Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.       For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

And then it was Wednesday…already, I complain. (smile) Yes, but it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood; with bright sunshine, you can even feel a dash of heat from the glowing orb, no snow and temps around 7 Celsius. For this time of year, around here that’s gorgeous weather. So, let’s do like the psalmist did and declare out loud: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Yes friends, we had better enjoy this day the Lord has given us, for who knows if we’ll ever see another one. Remember, God’s mercies and compassions are new every day, like fresh bread, He gives them to us for our enjoyment. So let’s show some gratitude and appreciation by enjoying them nuh. 

And yesterday we were talking about a very important topic in the believer’s life; that of being ready for whenever Jesus returns, which to all intents and purposes will be sudden and unexpected. Please don’t laugh, it’s no joking matter, like some people think it is, because if you’re not ready when He returns, you will be left behind to suffer all the evils and persecutions of the Great Tribulation. And who wants to really suffer those indignities eh, when we can go home with Jesus in the Rapture of the church. 

But that means we have to be ready and waiting in faith whenever He returns for His bride, the church. And there are a few other scriptures we ought to look at, besides those we studied yesterday. First of all, there is the parable of the unfaithful servant (Matt. 24:45-51) who was abusing his authority in his master’s absence, when the master suddenly returned home unexpectedly and caught him red-handed. And Jesus ends that parable by declaring (steups!!!): ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ And so there shall be when He returns and many are not ready. 

Then there is the parable of the ten virgins: (Matt. 25:1-13) five who were smart and took oil for their lamps to wait for the bridegroom’s coming to meet his bride, and five foolish who took no oil, and eventually got locked out of the ceremony when the bridegroom came late, and they had gone looking for oil for their lamps. And friends, Jesus ends that parable with this warning again. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Now just in case you didn’t get Christ’s warning, then please check out chapter 5 of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: ‘For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) Jesus also issued that warning, though in a slightly different way when talking about the thief coming at an unexpected time to rob the master’s house. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:44) 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to warn the Thessalonians: ‘For when they shall say, Peace and safety (slogans of the Roman Empire); then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (a pregnant woman); and they shall not escape. But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as ye also do (are already doing.’ (1 Thess. 5:3-11) 

Wow! What a momentous passage of scripture my fellow believers! It’s educational, encouraging, comforting and a serious warning, all at the same time. And that warning still holds good for us today, possibly more so than back then since Jesus hasn’t returned yet and can do so at ANY TIME; day or night, today, tomorrow…or even a hundred or a thousand years from now! But return He will! And it is certainly time for us, the supposed children of light to awaken from our lethargy and get ourselves ready for Jesus’ return. 

Meanwhile, the scholars explain that ‘The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ, and the millennial kingdom.’ So, there’s plenty stuff that’s coming, but exactly when, no one but the Father knows, that’s why we have to be in a state of constant preparedness! 

Then there’s this last scripture which Jesus relates to John in the Book of Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) That’s ‘an exhortation to the surviving believers after the last great war, Armageddon, to be watchful and alert, and to remain faithful and loyal to Christ during a time of intense persecution. To have garments rather than be naked, relates to spiritual preparedness.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, from today, right down to when Jesus actually sets up His millennial kingdom, we must remain spiritually prepared. And for those of us attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail. 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 believe me, if we endure right down to the end with Christ, then that future will be even more glorious than we can either ask or imagine. Now that’s good encouragement to keep us living for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a lot of the believer’s time…should be taken up with…watching and praying…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 2022 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.       Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Glory be my people, it’s Sunday once again! So come let’s gather round in joyful fellowship and give much thanks and praise to our wonderful God! As Psalm 100 so rightly tells us: ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100: 4-5) Now those are words we can never doubt, because they are gospel truth! And Psalm 100 is so chucked full of wisdom in every verse that if you’re not careful it can confuse you. (smile) 

But there is absolutely no chance of confusion with this earlier verse that wisely advices: ‘Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.’ (Ps. 100:2) And since we’re ever so wise and obedient my friends, that is exactly what we’re going to do right now. And today we’re going to spice up our sacrificial praise with an old gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ Yes, some of you ole fogeys will remember that one. It was popular way back in time, but it certainly hasn’t lost its saltiness, and is therefore still worth singing. So let’s raise our sweet, harmonic voices to heaven in an up-tempo, scintillating, foot stomping, handclapping version. 

Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing, sharing, sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

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

Ah mih people, I’m sure that reminded some of us of olden times when we’d belt that tune out in church. And is there ever need for oil in our lamps in these dark and trying times, if we’re to do like Jesus says: ‘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) Yes, our lights can’t shine if our lamps are dry like Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins at a Jewish wedding found in Matthew 25:1-13. 

