Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well friends, it’s somewhat cloudy outside on this Saturday morning, but that’s no reason to think we won’t eventually have another glorious day. Technically it’s spring, but does it ever feel like summer. Last night I had to get up and change my T. shirt because I woke up with it soaking wet, even though my bedroom window was wide open. Please note, I’m not complaining, just making a point (smile). I will take that situation over the winter cold any day. 

Unfortunately though, the Big Island of Hawaii is experiencing more heat than an ordinary summer because the volcano just keeps bubbling and releasing lava down its slopes. Houses have now been swallowed up by the molten rock and people are being evacuated, as it doesn’t seem to be easing up. 

I guess the good thing is that it hasn’t erupted with full force spewing its molten guts all over the place. At least this way there is time to evacuate residents who are in immediate danger. Let’s keep on praying for them. 

And today being Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes that we received from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is certainly amusing. ‘If you think Education is expensive, try ignorance.’ But nonetheless it’s true! At least with education you have some idea what it’s all about, but with ignorance, you’re completely lost. 

Now here is an important one. ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ And is that ever true friends! Inferiority is something we allow or bring on ourselves. No matter how much someone else may think they are better than us, because of their wealth, power, or social position, it only holds true if we believe it too. 

So please stop thinking you’re inferior to ANYONE! NO child of God is inferior to any other! We were all made the same way and for the same purpose by Almighty God and He LOVES us all unconditionally, regardless of our circumstances or behaviour! 

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.’ Ah mih people, the first sentence is paramount: ‘Never give up.’ As followers of Jesus we are not supposed to do that because giving up does not exist in His vocabulary. 

He sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be saved, our sins forgiven, and that we’d be imbued through the work of His Holy Spirit with whatever we need to face the rigours of this world. 

And Jesus didn’t mince words, He told us that we’d face persecution and tough times simply because we believed in Him, but that He had already overcome the world, so we had no need to fear or worry, just keep on keeping on in His name! That means to keep on hoping, which makes our last quote invaluable: 

‘Hope is the most exciting thing there is in life!’ Glory to God my people, that is gospel truth! Without hope we have nothing to look forward to. But with hope, we have everything to look forward to and dream about! With hope in our hearts, ANYTHING is possible, especially if we are believers in Jesus, the ONE who can do ANYTHING! 

And there are a couple of expressions about hope that I just LOVE: ‘the first talks about ‘hungry hope, and the second, about ‘prisoners of hope.’ Mama Mia! And as true followers of Jesus we need to possess the first and be one of the latter, if we want to lead a successful earthly life working for Jesus. And the thing about hope friends is its power to bring expectancy, joyful expectancy to our lives. 

And there are so many passages of scripture that deal with hope that we only have time and space for a few. First, check out our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s the greatest hope we can ever have; to spend eternity with Christ, because He rose from the dead, we too shall rise to life eternal! 

And then there is this famous passage from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, which we all know. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) That’s the power of hope friends, believing without seeing, then keeping on in eager expectation of its eventual arrival. 

And we’ll close with these encouraging words of Bruh David from Psalm 16. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my faithful brethren, this Saturday morning, I implore us, if the Lord is at our right hand, then let’s be filled with hungry hope and be strong prisoners of hope nuh! And consequently, let our hearts be glad and rejoice in the glory of our great God, and rest, dwell securely in His hope. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but God says…hoping and believing is true seeing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2016 1 Timothy 1:12.

1 Timothy 1:12.    And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry.

Aye mih people, is fellowship day; the Lord’s Day – the Sabbath, the day of the week that we concentrate on our most wonderful God to a greater extent than other day! 

That leads us to gather in His sanctuary to fellowship with each other, to give great shouts of praise, worship and thanksgiving for His goodness during the past week, and to receive strength, faith, courage, confidence and LOVE to face the upcoming seven days. 

So, in light of all that, let’s offer up heartfelt praise in preparation for hearing the Word. And believe me friends, there’s nothing I like better than to just sit and hear the Word and feel it filter into my soul, like osmosis. Anyway, enough talk, (smile) let’s get to some sacrifice of praise and worship to Almighty God by singing this old but magnificent spiritual song made popular by Mario Lanza many moons ago, ‘I’ll Walk with God.’ 

