Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2019 1 John 5:13.

1 John 5:13.    ​These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
 
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY U.S. OF A!

 

Yes while we are working today, the U.S is celebrating their Independence Day! And those who can swing it might be able to make it a four-day weekend! Just think on that nuh! (smile) But I’ll tell our U.S friends and family members the same thing I told the Canadian section last Monday, when we celebrated our Independence Day; be careful, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business,’ because if you don’t, the devil will mind it for you. That’s for certain sure. So please be aware while you’re celebrating.  

Now earlier on in the week we talked about the secondary message in John’s first epistle; that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)  Today I want to delve into the primary message of the epistle: ‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’ 

Ah mih people, what a blessed message! We have eternal life because we believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God! Glory to the Lamb who was slain for us! The sad part is that not all of us are assured of the fact that we are saved and heading for heaven. And the scholars offer this exhaustive explanation about assurance that I think I should share. 

‘5:13. The scriptures clearly teach that it is possible to know whether you are saved or unsaved. The assurance of the believer is not based on feeling, (though the Christian may “feel” saved), but on the principles of God’s Word. We can know we are saved because Christ is in our hearts (Col.1:27; 1 John 5:12), because of the witness of the Word of God (vs.10-11), because of answered prayer (John 14:14; 1 John 5:14-15), because of our understanding of the Scriptures (vs.20), because we keep His commandments (2 Cor.5:17; 1 John 5:18), because we LOVE the brethren (3:14), and because we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:16). 

Illustration: Paul claimed to have this inner confidence and was fully persuaded concerning the keeping power of God in salvation (2 Tim.1:12). Application: Because of this assurance, the believer need not be ashamed of Christ, even when He finds himself in difficult circumstances (2 Tim.1:12). First Ref. Gen.15:13; Primary Ref. 1 John 5; cf. John 10:28).’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s sure a lot of Scriptures to look up! But if we are in any doubt at all about our deliverance, about our saved state, then we should look them up. And even if we’re sure about it, we should still check them out, because in this evil day and age, we all need as much reassurance as we can get. And just for your info, I took a few minutes to look up those scriptures my brethren, and are they ever interesting and most reassuring! (smile) 

I can’t share them all here, but check out these two that follow our Bit. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired (asked) of Him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) And the scholars tell us: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (vs.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’ 

Yeh friends, please remember that: we can ask for anything we want, but our prayers are most effective when they are in line with God’s will! And I want to share one more scripture here dealing with something that’s ever so pervasive in our Christian society today; that’s being ashamed of Christ, being afraid to acknowledge Him in public. 

Ah friends too many of us today are in actual fact ashamed of Christ, but you can’t be saved and/or go to heaven if you refuse to acknowledge His presence in your life. Remember Jesus said it plainly: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

Yeh friends, you can’t be a Christian in secret, at least not in our free religious society. So please stop being ashamed of Christ! Stop letting the enemy make us afraid of possible negative consequences or otherwise. We keep saying that anything and everything is possible with God, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us…Well let’s show that in public nuh, let’s stop being wishy-washy and fearful! 

Let’s say and do like Bruh Paul, who, in writing to Timothy admonished: ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.’ (2 Tim.1:12)

Yes my people, Christ is indeed able to keep us assured until the judgement day! But we have to first believe it and then work at it! It doesn’t just happen by osmosis! So with that point made and our assurance of salvation being reassured, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings; those wonderful promises that the Lord has showered down on us to enable us to do His work. 

In strong voice and full belief now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh how blessed we are my fellow saints in Christ! But please remember that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…no need to worry…true believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit…until the day of Salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2019 Matthew 5: 13a;14a.

Matthew 5:13a;14a.    ​Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.
 

Well like another beautiful summer’s day is in the offing friends! Glory to our great God! How many is that eh…like four straight without any serious rain during the day! Mama Mia! 

And with Jesus riding a sure shotgun with us, how can we not make assured and confident declarations (steups!) as these: ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ I am above and not beneath. The head and not the tail.’ (Deut.28:13) ‘I am more than a conqueror, through Christ who LOVES me!’ (Rom.8:37) ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Glory to God my brethren! And I can speak personally to that last acclamation because that’s exactly what our God is doing in my life right now, making me strong and steadfast after all the medical problems I’ve experienced over the last few years. Yes friends, our God won’t allow us to go through what He’s not prepared to bring us through. 

But please remember, oftimes we need to go through the fire, not escape it, if, like silver and gold we need to be purified, and thus increase our worth and value with greater faith. And to help us believe that, here is this encouraging quote from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the pastor, positive thinker, and author of several books, amongst which is the memorable one, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking.’ 