Five of the virgins or attendants were wise and five were foolish. The wise ones took extra oil for their lamps just in case the bridegroom came late. The foolish ones didn’t, and it so happens the bridegroom was late, and their lamps ran out of oil, and they had to go and get more oil from the oil dealer. But by the time they came back the ceremony was in progress and they got locked out. Wherefore Jesus ended the parable with these memorable words. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt, 25:13) 

Yes my brethren, the bridegroom is obviously Jesus, and the church his bride, as is mentioned in Matt. 9:15, John 3:27-30, Eph. 5:25-32), and the parable refers to Jesus’ coming again, the day, time, nor hour no one knows but the Father. That means we have to be in a state of constant readiness; the first requirement being obviously born again with the Holy Spirit indwelling us. 

A commentary on the song says: ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ And that’s a valid interpretation. But I like how the gotquetions.org website describes the parable in general. 

‘The five virgins who have the extra oil represent the truly born again who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have saving faith and have determined that, whatever occurs, be it lengthy time or adverse circumstances, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness. The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the party than about longing to see the bridegroom. Their hope is that their association with true believers (“give us some of your oil” of verse 8) will bring them into the kingdom at the end. 

This, of course, is never the case. One person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another. The “Lord, lord” and “I do not know you” of verses 11 and 12 fit very well with Jesus’ condemnation of the false believers of (Matthew 7:21-23), “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” 

Oh  my fellow believers, if Jesus said it, then it’s entirely possible. Anyhow, the song encompasses all that we need to wait for Jesus; namely, the oil of the Holy Spirit to light up our lives, that keeps our lamps burning, LOVE in our hearts that keeps us sharing, joy in our hearts that keeps us singing, and faith in our hearts to keep us praying. We can’t ask for more than that, because those things encompass it all. 

And I believe the end of the article from the gotquestions.org website, also makes a fitting end for our Bit today. ‘May we not be found “going away to make the purchase” (v. 10) when Christ returns. Take the time now to fill your lamp with oil and take extra along. Keep waiting and watching with joy and anticipation.’ Now that is wisdom of enormous proportions! Please let’s take strong and serious hold of it. Much LOVE!

…the moral of the story…be not found wanting when Jesus returns…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 June 2022 Matthew 25:2.

Matthew 25:2.      And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Awright friends, that’s two days straight that the weather has stayed bright and sunshiny right through! Glory be! Don’t know what this Sunday will bring though, because like rain fell last night and it’s wet and cloudy outside, though the sun is putting up a valiant effort to ascertain itself. (smile) That small detail however, will not stop us from gathering to worship our wonderful Lord on His day, be it physically in our sanctuaries or by technological means. (smile) And today, Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate our Three in One Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we’ll open our praise and worship session with an uplifting, scintillating old traditional gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ 

And we know that’s a rollicking ole song, so let’s lift our sweet voices in sacrificial praise in a rocking West Indian riddim version. Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

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

Jolly good show mih people! We rocked…and heaven rocked along with us! That’s the beautiful thing about heaven, they LOVE their music up there too, since a lot of singing and praising of God also goes on up in that wonderful realm. But on a more serious note, it’s claimed that the song we just sang was based on Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus likened the kingdom of God to ‘ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.’ (Matt. 25:1-4) 

But as always happens the bridegroom was late, and they all slept. However, when he finally arrived at midnight and they all went out to meet him, the lamps of those who had brought no oil went out, and in desperation they begged for oil from the wise ones who had brought some extra oil just in case the bridegroom was late. But those wise ones refused, figuring that there wouldn’t be enough oil for all of them. So, the foolish ones had to go out and buy oil, but by the time they returned the bridegroom had locked his doors, the celebrations had begun, and those five foolish ones were left out of the good times. 

The bridegroom obviously refers to Christ as the ‘Bride of the Church,’ and the five wise or prepared virgins represent the saved of the Great Tribulation. The scholars tell us that ‘The lamps seem to refer to their lives which are either prepared or unprepared. The oil refers to that which prepares them to give forth light and may properly be illustrative of the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.’  

One commentator says for believers the song conjures up ‘an interpretation that signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ That seems to hold true, as this other commentator declares: ‘In the song someone is asking God for the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to light up their lamp – or their life – and keep them “burning”.  I think they want to be on fire for their Lord!….. Oil is symbolic in Scripture of the Holy Spirit. (Is. 61:1)’ 

That’s when Isaiah introduces Christ with his Good tidings of salvation to Zion. And he prophesies: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is. 61:1) And what did they anoint with in those olden times? Oil of course! 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 133 – The joy of brotherhood. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments.’ (Ps. 133:1-2) So it’s very logical to believe that the author of the song was indeed invoking the Holy Spirit for assistance in problematic times or simply in daily life. 

