Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

1 Timothy 2:3.    ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘and given him a name which is above every name; 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 Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2015 Proverbs 4:12

Proverbs 4:12.   When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 

Oh Friends, what is our world coming to eh…especially this supposed Christian country called Canada? Now listen to this story from an article published in the Toronto Sun newspaper a couple of days ago. It’s titled ‘ROOM FOR DIFFERENT VOICES,’ and subtitled ‘Christian group fighting to hold fest in Yonge-Dundas Square.’ 

Let’s set some parameters before we get into the meat of the article. Yonge-Dundas Square is a public square created in downtown Toronto around a decade or less ago, where shows and other events are put on. 

Now to the best of my knowledge it was paid for with public tax funds, is owned by the City of Toronto, but is run by a Management Board, which recently had a meeting with a group called Voices of the Nations who have been running a summertime Christian show in the square for the past five years. 

However, a permit to run the sixth show next year was denied because of ‘concerns over songs about Jesus Christ being too proselytizing, which is not allowed in the public square.’ 

What hogwash! What heifer dust! But nudity and crime and violence and songs about sex drugs and rock and roll are permitted. Ah Lord eh! And they boldfaced enough to want to talk about “explicit items of what is and is not appropriate behavior in the square,” and ground rules that “are free of intolerance and consistent with the values of a public institution.” 

Steupssss! I guess the negative, sinful behavior is what’s appropriate, not singing or talking about Jesus! These blooming hypocrites eh! As the organizer’s wife reputedly called it: “a de facto ban on Christianity” in the square. 

And as the writer of the article pointed out, religion IS a part of the square, because, “right now, in Yonge-Dundas Square a menorah is proudly and appropriately displayed – completely fitting and enthusiastically welcomed since we are right in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.”  

That made him wonder if after Hanukkah is over, they will also appropriately put up a crèche featuring the Nativity Scene. Hn! I won’t hold my breath for that nuh. It surely seems as though everybody else but Christians have rights in this supposed land of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. We can’t complain about other religions, but others complain about us and get their way. 

And our wonderful Prime Minister is hustling to bring in thousands of Syrian Refugees in to the country, most, if not all of them Muslim. Do you think they are going to come here and just accept the status quo? Obviously not! In fact they won’t have to because they already have more rights than Christians, and they have been taught to proselytize from young.  At one stage Christians were taught that too, but I guess we don’t any longer. 

Anyway, let me shut my mouth about all of that eh, before they charge me with inciting hate crimes, or whatever they call it. And that’s no joke friends, for in these times of all kinds of unlawful activities, high security and surveillance, anything is possible. 

The long and short though of the story my brethren is that we have no one but ourselves to blame for whatever rights are being taken away from us. We are either too complacent or fearful to stand up for what we believe in. And until we do, we will see what little we still possess, being gradually taken away. 

Just check out the amazing amount of Christian persecution that’s going on around the world right now nuh. It seems like the early days of the church once again. So my fellow believers, it’s up to us to stand up strong and fight back in Jesus’ name, otherwise we’ll soon be marginalized…if we haven’t been already!  End of sermon! 

Let’s turn to our Bit now. ‘When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.’ 

Yes my people, that is what happens when we avoid the wisdom of this world which is mostly wickedness, and instead turn to the Lord God Jehovah for His wisdom and understanding. 

And today we’ll look at some scriptures that agree with our Bit, beginning with these awesome words from Bruh David from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. He boldly declares of his God. ‘Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held) me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps (path) under me, that my feet did not slip (did not stumble).’ (Ps.18:35-36)  

And if we know Bruh David’s life story, then we know that that is gospel truth! Now hear it from the opposite side of the coin, as Job’s buddy, Bildad, speaks of the plight of the wicked. 

‘Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle (tent), and his candle (lamp) shall be put out with (beside) him. The steps of his strength shall be straitened (shortened), and his own counsel shall cast him down. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare. The gin (net) shall take him by the heel, and the robber (a snare) shall prevail against him.’ (Job 18:5:9) 

Yes Friends, you have it from both sides now; words of indisputable truth, per the wise righteous and the foolish wicked. And let’s not forget that today is Sunday; the day we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him and receive His mercies and blessings, also to have our faith strengthened and our souls encouraged so that we can fight the good fight for another week. 

My fellow brethren in Christ, please don’t defer from gathering with other believers today, so that the Lord may be glorified and His children energized. Much LOVE!

…onward Christian soldiers…marching as to war…with the cross of Jesus…going on before…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2015 Revelation 1:3‏‏

Revelation 1:3.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle see His banners go! Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before.’ 

Oh Yes Friends, we are indeed soldiers of Christ, marching in to war with the enemy in this ungodly civilization in which we now live. And our banner is the mighty cross of Christ! Let us never forget that, for the cross is the difference between life and death for believers. 

It is where Jesus sacrificed Himself to pay for our sins, and it is to it that we owe all that we are as Christians. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross brought God’s gift of salvation and eternal life to sinful man. 

Therefore let us rise up and faithfully fight the battles in which we are engaged on Christ’s behalf. We cannot just sit idly by and allow life to roll over us, we have to take it by the horns and make it bow to us. 

For as one Peter Marshall supposedly said: ‘Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make things happen.’ 

Now that is quite true my people, but we have to take that with some advisement; namely making sure that what we are doing is God’s will, and also His timing. For if we get out of His will and timing, we will just make an unholy mess of things. 

And the best way to ensure that we are in God’s will and timing is by following the wise advice of our Bit. ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ 

Yes my people, God gave us His Holy Word, the Bible as a guidebook for our earthly living, so that we can always be in sync with Him. But to know when we are in or out of sync with the Lord, we have to read and meditate on His Word, and then follow its dictates. Otherwise we’ll just be like lost sheep without a shepherd, liable to go seriously astray in this evil and contentious world. 

