Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ 

Wow friends! What more can I say eh? Oh, possibly: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today! Something good is going to happen through me today!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the feeling, the positive, conquering, can’t lose feeling you experience in your spirit when Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour! Give glory and exaltation to His Holy Name! 

Abundant joy ought to mark the Christian’s life. What does the Good Book say? ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength!’ That means if we truly have the Lord in our lives, we ought to have joy and strength. 

And to make it an even better day, both the Sun and Son are shining as brightly as ever in my neck of the woods. It couldn’t get any better than that nuh mih people. And I guess you all are wandering what I’m so high on this beautiful Thursday morning in June of 2017? (smile) 

Well, as far as far as I know, I’m high on nothing but life! Life, my friends, as experienced and guided by the Spirit of Christ! Like the Holy Spirit got a zeppo from heaven directing it to infuse me with a shot of whatever, to get me excited about Christ and about this day. 

Now isn’t that refreshing and stimulating? It surely is! And why you ask, would the Holy Spirit do that eh? My best guess is because heaven wants me to share that excitement with you all, and to also get you high on life. 

Oh doesn’t our great and wonderful God move in mysterious ways? He surely does my fellow believers! That’s one of the many things I LOVE about Him; the way He can come up with wonderful goodies, at a time when you least expect them. 

But then too, He can also allow rough times when we least expect them. But as Job so rightly says, we can’t expect to have the good without the bad. But too many of us supposed Christians are always so sad and dreary, without real joy in our lives. 

We walk around with droopy shoulders, with heads hung low as though we’ve recently lost our best friend or our mother, wrongly believing that to be joyful is not a true Christian virtue. Chuh! That’s a totally false premise my people! 

Listen here, if we have Jesus dying for us on the cross at Calvary, so that our sins can be forgiven, then being raised from the dead, so that we too can be raised, consequently being reconciled to God, with assured promises of salvation and eternal life, plus unending grace and mercy here on earth, why wouldn’t you be joyful eh? 

Oh friends, as I keep trying to instill in us, we Christians should be the most joyful people on the face of this earth, and we ought to show it too, so that others can see it and want that pure, unadulterated joy and peace that ONLY comes through being in a personal relationship with the ONE and ONLY Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom all knees must eventually bow, and all lips declare his awesome majesty to the glory of Jehovah God! 

And all that I’ve said so far my brethren, comes as a direct result of the actions involved in our Bit. ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

Oh how magnanimous and full of LOVING-kindness is our wonderful God! But we don’t truly appreciate it, otherwise we’d be beating down His doors to get to Him, instead of doing our best to remove Him from our society. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars, hopefully, it will change your mind, bring you to your senses. ‘5:21. Three aspects of Paul’s concept of imputation (forgiveness) are seen in this passage. In verse 19 God imputes not iniquity (cf. Ps.32:2). Then He imputes sin to Christ, the spotless Lamb of God (cf. John 1:29; 1 Pet.1:19). 

Finally, God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the sinner’s account. This truth may be viewed from the side of justification, whereby the sinner is declared righteous based on the merits of Jesus Christ (cf. Rom.3:24-25), or it may be viewed from the side of sanctification, whereby the righteousness of Christ is daily applied. This latter sense is probably in view here. Compare 3:18’, see also 1 Cor.1:2).’ 

Ah mih people, yuh see the greatness of our God? You can look at your forgiveness in two different ways. Now hopefully that explanation will have some effect on us, especially if we look up the scriptures mentioned there. Please take a minute and do that nuh mih brethren, they are all interesting and worthwhile, and it is all for our benefit, not God’s. 

And if you still don’t believe all that’s been said above, then just look at the enormous amount of blessings we receive when we partner with Christ nuh. So let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with the excitement, the enthusiasm and sincere belief they deserve. 

As one 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!’ 

And since blessings need to be spoken over someone for them to take effect, let’s go out and bless a whole lot of others today, my faithful followers of Christ! That’s what He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh the joy of being in Christ…and Him being in us…it’s so wonderful…that mere words can’t do it justice…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Awright friends, it’s the big day, Monday, so let’s rise and shine and go about God’s business the way we ought to nuh. But we won’t be able to do that unless we had a good Sunday; one of fellowship and praise and worship with some rest and relaxation, preparing us for today’s efforts and adventures. 

But not to worry, we have the antidote for all of your Monday blues and whatever is currently taking away your joy in Christ. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) No joy – no strength. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with all the energy and enthusiasm we can muster. 

