Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2019 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.    ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a cloudy, ‘riney’ kind of day in my neck of the woods…at least that’s how it’s begun. But we all know that could change by mid morning and the sun could explode out of the sky in a terrible tantrum of heat and light that has us begging for mercy! (smile) Hopefully the sun will come shining through later, but not in such a striking and unpleasant manner. 

In the meanwhile, hear this fabulous promise from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s called ‘A Family Pledge.’ Please pray and promise with me: ‘We will permit God to use our conflicts and mixed emotions as lessons in quiet growth. With LOVING patience, without ridicule or judgement, we will support each other in the gradual untangling of built-in defenses. We will focus on each other as persons made in the image of God. 

We will seek to please rather than to pressure, to delight rather than to demand, to give rather than to get. We will share the humdrums as well as the highlights, the tears as well as the laughter, the defeats as well as the victories. We will not insist on perfection – rather we will anticipate growth. 

We will not compete for the mountaintop, rather we will climb the mountain together. We will wait for each other if one of us gets behind. We will lift our hearts in a celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible. We will LOVE each other as we do these things.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what wonderful sentiments and promises! Wow! Can you imagine if only the Christian families truly decided to instill those values and plans and promises, how wonderful our world would be! The family would return to its rightful place in society as being the most important unit. Then the unbeliever would really know what a true Christian is like, because all that we’ve promised above is merely Christianity 101! 

Yes, it’s all about LOVING each other, putting each other first, letting go of resentments, of competition, and instead seeking togetherness, of sharing, both the highs and lows, the joy and tears, growing together. As it so strongly states: it’s all about ‘lifting our hearts in celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible!’ 

And is that ever so true! It’s only God’s amazing LOVE flooding through our hearts, souls, bodies and minds that makes a true family LOVE possible. But yuh know the most important word in that last sentence friends? It’s GRATITUDE! Yeh people, we’re not truly thankful for God’s LOVE, otherwise we’d gladly share it with each other. 

And gratitude, more than anything else is what’s sadly missing in our world! We’re not a very thankful or grateful society anymore. We’ve become so selfish and greedy, envious and jealous, that there’s no room left for thanks, or rather sincere thanks in our society. And the sad part is that that undesirable attitude is also present in Christ’s body, the church, much much more than is called for. 

And the Bible Promise for that reading is also our Bit for today; the wise words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the two foundations of life. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. 

And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt.7:24-25) Oh my people, Jesus couldn’t have put it any clearer than that! 

And I just have to share the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great master Counsellor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings” vs.28.’ 

Oh precious people of God, what more can I say eh, except to warn us about building our lives on the right foundation, for that’s what holds our spiritual houses up in time of adversity and storm. And the ONLY foundation available in this degenerate world, that’s strong enough to withstand calamity and storm is Jesus Christ! As Bruh Paul so wisely put it to the Corinthians: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.3:11) And that’s gospel truth friends! 

So please, as we go about our business to day, I implore us to seriously consider what foundation we’re building our lives on, and if it isn’t on Jesus, then please change quickly, for we know not when the storms of adversity will suddenly come and knock down our houses built on shifting and sinking sand. 

And with those words of wisdom frothing in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And I have to remind us friends, that if we hold that righteous and positive course in Jesus, then the future will indeed be even more glorious than our puny minds can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…nothing built on a foundation of sand can withstand the elements for long…but anything built on the rock…Jesus…can withstand the elements…forever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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!’ 

Yes mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2019 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    ​Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
 

And it looks like it’s going to rain today… Hn! The whole truth though is that it has already rained today, sometime in the early morning hours. And if we do get some rain today, we really can’t complain because we’ve gotten such beautiful warm weather for the last few days. 

And anyway, we’re down to the penultimate day of the workweek, and our souls are all bursting with the heavenly fire of Jesus as we mingle in the evil, ungodly world, His assured ambassadors, bringing peace, LOVE, joy and the good news of His wonderful gospel to all and sundry. That’s why we can all declare: ‘I am ONE with God’s perfect order, I am calm and poised, knowing that all is well with my life.’ 

And that’s only because ‘the Light of God surrounds me. The LOVE of God enfolds me. The Power of God protects me. And the Presence of God watches over me! That means All is Well!’ Glory be my precious people! That’s what happens to us when we become true disciples of Jesus! 

Though circumstances may not be the best, there is a radiant joy, an uplifting and encouraging attitude, a supreme peace, one which surpasses all of man’s understanding, alive in our souls and spirits placed there by our Leader, Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ! 

Give Him some sincere thanks and praise ye saints of God, for all that He’s already done for us – sacrificing Himself on Calvary’s cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we’re made right with God the Father, plus making us entitled to salvation and eternal life. 

And let’s remember to also thank and praise Him for what He is doing right now – sitting at the Father’s right hand interceding on our behalf. Then there’s the Big One, what’s He’s promised to do in the future – come back for us and take us to dwell in the mansions of heaven with him and the other parts of the Holy Trinity…for ever and ever and ever…! 

Wow! What’s there not to like about all that eh friends? Who else has even thought about doing anything like that for us lowly humans eh, much less actually doing it, like Jesus has done? Not a single supposed god! And that’s simply because there is ONLY ONE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Living Deity; the Triune combination of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Creators and Rulers of this awesome universe! 

That’s why nobody else can do what Jesus has done, is doing and has promised to do for us. And that’s why we need to glorify and exalt His Holy Name: that awesome name that’s set above every other for His selfless sacrificial work As Bruh Paul declared to the Philippians: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:’ (Phil.2:8-9) 

Mama Yo! Yuh see how the Father exalted Jesus mih people for obediently doing His bidding! It’s the same way He’ll exalt us if we humbly and obediently do His holy will. Obviously our names won’t be as exalted as Jesus’, but we will be recognized enough by the saints. (smile) 

And just think about the awesome recognition that Jesus’ exaltation wrought nuh: ‘That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:10-11) Yeh friends, that’s how important the Father made Jesus for His obedience and sacrifice! 

And Bruh Paul says it thus to the Ephesians in talking about his praying for them to acquire knowledge and understanding: ‘according to the working of his (God’s) mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set (seated) him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 

Far above all principality, and power and might, and dominion, (various classes of angelic beings), and every name that is named, not only in this world (age), but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.’  (Eph.1:19a-23) Wow mih breddren! Jesus couldn’t get any higher than that! 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars: ‘1:22. And gave him to be the head over all things to the church means God appointed Him head (ruler) over all things for the benefit of the church. Jesus is the divinely appointed ruler over the entire universe for the church’s benefit.’ 

‘1:23. Paraphrased, this verse reads, “For the church is His body. It is the fullness belonging to Him who fills the universe with all things.” That is, Jesus, who so wisely and skillfully fills the universe with all material elements necessary for its existence, also wisely and skillfully infuses His people (the church) with His own life and character.’ 

Yes friends, the church represents the body of Christ, and we are the church, not the buildings, which means that whatever is in Christ is also in us. Therefore we need to work together for His benefit, as one body though with different parts, because that’s the only way we will ever overcome the evil that’s currently ruling the world. And in His utmost wisdom and generosity, He has also given us wonderful blessings to use as tools in our earthly work. 

So let’s go home declaring (Steups! wrong again!) them out loud with real gusto and true sincerity. As one 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!’ 

Now two last things to remember (smile); our words have awesome power, so when we speak them, we bring them to pass, and secondly, those blessings are not to be hoarded but to pass around generously as we do Christ’s work. Sermon done! Much LOVE!

…His servants shall see the Lamb’s face…and His name shall be written…on their foreheads… (Rev.22:3 & 4)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 
And then it was the first Friday in the new year; a day every working person was just dying to see, because it was a harbinger of the weekend and they so badly wanted to rest their tired bones, flesh and spirits after all the New Year’s celebrations! Ah mih people, the doctor’s appointments business in the big city have begun again yes. But I’m not sure that I’m keeping this one this morning nuh…

Chuh! The ole fella didn’t sleep well last night and is walking around this morning like an ole fogey. (smile) Easy mih first born easy…(smile) She’s already warned me not to cancel any appointments, but she’s not the one feeling the feelings, nor has to trek umpteen miles in the cold and traffic to hear a doctor say: ‘Oh, everything’s healing well. Just keep on doing what you’re doing!’ And I don’t believe that the duchess is too thrilled having to drive me either. But we’ll see how it shakes out after I’m done with the Bit. 

