Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2020 Isaiah 54:13.

Isaiah 54:13.    ​And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
 
One more day friends… One more day to experience heaven right here on earth! Wow! That’s why Jesus came and died for us yes – so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) That means we don’t have to wait until we actually reach heaven to enjoy heaven; we can also get a slice of it right down here on this sinful earth, because of the salvation He died for us to have. We are now children of God; redeemed, reconciled, sanctified and justified by Christ’s death on the cross at Calvary; sealed by the Holy Spirit until forever! 

Wow! Thus, if you’re a born again child of the Most High God, then your life ought to be moving on a higher plane now. Not that you won’t have problems and trials, but because you will be able to overcome them with the awesome help of our wonderful God who has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5) 

And I just espied this wonderful scripture as I opened the Good Book in the writings of Isaiah, where he talks about the Lord’s everlasting LOVE for Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.’ (Is.54:13-14) Oh my fellow believers, yuh see that? Once again the Lord instills and impresses on us that we MUST TEACH the children about Him and His Word, since that’s the only way they will have peace on this earth. 

And you’ll surely notice that quite a lot of young people nowadays are tied up in uncertainty and don’t know where they’re going and are falling for all sorts of foolish and ungodly stuff, because we the parents have not taught them the Word of God as the Lord requires. Ah friends, the only way the Word of God can survive is if the next generation knows it and keeps passing it on. How do you think we got it eh? Because our parents instilled it in us. As Bruh David says in Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious – ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’ (Ps. 145:4) 

Oh my people, did our generation praise the works of the Lord to this current one and declare His mighty acts? Not as much as we ought to, else our children would not be as lost and vulnerable to every whim and fancy of this evil world, as they are today. And I know we don’t like to hear of or take the blame for the current situation, but the truth is a lot of it sits on our shoulders because of our reluctance, for whatever reason, to teach our children the Word of the Lord and tell them about his awesome doings. Just like we were told about them by our parents, we are responsible for telling our children. And unfortunately we have not come up to scratch in that department. 

Remember when you train up the children right, that even when they’re old, they’ll still remember what you taught them. That reminds me of the reggae song ‘August Town’ by Duane Stephenson, where he was a bad boy dealing with evil forces, more into guns and ammunitions and striving with God-fearing people, than following the Lord. That disheartens me some, because in my days in Jamaica, August Town, situated right below the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies was a decent enough place, not filled with the crime and violence Duane sings about. 

But as he says “For all the lives that I’ve taken, They can never be replaced, But still Jah Jah chose to remember my face. Though I never lived like He wanted, I’m still mindful of what he taught me. So now I beg and plead, I’m on my bended knees, Cause Father you rescued me.’  That’s what I’m talking about friends, as a child, he was obviously taught the Word, though He never chose to live it as an adult. But yuh see when life got really tough, when it got dark, because of His early training in the Word, he knew where to turn to for help, ‘the only spark, the light at the end of the road.’ 

And obviously, ever-faithful to His promise the Father rescued him. So though it might be a tad late for teaching our children about God, but certainly don’t stop trying with them, we should possibly concentrate more on our grandchildren; getting the Word into their hearts and souls as early as possible. Now Moses told the children of Israel that from the very beginning. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Yuh see friends, not only should we teach the children, and teach them diligently, but the Word should always be in our mouths and hearts and minds. That way we have them to quickly draw upon whenever we need them, which is almost constantly in these evil times. End of sermon! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, generously given to us so that we can also generously share them with others while doing God’s work. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s get it together nuh, and show the heathen world what true Christians are really like! They are just dying to see us like we ought to be, so they have a good example to follow! Much LOVE!

…we can only teach what we know…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2020 Revelation 21:6.

Revelation 21:6.    ​It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely.
 
Well it will be good to darken the church doors once again today, after a two week hiatus. Watching service on the tube is fine, but definitely not the same as actually being there in body and soul. The former lacks the personal touch where fellowship is concerned. And since I am an 18th century man, the technological aspect with television worship doesn’t thrill me as much as the personal interaction in a physical sanctuary. (smile) But be that as it may, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we all ought to find our way to His sanctuary sometime today to personally interact with fellow believers to praise and sing and worship Him and receive the awesome power of His Word in return. 

