Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Time to refuel once again friends; time to revitalize our spiritual energy with a visit to the Lord’s house this Sunday morning, or evening, where in fellowship with other believers, we give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, hear His awesome Word, filled with wisdom and encouragement and come away strong and confident, empowered to face our turbulent world for another seven days, diligently doing His holy will! Hn, hn! I like that sentence; though it’s long, it’s chocked full of truth! And as believers in Jesus Christ, that ought to be a major priority in our lives. As Bruh David says in Psalm 25: ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.’ (Ps.25:10) If you are a true believer, you certainly can’t deny that. 

Anyway, let’s get on with the praise and worship, beginning, as always, with a song of heartfelt LOVE being floated up to heaven. And today’s song is an old favourite, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,’ written by none other than John Newton (1725-1807); the licentious sailor, slave trader, abolitionist and priest, who contributed numerous songs to our Hymn Book, the most famous being the immortal, ‘Amazing Grace.’ So let’s sing out our souls in all sincerity to Jesus, letting Him know how much we LOVE, adore and appreciate Him. 

As one voice, in perfect harmony: ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Ah friends, there’s really no sweeter sound to a believer’s ear than that magical, mysterious, powerful and all-encompassing name of Jesus! Give Him much heartfelt thanks and praise for all He’s done for us miserable, sinful human beings nuh. I guess because of Newton’s ungodly early life, he was able to hit the nail on the head when writing this hymn. Most likely Jesus did it all for him; soothed his sorrows, healed his wounds, drove away his fear. I’m sure He made whole his wounded spirit and calmed his troubled breast…and undoubtedly, He was manna to his hungry soul, and in his weariness, gave him peaceful rest. And yuh know what my people, Jesus will do the same for each and everyone of us, if we will just accept Him into our hearts and be obedient to His will. 

Listen to some of the awesome, but oh so truthful statements that Jesus made in His time here on earth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) Right there the situation is explained in living colour: only through Jesus, by believing in Him, and living a lifestyle in concert with His, will we ever get to see the Father’s face and behold His immaculate glory! Then hear Him on the shepherd scene: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:14-15) And did He ever lay down His sinless life in a most sacrificial manner for us, the sinful and willful sheep of His pasture! 

And as for obedience, hear Him: ‘A new commandment I give to you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He also emphasized the LOVE factor later on in talking about the Holy Spirit. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:15-16)  And He kept His promise, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer today! 

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world like Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me: for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Coming obediently to Jesus is wisest way to find rest friends! I can certainly vouch for that, and so too can many of you. 

And if you want more, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15); the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev.1:8); The name above every name, to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) He is also our Advocate, our lawyer in heaven. ‘And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1b) Glory be mih breddren! 

And finally, Jesus is also our High Priest: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God’ let us hold fast our profession (confession) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’  (Heb. 4:14-16) That’s the best advice to end with today friends! Please pay significant heed to it. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is our Be All…and our End All…our Everything in ONE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

Yea, Though I walk through the valley Of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2019 John 3:17.

John 3:17.   ​For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
 
Ah friends, thankfully my area did not get as much rain as expected yesterday, but we did get a lot of wind! Chuh! The wind howled most of the afternoon straight through the night, and at 7.30 this cloudy Saturday morning it is still carrying on out there. At one stage I wanted to go out the street and run some errands, but after hearing the wind on a particularly loud pass with stuff rattling all around, I decided to leave them for another day. (smile) 

Let’s hope that no serious damage was done to any properties around here. Unfortunately though, several places around the country have been flooded due to excessive rain. The least we can do is pray for them, but if we can also help in any other way, please let’s do so. 

Ah mih people, when it’s not one thing, it’s another yes! But that’s life, and fortunately, as true believers in Jesus Christ we have the wherewithal to withstand all the stuff that comes against us in this crazy world. Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise my brethren! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s have a look at the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is awesome truth: ‘Take responsibility for your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.’ 

