Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2019 Luke 24:49.

Luke 24:49.    And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
 
Well it’s Christmas Saturday…Thank the Lord! We down to four days now before the Big Day! And plenty people still shopping and baking and cooking and preparing the treats for the festivities, not the ole fella though. (smile) Yes, I’m just taking it easy, going along my normal slow, practical way. Oh I might lend a hand here or there, but the frustrations and busyness of the season won’t affect your humble servant. Thankfully, I’ve left all of that behind. What did Bruh Paul say about not looking back at the past, but looking forward to the future where we don’t have all the hustle and bustle! Yeh friends, that’s become my style now. I don’t get involved in all the confusion. I just relax and try to enjoy Christ in His season. (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ And that’s oh so true friends! We don’t necessarily need to see the ending of a thing, just the beginning. And there’s the inherent physical problem that if you don’t start out, you will never get to the end. Like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

Yeh. You do have to step out, hopefully in faith to make any journey, be it long or short. And if you’re a true and faithful believer, then you have the wonderful promise that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13) Mama Yo! How can you ever beat being a true believer with promises such as those eh? That’s why Christians ought to be the happiest and most effective people in the universe! We don’t have to be afraid of the future, but can embrace it with joy, because of all that our Lord and Saviour Jesus has done for us, beginning with His awesome incarnate birth at this Christmas season! 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.’ And that should be the motto of ALL believers: be true to oneself and to one’s faith! We can certainly notice the ridicule and disdain that the world holds many of us believers in, simply because we believe and profess a lifestyle different to theirs. But if you truly believe, then you ought to stand up for your beliefs. But sadly too many of us supposed believers are scared and afraid to stand up to the world bullies for their faith in Jesus. 

That’s obviously not right my brethren, because all that does is tarnish Jesus’ name even more than it’s already tarnished. The world already considers Christians to be compromising and cowardly. It’s time we stand up strong for Jesus, and there’s no better time to do it than right now in this time of celebration, when His name is on the tongue of so many people, and they might be most receptive to Him. Remember friends, if you don’t stand strong for something, you can fall oh so easily for anything! 

Then there’s this: ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ Now I don’t agree with the semantics of that statement, because God has destined all of us to be some kind of body, but that’s not necessarily the person we become, since so many of us don’t follow God’s will. But generally speaking, we become the person we decide to become. And if it’s within God’s will, then so much the better. But if it is outside His will,  then your life won’t ever be right. 

And I can use my own life as a testimony. Now writing the Bit never appeared in even my wildest dreams. But obviously it featured in God’s. (smile) And if I had utterly refused to do His bidding and write it, then I’m sure my life would never have been as blessed as it is now. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the dreams He’s placed in my heart. No, absolutely not! I still hold on to them and sincerely believe that He will bring them to pass…just in His own time and fashion. (smile) Otherwise, what’s the point in having dreams at all eh? 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Some people have power but are powerless.’ And that is so true, especially of supposed believers in Jesus Christ! Friends, we have so much power through Christ that it’s astounding, to say the least. We can do so much because of our faith and trust in Him, but yet we remain powerless and allow the foolish Beelzebub to steal our power. Remember the quote we heard Jesus say yesterday? ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) Those were the words He spoke to the disciples just before He gave them the Great Commission to go out and proselytize the world, then He ascended back into heaven. 

And Mark wrote it down thus: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).’ (Mark 16:15-16) And I’ll pause here to interject the scholars’ note. ‘16:16. Only faith, not baptism, is essential for salvation, as the omission of baptism from the last clause above.’ And sadly, that is indeed a rather contentious point amongst believers today, and one that unfortunately keeps the church from truly being one body in Christ. Different denominations hold different views, and it seems that never the two shall meet. But that’s a discussion for another day, just thought I’d point it out. (smile) 

Mark continues: ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:17-18) Oh friends, we have so much power in us that we don’t use! Hear Jesus: ‘And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ 

And the scholars’ importantly note: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of the necessary preparation for reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’ Yes my people, that’s all so true! And it all began when the Holy Ghost came at the time of Pentecost and filled all believers with the Spirit of Christ! (Acts 2) And that all leads to the facts that there is power in the Word of God, there is power in the name and blood of Christ! 

