Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 September 2022 John 8:32.

John 8:32.       And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Oh friends, today as the rising of the sun begins, as that magnificent orb makes its daily journey around the world, many different voices in many different languages will loudly and harmoniously chorus: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for the weekend and all the freedom it brings!’ 

Ah Lord eh, do we ever like and fantasize about that thing called freedom. And down through the ages, so many of us have died shouting out its name, but we don’t really know the heavy price that supposed elixir of the human spirit demands. For to be truly free, one needs to be responsible, not lawless like so many of us believe. Freedom carries with it an inherent need for responsibility, loyalty, self-control, self-discipline and level headedness. It calls for mercy, LOVE, grace, forgiveness, goodness and godliness. 

It doesn’t give us the right, as so many of us believe to do exactly what we want, when we want, regardless of the consequences to those around us. It doesn’t mean chaos, selfishness and disregard for our fellow man. In fact, it demands just the opposite; a healthy and responsible care and compassion for our fellow human beings. 

And I guess that’s why all the revolutions and wars and other negative circumstances that have occurred in the name of freedom have never succeeded, because in the end, those at the forefront of those uprisings, end up doing exactly what their oppressors and suppressors were doing; oppressing and suppressing somebody in the supposed name of freedom! But yet, we still constantly hear the battle cry for freedom: freedom from this, freedom from that, freedom from responsibility, freedom from paying taxes, freedom from God and His law. 

Hn! Yet we still desire all those things that a responsible freedom bring. But in reality, freedom is only, and will always be a figment of our imagination, for as the song so truly says: we all must bow to somebody; to either God or Satan. And once you’re bowing to someone, you’re never free. Bowing to Satan will never make you free, because he is only interested in keeping his selfish claws in you, restraining you from rising to the level for which you were created, and thus making hellfire and damnation your eternal home. 

The closest we can ever get to that thing called freedom is by reverently bowing to our Maker, Our Creator and Provider, our Way-maker and Forgiver, the enabler of Eternal Life. And that can only happen when we sincerely embrace His majestic Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Yes, friends, only through the intervention of the Son, can one get to all the magnificent benefits and freedoms that the Father provides. Listen up as Christ enlightens us on the subject. 

First off, He sets us straight by imparting this startling, but ever so true information: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) Oh my people, unless we believe that, and act seriously upon it, we will never see the bright lights of heaven and enjoy the promise of eternal life! That’s the truth, and nothing but the God-awesome truth! Only sincere belief in Christ Jesus will enable us to enter through those pearly gates we all talk and dream about so much! 

And likewise, the only source of true freedom is Christ Jesus. And why do we know this? Listen as He taught in the synagogue of His hometown of Nazareth. On that momentous Sabbath day in the temple, Jesus read thus from the Book of Isaiah. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord….This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing)’ (Luke 4:18-19, 21) 

Oh my people, Jesus was letting His hometown know that He was the chosen One, the Messiah, the One sent to set the captives free, to heal their broken hearts, souls and spirits. But, as it so often happens, when someone close to us, just like us, rises up to another level, we tend to offer derogatory comments rather than gladly accept their new status. And that’s exactly what happened to Jesus in His hometown of Nazareth. 

They didn’t believe that the lowly carpenter’s son of Joseph and Mary, who grew up amongst them could ever be the Messiah. His words so annoyed them that they eventually forced him out of the city and tried to throw Him down a hill. Thankfully though, as the Good Book says: ‘But he passing through the midst of them went his way.’ (Luke 4:30) And the scholars offer this explanation on the verse. ‘It is not clear whether this is a miraculous deliverance, or whether Jesus, by dint of His imposing presence, was able to stare His opponents down and then walk away untouched.’ I like to think it was the latter, just to show the unbelieving fools that He was not scared of them. (smile)  

Now, this final word from Jesus re freedom. He said to a crowd of Jews that supposedly believed in Him. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-32) And when they claimed they were never in bondage, so how could they be made free, Jesus explained to them that they were in bondage to sin. However, ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free; ye shall be free indeed.’ (John 8:36) 

And is that ever the glorious truth my brethren! Only through the work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, His shed blood, His death and resurrection, can we be truly made free. Free from sin, free from our most noted enemy, Satan and the sinful life that he espouses and tries to get us to also espouse, so that we can eventually end up like him, in the lake of fire. But thankfully, we’re wiser than that! We’re following Jesus! Glory Hallelujah! So, let’s go to Him in prayer, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help in our troubled world. 

As one confident voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 and monkey-pox viruses, as well as our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the viruses and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now friends, if we truly expect positive divine help, then it’s up to us keep the promises we’ve just made, and show right motives in our hearts. Much LOVE!

…ONLY  through belief in Christ Jesus…can we gain whatever freedom is possible in this earthly life… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 April 2022 Revelation 19:16.

Revelation 19:16.      And he hath on his vesture (robe) and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Another Sunday has rolled around my people! And this is a very blessed and special Sunday in the Christian calendar. We call it Palm Sunday, recalling Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem two thousand years ago, the week before He was crucified, riding on a donkey, like the kings who brought peace, the fateful day when He officially offered Himself to the nation of Israel as her long awaited Messiah! 