And if you still don’t believe me, let’s see what constitutes the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) 

And aren’t those the very things the singer is asking for: the oil of faithfulness to keep him burning bright for Christ; LOVE in his heart to keep him sharing; joy in his heart to keep him singing till the break of day; and faith in his heart to keep him praying, also to the break of day, or continually? 

So, my fellow saints, let’s hope that as we sang those telling words, our hearts also invoked the Holy Spirit to refill, to regenerate us with its fruit, that we too can go on burning forever for Jesus, as He desires us to do! And it’s also imperative that we remember these telling words of Jesus to John in Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) Much LOVE!

…be prepared…be ready…should be the believer’s motto… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 May 2022 Luke 21:34.

Luke 21:34.       And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

And a voice cried out: ‘Woe is me. It’s Monday!’ And I asked, ‘Why is that?’ And the voice cried out: ‘Because I am not ready to face Monday.’ And again, I asked, ‘Why is that?’ And the voice answered: ‘Because I am sick and tired from all the partying I did this weekend.’ ‘Now that wasn’t very wise, was it?’ I commented. ‘I guess not,’ the voice replied. ‘But now, on a rainy Monday morning to boot, I have to get up and face the stupid traffic to get to a lousy job that I don’t even like.’

 ‘Well then find another one you like,’ I advised. ‘No, that won’t do,’ the voice declared. ‘Why not?’ was my question. ‘Because it pays good and it’s an easy job to do.’ ‘Then you should say praise the Lord and be happy that you even have a job, much less an easy one that pays well,’ I admonished. ‘Millions of people out there don’t even have a job, and don’t know when they’ll get one. Meanwhile, you’re sniffling like a spoiled brat, when you have it so good!’ 

‘And just for your information, if you’ll cut down on the foolish partying on the weekend, go to church on Sundays, so that you can get your spirit renewed and revitalized, and have fellowship with your fellow believers, then you’ll be able to face Monday with a gung-ho attitude, instead of this whiffling one you now have. End of story!’ 

Oh friends, the first step in success of any kind is proper preparation! If you’re not prepared as best you can for a situation, you’ll never be able to face it properly, much less overcome it. Granted, in some cases you can only prepare so much, but we always need to put in as much prep time as possible in whatever we do. Case in point, the voice above there that didn’t prepare to meet Monday. And I daresay that many of us are like that, we dread Mondays because we are not well prepared to meet it. We don’t get enough rest and revitalization of soul and spirit, so we can be confident and meet the day with a good attitude. 

Too many of us are rushing on Monday mornings to get things done that could have been easily and unhurriedly done on Sunday evening, but for whatever reason, we leave them for the last minute, and then wonder why our lives are so rushed and frustrated. And there are many scriptures which warn us of preparedness. So, let’s look at a few nuh. 

These first two come directly from Jesus. After telling the disciples about His coming again, the exact time that only the Father knows, He tells them to watch and pray. ‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.’ (Luke 21:34) 

And unfortunately, that is what many of us are doing; being too taken up with the things of this world and not preparing ourselves for Christ’s imminent return. Remember, it’s going to come like a thief in the night, and if we’re not prepared for it, then hellfire and damnation, here we come. Then, as was Jesus’ style, He told the parable of the ten virgins invited to the bridegroom’s feast. (Matt. 25:1-13) 

Five of them were wise and took extra oil for their lamps, just in case the bridegroom was tardy and did not show up on time. But the other foolish five did not take extra oil. And the truth be known, the bridegroom was late and the last five ran out of oil and had to go then and buy more. However, by the time they returned, the doors were locked and they could not get in. That’s what will happen to those of us who don’t accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour before he comes back; we’ll be locked out of heaven. 

Jesus said: ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) And that’s the gospel truth friends! We don’t know exactly when Christ will return, but return He must, and thus we must be prepared for it to happen at any time. 

And Bruh Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, also warned about being prepared, but this time for temptation. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil…. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye might be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10, 12) 

Oh my people, the only way we can fight successfully in the spiritual battle the enemy is waging against us, is to be prepared, by having on the spiritual armour of God. And we all know that entails: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word. Then you wrap all of that up with prayer and supplication. Only if we are thus prepared can we stand strong and steadfast against the enemy, my fellow saints! 

