! 

And to boost our spirits and courage at this stage of the game, please listen to Jesus’ promise as told by Luke. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

What a promise mih people! Not a hair on our heads will perish if we stand up strong under the persecution that will come against us. Wow! And we all know that Jesus is ever-faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So please hold on strong, stand in unity, because together we’re much stronger than apart. 

Let’s raise up Christ’s church as we’re supposed to nuh. This is the time when all Christians must come together, regardless of colour, class, creed or race. Let’s do it for Jesus. It’s the least we can do for all that He’s done for us. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2016 Exodus 33:14

Exodus 33:14.   And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Awright my fellow believers, it’s the first day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means we need to be making our way to church at some stage of the day, to praise and worship and rejoice and fellowship with other believers. Now that’s not my directive, but our God’s.  (Ex.20:8-11) 

So if we want to be truly obedient then we will gladly do His will and don’t behave like it’s pulling teeth, like we’re being forced to go, and if we don’t, hellfire and brimstone might fall down on us. Now it just might… (smile)  

But please remember friends, this is for our good, not for God’s. He already has all He wants, and whether we praise and worship Him or not, will not change His situation, but it will surely change ours. 

So let’s stop being, stubborn, hardhearted and foolish and get ourselves to the Lord’s sanctuary, so that we can receive His blessings, mercy, encouragement, LOVE and revitalization to face tomorrow and the rest of the week strong and steadfast. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! All power and glory be unto Him!’ 

Ah mih people, what’s happening to our faith today eh? There seems to be more churches of different denominations, or no denomination, than ever before, but overall the total number of worshippers doesn’t seem to be increasing that much. What seems to be happening is that believers are leaving one church for another, so while some churches are packed to capacity, others are almost empty, especially of the youth of our society. 

It also seems that the youth of today can’t handle the staid, dirge-like, old fashioned worship of the established churches, and when they do go to church are opting for the more modern, new-fangled style of worship. Now that is something the established churches will have to figure out if they intend to survive this boomer generation. They’ll definitely have to invoke God’s wisdom and discernment to fix that problem. 

But enough preamble, let’s turn to our Bit. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ 

Oh friends, whenever we sincerely seek the Lord and diligently try to be obedient to His will, His presence surrounds us like a warm, protective blanket in the heart of winter. Hn! Many of us could use one of those blankets right about now, as the cold weather refuses to depart in peace from the northern climes. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to some scripture to corroborate the words of our Bit. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing – after Nathan the prophet had draped him up for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. 

He cries out to God for mercy and cleansing, admitting his sin: ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 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.51:7-13) 

Oh precious people, can you imagine the state Bruh David must have been in when he realized that God had marked his selfish and foolish abominations, after He had been so good and generous to him. Note his words in verse 11: ‘Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.’ He knew how essential it was to be in God’s presence, with His Holy Spirit leading him. Without those two things, he might as well be dead.  

And on a more current and sadder note, I recently read in the newspapers about Glen Campbell’s losing fight with Alzheimer’s disease. We all remember him from his hit making days, with songs like ‘Rhinestone Cowboy, By the time I get to Phoenix,’ and my personal favourite ‘Gentle on my mind.’ 

Now, at age 79, he’s living in a memory care community in Nashville, apparently not even able to play the guitar anymore. How sad. But his wife Kim had this to say: ‘Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God. 

There have been times when he’d walk over to the window and look at the beautiful trees outside, and he’d just raise his hands and say, “Thank you, heavenly father.” He could barely speak at all, but he could come up with “We’re so blessed,” or “Thank you heavenly father.” 

That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone, even if I’m not right next to him.’ 

And all God’s people said, ‘Amen.’ 

Let’s hope and pray friends, that any of us who head down that sad and lonely road, will also feel the comforting presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, even though we can’t put it into words. 

Now let’s end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. And every time I read the words or hear it spoken, I remember the most memorable reading of it I’ve ever heard, that by Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) one day from the Crystal Cathedral. The way he acted it out, it got stuck in my mind forever. 

Listen to these most appropriate words. ‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover (fall on, hide) me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps.139:7-12) 

And all of that is gospel truth friends! We can’t run nor hide from God, even if we are foolish enough to try. So please, today, let’s go about obediently doing His will nuh, for it’s in our best interest to do so. Much LOVE!

…to be eternally in God’s awesome presence…is why we were created…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8‏

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well friends, it’s a bright and sunny, though somewhat chilly morning in my area. But yuh know what, it’s so beautiful that we won’t even notice the chill because our hearts, minds, bodies and souls are concentrated, are completely focused on Almighty God! 

And when that happens, brother, nothing gets in the way of His work, His praise and glory! 

And all God’s children said a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for He is indeed a great and wonderful God!’ 

And that He is my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. For who else would have sacrificed His only Son so that he could provide a way out of eternal death for a bunch of human ingrates eh? Absolutely no other Deity! 

And for that we ought to be eternally grateful. Just look at how we’ve been celebrating the wonder, the majesty, the LOVE, the magnanimity and faithfulness of Christ’s resurrection these past few days nuh. 

It’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to sinful man! And though we especially celebrate it around Easter time, we ought to remember and be thankful for it each and every day of our lives, both the mortal and the eternal one. 

And since today is Wednesday, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with truth, sincerity and great passion, for those three things, especially passion, are sadly lacking in the believers’ lives these days. And unfortunately, we can’t be successful at anything, unless there’s noticeable passion in our behaviour. 

As one wailer now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my brethren, isn’t it great to be alive and walking in step with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Oh it surely is! There’s absolutely nothing else like it in this evil and ungodly world! 

