Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.       If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 

And then it was Tuesday, sunny but somewhat chilly, as it still isn’t truly summer, although we are behaving like it is, with the li’l warm weather we’ve recently been having. (smile) It’s also the first working day of this week and I wonder after the Victoria Day celebrations, how many of us didn’t make it to work today, or are so beat up that we are of no real use in the job? No doubt the number is higher than usual because it was the first long weekend up in cottage country after the long Covid lockdown and dreary winter days. 

And sadly, too many of us have become hopeless and discouraged by the trying circumstances of the last two years, but if we have true faith in the One who created us, then we should never become discouraged or hopeless. And today I want to share some good info about discouragement from the marvellous work by Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller): ‘Hours of Power – My Daily Book of Motivation and Inspiration.’ And today’s inspiring and motivating message is aptly titled: ‘Don’t Get discouraged.’ I shared it sometime ago, but I believe, with all the unfortunate circumstances that are currently plaguing our world, it’s time to share it again. 

So please read with me. ‘Do not be discouraged if you do not accomplish everything that you set out to accomplish. Surely if you do not expect to succeed you will hold back your full power, investment, and enthusiasm. Immediately the kind of people who help to move you on to victory begin to draw back. Your conservative and cautious attitude will reflect itself in an anxious look on your face that will disturb and discourage people from helping you. 

There are two major reasons why people fail. Both stem from a lack of mountain moving faith. (1) People who fail are often people who are indecisive. They cannot make decisions swiftly and surely. The fast moving opportunity is past before they decide – too late – to take hold. 

(2) Then some decisive people fail because, after making the decision, they fail to move forward with an expectant confidence. They grab the opportunity, only to lose nerve, get cold feet, and begin to wonder if they have done the right thing. They have gripped the plow but now they are looking back. Want to be a success? Develop the ability to appraise opportunities intelligently, seize opportunities swiftly, and promote those opportunities confidently.’ 

Yes friends, I do hope those words of wise advice will cause us to take a good look at ourselves and enable us to come up higher in these tough times. That recalls one of Dr. Schuller’s favourite sayings: ‘Tough times never last, but tough people do!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for if we are believers in Christ, then we ought to be tough, for we have the greatest example of toughness in our Lord and Saviour! You can say whatever you want about him, but you can NEVER say that He wasn’t tough, for He took all the ‘sufferation’ and rejection that was thrown against Him in stride, never bat an eyelid or complained about it, just went about the Father’s business in faithful and dutiful obedience. 

Now, we obviously don’t have all the divine parts that Jesus had, but we can still do a better job than we are currently doing. We have life so easy nowadays that we complain about any little misfortune or setback. We’ve lost the belly and backbone we had when times were not as easy. And that’s not done us any good, for there will always be ups and downs in our lives, and if we don’t have that resistant, resilient belly and backbone we’ll never be able handle to the tough times, exactly what we’re seeing with the current unsettling situations. 

Remember what it takes to be a true follower of Christ. Jesus said it quite clearly and plainly. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) That means we have to be tough and decisive if we want to follow Christ. And it’s not like we don’t know that He will always be there to help us. We claim it all the time. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And we also mouth this other reaffirming scripture: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:19) 

But unfortunately, when the going gets tough we seem to forget about those encouraging scriptures, we moan and groan and wonder what’s happened to God. Yes, it’s ever so easy to follow Christ in the good times, but it’s when the hammer hits the nail, that our faith needs to come up strong. Gramps Schuller calls it mountain moving faith. Jesus said it to the disciples when they couldn’t cast out a demon from a young boy. ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ (Matt. 17:20) 

That’s how much a li’l faith can accomplish, so can you imagine when we have great faith, the mighty things we can accomplish for Christ in His awesome name! And that’s exactly what He’s expecting of His followers right now in these calamitous times. He expects us to be the true salt of the earth and light of the world, showing the unbelievers who are living in darkness the true way to the truth and the light, to the Father and Creator, and that’s through Him. We desperately need to let the world know what Jesus said on that matter. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And that’s the indisputable truth! There’s no getting to heaven, no receiving salvation and eternal life without receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour. Christ laid the foundation and now expects us to build His body, His church, stone by stone, brick by brick with our earthly efforts. Yes, it’s only through us, His earthly hands, feet and body that the world will get that message. He’s depending on us my brethren to do the work that must be done for the world to come to salvation. 

And for those of us who are rising faithfully to the challenge, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and confident voice: ‘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!’

