Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2018 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Ah friends, after looking at some of the news headlines and seeing the unnecessary strife and the many natural disasters that are plaguing our once beautiful world, I decided that there was only one way to begin today’s Bit; that’s with some acclamations of our faith to bolster our courage and help us keep keeping on in the face of so much negative happenings. 

So let’s affirm with sincere heart and ongoing faith. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY whatsoever! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And isn’t that a fact, a most awesome one! And last but not least: God will supply all my needs through His riches in glory through Jesus Christ! 

Glory be mih people! That should get us going and hold us for today as we hear about and see the ungodly and disastrous things that are happening in our world. 

And it’s only fitting that with the great amount of talk and li’l action taking place in our world that we should continue with our Bit from yesterday, where James talks about hearing and doing the word. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And he told us why?  ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Therefore we should put away all evil and lustful stuff and concentrate on the Word that’s implanted in our hearts, since it is what keeps us going on the course of faith, thus helping us to mature as time goes by. 

And he continues with this warning: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Ah mih people, that is so reminiscent of so many of us today; we hear the word, then immediately forget it, and don’t put it into practice. And I believe it happens very much on a Sunday, where we go to church and hear God’s word preached, but as soon as we get out, we continue with our old way of living and don’t put what we heard into practice. 

That’s obviously not good enough my people, for God’s Word is a practical treatise on daily living, and needs to be actioned if it is to be useful! So what’s the point of hearing it if we don’t intend to put it to good use in our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4) It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’ 

Ah precious people, what a day it was when Jesus defeated hell, death and the grave and set us free from all the terrorizing religious laws of Moses’ time, which no one could keep. And I’d like to say read those scriptures above, but I know very few of you will, but because I LOVE you all so much and care so much about your souls, I will spoon feed you with a couple of them. (smile) 

Listen to Jesus on the Law of Moses. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prohets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) Yes friends, Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law! 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ God had always intended for us to end up with an inner connection, through His Holy Spirit, and that’s what Jesus came to do. 

Now hear Bruh Paul as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:1-2) And we all know that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

So James concludes: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:26-27) So friends, true religion is neither mere hearing or mere doing but a timely balance of both aspects of our faith. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proud of our position in Christ. All together 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 always, merely thinking about how glorious that future will be, just boggles my small mind! Much LOVE!

…to be on the same page as Jesus…we must hear…as well as do…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Aye mih breddren, it’s Tuesday; Monday has been relegated to the annals of History, so let’s not procrastinate and put off nuh, but use this present day to do what needs doing, above all, glorifying our wonderful, amazing, awesome God! Yes friends, for that’s the number One reason we were so wonderfully made. 

And I believe we can truly say that spring has finally sprung in my area, because for the second consecutive day, there’s a soft rain falling gently on the land, the grass is green, and there are buds on the branches of the trees. 

And more importantly, a few trees are even brave and bold enough to have some leaves already budding out. Oh glory to God, that winter has finally gone back to wherever it came from – for at least another few months! (smile) 

So since our great God is still on His throne, and everything is right in our world, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and godly enthusiasm nuh. 

All together 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.’ 

Oh my people, my people, what beautiful words of encouragement and assurance! When we sincerely believe that mantra, then we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Oh, there will be trials and tribulations, Jesus promised that, but deep down we will be assured that they will be properly taken care of in God’s time and in His own particular way. That’s the beauty of our faith! 

So please, let’s not allow the wily enemy to deceive us into thinking otherwise. As I said last week, using Cousin Bobby’s (Robert Schuler 111) testimony, if you’re not sure, not convinced, then please repeat the mantra everyday, several times a day, until you can feel truly assured in your soul. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which I hope to conclude today – no promises though. (smile) ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does). And that’s a sincere promise from our ever-faithful God! 

And as we’ve been doing, we’ll continue looking at the references the scholars gave about the perfect law of liberty. ‘It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death.’ 

