Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2019 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Home…Home…Home at last! But home sick! Steups! Ah friends, it’s great to be home, but when you come home from vacation sick with an annoying cold it doesn’t help matters at all. You’re already tired from all the vacationing, (smile) and you just want to rest, to put sickness on top of it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

After the long flight and the hassle to get through the airport, I got home around eleven and expected to have a good night’s rest…Hn! What a pipe dream! I was up several times during the night bringing up stuff, my throat was raw, still is, making swallowing a tad difficult. But if one has to be sick, I guess the best place for that to happen is home. 

Home where the heart is! Home where you’re most comfortable and relaxed, be it a humble hovel or a majestic mansion! Something about home just gives one a li’l more assurance in times of trouble or illness. But enough about my woes, (smile) it’s Friday and the workingman is waiting to sing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Good Friday…that means the long Easter weekend! Mama Yo! Party fuh so! And the weather should be good! Good thing that Easter fall so late this year yes, so it happen in springtime and not in winter! So many things to do, and places to go, and people to see! Chuh! Don’t know where to start nuh! But as they say, the best place to start is at the beginning! So ah guess we going to start with some eating and drinking and carousing! 

Brother! Who knows whether we going to be alive come next week Tuesday when we have to go back to the slave master slave labour? One thing ah know though; when we go back, we not killing we self over the work nuh. Leh him fire we, see how long his business going last nuh! But forget he now yes! Is time for me to do my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is a party animal if nothing else! But unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t afford to let our hair down like he can for fear of allowing the evil enemy to invade our righteous souls. But as I keep saying, that doesn’t preclude us from having a good time, we just don’t go to the extremes that the ordinary workingman does. 

And we have our own Friday Chant, which chronicles our thankfulness and wishes. So please, let’s chant it now nuh, in true sincerity and mucho enthusiasm. ‘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!’ 

Now, to the unbeliever, that might not sound like much, but to us believers, it’s short, sweet and to the point! (smile) And today, Good Friday, our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And some will ask why call it Good Friday when such a heinous, illegal crime was committed against an innocent person? 

That’s a good question my brethren. But the long and short of the story is that if Jesus had not died in place of us, our sins would not have been paid for, and we would not have been forgiven, redeemed, made clean and washed white as snow! Yes, it was a rough, unjust situation, but from the beginning of time the Father had decreed it to be the Son’s job to die for the abominable sins of His disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind. 

And yuh better believe it was no easy job that! The pain and agony, the ‘sufferation’ He had to endure was immense, seemingly unbearable, but He withstood it, all for our sakes, at the behest of the Father, who LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to lose even one of us to the evil enemy, Satan. 

That’s the most beautiful and compelling picture of LOVE that exists; sacrificing your only Son for a bunch of ingrates! Some people will call it crazy or stupid, but our heavenly Father called it LOVE! And since He’s the eternal Creator, He should know what He’s talking about. 

But I don’t know how Jesus handled all that unjust ‘sufferation’ nuh, without much complaining too. I guess He knew His role, and could not even consider disobedience to the Father’s wishes. As He told Peter on the night of His arrest, after Peter had cut off the high priest’s right ear. ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Yes friends, I wonder how many of us put such a high priority on being obedient to the Father’s wishes eh? 

And what I greatly admire about Jesus are some statements He made from His painful and agonizing perch on the cross. The first one is ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Even on the cross, His modus operandi was LOVE and forgiveness! 

Note His words to the criminal crucified with Him, who saw the light and sincerely pleaded: ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

But the most touching and heart-rending words of Jesus on the cross are contained in this verse. ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

Yes friends, what seemed to hurt Jesus the most was not the physical pain inflicted on His body, but the spiritual separation from His Father, the first time that had ever happened. And it had to be so since He was then the sin-bearer of the world, and the Father could not associate with sin. As the scholars explain: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 

And finally, the Good Book tells us: ‘And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46) And the scholars explain: ‘He cried with a loud voice, as a shout of triumph, and yielded up His Spirit. In other words, having borne the wrath of God’s judgement against sin, He knew He had triumphed over Satan and the curse of sin.’ 

