Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2020 1 Peter 3:11.

1 Peter 3:11.    ​Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.
 
And as the day opens, a whole lot of people around the world emit sighs of relief because it’s that magical day called Friday, when their outside labour will end for a couple of days and they won’t have to face snarled, slow-moving traffic twice a day, and engage in mindless chit-chat with selfish, ignorant co-workers whom they thoroughly dislike! (smile) 

Ah friends, what an evil and deceitful world we live in! And the sad part is that it’s getting worse daily. All the negative stuff that’s currently happening in our world is just creating more tension, anxiety and strife between hitherto comfortable people. But all that us true believers in Christ can basically do is pray for world peace and then do our best to pursue it in our families, friends and neighbourhoods! 

And since it’s Friday, we ought to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! And am I ever grateful for the two days off! I forgot how hard work could really be. Yeh, now that the new year has truly gotten rolling, the work is pouring in and the slave driving task master we have is flashing the whip often because the more work we do means more money for him. And yes, we do get a little more too, but nothing like what he gets, and certainly not in proper proportion to the amount of work we do to create the extra money… 

But I guess them’s the breaks! It’s how the greedy massa and them build the society – the people who do all the back breaking work, get the smallest amount of the harvest. And to tell the truth, in all the different systems we have in the world, one thing stands out…the handful of people who run the show, always get the best part of the pie! Regardless of how much revolution yuh have, it always end up like that. And right now, I too old to fight it anymore, so I’ll just put mih gear in cruise, and just bide mih time till I retire, and until then keep saying, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the unfortunate reaction of a great number of people in our down-pressed world today, and sometimes you can’t give them wrong because they do seem to be fighting a losing battle. However, as true believers in Christ Jesus we don’t have to accept that defeatist philosophy, because in Christ there’s NO giving up. In fact, He has already won the victory and all we now have to do is walk it through in diligent faith and preordained works. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts, so that we can be encouraged this Friday morning. ‘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!’ 

You see my faithful brethren, whatever it looks like, and however life turns out, we believers need to keep on keeping on, fixated on the promises and sacrificial work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, always looking forward to His wonderful  coming in glory, sometime soon, any day now! In the meantime though, one thing we should all be seeking is that very real, but very elusive thing called peace, because it is a very important part of Christ’s kingdom. 

Now let’s look at some of the many scriptures in the Good Book that call for the making of peace. The first one is the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah re John’s work. ‘To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:79) And if a big part of John’s work was to guide us in the way of peace, and John was the forerunner of Christ, then it means that peace was also a big part of Christ’s ministry. 

And He made that clear often enough. One of the Beatitudes, those 8 states of mind and heart  that Christ said was absolutely necessary for Christian discipleship in the Sermon on the Mount is: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt.5:9) Yes friends, blessed are those who seek peace and make peace and are at peace with God and man. And Peter makes it quite clear that if we want to have a good, long life: ‘Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.’ Yuh see people, we have to make a definite decision and action; pursue peace. It doesn’t just come by desiring it, we have to make it happen! 

And I’m chuckling and a tad confused because I have so many scriptures on peace I don’t know which to share because of our time and space constraints. (smile) But since we can’t ever go wrong with Jesus, listen to Him again. ‘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.’ (John 14:27) Yuh see that, Jesus’ peace is an entirely different kind of peace to what we find in the world. His is the kind that surpasses man’s understanding! (Phil. 4:7) And if we’re smart, we’ll diligently seek for His kind and not the world’s. 

And Hebrews so wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) Then James proudly proclaims: ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:18) Yeh friends, peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and you can’t get it unless you sow it. And what better way to end than with one of Jesus’ better known sayings on peace. ‘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) 

Oh friends with those encouraging words ringing in our hearts and minds, let’s go out today and in our own li’l way pursue peace nuh, because that’s the only way our world will ever improve! Much LOVE!

…as much as possible…follow peace with all men…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2019 Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:18.    And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.

 

It’s Monday friends, that means it’s time to get up and do the new workweek dance: Yeah! Throw off the covers, sit up straight on the bed, give the Lord thanks for bringing you safely through another night, then put one foot on the floor, then the other, then stand up, put your left hand on your hip and your right hand in the air above your head, then twirl and sing ‘Thank You Lord, thank You,’ while simultaneously doing a two step jig! (smile) 

Oh I know that sounds foolish to many of you, especially the ones who get up irritable and miserable, but you’d be surprised how something like that could lighten your mood and set you up for a more relaxed and peace filled day. You know the best way to begin the day is by being in fine fettle. 