And I like this last warning about preparation from Cousin Sol in Proverbs, where he wisely advises. ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise: which having no guide (leader) overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food to harvest. How long wilt thou sleep (lie down), O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’  (Prov. 6:6-11) 

Ah friends, truer words were never spoken. The sluggard or the habitually lazy person will suffer want eventually, if he doesn’t; get up and get busy, like the ants, who have no ruler or leader but have enough common sense to gather food in the summer and store it for the winter, when there’s little, or none available. It’s all about being prepared for circumstances as best we can friends, be they predictable or unpredictable, like Christ’s Second coming, temptation, poverty, and starvation. 

And the first step in it all is prayer. So, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s go right now to the throne room of grace in confidence, and ask for heavenly help. As one voice: ‘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 let’s not forget that our God doesn’t suffer fools kindly, so if we make a promise, we had better keep it. Much LOVE!

…wisdom dictates…be always as ready as you can be… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 May 2022 Matthew 25:13.

Matthew 25:13.     Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

So, it’s one of those Friday the 13th days, but we’re not worried about any evil stuff coming against us and can still shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! That’s because we have the Holy Spirit of Jesus, the most powerful operator in the universe living in our hearts and souls. And He’s faithfully promised that: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

Wow! What a mighty promise from our mighty God! That means nothing the enemy throws at us can harm us, unless the most powerful force in the universe allows it for some reason or other. And that’s why Bruh Paul could write so confidently to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

…Nay, in all these things we are more 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, 37-39) 

And why are we so sure of all of that eh? Because, as Rev. James Cleveland is singing in his song: ‘Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to me, to us, and this sinful world!’ Glory Hallelujah! Give Him a bundle of thanks for all that He’s done, is presently doing, and has promised to do for us! Without Him and His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, we’d all be heading straight for the house of damnation and eventually the lake of fire, with no option for salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven. 

But He gave us that marvellous option, so I don’t understand why more of us, in fact all of us haven’t yet accepted Him as Lord and Saviour, because that’s the only way we’ll ever see heaven. For, as Jesus took such pains to point out to the disciple Thomas, and consequently to us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) And that’s the indisputable truth friends. Jesus is the ONLY route to the Father, our God and Creator! 

So, if you’re thinking about spending time in heaven in the next life, then you had better get busy and turn to Christ right now, because He’s coming back to take those who believe home to heaven with Him. The problem though, is that we don’t know when He’s going to return. It could be anytime; today, tomorrow or next never, but the fact remains that whenever He returns, if you’re not sincerely rooting for Him, then you’ll be left behind to face the terrible period called the Great Tribulation. 

Now, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to face that horrible period that’s been promised. Today might seem pretty bad, but it’s guaranteed that that period will be even worse than today. And remember that whatever our God promises, He delivers. So, I plead with us, let’s be wise and accept Jesus Christ right now nuh, before it’s too late. Remember Jesus warned the disciples re His coming again: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ (Matt. 24:36) 

Even Jesus Himself didn’t know when He was going to come back and that’s why He warned us to be ready for His return at any time; to be always ready and on the lookout. And these words of His spell it out as plainly as possible. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman (master) of the house had known in what watch (hour) the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:42-44) 

And later on, at the end of the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus also made it quite clear: ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) Now, if perchance that doesn’t make any impact on you, then listen to Bruh Paul as he wrote to the Thessalonians. ‘But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:1-2) 

Yes people, the next great event in man’s history will happen unexpectedly, and Jesus was and is so concerned for our wellbeing, that He even warned John about it again in the Book of Revelation, when He decreed: ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s an exhortation for us to remain loyal and faithful to Christ in some real rough times, to be watchful and ever alert for His Second Coming, to have on garments rather than be naked, that’s to be spiritually prepared and not found wanting. And through it all, we must never forget the necessity of prayer, because that’s the means established for communicating with our heavenly Father. So right now, when things are so turbulent and unpredictable in our world, when it looks like the beginning of the end times, let’s turn to prayer, to communicating with heaven, letting them up there know what’s happening with us and that we’re seeking their divine help to alleviate the situation. 

Altogether then, let’s offer up our Friday Chant to Almighty God. ‘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 virus and 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 virus 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!’ 

And if we are to expect positive answers, then we need to keep those promises we just made. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not ready when the trumpets call…then you’ll be left behind… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 October 2021 Matthew 25:13.

Matthew 25:13.     Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

One more time friends, one more time, to celebrate the Lord’s day with praise and worship! It doesn’t matter how or where, because prayer and praise are spiritually lifted up to our heavenly Father. So our physical positions are not all that important, be it in the sanctuary together, or home alone, joined by technology. The most important thing then, is that we agree on our purpose for coming together; that is to give the Lord thanks and praise for His wonderful kindness to the children of men. 

