Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2020 Galatians 2:20.

Galatians 2:20.     ​I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.

And then it was Wednesday, the mid-week day, the day we finally feel like we’ve gotten over the hump… Monday and Tuesday are gone and Friday is right there in sight! Glory be! Yeh friends, what a game of musical days we play during those many years of our working life. And sadly, too many of us don’t ever come to terms with it and thus spend a life feeling frustrated about doing the same basic things on the same basic days, over and over. 

But that’s what life is all about! We can’t have fun and excitement every day, like some of us feel we ought to, we’d get bored and frustrated and tired of that too. So let’s get used to the humdrum, same ole, same ole way of life nuh, because that’s all we’re going to ever have…that is until we reach heaven. (smile) 

And besides that, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ died that we might have and enjoy an abundant earthly life, and have it even more abundantly. (John 10:10) And that doesn’t mean just having plenty of earthly things, but also plenty of heavenly and spiritual things. And is only when we pursue those last two, seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that we really find, really discover the enjoyment that life has to offer. (Matt. 6:33) 

Bubba! What a day when we discover that, believe it, and truly put it into action! Our lives become so much more meaningful than they were previously, and we find that we have so much more to live for. That’s why the wisdom of heaven proclaims that ‘JESUS IS THE ANSWER!’ Yes my people, the name of Jesus is the name that’s above every other name, exalted by the Father because of His unfailing obedience and great sacrifice! He’s been made the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, to whom each knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) 

And how do we accomplish all of that eh? Through just one word: ‘SURRENDER!’ Yes to really take advantage of all that God has provided for us, we need to completely surrender our lives to Him and His will. Hear these words on that subject nuh, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

He asks? ‘How are we guided? The answer is no secret. Surely God speaks to us through the Bible! Those who read it quietly and prayerfully find God’s guidance. And prayer is still the mysterious experience where we tune our minds to the celestial wavelength and ask God to guide us. In addition, there are thousands of people who will testify that in the quietness of worship God entered into their consciousness to illuminate them. But I would suggest that the real secret of receiving divine guidance is deeper than Bible reading, prayer, or worship. 

The key word is SURRENDER! Surrender your sins, your self-centred desires, and your life to Jesus Christ. surrender your mind to the Holy Spirit. Are you sure you want guidance? Would you take it if He gave it? Do you know how to catch a dove? It is interesting that in the New Testament the dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is God who enters into our mental consciousness. 

Hundreds of thousands of visitors to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in southern California try to catch the white doves that flock in the ancient mission. You may reach out with your hand, fingers open, and just as you are about to grasp the feet of the dove, it flaps its wings and flies away. So you try again. You reach out with your hand cautiously, slowly, furtively, and just as you are about to grab the bird, it escapes again. 

The secret is this: Simply extend your hand. Hold it out straight in front of you. Open your palm. Wait quietly. And the dove will come and rest right in the middle of your hand. Surrender your soul, your mind, your spirit that way to God, and He will take over your life and guide you.’ 

Mama Yo mih bredrin! What awesome words of wisdom from Gramps Schuller! That’s the only healthy, sensible and wise way to live this life! Anything else is going to get us nothing but a wasted life! And what does total surrender to God mean and include. Listen to this definition. ‘The word surrender in this sense is derived from the Greek word “paradidomi” which can mean yield up, transmit, and entrust. Surrendering all to God means to yield upward rather than to our current circumstances. God demands a “total cling” to Him—not anyone else.’ 

Peter talks about ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you’ (1 Pet. 5:7) That means God wants us to cast ALL of our cares, anxieties and worries upon Him, surrender everything, entrust ALL we have to Him, make Him the trustee of our entire lives; finances, emotions, health, etc. etc. Now, ‘The key to entrusting is leaving the cares with God and allowing Him to remain the trustee. This can be an ongoing process.’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, surrendering to God is not an overnight process, but a lifelong one. And I don’t think anyone exemplified this better than Bruh Paul when he wrote to the Galatians. ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.’ (Gal. 2:20) 

Now that’s surrendering to God! Giving up all that you are to Him, living your life through the eyes of Christ, allowing Jesus to cultivate His desires, virtues, character and power in us. Living a life of faith, depending on Christ for our strength and ALL our necessities. That’s true surrender! So for those of us who are currently undergoing that surrender process, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our unique and rather exciting position in Christ. 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that means if we stay surrendered to the end, the future will be ever so glorious, more than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…only in giving our ALL to Christ…can He give us His ALL to us… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘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. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2019 John 14:6.

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

Sunday, oh Sunday…the day of the Lord! Time for our weekly fellowship friends, where we meet in the Lord’s house and renew our spiritual strength by giving Him thanks and praise, listening to His holy Word while encouraging and exhorting each other to LOVE and good deeds on Christ’s behalf! Blessed be His holy name, and we His beloved children! 

And today, as we do each Sunday, we’ll open the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving; an 18th century hymn written by English clergyman, Philip Doddridge. In 1967 it was given a gospel arrangement and recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers…and the next thing you knew, it was an international hit! We know it as ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So let’s belt it out with the appropriate enthusiasm and ecstatic feeling, because when you’re a true believer in Christ, every day is a happy day, especially Sundays, when we gather and fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary, be it a majestic cathedral or a humble hovel. 

The important thing is not our physical surroundings but our spiritual togetherness, for as Christ so faithfully promised: ‘For wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) That means He’s right here in the midst of us this Sunday morning as we sing His praises and give Him exceeding thanks! So altogether now, as though we really mean it, with all the call and answers and everything. Let’s make it truly lively and happy. 

‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day)!’ 

Oh friends, you better believe that it was the happiest day of mankind’s history when Jesus washed our abominable sins away! There’s nothing in this evil world to compare to that, because it means reconciliation with our heavenly Father, salvation and eternal life…Glory to God my faithful brethren! And on top of all that, Jesus taught us some real important things; like how to watch, to fight and pray, and live rejoicing every live long day! Bless His holy name my people! That’s why He’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

No one’s ever done anything greater for mankind in the annals of history. Wow! His selfless, sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary turned the whole world upside down, and His teachings have brought life and light to millions of lost and persecuted people. How can we ever thank Him eh? In truth, we can NEVER fully repay His awesome gesture, but we can satisfy His simple desires by surrendering our souls to Him, obeying His teachings, and believing in Him sufficiently to place our trust and the outcome of our eternal lives in His nail pierced hands. 

No wonder He could tell doubting Thomas in no uncertain terms: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ And that was no idle boast my people, for as the scholars point out: ’14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way.’ And so indeed He is friends! If you don’t believe and trust and obey Him, then you’ll never see the Father’s face, or dwell with Him throughout eternity. That’s just a natural fact, for there are only two options in this life, the Beelzebub way, or the Jesus way. And believe me, you don’t want to go the way of the former. 

Oh sorry my brethren, how could I forget that Jesus was also the Light eh? Steups! John said it thus: ‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:4-5). And the scholars tell us: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

And Jesus Himself said it thus: ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’ (John 12:35-36) Yes friends, we all know that we cannot walk safely or purposefully in darkness, but when there’s light…oh we can do so much!  And if Jesus is light, then it’s only logical to follow Him, if we want to walk in light. 

The long and short of the story then precious people, is that Jesus is the End All and Be All of this world! In fact He is the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light! Glory be! So how can you not follow Him eh? That would be rather foolish of you; the height of stupidity…and I know that you’re neither foolish nor stupid! Much LOVE!

…the way to eternal life…can only be found by walking in the true Light…Jesus… 

P.S. Don’t worry about Friday and Saturday, we won’t lose any days. I just didn’t have the energy to write them yet, and I didn’t want to miss out on Sunday. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2015 1 Timothy 6:11

1 Timothy 6:11.     But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.

Aye Friends, on this summer Saturday morning, I greet you with the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ! Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor.1:2-3) 

Yes my brethren, we have indeed been blessed by seeing another day on God’s great earth! And grace, and peace, mercies and comfort are all ours for the taking. So please, let’s take them as we need them nuh, through expectant faith and hungry hope, turning to Jehovah God in every circumstance of our lives, with every beat of our heart, with every breath of life we take! 

That’s what He expects of us my brethren, faithful followers that we are. And since we have lots of stuff to look at, I won’t ramble on today… ‘Praise the Lord!’ several voices mutter in the background. (smile) 

So let’s get straight to our Bit, wise words from Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ Wisdom indeed Friends! Bruh Paul had just finished telling him what not to follow. 

And the scholars have a good explanation of that verse. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ 

Yes Friends, it all applies to us in these troubled times too. And in simple language it means don’t run behind the evil, idolatrous, destructive things of the world, but rather concern yourself with the good, wholesome and everlasting things of God. I don’t know how many times we need to hear that before we believe it and put it into practice nuh. 

But too many of us are still running behind the things of the world, especially material wealth and money and are suffering the resultant negative consequences like general unhappiness, busyness, weariness, stress, anger and resentment. 

Ah my people, trying to keep up with the Jones’ is a rough scene yes, which could eventually cost your life, and there are no guarantees of success. So please pay serious attention nuh, and let go of the flimsy, worthless things that Lucifer and his evil hordes are pushing. It will serve you much better in the long run. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to tell Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:12) Ah mih people, all of that also pertains to us in these dreadful and distressful times. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yuh see mih breddren, as we face the daily struggles and hardships of life with steadfast faith, we grow, we mature in the Christian life. Oh it’s by no means an easy journey, but when we consider the prize, the eternal reward that’s waiting for us, it certainly makes it all worthwhile. 

I don’t know about you nuh Friends, but I surely prefer to have salvation and eternal life with Jesus amidst plenty hard knocks down here, than to satiate myself with the things of Lucifer, then end up in the burning lake of fire when the time of judgement comes. 

And to show how most of the things of the world that we hunger and thirst for are a waste of time, just take a look around your homes and you’ll see that amongst those things that we had to have, most of them are languishing, or have languished in obscurity for ages, as the shine and desire wore off in the early days. Most of them we only want them until we get them, then our interest quickly fades. So why do we still run them down eh? The Lord alone knows! 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth (gives life to) all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; (c.f. John 18:36-37). That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable (blameless), until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Which in his times he shall show (manifest), who is the blessed and only Potentate (sovereign ruler), the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.’ (1 Tim.6:13-16) 

Oh Friends what glorious words of truth, what a perfect word picture of Jesus Bruh Paul paints there! Glory be! 

And the scholars’ explain thus: ‘6:13. A charge is a command. Quickeneth contains the idea of giving life to. Since god gives life to all things, He can also enable Timothy to “fight the good fight” (v.12).’ 

‘6:14. This commandment refers back to the charge in verse 13 which embraces the injunctions of verses 11-12. Thus ‘this commandment” is the charge to pursue godliness (v.11) and to fulfill one’s ministry (v.12). Without spot, unrebukable means Timothy is to be meticulous in his obedience of verses 11-13, that is, without fault and failure in compliance.’ 

So Friends, there’s no more left to say today. Please pay careful attention to all we’ve said, and I do hope that the Most High God Jehovah will help us to understand it, then put it into practice, as soon as possible. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…the ultimate ruler…King of Kings…and Lord of Lords…Potentate of all He surveys…