Anyway, if you disagree with that tactic (smile) then let’s see if this one fits you better. Please join us in declaring (right ho) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which relieves all the tension and frustration and fear and anguish from our souls on a Monday morning. As we like to call it, the antidote for whatever ails on Monday mornings! 

So altogether now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 me, oh my! What a wonderful high! Yeh friends, there’s no high like that the Holy Spirit of God offers! You can run on that for ages without having to refresh it. But thankfully we only have to run on it for today, because tomorrow the Lord will renew it free and gratis; no money, just sincere belief and heartfelt prayer. 
So now that we’ve gotten our fix of the Holy Spirit, it’s time to get out into the world and join the fray, fighting wisely and valiantly in Jesus’ name! No wonder Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians thus: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.’ 
Yes friends, being drunk with wine dulls the senses and leads to moral intemperance. However when one is filled with the Holy Spirit it enables one to live in a godly manner, showing off His virtues and character.
Now we need to note here that once you become a believer, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, but then you have to cultivate it, pay attention to it, help it to enhance your faith by reading the Word and meditating on it, as well as through prayer and fellowship with other believers. 
So on one side it’s a one and done thing; the Holy Spirit coming to dwell in you, but on the other it’s a continual renewing, as the enemy constantly attempts to break down your barriers and you keep refuelling with the Holy Spirit to help you keep those barriers erect.  
And the scholars give this interesting explanation. ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean ‘be continually filled,’ emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk, and sight are controlled by alcohol. 
God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ 
I like that: It’s not so much we getting the Spirit, but the Spirit getting us. That means friends, to be godly we desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, but He can only do that if we allow Him to do so. He just won’t jump into your life and seize control.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and waits to be invited to do His thing. The same way you can invite an alcoholic drink to enter you and take over, is the same way you can invite the Holy Spirit to take control! (smile) 
But here’s the difference, in the words of Cousin Sol, the man about town: ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink (intoxicating drink) is raging (arouses brawling); and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’ (Prov.20:1) And that’s the gospel truth! And the scholars add: ‘20:1. Wine is personified as a mocker because it deceives those who partake of it. It is contrary to wise living.’ You can’t argue with that friends. 
And we’ll end with these further wise words from Cousin Sol. ‘Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour (sparkles) in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (goes smoothly). At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder (serpent). Thine eyes shall behold strange women (strange things) and thine heart shall utter perverse things.’ (Prov.23:31-33) 
And the sad fact of the matter is that many of us have experienced that very feeling, but yet we refuse to leave it alone and turn to the Holy Spirit instead. Ah friends, that certainly is not wisdom! So let’s ‘wisen’ up nuh and let the Holy Spirit rule our lives, so that we can have the abundant and joyful life that Jesus died for us to have! Much LOVE!

 

…if you want to be lead aright in this life…then the Holy Spirit is the best…no…the ONLY option…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2018 Psalm 16:9.

Psalm 16:9.   Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.
 
So now it’s Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek… and there are smiles and hand shakes and hugs amongst workers, unlike earlier on in the week, because they know that there is only one more day to go before the weekend break, so the tension and frustration has lessened some. And it’s also Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. of A, so that means no work for many people, lots of food and travel and celebration! 

Happy Thanksgiving U.S. of A! I do hope you all sincerely give thanks for all the blessings that the Good Lord has bestowed on you, although I know that some of His wrath is also upon your head right now because of your awful sinful ways. But He’s such a wonderful Deity that if you will only return to Him and His fold, you will find forgiveness a plenty. 

Please remember that no other nation in the History of mankind has ever been as powerful and prosperous as yours, and that’s because you were truly blessed by the Lord when you walked mostly in His will and commandment, and He is the one who causes us to get things and become prosperous. 

But now you, and a whole lot of us have turned away, strayed from His ever-LOVING arms, and consequently we are experiencing some rather rough times in all areas of our lives, all over the world. Our planet is degenerating more quickly than we can keep up with. 

And that brings us to the body of today’s message; a lesson in HOPE from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) a collage from several days readings in His Hour of Power Devotional. And do we ever need to have loads of HOPE in these turbulent and oh so trying times! 

We’ll begin with this: ‘HOPE. It is a marvellous, mysterious mood that comes into your personality. Suddenly your load is lifted, colour returns to your skin, and your eyes get their sparkle back. What is it? It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality…

When it happens in the personality, it can only be scientifically described as the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality! This is God! This is HOPE!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the first thing we need to know…HOPE comes from God! Now hear this: ‘The only thing between today and tomorrow is tonight. And that’s when the stars come out! So NEVER give up on HOPE! Don’t drop the curtain on tomorrow….

Great people are ordinary people who just will not give up HOPE! And what is HOPE? It is Holding On, Praying Expectantly!’ Wow friends! I hope you notice how Gramps Schuller spells out HOPE through the first letter of each word. (smile) 

Now the last piece for today: ‘You need HOPE when…you’re dying. And you need HOPE in all of your living. There will be no LOVE without it. HOPE is what will keep your faith alive. That’s why HOPE is right in the middle of the holy trinity of human emotions, “FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE!” 

Yes my fellow believers, HOPE is the very bedrock of our human existence! Without it, we can’t have faith nor LOVE, it’s what gets us going in the first place, and keeps us going, keeps us holding on, because we know that once there’s life, once there’s the breath of God in our bodies, there’s HOPE! Now let’s see what Bit we can find that’s most appropriate for all of that. Soon come! 

I’m back…a minute later. (smile) I guess these awesome words of Bruh David says it all. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the abode of the dead); neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures evermore.’ (Ps.16:8-11) 

Oh friends, I can only present to you the goodness and LOVE and HOPE that rests in God, you have to make the very important decision, the most important decision in your life, whether or not you’ll accept it. So there it is, in black and white…please be wise and accept it, for if you don’t you’ll eventually have to endure the worst situation man can suffer; everlasting separation from Almighty God! 

And as true believers here’s what you get to enjoy down here on earth; we call it our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare it loud and proud: (awright…spelled it right there) ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share them with others, as Jesus desires. That’s what blessings are for! Much LOVE!

…a blessing is not a blessing…until you speak it over others…and share your God-given largesse with them…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2017 Psalm 41:13.

Psalm 41:13.   Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning…Everything’s going my way!’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a glorious morning in my neighbourhood! Both the Sun and the Son are shining brightly. And you know when that happens all of heaven is excited. 

I just wish I could get my body to respond with the same level of excitement that my soul and spirit currently enjoy. (smile) And I know a lot of you feel the same way. 

But as the song says,’ two out of three ain’t bad.’ Let’s be thankful, for many others are batting zero for three…if you get my drift. (smile) 

But it’s Saturday, and we’re either doing housework or shopping, or simply lazing around the house, if we’re lucky, or getting ready for a picnic or barbecue or some such outside entertainment. 

And we had better get in as much as we can because this is the last Saturday in July, which means the summer is almost done; just August to go now…then it’s September – Labour Day, the cooler weather, and back to school! 

Wow! Can you believe that the summer’s just whisked by like a fleeting thought? And we haven’t even had any real hot days…Even today is cooler than it usually is. But yuh know what, most of us will take this kind of weather over the cold, white stuff any day! Glory be! 

Now let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We only learn persistence and resilience when we’re confronted by tough problems, then we stand strong, work persistently on them, and finally conquer them. 

And this next quote, though it might be the proverbial truth, it surely isn’t widespread in practice today. ‘Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.’ 

Hn, hn! In which companies today do we see people excited to deal with problems eh, especially with all the downsizing and doubling up of work on those left behind? 

Then we have: ‘The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.’ 

That surely is in the realm of truth in this crazy, strife filled world. Life is certainly full of blocks and tackles and attempting to score points, as we try to manoeuvre through its wild and jungle-like atmosphere on a daily basis. 

But I’ve left the best for last. ‘It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself and the problems you face in life. A sense of humour can save you.’ Now that has oodles of truth percolating through it. 

Without a sense of humour we’re just sad, sourpusses, painstakingly trudging along on our pilgrim’s journey. But a sense of humour relieves the tension and frustration and helps us bear the burdens much better. Remember laughter is the best free medicine one can buy. 

And I believe it’s Winston Churchill himself who said that the best ability one could have was the ability to laugh at oneself, for it keeps us solidly grounded and not overly proud like a peacock. (smile) By the way, that last part was mine, not Winston’s. 

And since today is such a glorious day, and we’re so joyful, I’ve been led to keep it simple and thankful, thus our Bit; words of Bruh David from Psalm 41 – Abuse and assurance. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.’ 

Oh precious saints of Jehovah God, we couldn’t do any better than to praise His holy name, for that’s why we were so fabulously made. And in a Bit earlier on in the week, we saw how the living creatures and elders in heaven continually praised and worshipped their Creator. So how could we do any less eh? 

Now we’re just going to wind down by checking out some joyful scripture along the lines of our Bit. Hear the psalmist from Psalm 106 – Israel sins against God’s LOVE. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. (Hallelujah) Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.106:48) 

And Listen to Cousin Sol from the first of the only two psalms he authored. The other is Psalm 127. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.’ (Ps.72:18-20) 

And according to the scholars that psalm closes the Second Book of the Psalter – The Exodus Book – Concerning Israel as a Nation. And we’ll end appropriately with these glorious words of Psalm 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness… Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). (Ps.150:1-2, 5-6) 

And that’s how it ought to be my fellow believers! So please let’s go out and do that nuh, let’s do our bounden duty; praise the Lord, shout ‘Hallelujah!’ Much LOVE!

…giving much deserved thanks and praise to our heavenly Father…is one of the best things a believer can do…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

Aye mih people, is Sunday, that special day of praise, worship and fellowship, where we raise our hearts and voices to high heaven and glorify our most wonderful God Jehovah! 

And we’re going to start out the right way, with some praise and worship. That’s to soften us up, reduce the fear, tension, anger, resentment, whatever is negative in our stone cold hearts, and thus make us more receptive and amenable to receiving the Word. Remember, hearing of the word is very important in our Christian faith. 

As Bruh Paul told the church at Rome. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? …So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ (Rom.10:14, 17) 

Yes friends, the oral communication of the gospel of Christ is essential in a believer’s life, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing the word preached. 

Anyway, enough talk, we suppose to be offering up sacrifices of thanks and praise with our mouths. So let’s do that nuh, because there’s nothing nicer than getting into some good praise and worship before you hear the word. 

So let’s raise up a storm in the Lord’s house, show Him that we are truly His beloved children, and we sincerely LOVE Him with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Please sing with me, this wonderful song of faith, ‘The anchor holds.’ 

As one heavenly choir now: ‘I have journeyed through the long dark night, Out on the open sea, by faith alone, Sight unknown; and yet his eyes were watching me. The anchor holds, Though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm. 

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams; I’ve even held them in my hand. But I never knew they would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. The anchor holds, Though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. 

I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm. I have been young but I’m older now. And there has been beauty these eyes have seen. But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved His LOVE for me. 

The anchor holds, Though the ship’s been battered.  The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm.’ 

Oh my people, my people, truer words have never been spoken! Our omnipotent God, our great anchor, holds us together and keeps us from floundering, from being thrown on the rocky shores, even in the most catastrophic of life’s storms! 

And I like the line where the songwriter declares that it was in the night of the storms of life when God proved His LOVE for Him. And isn’t that the indisputable truth friends? It’s usually in our nights of misery, of fear, of loneliness and of despair, that our wonderful God shows how much He truly LOVES and cares for us, by standing faithful and strong alongside us and bringing us safely through! 

Oh glory to God my people! And why wouldn’t He eh, after sending His beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die for us, suffering such agony, shame and rejection, but forever standing strong in His God-given task as expressed in our Bit. ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

What stoicism and strength of purpose my faithful brethren! Now let’s hear the word that precedes our Bit, from Isaiah’s great prophecy, re the suffering servant, Jesus Christ. Hope our hearts are soft enough to joyfully receive it. 

‘Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm (power) of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no (stately) form nor comeliness (splendour); and when we shall see him, there is no beauty (elegance) that we should desire him. 

He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men; a man of sorrows (great pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness, injuries): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs (sickness), and carried our sorrows (pains): yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. 

But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is;53:1-6) 

Yes friends, that’s the scripture lesson for this Sunday morning, and I do hope that it struck a tender and most grateful note in our hearts, as we heard the of the ‘sufferation’ that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ went through for us, so that we could be reconciled to Almighty God and don’t end up in dreaded Hades forevermore with the evil one, Lucifer. 

