Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Time to refuel once again friends; time to revitalize our spiritual energy with a visit to the Lord’s house this Sunday morning, or evening, where in fellowship with other believers, we give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, hear His awesome Word, filled with wisdom and encouragement and come away strong and confident, empowered to face our turbulent world for another seven days, diligently doing His holy will! Hn, hn! I like that sentence; though it’s long, it’s chocked full of truth! And as believers in Jesus Christ, that ought to be a major priority in our lives. As Bruh David says in Psalm 25: ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.’ (Ps.25:10) If you are a true believer, you certainly can’t deny that. 

Anyway, let’s get on with the praise and worship, beginning, as always, with a song of heartfelt LOVE being floated up to heaven. And today’s song is an old favourite, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,’ written by none other than John Newton (1725-1807); the licentious sailor, slave trader, abolitionist and priest, who contributed numerous songs to our Hymn Book, the most famous being the immortal, ‘Amazing Grace.’ So let’s sing out our souls in all sincerity to Jesus, letting Him know how much we LOVE, adore and appreciate Him. 

As one voice, in perfect harmony: ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Ah friends, there’s really no sweeter sound to a believer’s ear than that magical, mysterious, powerful and all-encompassing name of Jesus! Give Him much heartfelt thanks and praise for all He’s done for us miserable, sinful human beings nuh. I guess because of Newton’s ungodly early life, he was able to hit the nail on the head when writing this hymn. Most likely Jesus did it all for him; soothed his sorrows, healed his wounds, drove away his fear. I’m sure He made whole his wounded spirit and calmed his troubled breast…and undoubtedly, He was manna to his hungry soul, and in his weariness, gave him peaceful rest. And yuh know what my people, Jesus will do the same for each and everyone of us, if we will just accept Him into our hearts and be obedient to His will. 

Listen to some of the awesome, but oh so truthful statements that Jesus made in His time here on earth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) Right there the situation is explained in living colour: only through Jesus, by believing in Him, and living a lifestyle in concert with His, will we ever get to see the Father’s face and behold His immaculate glory! Then hear Him on the shepherd scene: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:14-15) And did He ever lay down His sinless life in a most sacrificial manner for us, the sinful and willful sheep of His pasture! 

And as for obedience, hear Him: ‘A new commandment I give to you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He also emphasized the LOVE factor later on in talking about the Holy Spirit. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:15-16)  And He kept His promise, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer today! 

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world like Jesus’ 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 and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Coming obediently to Jesus is wisest way to find rest friends! I can certainly vouch for that, and so too can many of you. 

And if you want more, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15); the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev.1:8); The name above every name, to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) He is also our Advocate, our lawyer in heaven. ‘And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1b) Glory be mih breddren! 

And finally, Jesus is also our High Priest: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God’ let us hold fast our profession (confession) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’  (Heb. 4:14-16) That’s the best advice to end with today friends! Please pay significant heed to it. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is our Be All…and our End All…our Everything in ONE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2019 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.    ​Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.
 

Brother, it’s Saturday and I’m up early to write the Bit so that I can go to a Pentecost Prayer breakfast at my church, though I would have liked to sleep in some. But them’s the breaks. And it’s usually a good time and well attended, so no worries really. Oh, and Alyssa is home from the hospital, doing fairly well, as well as can be expected after major surgery. She sends her thanks for all the prayers you sent up to heaven on her behalf, and wouldn’t mind some more for a speedy not so painful recovery. (smile) 

And yuh better believe that the workingman was in seventh heaven yesterday afternoon when he got home and found that it was a wonderful summer’s day! I can just imagine how he quickly threw on his short shorts and tank top, then went outside and fired up the barbecue, threw on his meats, then sat quietly, or listening to some joyful music, sipping some brewskis and contemplating life, while the meat sizzled on the grill. Now is that the life or what! 

And I’m sure the same thing will be happening all around the place today, as it seems to be another nice day in the offing. Wow! Three nice days in a row! That’s what you called blessed! (smile) But enough with the small talk, because it’s Saturday and our friend Anselm sent us a whole slew of quotes this week, and some long ones too. So let’s get to them nuh, showing our appreciation for his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And here is the first one: ‘I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.’ And I couldn’t agree more. Jesus also agrees, because negative and jealous people only drag you down, while you are trying to build yourself up. And to be a follower of Jesus, you must be a positive thinker, because He was the most positive thinking person that ever lived. He had to be, since He was the Son of God, and in God there is no negativity. 