Oh what a blessed day that was for us my people, as Jesus gave us such a wonderful example to follow, showing LOVE and compassion and obedience even in His last agonizing moments on that old wooden cross on Calvary! Please, please, I implore us to do a better job, to improve in our own showing of LOVE, compassion and obedience, because that’s all He asks of us! Much LOVE!

…Good Friday…the darkest hour…just before the breathtaking dawn…of Easter Sunday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2019 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   ​Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
 

Well it’s pretty white out there still, but the snow seems to have abated…till when who knows? But thankfully, I did not have to go into the city and face the mess yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I was all prepared to do it, but during the mid morning hours when the stuff just kept falling my resolve began to weaken, (smile) and I got the bright idea…or rather the Holy Spirit gave me a zeppo to call the clinic and find out how early I could get another appointment if I cancelled that one? 

Obviously I could not find a living soul to talk to since in this age of modern communications less people are answering phones, it’s all artificial intelligence. (smile) But I left a message…then waited and waited for an answer. None came until an hour before I had to leave home. The lady offered me an appointment for next week and I gladly took it, thanking her effusively, then I gave more effusive thanks and praise to our wonderful God for His timely intercession. 

Isn’t our God wonderful people? But certainly! Though His timing could be just a li’l less ‘just in time.’ (smile) The things He does for us eh, when He doesn’t have to. He could have very well said yesterday, ‘No let him go and experience the struggle out there and let it purify and strengthen him!’(smile) But instead, in His omniscience, He saw that I might not have been able to handle it, it was just too much for me to bear, so He mercifully and graciously eased up on the pedal! 

But whatever the reason, believe me friends, the ole fella is exceedingly glad and thankful that I did not have to go into the city yesterday, especially after some of the horrible stories I heard. ‘Thank You Lord, Thank You! I LOVE and adore and exalt You even more today than yesterday! Bless Your holy name! I give you thanks and praise from the very depths of my being! Help me to live the life that You’ve planned for me and run a good and strong race! In Jesus’ name I pray! Amen!’ 

Now enough about me and my thankfulness! (smile) Let’s turn to a more important subject on this last day of February; that of how we are doing with our New Year’s Resolution two months into the year? And some of you must be wondering, ‘what New Year’s Resolution is he talking about eh?’ The one that we made, on January the first, namely to walk closer with Jesus this year! I guess if we have to shrug our shoulders and jiggle our minds to remember it, then most likely we have not been doing it? 

Ah friends, what do we have to do to get us to take Jesus more seriously than we’re currently doing eh? Our world is falling apart under the tremendous evil and ungodliness that’s bearing down on it, and a strong and certain walk with Jesus is the ONLY antidote to save us from hell fire and damnation! If we continue the way we’re going, our world is going to blow up, both literally and figuratively, at some stage of the game! 

And is that what we want? Is that the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren? Certainly not! Well then the only option we have to prevent that disaster is to embrace Jesus and ALL He stands for with a fierce pride and determination, for He is the ONLY One who can help us make a sincere and satisfactory difference! 

As He said so clearly to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ Wow! What can be clearer than that eh friends? But as is Jesus’ wont, He goes on to explain in greater detail: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful statement of truth is that last clause, my fellow believers! Without Christ we can do nothing! And whoever thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves! For as Jesus explains: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) Yeah friends, that’s what’s going to eventually happen when the Lord sets up His judgement court. 

And believe me, that day will surely come, when all those who don’t believe will be cast out into eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, which I’ve often said is the very worst thing that can happen to a human soul! And the only way to avoid that rather disastrous ending is to do as Jesus says: ‘If ye abide in me (be my agent, my disciple), and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) ye in my LOVE!’ (John 15:7-9)  

Oh friends, remember our major job down here on earth is to let others know about God’s kingdom and thereby glorify the Father who created us in His own image. And the ONLY WAY we can accomplish that is by hooking up our broken down wagons to the magnificent and powerful carthorse that’s Jesus! So let’s wake up, let’s be wise and get with Jesus’ programme nuh. That’s our only hope! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that our Lord and God have so magnanimously bestowed on us to help us do our job, spread His Holy Word and glorify His Holy Name! All together now, in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose with thanksgiving: ‘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!’ 