Please, let’s ponder the goodness of our magnificent and magnanimous God today, so that we can find the strength and wherewithal to handle the storms of life that we all experience, for that is the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…without the anchor that’s God in our lives…we will certainly be dashed to pieces… on the dreadful and unforgiving rocks of sin…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2016 Matthew 18:3

Matthew 18:3.    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 Oh friends, it’s a glorious Saturday morning on God’s wonderful earth! So like children, let’s take some time out to play nuh. Playing is a wholesome, healthy and hearty retreat from the pressures of this world. 

Remember what Jesus said when the disciples refused to let the children come to Him? ‘Suffer (allow the) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt.19:14)  

Yeh friends, heaven is made up of simple, trusting, innocent people with child-like faith. So to keep our minds and bodies in a healthy state, sometimes, especially on beautiful days like these, we just need to let all our cares, worries and anxieties go and just play like innocent children. 

You’d be surprised how refreshed and renewed our souls, minds and bodies would be with a little mindless, free spirited playing. Believe me people, we all need to have some regular playtime in our lives. This evil, stressful, dangerous and angry world calls for it. 

Otherwise, it wouldn’t be long before we go stark raving bonkers, holding all the stress and tension that this world generates inside of us. Our bodies were not made to bear a whole lot of negative emotions, but positive ones. You see how quickly they deteriorate when they are consumed by too much negativity. 

So please, let’s lighten up some, and don’t try to take on all the worries of the world on our frail and mortal shoulders. Our Creator doesn’t seem overly worried, so why should we be, especially if we sincerely believe that He is in control of the universe He created?  

Now here is a little tidbit from our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us to reach for a better tomorrow. He says that ‘Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! It’s simple, straightforward logic. You will accomplish more if you control what you can, instead of selfishly trying to control what you can’t. But that’s a regular pattern of life with many of us, as the crazy, selfish world we live in sets us that example.  

Just look at how our world is populated with control freaks; those who want to control everything and everyone, and fighting tooth and nail to do so. Meanwhile, if they would just concentrate on those things they do have power over, their lives would be so much happier and longer. 

That brings us to our Bit, where Jesus explains greatness to the disciples by calling a child to Him and setting him in the middle of the crowd: ‘And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

There we have Jesus again referring to the importance of a child-like nature. And He continues: ‘Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones (cause them to sin) which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses (enticements to sin)! For it needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh.’  (Matt.18:4-7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘18:1-7. The dispute over who is the greatest was settled by Jesus’ emphasis that it was the one who was willing to forgive the most! 

Be converted means a “turning” of one’s whole life and person toward God. This is the true biblical picture of conversion. It is far more than mental acknowledgement of the truth or intellectual assent to certain ideas. 

To become as little children means to be born again (converted) as a newborn spiritual child, characterized by faith and humility. The little child represents a new convert or young believer. To receive such a fellow believer is to welcome Christ Himself. Therefore the basis of true Christian fellowship is established in Christ Himself. 

Offenses are viewed as a reality that must be accepted in the present world, but woe (the prophetic condemnation to death) to the one who is the source of the offense. A millstone is literally an “ass-stone,” or a large grindstone turned by an ass.’  

So you see my people, to enter heaven we must humble ourselves and have faith like a young child. And beware, if we cause one of these young children, the new spiritual converts to sin, then we’re surely in for a rough time; ‘woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’  It would be like dissing and demeaning Jesus Himself. 

And Jesus ends that section with this warning. ‘Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.18:10)  

And the scholars tell us: ‘Just as temptation arises from within, so does offending others and being offended. The reference to their angels (v.10) supports the idea of individual guardian angels for believers (see Heb.1:14). Salvation is not just a privilege to be enjoyed by a select few, but it is also to be shared with the lost, so that they too can be saved.’ 

Now friends, today as we play and pray, let us ponder how all that we’ve said pertains to us nuh. Are we causing others of less faith to sin, are we hogging salvation and not sharing it with others, are we being humble and faithful? Those are multi-million dollar questions my brethren, but questions only the individual can answer, before a just but kind and merciful God. 

It’s therefore imperative that we take stock of ourselves now and make whatever amends are necessary, so that that “ass-stone’ is not hung around our necks and we be deposited in the deep. Wisdom is desperately calling for that my people! Much LOVE!

…the open door to heaven calls for…innocent, child-like surrender, trust, faith and humility…

 

 

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