Let’s raise the rafters with our song now: ‘I’ll walk with God From this day on His helping hand I’ll lean upon This is my prayer my humble plea May the Lord be ever with me There is no death though eyes grow dim There is no fear when I’m near to him I’ll lean on him forever And He’ll forsake me never 

He will not fail me as long as my faith is strong What ever road I may walk alone I’ll walk with God I’ll take his hand I’ll talk with God He’ll understand I’ll pray to him Each day to him I’ll walk with God from this day on.’ 

Oh what faith raising and encouraging words my precious people! Remember though, we can’t just leave all those sentiments, those faithful promises behind when we leave church, we need to take them with us and action them in the world during the week. 

And having softened our hearts for the Word, let’s hear it nuh, as we lead of with our Bit. ‘And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry.’ Heartfelt words from Bruh Paul the mentor, to young Timothy, the protégé, re his becoming an apostle. And he tells of Christ’s mercy that saved and enabled him, several times in other letters. 

Listen to him from 1 Corinthians, as he talks about the resurrection of Christ. ‘And last of all he (Christ) was seen of me also, as one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:8-10) 

Ah friends, Bruh Paul did labour hard in spreading Christ’s gospel. But as he says, it’s God’s grace that enabled him to do all that work and withstand all those trials. Likewise God’s grace will help each and every one of us to do the work He has entrusted us to do. And I can personally testify to that, through the writing of this Bit. I can only do it because God grant’s me the grace to do it.  

Now hear his acknowledgement to the Ephesians, re his mission to the Gentiles. ‘That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel. Whereof I was made (became) a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual (effective) working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ (Eph.3:6-8) 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth? Bruh Paul would have had no power to preach the Word unless it was given to him by God. Meanwhile to the church at Rome, he writes. ‘Nevertheless brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort (on some points), as putting you in mind (reminding you), because of the grace that is given to me of God. 

That I should be the (a) minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof I may glory (reason to glory) through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.’ (Rom.15:15-17)  

And to the Colossians, he points out: ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled (steadfast) and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister. 

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind (lacking) of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is in the church. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation (stewardship) of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.’ (Col.1:23-25) It’s all grace friends, nothing but grace! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: 1:25. The expression according to the dispensation of God might be rendered “because of the divine assignment.”  Paul was a minister or servant to the church because of the divine assignment given him. That assignment was to fulfill the word of God, that is, to preach the gospel over a wide geographical area, winning converts to Christianity. The Greek word translated here as “fulfill” is rendered in Romans 15:19 as “fully preached.” 

Ah mih breddren, two thousand years later, nothing has really changed, for we as believers have also been given the divine assignment to spread the gospel wherever we can, even to the farthest reaches of the earth. Now we might not all have Bruh Paul’s zeal and miraculous anointing, but in our own small way, we all can make a difference in winning souls for Christ. 

So please, let’s get serious and get on with the job of seriously and sincerely promoting Christ’s gospel nuh, because that’s what He expects of each and every follower. Much LOVE!

…every Christian…with no exceptions… has a part to play in furthering the gospel…be it big or small… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Welcome to another brand new day in the life friends! It means that God still has great plans for us to accomplish, other wise He would have taken us home. 

Now we got through Monday with a smile, so Tuesday should be even easier, especially when it abounds with new mercies and blessings from our wonderful Father in heaven. 

And even if the physical state of your day is rainy, or cloudy like mine, just remember that that physical aspect doesn’t really matter that much, because we ALWAYS have the brilliant spiritual light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shining in our hearts. Glory to God! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with plenty verve, sincerity and truth. 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.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! What the world says and does, doesn’t define us. We are the beloved children of God! That’s who we are. And NOBODY can take that from us! 

Please remember that. Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. We are the beloved children of God! Never forget it! 

But please remember too that those great privileges – a child of God, and a friend of Jesus – also carry a great responsibility; sharing Christ’s LOVE with the world. We cannot be true believers or faithful Christians until and unless we are doing that. 

Oh I know I’m preaching to the choir, (smile) but sometimes even the choir needs preaching to. Now let’s get to our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Yes friends, we’re continuing with the Pentecost story, another great day in the annals of Christianity! Yesterday we began looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that most momentous day, and we’ll continue with the same today. 