Then there is this related quote. ‘Spending time with negative people can be the fastest way to ruin a good mood. Their pessimistic outlooks and gloomy attitude can decrease our motivation and change the way we feel. But allowing a negative person to dictate your emotions gives them too much power in your life. Make a conscious effort to choose your attitude.’ Ah friends, all of that is so true! And a successful life is based so much on our attitude toward our situations and circumstances, we can’t give others the leeway to make us become a negative person. 

And thus we have to make a conscious effort to resist negativity, because ‘It’s not the situation, but whether we react negatively or respond positively to the situation that is important.’ Yeh mih people, many of us face the same basic situations, but our responses to them vary a lot, thus our results also vary a lot. And those who have a positive outlook, with Jesus as their anchor and foundation, usually have better outcomes. No ifs and buts about that! 

Therefore, ‘Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!’ Oh friends, remember God spoke the world into existence, that means words are powerful, and what we say, usually comes to pass. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly tells us: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

And as Jesus also informs us: ‘For by words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’ (Matt.12:37) So if we keep saying negative things about ourselves it’s obvious that our lives will proliferate with negative stuff. Now we don’t have to go overboard and get narcissistic with it, (smile) but a healthy dose of self-LOVE and self-confidence goes a long way towards brightening our lives. 

And instead of celebrating our faults and failures, let’s start celebrating our good points and successes, even though they may be few. Jesus didn’t die for us to lead a miserable, negative and unhappy existence, but for us to enjoy life, in abundance, with joy and laughter uppermost in our lives. So let’s do that nuh. 

And to successfully accomplish that goal, the first thing we need to do is to think right thoughts, as our last quote reminds us. ‘I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the answer to our many problems right there; our thoughts! We need to understand that the battle for supremacy over our lives begins right in our minds. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) calls it: ‘The Battlefield of the Mind!’ And count on Cousin Sol to have a word on it. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7) 

Yes friends, as we think, so are we! Whatever is uppermost in our minds, is the direction in which we will generally be led. That’s why the enemy keeps flooding our minds with all of his deceit and lies, for he knows that if we think on them, we will eventually end up going in that direction. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Philippians, and consequently us, thus: ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil.4:8-9) 

It couldn’t be put any clearer than that my fellow saints in Christ. As the scholars explain: ‘In order to keep God’s peace, the readers must occupy their minds with the right things (v8) and busy themselves with the right activities (v.9).’ Now it’s all up to us to integrate those attitudes into our lives. Much LOVE!

…one must make a conscious decision…to think right…and to do right…they won’t happen by osmosis…(smile)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2019 Psalm 109:4.

Psalm 109:4.   For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
 

Well at long , last, yesterday we had a sunny and dry day from begin to end! Glory Be! Let’s hope today will be the same. But who knows what the finicky weather will do these days eh? Anyway it’s Monday… and you know what that means – to labour, to labour, and yet to labour! 

Yes, it’s unfortunate that we need to labour, and labour so much and so often, (smile) but the truth of the matter is if we don’t labour, we won’t eat, nor have a roof over our heads. And having settled the question of labouring, (smile) let’s get on with life, get ourselves together and go out and labour, in Jesus’ glorious name. 

And yes, some of us will always have problems on a Monday morning, but thankfully we have this wonderful antidote for all of Monday’s ills, called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a crying out in prayer, in confidence, to our heavenly Father, who’s faithfully promised to hear and answer us whenever we come to Him humbly and reverently outlining our needs.  

So let’s do just that right now nuh; call on Him as one: ‘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!’ 

And as always, our heavenly Father answers by getting the Holy Spirit, which dwells within us, to ramp up His efforts of positive production in our souls so that we can step higher and lighter, throw our shoulders back with confidence and enthusiasm, while a holy fire lights up our eyes! Yes friends, we’re now ready to go out and do victorious battle against the enemy, all in Jesus’ name! 

Never doubt the power of prayer…neither the faithfulness of our omnipotent God! That’s why Bruh David made this immortal statement: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ Oh friends, we could never go wrong by declaring (steups – wrong again!) that same statement in sincerity and heartfelt truth. For like Bruh David, we ought to know where our bread is buttered…at the throne of the Most High God Jehovah! 