I’m sure that when you go on vacation, or anywhere new, and you’re given material describing your surroundings and what happens there, you look at it carefully so you can understand the ramifications of your actions. 

Well the Bible falls into the same category; it explains what will and will not happen in your life, according to the decisions you make. Glory to God for showing us the way! 

Now let’s check out some scripture that corroborates the contentions of our Bit, beginning with the words of Jesus. One day, while Jesus was teaching, the Good Book says: ‘Then came to him his mother and his brethren (brothers), and could not come at him for the press (the crowd). 

And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without (outside), desiring to see thee. And he answered and said, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.’ (Luke 8:19-21)  

Oh friends, I know that sounds somewhat harsh, especially from Jesus, but He is just trying to show that though family ties are important, covenant ties with God are much more important. As the scholars say: ‘Mutual obedience to God comprises a tie that binds more closely than mere bloodlines.’ 

Now here is Mark’s version of the same situation. ‘And he answered them saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren (brothers)? And he looked round about on them which sat about him (in a circle), and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.’ (Mark:3:33-35) 

So Friends, we can clearly see that doing the will of God is our most important goal and action on this earth, because our Lord and Saviour said so! 

Now listen to these words from Psalm 112, which support all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 

Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth (stands) forever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.’ (Ps.112:1-4) 

Oh my people, yuh see what happens when we read, meditate on and obey God’s Word! Our lives are blessed! Glory Hallelujah! 

That brings us to the words of Bruh David in Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – where he boldly proclaims: ‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever (always) merciful, and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more.’ ( Ps.37:23-27) 

And what better note to end on my brethren! So as we go about our business today, let us take Bruh David’s wise advice nuh; let us depart from evil, and do good, so that we can live forever. Much LOVE!

…like children obey their earthly fathers…so too should God’s children…obey their heavenly Father…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2014 Psalm 66:19

 Psalm 66:19.     But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
 
Awright mih people, the inevitable Monday has rolled around once more! So let’s get a move on nuh. You should be well rested and ready after the weekend.
 
There’s no time to dilly dally, for the battle lines have already been drawn and Jesus is there waiting for us, astride that magnificent white stallion, who is impatiently tossing his head, pawing the ground, snorting and exhaling big gusts of hot, smoky air.
 
So to get us ready for battle, let’s move right into our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one great choir now, let’s raise our heads, hands, hearts and voices heavenward, as we burst out in song this bright spring morning. 
 
‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
Marvellous, mih breddren! That was absolutely marvellous! Once again we had the heavenly hosts all standing and rocking – that includes Jesus and the Father. (smile) So with our engines all revved up, let’s get out into the wicked world that anxiously awaits our coming, and with our great leader Jesus Christ in the forefront, let’s battle the enemy to a standstill!
 
Wow! As the old hymn directs and encourages: ‘Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus, going on before!’
 
Ah Friends, the enthusiasm is catching! It’s certainly caught me, as I’m smiling and chucking, trying to suppress a cough that doesn’t want to be suppressed.
 
Now here is our Bit, which gives justification to our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.’
 
Yeh Friends, the Lord has certainly heard our prayer for strength and guidance this first day of the new work week. And please remember that prayer is of the utmost importance in a believer’s life, for it is our best and fastest method of communicating with our wonderful Creator!
 
And today we’ll check out a few scriptures where our Creator purposely advised us to seek Him out in prayer. So here goes. And we’ll begin with the words of Bruh David from Psalm 27; the Lord is my light and my salvation.
 
And no Friends, that is not a contrived situation. (smile) This time it has nothing to do with my favouritism of Bruh David. I’m putting the scriptures in sequence, and Bruh David just happens to come first.
 
And in Psalm 27, he solemnly declares: ‘Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:7-8)
 
And that’s the proper response my people! But sadly, many of us say it, but don’t put it into action, and thus miss out, foolishly deprive ourselves of many of the blessings the Lord has stored up for us.
 
Then in Jeremiah, our awesome God, LOVINGLY promises: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:11-13)
 
Yes Friends, prayer is necessary to find God! And most importantly, we need to do it diligently, sincerely, with all our heart, soul and mind.
 
Now listen to Amos, in his call to Israel for repentance. He uncompromisingly proclaims: ‘For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought (nothing).
 
Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel. Ye who turn judgement (justice) to wormwood, and leave off (abandon) righteousness in the earth, seek him that maketh the seven stars (the Pleiades) and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with (as) night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name.’ (Amos 5:4-8)
 
Oh my fellow believers, the Lord’s message could not be any clearer and simpler than that! It is essential that we seek Him, especially through prayer!
 
Now here are a few comments from the scholars: ‘5:4-7: Three times the invitation, Seek ye me, and ye shall live, is given (vv.4,6,14). Though God’s judgement is imminent, it can be avoided, or at least postponed, by seeking the Lord. The only hope is to seek the Lord in true repentance and thus avoid the judgement of God.’ 
 
Oh my people, that speaks right to our current situation. We definitely need to seek the Lord God Jehovah in true repentance, if we want our society to improve in righteousness. 
 
And please remember that prayer doesn’t always have to be a formal, bowing and scraping ceremony. It can be just a friendly chat with our Creator as we mosey on through our day.
 
So please don’t be afraid to engage the Lord in conversation, at any time and place, for He takes great delight when His children come to Him in any kind of prayer, once it is sincere. Much LOVE!
 
…But without faith…it is impossible to please God…for he that cometh to God…must believe that he is…and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him… (Heb.11:6) 
 
P.S. My humble apologies Friends, but between Outlook’s messing with my writing and my unhealthy self, we’re way behind. But better late then never though. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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