Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. 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 yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2016 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well friends and fellow believers, Christmas Day is over, but not the Christmas season. Let’s see if we can’t drag it out for as long as possible nuh – until next year this same time. (smile) 

Yeh, I know that’s only wishful thinking because come the second, if not the first week of January 2017, we’ll be back to our ungodly, uncaring ways, treating each other with discourtesy and contempt, having forgotten the kind words, the generous giving and heartfelt compassion we had shared just a couple weeks before. But I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal, unable to stay on the straight and narrow path for any length of time, especially when the frivolities of the world call. 

And although many of us are off today, many still have to go out and labour since our society has become a 24/7 machine that never stops.  So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with those unfortunate ones who have to go out and face the music today. Let’s lend them a helping voice so that they can be inspired and enthused to go out and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

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

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

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

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

Hn, hn! I have to laugh yes mih people, because it happens all the time. On the Mondays when only some of us are going to work, the raucous sound of those who are off are always louder and more enthusiastic, but also more out of key and harmony.  Our Choirmaster, Jesus, could only chuckle and shake His head, because He was well aware of the earthly goings on. And He does appreciate us putting our hearts into it, though our voices weren’t that sweet.  

And before we get to our Bit, it’s necessary to remind us of Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Because if we don’t, Beelzebub will certainly mind it for us as He is out seriously prowling for any unfortunates he can find this Christmas season.  I guess that’s why I’ve been led to this Bit for today. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people that’s ever so true! Lucifer is always on the watch for when we step out of line. And he’d be especially pleased to get his tenterhooks into us in this Christmas time when we’re celebrating the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To catch us offside while we carrying on about Jesus…Wow! That would be a real feather in his cap.  So that’s why we have to pay particular attention to Granny’s advice when we are celebrating, or for that matter doing anything at all. 

And Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, that ought to give us some encouragement, knowing that others in the faith are also suffering some rough times, with the evil one right on their heels, just waiting for them to falter, to stumble and fall. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t. For as we say, ’Nobody knows the trouble I see. Nobody but Jesus.’ 

We all feel that our afflictions and problems are different and more serious than those of other believers. But the truth is my brethren, we all suffer at different levels and different degrees, but ‘sufferation’ is ‘sufferation’ in any form or level that it comes. 

That’s why Peter advised us before our Bit to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7)  

Yeh precious believers, our wonderful God cares a whole lot for us, but He can’t help us unless we surrender our all to Him. We just can’t keep some things for ourselves and give the rest to Him. He wants it all. That’s the only way He can properly control our circumstances. And believe me, He won’t ever leave us in the lurch, for He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. And we all know that He’s ever-faithful about His promises. 

And here are some encouraging words from Peter for us to go home with today. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Yes friends, in due course, the Lord will bring us out of our troubles, much stronger than when we first encountered them. So let’s apply ourselves to wisdom nuh, if we want to be honoured, exalted and looked after by our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…all things work together for good…to them that LOVE God…to them who are the called…according to his purpose… (Rom.8:28)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2015 1 John 5:21

1 John 5:21.   Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Oh boy, oh boy, it’s Monday; the day that causes so much topsy-turvy and confusion in our lives! It never ceases to amaze me nuh. We know that Monday is coming and that we have to get out to work, but yet every week so many of us are still unprepared for it, and we moan and groan and complain and say all sorts of bad things about such a lovely day. (smile) 

And I guess unless our society stops operating the way it does – with work Monday to Friday – we’ll continue to be late and miserable on Mondays until Jesus comes back. Oh, I just realized something; Monday itself is not the problem nuh, it just happens to be the first day of the work week. If we made any other day the first day, the same thing would happen. 

Hn, hn! It’s just the nature of the human animal. That means we’ll need our Monday Morning Battle Hymn for a while yet. So let’s sing it out with plenty spunk and vim and vigour. (smile) Remember that Jesus, our choirmaster, requires excellence from us in all our endeavours. 

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

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

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

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

Good job my people, good job! Halfway through you could see the smile slowly appearing on Jesus’ face as He realized that we were going to put down an excellent rendition. Glory Hallelujah! 

There’s no better thing we believers can do than put a smile on Jesus’ face! Now let’s go into the evil world and see if we can walk in a manner that does the same thing nuh. And we should be able to continue lighting up Jesus’ spirit since our motors are now up and running, fuelled by the adrenalin that’s pumping through our system. 

But while we journey through the world my brethren, please remember the wise words of John in our Bit. ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.’ 

Yes Friends, we need to not allow the things of the world, be they graven images or simply material stuff to take our eyes and hearts off of Christ. And that’s so easy to do with all the wiles and lies and deceptions that the enemy sends against us. It is imperative that at ALL TIMES our focus be on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! For though we are in the world, we should not be a part of it; meaning taking part in all the idolatry, immorality, etc. that the world presently glorifies.  