After quoting the prophecy of Joel and tying it into the Pentecost situation, he then declared: ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of (attested by) God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. 

Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked (lawless) hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up having loosed (destroyed) the pains (birth pangs) of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of (held by) it.’ (Acts 2:22-24) 

Hey people, just imagine Peter pontificating to that crowd nuh. Then he went on to quote Bruh David from Psalm 16:8-11, where he talks about the Lord not leaving his soul or Jesus’ in hell. 

‘Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher (tomb) is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (Ps.132:11); 

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Hades) neither his flesh did see corruption (Ps.16:10). This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. 

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, 

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (Ps.110:1) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ (Acts 2:29-36) 

Wow friends, Peter is surely on a roll! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:22-36. The main point of Peter’s sermon is to prove that Jesus is both God and the Messiah (v.36). Peter seeks to prove this through Christ’s miraculous works (v.22), His resurrection (vv.23-32), and His sending of the Holy Spirit (vv.33-35).’ 

And some more scholarly explanations: ‘2:27. Hell is the word Hades and does not refer to the eternal lake of fire but to the intermediate state of the Old Testament dead. In the New Testament the term also refers to the grave. Peter states that David’s words of Psalm 16:10 are a prophecy concerning the immediate resurrection of the Messiah, of whom David is a type.’ 

Ah mih people, the Day of Pentecost was indeed a red letter day in the history of Israel, also in the annals of Christianity, marking the true beginning of the body of Christ, His church. 

So please, as we go about our earthly business today, let’s contemplate the miraculous events that took place on that momentous day in Jerusalem, some two thousand years ago, and let’s also contemplate the part that the Holy Spirit has played, is playing and will play in our own lives, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…the workhorse of the Holy Trinity…the Holy Spirit…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ah Friends, it was just one of those days where the ole fella went to bed at a  Shakespearean early hour. (smile) Three o’clock found me sitting on my porch, but I didn’t stay long because the wind was in a rather frenzied state and had the poor trees dancing to an incredibly fast riddim, and it was also a tad chilly in my shorts and T-shirt.

It’s surprising that nothing seems to have been blown down, for since early evening the wind had been having serious histrionic fits. I had to close a couple of my windows because it was making such a fuss. And it’s still not completely over it’s bad behaviour, but just not as challenging as during the night.

Thankfully though, both the sun and Son are shining quite brightly this Wednesday morning. And since it’s Wednesday, then I guess it’s time for our Wednesday Wail. Please wail with me.

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

Oh my people, what a Friend, Lord and Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! Glory to God! I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh, for He is so LOVING, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving… And that’s just the tip of His attributes. It would take me half the day to name them all.

Yes Friends, having Jesus as the guide, the rudder and compass of our lives is the wisest action we can ever take down here on God’s great earth! I don’t know how I lived, how I existed before I truly let Him into my heart. Oh, He was always there, but lurking in the background, waiting for me to smarten up and surrender my life to Him.

As they say, hindsight is certainly 20-20 vision yes! For in hindsight, I can now see the many occasions on which He lent me a helping hand. Many times when others couldn’t or refused to help, He was the One who stepped into the breach and shored it up.

That’s why, now that I’ve truly bought into His plan, I can say with all sincerity and truth; what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And am I ever so grateful for His LOVE, mercy, comfort and grace which certainly makes this life worth living.

And I know that I’m not alone in that regard because the Lord works His magnanimous works in the lives of ALL who sincerely believe in and honour Him.

That’s why we can agree with Peter when he so wisely declares in our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

Yes my brethren, this new life of ours all stems from the resurrection of Christ. Without His resurrection, there would be no new creation of man!

And as Peter continues:’(We have been raised) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:4-5)

Oh Friends, what powerful and encouraging words and promises! But all of it indisputable, gospel truth!

Now let’s delve into what it all means with the help of the scholars. ‘1:3 –2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.”  Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation: Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vv.3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation.

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time.

Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’

Ah Friends, I do hope that the general descriptions, as well as the more specific ones help us to better understand what salvation is, and all that’s laid up for us in heaven, and also helps to increase our faith by knowing, by being assured that Almighty God, our Creator and Provider is constantly watching over us, and we can have no better security than that.