The next step is to go out and share those blessings, while staying attached to the vine so we can bear good fruit! Much LOVE!

…please remember…that Jesus is the Way…the Truth…the Life…the Light…and the Only avenue to the Father…

P.S. Yeah, it’s sorta long, but we can’t always deal in short, since short does not always convey the full message. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well friends, here we are again on another beautiful Tuesday morning in the land of the living, blessed to the gills; filled to the brim with all the innate goodness and mercy of Jesus, just waiting to be brought forth in truthful words and LOVING actions! 

Hn, hn! A good mouthful that! But it’s ALL true! Yes my brethren, all the goodness and mercy of Jesus has been planted in us, like seeds in the ground, since the day we accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour! Now it’s our responsibility to let those seeds grow in us and blossom forth with much good fruit. 

Remember, Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) So the world will know whether we are true disciples of Jesus or not, by the fruit we bear. So let’s be diligent to bear good fruit in His name nuh. 

And today we’ll continue with our Bit on compassions, because it’s such an important aspect of our God, and consequently our Christian lives. Moreover, compassionate behaviour is one of the ways that we are indeed able to bear good fruit. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh my people, every time I read that passage, thankfulness and gratitude just wells up within me! Let’s hope it does in you too, because it’s only through God’s exceptional LOVING-kindness that we have hope of eternal life and not everlasting darkness and damnation! 

And finally I get to do what I wanted to from the beginning; show the compassion of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as recorded in the Good Book. (smile) Oh friends, if nothing else, Jesus was filled with compassion for the lost, the sick, the sorrowful; anyone who had a need, and to be true disciples of His, we also ought to have that compassionate mentality. 

Hear the Good Book tell it: ‘And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:35-36) 

Ah friends, sadly, that same condition still exists in our time today. There are numerous needy sheep scattered around our world, our individual countries and individual neighbourhoods with no shepherd. What are we doing, or going to do about them eh? 

Listen to Jesus when He saw that sad situation. ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38) 

Oh my people are we so moved when we see the poverty and sickness and great need that exist in this supposed prosperous society? Do we pray to the Lord to send forth more harvesters; missionaries, evangelists, doctors, nurses, philanthropists, etc. etc. to help those in need? And do we ourselves try to up our contributions to the betterment of the situation in some form or the other? 

That’s what we as Christians, as true believers and followers of Christ ought to be doing! But obviously we are not doing it as well as we should, else the mass of needy humanity in our society would not be as great as it currently is. 

Now here is another instance of Jesus’ compassion from the Good Book. This was after Herod killed John the Baptist and his head given to his (Herod’s wife). ‘And his (John’s) disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 

When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart (by himself): and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.’ (Matt.14:12-14) 

Ah mih breddren, yuh think Jesus didn’t feel sorrow and emotional pain too? Remember He was fully human, so He certainly did, as indicated by His going away by Himself after hearing about John the Baptist’s death. Remember too that John was His cousin, His forerunner. And though they did not associate much, He was still moved, because He knew that it was basically on His account that John lost his life. 

But even then, when He saw the multitudes of poor, needy and sick people, He could not avoid having compassion on them. Oh my fellow believers that’s how we ought to be too! Obviously we’ll not be able to alleviate all the suffering in the world, but come the judgement day it will be very beneficial to us, if the Lord could point out many acts of compassion which we did on His behalf, while here on earth. 

Now let’s go home, declaring who and whose we are through our Tuesday Mantra, which has compassion as a central theme. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the world is compassion. So let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…when Christians show true compassion…they are being truly Christ-like…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Ah friends, it’s just been one of those days. I got up early, but could not decide whether to write the Bit or go to the early morning church service. Hn! Consequently I did neither. 

Then I hem and hawed about whether to write the Bit or go to the later church service. I finally went to the ten o’clock service and did not get back home till after twelve, so that’s why I’m only now writing the Bit. 

Steups! What a good day for indecisiveness and laziness! Let’s be thankful that that doesn’t happen every day. 

