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…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2017 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.   I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Alive and kicking, alive and kicking serious butt my friends! That’s the way we should be as Christians. But unfortunately, most Christians seem to be barely alive, just going through the motions. For whatever reason, we don’t have the necessary energy or desire to kick butt for Jesus! 

That’s wrong though my fellow believers. How then will Christ be known all over the world if we don’t get up and get moving eh? Remember, we are His body here on earth; His hands, His feet, His mouth. He depends on us to stir up the populace on His behalf. 

And I don’t know if it’s simply fear of the world, or just laziness and procrastination that’s holding us back, but it’s obvious that we’re not doing such a great job on Jesus’ behalf, while the unbeliever is luxuriating in his wicked and evil deeds. 

Anyway, here is something called ‘The Pain of Growth,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I think will shed some light on our problems. (smile) 

It says: ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord. I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. 

The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. 

Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache And anguish. And very often in my suffering When I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

What words of truth and wisdom my people! None of us like pain or suffering, but it is inevitable in the fallen nature of our lives. And that is simply how we grow in any and everything. As the ole mantra goes, ‘no pain, no gain.’ 

And that’s especially true in our Christian walk of faith, for God matures us through tests and trials which often involve some serious pain. Yuh see the pain and suffering Jesus had to bear to atone for and absolve our sins? 

Likewise we need to go through some tribulation, else we’ll never grow in our Christian walk. Unfortunately though, in these modern times, Christians are a soft, wimpy bunch of people who just want to enjoy the good life without any problems whatsoever. 

In fact our whole society has become soft and wimpy through all the ‘make life easy’ amenities that we now possess. But since the fall of our forefathers in the Garden of Eden, life has never been easy; the consequences of sin have made it tough and as Christians we are expected to weather whatever storm comes against us. 

However, the wonderful news is that we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to help us weather it! Glory Hallelujah! Unbelievers don’t have that luxury, so they have to weather it all on their own. 

So please let’s stop complaining as much as we do, and instead plead the wise and truthful words of our Bit: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.’ 

Yes friends, whatever our ever-faithful and righteous God allows to come against us has a perfect reason behind it. He is the great I AM, who knows the beginning from the end and has everything in His universe under control. 

And we should rightly be saying like the psalmist does after our Bit: ‘Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.’ (Ps.119:76-77) 

Oh my people, our God has promised that though He chastens us, He will not do it out of spite or anger, but out of LOVE. Now listen to these words of Cousin Sol which seal the deal. 

‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of (detest) his correction. For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:11-12) 

There it is in black and white friends! So please not get too antsy about the pain and suffering that comes against us, because it will all work out for our good eventually. Our faithful God has promised that. With all of that in mind then, let’s go home declaring our wonderful blessings, knowing that they will wash away whatever pain we have now, or are yet to face. 

In 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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my believing brethren! Much Much LOVE!

…whatever comes from God…comes in LOVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2017 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Well mih breddren, like we’ve successfully completed another week of work in this confused and way too evil and lustful world! 

And sadly, it leads too many of us to enjoy the lusts of the flesh too much in our short time off. We try to make up for what we think we’ve lost during the workweek. 

That’s why so many of us joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Oh boy, that means the weekend is here! Time for fun and games, partying and letting all our cares drift away to wherever they go! It’s all about a good time now! Oh thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And as I keep saying, the sentiments are understandable, but the reality is not. We do have little free time during the workweek, much less that a generation ago, when times were not so hectic and busy. 

And that’s sort of strange, when all the improvements we’ve made, were supposedly to help us get more free time. How ironic eh, with plenty more amenities, we have even less free time now than then! 

But that doesn’t mean we have to overdo the lighter side of life either when we finally get some time off. If we are to keep our sanity and some sort of steadfastness, our lives must have some borders, some restraints that we will not loosen. And our Friday Chant gives us a good example of that. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with as much enthusiasm as the misguided soul above declares his Friday mission. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

And all of that segues very nicely into our Bit:‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’  

And friends that’s exactly what we ought to do, every day, every waking moment of our lives! For remember, all the earth and its contents are His, and it’s only through His magnanimity and lavish generosity that we can enjoy even one iota of the things we enjoy! 

Now let’s look at a few of those things that Bruh David declares we ought to appreciate in this psalm titled – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘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.103:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if those are not things to be everlastingly grateful for, then I don’t know what is nuh! But yuh know what? Unfortunately, too many of us, simply don’t know, don’t pay attention to, or simply take those things for granted, and that includes Christians. 

But just think about it nuh friends, we have a God who forgives all our iniquities, all our sins, all our transgressions! Wow! That certainly is something to be thankful for! Listen to these scriptures nuh that uphold that contention. 

Isaiah declares: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us… And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven all their iniquity.’ (Is.33:22, 24). 

Now hear Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he declares at John’s birth. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; 

As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.’ (Luke 1:68-75) 

And friends, we all know that promise was miraculously and marvelously fulfilled by the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! So why we don’t appreciate our wonderful God more than we do eh? I really can’t say nuh. But eventually, we’ll all have to answer that question to our Maker. 

Now let’s close with these moving words of Bruh Paul to Titus on the Christian life. ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age); 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works.’ (Tit.2:11-14) 

Oh my faithful followers of Christ, there’s absolutely no doubt that we need to be much more diligent in doing Christ’s work, if we are to truly show our thankfulness for His saving grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…there is no greater gift in this evil world…than the forgiveness of sins…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well my people, it’s that day we call Saturday; a boon for some, a bane for others, depending on how you choose to spend it. And there will be no trivialities this morning, (smile) we’ll get straight to our friend Anselm’s quotes because he has a couple of interesting long ones. He’s been really out to inspire us this week with a title of ‘How to Motivate Yourself:’ 

The first one says: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! The worst thing you can do to your self-worth is to compare yourself to others because there will always be people doing better than you, and as Anselm says, that can likely kill your get up and go. 