And today’s reference comes from Galatians, where Bruh Paul gives forth on Living by faith. ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ (Gal.5:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:1. The verse could be rendered: “For freedom Christ freed us. Therefore stand fast and do not again be subject to a yoke of bondage.” The “freedom” in view is freedom from the law, here called “a yoke of bondage.” Paul wants the Galatians to “stand fast,” that is, retain their spiritual freedom.’ 

And I’m asking us today to do the same thing my fellow believers: let’s not fall back, lapse back into the bondage of the law, but continue truthfully and vibrantly in the spiritual freedom that Christ died for us to have. 

And later on in that same chapter, Bruh Paul further advises the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.’ (Gal.5:13) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:13. Having shown freedom from the law to be proper protection from legalism (vv.1-12), Paul now demonstrates it to be a proper antidote against unrestrained license to sin (vv.13-26). 

Believers are not to abuse their liberty from the law for an occasion (opportunity) to the flesh (sinful nature). That is, don’t think freedom from the law means you can indulge in sin; it means instead that you are free to serve God by serving one another.’ 

Now that’s something we all seriously have to work on friends, since many of us falsely believe that because of that very freedom, plus the overwhelming forgiveness and mercy of our magnanimous God, we have a licence to willfully sin. 

But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my brethren. When we truly come to God and truly have Him ensconced in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, then because of the great LOVE we bear Him, willfully falling to sin and temptation should not even enter our consciousness. It ought to make us strive not to sin. 

And the last part of the explanation re the law of liberty is: ‘James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King.’ 

And pertaining to that, James 2:8 says: ‘If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. But if ye have respect to persons (show partiality), ye commit sin, and are convinced (convicted) of the law as a transgressor.’ (James 2:8-9) I felt that last verse was necessary to show the true context of verse 8. 

And that brings us to Galatians again, where Bruh Paul is talking about applications of new principles. ‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness (gentleness), considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’  (Gal.6:1-2) 

Yeh friends, if we deliberately overstep those divine boundaries and fall into sin, those of us who walk by the Spirit, whose life shows the fruit of the Spirit, ought to talk to the Christian believer who has gone astray and try to bring them back to their normal moral condition. 

And we need to do it all in LOVE, handle it delicately, while all the time making sure that we aren’t caught up in the same carnality, which is so easy to do. 

And per verse 2, the scholars explain: ‘6:2. Contextually, the burdens are the moral faults of verse 1, but can have wider application to other kinds of burdens. The law of Christ is the sum of all Jesus’ teachings and desires; it is Christianity itself.’ 

And here endeth the lesson for today friends. (smile) We have indeed concluded the last message in the perfect law of liberty series. I do hope that we now have a much better understanding of what it means and how it applies to us, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ. 

Please, let’s put all that we have learned into proper use nuh, so that we can advance the gospel of Christ, which is our bounden duty as believers. Much LOVE!

…Christianity…the law of Christ…is not as burdensome as legalism…the law of man… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Awright friends, it’s Monday morning, so let’s get up and get ourselves ready to go to work nuh. No whining and complaining about how we feeling sick and tired and otherwise. We know that we have to go back to work every Monday morning, so it behooves us to get ourselves together for that time. 

And especially as followers of Christ, we shouldn’t be full of whimpering excuses for not wanting to work. Jesus is sick and tired of us and our less than Christian attitude towards work. So let’s throw all of that out the window, and instead sing a rich and moving rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one earthly choir, but sounding heavenly, with Jesus as our choirmaster, let’s sing: ‘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!’  

Now that was most excellent my people! Jesus was very pleased. Yuh see how we can come up to scratch when we need to, and when we put our hearts and souls in it. Now let’s go out into that wicked and foolish world and use that adrenalin that’s currently pumping through our veins and bodies to help us do what we’re supposed to do; win souls for Christ! 

And we’re going to continue with the Bit of the last few days.  ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And that’s gospel truth! That’s the way our God operates; you do what He desires and He blesses you. 

Now we’ll continue looking at some of the passages that the scholars referenced when they spoke about the ‘perfect law of liberty.’ ‘It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death.’ And one of the references for that was this one, where Bruh Paul talks to the Roman church about ‘Life in the Spirit.’ 

‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 

That the righteousness (righteous requirement of) the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh, do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1-5) 

Yeh friends, that’s as simple as it gets. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin, through righteousness. But we have to give up the things of the flesh and live by the things of the Spirit if we want to accomplish that wonderful ideal. 

Now here are a couple of notes from the scholars. ‘8:1. Many manuscripts omit “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  They don’t say why, but it seems that the sentence is better explained with those last few words. 

‘8:3. Law…was weak: There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands. The likeness of sinful flesh: Christ was truly human but not a sinner. (2 Cor.5:21).’ 

So my brethren, we see that the basic problem with mankind is his fallen nature, his sinful leanings based on the lusts of his flesh. That’s what Jesus came to correct through the righteousness of those who believe in Him, and live according to the law of His Holy Spirit, not in accordance with man’s fleshly lust.  

And as Jesus said: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) That means if we are bent on seeking earthly treasure, then our hearts will be grounded in the world and the things of the flesh. 

However, if, as Jesus desires, we are more concerned with seeking heavenly treasure, then our hearts will be set on the things of heaven, the things of Jesus, and we’ll be living by the law of His Spirit, not by that of man, and the prince of darkness, Lucifer. 

And we’ll conclude today with that most important aspect of our Christian faith. Now let’s show the world as we go forth today, that our treasures and our hearts are indeed set on the things of heaven and not those of earth, for that is indeed true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…the treasures of earth are corruptible…but those of heaven are incorruptible…and thus much better for laying up…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.    But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, it’s Sunday! Glory Hallelujah! What a joy it is to be able to get up and go out to church and worship with other believers! 

How awesome it is to get together and praise and celebrate the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Receiving in return His unbeatable strength, unsurpassed wisdom, unconditional LOVE, ever-faithful care and heart-felt compassion! Glory Be! 

Oh friends, how I wish the majority of us would feel like that on Sunday mornings. Hn! The sad reality though is that too many of us force ourselves to get up and go to church because it’s expected of us; just like work on a Monday morning. There’s no joy in our spirits like if we were going to a party. 

But friends, it is a party we’re going to! Isn’t there singing and dancing, and praising and giving thanks? There surely is! It’s not just a mournful, dirge-like experience that we’re forced to live through. So why, for so many of us, going to church is like pulling teeth eh? 

We ought to be happy and joyous, celebrating the occasion to be able to get together freely in public to glorify our Creator. Many of our fellow believers around the world don’t have that privilege. They have to hide and meet in secret, in out of the way places to have church. And in many places they are persecuted for simply believing in Jesus! That means we have the best of all worlds, but simply don’t appreciate it. 

Anyway, enough of my ranting, (smile) listen to this excerpt from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. As soon as I read it, I knew that it would be most appropriate for this glorious Sunday morning. 

It’s titled ‘The Secret,’ and it says: ‘I couldn’t help but watch her As we sat in the service together Last Sunday morning… Her white hair so neatly coiffured Her hands resting on her open Bible Her smile so beautifully tranquil. When the hymn was announced She sang with a glowing smile. Occasionally during the message She nodded her head in assent. 

(O Lord, what peace she portrays.) After the service I spoke to her: “You are an inspiration, my dear. I hope I may sit with you again.” She thanked me profusely. Then she added with shining joy “Isn’t it wonderful to know Jesus? I mean – really KNOW Him!” In that instant, dear God I knew the secret of her radiance.’ 

Oh precious people of Jesus, that is how we ought to be, and can be if we’d only invest some more time and energy in truly getting to KNOW our amazing, magnificent and magnanimous God! And we can only do that by seriously reading His Word, sincerely talking to Him in prayer and joyfully fellowshipping with other believers. 

And by the way, the promise attached to that poem is ‘Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Phil. 3:8 NL.V) 

Oh what indisputable truth that is my brethren! There is nothing that’s worth more in this mish-mash world than truly KNOWING Jesus! For He is indeed the Be All and the End All of our world; the First and the Last; the Alpha and Omega! Oh praise His Holy Name my people!  

