Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
 

Well, well, well… the first Sunday in this summer season of 2019! And it’s shaping up to be a beautiful one, so there can be no weather related excuses for not heading towards the Lord’s sanctuary at some time today, to praise, worship and exalt Him, fellowship with other believers, and receive the confidence and assurance of His Holy Word that will enable us to go back out and face the enemy mano a mano in the upcoming workweek. 

Let’s be obedient for a change nuh, and do as the Good Book says: ‘Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God day: in it thou shalt not do any work. …For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Ah friends, yuh see that rest and fellowship and spiritual renewal were so important in the Lord’s plan that He enshrined them in the Ten Commandments! So who are we to say otherwise eh? And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with a song of praise and adoration to soften up our hearts and put us in the mood to receive all that our wonderful God has to offer us. 

And today’s song is one that pays tribute to God’s creation of the earth and the majestic nature that He’s created thereon. It’s the old Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) classic: ‘Morning has broken.’ So without further ado, let’s sing it out from deep within our hearts and souls, with much thanksgiving and feeling, like we really believe and mean what we singing nuh. 

As one glorious choir now: ‘Morning has broken like the first morning Blackbird has spoken like the first bird Praise for the singing Praise for the morning Praise for them springing fresh from the world Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven Like the first dewfall on the first grass Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden Sprung in completeness where his feet pass 

Mine is the sunlight Mine is the morning Born of the one light Eden saw play Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning God’s recreation of the new day Morning has broken like the first morning Blackbird has spoken like the first bird Praise for the singing Praise for the morning Praise for them springing fresh from the world.’ Short but sweet!

And isn’t it just amazing my faithful brethren how this morning has broken just like the first morning did eons ago, and as every morning has done in between, and like every morning will continue to break until the Lord decides otherwise! And likewise how the birds greet each morning like the first one with their songs of joy, praise and thanksgiving! Mama Mia! Only a Deity of omnipotent power and wisdom can create such a constant happening down through the ages! 

And yuh see how He created the beautiful Garden of Eden to house Adam and Even, and the other marvels of nature for their descendants. And it’s the very same sunlight and morning that our forefathers saw in Eden so long ago. And He’s such a wonderful God that although our forefathers were disobedient He didn’t destroy us completely, but kept mankind around until it was time for His Son Jesus to make His marvellous appearance as our Lord and Saviour, sin-bearer and Redeemer. 

That’s why, as the song says we ought to praise Him with elation, every morning that we open our eyes to a new one with birds singing and the sun shining down from heaven. Oh, and don’t forget to also praise Him when the sweet rain falls gently on the ground, because that is also His doing, and it does serve many useful purposes in our lives. 

That’s why there are so many scripture passages praising the Lord and also advising us to praise Him. And yuh know what friends, it’s all for our benefit. So let’s check out a few of them in the time and space we have left nuh, beginning with these awesome words of truth from the psalmist Asaph from Psalm 77. 

‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (in holiness): who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph.   Selah.’ (Ps.77:13-15)  

And hear Isaiah when talking about the servant (Jesus) coming to glorify the Lord. ‘Behold the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles (coastlands), and the inhabitants thereof.’ (Is.42:9-10) 

Meanwhile another psalmist declares (wrong again!) ‘O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory….Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise (break forth in song), and rejoice, and sing praise.’ (Ps.98:1,4) That’s just like we did earlier on friends! 

And we’ll end with this wonderful advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, as he talks about the ways of the true believer. ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. 

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:17-21) 

Oh friends, if we take that wonderful advice, we can never go wrong in our LOVE walk, because it will just raise our faith and keep us tripping on top of the world! Wow! And do I ever LOVE that last part of our Bit: ‘singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;’ It just touches the soul of the writer and musician in me! 

Anyway, it’s time to go home now, we done late already, going to church spoil mih business. (smile) So please have a blessed Sabbath day, singing and praising and fellowshipping and hearing and reading the immortal Word of God, as we faithful saints of Christ are meant to do! Much LOVE!