And the church service was refreshing. Everybody was glad to see me back out, though they didn’t notice that at one stage during the pre communion prayers, I had to sit down because a bout of tiredness suddenly hit me. That’s because I purposely sat at the very back of the church. All in all though, it was a good time, and I hope it just gets better every week. 

Now let’s get in some praise and worship with this old hymn which accurately describes my situation right now. My physical state might not be the greatest, but certainly, ‘It is well with my soul.’ 

‘When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. (Refrain) It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain) 

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! — My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain) 

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Refrain) 

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul…’ 

Yeh my people, I do hope it is well with all of our souls, for that’s where it really counts. That brings us to our Bit, a serious clarion call from Bruh Paul. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ 

Oh fellow believers, that might sound somewhat difficult to do, what with all the difficulties we have in our current lives. But as a believer, it is essential for us to have continual joy, a steady spate of rejoicing, otherwise we won’t be able to handle our individual circumstances. 

Now we don’t necessarily mean constant jumping and shouting, but more a quiet thankfulness that makes the heart and soul feel satisfied, regardless of the situation. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. 

Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.” In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” 

This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

And Romans 8:28, tells us just that: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them that who are called according to his purpose.’ 

So there is good reason to rejoice always. Why do you think I’m keeping my peace and hanging in there despite my numerous ailments? Because I’m believing on God’s promises to make everything right in His own time. 

Friends, that’s the only way to find some peace in this crazy, strife filled world, especially in the uncertain and apparently divisive era of Donald Trump’s presidency. 

Let’s pray that he will soon wake up and smell the roses and not simply make matters worse than they already are. Remember, as the U.S. goes, most of the world goes, thus we are also praying for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…if heaven is your future home…then there’s no need to be sad on earth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

One more day; one more day to be alive and kicking and enjoy God’s expansive favour! Oh what a joy that ought to be my people! Just to know that our names will not be read in today’s obituaries should bring forth a glorious song of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Consequently, our mouths should be uttering joyful and thankful words like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24)

Yes friends, the Lord has kept us alive for a purpose; to continue the good work He has planned for our lives, and also to enjoy the fruits of our labour. 

Now here’s a wise li’l secret from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster: ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ 

Yes my brethren, in this life we ought not to just sit and wait for things to happen, for God to just bring them to pass, but we must also do our part in the wonderful partnership we share with Almighty God. 

Remember it’s a two way street; we do what we can, and wait patiently, enthusiastically and expectantly for God to do His part. We don’t just rest on our fannies and expect it to fall into our laps. 

Now let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere enthusiasm and thankfulness because the reality of the situation is exactly what it deserves. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a glorious truth! We aren’t what the world says or thinks about us, but we are God’s beloved, and Jesus’ friend! Wow! That means the world cannot beat or defeat or do us any real harm, because we are God’s people! 

Oh what a triumphant blessing! But please remember the last part of that declaration; we need to share the LOVE of Jesus with the rest of the world. That’s our bounden duty. 

And it all rolls right into sync with our wonderful Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Ah friends, how much more favoured can we be eh? Not much more really. We are God’s flock, and He LOVED us so much that He sent His only son Jesus to die on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled unto Him. How wonderful is that eh! 

And today we’re going to continue looking at the portion of our Bit that deals with LOVE. And John the apostle deals with it wonderfully in His first epistle. Let’s listen some to him. 

‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:12-15) 

Now here are some thoughts from the scholars. ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yuh see that friends? If we don’t have the Spirit of God within us, then we won’t have the capacity to truly embrace the emotion of LOVE. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7. Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible.’ 

And if we don’t remember what verse 7 says, let’s refresh our memories. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

That means friends, that only those who truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, can possess the LOVE of God. Now let’s continue with John’s theorizing. 

‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And hear the scholars explain that. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

Is LOVE a dominant characteristic of our lives my people? I surely do hope so, otherwise we’re just being hypocrites like the pseudo-religious Pharisees of old. 

And we’ll end with this very important verse. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Yes friends, when true LOVE exists among us, then our confidence rises to its zenith! 

The scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, if we LOVE in this world as He does.’  