What a moving time that can be in a believer’s life, bringing him ever closer in His relationship to His Lord and His God! So let’s begin the proceedings as usual with a song of praise and worship. And today’s sacrifice of praise is an old but highly favoured one by the master of hymn writers, Charles Wesley, titled ‘LOVE Divine All LOVES Excelling.’ We all know it so let’s get serious and soulful, and in strong, harmonious and melodious voice (smile) offer up our song of praise. 

‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, joy of heav’n, to earth come down, fix in us Thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, Thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded LOVE Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter ev’ry trembling heart. Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find the promised rest. Take away the LOVE of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty. 

Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore Thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect LOVE. Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, LOVE, and praise.’ 

Oh friends, that was indeed a great rendition and heaven received it with great joy. Jesus, as always, blushes when we sing His praise, the Father smiles, and the Holy Spirit is the One working so astutely in us to get us singing with the right motives. And the song itself is like a compendium of Biblical quotes and attributes to our Three in One Godhead. Let’s see if we can pick out a few of each. It opens with Jesus being referred to as the ‘expression of divine LOVE.’ Then it talks about His compassion, His salvation, and the urgent need for His Second Coming so that our change to a new creation can be completed, and at last be sinless and finding the promised rest in Him. 

That possibly alludes to Jesus Great Invitation in Matt. 11:28. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ The new creation obviously refers to Bruh Paul’s words to the Corinthians. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) Yes friends, when we come to Christ we have to become new, changed, and give up some of the old things in our lives which don’t fit into Christ’s will. 

Then the Holy Spirit is cast as ‘the agent of sanctification,’ in the second verse. And the Father, the ‘source of life’ in the third verse. Meanwhile the casting of the crowns before God’s throne comes from Revelation 4:10-11 ‘The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns down before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created (for your will and pleasure they exist.’ And isn’t that the living truth! The Lord created the universe and all therein for His pleasure and purpose! 

So then we are gradually changed from glory to glory: ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) ‘The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord, just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant  the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

And then we come to Alpha and Omega. As Christ says to John in Revelation: ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful (cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.’ (Rev. 21:6-8) 

And the scholars offer some interesting explanations. ‘21: 6-8) It is done: The eternal purpose of God to gather a holy, devoted people for Himself has now been accomplished. Alpha and Omega: (see 1:8; 22:13. Beginning: God is the origin and source of all things (cf. Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12). End: He is also the goal or aim of all things. (cf. Rom.10:4).The water of life represents eternal sustenance and provision (cf. 22:1; Ps. 36:9; Is. 55:1; Jer. 2:13; John 4:14), available freely  by faith (22:17). 

He that overcometh is the one who has genuine, saving, persevering faith (cf. 2:11; 3:5; 1 John 5:4-5). He will inherit all that belongs to him as a son of God (cf. John 1:12; Rom. 8:16-17; Gal. 3:29; 4:7). But sinners, who have shown their rebellion against God by their lifestyle of sin, have already been cast into the lake of fire (20:12; cf. 22:15). The second death is eternal death (cf. 20:14).’ 

Brother was that ever hard to copy, but I did not want to deprive you of the references which can be an important part of understanding the scriptures. And now that we’ve all got it straight, it’s time to put it into serious operation, so that we’re not cast in the lake of fire to eternal death, obviously with the Lord’s help. Much LOVE!

…The Holy Trinity was there long before us…and will be there long after us…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2020 Psalm 119:103.

Psalm 119:103.    ​How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
 
And the snow flew during the night…and the snow is flying again now…making it all a pretty white picture! (smile) Ah friends, we have a mid-winter tradition about certain ground hogs, or woodchucks coming out of their lair on a certain day, and if they see their shadow or not, spring will either be here shortly, or it will take a while to come. 

Now I’m not sure which situation means what, (smile) but whatever the recent reaction was, meant that spring would soon be a coming. However, they didn’t say what kind of weather we’d have in between. Now that’s the cut-tail question. (smile) Spring might soon come, but we can have all sorts of bad weather before it comes. So the promise of an early spring doesn’t mean a blooming thing!  

But here’s what we ought to be more interested in…the Word of our wonderful God which helps us to successfully handle whatever situations or circumstances that come against us! As the psalmist so poignantly and truthfully says: ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.’ 

