Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

It’s the mid-week rest period – Wednesday- when we catch our second wind to ready us for the homestretch. And someday, hopefully soon, the four-day workweek that people are now clamouring for will be a reality. Now, that would certainly make the workweek less ominous and frightening. (smile) It would also give us more free time. But please consider the other side of the coin; if you work less, you will also earn less, and that might not fit well with your financial situation. So please, let’s be careful of what we wish for, because ofttimes the reality of the situation is totally different to its theoretical side. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that offers blessed assurance from the vicissitudes, the vagaries of life. It’s titled ‘Romans 8…to Me.’ Please pray with me. ‘God I may fall flat on my face I may fall until I feel Old and beaten and done in Yet Your LOVE for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life My private world may shatter to dust Even so You will hold me In the palm of Your steady hand. 

No turn in the affairs Of my fractured life Can baffle You. Satan with all his braggadocio Cannot distract You. NOTHING can separate me from Your measureless LOVE. Pain can’t Disappointments can’t Anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest LOVE can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots war insanity unidentity Hunger neurosis disease – None of these things Nor all of them heaped together Can budge the fact That I am dearly LOVED. Completely forgiven And forever free Through Jesus Christ Your BELOVED Son.’ 

Oh friends, what a powerful and totally true statement! If we believe in Christ Jesus, NOTHING in this world can ever cause us to lose the LOVE of our heavenly Father! Wow! That ought to be ever so reassuring and encouraging to those of us who know Christ as Lord and Saviour. And where does all this reassurance and encouragement come from? From the Good Book obviously… from Romans Chapter 8, as our poem declares. Let’s read exactly what the passage about separation from God says nuh. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39)

Yes, precious people of God, those are all undeniable facts and divine truth that Bruh Paul is writing there to the church at Rome and subsequently to us. As believers in Christ, we are inseparable from the LOVE of God! Nothing this world can throw at us will ever do it. Now here the scholars tell it. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ 

And that’s the living truth! But unfortunately, too many of us believers don’t seem to believe that God is greater than any enemy the world can cause to rise up against us. That’s why we cringe and eventually bow down to the evil of this world. That’s why Jesus would sadly accuse us: ‘O thou of little faith!’ We talk a good talk, but when the chickens come home to roost, it’s an entirely different story; we falter, and then crumble under the reality of the situation. And no one’s saying that living a meaningful life for Christ is easy, but what’s the point, if as soon as the tough times come, we scatter and run like sheep eh? 

And very often, it doesn’t even take the real tough times to scatter us, but merely some simple recurring difficulty. Unfortunately, too many supposed believers today fall into the second and third categories of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seed. ‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.’ (Matt. 13:5-7) 

Obviously those two categories are not good my people, because the seed never grows to maturity, blossoms and bears fruit. Now listen to Jesus’ explanation of those two categories. ‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it. Yeh hath he no root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (immediately he stumbles). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars define those two categories thus: ‘13:20-23. The stony places are shallow-hearted individuals who anon (at once) receive (outwardly) the message with joy. This emotional convert is not truly born again, for hath he not root and withers away. The one who is among the thorns (cares of this world) is the carnal, worldly convert, who never really breaks with his past. Worldliness and materialism choke the word in his life, and he is finally unfruitful (unsaved).’ 

Ah mih people, what Christianity desperately needs today to conquer the power and territorial superiority of the enemy is a bushel of what Jesus described as: ‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) And He explained that part of the parable thus: ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt. 13:23) 

And the scholars follow up with this: ‘The one who received seed in the good ground is the one who both heard the word and understood it, which also beareth fruit (evidence of true conversion). While such evidence may vary in its amount, all true believers will produce some fruit.’ 

Oh friends, do we ever need more believers bearing fruit in these troubled times. It’s not so much a matter of how much fruit we bear, but that we do bear some good fruit! The world and its cares are robbing us of the good and abundant life Christ died for us to have, so please, let’s try and turn this thing around nuh. We can, if we sincerely try. And remember, with Christ in our lives, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether 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 do that, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians make a great difference…when they bear good fruit…                                                                                             

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Todays Scrip-Bit 12 November 2018 Psalm 119:176.

Psalm 119:176.   I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Wonders never cease mih breddren! Monday has quickly rolled around again…Praise the Lord! (smile) And some miserable, disturbed body is wondering why we praising the Lord for Monday? Well because we’re alive and kicking; we have strong, healthy families, a roof over our heads, and food on our table, and a job to go to that pays us money so we can sustain our earthly lives…and I can go on and on. 

But what we need to thank God most for on this Monday morning is that we have Jesus! Bless His Holy Name! Yes friends, please bless that name that’s above all other names, for without Him we might have some of the worldly stuff we now have, but we wouldn’t have salvation and the glorious promise of eternal life. And that’s worth more than anything in this world. 

So instead of griping about having to go to work, let’s look on the other side of the coin and consider those who don’t have  a decent livelihood, and would just LOVE to have what we have. So let’s be thankful for all that we have and are, and if we feeling a bit low and down in the dumps this morning, then please  join us as we raise our voices in prayerful song to heaven, soulfully and sincerely declaring our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In unison 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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that will cure all your Monday morning ills! And I have to laugh because, as always, the loudest and croakiest voices were those of the people who do not have to go to work today. It’s not a full public holiday, but for some, because Remembrance Day fell on a Sunday, they get the following day off. 

And for those of you who have already begun celebrating, getting into your cups, judging from your hoarse voices, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober please mind yuh business.’ That’s wonderful advice friends. And yuh know what the ole people say about that? ‘Good advice doh break no bone.’ Gospel truth that! And I just happened to hear it in a calypso on the radio yesterday afternoon. And all it basically means is that you can’t go wrong with good advice. 

So now that everybody’s up and about, in good spirits, LOVING Jesus and each other, let’s concentrate on doing His will nuh, whatever plan(s) He has for each of our lives on this November day. And we going to follow some more good advice from the psalmist, that surely won’t break any bones, but more likely mend them, as we humbly cry out in our Bit to the Lord: ‘I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.’  

And is that ever the truth my people! So many of us have strayed from the straight and narrow path like, dumb, lost sheep, it’s not funny. And the only way to get back on the straight and narrow is for the Lord to search us out and bring us back. 

And it’s not like we have forgotten His commandments, but for one reason or another, we’ve let them slide. And that’s not very wise. And sadly, we’ve been doing that for a very long time, which led Isaiah through God’s Spirit, to pen: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:6) 

Yes friends, mankind was in a desperate condition, totally sinful, lost without a Saviour, until the Lord laid our heavy and abominable sins on the strong shoulders of Christ, the ONLY ONE who had the parts to bear them. And Jesus willingly took our sinful burden and compassionately gave us His righteousness in return. Wow! What an awesome Saviour He is! 

As He said: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11)  And also: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that is exactly what He did my brethren; gave His sinless life for our sinful ones! 

That’s why we ought to be everlastingly grateful to Him! He could have refused, but He knew that He was the ONLY hope for mankind, and He just could not refuse the Father’s request, because He knew how much the Father LOVED us, and it would break His heart if He lost even one sheep to the enemy. So let’s have no more questions about why we should praise God and thank Him for Jesus on this cold November morning! Just do it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…without the Good Shepherd Jesus… the dumb sheep…mankind…would be lost in hellfire for ever…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether now: ‘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.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…