Now let’s ponder it all, then put it into action as our lives unfold, obviously with God’s help, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…oh what an auspicious, blessed and reassuring day…was that Easter Sunday morn…when Christ triumphantly rose from the grave…and gave us all the hope of future life eternal…with Him in heaven…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2014 Hosea 7:13

 Hosea 7:13. Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.

‘Hot town, summer in the city… Cool cat, looking for a kitty. Gonna look in every corner of the city…!’
 
Oh Friends, in the supposed summer month we couldn’t make the claim of that old song with very much truth, because it wasn’t that hot. But yuh better believe in the last few days, it was undeniably true!
 
For instance, as I was driving up the road yesterday, with my window down and the sun shining in, I had to hide my forearm from its onslaught. (smile)
 
Oh what confusing weather! But note, we’ll never say no to such beautiful Tobago days, that’s for sure! Especially at this time of year, when the weather is usually leaning towards the chilly side.
 
But another confusing thing is that the trees aren’t paying any attention to the great summer weather, they are still turning into their fabulous fall colours and dropping their leaves, in anticipation of winter.
 
Unfortunately, today doesn’t seem as if it’s going to be a Tobago kind of day, but it’s not going to be too bad either. Anyway, we’ll be thankful for anything, once it’s not that cold, white stuff. (Smile)
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.’
 
And today I’m not going to get into any rhetoric about our evil deeds and disobedience. I just want to share a few scripture passages on redemption and being redeemed.
 
Now the word redeem basically means ‘to purchase’, and redemption in the Good Book means Jesus Christ purchasing our sinful souls from the bondage of sin, by the shedding of His holy and sinless blood on the cross of Calvary.
 
In other words, by His sacrificial death, He paid the enormous price required by His holy and just Father to absolve us from our abominable sins, thus paving the way for us to become righteous, justified, sanctified and a member of God’s family.
 
So now we are free from the bondage of sin, but please, NEVER, NEVER forget that it was THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST that paid for our redemption!  We would still be lost sinners, facing the penalty of death and eternal separation from Almighty God, if Jesus had not sacrificed Himself on our behalf.
 
That just goes to show how much He truly LOVED us, and I just can’t understand the rebellion, the disobedience and ungratefulness that we constantly show to such a wonderful act of LOVE!
 
Anyway, as I said earlier, no rhetoric, just scripture. (smile) And we’ll begin with this powerful promise of our omnipotent God to the Israelites right at the very beginning of their fight with Pharaoh to leave their bondage in Egypt.
 
He says to Moses: ‘Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with outstretched arm (with mighty power), and with great judgements.’ (Ex.6:6)
 
And we all know that our ever-faithful God did just as He had promised. Then later on, Isaiah also talks about the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.
 
‘Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of (by) me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.’ (Is.44:21-22)
 
And Hosea continues the prophecy of redemption when he foretells Israel’s destruction. ‘I will ransom them from the power (hand) of the grave (death); I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues (where is your punishment); O grave, I will be thy destruction (where is thy sting): repentance (pity) shall be hid from mine eyes.’ (Hos.13:14)
 
And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ’13:14-16. I will ransom them from the power of the grave: Only God can save Israel from national extinction. After its judgement is complete, Israel will ultimately be redeemed and will bring forth fruits of repentance.
 
This national repentance and restoration will be realized in the Israel of the Millennium. Paul applies verse 14 to the resurrection of Christ, which guarantees the resurrection of all believers in Christ.’
 
When we move on to the New Testament, we have more testimony of redemption. Listen to Zechariah’s prophecy, as his son, John the Baptist is presented to the Lord.
 
‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (mighty deliverer) for us in the House of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began (from the ages):
 
That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant. The oath which he sware to our Father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
 
In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives. And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins,
 
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:68-79)
 
Oh my people, we know that prophecy was fulfilled by John the Baptist going before Jesus to testify of His coming and to call the people to salvation. Jesus came and redeemed us, but that call for salvation is still going out. Today, please hear it and respond wisely. Much LOVE!
 
…today…if you should hear Jesus knocking at the door to your heart…please don’t ignore it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.      I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 
Aloha Friends and neighbours! It is Friday…

 
And all the people just began dancing a li’l jig and chanting: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday! The stupid work soon finish, then the fun shall begin! Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday!’
 