Wow mih people! Isn’t that something? Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Not many people. But it certainly is true. And why is that? The psalmist explains: ‘Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:104-105) 

Mama Mia! The rules and guidelines of God give us understanding and wisdom in living this earthly life, so clearly, that His Word appears to be like a lamp and a light guiding us on our everyday journey. What more can we ask for eh friends? Not a whole lot. 

But the problem is to get that wisdom and understanding we have to read, study and meditate on the Lord’s Word, so that we can have it indelibly instilled in our souls and spirits, and thus available to give us the guidance we need to go gratefully and confidently through this evil and ungodly world. 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 34, after escaping from Saul and running to the Philistines for succour. ‘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 (reverence) fear him.’ (Ps. 34:8-9) 

And Bruh David ought to know about trusting and reverencing God, since that’s what kept him alive for so long, both from Saul’s murdering intentions and the many other enemies he had. So why do we doubt, or not pay serious attention to his words eh? Because we in this supposed modern age think we know more than the sages of olden times.

Yes,these are the modern times, so we must embrace modern things. Steups! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. The Lord our God doesn’t change, neither does his Word. So if it was good three thousand years or however far back, that means it’s still good today! 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey comb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps. 19:7-11) 

Oh my people, precious people of God…what more will it take for us to get to LOVE and sincerely practice the Word of God eh? Look at what it does for us nuh: restores our souls, makes the simple wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, endures for ever, it’s true and righteous, it’s even more desirous than the best quality gold to be found, it’s sweeter than the honey from the honeycomb, plus it warns us, and oh boy, oh boy, we get great rewards when we keep it! 

Now tell me, is there anything else in this great wide, modern, technological and far reaching world of social media that can do ALL of those things? Not on your life! Only the Word of God has that awesome power because that’s why it was specifically created; to give us guidance and understanding and teach us how to handle each and every situation that we encounter on our earthly pilgrimage! 

So friends, let’s do what we know to be right nuh, and stop embracing and following the foolishness of this world. Remember, Satan was once the high angel Lucifer, so he knows more about heaven and how it works than we do, that’s why He expends so much energy in keeping us away from the Good Book and all that it entails. But thankfully we know his deceitful ways and won’t fall for his lies and evil schemes. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, wherein the Lord has generously blessed us with all that we need to do His work successfully down here on His great earth. All together now: ‘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 allow Satan to throw us off and not go out and generously share those many blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why we were granted them. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more powerful…and more beneficial…on God’s earth…than God’s Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2019 Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12.    For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.
 
Ah mih people, just six more days to that magical, mysterious, miraculous day we call Christmas Day! Wow! Can you imagine the stir it made in ole Bethlehem that Christmas Eve night when the angels came a-singing and a glorifying and exalting our new born Saviour? Anyhow, today we’re not dealing with the birth of Christ so much as the source from which we get that news: ‘The BOOK OF ALL BOOKS!’ 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous book is our Bible! And so it should be since it’s the Lord’s Word. No other tome has such drama, and in such abundance! The stuff written today pales in dramatic content, promises and story-telling. So let’s get to today’s poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I am overshadowed As I read Your living Word. What power, what pungency I find within its pages. It stirs me, burns within me It challenges me, invigorates me And often disturbs me. When I obey its commands The results are what You claim: Darkness becomes light Crooked places become straight The more I seek, the more I find. Within its pages, God I see beyond mere philosophy I see beyond a neat package of ethics. I crash head-on with a living Person The One who makes all things new. No other book can claim as much.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! No other book is as powerful, mind-bending and moving as the Word of God! I like how the author of the poem talks about its power, its pungency! And ALL of us who have read it, have found it to be at times, burning like a fire within us, like it was with Jeremiah when he lamented against God. ‘Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (holding back), and I could not stay (endure it).’ (Jer. 20:9) 

Yeh friends, that’s just how the Lord’s Word acts on us, especially when we get discouraged. We don’t want to deal with it, but it’s so powerful that it forces us to do so! And which one of us hasn’t found the Word to be ofttimes challenging, invigorating, and downright disturbing eh? NONE! And it will ALWAYS be so, because that’s the purpose of the Word; to challenge, invigorate and disturb us to come to and stay obedient to the Lord! And the great thing is that when we obey the Word, we find the results are exactly what it claims; light overshadows darkness, joy comes in the morning, crooked places are made straight, and we do find more when we seek more. 

