Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2019 Colossians 3:16.

Colossians 3:16.    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

 

Well a blessed Sunday to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, in whatever part of God’s great universe that you might currently be ensconced! (smile) Consequently, it being the Sabbath Day, the Day of the Lord, we are expected to join other believers at the Lord’s house to praise, give thanks, fellowship, hear His Word and receive His awesome strength and confidence to go forth into the new week, refreshed and renewed! 

 

Oh how wonderful that is my brethren! And what an amazing situation it also is when we lift our heads, hand, eyes and hearts to heaven in humble and sincere gratitude for all that our heavenly Father has done on our behalf. And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song! There’s nothing like song to convey true, heartfelt gratitude! 

 

And this morning we have a song that will do just that in spades mih people! It’s simply titled ‘THANK YOU!’ It’s another Bebe Winans tune from his ‘In Harm’s Way’ album. And this morning mih brethren we going funky; funky as funky can be; real up-tempo style! 

 

And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that when we giving sincere thanks in song, it always seems to sound more authentic when it’s upbeat, than when it’s just slow and soulful!  And that’s what we going to do this morning in our time of worship!  Pure funk right through mih people! 

 

So let’s clap it in: One Clap, Two Claps, Three Claps, Four Claps! And vocals: ‘Yeh, yeh, yeh! Say it again, say – Thank You, Thank You! All I want to do is…Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Feel my emotions, You keep me going strong.

 

Source of my solution, When things are going wrong. When my life’s uncertain, There’s no place I’d rather be, Than standing here beside You. Your LOVE always comforts me! So – Thank You, Thank You! Thanks for being a friend! Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again. Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, The LOVE You sent in my way, my way. Thank You, Thank You! Something else I want to tell You. You’re my salvation…Oh yes You are! Don’t You know You’re everything? Set my feet a dancing, When I think of all You’ve done for me…Thank You, Thank You! Just for being a friend…Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again, Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, the LOVE You sent my way, my way. Here and now my heart’s confirmation…You are awesome and true! You’ve been better to me, than I’ve been to myself. I’ll always give thanks to You, to You, to You! I will, Oh yes I will! 

 

Heavenly Father…Right now…I want to Thank You for what You’ve done for me. Right now…I want to Thank You for taking good care of me. Right now…I want to Thank You for all that You mean to me. Right now, right now…I can’t live without Your LOVE! 

 

Thank You, Thank You! Right now…I don’t want to live without Your LOVE! No doubt about it! Thank You, Thank You! For all that You’ve been to me…Thank You, Thank You!

 

And all that You’ve done for me… I can’t live without Your LOVE…Can’t live without Your touch…No doubt about it! I just have to say…Thank You, Thank You! From the depths of my heart…Thank You, Thank You! Thank You, Thank You…!’ 

 

Oh friends, wasn’t that just wonderful! It surely was! I don’t know about you, but it surely set my feet a dancing, my soul a rocking, as I sang along, sang those oh so true words, and my fingers flew over the keyboard. (smile)

 

Obviously, in my excitement I made several mistakes, but that was okay, because the joy it brought my heart certainly overwhelmed the effort it took to correct a few mistakes. And don’t think it wasn’t funky in heaven too, because they like nothing better than a good funk tune, especially when it’s all about praise to our wonderful Triune God!

 

And yuh know what friends, we truly can’t ever thank or repay the Lord enough for all that He’s done for us nuh, especially for all the LOVE that He’s sent our way. How can we ever thank Him for Jesus eh? Or even the comfort and guidance of His Holy Spirit? What about salvation…peace…mercy…forgiveness…grace etc. etc.? 

 

But we not going to dwell on all of that this morning, because if you’re a true believer, you already know it. Instead, let’s get to the Word; God’s magnificent guide for kingdom living here on earth.  And in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, let’s check out a li’l Christian virtue nuh. 

 

‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies, heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; Forbearing  (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE) which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace). And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. To the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col.3:12-17) 

 

That says it all my people. And the scholars offer this explanation of our Bit. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (v.13), and LOVING (v.14) toward one another , when peace reigns among God’s people (v.15) then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ 

 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that right now that the church is not fertile soil for Christ’s Word because there is too much disunity and dissension amongst its members, not enough compassion, LOVE or forgiveness. And I’m sure this breaks Jesus heart every time He thinks about the ‘sufferation’ He went through to bring us the Father’s good news of salvation and eternal life. 

 

Please, let’s not let Him down nuh. Let’s make the effort to pull things together for His sake, in His precious name. That’s wisdom of the highest calling! Much LOVE!