And Bruh David reinforced all of that with this other immortal statement: ‘O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.’ (Ps.65:2) Ah mih people, our God does hear prayer! That’s the way He set up communications with us, and we should be wise and knowledgeable, and mature enough in faith to go to Him with ALL problems, because that’s exactly what He desires. 

And Jesus, as He is ever wont to do, states it so clearly and plainly: ‘And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Now that’s not me, but the Son of God making that bold statement! And if anybody should know about prayers and having them answered, it should be Him! 

But please note the one stumbling block in His statement; the word ‘believing.’ Yes mih people, when making those prayers to Almighty God, we have to believe that we will receive what we pray for. And Jesus is not talking about, frivolous, greedy, selfish prayers either, but serious stuff that we truly need.  

And that wasn’t the end of His wonderful advice either. Listen up, as Luke informs us: ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto this end, that men ought always to pray, and to not faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) There again friends, if the Son of God makes such a definitive pronouncement, who are we mere sinful mortals to disagree eh? 

And we all know Jesus’ other famous pronouncement on prayer: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:7-8) 

I don’t know about you nuh my fellow believers, but that is sweet music to my ears! Just keep on asking and seeking and knocking in prayer and I will be rewarded! I know to some of us it sounds too good to be true, but please remember Jesus is not a man to lie or make false promises, so if He says so, it is so! Matter fix! 

And just for good measure, as a lagniappe or brawtha, (not sure about that last spelling) (smile) here are a couple of admonitions from Bruh Paul on the subject. To the Thessalonians he said in no uncertain terms: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) And to Timothy, he exhorts: ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

So that seals the matter; we ought to keep on praying, anywhere and all the time in true belief, never get tired or give up! Much LOVE!

…sincere prayer…truly nectar for our souls…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 
Yes mih people, it’s a brand new day, and it ‘s cold out there, but the sun’s shining and the ole fella didn’t want to get up this morning, but like the obedient soldier that he is, he forced himself to get up so he could get these precious words of godly wisdom out to you at a reasonable hour. 

Wow! That’s why they say b.s. baffles brains! (smile) But I guess I was just tired from my outing in the big city yesterday, which went quite well, as it ought to, since the Lord carried me there on His broad, strong shoulders and brought me back safe and sound. That’s what He promised, and that’s what He delivered! Yuh know He’s One to always keep His promises. 

And today, on this second day of Lent, we’ll continue to look at the temptations that Satan threw at Jesus in His hungry state in the wilderness during His forty days and nights of fasting. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

We saw yesterday where in the first major temptation Satan tried to get Jesus to make bread from stone to curb His hunger, but He came back with Old Testament scripture stating that man doesn’t live by bread alone but by God’s Word. (Matt.4:4; Deut.8:3) 

 Satan’s next attempt to get Jesus to sin was as the Good Book says: ‘Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Matt.4:5-6) 

What a crook and con artist is the devil eh! There he uses scripture incorrectly to tempt Jesus, and does the same thing to us nowadays, in his very deceitful manner. Friends, what we need to realize is that the devil knows scripture much better than us and thus can use it in deceitful ways to trap us. But we have to do like Jesus and stop him in his tracks with powerful statements like Jesus did: ‘Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.’ (Matt.4:7) 

There Jesus retorted with scripture from Deut.6:16, where Moses reminded the Israelites: ‘Ye shall not tempt (test) the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.’  When they were ready to rebel and stone him and Aaron and go back to Egypt and the Lord was ready to destroy them but withheld His wrath on Moses’ plea. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of those verses above. ‘4:5-7. The second temptation took place in the holy city (Jerusalem) on the pinnacle of the temple, which towered above the Kidron Valley. Evidently, Jesus was transported there by Satan’s power, and this time the devil quoted Scripture (out of context) in order to get Him to sin and ultimately shake His faith in the Word. 

Satan used Psalm 91:11-12 urging Jesus to cast thyself down. Again Jesus replied with Scripture (Deut.6:16) that he was not to tempt…God by such a presumptuous action. The very passage of scripture quoted by Satan actually goes on to promise God’s ultimate victory over him!’ 

And because I’m so sweet and LOVING and like to spoon-feed you all, (smile) I’ll quote the scriptures that the ole crook Satan used in his second temptation on Christ. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); 

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra): the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample underfoot.’ (Ps.91:9-13) 

Yes friends, that same serpent that the Lord promised us we should tread upon is the devil, Satan himself! So as I said earlier on, we have to be very careful when he comes to tempt us, because he knows his scripture and can use it in very deceitful ways to cause us to fall into all kinds of evil and temptation. 