Wow! It was a marvellous day with the many visitors to Jerusalem thronging the streets to see Jesus, spreading their clothing and tree branches in His way, greeting Him like a conquering hero. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Matt. 21:9-11) 

Yes, it was a great day friends, but yuh know what, Palm Sunday also foreshadows Jesus’ return to earth to set up His millennial kingdom in Jerusalem. So, it’s both a triumphant day of the past and one that will again erupt with joy when Christ returns to rule the world. But enough talk, as we’re all looking forward to singing a wonderful song in Christ’s honour this Palm Sunday morning. And it’s indeed a popular hymn, so popular that it’s often called ‘The National Anthem of Christendom,’ and is aptly titled ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.’  

‘The lyrics were written by Edward Perronet (1721-1792) a prominent British Pastor at one time affiliated with the Wesley’s of the Methodist persuasion, but afterwards became a pastor of a dissenting congregation.’ Another sad instance of church disunity, that just keeps on increasing the enemy’s power and lessening its own. Anyway, we know all about that and are working diligently to correct it, and the best way to do that right now is to lift up our voices in sweet sacrifices of praise, letting heaven an all earth know how much we LOVE and adore our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

So, in a soulful, scintillating, mid-tempo, joyful version, let’s sing: ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall; Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race, Ye ransomed of the fall, Ye ransomed of the fall, Hail him who saves you by his grace, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. 

Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe, On this terrestrial ball, On this terrestrial ball, To him all majesty ascribe, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. O that with yonder sacred throng We at his feet may fall; We at His feet may fall; We’ll join the everlasting song, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all.’ 

Oh, certainly my fellow saints, Jesus must be crowned Lord of ALL, because He is indeed Lord of ALL! That’s what the Good Book says, and the Good Book doesn’t lie. Listen to how Bruh Paul explained it when he wrote to the church at Philippi. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every other name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:8-11) 

Mamma Mia! What power resides in our Jesus! For His undaunted obedience, the Father made His name the highest name therein all the earth and heaven, to whom all knees must bow and confess that He is Lord. Jesus Himself said it to the disciples before He gave them the Great Commission: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me: in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) Even the heathen king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, recognized the might and power of Almighty God, after Daniel revealed the secret of his dream. He said to Daniel: ‘Of a truth, it is that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.’ (Dan. 2:47) 

Meanwhile in 1 Timothy, Bruh Paul tells the young preacher: ‘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.’ (1 Tim. 6:14-15) And if you still don’t believe, then let’s go right to the end of the story and get all the facts straight! (smile)

Right at the opening of John’s vision recorded in Revelation, Jesus said to him: ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which was to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev. 1:8) That set the scene for John’s later recounting of the rider on the white horse; ‘And he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns, and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself…

And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture (robe) and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ (Rev. 19:11-12, 15-16) 

Yes, all you beautiful saints of Christ, those mighty words describe our Lord and Saviour when He shall come in all His glory to rule the earth! As the scholars tell us: ‘He is the revelation of God Himself. In His first advent (coming) Jesus especially revealed the LOVE and grace of God. But in His second advent, He will reveal the holiness, justice and judgement of God. Christ will smite the nations, that is destroy all unbelievers, and will subject all nations to Himself, and destroy all His enemies. He has universal sovereignty. The many crowns mean He is King over all who call themselves kings, and Lord over all who call themselves lords.’ Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

That’s how the story plays out; with Jesus the conquering Hero spreading God’s wrath far and wide, cleaning up the earth in anticipation of a time with strictly peace and LOVE, no more tears, nor death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, for the former things (the negative things of the previous world) are passed away. (Rev. 21:4) And that’s how it’s going to be people. Now let’s hope that we will all be amongst that marvellous crowd on that thrilling day. Much LOVE!

…will you be in the new heaven and earth…only if you sincerely believe in Christ Jesus…it’s glorious ruler… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 March 2022 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

And now that we’ve come to Wednesday, the middle of the work week, hopefully we can take a restful breath and catch our second wind, especially after the snowfall we endured yesterday afternoon that tied up the traffic and caused numerous problems, as it has the bad habit of doing. (smile) But, as believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected, hard as it might be at times, to rise above the worries and problems of this world, through the leading and guiding of Christ’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

However, that only happens when we listen and are obedient to the Spirit’s guidance. So, to all of us, I plead, please, please, let’s pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit nuh, so that our earthly journeys can be less difficult and frustrating than they otherwise will be. End of sermon! (smile) 

And since the Lord has seen it fit to give us another day on earth to continue His important work, let’s return to those marvellous words of Isaiah that we’ve been studying for the last couple days. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Yes friends, our God is all of those things to His most magnificent creation. Give Him thanks and praise for His goodness to us underserving children of men! 

Now, today we will tackle the last and possibly the most important aspect of them all, ‘he will save us.’ And why is that you ask? Because God can be our judge, lawgiver and king, but if He doesn’t save our sinful souls, we’ll still be ending up in ole hades with the demonic master. So, saving us is of the utmost importance! And Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, knew this, for when prophesying over His sons, said about Dan: ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’ (Gen. 49:18) 

But, being the wise and wonderful Deity that He is, Jehovah God obviously had a plan for that from the very beginning, and made it clear in several passages of His Guide Book for Earthly Living: the Bible. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these magnificent scriptures of the promise of salvation, beginning with these most encouraging and reassuring words from Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

He ends the psalm thus: ‘But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps. 37:39-40). And we know that our God doesn’t make idle promises! 