…let the whole earth…all of creation…praise the Lord…for it is His just dessert…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2019 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

And the rain fell with a vengeance, for much of the day! And it wasn’t the measly drizzle we’d been getting for the last li’l while, but full blown showers accompanied by booming claps of Thor’s thunder and threatening bolts of fiery lightning! The sun would come out for a li’l while and you’d think, ‘Yes, the rain’s over!’ But that would be a wasted thought, for shortly thereafter the rain would come pouring down again. Chuh! 

And that’s the worst kind of rainfall, because it just leaves you in limbo, never knowing what it’s going to do! But the good thing is that was yesterday, Saturday, today is Sunday, a different day completely, so let’s hope the weather will be different too. (smile) And it looks different, bright, but with some scudding clouds. 

But even if it’s the same, please, don’t let us allow it to stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to celebrate His day, the Sabbath, to give Him praise and thanks, to hear His faithful and wonderful Word, and receive His enabling blessings, without which we can’t successfully navigate the storms and trials of this earthly life. And as always, we’ll begin the celebrations with a song of praise and worship to lighten our souls and prepare our hearts to hear His Word. 

And today’s song is a fairly new one, written in the second half of the 20th century, by one Artie Glenn, but was popularized by one Elvis Presley. So let’s get serious, soulful and sincere as we raise up our voices in praise and thanksgiving to heaven, through the words of ‘Crying In The Chapel’ It’s a soulful morning friends, so let’s feel it in our hearts and souls and trill as one harmonious songbird. (smile) 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel, The tears I shed were tears of joy, Now I know the meaning of contentment, And I’m happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel, Where humble people go to pray. I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger, As I live from day to day. I’ve searched (I’ve searched) and I’ve searched, But I couldn’t find, No way on earth to gain peace of mind. 

But now I’m happy in the chapel, where people are of one accord (One accord). Yes, we gather in the chapel, Just to sing and praise the Lord. Oh you’ll search, and you’ll search, but you’ll never find, No way on earth to gain peace of mind. Take your troubles to the chapel, get down on your knees and pray, Then your burdens will be lighter, and you’ll surely find the way, Yes, you’ll surely find the way!’ 

People oh people! Such simple but heartrending words of absolute truth! Wow! And we sung it so sweetly that all heaven was moved to tears! Don’t you just like it when we move all heaven to tears? Of course, because it means that we’ve done something, touching, sincere and truthful! That calls for another ‘Wow!’ this auspicious Sunday morning. 

But on a serious note though, it’s certainly amazing how the sentiments in such a short and simple song could be so true. For example; the tears many of us shed when we go to church are usually ones of joy, because something happens within our souls and spirits and we’re lifted up, we become contented through the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us and renewing and refreshing us. 

And yuh know what? We don’t have to go to no big cathedral to search for God and pray, because we’ll find Him just as well in a simple chapel, where the folks are humble, because that’s one of the requirements of coming to Him in prayer. And we not asking for a whole lot usually – well some of us are (smile) but simply to grow stronger each day as we live in the presence of God’s amazing grace. 

And yuh better believe that there is no other way of finding peace on this ungodly earth than through the auspices of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That’s for sure! As He unambiguously told the disciples, and consequently us: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

Yes friends, the peace we get from Jesus is nothing like what this world has to offer; it’s an out of this world kind of peace, that ONLY He possesses and ONLY He can bestow! And that’s why we end up being contented and cry tears of joy in the chapel! And the best piece of advice there is to take ALL your troubles to God’s sanctuary, or really anywhere quiet and convenient, get down on your knees and pray; unburden your heart before Him, and He will lift your burdens and show you the way. 

Just listen to Jesus as He makes this wonderful offer to ALL those who are weighed down and burdened nuh. We call it the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

How can you ever beat that offer eh friends? Nobody has ever offered anything even close to it. And yes, I do know that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are, but that’s in the lying and deceitful world of Satan, not in Jesus’ realm! He is God and has no cause to lie! And better still, He also has the power to perform whatever He promises! All praise and glory to His Holy Name! That’s why this song, ‘Crying in the Chapel’ is so perfect in its simplicity and truth! 