Now here are some scholarly comments on our Bit. ‘5:21. Idols here may well have the sense of erroneous conceptions of God. John addressed such false notions throughout the letter. However fervent our LOVE for others and our adherence to God’s commands, such human efforts will come to nothing apart from true understanding of God as revealed in Christ. To know Him as He is causes LOVE and obedience to be the redeeming worshipful responses to God that He intends them to be.’ 

Yeh Friends, I know that’s somewhat cerebral, (smile) and it is true, but our main concern today is simply about not making the things of the world more important than God. And to do that successfully, the first step is to initiate what Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2)  

Yes my people, it all begins and ends with the mind. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) talks about the book she wrote, ‘The Battlefield of the Mind.’ That’s where the battle first rages for supremacy, for where our mind leads, there shall we go. 

And the scholars define that verse thus. ’12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value, and conduct of his world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’ 

Oh we all know that is difficult to do, but if we walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh, as we are commanded to do, we can do it. And we’ll end most appropriately, with the wisdom of Jesus. 

‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) 

And if Jesus says it’s so, then obviously it is so! So my fellow believers, please let’s go out today and not hunger for the things of the world, but for the things of heaven, for that is the ultimate in wisdom. Much LOVE!

…you cannot faithfully serve two masters at the same time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2015 1 Corinthians 3:11‏‏‏

1 Corinthians 3:11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Well my people, it’s Wednesday, another brand new day on God’s wonderful earth! Wow! And all God’s appreciative children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Glory Hallelujah!’
 
Yes Friends, we need to be thankful for every new day we see, every breath of life that we breathe, for that means God still has something planned for us to accomplish, else He would have taken us home already.
 
So please don’t be lackadaisical and churlish about greeting each new day, please come to God in prayer and ask Him what are His plans for you on that particular day? Have no fear, if you don’t know, He will certainly inform you of what He desires, and like the wonderful God that He is, will then give you the wherewithal to perform His work successfully.
 
Oh my brethren, I can’t comprehend the magnitude and LOVING-kindness of our God, that’s why I keep reminding us of the wonderful Deity we serve and worship. There’s none other like Him!
 
And how could there ever be eh? No two all-powerful Beings like Him could ever survive in this world together. But fools like Lucifer and his evil minions try to usurp God’s power, unsuccessfully of course!
 
But what is it about power that drives us so crazy eh, that has us doing things that we won’t normally do? And what a lot of us don’t realize is that power for power’s sake is a complete waste of time. And also that with power comes responsibility; the more power, the more responsibility.
 
And that’s where the problems crop up; so often we don’t take seriously enough the responsibility that power brings, that’s why there’s so much corruption and bad decisions in the power bases of our society. Everybody wants power, but apparently just to use it for his or her own selfish purposes and aggrandizement, not for the benefit of the society or world in which they live.
 
But fortunately for us there is one with true power, who uses it selflessly, and for the benefit of all humankind. Yes my fellow believers, we’re talking about our most august Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He had all power in heaven, but chose to give up that awesome power for a while and come to earth to help poor sinners like you and I get salvation and eternal life.
 
Now why can’t our fellow man do more good works with their earthly power eh, instead of using it for mainly evil and ungodly purposes? I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal. And truly, when most of us get power, especially if we’ve never had much power before, it goes to our head and we just seem to lose the ability for sensible thought and reasoning.
 
Ah Friends, right now the fight for power, for supremacy is proving to be the bane of our existence. Just look at all the people and groups that are jostling, vying and fighting for power in all walks of life. That’s why there are so many wars and rumours of war, so much hate, resentment, anger, selfishness and envy in our world. It’s all about power!
 
And I’m chuckling here Friends, because I don’t know how I ended up writing this treatise on power. (smile) That was never my intention at the beginning. But I guess that’s just where the Lord wanted me to venture.
 
In conclusion, I just want us all to realize the enormous responsibility that comes with power, and if you are a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then you are expected to use whatever power you have responsibly, and for the well being of your fellow man, ultimately to lead Him to Jesus, not merely for selfish purposes.
 
End of sermon! Just hope it didn’t or doesn’t fall on deaf ears. (smile)
 
Now here’s our Bit. And I believe today is the last day for it. ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ Words of awesome truth my people! And if it were not so, I would have told you. (smile)
 
But there are so many references to it in the Good Book that it has to be true. Let’s check out a couple of them, beginning with Bruh Paul’s message to the church at Rome.
 
When talking about the Jew and the gospel, he declares: ‘What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
 
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (put to shame).’ (Rom.9:30-33)
 
And here’s a word of explanation from the scholars. ‘9:32. They sought it not by faith: Israel mistook the possession of the law as a means of righteousness, when the law was given only to confirm the Fall and to show the need of God’s righteousness (cf. 5:20). Stumbling stone: This is a reference to Messiah (cf. Is.7:14; 1 Pet. 2:8).’
 
Now listen to Peter from Acts, when they were accosted by the chief priests and elders, the day after John and himself healed the blind man in Solomon’s porch at the temple. The Jewish rulers wanted to know by what name or power they had done the healing.
 