Then Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s restoration to Zion, delivers this message from God: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) All through His word the Lord’s been reassuring His people of salvation and a good end. And Isaiah again, in The song of praise by the redeemed, confidently declares: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, ONLY, the Lord God Jehovah can give us salvation! And He spelt it right out, so that there could be no misunderstanding, through this mighty promise of scripture from Isaiah that we all know, re the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. 

‘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) 

Oh, what a powerful picture that is my people of our Lord and Saviour, Immanuel! A benevolent ruler, who will eventually bring peace and LOVE to our fractured world! And that Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day and grew into the man who declared His Sonship of God, and the fulfillment of God’s promises, His mighty plans of deliverance and salvation for His people, through these awesome words. ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Game, set and match, mih bredrin! Matter done! Salvation has been provided! God’s awesome promises have been fulfilled! And it’s so simple: all we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and truly died on the cross of Calvary to atone for our sins! John, the apostle, who walked with Christ, agrees and says it thus: ‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Wow! None of the other supposed gods make it that easy to come to them. They can’t, because they don’t exist. But the Lord God Jehovah can do so because He is the One True and Living God who has the omnipotent power to save with righteousness and justice! All glory be to His mighty and holy name! 

Ah friends, all I can say is that the option Jesus provides is much better than that provided by the enemy Satan. And since there are only two options, I believe, or rather I know, that Jesus is the wiser choice. However, we each have to make our own decisions. But please remember that there are serious consequences to either choice, and do take the consequences into consideration before making your personal choice. 

For those of us though, who have already made the decision to follow Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Jesus. As one confident voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as we remind ourselves every Wednesday; if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that encourage us to endure to the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the Saviour of the world…He defeated death…and now offers Eternal Life…to any who believe… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8  

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2021 Job 21:15.

Job 21:15.     What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Oh brother, it’s Monday again! That means another week has begun! Some people think that in this time of pandemic, the days are moving ever so slowly, in fact they would say that they are practically dragging, (smile) but for me the weeks are passing ever so quickly! And the sad part is that I am not accomplishing most of what I plan to accomplish. 

So what’s going on eh? Is it that I am simply planning to accomplish too much? I don’t think so. I think the time just gets away from me…(smile) Good excuse eh. But I am promising myself that this week, I won’t allow the time to get away from me, and I will make a big dent in my scheduled plans. Stay tuned for a good report next Monday…provided the Lord sees fit to give us life at that time. 

And today we are going to look at an interesting verse of scripture as Job bemoans the prosperity of the wicked. In his sorrow and discouragement, he asks? ‘What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?’ (Job 21:15) Now why does Job ask such a question eh? He is refuting his friends’ assumption that the wicked are judged and the righteous are blessed. He considered himself righteous, but look at what happened to him. In a cruel moment he lost everything, which led his friends to believe that he was wicked. 

And the scholars tell us that ‘if one looks at life objectively: the wicked’s children are established (vs.8), his house is safe (vs.9), his cattle reproduce (vs.16), and so on. He even receives an honourable burial (vs. 32-33).’ And it’s hard to argue with Job’s points, even today friends, but it is indeed wisdom to serve and pray to the Lord. Why you ask? It’s good to look back at another instance where a mortal man asked the same question that Job does above. We talking about the Pharaoh of Egypt. 

When Moses asked him to allow the Israelites to go into the wilderness and feast and worship the Lord, his arrogant reply was: ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.’ (Ex. 5:2) And instead of letting them go into the wilderness to sacrifice to their God, he made their labour heavier. And despite several entreaties by Moses, and several plagues that fell upon the land of Egypt, Pharaoh refused to set God’s people free. 

Not until the tenth plague did he agree to let them go. That’s when all the first born of Egypt, of man and beast, died, and those of Israel survived, because they followed God’s instructions and sacrificed an unblemished lamb, placing its blood on the front of their houses, so when the angel of death passed over and saw the blood they did not destroy those within it. And that’s how the feast of the Passover came to be. That story can be found in Exodus 12. But Pharaoh was still so arrogant and full of himself, that even after allowing them to leave, he pursued them with his mighty army. 

And we have another wonderful example of why it’s important to serve and pray to Almighty God. The Lord parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross over on dry land, but drowned Pharaoh and all his host, fulfilling His promise to the Israelites as they stood afraid on the banks of the Red Sea watching Pharaoh and his mighty host approach. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex. 14:13-14) 

Yes friends, our God does not make empty promises, so please listen carefully to this one from the prophet Malachi, re the coming day of the Lord, a promise that pointedly ends the Old Testament. ‘For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves in the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves). And ye shall tread down (trample) the wicked: for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal. 4:1-3) 

Oh my people, that day of the Lord is the coming of the Great Tribulation, and I don’t think we want to be involved in it nuh, for much anguish and pain will befall the wicked, that’s Satan and his followers. But please notice, that Sun of righteousness, the Messiah, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, has already made His entrance, with healing in His wings. So please don’t doubt that the rest of the promise will also come true. Thus, in light of that, I’m asking those of us who sincerely serve the Lord and seek righteousness, to join me right now, in prayer to our wonderful God, for His divine assistance with our many problems. 