 Now let’s go out and do just that nuh; share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those who don’t know him, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…as our faith grows…so will our work for Jesus grow…  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 May 2022 Luke 10:42.

Luke 10:42.      But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her

. Well friends, the rainy Monday of yesterday is gone, it has moved into the history books, and Tuesday has opened bright and sunshiny in my area, though a tad cool. But we’ll take the sunshine anytime over a dark and dreary looking day. For sure! The important thing right now is that the days are getting longer and warmer, and after a long, cold, confusing winter, we just can’t wait for those hot, hazy days of summer! 

And I’m sure that with the climate change situation we’re going to have some real hot ones that will drive us crazy. But them’s the breaks. Those are simply the negative consequences of our actions, of abusing Mother Earth. Now she’s just giving us back what we deserve. And that’s so unlike the great God Jehovah that we serve. He doesn’t give us our just desserts, but blessings that we don’t deserve. As Bruh David so wisely says in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy: 

‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103: 8-14) 

Oh friends, that says it all! Our God knows that we are only figures of dust, because that’s what He made us from, and thus doesn’t bring all of His power or anger to bear on us when we commit our iniquities, since it would just swallow us up completely. Instead, He uses LOVE, grace and compassion to relieve our iniquities, removes them ‘as far as the east is from the west,’ and pities us like a doting Father, because He knows our inferior substance. What a gracious and merciful God we serve my brethren! And yet, for all the grace and mercy, we still refuse to obey and live according to His Word. 

But here’s this interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that ought to wake us up to reality. It’s aptly titled: ‘Beautiful Belonging.’ So please read with me: ‘Before I knew You, Lord It was terribly important To flaunt my culinary art With a moist and tender roast. Now that I’m Yours It is far more important To serve Your gentleness To our guests. 

Before I knew You It was terribly important To snatch every weed From our meticulous yard. Now that I’m Yours It is far more important To express neighbourly concern Over the back fence. Before I knew You It was terribly important To check the television schedule from night to night. Now that I am Yours It is far more important To check Your plan From day to day. What an incredible change…This Beautiful belonging!’ 

And yes, it surely is beautiful belonging to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! For, belonging to Him gives us a whole new, different and better perspective on this earthly life. The things of the world that we once thought were so important, now seem immaterial when compared to a life lived for Jesus. We now believe that mercy and kindness and LOVE are more important than the pretentious and pretensive doings of the world. And Jesus made that very clear when He admonished Martha, Lazarus’ sister, when she complained about her sister Mary not helping her in the kitchen but was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him teach. 

And it’s also the Bible verses associated with today’s poem. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’ (Luke 10:41-42) 

Oh my people, the same thing can be said about many of us. But let’s listen to some explanations from the scholars on those verses. Re 10:41: ‘The repetition of her name denotes a gentle and sympathetic reply. Careful (see 1 Cor. 7:32-35) often indicates a this-worldly unbelieving attitude that hinders proper attention to the things of God; that is to be unduly concerned about secondary matters.’ And all of us are guilty of that at some time or other in our lives. 

And per 10:42: One thing: This can be explained in two ways here. Jesus may be saying that only one simple dish is required for a meal; Martha can handle the preparations without Mary’s help. In this case Martha is being primarily rebuked. Or Jesus may by ‘one thing’ refer to the spiritual nourishment craved by Mary. In this case Jesus is implying that Martha, too, should leave her housework for a time and concentrate on a more urgent matter.’ 

The same thing applies to us even more today with the burgeoning amount of earthly stuff out there to notice, and our natural reluctance to the importance of the things of God. But Jesus warned several times about paying undue attention to the things of this world, like this occasion when teaching in Capernaum and he claimed the crowds followed Him not because they saw His miracles, but because they ate of the food He provided and was filled. Then He warned. ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27) 

That’s spiritual food friends, like the water that satisfies, things that last forever, that’s what we need to be urgently and sincerely seeking, instead of the things of this world that all perish eventually. And Bruh David said it so well in Psalm 27 – the Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.’ (Ps. 27:4) 

Yes my fellow saints, when we can sincerely claim such a desire, truly have a desire to know and live according to the Lord’s Word, then we are getting the right idea, maturing in Christ, growing from glory to glory. And now, for those of us who are trying to live right, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out there and keep that promise, by sharing the amazing and awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and worship him like we do. Much LOVE!

…lasting spiritual insight into the ways of Christ…is much more important than the perishable secular knowledge of the world…                                                                                                                               

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 May 2022 Proverbs 29:18.

