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…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2018 Acts 12:5.

Acts 12:5.   Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And then it was Friday; that magical day of the week that has us all gushing with the promise of a wonderful and relaxing weekend! 

But I don’t think the people on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the volcano has now swallowed up some 600 hundred homes, or those in Guatemala, where their volcano is starting to act up again, are thinking about a relaxing weekend. Neither are the people in Colorado where the wildfires continue spreading like wildfire. Hn! So please, let’s continue to keep them in our prayers. 

And on a note of interest, the people of the Province of Ontario here in Canada have decided to vote for change. The Progressive Conservative Party was elected with a safe majority in yesterday’s Provincial Election. Let’s hope that the change we voted for doesn’t end up worse than what we had before. 

And why you ask? Because the Leader of the party is none other than Doug Ford, the brother of the late Rob Ford, who as mayor of Toronto recently made the city the laughing stock of the world with his ‘unmayoral’ antics. Let’s hope that brother Doug is not cut from the same cloth. But remember too, that a people get the government they deserve. 

Then we have the workingman, who is more than ecstatic about the day and rejoices in song: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and soon a release from slavery! The weekend…the weekend…it’s here at last…and is it ever going to be great! Lots of wining and dining…carousing and cart wheeling! Nobody can stop we now from doing what we want to do, because now is our time. Yay! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, I wish we were as enthusiastic about our weekends as the workingman is about his. And there’s no reason why we should not be, it’s just that after hearing his song, our sinful nature hungers for the lack of boundaries, the licentiousness that’s open to the workingman which is not open to us as believers in Jesus Christ. (smile) 

Nonetheless, let’s enthusiastically chant our Friday Chant which states our belief. ‘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 mih people, our Leader, Jesus Christ, doesn’t want us involved in the lascivious and lustful activities of the world, that’s why He has sanctified and set us apart. Remember, we should be in the world, but not of the world. That brings us to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday. ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’ 

And if you’re wondering why, it’s because the story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison has another part to it. Yesterday we ended where the angel left Peter in the street and he realized that the Lord had delivered him out of Herod’s deadly clutches. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken (answer), named Rhoda. 

And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad (out of your mind). But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 

But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace (keep silent), declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.’ (Acts 12:12-17) 

Ah friends, can you imagine how jittery Peter must have been waiting openly in the street, knocking with no one answering. What I want to point out in this message is what the scholars explain here. ‘12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v.5), there was a deficiency in faith (vs.15-16). Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’ 

And unfortunately the same thing happens today: we pray fervently, but don’t believe wholeheartedly. But what’s the point in praying if we don’t truly believe eh friends? None whatsoever. Remember Jesus’ admonishment to the disciples after He cursed the barren fig tree and it died? ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) 

The only corollary to that my brethren, is that whatever we pray for must be in God’s will, otherwise we won’t receive it, no matter how fervent our pray and strong our belief. So please, as individuals, as well as Christ’s body here on earth, His church, let’s ramp up our belief in our prayers nuh, because as I said yesterday, miracles are still happening each and everyday to those who sincerely believe. Much LOVE!

…you won’t get a miracle…unless you truly believe for one…


 

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2018 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

Ah mih brethren, another glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Can’t remember when last I saw so many gorgeous days strung together. And yuh know, even when the rain falls, it doesn’t fall at an inopportune time, and then those days end up glorious too. (smile) 

This springtime has really been a beautiful regeneration of nature! Glory Be! Let’s enjoy it as we thank our great and awesome God for the wonderful blessings of life and LOVE that He has given us. And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ 

And by the way, that volcano watch on Hawaii – well it seems to be getting worse every day. I believe there have been some explosions that are causing even more problems than before. Let’s remember to keep them in our prayers, and hope it doesn’t truly erupt, as volcanoes are possibly the most terrible of all destructions that can occur; it encapsulates the real fire and brimstone, which we so mythically talk about. 

And today we’re going to get into our Bit very early, because it is possibly the most important problem facing Christ’s church right now. Hear these immortal words of Bruh David and give pause, let’s give thought to them in our own lives. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’ 

Oh my people, if only that state of affairs even existed to one iota in the church of today, what a great church we’d have! But bickering and quarreling and disunity are the name of the game. Thus Christ’s body has become of little use to a major part of society. They scorn it and turn away from it because of the tremendous infighting and confusion that exists therein, not to mention that we don’t walk the talk we preach. 

So how can Christ’s church ever become the focal point of our society under those conditions eh? Never! And it’s not to say that the arguments are all over major points of doctrine – No- a lot of them are over rather petty and immaterial stuff. But such is the hold of the world on us, that power and supremacy of religion or denomination keeps us from being more together. 

Ah friends, can’t we see that strife is the enemy’s number one goal amongst believers? That way he keeps us warring against each other and not living in the peace and LOVE that Jesus desires of us. How unfortunate that we are allowing it to happen. Let’s look at some scripture on the subject. 