Oh precious people of Christ, we have so much inherent power, that we ought to be walking and talking and believing powerhouses! And it all stems from Jesus! And the Good Book is filled with scriptures about power and healing and all the other stuff we’ve been granted in Jesus’ name. However, we don’t have time or space to get into them. But please, let’s spend sometime this Christmas season checking them out for ourselves nuh, so that we can use that abundant God-given power to do God’s will powerfully and abundantly in the coming year. That’s our homework for this week! (smile) Much LOVE!

…sing it out…oh there is power in the blood…power in the word…power in the name of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2019 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.    ​My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
 

Ah friends, it seems like one of those days where the ole fella is somewhat under the weather! And when your first job is to dress up in winter fashion and go outside to put the recycling bin on the curb, that certainly doesn’t endear the cold, dark and dreary morning to your tired and aching soul! (smile) And a couple of errant snowflakes floating down from on high doesn’t help maters either. But thankfully, we have the Supreme Being called Jesus Christ in our corner, so we don’t really have to worry about the weather or the state of our physical bodies, because He will brighten our spirits and our lives if we just ask Him sincerely! 

Give Him much thanks and praise yes mih people, because I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh! Especially on a cold, dreary morning when my mind is in the dumps and I don’t know what to write about… And how about that? By the time I could finish the thought of not knowing what to write about, I received an amazing direction: ‘Write about faith; in particular, Mary’s faith, when the Holy Ghost told her about having an incarnate birth, having a child without knowing a man.’ So how can I not LOVE and revere the Lord’s faithfulness eh? 

So we all know that Mary didn’t quibble or quiver when she heard the news which would have caused a million problems in her life. But once Gabriel explained the situation, and told her that with God nothing shall be impossible, she bowed to the Lord’s wishes. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) And you’d notice the awesome difference in standards of faith when you check out Zechariah’s response to Gabriel’s message re, he’d be the father of John the Baptist. 

He was in the temple burning incense as was his priestly duty. ‘And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zechariah saw him, (the angel of the Lord) he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zechariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord his God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ (Luke 1:11-17) 

Yes precious people, Zechariah was also informed of the good news of the upcoming birth in his family, and one would think that as an older, wiser and more worldly person than Mary, as well as a priest in God’s universe, his faith would have been at a higher level than hers. 

But listen to his response. ‘And Zechariah said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken (advanced) in years. And the angel answering, said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to thee these glad tidings (this good news). And behold, thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (own time)’ (Luke 1:18-20) 

So Zechariah remained dumb until John’s birth. Meanwhile Mary, his wife’s cousin, who later came to visit and got such a great reception from his wife and unborn son (Luke 1:39-45) that her spirit was filled with such joyful faith that she could declare: ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1: 46-55) 

Wow mih people! Imagine a teen aged girl from a backwater town called Nazareth emoting so magnificently on the Lord’s behalf nuh! Today we call her speech’ The Magnificat!’ But that’s what happens when you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, regardless of your colour, class, creed, race, gender or age! (smile) So since we all now have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, let’s do as Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians nuh. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph. 5:18) 

Yes friends, as the scholars say: ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. A person filled with wine is under its influence, but God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ Amen, to that my people! 

And for those of us sincerely and consistently endeavouring to allow the Holy Spirit more of us, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms who and whose we are! All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ So let’s go out now and do just that nuh; trust Jesus and share his awesome LOVE! Much LOVE!

…to be filled with the Spirit…one must allow Him…to control one’s…thoughts, attitudes and actions…

P.S. I have to chuckle at how much I eventually wrote, when I didn’t know what to write. But that’s the Lord’s Holy Spirit for you! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2019 Luke 1:28.