Oh friends, that’s one of the first things we ought to learn in this life: we are responsible for our own happiness! We can’t depend on others to make us happy, because too often they will take advantage of our situations and instead cause us unhappiness. It’s just a part of man’s selfish nature! 

And then there’s this: ‘Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.’ More awesome truth my people! Why worry about something you have no control over eh? Remember our Tuesday Mantra, where we don’t hurry or worry, just go about our business basking in Jesus’ awesome friendship and sharing His amazing LOVE with the world? 

Worrying just brings wasted energy. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Worry is like a rocking chair, you can do it all day, but it will get you nowhere.’ Instead, we need to use that energy we waste in worry on stuff that’s productive and moves our lives along. 

Now hear this: ‘Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.’ That’s nothing new, because we’ve been taught that all our lives. However, the problem is that the right thing is usually not easy or popular! It’s often very difficult and very unpopular, especially if you’re trying to live a righteous life with Jesus as your bright and shining example. 

But please note, Jesus didn’t do what was easy or popular. He went against the religious hypocrites of His day, and suffered horrific torture and crucifixion for His beliefs and earthly agenda. Now most of us won’t have to make such a critical and crucial sacrifice, but we will be required to make lesser ones, all in His name, because that’s what He was and is all about; sacrificing for others! 

And He gave us that awesome reassuring scripture to hold on to when things get difficult. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

What a mighty and magnificent scripture that is my brethren! It gives us something to hold on to, to take courage from, knowing that Christ has already won the victory over the evil world, and we just have to hang in there and put our best foot forward. 

And all of that just segues nicely into the last quote: ‘Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.’ Glory to God my people! That’s what Jesus is asking of every believer: help somebody! That’s why He came to earth, to help us! As He said so plainly: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

Mama Mia! Therefore, if we want to be true believers and followers of His, our earthly days should also be spent helping others, like He helped us. Remember, the Father doesn’t want to lose even one of His most precious creation to the enemy, that’s why Jesus called us out to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. (Matt.5:13-14) 

Salt adds flavour to stuff and also helps it last, while light shines through the darkness and shows the way. That’s what Jesus did for us: He came to earth as the LIGHT of the world, shining His awesome light into this dark and evil world and illuminating it, showing those who believe in Him a straight and narrow path to walk safely along, leading to salvation and eternal life! 

And right now, because He can’t be several places at once, He’s imbued us with His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, so that we can truly become His hands, ears, eyes and feet down here on earth, and take responsibility for showing others the way out of their darkness into His brilliant and life-saving light. And to do that effectively, we need to do as he asked: ‘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) 

Oh my faithful saints in Christ, it’s obvious that we’re not doing such a good job on that request, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a topsy-turvy, evil, ungodly, strife-filled mess. So please, let’s pledge today to do better nuh, for Christ is depending on us. And if we get real serious about it, with God’s help, we can certainly make our world a better place to live, both for our descendants and ourselves. Much LOVE!

…I am the good shepherd…the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… (John 10:11)

P.S. Let me apologize for the confusing dates on yesterday’s Bit. The first one said the 26th, which was right, but the second said the 27th. Friends, the ole fella is only human, so as Jesus taught us, please forgive him. (smile) Much LOVE!

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyopbrien50.com

 

 

 

 

Todays Scrip-Bit 14 November 2018 Proverbs 9:5.

Proverbs 9:5. Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed). 
 
Welcome, welcome my people, to another bright and glorious day in the fold of Almighty God! Bless His holy name! And please remember that you belong to the BEST fold in all the universe; the one overseen by God’s Son, His first born, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; such a wonderful caretaker that He’s known as the Good Shepherd! Glory be my brethren! 

I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have Jesus nuh. We’d certainly be in a much bigger mess than we are currently in. But through His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, His most precious blood redeemed us, our abominable sins were paid for, He took the weight of our sins on His shoulders and gave us His righteousness! 

And the great fact of the matter is that He was the Only One who could have atoned for our ghastly sins under the holy and righteous rule of the Father! That’s why we need to constantly remember His great sacrifice and praise His name and exalt Him, like the Father has done. As the Good Book says, the Lord is a rewarder of all those who come to Him in faith, who diligently seek Him and believe. (Heb.11:6) 

And the greatest show of faith that ever was, is that of Jesus, who believed that though His Father put the sins of the world on His shoulders and forsook Him for a moment, He would eventually raise Him up again, so that they could once more dwell in heaven…with all of His other children, now deemed righteous by His sacrifice. 

Oh friends, can we have such a strong and wonderful faith? It might just be a tad much for our finite souls, (smile) but there’s no reason why we can’t work steadfastly towards as great a faith as possible in this earthly life. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us, for it’s only through faith that we can receive all the promises He’s laid out for us. 

Now hear this awesome promise as stated by Cousin Sol in our Bit. Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed).’  Yes friends, that’s the Lord’s invitation for us today…in fact every day He throws out the same invitation… ‘Come!’ And live in wisdom and honour, understanding and knowledge. Like Cousin Sol says in the next verse: ‘Forsake the foolish (foolishness), and live; and go in the way of understanding.’ (Prov.9:6) 

How much clearer can it be eh my fellow believers? Not much. But our great and wonderful God always finds a way to do it. Listen to how He says it through His prophet Isaiah: ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price.’ (Is.55:1) Wow! What an amazing invitation! Only the Great God Jehovah can make such a promise and keep it! 

And furthermore He asks? ‘Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satsifieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (abundance).’ (Is.55:2) Oh my people which other supposed god has ever thrown out such an invitation eh? None other than the omnipotent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And He’s still not done: ‘Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Behold thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55: 3-4) Ah my brethren what prophetic words of our great God! 

Hear the scholars’ explanation of those verse. ‘55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come and eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And friends, what the Lord promises, He delivers, in spades too. He sent us Jesus to redeem our souls, and Bruh Paul to lead the Gentiles into His kingdom. And Jesus continued the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh friends, oh friends, what more must the Lord do for us to realize the wisdom of being one of His flock eh? I don’t know, and I don’t think the Lord knows either nuh, seeing that He has given us free choice to make our own decisions, else He would certainly do it. But be all that as it may, I’m imploring us to please hear the call of God today and respond in wisdom, for it’s in your best interest, not God’s. 

Now for those of us wise enough to accept the call, let’s go home telling the world our position in Christ as we declare our Wednesday Wail. All together in harmony 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 every time we declare it, my mind just boggles with how glorious that future will be! Much LOVE!

…blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness…for they shall be filled… (Matt.5:6)

 

 

 

Todays Scrip-Bit 12 November 2018 Psalm 119:176.

Psalm 119:176.   I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Wonders never cease mih breddren! Monday has quickly rolled around again…Praise the Lord! (smile) And some miserable, disturbed body is wondering why we praising the Lord for Monday? Well because we’re alive and kicking; we have strong, healthy families, a roof over our heads, and food on our table, and a job to go to that pays us money so we can sustain our earthly lives…and I can go on and on. 

But what we need to thank God most for on this Monday morning is that we have Jesus! Bless His Holy Name! Yes friends, please bless that name that’s above all other names, for without Him we might have some of the worldly stuff we now have, but we wouldn’t have salvation and the glorious promise of eternal life. And that’s worth more than anything in this world. 

So instead of griping about having to go to work, let’s look on the other side of the coin and consider those who don’t have  a decent livelihood, and would just LOVE to have what we have. So let’s be thankful for all that we have and are, and if we feeling a bit low and down in the dumps this morning, then please  join us as we raise our voices in prayerful song to heaven, soulfully and sincerely declaring our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In unison now: ‘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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that will cure all your Monday morning ills! And I have to laugh because, as always, the loudest and croakiest voices were those of the people who do not have to go to work today. It’s not a full public holiday, but for some, because Remembrance Day fell on a Sunday, they get the following day off. 

And for those of you who have already begun celebrating, getting into your cups, judging from your hoarse voices, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober please mind yuh business.’ That’s wonderful advice friends. And yuh know what the ole people say about that? ‘Good advice doh break no bone.’ Gospel truth that! And I just happened to hear it in a calypso on the radio yesterday afternoon. And all it basically means is that you can’t go wrong with good advice. 

So now that everybody’s up and about, in good spirits, LOVING Jesus and each other, let’s concentrate on doing His will nuh, whatever plan(s) He has for each of our lives on this November day. And we going to follow some more good advice from the psalmist, that surely won’t break any bones, but more likely mend them, as we humbly cry out in our Bit to the Lord: ‘I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.’  

And is that ever the truth my people! So many of us have strayed from the straight and narrow path like, dumb, lost sheep, it’s not funny. And the only way to get back on the straight and narrow is for the Lord to search us out and bring us back. 

And it’s not like we have forgotten His commandments, but for one reason or another, we’ve let them slide. And that’s not very wise. And sadly, we’ve been doing that for a very long time, which led Isaiah through God’s Spirit, to pen: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:6) 

Yes friends, mankind was in a desperate condition, totally sinful, lost without a Saviour, until the Lord laid our heavy and abominable sins on the strong shoulders of Christ, the ONLY ONE who had the parts to bear them. And Jesus willingly took our sinful burden and compassionately gave us His righteousness in return. Wow! What an awesome Saviour He is! 

As He said: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11)  And also: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that is exactly what He did my brethren; gave His sinless life for our sinful ones! 

That’s why we ought to be everlastingly grateful to Him! He could have refused, but He knew that He was the ONLY hope for mankind, and He just could not refuse the Father’s request, because He knew how much the Father LOVED us, and it would break His heart if He lost even one sheep to the enemy. So let’s have no more questions about why we should praise God and thank Him for Jesus on this cold November morning! Just do it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…without the Good Shepherd Jesus… the dumb sheep…mankind…would be lost in hellfire for ever…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2018 John 10:11.

John 10:11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Ah friends, sorry for the Bit’s lateness, but I went to bed late, got up late, and had a few things to do before I began writing. But the good news is, here I am at last! Glory! Glory! (smile) 

 Oh isn’t it just great to be alive? To be able to laugh and sing, run and jump, (not me… just yet), and even cry once in a while? It surely is, especially when we are living with and working for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Oh praise His holy name my faithful brethren; exalt the name that’s above EVERY other name, to whom ALL knees MUST eventually bow! 

Yeh, that’s our Messiah, our Prince of Peace, our heavenly Advocate, Our Burden Bearer, Our Comforter, in fact our Be All and End All, our EVERYTHING! Wow! Are we ever so blessed to have a Leader of such awesome proportions! Let’s give Him the thanks and praise He deserves…and all day long at that! 

Yeh, the ole fella’s in a joyful, exclamatory mood this morning! And why not eh? I just got some most excellent news; news that my heart problems have improved…Glory to God! And I’m now medically fit to travel…Oh mih brethren, that’s the best news ever! 

It’s been almost three years that I’ve been parked up here without the ability to get on an iron bird. But yuh know what, as I keep saying our God is ever so faithful, because many a day I’ve lain in my bed and looked through my window at the iron birds coming and going to and from the nearby airport, wondering when I’d be able to get on one. 

And the Good Lord has always quieted my heart by promising that one day, in the not too distant future, He will lift the medical limitations and free me from this onerous bondage… And now He has done just as He has promised! Bless His holy name! So in light of that extraordinary faithfulness, why wouldn’t I just offer up my whole heart and soul, thanks and praise to Him eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 

But enough of my excitement…let’s get on with the Bit. It’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. And we do have a whole slew of then this week, all dealing with change. And we will begin with this one: ‘If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.’ 

I’m not so sure about that nuh, because the human animal is so eccentric and confusing, and dislikes change so much, that a lot of us will probably prefer to be irrelevant rather than to change. That leads us to this quote: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ 

Now that I definitely disagree with! In my many years and much trial and testing on God’s earth, I’ve usually found that the price of change is usually much higher than the price of standing stationary. In particular the effort that one has to put out to make whatever change is necessary. That’s why so many people just stay the same way in the same place. 

That’s why this next quote is the living truth! ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ Now that’s exactly why so many of us resist change, even change that’s obviously in our best interest! Change just doesn’t come easy. And this one mirrors the truth of the last. ‘The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.’ And so it has my brethren… though not always for the better! 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ And isn’t that that the undeniable truth people? Unless our world changes, and drastically too, and also towards Jesus, until we stop trying to drive God out of our society and instead, embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, our world will just continue sinking inexorably, relentlessly into the muck and mire of Lucifer’s evil empire. 

And that is not what our Saviour came to earth and suffered so much for. That’s definitely not why He suffered such pain and humiliation and eventually gave up His sinless life on that wooden cross at Calvary. If He wanted us to become part and parcel of Lucifer’s evil empire, He would have just remained in His cozy corner in heaven enjoying all the exotic delights provided by His Father. But He sacrificially gave all of that up to come and save our sinful souls. 

Remember friends, Lucifer is the master of thievery, lies and deception, an evil genius in leading mankind astray. Just look at how he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s still doing it to us to this day. However Jesus declared, and proved it too: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:10-11) 

And there is absolutely no doubt that that’s what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary; give His sinless, holy life on behalf of our abominable sinful souls, so that the Father could justifiably forgive us and reconcile us to Himself. So why are we still foolishly running behind Lucifer and his evil, lustful, carnal, ungodly way of life eh? A way of life that will only lead to eternal separation from our heavenly Father; the worst fate that can ever befall a human soul! 

I don’t know the answer to that nuh friends, but I am surely trying my best to stay away from that end result…and I sincerely hope that you are trying to do the same, because that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2018 John 10:10b-11.

John 10:10b-11.   I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Awright my believing brethren, what shall we say about this day eh? ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And what else? That this is the Lord’s Day and we WILL go to His sanctuary to give Him much praise and thanks, to celebrate our blessed lives and fellowship with others of the same belief! 

We shall also listen to His Word, let it seep into our hearts and souls, and consequently have our spirits refilled with God’s LOVE through His Holy Spirit, so that we can walk tall and strong, proud and confident, when we depart from His sanctuary! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised! And there’s no better way to praise Him than in song: He enjoys it, and it brings the best out of us. And today’s song of praise is a favourite gospel song from a few years back, one we all know and LOVE; it’s simply but oh so meaningfully titled ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

It was written by the gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, and first recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Unfortunately though, Edwin Hawkins died a few weeks ago, but in conjunction with his choir, he left the world a wonderful legacy in song. I also saw a wonderful rendition of it on You Tube by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation choir. Oh, Ray was so worked up that on his way off the stage he stopped at least three times and did a Happy Day dance! 

So let’s open our hearts and mouths and allow our voices to soar to high heaven with these few simple but oh so meaningful words. Remember, half the beauty of the song is in its call and response style, so let’s call and respond in all sincerity and truth nuh, letting our magnificent and magnanimous God know how deep is our joy, in having the wonderful privilege of worshipping Him. Hn! I hope that makes sense. 

But anyway, enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (oh happy day) 

Oh happy day (oh happy day) He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how could we not be ecstatic eh, when Jesus washed away our sins, cleansed us with the blood He shed on Calvary? He also taught us how to watch, to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! Glory be! We’d be foolish and ungrateful if we didn’t appreciate His stellar and selfless efforts on our behalf. 

Just look at what our Bit says: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ And that’s exactly what Jesus did my brethren! He gave His life so that we could enjoy abundant living in concert with the Father; redeemed, made righteous once again, with salvation and eternal life the end benefits. 

That means Christians ought to be the happiest people on Planet Earth…and show it in our behaviour too. For why would anyone want to come to Jesus if we claim to have so much wonderful stuff when we believe in Him, but our attitudes and demeanour are sour and miserable and definitely don’t reflect the joy we talk about so much eh? 

If our everyday lives aren’t filled with hope, happiness and heavenly thoughts and longing then we’re not true believers and/or Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in vain. Please friends, let that not be the case, because it would break both the Father and Jesus’ hearts. 

So please let’s make every day a happy day nuh; watching for His promised return; fighting the many evil enemies who want to discredit Him and turn us away. But they don’t know that when we get on our knees, both literally and figuratively, and pray to the Father in His name that the battle is as good as won! Glory Hallelujah! 

And with all of that good stuff, the rejoicing just comes naturally. Ah mih people, we have so much to look forward to when we sincerely make Jesus our Lord and Saviour. And when our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’re sealed forever as a child of God, our bonds are so ironclad that nothing, or no one can ever break them. That’s how powerful association with the Lord and His heavenly host is. 

So today, let’s step right up to the plate and hit the devil right out of the park for a large home run. That’ll show him to mess with Jesus’ people! Much LOVE!

…as a believer in Jesus…we’re promised joy for ever more…now who in their right senses would refuse that eh…

 


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2018 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

And the Canada Day celebrations continue apace! And the weather seems to be in full cooperating mood too; it’s supposed to be a scorcher, possibly worse than yesterday. So get on your sunscreen and turn on the A/C, and celebrate the birth of this wonderful country called Canada, within the limits of Granny’s warnings though! (smile) 

Oh we have our problems too, but of all the big countries in the world, I still believe that Canada is the BEST! Go Canada! 

And so having ‘big-upped’ Canada; I hate the word, ‘big-up’ but I couldn’t think of anything more suitable at the time, let’s move on to our Saturday treat of this weeks quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this week there’s a whole slate of them, starting with: ‘Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.’ And there’s absolutely no doubt about the truth and wisdom in that statement, for optimism is a foundation stone of our Christian faith. 

That leads to the next quote: ‘Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.’ That also has many grains of truth in it, for if we begin our day with positive thoughts, we will indeed be starting out on the right foot.  

Then there is: ‘Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.’ It’s basically true, but we believers just don’t dabble in bad luck and good luck, but more the blessed favour, grace and mercy of our awesome God. 

But we must do our part in the partnership and be prepared for them. If we aren’t prepared, when those opportunities appear or arise, then we’ll simply lose out on a chance, no, an opportunity to be blessed by Almighty God. 

Listen to this one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’ 

Now I don’t know if I agree with that totally, because there are times when people do things because of us, and we ought to take them personally. The problem is to know when and what things to take issue with. A lot of the time what others do and say is indeed because of their own problems or inadequacy and we have to be wise and somewhat tough skinned to recognize those times and not allow them to bother us. 

It’s all a balancing act my people, and we do need God’s help to set the balance right. And the last quote says: ‘The more you are positive and say, ‘I want to have a good life,’ the more you build that reality for yourself by creating the life that you want.’ 

Ah friends, that statement is only true in the context of Christianity! If you say you want to build a good life under Christ, then fine. But if you want to build what the world and the prince of darkness call a good life, then you’re definitely on the wrong track. Remember the immortal words of Jesus: ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was very emphatic in that pronouncement, so if your life is not modelled on His, then you’re indeed going the wrong way, building your life, earthly as well as eternal, on the wrong foundation. 

And Jesus makes His point earlier when He declares that He is the Good shepherd: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep… 

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:1-2, 9-11) 

And that is exactly what Jesus did friends: give His life for us, the sheep of His pasture. So why would we look for some other foundation on which to build our lives eh? Building our lives upon Jesus is like building them on a rock; a rock which stands the test of time and the elements of nature. Building our lives on anything else is like building them on sand, which cannot repel or withstand anything. Check out Jesus’ analogy re the two foundations, in Matthew .7:24-27. 

And we’ll close with some more immortal words of Jesus on the subject, as He spoke to Martha when He arrived late on purpose for Lazarus’ burial. ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die) yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (Matt.11:25-26) 

And as the scholars say: ‘11:25: I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ 

And oh my people, if Jesus has that awesome power, why wouldn’t I believe in Him eh, and shout out a bold and confident ‘YES’ to the question He asked Martha at the end of the last passage above: ‘Believest thou this?’ 

Oh friends, believing in Jesus is not only the epitome of wisdom, it is wisdom itself! Much LOVE!

…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…but fools despise wisdom and instruction… (Prov.1:7)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2017 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 

Oh my people, when I got up and looked outside a li’l while ago, the day seemed so beautiful that I simply had to go outside and say a sparkling ‘Good Morning’ to the Lord and give Him some thanks and praise for causing me to see such another wonderful day! 

Ah, the sun is shining brightly, playing off the green leaves as the flowers in the Duchess’ garden bloom and give off a beautiful sexy aroma, which causes the birds and the bees to helplessly gather around them, so that nature can further be procreated. (smile)

What a wise and wonderful God we serve my brethren! Please give Him some rightfully deserved thanks for allowing us to enjoy His nature walk today; so many others did not awake to that blessing. 

And since it’s Friday, you know the workingman is declaring at every spare moment: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Mama Yo! Freedom time soon come! Time to dance and sing…and do every li’l thing that I can’t do without the slave driver constantly watching over mih shoulder! Dust in yuh eye massa! Dust in yuh eye! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, the sentiments are indeed touching and true, but the reaction is somewhat extreme. As Christians, we need to be more disciplined and controlled than that. Our Leader, Jesus Christ expects us to show the way in propriety and excellence, and taking it to the max will certainly not be considered such. 

Our Friday Chant better displays and reflects the behaviour needed. So let’s chant it nuh with sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. In unison 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 friends, that’s a much more appropriate way to approach and handle the weekend! We need to be always somewhat circumspect, so that we don’t give the enemy any leeway in our lives. For once he gets in, it’s like hell, like pulling teeth to get him out. But if our faith is strong, we need not be too concerned about the enemy, for he has already been defeated. 

Listen to out Bit: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

And that is exactly what the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ did: He gave His sinless life for us, so that we don’t have to be afraid of the toothless devil Beelzebub. Glory to God my people! Jesus took all of our sins on His powerful shoulders and wiped our sin slate clean as a whistle, white as snow! How can we not be everlastingly thankful eh? 

Christianity is the only faith that offers such a simple but powerful release from sin: ONLY BELIEVE, it says! Yes friends, if we sincerely believe in the Good Shepherd, He will lighten our burdens and cause us to have salvation and eternal life with the Father. 

Hear him, as He extols His purpose after our Bit. ‘But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.’ (John 10:12-13) 

And that’s ever so true my people, as all of us have had cause and occasion to run away from situations and from stuff because we simply were hired personnel and didn’t feel that emotionally attached to whatever was happening. 

But our Lord and Saviour is certainly not like that. He sincerely and genuinely declares further: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and are known of mine.’ (John 10:14) 

Friends, do we know our shepherd? He knows us, but the most important question is do we truly know Him? If we don’t, then crapaud smoke we pipe! 

And the Good Shepherd further states: ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:15-16) 

Oh friends, do you realize that the Good Shepherd was there referring to us, the Gentiles, the heathens, the non-Jews? Yes, He’s such a wonderful shepherd that He wants to include everybody in His kind and LOVING fold!  

No wonder he could continue: ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I receive of my Father.’ (John 10:16-17) 

Please notice friends, how important the Father was in the life of Jesus, His Son, and likewise He should also be very prominent, in fact first and foremost in our lives too, because EVERYTHING begins and ends with Him! 

Please notice too that Jesus shows His deity by having the awesome power to give up His earthly life and take it up again! Wow! Nobody took it from Him; He gave it up for us because the Father in His great LOVE, asked Him to, so that we poor sinful wretches could be saved. 

Please remember that my brethren and be suitably grateful and thankful and unified in the ONE flock of the Good Shepherd. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…there are shepherds…and there are shepherds…and then there’s JESUS…

 

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