In harmony and fine voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Beautiful friends, beautiful! Jesus, our choirmaster was smiling from ear to ear and swinging His director’s baton with the joy of an impressed leader. Wow! Long time we haven’t seen Him that enthused. So with that wonderful adrenaline now flowing through our bodies, let’s kick start our motors and get right down to business with our ever-awesome Bit. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Everlasting words of truth to live by my brethren! And why wouldn’t they be, since without God’s awesome, amazing, unconditional and magnanimous LOVE, we’d be just easy marks, simple fodder for Lucifer and his evil cohorts. And for those of you who are tired of hearing about LOVE, especially God’s LOVE – I sincerely hope they aren’t any Christians in that group – I believe today is the last day for that Bit. 

And as I’ve been doing over the last few days, I’m just going to share relevant scripture on the subject. And what better place to begin than with the original promise of God to deliver us from our iniquity eh? 

Listen to Isaiah: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement, and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7) 

And the zeal of the Lord did indeed perform that promise by His sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins on the cross of Calvary! No greater LOVE was ever shown than in that action friends, which proves that our wonderful, our magnificent Creator is ever-faithful and true to His promises! 

Now hear this wise advice from John from his first epistle. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) That’s just Christianity 101 my fellow believers! 

And we’ll end, most fittingly with some more words of John. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE. We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen. And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVETH his brother also.’ (1 John 4:18-21) 

Ah friends, I do hope that this series of messages on LOVE sparks a revolution in our hearts, souls and minds, so that we can improve our LOVE quotient, for both God and man, as that’s the ONLY thing that will make our world truly go round on a joyful axis. Much LOVE!

…only LOVE can break a heart…only LOVE can mend it again…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2015 Psalm 66:1-2‏

Psalm 66:1-2.   Make a joyful noise (shout Hallelujah) unto God, all ye lands (the entire earth). Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Bonjour mes amis! Welcome to another bright and sunshiny day in the annals of man! (smile) It sure is great to be alive on beautiful days like these, isn’t it? 

With the wonderful breath of life flowing through our frail human bodies, we can’t help but enjoy the goodness of our God as we arise to greet another new day filled with all sorts of interesting blessings. 

But here is an important point to note in all of that. It comes from a quote on my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU Poster.’ And it says: ‘No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends? It certainly is! Joy, happiness, contentment, call it what you may, is dependent on the individual embracing it. Granted we can have circumstances from which those things flow, but if we don’t take hold of them, they will pass us by completely. 

Remember, no one’s responsible for our happiness but us. Too many of us wait for circumstances, things or people to make us happy, but that is not a wise idea, for we might just end up waiting to be happy all our lives. Each one of us has to grab the horns of happiness and feed our souls with it, if we want to live a happy and joyful life. 

The Good Book says that the ‘joy of the Lord is our strength,’ (Neh. 8:10) but even that does not come to us automatically, we have to make a conscious effort to take hold of it, and keep holding on to, it if we want that joy to last. 

The long and short of the story friends, is that happiness or joy doesn’t simply find us and keep us going in a suitable manner, we have to find or create it, then sincerely embrace it, and keep it going by our godly attitude. 

It’s possible to have poor circumstance and be happy or joyful, but by the same token we can have wonderful circumstances and be miserable and discontented. The choice is always ours to make and embrace. End of sermon. (smile) 

Therefore my people, on this glorious and terrific Thursday morning let’s put it all into practice nuh, by doing what our Bit says. ‘Make a joyful noise (shout Hallelujah) unto God, all ye lands (the entire earth). Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.’ 

Oh Friends, how good and right and enjoyable it is to give praises to our most wonderful God! Not only is it right for us to sing praises to God, but be it known also that God also delights in our praises. It warms the cockles of His heart and brings a smile to His face when He hears us lavishing praise on Him. 

As the psalmist continues after our Bit. ‘Say unto God, How terrible (awesome) art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.’ (Ps.66:3-4) 

Yeh friends, this morning is just an invitation to worship, to sing praises to our Great God and Redeemer, so it’s all about joyful psalms, beginning with this favourite.

‘O come let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods… 

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care). Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness; When your fathers tempted (tried) me, and saw my work.’ (Ps. 95:1-3, 6-10) 

Yes my brethren, if the Lord chooses to speak to your heart today, please open and let Him in. Don’t do like the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness, who tried to test Him, but eventually saw His miraculous works – turning the bitter waters of Marah sweet (Ex.15:22-26), and providing water from a rock (Ex.17:1-7).