And without further ado, we’ll get right to our Bit, because we have plenty appropriate scripture to share this morning. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’  

Yes friends, that is what our great God said to His people through Moses long long ago, and it is the same thing He’s still saying to us today. So why are we so anxious, doubtful and fearful of life eh? 

That attitude surely doesn’t deserve the name of Christianity for we’ve been assured on numerous occasions in the Good Book and our individual lives that our omnipotent and ever-faithful God will lead and guide us and never forsake us. 

So let’s look at some scriptures that declare such assuredness, and which will hopefully strengthen us in these sad and trying times. Listen to this proclamation from earlier on in Deuteronomy, when Moses gave the Israelites laws concerning war. 

‘And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies to save you.’ (Deut.20:2-4) 

Oh precious people, what encouragement and assurance that is! And it still holds true for us today, when we go out to fight our daily battles against the godless and the heathen who are so desperately trying to remove Jehovah God from our society. 

And that, my fellow believers, is something we must never allow to happen. And they are using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer against us. Note the amount of division and disharmony amongst the Christian element. Lucifer and his evil cronies are not so divided and disharmonious, that’s why they are holding the upper hand right now. 

But as strong and true believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we need to strenuously fight back and regain the lost territory. Jesus’ LOVE Revolution depends solely on us. If we don’t fight seriously, He would have died in vain. 

And just think about it nuh, our God has promised to go before us and lead us and not forsake nor leave us. What more can we ask eh? Nothing really! 

And we’ll end with one more promise of faithfulness on the part of our immortal God; this from when He handed over the leadership of the Israelites to Joshua, after Moses’ death. 

‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

Oh friends, Joshua would have been rather foolish not to believe God’s promise, especially after he had seen God’s mighty work and miracles throughout the Exodus from Egypt. 

Now please let us believe that promise which is also being held out to us today, especially when we are confronted by the miraculous and LOVING work carried out by God in the resurrection of Jesus. There’s no reason to fear, my people, when Jesus is foremost, is front and centre in our lives. 

So if He isn’t there today, please, please, let’s put Him there nuh, so that we can go out and be strong and steadfast and do His work without fear or anxiety. This I pray, in His Holy Name. Much LOVE!

…with Jesus leading the way…Christians have no reason whatsoever to be anxious or afraid…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2016 John 3:16‏

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh Friends, oh friends, it’s just one of those days! Hn! I got up at a much earlier hour, but found that it was too early, so I went back to bed. Unfortunately, it was two hours later that I finally arose. I guess the body was crying out for more rest, and the Lord in His wisdom obliged. At least that’s my take on the subject. (smile) 

And even though it was minutes to nine when I got up, outside still looked damp and bleak, no sunshine or nothing to uplift the spirits. What a good thing it is that we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the bright sunshine of our spiritual lives to look forward to yes! Otherwise facing these cold and dreary winter mornings and days would be even harder to bear. 

And all God’s people said a thankful ‘Glory to God!’ 

Yes my people He definitely deserves all the honour and glory! So let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with much sincerity, enthusiasm and gratitude nuh. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Ah mih breddren, how good it is to be alive, despite the gloomy weather and all the other negatives in our lives! And is it ever so wonderful that we can look forward to a glorious future with our Friend, Brother, Lord, Saviour, Provider and Redeemer Jesus Christ! What a magnificent Being He is, playing so many different parts in our lives! 

But please remember that we have to do our part too to make that wonderful future come true; we have to stay strong and steadfast, with our hands fixed securely on the plough, looking straight ahead, not backward, so that we can plough straight furrows, and thus do the work that Jesus desires of us. 

And here is the most wonderful news of all, as stated by our Bit: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

What a blessed day that was my people! And it’s so sad that so many people don’t know about Him, or His purpose for coming. And even sadder, that so many who do know about Jesus, don’t seriously consider Him or make Him an integral part of their lives. 

That’s not wisdom at all friends, especially when this is what God’s plan and purpose states. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

Oh what a most remarkable plan and purpose my brethren!  But are we making use of that wonderful opportunity so graciously and mercifully laid out for us? No! Definitely not as much as we ought to! 

And why not eh? Possibly because of our natural rebellious and sinful nature, plus the hold that the lust for the things of the world has on us. 

And it’s such an easy method to accept Christ. The Good Book tells us: ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:18) 

And the scholars have an interesting take on this verse. ‘3:18. This verse answers the question, “Why do people go to hell?” It is because they do not believe in Jesus.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s so simple, plain and straightforward; believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved, spend eternity with Him. The other side of the coin is if you don’t believe, you’ll die an eternal death, spending time with Lucifer in Hades. 

Now which is the better choice eh? From all I’ve seen, read and heard, the first option appears to be the much better one, and that is why like Joshua, I’m proud to say, that as for me and mine, we will serve the Lord God Jehovah! Glory Hallelujah my people! 

There is absolutely no better purpose on this great earth that our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God has created! All I can do though is present the facts as they are, each individual then has the responsibility as to whom or what they will follow. 

But please, please don’t wait too long to make that momentous decision, because Jesus has promised to come back at some time, any time in the future, and when He does, all bets will be off the table. 

So please grab a whole of Him and His purpose as soon as possible, preferably RIGHT NOW, since one never knows, He can even return today or tomorrow. 

And we’ll end with these self-explanatory verses from the Bible. ‘And this is the condemnation, that (the) light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 

For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.’ (John 3:19-21) 

Oh friends, I implore us to seriously and sincerely ponder those verses and make the wise decision to follow Jesus TODAY! 

Much LOVE!…I will follow Jesus…wherever He may lead…for He is indeed the Good Shepherd…