And as always, we begin our proceedings with a song of praise. Today’s song is a favourite old Christian ditty that has provided yeoman’s service to believers down through the years, and has been a useful tool for teaching children about Christ. It’s titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ I don’t know who wrote it, but it sure gets my spirit going, makes me want to offer up sacrificial praise. So let’s sing it from the heart nuh, in a bright, up-tempo riddim, because it’s a song of joy and reassurance. 

‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me love in my heart, I pray. Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

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

Awright friends, that was awesome! You could feel it coming straight from our hearts! And it had to be good, when all of heaven joined in the singing and dancing with us. (smile) They say it’s based on, or alludes to the parable of the ten virgins going to the bridal feast that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:1-13. Five were wise and five were foolish. The first ones took extra oil, just in case the bridegroom was late, but the latter five took none. 

So, as is often the case, the bridegroom was late and the lamps of the last five ran out of oil, and obviously the wise five refused to share theirs. That meant the foolish five had to go and get oil for their lamps, but by the time they returned, the bridegroom had come and the doors were closed and they were refused entry. And the corollary to all that were these simple words from Jesus. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Yes my people, it’s a serious warning that we are to be on constant watch for the bridegroom of the church – Jesus Christ, for He can come at any time. And if He doesn’t find us ready and waiting to come to the bridal feast, then we’ll be left out of all the festivities, headed for eternal separation from the bridegroom, the Saviour. And I can’t emphasize strongly enough how sad such a fate will be. It therefore behooves us to get our act together, right now, to get extra oil for our lamps, that we can wait in the light and not in darkness, and be there ready and waiting, full of joy when our Saviour returns, as He has faithfully promised to do. 

And I like how Jerry L. Ogles, the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide Communion, breaks down the verses in an article on their website. For instance, re the first verse, ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning…’ he says: ‘Certainly, we must ask for the right fuel to light our lamps. Lamps filled with water will avail nothing – it must be the kind of oil that BURNS. 

That oil, to the Christian, is the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, is like that oil of the widow woman in 1 Kings 17 whose oil and meal never ran out. We need light for our path, and we have no light if we have no Spirit to guide our feet. Our Lamps must not only contain oil for fuel, but be lit with the fire of faith. The break of day comes with the Sun of Righteousness rising for our final victory in the Lord.’ Glory be my fellow saints! I could not put it any better. 

And per the second verse, ‘Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing…’ he comments thus: ‘The legs by which the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts are those of LOVE. LOVE is the most invincible force known on earth. In fact, Paul tells us that there is one thing that survives death complete, and that is LOVE. “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.” Romans 8:38-39 (KJV) 

There is only one kind of truly pure LOVE, and that is of God. LOVE unshared dies in the vessel – we must give it out and see how wonderfully it replenishes itself.’ Mama, oh Mama! Isn’t that the gospel truth! There is nothing that replenishes itself like LOVE! 

Then for the third verse, ‘Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing…’ he declares (steups!): ‘One characteristic that distinguishes the Christian from the common of humanity is JOY expressed under every hardship and trial. This mystifies the world, and they cannot comprehend it. Joy comes through LOVE and prayer. One language of joy is that of song. In my most sorrowful moments, I may sing an old hymn of the Church and suddenly, even without realizing it, find myself as happy as can be in a personal revival of the soul. I never see tears in the eye of the singer of hymns unless they are formed in joy.’ That’s ever so true! 

And for the fourth verse, ‘Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying…’ he explains: ‘Though a child’s song, there is strong doctrinal perspective expressed. Faith is a gift of grace from God. It is the engendering nurture of the Holy Spirit that draws us ever closer to our Lord and inspires our Godly actions and thoughts. Faith is given by God. He sustains our physical being as well as our spiritual souls. We do not dictate the rate our hearts beat any more than we, through our own good intentions, cause our faith to build. 

The Light of Christ is a shared Light from Him. If our lamps are extinguished by winds of doubt, we may share a light from another; however, the original fire comes from God. It is good that our young children are taught the beginning principles of the Gospel through song; and we as adults also benefit in the same way from the singing of the biblical and classical hymns of the Church.’ 

More gospel truth friends. And I do hope that as we enjoy our Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, we will indeed spend some time pondering on the Lord’s Word and His awesome goodness to our undeserving souls, and give real and sincere thanks for all the wonderful things we enjoy in this good land of Canada! Much LOVE!

…a heart filled with God…is one filled with joy and thanksgiving…                                                                                                         

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