But unfortunately, and rather sadly, too many of us read the Word, know that it’s true, but still don’t follow it. Thus our lives are never as successful and prosperous as they can be. Please, please, I implore us to remember the momentous words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my people, my people, that is perhaps the most important, provocative, wise and revealing verse in all of the Good Book! It gives us the blueprint for successful and prosperous living in just a few words, and from the Lord Himself! What could be more enlightening eh? Absolutely NOTHING! But yet so many of us supposed believers refuse to take it seriously, or as seriously as we ought to. But friends and neighbours, please listen very closely to these words as found in the Good Book that rather frighteningly describe the true power of God’s Word.

‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart. Neither is any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account to).’ (Heb. 4:12-13) Oh friends, please allow all of that to sink in deep into our souls nuh! The Lord’s Word is indeed living and sharp and very discerning, thus we have to pay serious attention to how we live it. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuses or pretense.’ 

Bubba! If that doesn’t shake us up to the reality of God’s ever searching, discerning and plumbing of all our thoughts and intentions, I don’t know what will nuh. All I can say now is let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously granted us. In loud and sincere voice now, because they don’t come into play until we speak them out. 

‘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!’ 

And the thing to remember now is that those awesome blessings were granted to us so generously so that we can turn around and share them generously with others. So let’s do that nuh, especially at this Christmas season, the season of giving! Much LOVE!

…God’s Word…created the world…keeps it alive…and will in His time…destroy it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2019 2 Corinthians 3:18.

2 Corinthians 3:18.    ​But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
 

Ah friends, you just don’t who or what to believe in these days of fake news nuh. I’m talking about the weather forecasters who promised a bright and sunshiny day yesterday, yet it drizzled with rain all day. And today, that was supposed to be rainy, seems like it might have some sunshine. Chuh! I guess that’s why weather forecasting is called an ‘in exact science.’ (smile) 

It’s a good thing though that we believers can sing confidently like Angie Stone: ‘My sunshine has come. There’s no more rain…’ Yes my believing brethren, our sunshine came two thousand years ago…and He ‘s still here, shining as bright as ever in our lives! Praise the Lord for Jesus Christ, who brightens up our lives, even when they seem to be in a terribly dark and cloudy place! 

And that’s the advantage we have over the ordinary workingman who’s complaining today. ‘Yes, I know I should declare ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ But ah fed up with all the rainy weather, with the cold and damp and the consequent chill it causing in mih bones! Oh I know it coming on to winter and all that, but does it have to be so wet and dark and dreary so often? What happen to a li’l dryness and sunshine every so often nuh man? 

Brother! It just seems to suck the very life out of a body; going out and coming in in that constant dark, dismal and wet weather. And though it’s the weekend, and I’m glad to see it, the dirty weather just steals the real joy from it, because you still can’t go anywhere without getting wet from head to toe. Steups! So I guess I’ll just stay home then this weekend and watch the rain fall… But ah still thankful though for Fridays and weekends!’ 

No doubt many of us believers feel like the ordinary workingman, but thankfully we have Jesus Christ in our lives, and He mitigates the sad and downbeat effect dreary weather causes by His uplifting Word and Will for each and every one of His followers! Glory to God! That’s why we can chant our Friday Chant with such sincerity and sense of purpose: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Oh my precious people of God, I don’t know what we’d do without Jesus nuh! What a wonderful day it was when He came into our lives! Glory Hallelujah! Yes friends, when Jesus died on the cross He tore down the veil that guarded the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could enter once a year, bur now each of us has the marvellous opportunity to come before the throne of grace personally when we accept Jesus. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:15-18) 

And what does all of that mean eh? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:15. Veil is upon their heart: Unfortunately, as far as the Jews are concerned, Christ is still a stumbling block they cannot see (cf. 1 Cor. 1:23). For the apostle this is no light matter and a concern that caused him great anxiety (cf. Rom. 9:1-4). But now the veil is not so much on the revelation of the glory as on their own hearts. (cf. Luke 24:25; Acts 13:27-29).’ The glory of Christ has eventually been revealed my people, we have been set free from the bondage of sin! But the onus of receiving that liberty is now on us; as individuals, as supposed believers, we now have to accept and keep Jesus treasured in our own hearts, minds, bodies and soul! 