Dr. Peale reputedly said: ‘Hope is the great power that can move you to success. Why? Because when a man expects to win, he does not hold anything back, but gives his project all that he’s got. Most people fail not because they lack ability, intelligence, or opportunity, but they fail because they don’t give it all they’ve got.’ 

Words of absolute truth my people, especially in this lazy, sitting on one’s laurels, expecting someone else to do it society in which we’re currently living! We’ve become so addicted to easy and cheap and right away, that putting out any extra effort is anathema, repellant, repugnant, to us, even when the extra effort will assure us of success. 

But friends, if we’re living and working for Jesus, then we’re required to make that extra effort, to go that extra mile, because that’s what His economy is based on. In fact no economy whatsoever can succeed unless that extra effort becomes a basic part of it. Only when one is diligent and hardworking and pursues excellence, will one be successful! 

No wonder our society is on its way down and out, because those elements are conspicuously lacking from it. But if we supposed believers actually behaved like real believers, and not like worldly people, you’d be surprised to see the difference in our world. But we only talk a good talk, and not walk the good walk we’re supposed to. That’s why the evil element of the world is now holding the upper hand. 

Remember what Jesus declared and expected of us: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.’ But somewhere along the way we have lost our salty flavour and have hidden our lights under a bushel? Why? Perhaps through fear of the enemy, or more likely the extra effort it takes to be bright and salty. 

But look at what Jesus said about those situations nuh: ‘but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’  (Matt.5:13) And also: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, as a group, the church, the body of Christ, we have lost our salty flavour and our light is no longer shining forth into this evil world as brightly as it ought to, and thus we are being trodden underfoot by the rulers of darkness. Now that is a most untenable situation in the sight of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who admonished us to: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) And unless we obey that command, then the church, Christianity will be of very li’l or no use to mankind. 

Hear this most interesting explanation from the scholars on all that nuh. ‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is a basket. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

Oh friends, the Christian body, the church today is certainly not helping to reduce the world’s depravity, in fact it is contributing greatly to it, because we have become like the world, seeking the things of the world more than the things of God! Just look at the immorality, the scandals, the evil doings that are daily being uncovered in our churches eh! No wonder the unbelievers look at us and laugh and rightly shout out ‘Hypocrites!’ 

But to those of us who sincerely try to be salt and light, let’s go home today declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has generously granted us to help us in our earthly work. As one, with sincere belief now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And unfortunately, I have to remind us every week, that those blessings were not granted to us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate, as we spread our salty flavour and shine the light of Jesus throughout this dark world! Much LOVE!

…how can we say we LOVE Jesus…and are a part of His body…his church…when we ‘re not doing as He commands eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2019 James 5:16.

James 5:16.   ​Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.
 

 

Once more dear friends, once more unto the breach, for Christ’s sake, in His mighty name! Yes, the evil and ungodly walls of the world are just waiting to fall, to crumble to the ground, like those of Jericho did so long ago! They only need us, Christ’s saints to get going and walk our walk! 

Note, for the first six days the priests blew their ram’s horns, but the people only marched, only walked, didn’t say anything. Then on the seventh day, they marched around it seven times, blew their trumps and shouted, and those massive, seemingly impregnable walls of Jericho just cane crumbling down! 

Wow! It’s the same way the walls of our current world will come tumbling down if we do more Christian walking and Christ-like doing than the great amount of talking at which we’re so adept! (smile) 

And the first order of the day is to offer up some sincere and heartfelt prayer for Alyssa, the daughter of one of our Scrip-Bit family members, who’s undergoing some serious surgery this morning, as we speak. Please, let’s pray that the Lord will strengthen her, both in body and spirit so that she can undergo the rigours of the surgery – and believe me, surgery is very rigorous, takes a lot out of you. 

And that He will also guide the hands of the medical team doing the surgery, and finally bless the family with strength and faith so that they can accept His faithful promise to work everything out for good! In Christ’s name we pray! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘AMEN!’ 

Yes mih people, prayer ought to be as important to our Christian family of faith, as breath is to our earthly lives. For just like our physical body dies if it doesn’t have a refreshed and renewed air flow, so too does our spiritual man suffer death without continual sincere and heartfelt prayer. That’s because it’s our all-important method of communicating with our heavenly Father who created us and so generously gave us His breath of life! 