‘Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of (are judged for) the good deed done to the impotent (helpless) man, by what means he is made whole;
 
Be it known unto you all, and to 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 (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 4:8-12)
 
Yes Friends, that’s indisputable truth! There is no other name under heaven by which mankind can be saved from his abominable sins!
 
And as the scholars note: ‘4:12. The name of Jesus Christ is the centre of contention (v. 7,10, 12) and ever will be. Salvation for Jew and Gentile alike is exclusively through the name of Jesus Christ. (John 14:6).’
 
Now let’s remember that as we go about doing Jesus’ work today my people, for it’s wisdom that will stand us in very good stead. Much LOVE!
 
…I am the way…the truth…and the life…no man cometh unto the Father…but by me…  (John 14:6)  
 
P.S. Oh Friends, the Bit’s late because I went to bed late and then had to get up early to do something else, and by the time I was finished, the brain still wasn’t in functioning mode, so I just went back to bed until it was ready to function. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

‘Morning Neighbuh, morning! May the great and wonderful God of our fathers be with you this new day, showering you with His ever-flowing mercy and abundant blessings, while keeping you and yours safe from harm.’
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I guess I’ll never be a good weather forecaster, because I said that yesterday was going to be a rainy day Tuesday. Hn! But which rain fell eh? None! For by the time the sun rose the rain abated, and it turned out to be a hot, windy day Tuesday instead. I even had to turn on the A/C. Note, just to see if it was working after the long, harsh winter it endured. (smile)
 
What a life eh! A couple weeks ago we badly wanted heat, but now that we’re getting some of the natural stuff, we’re already crying out for cooler weather. Chuh! I guess though that that’s the nature of the human animal – when we have one thing we want something else, and vice versa.
 
But my people, I’m here to tell us that this earthly life is not a bed of roses… or rather, it is a bed of roses! That’s because one of the most beautiful of all God’s creation, the rose, grows at the end of a long, thorn riddled stalk, and to get to one, you have to carefully navigate the thorns on its stem.
 
Life is just like that my brethren. To get to the top of the ladder, or to the most beautiful parts of life, you have to carefully navigate through thorny paths, covered with brambles and all sorts of other obstruction. There is no clear, unobstructed path to our glorious destination of heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
 
As our Bit tells it, in the immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
And that’s no lie Friends, for all sorts of obstacles and stumbling blocks will crop up in a believer’s life, and it’s only with God’s help are we able to successfully navigate them. And we’re going to end this series of messages with a couple of scriptures pertaining to both the first and last parts of our Bit.
 
As to the first part; ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith,’ let’s look at Acts 11, regarding the church in Antioch, where believers were first referred to as Christians.
 
After Stephen was stoned to death in Jerusalem, the disciples were scattered all over, teaching the gospel, but to Jews only. However, some of them, when they came to Antioch, began preaching the Lord Jesus also to the Gentiles.
 
The Good Book tells us: ‘And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings (news) of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 
Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted (encouraged) them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto (continue with) the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.’ (Acts 11:21-24)
 
Yeh Friends, we all need help and encouragement to keep on keeping on in our walk of faith, because it is not an easy row to hoe. And that fact is borne out later on when Barnabas brings Bruh Paul back to Antioch, where envious Jews did not want the gospel taught to the Gentiles.
 
‘And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought (begged) that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.’ (Acts 13:42-42)
 
But the opposition never ceased. ‘And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against (opposed) those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed (grew) bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you (reject it), and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
 
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
 
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable (prominent) women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts (region). But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.’(Acts 13:44-52)
 
Glory be! Ah mih people, what a beautiful example of when opposition comes against us, that we nonetheless stand strong in preaching the Word, and we will be strengthened and filled with the joy of the Lord and His Holy Spirit! That’s because the Word contains power, the greatest power on earth!
 
But jealousy and envy can move us to do evil, if we’re not very careful. The Jews at first didn’t want to hear about Jesus, and then they didn’t want the Gentiles to hear about Him either, so they stirred up false info to the powers that be, and had them run Barnabas and Bruh Paul out of town.
 
And unfortunately many Christians are behaving the same way, though not through jealousy, but through apathy, fear and simply not caring enough to share the good news of the gospel with others. Remember though my people, that that’s our Great Commission; to spread the good news of Jesus all over the globe. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
But it wasn’t easy back in those first days, and it certainly isn’t easy either in these last days. But with perseverance, strong faith, trust and surrender to our helpful and ever-LOVING God, we CAN, and we WILL proselytize the ENTIRE WORLD, just as Jesus commanded.
 
Oh Friends, I got so caught up in the first part of our Bit, (smile) that I went on longer than I expected. So like we’ll just have to leave the other stuff till tomorrow, God in favour.
 
Till then, please stand strong in the faith, and fearlessly and unashamedly spread the good news of Jesus to all and sundry, because that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world…  (John 16:33)