Oh friends, the importance of LOVE, within each individual believer, and consequently between all believers can never be overstated, for it’s the supreme characteristic by which the true believers in Almighty God and true followers of Christ are known. 

Please, let’s critically examine ourselves today, and see how our own characteristic of LOVE shapes up, and then, ask God to help us do better, for we can all do better. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2016 1 Timothy 1:12.

1 Timothy 1:12.   And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry. 

Awright friends, it’s another brand new day! That means that we are one day older and one day closer to heaven! (smile) Therefore we can’t afford to waste any of the finite and limited time God has given us on this earth. 

What did Moses say in psalm 91 – From everlasting to everlasting thou art God – the only one he wrote, and therefore the oldest in the Psalter? ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). (Ps.91:12) We don’t know how long we have left, so we’d be wise to make the best use of it. 

And on that note, since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And today we have a lagniappe, a broughta or braata; an extra one, a gift, used by vendors to encourage customers to return. 

The first is T&T slang, although according to Dictionary.com, it’s used in Southern Louisiana and South East Texas, I guess it comes from French Creole. And the second is a Jamaican term. That means we have three instead of two.  

The first one says: ‘The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction.’ And that surely makes sense. ‘Can’ will take you in one direction, while ‘cannot’ will take you in a completely different one. The choice is up to you. 

The second quote from Anselm declares: ‘Challenge yourself! Look for new opportunities, step outside of your “comfort” zone and find new things to do. Do something special, just for you, something you’ve always wanted to do. Meet new people, learn what you need to know… be optimistic!’ That also is good advice, especially in these trying times. 

And the last one says: ‘You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.’ And ain’t that gospel truth my people! Even if laziness is your goal, you have to get up determined to be lazy, if you want to go to bed satisfied with your lazy day. (smile) That’s why laughter is the best free medicine available. 

But now it’s time to get serious, as we turn to our Bit. ‘And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry.’ Yes friends, those are Bruh Paul’s words of thankfulness for mercy as he wrote to his protégé Timothy.  And that’s indisputable truth, for without Christ’s enablement, Bruh Paul would not have been able to fulfill his apostolic duties. 

He then continues to explain why. ‘Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (violent): but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus.’ (1Tim.1:13-14)  

The scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘1:14. Grace…was exceeding abundant (or, “grace…was more abundant”).  Christ’s undeserved favour far outweighed Paul’s previous sinful life. With faith and LOVE: God’s grace brought about faith in Paul, in contrast to his former “unbelief” and it also produced LOVE in him, in contrast to his previous blasphemy, persecution and violence to the church (v.13). Which refers to faith: Paul’s faith or trust is in Christ Jesus.’  

Ah mih people, we all know Bruh Paul’s reputation as a terrorizer of the brethren, then known as Saul, before he was called by Christ on the road to Damascus, even as he was on a mission to capture believers and take them back to Jerusalem for punishment. (Acts 9) 

And many of us in reading the Good Book might have missed Bruh Paul’s part in the stoning, the martyrdom of Stephen. The brother was giving his testimony ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened; and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they (the masses) cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. 

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, (as he was) calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit.  And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’ (Acts 8:56-60) 

No friends, Bruh Paul was not a very nice man in his younger days.  That’s why he could continue to Timothy with all sincerity. ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.’ (1 Tim.1:15) 

He believes that he is the number one sinner, the worst one of the lot. ‘Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.’ (1 Tim.1:16) 

Now that’s a very interesting statement, and here is the scholars’ explanation. ‘1:16. We could read the verse thus: “But I obtained mercy for this reason: that in my case as the worst (sinner) Christ Jesus might demonstrate the fullest of patience; as an example for those about to believe on him for eternal life.” Paul’s conversion encourages other sinners; since Christ has already saved the worst sinner, He can save those less sinful.’ 

And that’s no lie friends! Christ Jesus can save the worst of us if we come to Him in true repentance! 

And we’ll end with these beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving of Bruh Paul. ‘Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.’ (1 Tim.1:17) 

That’s one thing about Bruh Paul; he never shies away from giving all the glory to God. May we also do likewise my precious people, for that is wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…to our wonderful God…all praise, honour and glory be given…for that is His rightful desert…

 

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