Oh my people, our God surely is a great and mighty God; the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING DEITY! 

And we’ll go home with these beautiful words of Psalm 100- A call to praise the Lord. ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100:1-5) 

What beautiful words of indisputable truth and encouragement my brethren! Especially that last sentence: ‘for the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, this morning, please let’s write those truthful words indelibly in our souls, hearts and minds, and allow them to keep us strong, motivated and full of the joy and the LOVE of our wonderful God! For that is undoubtedly wisdom for all seasons, times and places! Much LOVE!

…singing the praises of God…will lighten the burdens of this world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2015 Revelation 3:15

Revelation 3:15.    I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot: I would (wish) that thou wert (were) cold or hot.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Sunday once again! Time to gather in fellowship; to sing, praise, worship and give thanks to our magnificent Creator and heavenly Father. Wow! Isn’t that amazing? It surely is!

Oh I know some of you might think what’s all the fuss about? But if you have the blessings and the promises and faithfulness and all the other good stuff that stems from Jesus’ demise and then His ultimate resurrection, how can you not be joyful, ecstatic and passionate about your faith eh?

Unfortunately we supposed believers are not a very passionate lot. We treat our faith as though it wasn’t that important. But wait until we get a new car, a new house, or some such worldly stuff that will eventually rot and be destroyed, we jump for joy and carry on. But for the mercies, forgiveness of our abominable sins and the blessings that the Lord pours down on us every day, we are lukewarm and indifferent.

However my people, those are the things that we should be joyful and expressive about. Nothing in this evil and ungodly world will ever beat those heavenly things. So let’s show some passion about our faith nuh, let’s talk it up, live it up, enjoy it and behave like we truly appreciate it, for remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. So if we don’t have joy in God, then we won’t be strong and useful. It’s as simple as that my people.

We are behaving just like the church at Laodicea, to whom Jesus sent this message in our Bit. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would (wish) thou wert (were) cold or hot.’

Yeh Friends, it’s the same message that Jesus is sending us today, for we’re neither hot nor cold, just sort of indifferent, kind of doh-care, sitting on the fence trying to play both ends against the middle. But my brethren that attitude, that modus operandi seldom ever works positively, but negatively most of the time. We have to stand up and choose a side, else we’ll be levelled by both.

Now here’s a little history on Laodicea per the scholars. ‘3:14. Laodicea was located about 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia, in the Lycus River valley near Colossae and Hierapolis (cf. Col.4:13-16). Its name means “People Ruling,” and represents the unbelieving, materialistic church of all ages…’

Ah Friends, we can certainly fall under that heading, because we don’t behave like we truly believe and we’re extremely materialistic. And consequently, the message from Jesus continues: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit or vomit) thee out of my mouth.’ (Rev.3:16)

Now my people, we don’t want Christ to spit us out or regurgitate us, do we? Certainly not! For if He does that, we won’t have a relationship with Him again, and thus lose all the blessings and other wonderful things that He represents.

And the scholars have this to say about those last two verses. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas.

By the time it arrived in Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Oh Friends, does that sound like our church today? Sadly I will have to answer yes. To a great extent the church has lost its way. We no longer practice what Christ taught, plus there are too many denominations, divisions, petty differences and grievances and consequently not sufficient unity and togetherness to make a worthwhile assault on the enemy.

And we obviously can’t make any inroads against enemy since we’re not seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness as Jesus directed in the Sermon on the Mount. But instead we are too taken up with the things of the world, rather than the things of God. Our faith is not demonstrated in the way we live our lives, that’s why the heathen, the unbeliever, mocks and scorns us and calls us hypocrites and are not interested in coming to Jesus.

As I keep telling us friends, examples speak more forcibly than words. So if we sincerely want people to come to Jesus, then we have to begin living the truth, with passion and sincerity, and not the lie that so many of us live nowadays.

Now hear how Jesus puts it. ‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire (refined), that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed), and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev.3:17-19)

And the scholars explain all of that thus. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’

Ah mih people, what’s left to be said eh? Nothing really, because we are behaving just like the Laodiceans. We talk a lot, but don’t have the serious actions to back it up. And we are definitely showing more interest in the material things of the world than the spiritual things of heaven. Please remember Friends that the things of the world will rot and be destroyed, they will pass away, but the things of heaven don’t rot, and will never pass away. Much LOVE!