And he continues with the motivational theme by advising: ‘Ask uplifting questions in the morning. Here’s what you do; every morning ask yourself five empowering three-part questions this way: What am I ______ about in my life right now? What about it makes me _______?  How does it make me feel? Put in your own value in the blank space. 

For instance, a couple of my questions are: What am I happy about in my life right now? What am I excited about in my life right now? It’s important that you really feel how it makes you feel. When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it. These morning questions are great because the way they are set up makes you recognize things you take for granted and then they really get you to feel those positive feelings.’ 

I can find no fault with that friends, because we always need to have positive vibes in our lives, and the best way to do that is to concentrate on the things for which we are truly thankful, the things and /or people who bring a flood of light and joy into our lives. That’s why we keep saying when we hit the rough times to remember the good things that God has done for us in the past, don’t just concentrate and mope on the negative things you’re currently going through. 

So my people, when things aren’t so good, look up to heaven, rather than down to hell. The Lord’s on His throne, in full control of His universe and He will hear your sincere pleas and confessions and answer them. As our Bit so truthfully says:  ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

And if you’ve reached a decent stage of Christian maturity, you ought to know and believe that and put it into practice. Now listen to one of the most sincere and heartfelt confessions of sin found in the Good Book; that when the prophet Nathan confronted Bruh David with the sin of his adultery with Bathsheba. 

Hear Bruh David cry out to the merciful and forgiving God of his fathers from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 

Against thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified (found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 

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 my 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. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou desirest not burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’(Ps.51:1-17)  

Ah friends, what a pouring out of the soul! Bruh David knew where his bread was buttered and realized that he had screwed up mightily with Bathsheba. Now here are some insights into the psalm from the scholars. 

‘Psalm 51. The psalm gives expression to why David was “a man after God’s own heart”: he was not perfect, but he had a sensitivity to sin that few knew about. Notice especially the use of the first person singular: mine iniquity, my sin (v.2), my transgressions (v.3), and so on. The first two verses are an introductory petition, rich with meaning in the use of four figures for forgiveness. After confessing his guilt (vs.3-6), David prays for inner renewal (vs.7-12), and promises thanksgiving and ministry (vs.13-17). 

This passage clearly teaches that those who have failed God may be restored to the service of God. The prayer take not thy Holy Spirit from me (v.11) need never be offered by a New Testament saint, since the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently (1 Cor.6:19). David’s cry here may reflect only the fear, not the reality of losing the Spirit, and being rejected by God. Thus, he asks God to restore the joy of his salvation, not salvation itself.’ 

Ah mih people, I hope we can take comfort from Bruh David’s words, and not be afraid to come to God with EVERY problem, EVERY sin we feel deep inside, knowing that sincere confession and true regret will bring forgiveness EVERY time. For that’s the magnanimous and merciful and forgiving God we serve and worship. Much LOVE!

…a broken spirit…a contrite heart…that’s all God’s looking for…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   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.

Ah friends, it’s time to celebrate one more day of life on God’s great earth! Wow! What a privilege! 

Remember, a lot of others did not open their eyes this morning, so there must be a reason we opened ours to the bright and dazzling light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Glory to God! 

Let’s therefore give Him appropriate thanks and praise for all the new mercies and blessings He’s specially prepared for us for today. 

And all God’s people loudly, heartily and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for us, all You’re doing right now, and all You’ve promised to do in the future. We know You are an ever-faithful Deity, thus we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now here is a gem of a quote, I found on my desk this morning. I don’t who or where I got it from, or if I ever shared it before, but it surely is worth sharing over and over. 

Listen closely. ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! And they are particularly pertinent to believers, because Jesus expects us to be persons of excellence, and you can only be excellent when you reach out for the best. 

That brings us to our Bit, but let’s start with the seminal verse before it. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), 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.’  (Col.3:12-13) 

Even greater words of wisdom my believing breddren, since it’s based on God’s basic law, of you reap what you sow. And the scholars have this to say about those verses. 

‘3:12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’  

‘3:13. The fact that believers are being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. 

For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’  

Ah friends, one more reminder that as believers we must always reach for excellence in all our doings. None of us have become spiritually perfect as yet, therefore we all need to forbear and forgive if there is to be unity in Christ’s church. 

And right there you have one of the reasons why Christ’s church is so divided and cantankerous; we refuse to forgive others and instead hold on to the negative emotions of anger, hate and resentment. 

Oh my people, please remember these immortal words of Jesus. ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt.12:25) 

How do we expect Christ’s church to stand if we are so divided and refuse to forbear and forgive eh? It’s just impossible. 

And hear these even more immortal words of Jesus, (smile) which occur in the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ the sample prayer He gave us, and which most of us pray every day. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) 

Oh friends, have we gotten so complacent in praying that prayer that we no longer consider the words we speak and what they truly mean? We ask to be forgiven as we forgive. So what does that tell us eh? Only as we forgive, will the Lord forgive us. 

So why are we allowing the nonsense of the world to interfere with our Christian behaviour and beliefs, with our joy, our peace and contentment eh? Let’s wake up and become the people of excellence that the Lord expects of us nuh. That’s the only way we’ll ever defeat the forces of darkness. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Who else has such wonderful favour eh? Nobody but us! So let’s use it nuh friends, while remembering that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In all sincerity and 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 the corollary to all that, is let’s remember to bless others like we blessed ourselves. Much LOVE!

…to forgive is heavenly…and to be forgiven is even more heavenly…

 

 

 

 

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