Oh how I wish more of us supposed believers would take hold of the simplicity of Jesus’ message and just run with them! It would make all of our lives so much easier. Our Lord and Saviour is not a complicated man, and His pronouncements are not complicated either. All He asks of us is to believe and obey! Is that so hard to do my people? Not at all! 

So this Sunday morning, let’s take a serious and sincere stand nuh promise ourselves to just live and work for Jesus, in whatever manner He desires of us! That’s the unadulterated, God-given wisdom of heaven, by which earth should be guided! Much LOVE!

…to whatever question you might ask…Jesus is the answer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2017 Psalm 4:8.

Psalm 4:8.   I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

And after Saturday, comes Sunday… the first day of the week; the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath; the time we gather for great fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, be it a majestic cathedral or a lowly hovel! The physical aspect of the place doesn’t matter that much, just the feeling of friendship and LOVE we bring to it.  The Lord is more interested in what’s in our hearts than our surroundings. 

Yuh see where He allowed His Son Jesus to be born at the upcoming Christmas time? In a smelly, rundown animal barn. Don’t you think, if He wanted to, or if He thought it that important, Jesus could have been born in a palace, or somewhere much better than the manger. For sure! But Jesus wasn’t coming to earth to live in royal splendor…at least not this first time… but as a lowly servant, so His birthplace did fit His station in life. 

Anyway, let’s get to the matter at hand, opening our ceremony with some sacrifice of praise, with the old Cat Stevens tune, ‘Morning has broken.’ In full voice and beautiful harmony now, letting heaven know that we’re serious about our praise and worship. ‘Morning has broken like the first morning  Blackbird has spoken like the first bird  Praise for the singing Praise for the morning  Praise for them springing fresh from the world  

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven  Like the first dewfall on the first grass  Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden  Sprung in completeness where his feet pass  Mine is the sunlight  Mine is the morning  Born of the one light Eden saw play  Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning  God’s recreation of the new day  Morning has broken like the first morning  Blackbird has spoken like the first bird  Praise for the singing  Praise for the morning  Praise for them springing fresh from the world.’ 

Yes friends, a brand new day has indeed dawned, just like the first one did eons ago, and will continue to do until the Lord decides otherwise! And I do hope that we are thankful for being allowed to see this new day, especially knowing that so many good things can and will happen to us, and through us to others. Glory to God! 

What a wonderful Deity we serve and worship! There is NO other like Him! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us, my brethren, especially when He didn’t have to! But the undying and unconditional LOVE in His heart wouldn’t allow Him to just let us be destroyed in sinful turmoil without giving us a chance to be redeemed and spend eternity with Him. 

That’s why Bruh David could write the last two verses of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God – with such boldness and authority. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:7-8) 

Wonderful words of assurance friends, which carry over even in to today’s tumultuous and evil world for each and every believer in Jesus Christ! Yes, if we are true followers of Jesus, then we can make the same boast on His glorious name! 

And Bruh David wasn’t shy to declare his trust in God. Listen to him from Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God. ‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:5-6) 

Ah mih people, are we brave and bold and faithful enough to make such declarations? We ought to be, if Christ is our Lord and Saviour. But I guess too many of us supposed believers are smitten by fear of what the world can do to us, but the Bible tells us oodles of times, ‘FEAR NOT!’ Somebody says it’s listed there 365 times, one time for each day of the year. 

And Jesus specifically said to the disciples: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) That’s the Lord God Jehovah my people! If we need to fear anyone, that’s whom we should be afraid of because He has the power to destroy us six ways from Sunday. 

But then listen to Bruh Paul’s words as he encourages Timothy on the subject. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) God has given us the ability to do whatever he wills, my brethren, so there is no need to let fear overcome us. And if we do become afraid, then just do whatever it is afraid. (smile) The Lord will see you through. 

Oh people of Christ, our world is in a sad, cruel and evil mess, and only we Christians can clean it up. But to do so successfully, we have to stand together strong and steadfast in Jesus name, unafraid of what the world will do or say. Otherwise we’re just wasting our time and energy. So today I implore us to get together in our local communities and get a move on nuh, with establishing Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. It’s the only hope for our world! Much LOVE!