Luke 1:28.    ​And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail (rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
 

Give it to me one time: ‘Wednesday!’ Give it to me two times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday!’ Give it to me three times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!’ Give it to me four times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!’ 

And now we sing: ‘Thank You Lord for this new day, even though it looks cloudy and dark! Thank You Lord for your new mercies, your compassions, that are new every morning! Thank You Lord for Jesus; Your wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour, who lights up our lives with His LOVE and Goodness! Thank you Lord for Your own amazing LOVE and faithfulness, that’s taken away the fearful thoughts of hell, and given us the glorious hope of heaven! We LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Now and forever more! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, those are only a few of the things that we have to be thankful for this hump day – this Wednesday morning early in Advent, as we prepare for Christ’s second coming and celebrate His first in the upcoming season of Christmas. Yes, we’re all about celebrations and gifts and food and drink, and the numerous other things we do at this time of year. We’re even nice to our enemies, (smile) wishing them ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays’ etc. etc. The sad part though is that so many of us forget the real reason for the celebrations; the birth of Christ! 

We’re quick to accept and honour the man-made traditions, but the real spirit, the real importance of what happened some two thousand years ago doesn’t really concern us as much as it ought to. Where would we be if Christ hadn’t been born in that manger on that fateful day eh? Dead and dying, eternally separated from the Father, only fit to associate with the evil one. And where would our Christian faith be but for that miraculous happening? Non-existent, to say the least! That means we wouldn’t have all the blessings and promises that we currently have because of the Father’s LOVE and largesse. 

Unfortunately, not enough supposed believers contemplate these kinds of things; we don’t plumb the depths of our faith to find out why it is what is. We just get caught up in all the rigmarole of the world; the commerce, the bright lights, and what have you. That’s not good enough friends, we ought to be taking the Christmas season a li’l more seriously, trying to delve into the scriptures concerning it, and learning how important it is for the very essence of our beings. And one of the most important things we ought to consider and truly believe is the virgin birth of Christ, because if it isn’t true, then our whole faith is lies and utter foolishness. 

For if Christ wasn’t supernaturally planted by the Holy Ghost in the womb of his Mother Mary, then He could not be God, but a mere man like us, and consequently could not redeem us from our sins and all the other stuff He’s done. And all of that calls for a large measure of faith, not by seeing things as they seem with the normal eyes, but of knowing and acknowledging the might and miraculous power of our heavenly Father, who can do any and everything, even make a woman conceive without knowing a man. (smile) 

And why should that be such a big thing these days eh, when we do almost the same thing through artificial insemination? Many woman have children now without knowing the physical aspect of a man by having his sperm injected into their wombs. But don’t get carried away, (smile) we still need the man to get the sperm! That leads to this: to deny Christ’s virgin birth is to deny His deity, and thus question the integrity of the scriptures. But thankfully, we faithful Christians don’t do that. We know that Christ had the human nature of His mother and the divine, godly nature of His Father! 

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Give thanks to God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost; our triune God!’ And so we should! 

Now let’s look at some of the scripture associated with Christ’s incarnation nuh. The Good Book says: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elisabeth’s pregnancy – John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (betrothed, engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail (rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:26-29) 

Oh, it’s certainly reasonable for a teenaged girl in a backwater town to be somewhat confused by such and exalted greeting. But our God is a gentle and understanding deity. ‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Yahweh Is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Ah my fellow believers, who but our great God could come up with such a plan eh? So let’s ponder that scripture today nuh, and contemplate on our possible reaction to such a momentous opportunity. Obviously we won’t be offered that one now, (smile) but with our very imaginative and challenging God, there’s no telling what miraculous opportunity He will still pitch to us. So we’ve got to be prepared. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ Now believe it, and you’ll certainly see it! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep Christ where He belongs…in Christmas…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 