Proverbs 29:18.      Where there is no vison (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

So, what’s new this spring Tuesday morning in May of 2022 eh friends? A sunny day when the trees all seem to be finally blooming, putting on their new look of bright green for the upcoming season, returning to an energetic life after remaining dormant for so long in the cold, dreary depths of winter. 

And I know that most of us would reply ‘same old, same old,’ to the above question. But what’s really wrong with same old eh? Nothing at all! Because that’s what life is all about; that’s how we learn, by repetition. If we had a new situation every day we wouldn’t know or learn anything. And sadly, that’s how it’s shaping up these days when we are all hungering and clamouring for something new, and quickly getting bored and frustrated although we have so many new toys to keep us occupied. 

In our recent rush for speed, we’ve developed very short attention spans, which make us quickly disenchanted with new stuff. But let me put this other question to us. What do you think will, or would have happened to us if our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had a short attention span, and was easily bored and frustrated like us eh? We’d certainly be left out in the rain, in the dark, in the cold, without a safe place to shelter. 

But thankfully Jesus is strong and steadfast, and not worried about the same old, same old that He does by constantly saving us from making foolish mistakes and interceding for us every day to His Father. So please, let’s get wise and give up this foolish rush for speed and change nuh, because it’s causing us to lose the ability to truly enjoy life, the abundant, same old life that Christ died for us to have. 

Our appreciation for the things and people in our lives are plummeting each day, because we have so many things, we can’t keep count or enjoy them properly. And as per people, too many relationships these days are only surface deep, so false and plastic, that there’s little trust and true enjoyment to be found in them. And sadly, the relationships and situations that words like loyalty and honour breed are quietly disappearing from our vocabulary and society. How unfortunate my people, because those are the basic things that make a society rich and powerful and enjoyable, without their members having to keep a constant watch for dishonor and disloyalty which are rife in our world today. 

When a society has lost its trustworthiness then it’s on its way down. When a person’s word is no longer sacred, when even the laws can be successfully manipulated to cause hurt and dishonour, then that society is no longer growing like a strong, tall and steadfast cedar of Lebanon, but is withering like a cursed fig tree. And believe me, withering like a cursed fig tree happens much quicker than the growth of a cedar of Lebanon. So, once a society gets on that path of destruction, its demise happens rather quickly. 

And that’s why proper leadership is ever so important for a society or any organization to function properly. No wonder Cousin Sol says in his wisdom that:’ ‘Where there is no vison (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) And that’s the indisputable truth! Where there is no moral or divine inspiration in leadership, then people cast off restraint and do whatever they feel like. 

Sadly, that’s exactly what’s happening in our world today. Our leaders seem more interested in a grab for power, self-aggrandization and war-mongering than in building a moral and godly civilization. We’re even trying to remove God from our society, so why should we be surprised at the way our world is going since, as the scholars tell us: ‘Morality is based on adherence to God’s revealed will.’ And if there’s no God, then there can’t be any revealed will. 

And unfortunately, all that we’ve spoken of above is reflected in these few words of author Adrian McCullen in an article titled ‘Where there is no vision the people perish,’ on the website medium.com. He writes: ‘Society has reached a stage where more people are dying from abundance than from lack. Obesity and obesity-related illnesses kill more people than starvation. People are at a point where their basic needs have been met.’ That’s in our western based societies. 

And we see the perfect example of the lack of divine vision and inspiration in the state of Israel when the Lord called Samuel. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those days, there was no open vision.’ (1 Sam. 3:1) 

And the scholars explain: ‘The severity of Israel’s apostasy (rejection of God)  (cf. Jud. 21:25) caused a dearth of God’s revelatory work. The condition was perpetuating and self-defeating. (cf. Prov. 29:18) By God’s grace, the prophetic institution would receive impetus and standardization in the person and work of Samuel. (cf. 3:21; 19:20) 

Ah friends, our current world is now almost like that of Israel back then. And that reference to Judges 21:25 in the scholars’ explanations spells it out in spades. It says: ‘In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.’ And unfortunately, that’s the same philosophy that’s taking hold in our current society. The moral law of God is being rejected for that which we consider appropriate to our personal needs. 