And nobody is more thrilled than the ordinary workingman to see this day as he so enthusiastically informs us: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t work another day even if mih life depended on it! Brother! Them Christmas and New Year’s festivities really drain me yes! Ah guess is time to realize that ah not as young as I used to be…in other words, no spring chicken, so I can’t afford to party as hearty and not feel the resulting rough consequences. Hn, hn! But where there is a will there is a way. 

So watch me, come this year Christmas and New Year’s Eve nuh! Ah going to start getting mihself ready from early o’clock…because who want to miss them fantastic celebrations, sitting down like some ole man in a wheelchair and kyar move and go round the place and eat and drink up other people stuff eh? Not me for sure nuh! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, that enable me to renew mih soul and body, so that I could get out and party! Party, party, party…!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze me, how we can be so kind and gracious for a couple of weeks, then go right back to the disgusting living we practiced before. But I guess that’s just nature of the human animal. However, since it’s Friday, we need to let our Christian voice be heard in our Friday Chant. It’s not as ebullient and mind chasing as the workingman’s song, but it sure fits our purposes admirably. 

 So altogether now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh, it’s not spectacular, but it helps keep us out of the enemy’s reach, and doing Jesus’ work. And that’s the most important aspect of our lives, doing Jesus’ bidding! Remember His last words to the disciples, in what we term, ‘the Great Commission’?

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

There you have it friends, the imperative from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Ours is to spread the good news of His Word around the world, to all and sundry. And note, He assured us, that He would be with us all the time we’re doing His will. What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Always thinking of us and our welfare! 

And the scholars give us this explanation: ‘28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. 

The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objectives for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Yes friends, our job is to let the heathen know about Christ, and all the wonderful things He has to offer to those who come to Him in humility and sincerity. And each and every Christian has a part to play in this transformation! The question that now faces us, is whether we’re doing what Jesus requires of us, and if we’re doing it to the best of our ability? 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, the church, we’re not doing such a great job, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a state of upheaval and evil. So I’d like to invite each of us to sit down and seriously ponder our current role in Christ’s church, and then ask the Lord to help us do better, for we can ALL do better. Much LOVE!

…I must work the works of him who sent me…while it is day…the night cometh…when no man can work… (John 9:4)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2018 John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38.   In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.

‘Sunday morning coming down…’ And the Lord’s sanctuary is filled to overflowing! Bless His holy name! The faithful believers have come to renew their connection to Almighty God; to sing His praises and give Him thanks, hear His Word and receive His body and blood in the symbolic gesture of communion, thereby reawakening and reenergizing their listless and tired souls. 

Wow friends! What a blessing it is to have fellowship every Sunday with other believers under the remarkable auspices of our Creator! So as we do every Sunday, let’s begin the proceedings with some praise and worship to soften up our hearts and make them more receptive to the word. 

And today’s song of praise is that old but magical hymn, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,’ taken from the 10th and last movement of the cantata ‘Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life,’ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 18th century. This version we’re going to sing today, is apparently the most common English one, written by poet laureate Robert Bridges. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and voices to high heaven in sweet, adorable and exalted praise, accompanied by the scintillating symphonic music of the master composer, as performed by the full orchestra. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Jesus, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light. 

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round Thy throne. Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVE of joys unknown.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ALWAYS leads us, His faithful people, with LOVE, to unknown, unbelievable gasps of joy! Praise His Holy Name! Oh friends, Jesus is indeed the joy of our desire!

And why not eh? He has Holy wisdom, the brightest LOVE that exists and shines in the universe, not to mention the everlasting hope of salvation and eternal life He’s provided for us through His ever-faithful promises and sacrificial actions of two thousand years ago. 

Now let’s hear his Word, which fashioned our flesh, then breathed the fire of impassioned life into it, as we strive to uncover unknown truths from it. And today’s scripture deals with ‘Drink of joy from deathless springs.’ Listen as our Lord and Saviour expounds on His abilities with thrilling confidence. 

‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

And can you imagine the confusion those statements caused amongst the mainly ignorant crowd. ‘But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ (John 7:39) 

Yes friends, Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit that was to come upon every believer after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. And if we’re truly spiritually thirsty, the best place to seek relief from that thirst is in Jesus.  He is the ONLY one who can quench, can satisfy, can satiate our thirsty souls! 

