Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2018 James 4:15.

James 4:15.   For what ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 
 
Well at last friends, at long last the Big Day is here! Give God the glory! The ole fella’s heart is finally going to be fixed up, given some assistance so that he can live and LOVE longer in God’s great universe and do His work with greater diligence and excellence! Give Him plenty thanks friends! Now you’re only getting this so early because I have to be in the downtown hospital by seven o’clock, so please don’t think it will be the future norm. (smile) 

And I have to chuckle here because none of my surgeries have gone off on the day originally planned. The removal of the tumour in my head had been planned for January, but that never took place until the end of April. Meanwhile, with the heart stuff, I was in the hospital for that at the end of March, but it didn’t happen. Now, after another postponement last week, it finally seems to be happening. 

All in God’s time, my people, all in God’s time! We need to remember that we can make lots of plans, but they can all come to nought if they don’t correspond to God’s time, or include Him at all. And when thinking about making the statement that all will be well, and I’ll speak to you all tomorrow, bright and spunky, the Holy Spirit brought this passage of Scripture to mind. 

Listen up here to James re Unchristian conduct. ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’ (James 4:13-14) Yeh friends, that’s pure presumptuousness! 

And the scholars don’t mince any words in their explanation of those two verses: ‘4: 13-14. This one is a fool, for he thinks he knows something that he doesn’t. He presumes he has the resources to control his destiny (Prov.27:1; Luke 12:13-21).’ True words of wisdom my people! 

And here is how Cousin Sol puts it: ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov.27:1) And we really don’t. Look at how many of us go to bed fine at night and don’t awaken in the morning eh? It’s all in the Lord’s hands! And until we learn that, our well-prepared plans are liable to go awry very often. 

And James continues: ‘For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.’ Now that sounds more like it! And the scholars tell us: ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov.16:9).’ 

And as always, Cousin Sol has a saying on every subject: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov.16:9) And the scholars simply explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ No doubt about that my brethren! It’s His universe, and He controls it, though it sometimes looks otherwise. But please have no doubt that His finger is on the pulse of everything that goes on in His world, and NOTHING happens unless He allows it. 

Therefore I will say to us, that we will speak again tomorrow, possibly very late though, because I might not get home until the afternoon, and might need to rest before I can get up the gumption to write the Bit, (smile) but…but with the proviso…the Lord willing! I strongly believe He is willing, and with all the prayers and pleas you righteous saints are sending up to heaven on my behalf, how can He do otherwise eh? (smile) 

He’s had oodles of opportunities to take me home…and never did…so why now eh? He’s put too many desires in my heart for exalting and proclaiming His name, that taking me home now would simply be a waste of those desires.

And as the old people would say; ‘my pee (urine) has burnt any grass as yet.’ (smile) Meaning that I haven’t left a mark on the world as yet. Anyhow, be that as it all may, it’s all in the Lord’s hands, and He will do what He thinks fit. But yes, mih friend Scotty, we are being positive! (smile) 

And since today is Wednesday, it behooves us to go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting this evil and ungodly world know our true position in Christ. As one loud, strong and sincere body 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 though I know that the future will indeed be glorious, I don’t think I’m ready to see it in living colour just yet. (smile) So until we talk again sometime tomorrow…the Lord willing obviously…please stay strong and steadfast my people…and pray fervently! Much LOVE!

…our times are in the Lord’s hands…that’s for sure… 

P.S. It’s surely a smiley kind of day! But why not eh? Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2018 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.   ​And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
 
And so it’s Tuesday, the day before the next Big Day. Steups! Let’s hope it happens as planned now yes, and no more silly postponements! That means friends, many prayers bombarding heaven for the ole fella’s safe and productive surgery tomorrow. Glory be! That is if you want him to be around for a long time writing these interesting and provocative Bits! (smile) 

And I sincerely thank you for all the support I’ve gotten so far, and I know that the effective and fervent prayers of you righteous people will be heard and positively answered in heaven. So I’m not worried, just a li’l skeptical that something might happen to put it off again. Let’s hope that this is now the Lord’s time! Amen! 

And with that, let me share a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Slow Growth!’ Please pray with me: ‘In my fretful patience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is he always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from their past mistakes?” 

And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. I see Your stretched-our patience. I remember how long you’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, not one of us can truly say we don’t see ourselves in that picture, because impatience and intolerance with the attendant hypocrisy are big parts of our society today. We all show some of those negative traits at some time or the other because we are human and live in a fallen society. But as sincere Christians, true believers in Christ, we ought to show those negative characteristics on as few occasions as possible. 

Instead my faithful brethren, we ought to let these momentous words of Bruh Paul sink into our consciousness and lead us on a more Christ-like path. Hear him to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ: ‘And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32) 

Oh my people, what a treasure trove of practical ideas for godly and righteous living! If we’d only adopt a few of them, our lives would be oh so much better. And it’s not like they are so difficult to put into practice. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us and seals us forever. Consequently our behaviour ought to change, granted, not all at once, but there must be some newness in our behaviour otherwise Jesus is not truly dwelling within us. 

And hear these oh so practical options nuh: No more lying, but truth speaking to everybody, because we are all members of Christ’s body, His church. No keeping of anger after sundown, because it destroys our sleep and we wake up angry the next day. As best we can, don’t give the enemy any opportunities to invade our souls. Like no more stealing, but productive work, so that we can share with the unfortunate. 

No cursing and corrupt communication, but words that can edify and uplift those who hear them. And put away all the negativity of vs. 31, which tend to be Satanic in nature. But instead, we ought to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, showing grace and mercy to others, just like our heavenly Father has showered down all that stuff on us. 

Remember these immortal words of Jesus, the basic foundation upon which our faith has been founded and still rests: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6: 14-15) 

Friends, it couldn’t be any simpler or plainer than that! So please, let’s seriously get ourselves together and begin treating each other the way we ought to nuh. Remember, it’s all for our benefit, not God’s! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

And if we truly believe it, then let’s go out and action it! Much LOVE!

…true Christianity places much more emphasis…on action…than on talk…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2018 2 Corinthians 6:16.

Corinthians 6:16.   And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
 

Hn, hn, hn! I have to laugh this Saturday morning yes mih people! Why? Because instead of telling you that it’s another wet morning in my neighbourhood, I have to tell you it’s a white and snowy morning. Chuh!

Yes indeed, that white powdery stuff called snow, the enemy of mankind, (smile) is on the ground, on the rooftops…everywhere and everything that’s uncovered is just covered in white! (smile) 

Granted, it’s not a whole lot, but any snow at all is too much! And would you believe that the sun is shining brightly out there? Hn, hn, hn! I have to laugh again, because that’s possibly the second time I’ve seen it shine so brightly in the last couple of weeks.

But that’s life in the northern climes! Let’s just hope that this morning isn’t a prelude to a real snowy winter. And if so, we’ll just have to deal with it as best we can, with the Lord’s help of course. Amen! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he sent us a full slate of them this week, all very plausible.

So here goes: ‘Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.’ Ah friends, is that ever so important, especially for believers in Jesus Christ. We can’t just talk the talk, we have to even more importantly, walk the walk. 

And that segues quite nicely into the next quote, or the next quote segues quite nicely into that one. (smile) ‘My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.’ And that’s called living life by example!

And hopefully it’s a good example. Because as they say, ‘examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts.’ Yes my brethren, we often learn much better and quicker when we see the words in action, rather than just spoken. 

And I have to laugh here again, because, if I remember correctly, that quote about examples and precepts comes from a book titled ‘Joseph Andrews’ that I read in High School some fifty something years ago. But it has always stuck in my consciousness. That just goes to show the awesome power of the mind. 

And let’s sincerely hope that the children of today can say that their fathers were good examples. I know that I’ve been found badly wanting in some areas, but overall, I might get a passing grade. (smile)

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Greatness: There is nothing great about being better than somebody else. True greatness is achieved by being better than your normal self…yesterday, last month, last year, last failure and last success.’ 

And that’s basically true! Being better than somebody else is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially in Jesus’ economy. Remember what He said to the disciples when they were disputing about the greatest amongst them?

‘And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35) Yes friends, in Jesus’ kingdom, whoever wants to be first, must first understand the humility in being last and the servant of others! 

And the penultimate quote says: ‘The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.’ No disputing that friends!

As long as we are alive, again as believers in Christ, we are expected to grow and learn each and every day, and take everything in stride. As it says, ‘do what’s right,’ live obediently according to Jesus’ dictates. But please be careful about living in the moment, for we can overdo it. We have to give some thought to the future. 

And the last quote simply says: ‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Your body is the only one you have, and will ever have, and it goes with you everywhere, so you need to take very good care of it, if you want it to last a long time. Unfortunately though, too many of us abuse our bodies with riotous and licentious living, bad food, lack of sleep etc. 

And to make matters even worse, we don’t take the words of our Bit seriously. ‘And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; And I will be there God, and they shall be my people.’

Yes my fellow believers, if the Holy Spirit of God indwells us, then it follows logically that God lives within us, and wherever the Lord is it’s a holy and divine place, and therefore needs to be taken good care of. 

Thus Bruh Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah (52:11) as he continues after our Bit. ‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord.’ (2 Cor.6:17-18) 

That last verse is a combination of 2 Sam.7:14 and Jer.31:1,9. Bruh Paul always tried to use Old Testament scripture to back up His New Testament declarations, because unlike some current theories, the New does not negate the Old, it just backs it up and explains it further. 

However friends, the long and short of the story is that Christians ought to live holy lives, lives that reflect the true nature of God, who saved us and caused His Holy Spirit to dwell within us as a guide and leader. Therefore we need to separate ourselves from ‘actions, influences, or people that will contaminate us,’ and live by biblical principles and standards. Amen! Much LOVE!

…defile not the temple of God…both physically and spiritually…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).
 

Hear me calling: ‘Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!’ That’s a heartfelt plea my brethren, because since I’ve come back from Jamaica, it’s been a steady diet of rain and more rain…and today looks like it might be more of the same. I guess the Lord’s reasoning is if we could have two weeks of brilliant sunshine, what’s wrong with a few days of rain eh? 

And as the duchess recently informed me, in her usual frank manner: ‘Stop complaining. You’ve been here for forty years. You should be accustomed to it by now!’ (smile) But who ever gets accustomed to the cold October and November rains eh? I know one person whom it doesn’t seem to bother though, that’s the ordinary workingman, once it’s Friday he’s happy regardless of the weather. His primary focus is having two days off from work to party. 

Hear him sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And though the rain falling, and the place cold and miserable, I don’t care, because I don’t have to go to the massa work and slave mih life away for a small pittance and all the grief he want to cause me! Glory be! It’s the start of the weekend, that means is party time; time to swing and sway, eat and drink and let the good times roll! No holding back, just full steam ahead! Party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, don’t you wish we could be as laid back and carefree as the ordinary workingman? We all surely do. However, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t afford that luxury because then the enemy, the evil Satan will joyfully infiltrate our souls and cause serious havoc therein. That’s why we need some boundaries in our everyday lives, points beyond which we won’t go, and that’s also why our weekend song, our Friday Chant is so different to his. 

Chant it with me now nuh: ‘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!’ 

Yes my people, we need to be always on our p’s and q’s when dealing with this evil world we live in. We’re workers for Jesus and thus must show the character, qualities and attitude that’s becoming to His glorious name! And yes, it is difficult sometimes to stay on the straight and narrow path that Jesus recommends, but we do have the reassurance and wherewithal to stay the course. 

Listen to these fruitful and famous words of reassurance from Bruh Paul to Timothy when the youngster was going through a rough time in his ministry in Ephesus. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).’ 

Ah my people, each of us has been imbued with the Holy Spirit of Christ, which is supposed to lead and guide us in our daily lives; giving us that spirit of power, LOVE and a disciplined soul. However, it can only do its job if we listen to it and allow it to work its grace, mercy and forgiveness in our lives. So we do have what it takes to do Christ’s work, but most of us are not using those tools wisely. 

Remember, the Lord, through the Holy Spirit can’t work properly in our lives unless we give up ALL aspects of our lives to Him. Many of us hold back some areas and only give over those we think the Lord might be interested in. But that’s a sure fallacy friends, the Lord’s interested in EVERYTHING in our lives. He doesn’t want bits and pieces of it, He wants it ALL! 

Now listen, as Bruh Paul continues his reassurance to Timothy and to us. ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (time). 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day. 

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’ (2 Tim.1:8-14) 

Oh friends, just a couple of points before we close. If we truly believe, then we cannot be ashamed of the gospel as so many of us are. And remember, Christ has abolished death and given us salvation unto eternal life. And that is assured! No one can take it from us. But we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith and do whatever it takes to win souls to Jesus and keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. 

Let’s hope that these words of Bruh Paul will reassure us and remind us of all the power and LOVE and discipline that we do have through the Holy Ghost, from the work of Jesus Christ. Amen. Much LOVE!

…a true believer…should not be ashamed…of whatever he believes in…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2018 John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38.   In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.

‘Sunday morning coming down…’ And the Lord’s sanctuary is filled to overflowing! Bless His holy name! The faithful believers have come to renew their connection to Almighty God; to sing His praises and give Him thanks, hear His Word and receive His body and blood in the symbolic gesture of communion, thereby reawakening and reenergizing their listless and tired souls. 

Wow friends! What a blessing it is to have fellowship every Sunday with other believers under the remarkable auspices of our Creator! So as we do every Sunday, let’s begin the proceedings with some praise and worship to soften up our hearts and make them more receptive to the word. 

And today’s song of praise is that old but magical hymn, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,’ taken from the 10th and last movement of the cantata ‘Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life,’ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 18th century. This version we’re going to sing today, is apparently the most common English one, written by poet laureate Robert Bridges. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and voices to high heaven in sweet, adorable and exalted praise, accompanied by the scintillating symphonic music of the master composer, as performed by the full orchestra. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Jesus, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light. 

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round Thy throne. Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVE of joys unknown.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ALWAYS leads us, His faithful people, with LOVE, to unknown, unbelievable gasps of joy! Praise His Holy Name! Oh friends, Jesus is indeed the joy of our desire!

And why not eh? He has Holy wisdom, the brightest LOVE that exists and shines in the universe, not to mention the everlasting hope of salvation and eternal life He’s provided for us through His ever-faithful promises and sacrificial actions of two thousand years ago. 

Now let’s hear his Word, which fashioned our flesh, then breathed the fire of impassioned life into it, as we strive to uncover unknown truths from it. And today’s scripture deals with ‘Drink of joy from deathless springs.’ Listen as our Lord and Saviour expounds on His abilities with thrilling confidence. 

‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

And can you imagine the confusion those statements caused amongst the mainly ignorant crowd. ‘But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ (John 7:39) 

Yes friends, Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit that was to come upon every believer after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. And if we’re truly spiritually thirsty, the best place to seek relief from that thirst is in Jesus.  He is the ONLY one who can quench, can satisfy, can satiate our thirsty souls! 

And in the end of the Good Book, He again declares unto John: ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’ (Rev.22:16)

And what does this revealing angel make known to John? ‘And the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and the bride (the church) say, Come (to Christ in faith for eternal life). And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst (thirsty) come. And whosoever will (desires), let him take the water of life freely.’ (Rev.22:17) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that offer! It’s the best offer going in this mish-mash world! And we’ll end with these beautiful words of scripture as prophesied by Isaiah about the Lord’s doings through Jesus.

‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

And our Lord and Saviour is indeed great in our midst my brethren! So let’s be wise and do like the prophet advised nuh; let’s call on His name, declare His deeds, exalt His holy name and above all, accept His free offer of grace, whereby we can receive salvation and eternal life! That is wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…in Jesus…we have EVERYTHING…we can ever need…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2018 John 4:34.

John 4:34.    Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
 

Well friends sorry I’m a bit late, but my friendly computer acted up on me this morning when I was already late. (smile) And no, we’re not supposed to have as wonderful a day as the last two, but the temp should be above the seasonal norm, and the sun is fighting valiantly to stay shining after the intermittent rain we had during the night. 