And hopefully we’ve made it through Black Friday in one piece… not having spent too much unnecessary money, or gotten into too much unnecessary debt! (smile) And hopefully there weren’t any violent episodes to endure. Haven’t heard of any so far, but man’s nature being what it is, I’m sure there were some tete a tetes! Couldn’t get the accentuation right. (smile) But you know what I mean; some close encounters of the human kind, literally head to heads. Anyway, Black Friday is history now, so let’s concentrate on Saturday, whatever colour it may be. That means turning to some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I like this first one: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’ We’ve got to realize that not all of us can be doers of great things; that’s left for only a small percentage. But if we’re not included in that august lot, it doesn’t mean we can’t be great. We just need to do the small things that come our way in a great and excellent manner! That’s what Jesus asks of His followers; diligence and excellence in all we do! And believe me, the greatness that the world thrusts upon us is not all it’s really cracked up to be; for once it’s found our Achilles heel, with even greater speed than it lifted us, the world can tear us back down again. But when Jesus lifts us up in our small doings, it’s for keeps! 

Then there’s this: ‘Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.’ And is that often ever so true! Like we were saying earlier in the week ‘Someday we will…!’ But if we keep putting things off, someday might never come. We do have to check out the Lord’s take on the situation before jumping in though; that’s what they call wisdom, (smile) and if He doesn’t set up any obvious roadblocks, then it should be all engines full ahead! Remember what they say about procrastination: it is the thief of time. And time is not something we have an inordinate or never-ending amount of. So ofttimes we just have to go for it! 

And that’s the text of our next quote: ‘You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.’ Now that’s true too. But one word of caution; please, please make sure you check it out with the Lord first; it only takes a few seconds to do that! Have no fear. If it’s totally wrong, He’ll let you know. And if He doesn’t say anything, it might just be that He has a lesson for you to learn. (smile) And we can paraphrase all of those quotes with this one: ‘Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.’ 

Sadly though people that’s a major failure and fault of our current world; we’re always telling each other what they can and can’t do from our puny and limited human imaginations. Just think of all the great strides we’ve made in our society, I’m sure that many of them were unthinkable until some brave, gifted and daring soul decided to seriously knuckle down and do them despite the negative voices of the doubting Thomas’s shouting ‘you can’t do that’ in their ears. But you know the One we limit the most, it’s our great God! 

We claim that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present; meaning that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, but the truth is that our faith is still sadly lacking when we need Him to do big, seemingly impossible things for us. Remember Jesus said that ALL things were possible with the Father! And if we’re true believers, then we ought to let that show up in our everyday lives, through faith in His power and grace and mercy, through belief in miracles! Yes, He still does those; not necessarily as big as He once did, but I know He does many small ones in each and every life, we’re just not looking for them, or thinking of them as such. 

How yuh think we woke up this morning eh? Just by chance? Certainly not! It was the Lord’s compassion and mercy; His miracle that kept us alive through the night and then opened our eyes to a beautiful day. So please let’s stop selling ourselves and our great God short. Remember we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! 

And as always, we try to save the best for last. (smile) ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! We just have to look at all the different types of societies that exist, or once existed in our world; communism, democracy, socialism, dictatorship. All of them began as ideas and were reinforced by words until they became reality. But the greatest change ever brought about by ideas and words is our own Christian faith. 

Mama Yo! Just look at what the words and ideas of Jesus wrought in our world nuh! Hear Him to the disciples before He went back to heaven: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Wow mih people! What a splash that Great Commission has made in our world! Twelve men believed; took Jesus’ words and commission to heart and went out and changed the world! That’s the sterling power of words and ideas. And as true believers in Christ, we’ve also been given that Great Commission, for the WHOLE WORLD has not yet been converted, or heard of Him. So please let’s take the baton, the flaming torch from those who have gone before us, and go out and help change the world! That’s our Great Commission too! Much LOVE!

…Jesus doesn’t want to come back…until EVERY living soul on earth…has had a chance to hear His words and ideas…and be saved…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2019 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
 

Now that’s what a beautiful autumn morn looks like! Yeh friends, the glorious sun is shining brightly on the multicoloured leaves, reflecting God’s variety of wonderful colours, and showing that He too can like beauty, just for beauty’s sake! (smile) Ahh! And it’s Saturday too, and the ole fella got up late, but that’s the beauty and purpose of Saturday eh? (smile) Saw the clock, thought it was eight, but it was actually nine. Hn! That’s what happens when you go to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Anyway, let’s see what inspiring quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.’ And that’s usually true! Most of us get where we are by working our way to the top of the ladder. Unfortunately though in this lazy, turbulent society of ours, where the work ethic is almost dead, a lot of people want to, and expect to rise to the top of the heap by merely wishing and hoping. They simply don’t realize the necessity for blood, sweat and tears in the accomplishment of anything. And also the fact that we appreciate stuff more when we work for it. Look at the vast number of those who don’t work for what they have, who don’t truly appreciate it, and lose it quite soon thereafter. Think of the Lotto players, and those who receive enormous windfalls from their deceased relatives. 

And this second quote is challenging: ‘Think progress, not perfection.’ Yes mih people, many times we seek perfection in our search for progress, but progress does not have to always mean perfection. It’s quite alright to make progress without it being perfect. Once we’re moving forward, that’s the important thing. Remember too, that not many things, and NO people, are perfect in this fallen world. Now listen to this next quote: ‘When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my believing brethren! The winds of change are always blowing in our world. That’s one of the few things we can be certain of in this life; things will change whether we want them to or not. And what makes the difference is whether we build walls to try and keep out the changes, or if we do things that will help us yolk those changes for our benefit. Like in the rest of life, it’s all about attitude. 

And I can personally testify to that because I don’t like many of the changes that are currently taking place in our society, especially with the social media thing, but I’m not trying to build walls around it to protect myself, I’m just trying to use it astutely (smile) to enhance my purposes. I can’t get away from it, or change it, so why battle it? And it’s like that in all phases of life. We have to learn how and when to choose our battles, and understand when it’s wiser just to go along for peace and the Lord’s sake. (smile) 

That leads us to the next quote: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’ And I guess that’s somewhat true, because if we look at all the varied species of life that have become extinct it’s because many of them could not adapt to the changes that were happening in their lives, in their habitats. But it’s not easy to change when your habitat is changing because of outside influences. That’s why we have the scary talk these days about climate change. 

Mankind has made so many of God’s creations extinct by changing their habitat, and now we’re in the process of making ourselves extinct by the way we’re destroying the Eco system, the carefully planned and synchronized work of God. Listen friends, our planet and all therein is a finely tuned and balanced machine. God left nothing to chance. And when we disturb anything, it causes repercussions in all areas. So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh. If we continue in today’s careless manner of destroying our planet, then we too will eventually become extinct. 

And here’s the last quote: ‘The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.’ And the first name that comes to mind is Jesus! Yes friends, He was probably the craziest of us all! He came to earth in what we’d now call a backward time, chose twelve uneducated men and sent them out to change the world. The disciples must also have been somewhat off their rocker to believe Christ’s words and accept such an impossible looking challenge. But yuh know what? They indeed changed the world! That’s why today we’re still talking about Christ and heaven and hell and all that godly stuff! 

The fact is that they had certain assurances, and they believed them. I guess the first and biggest assurance was Jesus when talking to them about a camel passing through the eye of a needle said: ‘With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’ Ah mih people, that’s the basic foundation, and until we believe that, like those disciples did, we won’t be able to make any worthwhile improvements or changes in our lives or our societies. And then Jesus inspired them with acclamations like: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:13,14,16) Yeah friends, they believed that and went out and did what Jesus desired, and were successful, as we very well know. 