We see way back when Lot and Abraham’s people were feuding over grazing land and water that Abraham wisely told him. ‘Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.’ (Gen.13:8) 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, right there we have the most important aspect of our being on this earth; being brethren in Christ! That means we don’t need to be fighting each other over petty stuff. We won’t ever agree on everything, but this much we ought to agree on: that we are ONE in Christ! 

And there is no better example of that than after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit began indwelling believers and the new church was born. Hear the Good Book tell it re the day of Pentecost. ‘Then they that gladly receive his (Peter’s) word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Yuh see that friends, ‘they continued steadfastly.’ Those are the most important words in that sentence. And they didn’t believe the apostles’ doctrine because they preached it, but because it agreed with the Word of God, which also called for fellowship and prayers. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by (through) the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man (anyone) had need. 

And they, continuing daily with one accord (mind) in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house did eat their meat (food) with gladness and singleness (simplicity) of heart. Praising God, and having favour with all people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be (were being) saved.’ (Acts 2:43-47)  

Wow! What a moving memorial of the early church! Now we know that the communal living couldn’t happen nowadays, and didn’t last long there either. People sold their possessions because they possibly thought that Jesus was coming back real soon (smile), but look at how they communed together ‘in one accord, one mind.’ 

That’s how we ought to commune today friends; with Jesus as our guiding light regardless of the circumstance! Not all the other nonsense that we’ve allowed the world to intersperse into the church. Anyhow, time and space are upon us, so please ponder those things and see how we can improve our own situations. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings that our LOVING God has bestowed on us, even though we don’t deserve most of them. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And please remember those blessings were not given for us to hoard, but to go out and share with others. Much LOVE!

…stand fast…in one spirit…with one mind…striving together…for the faith of the gospel…(Phil.2:27b)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2018 Matthew 10:33.

Matthew 10:33    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

And then it was the first of March… Can you believe it? January and February have passed us by like a whirlwind! It’s now an old year! (smile) Unfortunately though, not much has changed over the past two months, there is still an overwhelming amount of adversity, calamity and tragedy bombarding our world. 

Ungodliness is also taking a serious toll on our earthly fortunes, as lots of people, for whatever reason, unfortunately drift away from the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD. How sad that is friends, knowing that so many of our fellow man stand the very good likelihood of missing out on salvation and eternal life with Christ. And there’s nothing more important that that, in this entire world! 

But as individuals, and as Christ’s body, the church, we can only do so much. However, I do believe that we’re not doing as much as we can. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever proselytize EVERYBODY on the planet, because there are just some stubborn, foolish, adamant people who will just flatly refuse to ever believe in Jesus, but we can surely give it a greater effort than we’re currently doing. 

Too many of us are too lackadaisical about communicating the gospel to others, and some simply refuse to do it for fear of confrontation, rejection or shame. But please remember the momentous words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our Bit: ‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer than that nuh. 

And earlier on He said to the disciples: ‘Fear them not therefore (persecutors): for there is nothing covered (veiled), that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what hear ye in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:26-28) 

Yes friends, there is no need to fear what man can do to us, because he can only kill the body, but we need to fear God, who can kill both body and soul. Thus, once we embark upon the pilgrim’s journey with Christ, we cannot afford to let fear of man put us off, but we have to keep on fighting the good fight to spread the gospel to ALL the world, because that’s our bounden duty. 

And as good soldiers in Christ’s army, we need to do our duty sincerely and proudly and with lots of courage. Please note what Jesus said right before our Bit. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32) 

And the scholars enlighten us as to the meaning of our Bit and that verse. ‘10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to Me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. 

The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist tense, (hn!) referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. Therefore, a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’ 

What more can I say eh mih breddren. The scholars hit the nail on the head. We either acknowledge Jesus in public, or we don’t. We can’t sit on the fence, scared and wishy-washy. That doesn’t work in Jesus’ organization. A lot of us want to reap the benefits of knowing Jesus but don’t want to put in the hard work those benefits require before they can become reality. 

Remember friends, in God’s economy, whatever you sow, that is what you’re going to reap. So don’t think you can deny Jesus and still get to heaven. As true believers in Jesus, we ought to proudly and courageously say and act like Bruh Paul: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentiles).’ (Rom.1:16) 

Yes my people, that’s how we ought to think of the gospel of Christ, because it is indeed powerful, remember, it’s like a two edged sword. That means we have to be very careful with it, not play around with it like some ordinary knife, else we’re liable to get cut very badly with it. (smile) So please, let’s sit and ponder today, how we are treating the gospel of Christ, and if we’re denying or confessing Him, because that’s the key to our eternal salvation. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and heartfelt sincerity. ‘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 magnanimous God we serve my people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others, as He intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…you can’t sow rice and expect to reap peas…likewise…you can’t deny Christ…and expect Him to confess you before His Father…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries