Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2020 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,

Aye mih people in my area, I think the time has finally come for us to begin experiencing that small white, cold, fluffy substance called snow! (smile) Yes, it’s all a part of living in the northern climes, but yet still when we see it for the first time in a year, it still astonishes us, although we’ve been expecting it all along. So I saw some of the wet stuff yesterday on my way out the street, and this morning I saw some flakes gently dawdling down from the cloudy sky. Don’t think there’s any risk of the real hard stuff falling right now, but just giving us a heads up, because it will come hard and fast eventually. (smile) 

But yuh know what? When it comes we don’t have to worry because we have been assured by our heavenly Father of His awesome comfort and mercy in whatever adversity comes against us. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve my brethren! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh. 

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor, 1:3-4) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! Comforting us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in theirs. 

And I just want to add a note from the scholars. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God, (e.g., Eph. 1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9, Mic. 7:18).’ 

Oh friends, until we fully realize that one of our God’s greatest attributes is His merciful character, we will never fully understand and appreciate how great a God He is! It all begins with His unconditional LOVE, where He simply cannot disregard His most wonderful creation. That then leads Him to be merciful unto us, with forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all of it is a free gift through His awesome grace! Now after all of that mercy and grace, undeserved goodness and favour, how can we not bless, adore and praise Him eh? 

Hear how Bruh David says it in Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5) But it’s all important that we acknowledge the last aspect of Bruh David’s words there: ‘them that call upon thee.’ We do need to sincerely call upon God to receive His blessings and mercies. 

And as Bruh Paul said to the church at Ephesus: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our Lord is indeed worthy of much praise because He has bestowed so many heavenly blessings on us through Christ. Things like our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), our high priest (Heb. 4:14), our hope (Col. 1:5), our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) our treasure (Matt. 6:20-21). So there is much to be thankful for through Christ. 

But getting back to our major point of comfort from God, let’s hear some relevant scriptures nuh. And the prophet Isaiah had a lot to say about it. In talking about the comfort of the faithful, he says on God’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die (a mortal man), and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgetteh the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (as when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is. 51:12-13) 

Yes my people, down through the ages we have indeed feared man rather than God, but please remember these momentous words of Jesus: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ And the only person who can do that is God Almighty, so it’s about time we learn to fear Him, rather than mankind which shall perish as the grass in the noonday sun. 

And now this last word on comfort from our Lord God, as spoken through His prophet, Isaiah on the future hope of Zion: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb (grass): and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward (to) his servants, and his indignation toward (to) his enemies.’ (Is. 66:13-14) 

Oh precious people of God, our heavenly Father has done so much to relieve us of fear, anxiety and tension through the fulfilled promises of His word, I don’t see how we can still be so fearful and anxious about life nuh. From the day He created the world and its life, right through to the day He promises to destroy it, He has ensured safety for those who belief in and look to Him for help and succour. He even sacrificed His only son Jesus for us, so I don’t know what more He needs to or can do to make us believe in Him. 

So the ball is in our court; each of us has to make that fateful decision; to believe, or not to believe. And just a li’l tip, the smart money is on believing. Now for those of us who have chosen the wise way, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our most wonderful position in Almighty God and His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 remember, we’re guaranteed that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…the comfort of man…begins in the bosom of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

‘Morning Neighbuh, morning! May the great and wonderful God of our fathers be with you this new day, showering you with His ever-flowing mercy and abundant blessings, while keeping you and yours safe from harm.’
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I guess I’ll never be a good weather forecaster, because I said that yesterday was going to be a rainy day Tuesday. Hn! But which rain fell eh? None! For by the time the sun rose the rain abated, and it turned out to be a hot, windy day Tuesday instead. I even had to turn on the A/C. Note, just to see if it was working after the long, harsh winter it endured. (smile)
 
What a life eh! A couple weeks ago we badly wanted heat, but now that we’re getting some of the natural stuff, we’re already crying out for cooler weather. Chuh! I guess though that that’s the nature of the human animal – when we have one thing we want something else, and vice versa.
 
But my people, I’m here to tell us that this earthly life is not a bed of roses… or rather, it is a bed of roses! That’s because one of the most beautiful of all God’s creation, the rose, grows at the end of a long, thorn riddled stalk, and to get to one, you have to carefully navigate the thorns on its stem.
 
Life is just like that my brethren. To get to the top of the ladder, or to the most beautiful parts of life, you have to carefully navigate through thorny paths, covered with brambles and all sorts of other obstruction. There is no clear, unobstructed path to our glorious destination of heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
 
As our Bit tells it, in the immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
And that’s no lie Friends, for all sorts of obstacles and stumbling blocks will crop up in a believer’s life, and it’s only with God’s help are we able to successfully navigate them. And we’re going to end this series of messages with a couple of scriptures pertaining to both the first and last parts of our Bit.
 
As to the first part; ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith,’ let’s look at Acts 11, regarding the church in Antioch, where believers were first referred to as Christians.
 
After Stephen was stoned to death in Jerusalem, the disciples were scattered all over, teaching the gospel, but to Jews only. However, some of them, when they came to Antioch, began preaching the Lord Jesus also to the Gentiles.
 
The Good Book tells us: ‘And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings (news) of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 
Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted (encouraged) them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto (continue with) the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.’ (Acts 11:21-24)
 
Yeh Friends, we all need help and encouragement to keep on keeping on in our walk of faith, because it is not an easy row to hoe. And that fact is borne out later on when Barnabas brings Bruh Paul back to Antioch, where envious Jews did not want the gospel taught to the Gentiles.
 
‘And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought (begged) that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.’ (Acts 13:42-42)
 
But the opposition never ceased. ‘And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against (opposed) those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed (grew) bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you (reject it), and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
 
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
 
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable (prominent) women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts (region). But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.’(Acts 13:44-52)
 
Glory be! Ah mih people, what a beautiful example of when opposition comes against us, that we nonetheless stand strong in preaching the Word, and we will be strengthened and filled with the joy of the Lord and His Holy Spirit! That’s because the Word contains power, the greatest power on earth!
 
But jealousy and envy can move us to do evil, if we’re not very careful. The Jews at first didn’t want to hear about Jesus, and then they didn’t want the Gentiles to hear about Him either, so they stirred up false info to the powers that be, and had them run Barnabas and Bruh Paul out of town.
 
And unfortunately many Christians are behaving the same way, though not through jealousy, but through apathy, fear and simply not caring enough to share the good news of the gospel with others. Remember though my people, that that’s our Great Commission; to spread the good news of Jesus all over the globe. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
But it wasn’t easy back in those first days, and it certainly isn’t easy either in these last days. But with perseverance, strong faith, trust and surrender to our helpful and ever-LOVING God, we CAN, and we WILL proselytize the ENTIRE WORLD, just as Jesus commanded.
 
Oh Friends, I got so caught up in the first part of our Bit, (smile) that I went on longer than I expected. So like we’ll just have to leave the other stuff till tomorrow, God in favour.
 
Till then, please stand strong in the faith, and fearlessly and unashamedly spread the good news of Jesus to all and sundry, because that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world…  (John 16:33)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2013 Isaiah 42:5

Isaiah 42:5   Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.
 
Oh Friends, I must be hallucinating yes, because it couldn’t be Sunday already. (smile) It was just Sunday a few days ago. True. But I guess that’s what they mean by time flies when you’re having fun, and also time waits for no one. 
 
However, regardless of what day it is, we’re grateful to be alive and kicking due to the mercy and LOVING-kindness of our omnipotent God! And under any circumstances whatsoever, that calls for a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
And what better way to praise Him than by getting together with other believers and worshipping Him; singing songs of praise and thanksgiving this Sunday morning to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD in this entire universe, who created it and all therein.
 
And if you don’t believe me, then listen to our Bit: ‘Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.’
 
Yes Friends, our wonderful and mighty God is responsible for creating the heavens and the earth; for giving life and spirit to all who walk thereon. Now let’s look at some scripture that heartily agrees with our Bit. Listen first to the prophet Zechariah, as he prophetically ruminates (smile) on the future deliverance of Jerusalem. 
 
‘The burden (oracle or prophecy) of the word of the Lord for (against) Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.’ (Zech.12:1)
 
Now hear Isaiah as he talks about the Redeemer of Israel. ‘Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth (out) the heavens (all) alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.’ (Is.44:24) 
 
Please note people, how the Lord makes sure and specifies that He does all that stuff ‘alone, by myself.’ He does it all in His own omnipotence! He needs no help whatsoever to run His universe. So anyone who tries to lay claim to any part of His work is a total liar.
 
And as per the Lord’s claim to the breath of life and spirit given to mankind, hear these most beautiful and poignant scriptures.
 
Job in acknowledging God’s omnipotence, wisely declares: ‘But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul (life) of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind (flesh of man).’ (Job 12:7-10)
 
Yes Friends, everything that has life, owes that life to the Most High God Jehovah, our Creator, Controller and Provider!
 
Meanwhile, later on, when Elihu, Job’s friend, reasons with him, he too proclaims: ‘My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly (purely). The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.’ (Job 33:3-4)
 
There’s nothing to dispute there my people, since it’s the ultimate in truth! Then ever-faithful Daniel, in interpreting a dream for the Babylonian king Belshazzar, first tells him about his forefather, Nebuchadnezzar’s problems.
 
‘But when his heart was lifted up (made proud), and his mind (spirit) hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses (donkeys): they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew (recognized) that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointed over it whomsoever he will.
 
And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up (exalted) thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought thee the vessels of his house (the temple) before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass (bronze), iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.’ (Dan.5:20-23)
 
Yes my brethren, all that we are and have depend entirely on the Lord God Almighty, and when we don’t acknowledge Him, we pay a serious price. Yuh see what happened to Nebuchadnezzar; he ended up crazy and living like a wild animal until he recognised Almighty God. And then Belshazzar, the same night that Daniel scolded him and interpreted his dream, he was killed and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom. (Dan.5:30-31)
 
And last, but by no means least, hear Bruh Paul as he stood on Mars Hill and declared to the people of Athens: ‘For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions (objects of worship) I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship (worship without knowing), him declare I unto you.
 
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.’ (Acts.17:23-25)
 
Ah Friends, yuh see even if we don’t actually know God, like the Athenians, there’s a part of us that subconsciously knows of Him, and has us naturally gravitating towards Him. Therefore Friends, please let’s all join together and worship the ONLY TRUE GOD in existence nuh. It’s the only thing that makes sense, that smacks of true heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…every fibre of our being has been made by…and is controlled by God…so why are we all foolishly acting like…trying to be God eh…