The temp is supposed to plummet after today, so I guess I won’t be able to sit comfortably again in shirtsleeves on my front porch at 3.30 in the morning like I did earlier on today. It’s so healing and cleansing to be able to sit in the peaceful silence and communicate with nature and one’s Maker. They say that an empty church has more room for God, well so does a peaceful neighbourhood, allow greater communication. 

So what shall we talk about today eh? I don’t have a clue. (smile) However, after sifting through the numerous bits of paper on my desk, I found this interesting quote, although I’m not sure who said it. And it says: ‘Discipline is not our enemy, but our friend. And discipline helps you be what you want to be, and you won’t be without it.’ 

Gospel truth mih people! We can’t be what we want to be without discipline! It’s as simple as that! Because discipline keeps us focused on whatever it is we desire to do, and if we’re not focused, zoomed in, we won’t accomplish whatever we set out to do. The problem though is that discipline goes against the natural grain of our carnal minds and flesh. It keeps us tied to one path, makes it straight and narrow, needing us to keep our eyes straight ahead so that we don’t veer off. 

And have you ever noticed how easy it is to veer off the straight and narrow path? It certainly doesn’t take much encouragement. (smile) That’s why it’s so difficult to be a true follower of Jesus, especially with all the worldly stuff that’s out there trying to drag us back to the wide and destructive path. 

But friends, to be successful in our godly endeavours, we have to take a page from Jesus’ book.  Please note what He says in our Bit to the disciples at the well of Jacob, when they offered Him food, after He met the Samaritan woman. ‘Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’  

Yes my brethren, the Lord sent Jesus to perform a certain task, namely to spread the good news of the gospel and to sacrifice His sinless life so that we could be saved, and that’s all He concentrated on. He didn’t turn to the left nor to the right, just focused completely on the task of the Father, keeping in continual communication with Him. 

So if the Son of God, needed to be in continuous communication with His Father to be able to do His work down here on earth, how much more do we, mere mortals, need to stay in touch with and focused on our heavenly Father if we sincerely want to do His will. Glory be mih people, the ole fella is just running away with it! (smile) 

The Holy Spirit suddenly infused those thoughts in my mind and I couldn’t type fast enough to put them down. And it just brought to my mind the fact that I’ve been writing this Bit for almost eleven years is also a matter of discipline. I have to set my focus each day on writing it. 

And the truth be known, now I don’t even fret about it again. I just know that I have to write it and get up and ask the Lord for guidance, and like today, when I didn’t know what I was going to write about, He showed me a way. That’s why I can testify that the Lord is truly faithful! If you do what He commands you to do, then He WILL help you to do it. I certainly couldn’t be writing this Bit for so long without His marvelous help. 

But then friends, it takes that tough and unlikable word ‘discipline’ to do it successfully. Without it, in any area of life or situation, we’ll never reach the mountain top for which we all strive. And Cousin Sol gives a couple of interesting pointers here. ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord (roll on the Lord thy works), and thy thoughts shall be established. (Prov.16:3) And secondly: ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ (Prov.16:7) 

Ah mih people, that just shows the wisdom of getting God seriously involved in ALL of our affairs. And when we have done that friends, then we can say to the Father, like Jesus did: ‘I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’ (John 17:4) 

The scholars tell us that’s when He finished His active ministry, then thereafter took a more passive role. However, when He declared on the cross: ‘It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.’ (John 19:30) that’s when it was all done, both His active and passive ministry. He had done ALL that the Father had sent Him to do, because He was focused and disciplined, and with the Father’s help was extremely successful. 

Likewise friends, if we are focused and disciplined, with the Father’s help we can also be extremely successful. Now it’s time to go home declaring (spelled it right again!) our Thursday Blessings, letting the world know of the goodness of God when you walk hand in hand with Him. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, if we believe it, then we have to declare it, because a blessing is not a blessing unless it’s declared. Now let’s go out and share them all with others who are not as blessed. Much LOVE!

…blessings are bestowed…so that they can be shared…

 

 

 

 

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