The only way to cancel that out is for us to know our scripture too, so like Christ, when the con-man brings his deceitful scripture to us, we can blast him back like Jesus did! That means we have to keep on seriously and steadfastly studying and meditating on the word, so we can recall it at a moment’s notice, because oftimes we don’t have much time to make our decisions, and the sooner we can call up scriptures to help us, the better off we will be. 

Now let’s move on to this most wonderful part of Today’s Bit, where we declare (right ho) our Thursday Blessings. As one, in strong voice and sincere, heartfelt sense of purpose: ‘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 friends, just having any one of those blessings is sufficient, but our Lord and God is so generous and magnanimous that He lavished oh so much more on us! Wow!  What a wonderful God we serve and worship! But wait a minute here, don’t get too carried away, those blessings aren’t only for us to hoard and keep, but more importantly for us to share, and generously too like Him, with others less fortunate than us. So let’s go out and do just that now nuh and show our true Christian nature to the fullest! Much LOVE!

…to give.. is so much better than…to receive…it brings more joy to the heart and soul…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   ​Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 

Well friends, the ole fella is up much earlier than he would have liked, but that’s because I have to go into the city to check on this ole heart of mine, to keep the appointment I missed during the big snow storm last week. And since I don’t want leave you all bereft of spiritual succour for too long, (smile) I had to get up earlier to write the Bit and get out on time. Last week it was an afternoon appointment, so I had time to palaver, but this week it’s in the morning. That’s how much the ole fella cares about you! Glory to God! 

So what shall we talk about this Wednesday morning, this Ash Wednesday morning, when all the frivolities and sinfulness of Carnival finish eh? I don’t have a clue! (smile) Hope those of you who participated in the festivities, wherever in the world, had a good time and didn’t go too much overboard and thus give the enemy some ungodly purchase in your souls, because it’s very easy to do that when you let your hair down, as so many of us do, at Carnival time. 

But now it’s the season of Lent in the Christian calendar; forty days and forty nights, a reflection of Jesus forty days and nights in the wilderness before He began His ministry and was tempted by Satan, but stood strong in His resolve to do the Father’s work. It’s a time where we hopefully get more spiritual, contemplate the things of God more, get into Bible Studies and spend more serious time with God. 

It’s when fasting and praying and self-examination become a larger part of our lives. The popular action is to give up things we enjoy for Lent. I don’t know if it really makes a difference to most of us, who just do it because it’s the norm, but if it helps to bring us closer to God, then so be it. Now let’s look at what happened to Jesus in the wilderness and how He handled it all. 

The Good Book says: ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

And the scholars have a long, involved explanation which I’ll share. ‘4:1. Following His public baptism, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness referring to the elevation of the Judean wilderness. The historical setting of the temptation, which was directed against Jesus’ human nature, indicates that this was a literal experience, which He really conquered, not merely a mental victory over His own thoughts. 

That Jesus was tempted of the devil is clearly presented as a fact. The attack against Christ’s humanity was a genuine temptation that would have overcome any ordinary man. However, Jesus was no mere man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (cf. 1 Sam.15:29), and this held His human nature in check. Some have objected that the impeccability of Christ (that He was not able to sin) denies the reality of Satan’s temptation. 

Such an objection is meaningless when one remembers that Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is nevertheless real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true of the temptation of Christ. One may attack a battleship with a canoe. The outcome of the attack will be certain defeat for the canoe, but the attack is nonetheless real.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus was indeed tempted of the devil, but did not succumb to that temptation, as the Good Book tells us. ‘And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered (hungry). And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:2-4) 

Yes my people, that temptation was real, and Jesus was there quoting Moses’ words of Deut.8:3, where he reminded the Israelites how the Lord humbled them in the wilderness and made them eat manna so that they could know that He was God, and that bread was not the most important thing in their lives, but His Word. As the scholars put it: ‘The source of bread, is more important than the bread itself.’ Oh so true my fellow believers! 

Before we close today though, I want to share some more of the scholars’ insight into Jesus fasting. ‘4:2-3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, a remarkable feat of human endurance, indicating the physical strength of the former carpenter. While the three major tests followed this period, other tests evidently had occurred throughout the 40 days (Luke 4:2). 