 

…if Christ’s people can’t live in LOVE…then who else can eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2019 Psalm 25:1-2.

Psalm 25:1-2.   Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
 
Ah friends, in the words of that old, venerable Jamaican singer, Prince Buster: ‘I had a rough night! It was a hard night…! ‘ And for those of you old enough to remember the song I’m talking about, NO! I’m not talking about sexual activity, like the Prince was doing way back then!

Sorry to disappoint you! (smile) I’m simply talking about the aches and pains holding sway over the ole fella’s ole bod in his attempt to get some much needed rest last night. 

Brother! I could not find a comfortable spot to rest for any length of time. It seems like somewhere hurt in every position I tried. So obviously this morning I’m dragging around like a real old man. (smile)

But I’m not worried friends, and neither should those of you have the same, or any infirmities at all assailing your bodies. And why is that you ask? Because of this unassailable promise from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says in no uncertain terms: ‘All Will Be Well!’ Glory be! So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God In the midst of consuming sorrow When despair and loneliness hedge me in You understand my frailties – My hesitancies, my fears. As I scamper from doubt to doubt You forgive so quickly my outbursts. 

Never do you drive me away When I rail against You In peevish rebellion. When I scream “Don’t You even care?” You quiet my fragmented heart. You work in me silently Always planning in LOVE. You refine me in the white flamed Furnace of affliction. In the silent darkness You whisper: Trust me – all will be well.’ 

And so it shall be my fellow believers, because our ever-faithful God has promised it! Give Him a whole heap of thanks and praise for His abundant grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness to the children of undeserving men! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! 

Yes, I know He refines us in ‘the fires of affliction,’ but He doesn’t let us go through them alone. He’s always there right by our sides, just like He was with the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when the mighty king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar threw them in the fiery furnace, heated seven time hotter than usual, and they came out without a hair singed, not even the smell of smoke permeated their protected bodies. Glory to God! 

And that’s exactly how our wonderful God will be with any and all of us who humbly and sincerely call on Him for heavenly help! Isn’t that just glorious to behold? It certainly is! And the Bible Promise for that awesome prayer above is also our Bit for today, and it comes from a man who had a very intimate relationship with God, and experienced His many blessings, as well as the fires of affliction, but he stood tall throughout them all! 

Yes, we talking bout Bruh David here friends – the man after God’s own heart! Listen to how he puts it in Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection: ‘Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.’ 

And yuh know what my people? The Lord never allowed his enemies to triumph over him! Yes, occasionally they might have had a slight edge, they might have won a battle here and there, but ultimately they did not win the war! And that’s exactly how our God will react to all and any of us who come to Him in true sincerity. 

As He proclaimed long ago: He does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! So whatever He did for somebody long ago, He will still do for us today! Yes, He is still in the helping and miracle working business! Praise His holy name! 

And the good thing about Bruh David is that he didn’t just pray for himself. Hear how he continues after our Bit: ‘Yea, let not none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause.’ (Ps.25:3) Ah friends, that’s one of the great aspects of our faith, our ability and responsibility to pray for others, especially other believers. 

And we just can’t stop there – Bruh David didn’t. (smile) He continued by beseeching his God: ‘Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy LOVING-kindness; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions, according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.’ (Ps.25:4-8) 

Oh my people, yuh think any God with a truly LOVING nature would refute such a sincere and heartfelt plea? NEVER! Despite his human shortcomings, and like us, he had plenty, Bruh David never wavered, in his faith, never gave up on the God of his forefathers. And neither should we! That’s why God called Bruh David a man after his own heart! He simply had a heart for God…and so should we in these trying times! 

Awright, enough preaching…(smile) Let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. Altogether now, in strong voice with a sincere and real sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And having declared that (right again), let’s go out and put it into practice, as Jesus verily desires of us! Much LOVE!

…LOVING Jesus…and working for Him…it’s such an awesome privilege…I wouldn’t trade it…for anything else in this whole wide world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2019 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.   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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
HAPPY  NEW  YEAR !
 
Well a Happy New Year to all you my faithful Scrip-Bit Friends and Family! 2019 certainly came in with a bang in the Northern Climes as it rained on our New Year’s Eve Parades! Hn! Can we read something into it being very warm and rainy instead of cold and snowy as it usually is? I guess only the Good Lord knows. But nonetheless we’ll pray for a much better 2019 than the much troubled and controversial 2018 we’ve just been through. 

And speaking of prayer, here is a good one to begin the year with. It’s one of those prayers that keep rotating through the Internet, but that doesn’t make anything wrong with them. Someone recently sent this to the duchess and she sent it to me. It begins with this intro: ‘Please pick four people you want God to bless.’  And yuh know what? I picked all of you, my beautiful people in Christ! Glory be! 