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ More truth of enormous proportions my brethren! 

And we’ll continue looking at the references that the scholars gave re ‘the perfect law of liberty.’ We saw what Jesus had to say about His coming to fulfill the law not destroy it. (Matt.5:17) Now listen to Bruh Paul, as he talks about zeal but no righteousness. 

‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record (witness) that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Acts 10:1-4) 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law: Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law. The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. 

But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’ 

And unfortunately many of us are doing the same thing today my people. We are concentrating too much on our religious works and achievements, and not enough on the righteousness that is necessary, and can be attained from a sincere and purposeful union with Christ. 

Ah friends, many of us are being led astray by the religiosity of the church; the concentration on man-made rules and regulations, the many do’s and don’ts that have become institutionalized down through the ages. It’s time for us to be free from the bondage of traditional church law and return to what is truly important, the spiritual acumen that Jesus died for us to have; the true inner faithfulness and righteousness, not merely the outward show to look good in public. 

Now I hope that this message makes sense, but as I always say, we Christians are bright enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) And if the message does nothing else, I hope that it puts a joy in our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits to get up and go to church this Sunday morning, for that is indeed the wisdom of the ages my fellow believers! Much LOVE!

…oh the true joy of really knowing Jesus…nothing to it can compare…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And as been happening for thousands of years friends, Saturday comes after Friday, just like night follows day and vice versa. (smile) But Saturday is the day to do the household chores and shopping after a busy week of work. Then, come the evening hours, it’s party time! 

Many of us though simply lie on the couch eating junk food, imbibing alcoholic beverages and watching the boob tube all weekend. Now that is certainly not a healthy lifestyle my people. And that is partly why our society is suffering from such a high rate of obesity; lack of exercise, too much sedentary posing and posture and too much junk food. 

A lot of that is brought on by our high degree of technology, with the ever- spreading and ever-dangerous tentacles of our social media, where we sit for hours in front of a computer screen or some little hand-held device, texting and playing games and getting ourselves in trouble by posting selfies and other garbage on the media platforms. 

And the next big thing will be robots who communicate like men.  How much longer do you think we’ll last after that eh my brethren? Not long, for we are already obese and sedentary, and sensible robots will only make us more so, when we can order them around like servants. 

Please remember what a wise man once said; ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And friends that is exactly where we’re heading. Eventually, when life gets so easy, we’ll lose the use of our brains and our limbs because we won’t have to use them. I’m sure many of you can remember the times when children, and a lot of adults too, spent much more time doing stuff outdoors than happens now. But I guess they call that progress, so who am I to question it eh? (smile) 

So let me turn you over to someone else, our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We haven’t heard from him for some time, so we’ll share two of his brilliant insights. And the first quote says: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ And the second declares: ‘It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.’ 

Ah friends, both of those sayings contain oodles of truth, as many of us can attest from our own experience. But we either try to resist sensible change because it discommodes us, upsets our comfort level, and we’re not willing to pay the higher price either. 

And we all had nicknames at some stage in our lives, many of which we never liked and hopefully never responded to. And most of the time, the ones we never responded to seldom stuck. 

Now however, we are known by the fabulous name of Christian; a believer in and a follower of Christ! And that is a name to which should always proudly answer to, although many of us are ashamed of it and try to hide our affiliation. But remember friends, Christ said that if you’re ashamed of Him, deny Him and don’t own up to your affiliation with Him, He’ll do the same thing to you. (Matt.10:32-33) So it’s up to each of us to decide our own fate. 

And that falls right in line with our Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

Yes my Christian people, as true followers of Christ we must be seen to be not only hearers and talkers, but even more importantly doers! Unfortunately though, the world doesn’t look upon us like that, which brings us to the last verse in Jesus’ monologue on the law. 

‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20) 

Now that’s hitting way below the belt my people, but Jesus always spoke truth, and we all know that the truth often hurts quite a bit. And it just goes to show how little He thought of the Jewish rulers.  