And per 3:18, the scholars say: ‘Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself ‘reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the face of the Lord. For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

What wonderful news my brethren! The Lord’s plan is to have ALL of His children transformed into the glorious image of His Son, Jesus Christ! And when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and is responsible for transforming our lives, making us new creations! 

But please, let’s remember that this transformation doesn’t take place over night, it’s a lifelong process, and the onus is on us to follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He will not force us to do anything. That means we have to continually read the Word and listen carefully, so we can understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and be obedient to Him, if we truly want to come up higher…be changed from glory…to glory… to glory… Much LOVE!

…know the truth…the Word of God…and the truth…shall set you free…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2019 Mark 7:9.

Mark 7:9.    ​Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
 

Oh friends, looks like it’s going to be another cold, dreary, sunless, cloudy day in my neighbourhood! But the good news is that the harbinger of the weekend, Friday, is here! Glory be! And we do have Jesus Christ dwelling within us, so that makes it doubly good! (smile) Yes, whatever the weather might be, we can, and we will handle it with great aplomb. That’s because, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we have the self assurance and confidence to handle whatever comes against us. He’s faithfully promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, which means we have no need to worry or be overly anxious about anything! And all God’s children gave a grateful and sincere shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!’ 

Now that’s something believers should always do. Anyway, since it’s Friday, we know the workingman is just dying to sing his song, so let’s listen to him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend has come around just in time, cause the foolish winter weather’s been getting me down. Wasn’t prepared for the snow and ice and bundling up in plenty warm clothes just yet. Oh, I know it was coming, but thought I had more time to get acclimatized. But with temperature change and all the other idiosyncrasies happening in the world today, one never knows where one stands, or what’s going to happen. 

It’s certainly not like long time when everything was lined up properly and you didn’t have as many surprises as nowadays. But the long and short of the story is that this is the weekend, and if I let the weather, or anybody spoil it, then that’s my problem. So I’m just going to eat up and drink up and have a good time… Hn, hn, hn! Not like Thanksgiving weekend though, because I still remember that tragic feeling of dying from excessive partying. And the weather can do whatever it wants, just as long as it settles down on Monday, so I can go back to the slave master work without any hassles. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh mih people, too much of anything is no good! I’m glad to hear though that the workingman has learned his lesson. (smile) Yuh know, we never learn from the mistakes of others as quickly as we do from our own mistakes. And he would have kept on overdoing it until one day he actually dropped down from excessive partying. Now that’s why our Leader, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries in our lives. He doesn’t want us to go out to the thin end of the branch and have it break with us. 

Then we tumble down like Humpty Dumpty and they can’t put us back together again. It’s not to spoil our fun, like so many of us think, but merely a precaution to save us from the devil’s deceitful enticements. Remember the old but oh so true adage: ‘prevention better than cure.’ Now let’s sing our Friday Chant, which shows that we don’t need to go overboard to have fun. 

In full voice…let’s chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Oh precious people, all that is for our benefit, so that enemy doesn’t get a foothold in our lives and thus be able to run roughshod over them. But as I said earlier on, too many of us think that Jesus’ rules are just another way to clip our wings and prevent us from having fun. But why would He do that when He explicitly came to save us from our sinful deeds and lives eh? It’s the extra-curricular activities that afflict us. (smile) 

That’s why Christ rebuked the Pharisees an’ them by saying: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’ They were putting their traditions before God’s commandments, just like we’re doing today. So many of our traditions run counter to God’s commands, but yet we follow them without blinking an eye. 

And Jesus pointed out one particular case: ‘For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whoso curseth Father or mother, let him die the death (be put to death): But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift (dedicated to the temple), by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer (allow) him no more to do aught (anything) for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none (no) effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered (handed down): and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:10-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘7:11-12. Jews could evade responsibility to parents by declaring (steups!) their substance Corban, “devoted to God.” Religious leaders evidently condoned this clear circumvention of both the letter and intent of the Old Testament.’ How sad and evil was that friends! But don’t go quickly condemning the religious leaders of old, because we today are doing the same blooming thing! How many parents are left nowadays in the lurch by their children…for whatever they consider good reason…too many! It’s just more convenient for us to ignore them; economically, physically and emotionally. But yet we expect to reap God’s promises of long life. 