…enough talk now…time for more serious action from Christians…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2017 Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38.   Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.

Awright friends, it’s the first day of the week; the best day of the week; the most restful and peaceful day of the week; the day when we choose to gather most in praise and fellowship to Almighty God! And if you haven’t figured out what day it is as yet, well it’s Sunday! Glory Be! The Lord’s Day; the Sabbath; the day the Lord rested…after a week of hard labour. (smile) And that’s what He requires of us; a day of rest, where we spend most of our time and energy concentrating on Him. And today is that day! 

So let’s open the proceedings as always with a song of praise, that old hymn, ‘Rise up O men of God,’ written by William Pierson Merrill in the early 20th century. But have you ever noticed that the old hymns sound more powerful and sacred than the newer ones? Perhaps because they were written in a time when we were holier and more righteous, had more time for God; more reverence, more respect, and we weren’t trying to remove Him from our society. 

Anyway, let’s burst out in song, in sacrificial praise, sing these words like we truly mean them, because Christ’s church badly needs to rise up in these amoral and sinful times. Let’s raise the roof with harmonious voices: ‘Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings. 

Rise up, O men of God! The kingdom tarries long. Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong. Rise up, O men of God! The church for you doth wait, her strength unequal to her task; rise up, and make her great! Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where his feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of Man, rise up, O men of God!’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know if there has been any other time in the church’s history that it’s members have needed to rise up and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ more than now nuh! The church is filled with too many divisions, too many religions which also have too many denominations and/or sects, too many bad leaders, false prophets and con-men, and everybody is teaching their own brand or slant, or scam of Christ’s supposed message. And the evil ones are just laughing their heads off as they divide and conquer us. 

Oh my fellow believers, until Christians come together and get rid of the distrust and petty discord that separates us, until we truly ‘Lift high the cross of Christ,’ and ‘Tread where He has trod,’ we will never retake the world for Christ. But that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today’s sermon is based on the God-like attitude of GIVING as described in our Bit. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ 

And before we try to dissect Jesus’ words, let’s look at how the Lord gave to us nuh. First it was the breath of life, then LOVE, the sinless life of his Son Jesus Christ, while we were yet sinners, mercy, grace, salvation, eternal life etc. etc. All those things that we did not and could never deserve, the Lord gave to us out of the generosity of His wonderful heart. Wow! 

So I don’t see how in all reason, common sense, devotion and LOVE for Him we can afford to be selfish, ungrateful, unkind, greedy and not wanting to give with a generous heart; one supposedly made in the image of His heart. And it’s not rocket science friends. All Jesus is saying, is that the same way you give, it will be given back to you. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you give out of a generous heart, you will be rewarded with generosity. Out of a grudging and greedy heart, you’ll receive grudgingly. 

And one of the best illustrations of this in the Good book is Bruh Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, re God LOVES a cheerful giver. Read with me: ‘Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before (on ahead) unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty (beautiful gift), whereof ye had notice (promised) before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty (generosity), and not as of covetousness (grudging obligation). 

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall also reap bountifully (generously). Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor.9:5-8) 

It couldn’t get any clearer than that my brethren! Remember, it’s all based on attitude and motive; ‘a willing heart and a sincere desire to participate in the offering.’ Your giving must not be done because of what you think you’ll receive in return, or you are compelled to give. 

And please note, as the scholars point out, Bruh Paul is not advocating “prosperity theology,” that is, that every generous believer will be financially wealthy.’ If you read the rest of the chapter you’ll see that it only promises that you will prosper by all your needs being met financially, so that you can keep on giving (vs.8), and spiritually, that you’ll increase in everything (vs.12) 

Anyway friends, let’s just remember that the Lord looks at the state of our hearts and not just our talk or outward actions before He makes any decision pertaining to us. So let’s try and clean up our hearts nuh. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a truly generous heart…begets true generosity in return…Christianity 101…

 

 

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 28 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.     But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Awright my people, it’s the big day, Sunday, the Sabbath, a day of praise and worship! So let’s get straight to it nuh, let’s sing this popular song of praise and worship by Rick Founds, ‘Lord I lift Your name on high.