Let’s hear now what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:

Law                                                 Spirit                                                                                                                                       

No murder                                      No anger

No adultery                                       No lust

No divorce                                          Commitment

No oath taking                                     Speak the truth

No retaliation                                        Forgiveness

Hatred for your enemy                         LOVE for your enemy 

(tradition allowed it)                                   (commanded) 

Awright friends, enough for today. I know it’s Saturday and our minds are all played out by the hectic week of work. (smile) However you do see the comparison between the Mosaic Law and what Jesus desired spiritually. All of the old law still stood, except hatred for your enemy, which Jesus changed to LOVE. 

He basically refined them, moved them up to a higher, finer, more acute level. But the Ten Commandments still stood as the Basic law, and still do today.  So as Jesus said, He didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. And as His followers, we ought to do the same in our own little way, and thus promote the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…the coming of Jesus…didn’t change the basic intent of God’s laws…they just became more refined…moved up to a higher level…

 

                                                       

                      

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2016 James 1:25‏

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does.

Well mih people, the day that we all seem to crave has finally come around again – it’s Friday! 

And you know that means joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend’s here! No more labour, no more sweat! Time to party, time to fete! Thank you God for Fridays and the two days off from slaving for massa! Only wish everyday was Friday!’ 

Yeh friends, don’t we all wish that everyday was Friday. Only thing about that is if we didn’t work, we wouldn’t eat nor have a roof over our heads. So though it sounds real good, it’s not practical in the real world. Neither is too much partying and feting. Moderation and contentment should be our motto, not extremes. 

Anyway, since today is Friday, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a much better perspective on the use of the weekend. As one chanter now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my brethren, the weekend ought to be one of rest and revitalization and worship, with elements of partying so that we can have the necessary wherewithal to go back out next week, strong and ready to do Jesus’ work. 

And here I want to mention a little thing I heard brother Corville (Corville Peters) from the Christian call in t.v. show ‘Live At the Cross,’ say recently. He said: ‘At the cross, where heaven met earth, and hate met LOVE, and LOVE overcame.’ 

Oh friends, how true that all is! Whenever hate meets LOVE, LOVE will ALWAYS prevail, because LOVE is by far the stronger of the two emotions. To LOVE under difficult and unfair circumstances as we Christians are supposed to do, is not easy. 

And that’s why for some of us, LOVING is more difficult to do than hating. But LOVE is what we should be all about, because that’s our vocation as true believers in Jesus Christ. 

And with those awesome words of wisdom, (smile) let’s turn to out Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does.’ More words of indisputable truth my friends! 

And we’ll continue where we left off yesterday with Christ talking about the law, that He didn’t come to destroy it but to fulfill it. ‘For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot (Gr. iota) or one tittle (smallest stroke in a Hebrew word) shall in no wise (by no means) pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.’ (Matt.5:18) 

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘5:18. Verily I say is a unique form used by Jesus throughout His preaching to draw attention to the authority of His message.

Verily (Gr. amen) means “truly” or “certainly.” It is used as a designation of authoritative teaching. One jot or one tittle refers to the most minute letter and marks of the Hebrew alphabet. 

He explained that even the smallest statement in the law must be fulfilled. A “jot” (yodh) is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It functions as a Y in English and looks similar to an apostrophe. A tittle is a small projection on the edge of certain Hebrew letters to distinguish them from one another.’ 

So we see friends, that the law is still, and will always be of supreme importance in our lives. And Jesus continues: ‘Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt.5:19) 

And here’s what the scholars have to say about that. ‘5:19. Because of the seriousness of the law, Jesus emphasizes the importance of keeping even its smallest details. However, in the ultimate plan of God, the law was not to become an extra burden on the souls of men. 

Rather than pointing the way to salvation, the law convinced men of the need of the Saviour. Therefore, whoever shall teach men so but shall not live what he teaches, he shall be made least in the kingdom of heaven. But whosoever shall do and teach the principles and precepts of the law shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

This simply means that God will reward the faithfulness and effectiveness of our lives, and there will be varying degrees of blessing and reward in heaven.’ 