That’s why we’ve been instructed so often to pray. The Lord said it to Cousin Sol so long ago, when he dedicated the temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place (the temple).’ (2 Chr.7:14-15) 

And Jesus said it in even fewer words. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) Ah friends, that’s where prayer power comes in. When we’re likely to falter and give up, that’s when we need prayer most! 

But then too, prayer isn’t just mouthing words. Listen to how Jesus puts it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive it.’ (Matt.21:22) And please note the most important word in that sentence is ‘believing.’ For prayer without belief, without faith is useless! And Bruh Paul says we should pray ‘always.’ (Eph.6:18) We should also pray ‘without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) As well as pray ‘everywhere.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Oh precious people of God, you can see how important prayer is in our lives. But another very important aspect of prayer is our praying for each other, not merely our selves. As James so eloquently tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’  

And several times in his epistles, Bruh Paul asked the receivers of those messages to pray for him, that he would stand strong and steadfast in Christ’s name and be effective in his ministry. And somehow, I can’t seem to find any but this one right now (smile) ‘Brethren, pray for us.’ (1 Thess.5:25) 

And James’ theory is proven oh so well by this bit of scripture from long, long ago. When the people of Israel complained about the lack of meat in the wilderness after coming out of slavery in Egypt, ‘it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled (aroused); and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts (outskirts) of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched (extinguished).’ (Num.11:1-2) 

Yeh friends, we learn two important lessons from that scripture; be careful of our complaining, for the Lord doesn’t take well to too much complaining, especially when He believes He’s doing a good thing for us. And secondly, the prayer of a righteous person can indeed be very effective. 

So with those two lessons burning through our souls, bodies and minds, let’s go home today declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings nuh. Blessings we haven’t earned, and don’t deserve, but which our great God, in His awesome generosity, has seen fit to bestow on us. 

All together now, in sincere appreciation: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes mih breddren, yes! What a magnanimous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus Christ so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…heavenly blessings are meant for generous sharing…not for selfish hoarding…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2019 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   ​Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 
To all my Scrip-Bit friends and family, ‘beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!’ Yes fellow saints in Christ, may God’s grace and peace be with us this day, as we go out to do His will. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of Bruh Paul’s favourite greeting. ‘1:7. Called to be saints: This tells how they got to be saints, namely by way of God’s call. (cf. Rom.8:30) Grace is the typical Greek greeting, whereas peace is the traditional Hebrew greeting.’ 

So canny man that he was, Bruh Paul put the two together to make his own. And believe you me friends, we need both the grace and peace of God, everyday we awaken to the cacophony and evil that’s currently going on in our world, if we’re to ever make a move forward! They are the only things that will keep us steady and steadfast and allow us to manoeuvre successfully in this world. 

And what is grace you ask? It’s simply God’s unmerited favour! He gives us stuff that we don’t deserve; stuff to help us get through this life in His way, as we seek first His kingdom. Just like mercy is basically not receiving the punishment we truly deserve. Yeh, they are simple terms, but are they ever important and effective if we want to live a truly Christian life! 

And peace…Oh friends, that’s the most wonderful of all God’s valued gifts. For when there is peace in your soul and spirit nothing moves you, nothing disturbs your equilibrium! Even in the most dangerous and life threatening storms you are calm and unmoveable because you have that wonderful peace of Jesus within you! Wow! 

And what kind of peace are we talking about, what peace is that, that’s so powerful it can calm us even in the time of storm? Remember, He’s the man who literally calmed the storm! ‘Even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) Oh friends, there is ONLY one kind of peace that’s so powerful, and that is the peace we receive from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when we sincerely believe in and follow Him! 

And all His saints gratefully cried out: ‘Thank You Lord Jesus! Thank You for Your amazing peace so that we can handle this crazy, strife-filled, ungodly and evil world!’ And why is this peace so different from any other kind of peace? Because it comes from Jesus and it’s just different. Hear him tell it: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

Hello there mih breddren! Jesus’ peace is nothing like what the world offers, because He’s conquered the world and all it’s evil, and like a mighty conqueror gives his citizens peace after the war, so does Jesus give His peace when you come to Him in humble sincerity. Hear these winning words of His later on. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 1:33) 

Glory to God my people! Jesus, by His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, has indeed defeated hell, death and the grave and taken away the keys from the evil one. Therefore in that immortal victory, all of His followers can find a substantial peace, a peace that’s not available to anyone else, or from anywhere else! 

As Bruh Paul so appropriately declared (yeh!) to the Romans: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-38) 

Mama Yo! What powerful and reassuring scriptures my brethren! If we sincerely believe in Jesus then all the problems of the world will not separate us from His awesome, amazing and ever-so-wonderful LOVE! That’s the power that’s found in Him! And you see it in Bruh Paul’s own life. All the trials and tribulation he endured, didn’t turn him away from Christ! In fact it made him stronger! 