With strong voices and sincere hearts let’s allow our song to rise to heaven and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart as we praise and glorify His awesome majesty, magnify His holy name and give Him thanks for all that’s He’s done for us. 

‘Lord I lift Your name on high  Lord I love to sing Your praises  I’m so glad You’re in my life  I’m so glad You came to save us You came from Heaven to earth  To show the way  From the earth to the cross  My debt to pay  From the cross to the grave  From the grave to the sky  Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high…’ 

Beautiful my people, truly beautiful! Heaven had to be moved by such an outpouring of praise and thanksgiving! Now since I couldn’t share yesterday, the two of our friend Anselm’s quotes that I usually share, I’ll include one today. And it simply says: ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ 

So true friends, so true! We all know that when one door closes another is usually opened, but we pine for what’s behind the closed door so much, especially if it was good, that ofttimes we can’t see, or are not even aware of the newly opened door. We’ve got to learn that when God shuts a door, we’re to leave it alone, look elsewhere for the next thing He has earmarked for us. 

But, sadly, being creatures of habit and comfort, allergic to change, we still yearn and hunger for what’s behind the closed door, although deep down we know that the Lord has something better waiting for us through the newly opened door. Yes my brethren, we have to keep looking forward not backward. 

As they say, the Lord brings certain things and people into our lives for a reason and/or a season, but when that time is up, and He shuts that door, we have to let whatever it is go and move on. Otherwise we’ll spend our lives miserable, wanting and wishing for what is no longer available to us. End of sermon! (smile) 

Let’s turn to our Bit; the same one we’ve had for the last couple days. Why, you ask? Because it’s such an important scripture, one on which our basic faith is based, and thus there are several references to it throughout the Good Book. And more importantly, it is very appropriate for these evil and ungodly times in which we’re now living. 

Just listen to the great promise it contains. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what a glorious promise that is from our magnanimous and merciful God! In our most sinful times, our times of trials and tribulations, of disobedience and idolatry, it is yet possible to seek Jehovah God, through confession and repentance, a sincere heart and soul and find Him. Wow! 

Oh friends, that’s something our world needs to take advantage of RIGHT NOW because everything is falling down around us. War and strife, poverty, hunger, persecution, homelessness, failing economies, failing families and societies; those are the things that are currently colouring, are currently prominent in our world. 

Things like LOVE, peace, harmony, compassion, understanding and helping each other are unfortunately on the way out. And the ONLY way to change the negative aspects of our world is to turn to God in true repentance and receive His graceful forgiveness. 

Now hear this warning of the prophet Azariah to the Israelites. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa (the king) and said unto him. Hear ye me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 

Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their troubles did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.’ (2 Chr.15:1-4)  

Ah friends, although the Israelites were stiff-necked, stubborn and hard-headed and often disobeyed God, when the rough times, meaning God’s punishment, really caught up to them, they were smart enough to return to worshipping the God of their fathers. Now why can’t we recognize our serious plight and realize that God’s hand is working against us and turn back to Him eh? 

The Israelites did it several times, and each time He welcomed them back with opened arms. He will certainly do the same for us, that is, if we can wake up before our entire world falls down, disintegrates around us. And it all depends on us my fellow believers in Christ, through the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20), we are supposed to spread the good news of Christ all over the world. And right now we have the tools to do it. 

So let’s get serious nuh, put our hands to the plough and just move forward with the saving grace of Christ’s LOVE Revolution. He is depending on His church to fight the good fight…and win it too. 

Now let’s end with a rather appropriate piece of scripture, words of our wonderful God, after He had spoken to the Israelites out of the mountain of fire, and they were all afraid. And the Lord said unto Moses. ‘O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!’ (Deut.5:29) 

That says it all friends! Now let’s go out and do our best for Jesus, because that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…only true LOVE…in the guise of Jesus…can save our fast deteriorating world…

 

 

 

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