And in the end of the Good Book, He again declares unto John: ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’ (Rev.22:16)

And what does this revealing angel make known to John? ‘And the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and the bride (the church) say, Come (to Christ in faith for eternal life). And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst (thirsty) come. And whosoever will (desires), let him take the water of life freely.’ (Rev.22:17) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that offer! It’s the best offer going in this mish-mash world! And we’ll end with these beautiful words of scripture as prophesied by Isaiah about the Lord’s doings through Jesus.

‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

And our Lord and Saviour is indeed great in our midst my brethren! So let’s be wise and do like the prophet advised nuh; let’s call on His name, declare His deeds, exalt His holy name and above all, accept His free offer of grace, whereby we can receive salvation and eternal life! That is wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…in Jesus…we have EVERYTHING…we can ever need…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.      Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Well it’s cloudy, and the forecasters have promised rain for this afternoon, which the ground badly needs, but I also want to go and visit my mother out in the North East end, and it doesn’t make sense to go in the rain. Been putting it off for a couple weeks, finding one excuse after another.

 

Hn! Haven’t seen her for about a year now, if not more, and that’s not a good son’s behaviour. But I know she will forgive my lack of attention, because that’s the kind of person she was. 

Ah friends, forgiveness! One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. And the greatest words of forgiveness ever spoken are those of Jesus, as He hung, bruised and battered on the old wooden cross, about to breathe His last breath. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

Yeh friends, can you believe it? After the harsh and unjust punishment Jesus received at the hands of wicked and sinful men, He still could ask the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t know what we were doing! What magnanimity of soul and spirit He exuded there.

The same goes for us in these evil times. Only a person with a large heart and spirit can genuinely forgive another. It’s seldom easy, but yuh know what my people? Forgiveness is the very basis of our faith!  

Our most generous and magnanimous God forgave us our sins because it was in His heart to do so. He didn’t have to do it, but because of His LOVE for us, He chose to do it. And He requires us to do the same; to forgive others as He has forgiven us. And if you don’t, then you’re not a true child of His. 

And that principle of our faith was, and is so important that Jesus made it a part of the basic prayer He taught His disciples: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And the scholars explain the verse of our Bit as follows: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ 

And that’s a good thing, because so many of us have so many, even some we don’t know about, that it would take us till everlasting to name them all! (smile) As the li’l quote from the Daily Bread Devotional reminds us: ‘The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.’ And do we ever! 

And Jesus didn’t just leave it there in our Bit, but followed up with this most important corollary: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses (sins, debts), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus could not make it any simpler or clearer than that! If we don’t forgive our fellow man his trespass, then the Lord won’t forgive ours. It’s as simple as that! But we’re such hypocrites and deceivers in this current world that we don’t forgive others but keep on pleading to the Lord for His forgiveness on our behalf. Hn! It won’t work my people. 

The Lord forgave us once on the big stage, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but now He expects us, as individuals, to live up to our covenant and do unto others as we expect Him and others to do unto us. So we shouldn’t expect someone to give us something that we’re not prepared to give in the first place, or to give back, having received it. That’s not Christ-like. 

But unfortunately that’s not what our current world is all about. Instead, we’re mightily focused on getting something for nothing, not sharing, being greedy and hoarding, simply looking out for number one, me, myself and I! And even more unfortunately, too many of us Christians are falling into the selfish trap that the world is advocating. 

And it doesn’t help us either as individuals or as Christ’s body, the church. It just makes the unbeliever look at us askance and lose interest in God, because that behaviour does not gel with what we preach as believers. So we’re definitely doing ourselves and Christ’s church irreparable harm when we behave in that hypocritical and ungodly manner. 

Oh my people, I guess we’ll need to hear about forgiveness until the very day, or moment that we die, since it’s not always easy to do, and it goes against the very grain of our naturally sinful soul. But forgive we must, if we want to be forgiven!

And like with every other aspect in our walk of faith, God will help us with forgiveness if we come to Him in all humility and sincerity and ask for His help. He’s promised never to turn us away…and He won’t. 

So let’s wisely get on the forgiveness train nuh, because it’s the only one going to heaven. And simple logic dictates that if you’re not on it, then you’re not going to heaven! (smile) But our God is so magnanimous and wonderful, that for those who try to practice what they preach, He’s ordained numerous blessings, as found in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s go home now sincerely declaring them nuh. 

In unison: ‘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 people! Now let’s go out with a strong sense of purpose and share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…if you’re blessed…then you were meant to share the blessing…

 

 

 

 

 

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