And we’ll end with these last words of Jesus to the puzzled and unsure but ever-faithful disciples. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And they took those fateful words, what we call the Great Commission and ran with them to all and sundry people and parts of the world, especially when as Jesus promised the Holy Ghost came and indwelt them in a fiery display of power on Pentecost Morn.  

Now that same baton has been handed down to us, and we have many more tools to do the work than those disciples had, so why are we so reluctant to take up our task and do it eh? Are we too sacred, or not crazy enough? That’s for us to work out individually with God! Much LOVE!

…if you are a Jesus follower…then the impossible…is in your power…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2019 Luke 21:15.

Luke 21:15.    ​For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay (refute) nor resist.
 

So it’s Wednesday; the middle of the week, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief, saying: ‘Three down, only two more to go!’ Ah friends, what is it with us and work eh? The majority of people don’t like what they do for a living, and would rather not do it, but they have limited choices, so they acquiesce and do the job half-heartedly. And that includes Christians too! 

The only problem there is that as Christians we’re not supposed to be working unto man, but unto God, and if we have Jesus dwelling in us then we’re supposed to do as good a job as possible even if we don’t like it. And furthermore we’re supposed to be contented and grow wherever He plants us. 

So if you’re the lone believer where you work and get a lot of heat for it, then believe that’s where Jesus wants you at this time, so you can shine your light in that dark world of unbelief and allow your salt to spice up and make tasty the corrupt and corroded atmosphere! But hear what Jesus says will happen when we suffer for His name’s sake. ‘Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say; for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.’ (Luke 12:11-12) 

Now here is an interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘12:12. The Holy Ghost shall teach: Remember that (1) these men had Jesus as a personal teacher; (2) these disciples being Jews, had a great command of Old Testament Scripture; and (3) the New Testament was not yet begun. 

This is not to say that Jesus’ promise has no application today, since the experience of persecuted Christians in this century proves otherwise. Yet it would be dangerous to presume on direct, supernatural guidance without doing all possible to avail oneself of means already at hand to learn of God and His ways.’ 

Yeh friends, they’re not saying that supernatural guidance is impossible, but it’s much easier for you to stand up strong in Jesus’ name when you know His Word and thus for the Holy Spirit to remind you of certain truths to use when you’re under the gun. 

And I like how Luke further puts it: Jesus tells them: ‘Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay (refute) nor resist.’ (Luke 21:14-15) 

Ah mih people, we don’t have to beat up ourselves as to what we ought to say when we encounter opposition, for the Holy Spirit, our guide and comforter, our inspiration and constant companion, will lead us to say the right things. But you have to know the Word so you can associate it with whatever and wherever He guides you. 

And we have this further assurance from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if you’re a true believer that verse of scripture ought to quell whatever anxiety and worry that’s in your heart right now! 

That’s the wonderful thing about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; when you sincerely believe in Him, even in the midst of trials and tribulation we can have peace in our souls! No other faith can promise, guarantee and deliver such a wonderful situation! But friends, it doesn’t just happen overnight, you have to go through those trials so you can grow and mature in the faith. 

And I can testify to that because years ago, I was holidaying in California when my mother died unexpectedly up here. Obviously I was devastated by her unexpected death, but I clearly remember a surprising peace that suddenly came over me, and I was able to handle the situation with the necessary fortitude. But the people around me were also surprised at how cool, calm and collected I was despite the devastating news. 

It doesn’t mean that I wasn’t sad and didn’t cry and display all the other emotions associated with unexpected loss, but the important thing is that I didn’t fall apart and become useless to myself and those around me. And every time I look back at that situation, I can only smile and realize that it was indeed the goodness of God, the overwhelming peace of Jesus that got me through the situation. 

And what made that peace even more welcome is that I had disembarked in Las Vegas and driven to California, and the price to change my flight to leave from California was astronomical, so I had to drive all the way back through the desert to Las Vegas that took a fair amount of time. But though my heart was heavy, it was at peace, thanks be to Jesus! 

