Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
And on this first Saturday in the new year, there is a veneer, a patina of snow on the ground. (smile) Oh, it’s not much, but we haven’t seen any for a few days now because the temperature has been around 4 or 5 since New Year’s Eve. But let’s not get too complacent, these are the northern climes in the winter season, and as such, are supposed to receive a fair amount of snow. So though climate change has somewhat disrupted the schedule, don’t worry, we will get our fair share eventually. (smile) 

And with that prognostication – what a way the ole fella using big words this morning! Just hope he’s using them right. (smile) So let’s stay prepared! Anyway, it’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he continues aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he’s certainly waxed long and wise this past week. 

Hear this first one: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ Now how can I find any fault with that eh, since it calls for sincere belief, endurance and perseverance, three of the most important aspects of a believer’s life. 

My only comment is that I hope our biggest fantasy, well not really a fantasy, but rather a goal, is to walk closer with Jesus this new year of 2020! Now if we do that, then things will be awesome, the Lord will work out everything for good, as He’s so faithfully promised! Glory Be! And following on from that, is this gospel true quote. ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Now friends, that is an eternal truth we can never escape! All of us want to be great. But too many of us don’t realize that to be a notch or two above the ordinary also takes more sacrifices than it does to be just ordinary. Take a close look at the lives of any great person, and you’ll see the abnormal amount of sacrifices he or she made to reach the level we consider great. Rising up in this life was never, and will never be easy. Look at Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God; His achieved His greatness at considerable sacrifice, the ultimate in sacrifice, His sinless life. 

And as followers of His, we are also called to make sacrifices. Most likely not as much, or as painful as He did, but definitely some that will indeed hurt our flesh. So, if we want to truly follow Jesus this year my brethren, we have to be prepared to make some serious sacrifices, not merely talking a good talk, because walking in His footsteps calls for exactly that! And this next quote is long but wise and very doable, and one we should all try to implement, with Jesus’ help of course. 

Listen up: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. Things to think about for 2020: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ 

And it’s rather unfortunate, but quite true, that ALL of us can take those six steps to heart this new year and implement them in our lives! But please remember that the most important step is the last one: ‘PRAY!’ Yes friends, prayer is ever so important because it means serious communication with God; the source, the fountainhead of all that we are, of our very being; the holy, immortal and omnipotent One who fashioned us in His celestial image, and breathed His awesome breath of life into our dirt based bodies! 

So having said all of that, here’s the last quote: ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for you to get it right.’ And what do we mean by that? Well two scriptures stand out in my mind right now. The first is Jesus’ assurance to his disciples, and consequently to us His modern-day followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And so He has my fellow believers. He has defeated hell, death and the grave, and has the keys of both heaven and hell attached to his key ring, so we don’t have to worry about anything, just  receive His awesome peace that passes all the understanding our puny and finite minds can muster, and be cheerful because of all the wonderful things He’s done on our behalf. 

But nonetheless this next scripture is the one that will really cause us to enjoy all the blessings, and endure with strong faith, all the ‘sufferation’ that’s inherent in a believer’s life. Again, the wise advice of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Now my people, that’s our first step for this new year. Please, let’s take it, and take it very seriously, so that our greatly disturbed, badly directed, desperate world and all therein, can benefit from God’s goodness! Much LOVE!

…2020…must be the year…we sincerely talk the talk…and even more importantly…walk the walk…in Jesus’ name… Amen!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2019 Psalm 34:3.

Psalm 34:3.    ​O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
 

A good Sunday morning to all of you, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Hope you are still revelling in the Christmas season that the incarnate birth of Christ brought us, and are eagerly looking forward to the New Year, when you will grow in faith and do even more sincere work in His name! (smile) And I pray that it will all culminate today in your visiting His house, His sanctuary, wherever two or three are gathered in His name, to fellowship with other believers, giving Him high praise and thanks for all that’s He’s done for us; for being such a wonderful and LOVING God to us undeserving children of men! 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song. But first, hear the story of how we came to pick it today nuh. It’s a song I heard on YouTube a few weeks ago and it just resonated with me everlasting, (smile) and I knew that we’d have to sing it one day. But Christmas was upon us, and it wasn’t in the Christmas spirit. But a couple days ago, while lying on my bed contemplating life and communing with the Lord, I asked Him what song He wanted us to sing this week, and in no time flat, the answer shot back at me…‘Psalm 34!’ And I went ‘Wow! Yes Lord. No problem there at all!’ 

Ah friends, you all know Bruh David’s famous psalm, where he narrowly escaped death (1 Sam.21) and penned the magnificent paean, song of praise to our great God. Now the songwriter, Shane Barnard reworked it into something he calls: ‘Psalm 34: O Taste and See that the Lord is good.’ And the version I saw was done by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, at least a hundred strong, if not more. And believe me, it was bad: the band, big and powerful, was bad; the choir ditto, and the two young black men singing lead were obviously bad too! (smile) 

I guess you can tell how much I liked it. And I’m sure the first time Bruh David heard that rendition he was pleased as punch, and was dancing in the aisles, like when he brought home the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and his wife Michal abhorred his low class behaviour. (2 Sam. 6:16) Reminds me of some of the times the duchess abhorred mine. (smile) But like Bruh David told Michal when she accosted him; He was dancing before the Lord, and would continue to do so.’ (2 Sam. 6:20-23) And so was I. (smile) 

Anyhow friends, enough talk, let’s get to the music…and please help me to do it justice…in a mid tempo, harmonious, soulful, soaring song of praise to our great God. As Bruh David proclaimed: ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ Let’s do that now as one, strong voice: ‘I sought the Lord And He answered me And delivered me From every fear. Those who look on Him Are radiant They’ll never be ashamed They’ll never be ashamed. This poor man cried And the Lord heard me And saved me from My enemies. 