As one strong voice, let’s send up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that the Lord will only answer our prayer positively, after checking the motives of our hearts and seeing that they are right and sincere. Much LOVE!

…blessed are the righteous…and cursed are the ungodly…                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8             

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2021 Matthew 17:5.

Matthew 17:5.     ​This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Here we are again people; alive and kicking on another wonderful day in God’s great universe! And all I can say is that we are BLESSED! Most certainly BLESSED to awaken to this day, even though everything’s not going our way. But we are also assured that God is on the case, looking after our affairs, setting it up so that in the end everything will work out for good! 

Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! Let’s give him some thanks and praise nuh, for allowing us to see another day, for all the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new just for today! As I said a few days ago, with our God, there’s no stale stuff left over for the next day! No sir! Every day, everything is brand new! 

And do we appreciate His wonderful blessings? I certainly hope so. But it’s obvious that many of us still don’t appreciate Him, else we wouldn’t be trying so hard to get rid of Him from our society. And how many times do I have to remind us that He won’t ever allow it eh? He’s the supreme ruler and if it’s one thing He doesn’t play with it’s His glory. 

Hear what He says on that subject nuh, through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) Here Isaiah is talking about the servant of God (the Messiah) coming to earth to glorify God through His earthly ministry. And though man may, and has most certainly disobeyed God and tried to give His glory to false gods and graven images, from God’s perspective, He, the Lord, the Creator will not allow it to happen. 

Oh, He might declare that He is a jealous God, in respect to His covenant with believers, (Ex. 20:5, 34:14) But He is not a selfish God, and He does share His glory with His Son Jesus Christ, who is a member of our Triune Godhead, as so many passages of scripture declare. 

Let’s look at a few nuh. Matthew records Jesus words as He foretells His passion (death) thus: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) Meanwhile, Mark puts it this way. ‘Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ (Mark 8:38) 

Now hear Jesus from John’s gospel, as He speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself (on his own authority); but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of (what is) mine, and shall show (declare) it unto you. All things the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.’ (John 16:13-15) 

And some more from John, when Jesus prayed for Himself and His own. ‘These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee: As thou hast given him power (authority) over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self (alongside thee) with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ (John 17:1-5) 

Oh friends, those are words of extreme importance to us believers. Why, you ask? Because the time had come for Jesus to be glorified on the cross and in the resurrection, and that the salvation and eternal life we so highly cherish, depended directly on Jesus’ glorification. Let’s also remember that ‘Eternal life is more than an endless existence. It is a personal relationship with God.’ 

And finally, these words from Peter, re Christ’s temporary glorification at the transfiguration. ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ (2 Pet. 1:16) Yes friends, Peter, along with James and John, were eyewitnesses at the transfiguration of Christ, when He was revealed in all His glory. (Matt. 17:1-8) 

The scholars tell us that ‘This was a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain represented all those who enter the kingdom by death or translation. The declaration of the Father, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.’ (Matt. 17:5) reinforces Christ’s dominion over His kingdom. Application: Since Christians live expectantly looking forward to the return of Christ, they ought to give Him first place in their lives today, just as He will have in the kingdom. (First Ref. Matt. 17:1-9; Primary Ref. 2 Pet. 1:16; cf. Heb. 9:12.) 

Now that makes perfect sense friends. It’s best to give Jesus first place in our lives right here and right now, so we can get accustomed to it, for when He comes in all His glory with His angels, we won’t have any choice. (smile) And it’s now time for us to go home proclaiming our Thursday Blessings. Note, I didn’t say declaring (awright!) because I was afraid of spelling it wrong. (smile) But I did spell it right there. 

So as one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

it’s wise…to get prepared for Jesus’ Second Coming…while we wait and look expectantly for it… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2021 Acts 4:12.

Acts 4:12.     ​Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

A good Thursday morning to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, all over God’s good world! Blessings, and peace, and the grace of our wonderful God be with us this blessed day! Let’s remember that our waking up today was both a privilege and a blessing from our Creator, and therefore not waste this awesome day, regardless of how difficult it might be. For every awesome day we spend in His sight is precious and blessed and there is a divine purpose for our being alive to share it. 

The main aspect being that of sharing His Word, the gospel, the good news of His Son Jesus Christ, which has forgiving, saving and resurrection power! Glory be my faithful brethren! For there’s no other name by which we can be saved from eternal death and damnation than by the name of Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Good Book, when Peter preached the word to the high priest and his compatriots. 

‘Be it known unto you all, and unto all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (the chief cornerstone).Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’(Acts 4:10-12) 

Now that’s a very important scripture friends, for if you’re not saved by the shed blood of Jesus, then you’re not saved at all, and therefore your eternal destiny is set with the fallen angel and his other foolish fiends. And I don’t think that any of us would like that to be our forever destination, or those our forever friends. (smile) Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we all are saved by the blood of Jesus, which includes hearing His word, believing it, and then living faithfully by it. 

It’s no easy task in this sinful and evil world, but the wonderful thing about belief in Jesus, is that when you come to Him in true sincerity, He gives you the power, the grace, the anointing to live the life he desires of you. Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour never asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal to do it. Bless His holy name! And if you still find it difficult to believe that Jesus is the ONLY source of salvation, then listen to these other scriptures. The Lord promised salvation through His servant from olden times. 

Hear the prophet Isaiah. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles. He shall not cry (cry out), nor lift up (raise his voice), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax shall he not quench (extinguish): he shall bring forth judgement (justice) unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement (justice) in the earth: and the isles (coastlands) shall wait for his law.’ (Is. 42:1-4) 

What a prophecy! And the scholars explain. ‘42:1-4. My servant is identified here as a person rather than the personification of the nation of Israel. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest, He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself. He is also called mine elect (bechiri, “set apart for a definite purpose”) and the One in whom I have put my spirit. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:18-21). 

The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement (or justice) to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact the most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ 

And should we ever be glad for that my people, because if it was to the Jews alone, then we would sadly be on the outside looking in. But that just shows the great LOVE that our Creator, our wonderful God, holds for all His creation, not wanting even one of them to be lost to eternal damnation! 

Now hear the angel of the Lord to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father when he found out that his betrothed, Mary, was with child before they were married. ‘…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (SAVIOUR): for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt. 1:20-21) 

Oh my brethren, so far we’ve been hearing from others about Christ’s purpose, now let’s hear it from Christ Himself, as He told it to the disciples when Thomas voiced doubt as to His going. ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father , but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:5-7) 

That’s the definitive scripture of them all my precious saints of Christ! Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father, and thus salvation. And furthermore, if, or when we know Jesus, we know the Father and have also seen Him, because Jesus is the spitting image of the Father! Mama Mia! That’s something significant for us to ponder on today. In the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, those tools which the Lord has given us to do His earthly work. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

So, if we truly believe, then it’s our bounden duty to put those blessings to work in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…you can’t say you believe in Jesus…and don’t do the things that truly reflect His awesome character… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2020 Luke 2:17.

Luke 2:17.     ​And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
MERRY CHRISTMAS !

It’s a cold, snowy Friday morning…but it’s Christmas Day, and wonder of wonders we do have a white Christmas, something we don’t see as often, in these days of climate change. Yesterday evening it was raining, but the snow fell during the night and made everything a beautiful virgin white, that is until mankind gets involved. (smile) 

So Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Hope the Lord continues to be good to all of us in the new year. And why wouldn’t He be eh, if we continue to be obedient and reverent to him? No reason whatsoever! 

And talking about years, this old one of 2020 was indeed an unexpected, unique, provoking and very testing year. But glory to God, we all came through it safely. Let’s give the Lord some thanks and praise for that, because it’s only with His divine help that we made it through without any serious problems. 

Consequently, on this joyful Christmas morn, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born in that li’l town of Bethlehem, we can sit back, relax and contemplate what it all means to believers everywhere. Remember, JESUS is the ONE and ONLY reason for the season. The reason we can eat drink and be merry and call out greetings to each other. So please don’t let your day be consumed with just festive merriment, but do take a few moments to quietly ponder what it all meant back then, and what it still means today. 

In fact, let’s do that right now nuh. Let’s try and recreate the scene on that long ago, first Christmas Day. Remember, it was just a seemingly ordinary wintry evening, with the universe unfolding as it should. And let’s do it in song nuh, with this wonderful Annunciation of the heavenly birth. 

Please sing along with me: ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around. “Fear not,” said he – for mighty dread had seized their troubled minds –“Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind: “To you in David’s town this day is born of David’s line a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 

And this shall be the sign: “The heavenly babe you there shall find to human view displayed, all meanly wrapped in swathing bands and in a manger laid.” Thus spoke the seraph, and forthwith appeared a shining throng of angels praising God, who thus addressed their joyful song: “All glory be to God on high, and to the earth be peace; goodwill henceforth from highest heaven begin and never cease!” 

Oh friends what a wonderful heavenly declaration! But it had the poor shepherds terrible afraid. And it would have had us afraid too, if that heavenly throng just appeared from out of nowhere and made that most climatic statement. But please note to whom the Lord made the first declaration of Jesus’ birth; the lowly and humble shepherds out in the fields, not any great kings or powerful and important people. 

And yuh see where He caused Him to be born too, in a lowly stable. Imagine that nuh…the Son of God being born in a dirty stable and not a sumptuous palace. That’s because Jesus came to be a servant not a king by earth’s standards, to save the sick and suffering, the poor, lowly and downtrodden. 

And I like how the shepherds reacted. The Good Book tells us that after the angels had gone back to heaven, they said to each other; ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’ (Luke 2:15) Yeh friends, yuh see, despite their fear, they decided to check out the good news. If it was important enough for angels to declare it, then it was important enough for them to go and check it out. They did it afraid. And that’s exactly how we ought to operate in these rough and trying times. 

Anyway, the Good Book continues: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger (feed trough).And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-20) 

Ah mih bredrin, do we ever need to spread the beautiful news of Christ’s gospel and praise and glorify our great and wonderful God this day for all that He’s done for us! He didn’t need to do anything for us, just let us go our merry way rejoicing into hell with the devil. But through His awesome, undying and unconditionalLOVEfor the ungrateful creatures He had spawned, He couldn’t in good conscience allow us to go down that road to eternal damnation without giving us an opportunity to redeem ourselves. 

So on that cold, starry, ordinary winter’s night, He put His amazing plan for salvation into motion. In that dirty, smelly stable, a baby boy was born into this evil world, and they would call His name Jesus; the Son, the Saviour, the Messiah, who would be the means of ultimate salvation for all and sundry. Bless our God’s holy name my brethren, for just that act alone ought to endear Him to us for ever and ever! Amen! 

Oh my people, I don’t know what else to say or do to get us to really and truly appreciate the greatness of our God and the overwhelming LOVE He bears for us nuh. So let us go home, and we going to forego our Friday Chant because I don’t think today the Lord wants to hear our whining and complaining about our problems, most of which we brought on ourselves through our obstinate disobedience. He needs some praise and worship for the great gift He’s bestowed on us this day, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

So let’s go home singing and praising instead nuh: Loud and strong and harmonious: ‘Hark! The herald angels sing” Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled” Joyful, all ye nations rise Join the triumph of the skies With angelic hosts proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem” Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King!” Christ by highest Heav’n adored Christ the everlasting Lord! Late in time behold Him come Offspring of a Virgin’s womb Veiled in flesh the Godhead see: Hail the incarnate Deity Pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus, our Emmanuel 

Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King! Hail the Heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings Ris’n with healing in His wings Mild He lays His glory by Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King!” Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King!” 

Yes friends, today is a day for much praise and thanks and generosity. Let’s remember Nehemiah’s awesome words to the children of Israel and action them as best we can: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

That says it all my faithful friends in Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christmas…it’s just the beginning of the Christian’s joyful life… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2020 John 8:12.

John 8:12.     ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Another wet and dreary day seems to be in the offing. But yuh know, unlike what the Carpenters said in their hit song way back in 1971, it’s not only rainy days and Mondays that get me down, but rainy days period. (smile) It’s just that rainy days seem to have this inherent touch of melancholia in them; just like sunshiny days have a built-in sense of upliftment. You see the sun and spirits automatically lift despite your circumstances. Likewise, you experience the wet and dreary looking weather and your spirits tend to fall somewhat, the attitude of relaxation and laziness also seem to pop up. (smile) You have to actively lift them up again. 

And so it is with this Tuesday morning, after a rather melancholy Monday. But yuh know friends, when you have Jesus as your Guiding Light, the kind of physical day doesn’t really matter, because He Himself is such a wonderful ray of sunshine that just thinking of Him and talking to him automatically lifts you up! Glory to God my people! Jesus Himself revealed His awesome Light. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

But unfortunately, the Pharisees disputed His authority because He witnessed to Himself, which to them, invalidated His claim. That however did not change anything, all it meant was that the Pharisees would remain on the outside looking in; stubborn, like the head-butting goats they were. (smile) As Jesus’ reply indicated. ‘Though I bear record (witness) of myself, yet my record (witness) is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.’ (John 8:14) 

Now here is an interesting explanation on Jesus being the light of the world from the www.biblestudytools.com website. ‘Jesus saying He is the Light of the world is the outer recognition of His Father’s creation and presence, and the inward dwelling of the Holy Spirit, by which we know our Father and walk with Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the world, our world, and in the world. Like God is omnipresent, so Jesus is Light.’ Ah friends, what a wonderful depiction of Jesus; His light just shining everywhere, being the ever-present reality, our invaluable and unbreakable connection to the Father! 

And it’s obvious that the Pharisees, supposedly the most learned scriptural group back then, didn’t know or understand the true meaning of the scriptures, or were simply being egotistical and guarding their earthly power, for Isaiah said it loud and clear. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

The prophet Malachi also told us about the bright Light that would come. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the SUN of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ (Mal. 4:2) 

Now if the Pharisees were so wise or knowledgeable of the scriptures, they would have put two and two together and come up with four and not three, especially since Jesus was healing people like crazy, something they’d never seen before. Or, possibly, as I said earlier, they did come up with four, but were wary of losing their upper crust position if they acknowledged Jesus for whom He really was. 

One stumbling block for the whole Jewish society though, seemed to be the thinking that the Messiah would be this great warrior king who would come and through war-like means, free them from the Roman atrocities, not a gentle, meek, peaceful Rabbi with LOVE as the basis of His testimony. And no doubt we have also been influenced by what or whom we believe Jesus to be in our lives, not what He truly is, and thus have erred in our direction, belief and behaviour, just like the Pharisees did. 

That can clearly be seen in all the different religions and denominations, doctrines, beliefs and behaviour held under the same great umbrella called Christianity. Thus the great disunity amongst Christ’s supposed followers. And thus, the lack of substantial testimony from us on Jesus declaration. ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ 

Yes friends, when Jesus returned to heaven, He designated us as His replacement for light in this ungodly world. But have we done that? Not to the extent that we should have, for there are still too many unbelievers out there, who have never heard about Jesus, or heard about Him and refused to believe because of our dark, unlit testimony. 

So my people, this dark and cloudy morning, please let’s remember Jesus words and do our best to put them into action nuh. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

Those are words of awesome truth people, and if our light was shining as bright and as far reaching as possible, our hold on life worldwide right now would certainly not be as intimidating and tenuous. That means we have to raise our level of shining. In the immortal words of Jesus: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) 

And that’s all Jesus really expects of us yes friends; that we give good testimony of Him through our beliefs and behaviour, so that the Father can be glorified, which is what the Father sent him to do. And in these dangerous and uncertain times, it behooves us Christians to come up higher than we ever have, so the world around us can take some courage and assurance in Christ’s guiding light that shines forth through us. So let’ step up to the plate and do better nuh mih people. 

And now, as we go home, let’s boldly and confidently proclaim to the world, who and whose we are by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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’re sincere, we’ll now go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others who, in these desperate times, so desperately need to know and come to LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…light will always overcome darkness…but only when it’s shone there… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.    ​And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).
 
Prologue: Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s nothing new. (smile) I thought though that a heads up was necessary, since today’s Bit is somewhat different to what we might all expect on a day like today. But that’s where I was lead. So I hope it does make sense and it resonates strongly and deeply with us all. (smile) Much LOVE!

And then it was Good Friday! But you ask what’s so good about it, when they tortured our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so terribly, then nailed Him to a cross to suffer and die in the burning noonday sun? Well the simple answer is that we were, and still are, a bunch of disgusting, ungrateful sinners, and if we didn’t get some form of salvation, we’d all go to hell and be eternally separated from the Lord God Jehovah, our wonderful Creator. However, though the Lord is all powerful and can do anything, there is another side to His nature, one that’s just and righteous, and requires justice to be done. 

He couldn’t deny Himself, so though He LOVED us ever so much and wanted to save us from eternal death and damnation, it would not have been right to just forgive us without any payment for our sins. And the Good Book, His eternal Word, says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) It also stipulates without any hesitation or distinction: ‘For the wages of sin is death;’ (Rom. 6:23a) The Good Book also says: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).’ 

And right there is the roadblock. Something or somebody had to die to pay for sin. Now earlier on in the Old Testament, the Lord allowed the Israelites to kill animals in temporary atonement for their sins. Moses wrote in Leviticus on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.’ (Lev. 17:11) That’s why there was so much killing of animals and sacrificing and sprinkling of blood in the olden days; atonement called for blood. That’s also why the Israelites were not allowed to eat blood. (Lev. 17:10-12) 

But we also know that from the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned, and the Lord threw them out of the Garden of Eden, though He placed a curse on them, He also promised that by Eve’s seed mankind would one day be eventually redeemed. (Gen. 3:14-24) In that bit of scripture (vs. 21) the Lord also made more durable clothing for Adam and Eve by clothing them with ‘coats of skins,’ as opposed to the fig leaves that they had originally used to hide their nakedness. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This is how Yahweh provides clothing for Adam and Eve after their feeble attempt to cover their nakedness and shame. It is His way of demonstrating that He acknowledges their act of faith in verse 20. The word for “skins” presupposes the death of an animal and therefore the idea of blood sacrifice is clearly implied.’ 

And having said all of that, I guess I now have to quote verse 20 so you might get a better understanding of the topic. (smile) ‘And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; (life or living) because she was the mother of all living.’ The scholars say: ‘Eve comes from the verb ‘to live.’ Here is Adam’s act of faith, looking to the future with hope. This word sounds like the word used in this verse, living. Adam seems not only to believe that God spoke the truth, but also to have faith in the salvation God had promised in verses 15-16.’ Please read them for yourself. (smile) 

And life moved on through the flood and Noah, (Gen. 6-7) then the City and Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) and finally to Abraham, whom God promised to make a great nation of and from whose seed a Messiah, a Saviour would eventually come. (Gen. 12:1-3) And all through the ensuing years, in fact centuries, the Lord, through the prophets kept promising the Israelites, His Chosen People, Abraham’s main descendants the coming of a Messiah to save them from their sins. The only problem there was that Israel thought the Messiah would be a warrior king, coming to release them finally from all their days of slavery and impotence. 

That’s partially why when Jesus came, in the Lord’s much belated time, saying He was the Promised Messiah, but speaking peace and LOVE, so many doubted Him. That brings us finally to the real reason for Good Friday. I guess the Lord finally got tired of all the blood sacrifices and decided it was time to put on the grand show; so we have Jesus being born supposedly at Christmas time, growing up as the carpenter’s son, then ministering, doing miracles, healing and teaching and showing the people what their great God was like in person. As he said so often, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. 

But then His rhetoric and deeds were too revolutionary for the rulers of Rome and Israel, so they hatched a plot to get rid of Him. But little did they know that that was His express plan for coming to earth as a man; to die and be a once and for all blood sacrifice for man’s sins. That’s why He specifically said: ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life. That I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18) 

Yes friends, Jesus death on the cross was the next step in God’s plan to provide a real and serious but fairly easy option for us to be reconciled to Him and be redeemed. Remember no real atonement was possible but though the shedding of blood, and it still isn’t, except that Christ with His sacrificial death on the cross paid for ALL our sins once and forever. The father placed them ALL on His shoulder that extremely rough but nonetheless blessed day. That’s why we can afford to call it Good Friday. 

And don’t think that it wasn’t rather rough on the Father to turn away from His wonderful One Son. It was pure hell for Him. And I guess especially so when Jesus cried out on the cross: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46). Yeh friends, that must surely have broken the Father’s heart, because it was the very first and only time that He and His precious Son had been on opposite sides. But He had to do it, if He wanted to save mankind from their deadly sins. 