As he said so powerfully in his missive to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul wisely put his guilt from his earlier harassment of the church, as well as all his previous successes in building Christ’s church behind him, so that he could press on to the high calling of God, meaning there was still work to be done, and he could not afford to rest on his laurels. 

Oh my people, the same thing applies to us today. Please, let’s put all our guilt and whatever else behind us and press forward to the high calling that God has in store for each and every one of us! It’s time we took the bull by the horns and just moved forward as one, as one body, as Christ’s strong and immovable church! Amen! (smile) 

And with that stirring plea, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings, outlining some of the grace that our God has so plentifully bestowed on us as believers in His only Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In full voice, sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Glory be mih people! But please note the proviso in that bountiful display of grace: we are not to hoard it, but to share it generously with others, just like Christ shared it generously with us! Much LOVE!

…sailing in this life… with Jesus as your guide and pilot…NO storm can disturb your peace of mind…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2019 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, how good it is to be alive on this Saturday morning in May, the Victoria Day long weekend! Brother, life might not always be great, but it sure is good to be living with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, our Immanuel, and the many other things He means to us! Glory to His holy name! The Name that’s higher than any other name in the universe, and the one that all knees will eventually bow to! 

Wow! That’s our Jesus! Give Him much praise and glory my people! Exalt His name in all the earth, as Bruh David so rightly says! Oh, I guess the ole fella is really feeling it this morning! (smile) But why not eh? Life might not be fair, but our wonderful God is Good! That’s all we can ask! And as the man said: ‘Don’t ever confuse life with God, cause they are two entirely different things! 

Now let’s see if I can get my head around these quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. (smile) It’s not always easy. And we’ll begin with this one: ‘Don’t find the fault, find the remedy.’ 

And oh, are we ever so good at finding fault in this modern day society. It’s known as the blame game, and we play it so well. But as the saying goes too, ‘If you’re not a part of the answer, then you’re a part of the problem!’ So let’s just remember that today nuh, and act accordingly. 

And then there is this: ‘Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.’ I don’t know if it’s the beginning of delusion or not, but I do know that you will get nowhere in this earthly life without discipline…and plenty of it too. For everything you attempt to do down here on earth requires discipline to some degree or other. 

So mouthing a lot of proactive words but not doing what it takes to put them into action, is a useless exercise. Remember friends, though our words have power, they don’t manifest themselves without some kind of action on our part! 

Now hear this: ‘Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.’ And that is ever so true my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! The evil and ungodly world in which we dwell considers success as rising high in power, politics, wealth and other worldly things. 

But in Jesus’ economy, those things are mostly colour commentary. What He considers important is what you’ve done to help your fellow man, how you’ve tried to pursue peace and LOVE in His name! That’s because all the things the world considers important are but fleeting treasures which you can’t take with you to eternal life! 

But the peace, LOVE and goodness of Jesus go with you till eternity! So please, let’s stop trying to run down the things of the world nuh, because we’ll only kill ourselves in the process, then have to leave it all to others here to waste and fight over. 

And then we have this interesting quote: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ Now there is a lot of truth in that. If you inspire others to rise above their current station in life, be it for good or evil, then you do have some leadership qualities. 

Jesus just wants you to inspire others to do good and not evil, as the Good Book says of Him. ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’ (Acts 10:38) Oh my people, there is no better example in God’s great world for us to follow than that of Jesus! 

And that brings us to our last quote which encapsulates all the others that have gone before. It seems like our friend Anselm was on a leadership kick this week. (smile)  But this last one says: ‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’ And that’s no lie! Else why would you follow someone if they don’t give you hope in whatever area you’re choosing to follow them in eh? No reason whatsoever! You might as well just do it yourself! 

The sad part though is that leaders are also human and thus have Achilles heels so they can sometimes fall apart or lead us astray. But friends the greatest Leader in this universe is our one and only Leader, Jesus Christ! Talk about being the Master of Hope! Hn! He has that name so cornered that it’s impossible to ever take it away from Him! 

Just look at the things He’s done for us nuh! Coming down from His comfortable perch in heaven to die for a bunch of ungrateful sinners! Going to the cross with nary a whimper, like a lamb being led to innocent slaughter, suffering the ultimate in humiliation, shame and ‘sufferation,’ just because the Father asked him to. 