Ah mih people, paying for them in a nursing home but not going to visit them is not honouring them in God’s eyes. As the scholars explain verse 13; ‘Jesus quarrel was not with God’s word, but with human misuse of it.’ And there are many examples today where we do the very same thing; misuse God’s Word to serve our selfish purposes. But as they say, you can only lead a horse to water – like I’m trying to do here – but you can’t make it drink. Let’s hope the Word of God will do that. Much LOVE!

…unless you sow…what’s in God’s Word…you won’t reap His promises…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 

Welcome, welcome, one and all to rainy day Tuesday! Yes the rain has not really eased up nuh. It drizzled most of the night. Good thing it’s mostly drizzles and not big downpours. I guess we can be thankful for small mercies there. But chuh! I’m tired talking about the rain yes! (smile) 

If it’s going to fall, just let it fall and ignore it. It’s got to stop at some time since the Lord promised that He wouldn’t ever destroy the earth by flooding again…but please note He didn’t say anything about no warnings by flooding! (smile) 

Anyway, remember last week when we heard from Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional on allowing trouble to lift you up, to let it be a golden opportunity to rise higher? Well today we’re going to continue in that vein, where he says: ‘Let Your Problems Lead You to God!’ And isn’t that the wise and sensible thing to do! 

Now listen as Gramps Schuller elucidates: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.’ 

Glory be my precious people! That’s the ONLY wise way to go! Too many of us though go the wrong way, and then allow the problems to leave us BITTER and not BETTER! That’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren! As true believers in Christ we are supposed to come up over the problem, and the first step in doing that is taking it to the Almighty, to whom we ascribe that nothing is impossible, and who promises to faithfully help us solve all our problems. 

So if we have someone to whom nothing is impossible, and whose help is assured, why don’t we run to Him with every problem eh? I’d guess that foolish pride or disbelief, or a combination of both keeps us from running to God first with our problems. Only when we discover we can’t handle them by ourselves, do we go cap in hand, miserably seeking the Father’s help. 

And one of the many ways He helps us is by providing protective armour for us in our earthly battle with the forces of evil and ungodliness. As we saw yesterday, Bruh Paul said that it was ever so important we: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, the devil is always out there like a roaring, but toothless lion, looking for someone to trip up and deceive, and if we’re not wearing our protective spiritual armour, then we’re easy pickings for him. 

Now let’s refresh our memories about what exactly is this spiritual armour we’re talking about. Listen to Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Oh my brethren when we have those necessary pieces of protection, helmet, sword, shoes, shield and breastplate, then and only then are we ready to engage the enemy in battle. 

Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about those individual pieces of spiritual armour. ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. The ancient soldier’s loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place, by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of scripture. 

(2). The breastplate of righteousness (v14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness) (3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against the enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the devil and take the fight to him. Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. (5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8) they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. (6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God(v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos,’ referring to the whole word of God, but ‘rhema,’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

Oh my people, I know it all sounds very complicated, but if we sincerely and regularly read, study and meditate on God’s Word, most of those things will come naturally to us. We’ll know the truth of His Word, as well as have a good knowledge of Scripture, that will lead us to a moral and godly life, and the peace that we find in the Word will just make us eager to go out and fight God’s battles, protected by the assurance of salvation and the strong and sturdy shield of our faith, with Bible verses just saturating in our hearts with which to rebuke the devil! 

Remember though friends that the Word is sharp like a two edged sword that cuts right down to the bone! It’s a dangerous weapon my people, so we have to be very careful how we wield it. (smile) Anyway, enough on the spiritual armour topic, it’s turned out to be longer than I planned, but it’s all for our benefit. 

And having absorbed all the above, (smile) let’s go home fully clothed in our spiritual armour sincerely and vociferously declaring (bingo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are! All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Isn’t that just a wonderful situation my faithful saints of Christ! Now let’s go out and share His awesome LOVE and amazing friendship, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only when faced with adversity…can we know the true strength and maturity…of our Christian faith…

 

 

 

 

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