…he that hath an ear…let him hear…what the Spirit saith unto the churches… (Rev.3:22)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2015 Psalm 16:11‏

Psalm 16:11    Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Aye Friends, can you believe that it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek? Brother! The days they are moving along like greased lightning. Truly though, the days aren’t really any faster than normal nuh, it’s just our perception. We live in such a busy and fast paced society that everything just seems speeded up.

And our God doesn’t want us being so busy with the cares of the world that we don’t have sufficient time to spend with Him. However that’s exactly what happens to many of us; we lead such busy lives, or rather believe we lead such busy lives that we can’t seem to find time to give God His two seconds worth, because that’s just how much time we dedicate to most things.

That attitude is wrong though my people. We need to slow down and enjoy the beauty of God’s world around us, and also spend a fair amount of time in His presence, studying His Word and communicating one on one with Him, for remember the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) Only as we are filled with His strength can we be truly joyful. Or put the other way; only as we are filled with His joy can we be strong.

Ah mih people, everyday we’re bombarded with some new device that’s faster, and can do more stuff, but do we really need that? I don’t think so. What are we going to do when we reach the point that we can’t go any faster eh? It’s ironic, but the only place that many people slow down is in their daily commute to and from work, in the massive traffic jams that occur every day of the workweek, and even on Saturdays and Sundays nowadays.

The other day I got caught on the highway during the afternoon rush hour and was I ever surprised to see the number of vehicles parked up in the 12 to 16 lanes of highway, going nowhere fast. I don’t know what’s the answer nuh Friends, all I know is that it’s a pox on our society. We lose so much time and money sitting in traffic every day that it’s not funny.

Isn’t it laughable though, that with all our brilliance in other areas of life, we still can’t find a better, more productive and positive way for the basic function of getting to and from the jobs that provide our livelihood. That’s why we’re so stressed out and keep running aimlessly, like chickens with our heads cut off.

There’s no need to worry though Friends, for we have the perfect antidote to all those problems; seek God sincerely and continually and He will give you the necessary parts to handle our crazy society. It’s as simple as that. But for many of us in these modern times that’s just too simple and easy. Unless a solution is complicated, we find it difficult to accept.

But Friends, just listen to the words of our Bit and then tell me why I’d refuse to do what it says eh? ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ That’s sounds so wonderful to me, so why would I want to bother with anything else eh?

Oh my people, please, let’s wake up and appreciate the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God nuh! Instead of trying to rid our society of Him, let’s bring Him back with a great outpouring of His Word and His marvellous LOVE!

That’s the answer to most of our problems in the world today; reinstating Jehovah God as our guide and overseer.

Sadly though, too many of us are caught up in the frenzied lifestyle of the rich and famous, seeking to copy it in our own lives, or wasting our time by paying too much attention to their follies and sinful, ungodly lifestyles. That’s why all the gossip media is flourishing in these troubled times.

Anyway, enough of my venting, (smile) let’s see what the scriptures have to say about the subject. Listen to Bruh David’s call on God from Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection. ‘’Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:4-5)

Oh Friends, are we crying out to God for His guidance and direction, and waiting patiently for Him to answer our prayers? I surely hope so, otherwise we’re losing out big time on His goodness and mercy. For He is the only one who can successfully lead and guide us through this mish-mash society and ungodly world.

Listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 31. ‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (do I take refuge); let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock (rock of refuge), for a house of defense (fortress) to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.’ (Ps.31:1-3)

Yeh Friends, it’s all about our God; about working in tandem with Him! That’s the only way we’ll ever be able to successfully navigate this madhouse that our world’s become.

Now more Bruh David, (smile) this time from Psalm 143: ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’ (Ps.143:10)

Oh my people, I don’t how else to put it nuh, but that Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered. And since this seems to be a Bruh David day, (smile) let’s end with some more of his fine words from Psalm 139- The everlasting presence and power of God.

He tearfully declares: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts (anxious thoughts): And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, that ought to be the soulful, heartfelt cry of every believer this morning!

Let’s seriously and sincerely turn back to God nuh my people, for that’s where all the good answers lie! Let’s wise up and acknowledge His superiority, His supremacy, and the fact that we can do very little without Him. That is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…following the world…is like the blind leading the blind…but following Jesus…oh bless my soul…that is like the Good Shepherd leading his sheep…

 

 

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