And it continues: ‘This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! ‘Let’s always pray for one another.’ And do we ever need lots of prayer on behalf of each other in this evil and ungodly world! It’s a big part of our faith. 

So please let 2019 be a big year of prayer! The more prayers we send up to heaven, the more answers and blessings we’ll receive. Remember, we have not because we ask not! And when we do ask, we tend to ask for the wrong things, or with the wrong motives. 

Anyway, here is the prayer at last. (smile) Please pray with me: ‘Father, Thank You for each and every day You have blessed us here on earth. Thank You for Your tender mercies. Thank You for giving us friends and family to share these joys with. I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. 

Where there is joy, give them continued joy, where there is pain; give them your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence. Where there is need, fulfill their needs. Bless their homestead, families, finances, their going out and their coming in…In Jesus’ name; Amen!’ 

And here is the postscript: ‘(If you choose to send this to more than four people, you are truly blessed to have such friends).’ That means I’m truly blessed! Glory to God! ‘Never postpone!’ That’s more wisdom there again, because we are such procrastinators, our lives are so comfortable that we keep putting off things we ought to do. 

Please let 2019 be the year of NO procrastination! And I’m taking that personally, because I get confused between waiting on God and doing what I think, or know I should do. (smile) And since we’ve been talking about that most powerful tool called prayer, I guess it’s only apropos that we find a Bit dealing with it. 

And here is this one from way back when, when the Lord made His covenant with Cousin Sol when the temple was dedicated. ‘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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 

Oh my people, it’s amazing how our God puts things so simply, but we make them so complicated. Now what could be simpler than that statement above there eh? Nothing really! If His people, those called by His name, that’s us; children of God, humble our selves and pray sincerely and seek Him diligently and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear us and heal our land. 

And yet we wonder why our land is in such disarray, such a disastrous state? The answer is simple my friends? We’re not humbling ourselves, and seeking God’s face and turning from our evil ways…Chuh! In fact we’re becoming more evil every day! So I ask again, how do we expect our land to be healed eh? 

And the Lord continued to Cousin Sol: ‘Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr.7:15) Yuh see another great promise there mih breddren! When His people come to the temple and pray, He promised to hear them. The same thing goes for us today. 

And the scholars offer this wonderful explanation on those verses. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6-37-39; James 4:8-10).’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t have put it any better! And I strongly suggest that you read those two references the scholars gave. The first is Cousin Sol praying at the dedication of the temple that when sinners come to it and pray, the Lord would hear them. And the Lord granted his wish. The next one is James telling us to ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’ (James 4;8) It’s all simple and straightforward friends! 

 Now on this first Tuesday in 2019, with a strengthening of our faith, and an improvement of our prayer life front and centre, let’s go home telling the world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are, as we declare our Tuesday Mantra with great gusto! 

As one entity now: ‘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!’ 

And there’s no better way to begin this New Year than by sharing Christ’s amazing LOVE and undying friendship with those who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…if you believe that Christ is a wonderful person and Saviour…don’t keep that good news to yourself…joyfully share it with others…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   ​Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 
And then it was Monday…Christmas Eve friends, Christmas Eve! The day before we celebrate the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! What a momentous footnote…no, it was too big a day to be a mere footnote, but one of the most outstanding days in the annals of man! 

Praise the Lord for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes, bless His Holy Name, for without that compassion and care we’d be still lost in the darkness and evil of a fallen world. But thanks be to Jesus we have another beautiful option; believing in Him and thus obtaining salvation and eternal life! 

Wow! The ole fella’s on a roll this morning! That’s why I can say that God is faithful and LOVE Him so much, because when I came down here just now I had no idea what I was going to write, but as you can see, I’m doing fairly well! (smile) But it’s Christmas Eve and many of us still have stuff to buy and preparations to make for the big day, the real McCoy tomorrow. And unfortunately some of us have to go to work too after preparing and also enjoying some of the goodness of the season over the weekend. 