And yuh know friends, even during these last two and a half years of sickness and medical procedures, I was never worried about making it through, I was more annoyed than anything at having to go through all that stuff. (smile) And that’s because by then I had matured enough to believe God’s promise of if He puts me through it, He will bring me through it, stronger than before. And I am stronger than before! 

That’s my testimony and I’m sticking to it. (smile) Hope it does offer some encouragement to those of you who are going through serious problems right now. You just have to believe, despite the darkness of the situation. And the Lord might not change the situation, as He might just be testing you, but He will change you, so that you can handle the situation! 

Enough sermonizing for today though! Let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail telling all and sundry our wonderful position in Christ! As one strong, sincere and enthusiastic voice 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 please remember that if we stand strong and finish our race with vim and vinegar, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…true faith…only comes and grows…by experiencing trials…and sincerely believing in…the faithful promises of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2019 Mark 16:15.

Mark 16:15.    ​And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 

And so we come once more to Friday, the day that we all long and wish for, especially in the summer time, when we get to go out and do all those fun things outside. (smile) And believe me the hot days are upon us right now, with temps of 30 and 30 something degrees predominating. And if we don’t get some rain soon, we’ll be complaining about how it too hot! That’s just the nature of the human animal, we just LOVE our comfort and are never satisfied even when we get what we ask for. 

And the 4th of July party is still in full swing down in the U.S. of A. And the workingman feels as though he’s died and gone to heaven. Hear him nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is finally here! What would we do without the weekend eh? The slave master and them would gladly work out we soul case if we give them the chance, and for next to nothing too, because they so blooming greedy! They preach a good preach about sharing, but is only talk oui. 

But enough about them evil people yes. Is the summer time now and the weekend, we time to get out there and party, party like there was no tomorrow! And who knows whether there will be any tomorrow eh? What they say? You live today and tomorrow you die? Well then lemme live it up today eh? For who knows if I’ll wake up tomorrow? And the weather is fine, the beer’s cold, the grill’s waiting …and the winter soon come back! So lemme enjoy the fruits of mih labour eh, as Solomon says, that’s mih God-given right! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh friends, we do have to thank the Lord, but not only for Fridays and weekends, but for all that we have, because it all comes from Him! Remember how Bruh David put it: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Oh my people, what words of marvellous truth! Our wonderful God does it all for us! Without Him, we’d be absolutely nothing! Jesus said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) So please let’s remember that as we chant our Friday Chant this beautiful summer’s day with a strong sense of purpose and reverence. 

As one 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!’ 

And that’s what it’s all about yes my faithful brethren, furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth, bringing forth fruit in His name! That was His last command to the disciples; what we call the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

So that’s our bounden duty: to teach and preach and baptize and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, bringing unbelievers to the realization that they badly need His free healing and saving grace, so that they can enjoy salvation and eternal life in the beautiful halls of heaven! 

Now here is something that I’ve never noticed before, Mark’s version of the Great Commission, because everyone seems to be fixated on Matthew’s take on the subject. But though Mark’s is somewhat different, it’s just as interesting. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned). 

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:15-18) 

What magnificent promises my people! But we have to believe and get out there and do the work Jesus commanded us to do before we see them coming to pass. And the last verse of Mark’s gospel tells us what happened after Jesus left them and ascended into heaven. ‘And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following (accompanying signs). Amen.’ (Mark 16:20) 

Yuh see that mih people, when they did as Jesus asked, He did as He promised; being with them as they did His work! And it’s the very same way He will be with us in these evil and ungodly times when we step out in faith to spread His word, whether it be as preachers, evangelists, teachers, etc. or just by being good, ordinary Christian folks, letting our Christ-like lives speak for us. It’s all about staying securely attached to the vine! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe in Jesus…then you need to work His work…and show good fruit…

 

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