Ah mih breddren, yuh see it all comes right back to the old saying, about practicing what we preach. In our Christian faith, it’s not right or lawful to say one thing and then do another. 

And in closing today, I want us to ponder our individual lives and see to what extent that is a factor in them, because we all do some of it, at various times, to a certain degree. 

And as always, with God’s help, let’s try and banish that sort of behaviour from our lives, for as we can see from Jesus’ teaching, it is a critical aspect in our heavenly rewards and blessings. Much LOVE!

…a practicing Christian…must always try to practice…whatever he or she preaches…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does.

And then it was Thursday friends! Wow! This week has certainly rushed by quickly, and I’ve just been too busy for my liking. Hn! But the saving grace is that in my neck of the woods, all the days this week were just beautiful! Glory be! No rain, sleet nor snow, just bright sunshine and warm temps. 

And here this nuh, yesterday I was up in the northern part of the city, getting some repairs done to my car stereo, and around 4 pm, while sitting in the passenger seat with the door open, my legs hanging out, I felt the urge to pull up the sleeves of my sweater to feel the sunshine… 

Hn! But five minutes later I had to pull them back down because the sun was burning my arm. Brother! Meanwhile the gentleman repairing the stereo just had a thin vest covering his upper body. And he was white at that, which meant that my extra melanin wasn’t so great after all. (smile) 

I believe though that the sunshiny weather might give way to rain some time today. But that’s okay, at least we had some wonderful consecutive days, and once it’s not the white stuff, I can handle it. Now let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with enthusiasm, sincerity and true conviction. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh all praise and thanks and glory be to our awesome God my brethren! For He is indeed the ONE who makes all those blessings we just declared over our lives possible! And yet so many foolish people still refuse to believe in Him. Steups! 

Ah really sorry for them yes. But all we as believers can do is tell them the Good News of Jesus’ Gospel and live our lives in concert and obedience to His holy will. Hopefully, before it’s too late, they will recognize the error of their ways and come to Him for succour, for salvation and eternal life. And I’m done preaching now. (smile) 

Let’s turn to our Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

Yeh friends, we reviewed that verse in the last couple days and in the scholars’ explanation, they quoted some verses of scripture that were relevant to it. Now I asked us to check out those relevant scriptures, but since our lives are oh so busy, I’m sure not many, if any of us did so, I decided to lay them out today. 

And we’ll go through the scholars’ explanation once more and highlight the verses as we go. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law…’ 

And here the scholars refer to Matthew 5, Christ’s take on the law. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) 

Yuh know something friends, this is going to take much longer than I expected yes, because the scholars have some good explanations for every verse here. But that’s the whole point of the matter; to learn and understand as much as possible of the scriptures. 

So here goes the scholars’ explanation for that verse. ‘5:17. Having laid the foundation of the message in the summary statements of the Beatitudes, Jesus now proceeds to show the superiority of His message to that of the law of Moses. 

He makes it clear that He had not…come to destroy the law. That is, the New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ 

Ah my people, I hope that resonates soundly with us all, because the same thing is happening today. Legalism, the man-made rules and regulations of our denominations are killing the spiritual side of our faith. 

Like in the days of Jesus, where the Pharisees, the leaders of the faith, were full of outward show but little inner conviction, we are today hearing plenty talk and seeing much legalistic outward show, but there’s little true spiritual obedience to God’s Law. 

Now friends, as supposed believers in Christ, we definitely have to do better than that. No wonder so many unbelievers consider us hypocrites, as Christ did the Pharisees and the other leaders of the Jewish faith. 

We need to paint a true portrait of Christ to the unbelieving and ungodly world. And we can only do that when we are comfortable in our own skins, and have a true conviction of our faith, which leads us to both hear the word and do it. So today, let’s ponder how that reflects in our individual lives nuh, for it’s the only wisdom that’s appropriate for a child of God. Much LOVE!

…Christians are blessed…when they both hear and do…according to God’s Law …and not to man’s…

 

 

 

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