So as always, some of us are under the weather, so let’s do as we always do on a Monday, join together to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which always lifts our spirits and encourages to keep on walking steadfastly with the Lord. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can garner! 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my, oh my! I don’t know about you nuh friends, but my spirits were certainly lifted! Brother, there’s nothing in this world great like prayer nuh! That’s why we’re advised to use it constantly by Bruh Paul. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ 

What exceptional words of wisdom those are my believing brethren! It’s the basic reason why God made prayer and set such a high value on it; so that we can communicate thoroughly and properly with Him! ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh mih people, yuh see the great benefit that accrues from having serious and sincere communication with our heavenly Father? Peace! Wonderful peace! A heavenly peace! Peace that surpasses what our finite minds can comprehend! And please remember, it’s ALL for OUR benefit, not the Lord’s. As Bruh David says in Psalm 68: ‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.’ (Ps.68:19) 

And he again reminds us in Psalm 103: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5)

Mama Yo! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! No other supposed deity does those things for His people! Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, can even DO those things, because HE IS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD! As we said in our prayer above, ‘the Creator of the universe and all therein!’ Give Him much thanks and praise my people! 

So please remember that when He desires us to come to Him humbly, with contrite hearts, in sincere prayer, with appreciation for His wonderful goodness to us, He’s not asking for too much, but simply His just desserts. And then again, it’s because He wants to bless us, to be involved in our earthly affairs, for who knows better than Him, how to run lives eh? NOBODY! 

So let’s cool it nuh, get wise, and don’t take so much umbrage when our Creator wants to be a big part, or rather the FIRST PART of our lives! That’s His prerogative…and we should be glad and thankful that He even wants to have anything to do with us, the sinful ingrates that we truly are! It just shows His true LOVE and compassion for His most precious creation! 

Oh mih people, let’s hope this Bit excites you all the way it excited me while writing it! (smile) It’s not only for you, but also for me! And this one touches me. (smile) Please have a blessed Christmas Eve…and remember the reason for the season…Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…God’s given me a new heart for Christmas…la la la la…God’s given me a new lease on life for Christmas…what else can I desire eh…Glory Hallelujah…Bless His holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2017 Psalm 103:5.

Psalm 103:5.   Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

So we’re into the second day of our workweek friends…what’s new and exciting eh? And most of us simply shake our heads and mutter: ‘Nothing nuh. Just the same ole, same ole, work and more work.’ 

And yes, unfortunately, that’s the way most of life is; bland and unexciting. But if we are followers of Jesus, we ought to at least have some of His LOVE, joy and peace in our supposedly bland lives, because those are three attributes He endeavours to give to all who sincerely believe in Him. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which demonstrates Jesus’ LOVE and doting on us. It’s titled, ‘Lord, You LOVE to Say Yes.’  

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I asked you for abundant life Rich, challenging, full of adventure And You said Yes. I asked you for an undisturbable joy Independent of transitory change And You said Yes. 

I asked You to thread my tears into a song When I was shattered and torn with grief And You said Yes. I asked You to steady me when I staggered – To hold me when I struggled To seize me when I resisted And You said Yes. 

I asked You to forgive my vain grasping My foolish fears, my willful pride And You said Yes. I asked You to be my Helper, my friend My Light in the darkness And You said Yes. 

I asked You to guide me all my life With Your wisdom, Your counsel Your captivating LOVE And You said Yes. Sometimes Lord I feel like a spoiled child Who gets whatever he asks for. You overwhelm me with joy For You LOVE to say Yes!’ 

Oh friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but typing out that poem just made me chuckle and lifted my spirits, because that’s exactly how our heavenly Father treats us when we come to Him in sincerity and truth – like a spoiled child. 

And oh, isn’t it wonderful to have a doting and concerned Father like that? A Father who looks after ALL our needs, brings joy and gladness to out hearts, makes straight our paths with His eternal wisdom, dries our tears and comforts us when we hurt? Ohhhh, it surely is! 

The problem though is that most of us don’t see and appreciate the upside of our wonderful God, when He uplifts us. We just see the downside, when he doesn’t do, or give us what we want. Then we really behave like spoiled, ungrateful brats! 

That brings us to these wonderful and immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 103 –Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Oh my people, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit! Glory to God! He satisfies us with good things and renews us like an eagle, so that we can soar and fly in His universe and do all the things He requires of us! 

So why won’t we LOVE, adore, exalt, glorify, worship and obediently serve Him eh? Why are we allowing the evil fool Lucifer to get the better of our world and us eh? Please listen to these prophetic and true words of Isaiah on the subject. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-31) 

What a glorious bit of scripture my people! We all know it, and oftimes spout it too, so why don’t we live it eh? Only God really knows. 

However, from this day henceforth, I’m asking us to promise God, and us, to live with that awesome promise boosting our hearts and spirits, so that we can diligently do His work with joy and peace, knowing that He will always be with us. 

And all God’s people said a loud and heartfelt ‘Amen!’  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are! In strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am thebeloved 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!’ 

Mama Mia! What gospel truth! Now let’s go out and prove it to the unbelieving world as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…children of God…be not faint…arise and retake his kingdom…

 

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