His ultimate plan of atonement and forgiveness, because of His righteousness and justice, called for a sinless soul, and Jesus was the only other sinless soul in existence, that’s why He was forced to sacrifice Him. And strangely, whenever I think about the Father sacrificing Jesus for us, an old song always comes to mind. It was made famous by BL&D, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires back in the late sixties, ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart.’ I always picture small, but powerful Keith Lynn singing that soulful ballad and consider How Jesus’ death must have broken the Father’s heart. 

And the sad part is that His heart is still breaking because two thousand years later we’re still reluctant to accept His magnanimous offer of salvation and redemption and forgiveness and eternal life through the sacrificial death of His wonderful and selfless Son Jesus Christ on this Good Friday, and His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday, a couple days hence. Please friends, let’s remember that without Good Friday, this rough and heart breaking day, there’d be no rejoicing and glorifying on Resurrection Day; Easter Sunday, and wisely make the most of the time we have left on this earth! Much LOVE!

…the wages of sin is death…but the gift of God…is eternal life…through Jesus Christ our Lord…  (Rom. 6:23)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2020 Isaiah 52:12.

Isaiah 52:12.    ​For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).

 

Then it was Wednesday… and everybody breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that they had survived, gotten through the most onerous part of the work week and the rest was just cool sailing until their big day of Friday came around again! It’s surprising how we are creatures of habit yes friends. We begin on Monday like a storm assailed vessel, writhing in the throes of agony, can’t make head nor tail of anything…then by Wednesday the storm has calmed and the ship has righted itself…then we look forward to clear and calm sailing as we round the bend of life and see heaven on Friday. (smile) 

But my people, there is no reason whatsoever to fear the storms of life and wait until Friday before we experience a slice of heaven, for the Lord our God made an ever-faithful promise to us long long ago through the prophet Isaiah, that He will deliver Zion (Jerusalem) from captivity by the hands of His suffering servant, the Messiah. ‘For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).’ 

Oh friends, if the Lord promised it, then you can rest assured that it will happen. Yuh see how He guarded and guided the Israelites when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt? ‘ And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex. 13:21-22) 

Wow mih breddren! What a mighty and faithful God we serve! He guided the Israelites through the wilderness, assuring them of His enduring and powerful presence, protecting them from their enemy back then. And He has not forgotten us, those who have come after. 

Listen to this immortal promise: ‘Behold, my suffering servant shall deal prudently (prosper), he shall be exalted and extolled (lifted up), and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage (appearance) was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle (startle) many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.’ (Is.52:13-15) 

That’s what you call prophecy! (smile) Now listen as the scholars explain: ‘52:13-15. These verses actually stand as the introduction to the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in chapter 53. The subject of both passages is the servant of the Lord individualized as the Messiah who suffers for our sins. He is the culmination of all of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies. He is the miraculously born Son of the Virgin – Immanuel, “God with Us” (7:14; cf. Matt. 1:23). He is the Branch (11:1) who springs up out of the stump of the Davidic line. 

He is the new David (9:7) who will bring in a new Exodus and a new redemption for the people of Israel. Further, He is the One who deserves to rule the world because He is the One who suffers redemptively for all humanity. The terms exalted and extolled, and be very high are used only in 33:10 and here, but nowhere else in the prophets. It refers to the ultimate and final exaltation of His spiritual glory. Thus He will not remain in the humiliation which is described here but will rise above it (cf. Phil. 2:9-11). 

There is a deliberate contrast between the many who are astonished and the kings who will shut their mouths at him. The idea is that both the common man and the potentate will stand speechless in awe of Him. His visage refers to His appearance (or face), which will become so marred (disfigured) by beatings and scourgings that He will be barely recognizable. The verb for shall he sprinkle is a technical term found in the Mosaic Law for the sprinkling of blood in order to cleanse or purify from sin. 

This reference has nothing to do with water baptism. Here the servant of the Lord is viewed as our High Priest who offers His own blood for our sins. Before this Suffering Servant, the nations of the world are rendered speechless as they observe this unbelievable demonstration of God’s LOVE.’  

All I can say is ‘Wow, friends, Wow!’ Yuh see how the coming of Jesus was prophesied right down to the nth degree! All that we talked about there has happened already, or will happen in the Lord’s time. So remember, Jesus Himself spoke of His coming again in glory: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) 

Please be careful then friends, for remember what was prophesied by Isaiah about Jesus came through, so it’s fairly certain that what Jesus says will also come through. So let’s not be found on the outside looking in when He comes again nuh. For the wise money is on Jesus: He’s the odds on favourite; the One who can’t lose! 

So let’s wisely align our lives with him nuh: The One whom ‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) 

Now that ought to seal the deal people! Jesus is officially the NAME above every other, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! And it’s ALL to the glory of the Father…as it ought to be, for He is the One who made the plan and carried it out, based on His undying, everlasting and unconditional LOVE for us! So let’s acknowledge Him with gratitude and reverence as we declare (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting everyone know our wonderful position in Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

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!’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! And what a glorious future that will indeed be. Our puny minds can’t even picture how glorious it will really be! Much LOVE!

…the most important name we can ever call…JESUS…!

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