So that we could have hope for a better tomorrow; a tomorrow not wrecked by sin, shame and eternal damnation, but one securely and sincerely rooted in peace, LOVE, mercy, grace, forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, salvation and eternal life! 

Wow! Which other Leader has ever promised that kind of stuff eh, much less given it like Jesus has? NONE!That’s why Jesus is the GREATEST: because He gives us the most HOPE of any Leader that this unfortunate world has ever known! Listen to these immortal words of His: ‘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!’ 

Now where else is it possible to find such HOPE like that eh friends? Nowhere else but in Jesus! And He didn’t end there either: ‘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 my people, don’t those fateful, faithful and true words just lift your spirits and give you a feeling of peace and HOPE, that you can’t find anywhere else in this world? It surely does for me! And what really is HOPE eh Friends? Merely a longing for something, preferably something good! 

And the long and short of the story is that God promises, if we believe in His Son, have HOPE in Him, that feeling of great expectations, which lead to faith, a certain sure belief, and which grows ever stronger, as we see His awesome promises come true, that our lives will be filled with wonder and amazement, leading to days of beautiful, exhilarating, eternal living with our Triune God! 

Now what can we long for that’s better than that eh, what better HOPE can there ever be? NONE whatsoever! Much LOVE!

…the beginning of true HOPE…begins with believing in Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2019 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.   ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 

Oh yes, it’s bright and sunshiny and even warm too! Glory to God! Yeh friends, the day’s begun the way a day is supposed to begin; with the light of Jesus shining brightly in and through our lives! (smile) Oh, is it ever good to wake up to sunshine after all that watery precipitation. 

And would you believe that yesterday afternoon with sunshine flowing, the rain still made its way down! But I guess that shower was just to wash away the remaining clouds, because after that the sun came out even brighter! Thanks be to God! 

And I want to apologize for not giving us the whole story a couple of days ago when we dealt with the spiritual armour of God. Yuh know we’re fully protected once we have our loins girded with the truth of God, and the breastplate of righteousness is secured fast against our chests, and our feet are properly shod in the preparation of peace, the eagerness provided by the gospel of Christ. 

Not to mention having that all important shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, our heads protected by the helmet of salvation, the hope and assurance of eternal glory in God, while wielding that terrible two edged sword of the Spirit, God’s immortal, powerful and life changing Word! 

Yes friends, it all looks good, but there is one necessary part, one thing is needed to get it all going, to galvanize us into action; and that’s prayer! Without prayer, our armour is not worth a whole lot. That’s why Bruh Paul warned after telling us all about the spiritual armour: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

Oh my people, prayer is always the most important item in any earthly situation! And the scholars’ explain that verse thus: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to ‘stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that last part is especially important; we’re required not only to pray for ourselves but also for the rest of God’s church, all His saints, because we all need the Spirit of God to work productively in us, and prayer is the catalyst that gets it all going! And Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear when he continued after our Bit: 

‘And (pray) for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (the hidden truth) of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds (chains): that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.’ (Eph.6:19-20)  

Yuh see friends, even though Bruh Paul was blessed with so much revelation from God, he still needed human prayer to help him do the job; speak boldly and openly about the truth in Christ’s gospel. Now tell me how much more do we, in these sad, stressful and strife-filled times need the prayer of our fellow believers eh? But sadly, because of the selfish, greedy and first person singular motives that currently flourish in our society, we don’t pray for our fellow believers as much as we ought to. 

Too many of us supposed believers are focused only on our own selves, our own needs, wants and problems. But there is a lot of truth in the saying, that somebody out there is always suffering more than us, and need God’s help worse than we do! Let’s just remember that, especially we believers in this wealthy and prosperous, but ever so wasteful and selfish Western society! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Oh, I forgot I wanted to add these two warnings of Jesus on the subject of prayer. First off: To His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who should have been praying with Him, but instead fell asleep. ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:41) And isn’t that the awful truth! 

The second warning is this: ‘And he spake a parable unto them (the disciples) to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And the scholars give a nice, precise explanation of that verse. ’18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because there’s NO giving up in Jesus’ vocabulary! 

And by the way, the parable mentioned above was about the woman seeking justice from the unjust judge. (Luke 18:2-8) And she only received it because she kept on badgering him, until in disgust, he finally relented. That’s how we ought to pray my fellow saints; always…and with confidence and humility! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) those wonderful attributes bestowed on us believers in our Thursday Blessings. We’ve got to declare them for them to take effect. So as one sincere body of faith: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And remember, those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Christ’s heart! Much LOVE!

…without sincere and constant prayer…a believer’s life is never fulfilled…thus falling short of his destiny…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

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