The Son of God Surrounds His saints He will deliver them He will deliver them. Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. Oh taste and see That the Lord is good Oh blessed is he Who hides in Him. Oh fear the Lord Oh all you saints He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. (Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. Repeat) 

(Let us bless the Lord Every day and night Never ending praise May our incense rise. Repeat 4 times) Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. {Repeat} Oh taste and see That the Lord is good. He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. Oh taste and see That the Lord is good. He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. …He’ll give you everything…’ 

And He most definitely will my people if you magnify and exalt His holy name! Now ours was also a wonderful rendition! And I’m sure Bruh David was dancing in the aisles to it too. Oh friends, there’s nothing as uplifting as exalting and praising our great God in song. And I think He likes it too, judging from the many great worship songs in His Word. And how can we not magnify and exalt the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when Bruh David, wrote such encouraging words, and from personal experience to boot. 

Listen to these words: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear (reverence) him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps. 34:3-10) 

Yes friends, immortal and wise words to live by! And if you doubt them, just look at Bruh David’s life nuh: though he had some rough times and made mistakes, just like us, he never lacked for God’s mercy or grace in his life, because He knew on which side his bread was buttered. That’s why I want to remind us this morning that likewise, our bread is buttered on God’s side, not on the foolish Satan’s. So please let’s be wise and follow Bruh David’s words and reverence the Lord God Almighty with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds nuh, so that we can enjoy His mercy, grace and everlasting favour. Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…with all thine heart…and lean not unto thine own understanding… (Prov.3:5) 

P.S. Please check out the song on You Tube and you’ll understand why it touched me so mightily. (smile) I can’t describe it adequately with words. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2019 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.    ​Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 

Oh friends, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating and depressing than waking up excitedly to greet the new day only to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground! Chuh! And it only gets more annoying, frustrating and depressing when you look out and see the small, weightless, white flakes still falling effortlessly to God’s great earth! I’m chuckling here, but you know that once the white stuff flies, lives will undoubtedly become more serious and dangerous, because it looks good when it just covers the land, but it can certainly be the devil’s associate when you have to venture out in it. 

It’s a good thing we have Jesus yes, that awesome shepherd, who leads and guides His flock with masterful precision…! Give Him some thanks and praise people, for He’s certainly deserving of it! And isn’t it strange, but certainly wonderful, how in the northern climes when the snow flies, that’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus? Glory be mih brethren! The ole fella’s getting excited…so yuh better hold me back! I need to do like Jeeves says, have a modicum of circumspection… 

Nah, I don’t think so. When you’re excited about Jesus, you just have to let it flow! (smile) So we going to do just that by continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth, His supernatural conception in His mother Mary’s womb, the wonderful incarnation where He, Jesus, God, became flesh (incarnate) to come and dwell amongst sinful man, to personally experience our hardships and then gloriously deliver us from them through His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross, His triumphant resurrection on that wonderful Easter morn, and then His ascension back to heaven to be our friend and advocate at the Father’s right hand! 

How could it get any better than that eh mih people? No way Jose! We now have another, newer and much better option than his satanic majesty. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling when people refuse to believe in Jesus, and even go so far as to blaspheme His holy name and try to kick Him out of our society! Steups! What stupidity! Anyway, they will get their comeuppance in due time, because as the ole people say; time longer than twine, and when the good Lord ready, in His time, He will make all wrong things right. 

Now yuh see, all yuh get me so excited that I’ve gotten away from what we suppose to be talking about! (smile) And that’s the momentous occasion when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her about her favoured condition with God and the virgin birth she would have. And having listened to Gabriel’s spiel with, no doubt, bated breath, Mary finally found her voice. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’ Oh what a most plausible question, back in those times that is. Today we do that all the time through artificial insemination.  

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35-36) And so it should be, because the sperm that inseminated Mary was of God the Father, and we characterize children by their fathers, so it’s a no brainer that Jesus should be considered the Son of God. (smile) 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:35. By a process we cannot explain, Mary will find herself with child through no human agency. Conceived by God, Jesus would be of sinless nature, though no less human due to that fact.’ Wow! Both God and man at the same time! How marvellous! That means He could appreciate our trials and tribulations because He also suffered them, though He did not sin! Isn’t our God wonderful and ever so imaginative and far sighted? That’s why his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. 

And to prove my point, listen to this bit of news that Gabriel shared with Mary to boost her spirit. ‘And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) Yuh see how our great God moves in mysterious ways? Elisabeth had been barren for all of her life, but like Sara and Hannah, in her old age she was blessed with one of God’s special people, John the Baptist; Christ’s forerunner; the one lighting His way, crying out from the wilderness: ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Yeh friends, our God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knew that when Mary heard of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, her spirit would be boosted. And in my humble opinion, there’s no more touching, heartfelt and faith-showing scripture than Mary’s answer to the mind-blowing info she’d just received. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Mama Mia! What faith and trust and surrender in such a young woman! Even today we’d have serious problems with such a situation. But can you imagine the negative connotations that held for her in a small Jewish town; betrothed, but unmarried and with child, and supposedly not her betrothed’s child either? But she didn’t whinge and whine; just said, so be it. I do hope that Mary’s story will speak to us today and raise our level of faith, because it’s such a faith inducing epic. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us who live and breathe to do His holy Will. As one, in strong voice, believing as we speak: ‘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!’ 

Now don’t forget, we’re not to hoard those God-given blessings, but to share them generously with others! Much LOVE!

…what a wonderful world this would be…if our faith was as big as Mary’s…

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…

 

 

 

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