His real physical hunger serves as the setting for the first temptation by the tempter (Satan). The conditional clause, If thou be the Son of God, indicates Matthew’s purpose for including this record of Jesus’ victory: it proves that He is, in fact, the Son of God.’ 

Yes friends, He was indeed the Son of God, and Satan knew this to be a fact, that’s why He tried to break down His hungry human nature with the temptation of bread, knowing that a great victory would be his if Jesus succumbed. But instead Jesus stood strong and steadfast and rebuked the enemy and won the victory! All praise and honour to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Now friends, it’s our turn to stand strong and steadfast against the evil enemy! We don’t naturally have all the parts and power that Jesus had, but He’s faithfully promised that through His Holy Spirit, He will empower us to rebuke the tempter when He comes a calling in our earthly lives. And He’ll do just that if we sincerely turn to Him for help! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Wailing as one 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!’ 

Ah mih people, it will indeed be so very wonderful in those future times, that our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it! Think on it, and let Jesus warm the cockles of our hearts this Ash Wednesday morning! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time of personal introspection…and a closer look at the kingdom of God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2018 Psalm 91:12.

Psalm 91:12.   They shall bear thee up (lift you up) in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone.
 

Ah mih fellow believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, another Monday has dawned on us and many of us are, or were not ready to handle it. But as our Lord and Saviour said so often to His disciples in His earthly sojourn, ‘Fear NOT!’ Yes, we need not fear because He has given us the two most powerful weapons on this earth, that of words and of prayer! 

Remember He spoke this great universe into existence, and since we’re made in His wonderful image, and have been granted total control of the entire universe, our words therefore contain great power. So let’s be wise and invoke some of them nuh, beginning with enabling declarations, powerful acclamations, encompassing His most faithful promises to us.

 So please declare with me: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) ‘God will supply ALL my needs through His riches in glory, through Christ our Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil.4:19) ‘If God be for us, who can be against us eh?’ (Rom.8:31) Not a single soul mih people! Not a single evil soul has power over us unless we allow them to! That alone should boost our spirits! 

And this last one that just confirms everything else: ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Oh Glory to God my faithful brethren! The same omnipotent power that has allowed some ‘sufferation’ in our lives, is the same tower of grace, mercy and forgiveness who will eventually bring us out of it all and reward us with the glory of heaven, through His magnificent Son, Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of ALL things! Wowee, Wowee! (smile) 

Now let’s invoke that other eternal gift, the power of prayer, by declaring our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, our wonderful God will NEVER turn down such a heartfelt prayer request! And we know that’s true because we can now feel the adrenaline flowing through our bodies, as His Holy Spirit works His healing and enabling power in us! Give God the praise! 

And friends, the most logical place to continue is with these enlightening and most encouraging words of the psalmist from Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and a fortress. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up (lift you up) in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone.’ (Ps.91:9-12) 

And if you think our Bit isn’t important, just check out Matthew 4:6. Those are the very words Satan used to Jesus when he tried tempting Him to throw Himself off the temple roof. And don’t think that the prince of darkness doesn’t know the Good Book nuh; he knows it better than any of us! He knows how, why and when it was written because he plays a very pivotal role in it. And that’s why he has all those li’l tricks up his sleeve, why he can use the Word so deceptively to lead us astray. 

So our best defense is to also know the word, so that when he comes to us with his lies, innuendoes and deceptions, we can wave him off like Jesus did, and contemptuously declare: ‘It is written, Man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:4) And friends, that wasn’t an original Jesus saying nuh, it was based on Moses’ words to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3. 

And the other two times Jesus rebuked Satan, His words were also based on the Old Testament (Deut. 6:16 and Deut.6:13, 10:20, Josh.24:14). So please don’t think that Jesus just came spouting new stuff. Remember He was a devout Jew and His purpose for coming to earth was to fulfill the words of the prophets written in the Old Testament.  As He said, the Old Testament was written about Him, He saw Himself all over it. (smile) 

So friends, as we run our earthly race, let’s remember how Jesus ran His nuh, and strive to be like Him. It’s the only way that makes sense. He didn’t have it easy either, but He placed ALL His hope and faith in His heavenly Father. And if the Son of God could do that, we mere mortals, born of dust, would be foolish to do otherwise. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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