And then they danced off into the sunset, just chanting the chorus: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday! Friday oh Friday…’
 
Ah mih people, what a hold Fridays and the weekends have on us eh! Some of us just live for that time. Monday to Thursday isn’t important, simply doesn’t exist for some people. They put on their blinders on Monday morning then drift through the week, only taking them off on Friday.
 
But my Friends, that’s not the right way to live. We need to have some balance in our lives, not necessarily esteeming some days more important than the others, for good things as well as bad things can happen on any day whatsoever.
 
And remember too that during the work week we’re supposed to be out in the world living our lives for Christ, setting a good example, letting people see in us the wonderful benefits that can be derived from a walk of faith with Him.
 
We shouldn’t be just drifting through it, as though we don’t have a care in the world. It’s a serious time my brethren; a time to be about Christ’s business, winning souls for Him.
 
And so, to try and curb that negative attitude, (smile) let’s chant our real Friday Chant nuh. As one 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.’
 
Now doesn’t that sound a little more positive and balanced, as it should be? It surely does!
 
And don’t tell me you can’t adopt that more rational and balanced attitude, because then you’ll be negating the very power of our Bit; the affirmation of the awesome power, the omnipotence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!’
 
That’s a blanket power and authority in Jesus my people! And if you don’t practice it, your faith is worthless!
 
Remember, as the scholars told us yesterday, it is God who ordered Bruh Paul’s various situations and gave him the strength to be satisfied and contented in all of them, regardless of how trying and perplexing they were. And our wonderful, omnipotent and magnanimous God also does the same for each and every believer today.
 
It is through Him that we get the power to do most things here on earth. So if you don’t believe and practice that tenet, then you’re missing out on a whole lot of God’s goodness. What a shame Friends!
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. In 1Corinthians where Bruh Paul is talking to them about the resurrection of Christ, he declares to them: ‘For I am the least of the apostles, that I am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
 
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:9-10)
 
So you see my brethren, although Bruh Paul wasn’t what mankind would consider worthy of being an apostle, because of his earlier brutality towards the church, God in His awesome wisdom, transformed him and used him to do His work.
 
And Bruh Paul also in his wisdom recognized that although he worked harder than the other apostles, it wasn’t his doing really, but the grace, the power, the enabling of Christ that gave him the necessary skills, patience, perseverance, backbone and belly to perform the daunting tasks he performed.
 
Oh Friends, I can’t help but say it: What a most awe inspiring and magnificent God we serve and worship!
 
Now hear Bruh Paul again, this time in his second missive to the Corinthians. Here he’s talking about ministers in the New Testament. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
 
Who also made us able (sufficient as) ministers of the new testament (covenant); not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ (2 Cor.3:4-6)
 
And the scholars explain that last verse: ‘3:6. The new testament (lit. “New Covenant”) is both new in time (not being inaugurated until Christ – Matt.26:28; Luke 22:7-23: 1 Cor.11:25; Heb.8:8) and new in quality (providing better spiritual blessings than did the old Mosaic covenant).
 
Letter, but of the spirit: This expression corresponds to the thought of verse 3 contrasting “ink” with the “Spirit.” The contrast is between the externalism inherent in the Old Covenant and the internalism inherent in the New Covenant.
 
The letter killeth: Since certain Jews in the assembly at Corinth were concerned with Paul’s defection from Moses’ law, Paul here explains his position. The best the law could do was to condemn the sinner. It is not here implied that the law of Moses was evil. On the contrary, it is holy, just, and good (Rom.7:12). This can be asserted because it brought men to the end of themselves, to Christ (Gal.3:24).’
 
Oh Friends, I hope that helps you to understand what Bruh Paul is talking about, and please check out those scripture references, for they will definitely give you greater insight into the subject. I know that many of us dislike, or rather are too lazy to check out the references, (smile) but believe me, they do help, and I try to check them before I write them down.
 
Anyway, I guess that’s enough for today. Don’t want to encroach too much on your weekend thoughts and plans. (smile) But please do ponder the stuff we’ve spoken about, and as much as possible, obviously with the Lord’s help, do get a grip on the aspects on which you are not up to scratch, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…our godly knowledge and wisdom will not improve…until we spend more serious time in God’s Word…then put it into practice in our everyday lives…