So why the surprise when we discover that our world is sinking into the morass, of death and decay eh? When we do our own thing and don’t follow God’s law, we will suffer and eventually perish, unless we come to our senses like Israel did under Samuel. It’s as simple as that. So, for those of us who are trying to live the righteous life, as set out in God’s law, let’s go home now declaring (yessss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Now it behooves us to go and do just that; share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those we meet, so that they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…God’s law works to build up…man’s law to destroy…   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Well, a good Tuesday morning to you my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! And may this day be an interesting and fruitful one in your life. And if you doubt it will be, then just do as that favourite song of ours declares: ‘Count your blessings, Name them one by one, Count your many blessings, and see what God has done.’ Yes friends, I think that’s a useful habit we should all cultivate: counting our blessings every day. 

And why is that you ask? Because we will find that we always have more blessings than troubles, and that will boost our spirits at the beginning of each day and enable us to surrender our all much more easily to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as we ought to, if we expect to have fruitful days. 

Unfortunately though, we humans, even Christian folk, seem to focus on our troubles more than our blessings, even though they are much fewer in number. And that’s the deceitful work of the enemy, as he tries to lower our faith and the sensitivity of our spirits, thus making us poor, unhappy, complaining and miserable apparitions of our true selves, which, in Jesus, are truly bright and glowing like the noonday sun! 

That brings us to this amazing scripture, the words of Jesus to His disciples, after He had cursed the fig tree. ‘And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away? Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:20-22) 

Oh my people that is indeed a magnificent and most powerful scripture, and if we believers would take it more seriously and practice it more often, many of us would not have the miserable and complaining lives we now have! It’s all about faith in Christ, about believing what He’s said from day one right down to now! So, let’s listen to Jesus once again as He pronounces on the awesome power of prayer. 

In His Sermon on the Mount, He offers this discourse. ‘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. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt. 7:7-11) 

And right here, let’s turn to the scholars for some very good explanations on the subject of prayer. They say: ‘The three imperatives, ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! We have no excuses whatsoever for failing to become spiritually mature in Christ because we already have it all implanted in us; that’s the fruit of God’s Spirit, and we only need to water it and properly tend it with prayer, goodness and meditation on God’s Word, for it to grow into a beautiful example of Jesus Christ! 

And the scholars go on to further explain: ‘Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). 

When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matt. 6:9-15; John 14:14). Illustration: Jesus pointed out that God heard the prayer of a humble publican rather than that of a proud Pharisee (Luke 18:14). Application: God will answer our prayer when we obey Him (1 John 3:22), ask in faith (Mark 11:24), have pure motives (James 4:3), and live peaceably with our mate (1 Pet. 3:7). (First ref. Gen. 3:8-13; Primary ref. Matt. 7:7; cf. 1 John 5:14-15 ).’ 

Yes my brethren, prayer is very important in our Christian walk, and it must not be taken lightly, as so many of us do. And merely asking God for stuff does not constitute prayer. It calls for all the other things that the scholars mention above there. And most important of all, it calls for obedience to God, and then asking for things that fall within His will for our lives. And we have the perfect example of the latter when Bruh Paul asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh, and what answer did that great man of faith receive? 

The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor, 12:9a) So God did not answer Bruh Paul’s prayer there because it served His purpose more to leave him as he was. His awesome power would be even more noticeable in Bruh Paul’s weakness. And though Bruh Paul was obviously disappointed, listen to his response nuh. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

And who says our God doesn’t have sense of humour? I note that with a chuckle, because the Lord might have purposely led me to that scripture this morning, when I’m experiencing some serious joint problems and pain, and man’s medication and prayer don’t seem to be helping much. So, I guess I’ll just have to take pleasure in my infirmities and let God’s superior power shine through in my weaknesses. (smile) And there are many more scriptures we can note to show the power and importance of prayer, but that would take forever (smile), so let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong and confident voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh, share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with others, so they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…and Jesus spake a parable unto them…to this end…that men ought always to pray…and not to faint…not to lose heart… (Luke 18:1) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, we are to stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘when a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation.” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom. 8:1,9; Gal. 6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and confident voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​ 

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 April 2022 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.      For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

Oh, what a sad ending to a beautiful Easter Monday in my area – rain in the afternoon, and then wet snow in the early evening. I had a nap while it was raining, and on getting up, I looked outside, and, as the Bajans would say, ‘Blow me down!’ was I ever surprised to see the whole place covered in white, and the wet white stuff still coming down hard. It must have messed up the evening commute, but thankfully, the roads seem clean now, although the land is still covered in white. That’s Mother Nature for you in these days of climate change! 

Anyway, today’s a new day – Easter Tuesday, and everything’s set for the big do on that day – Goat Racing in Buccoo, in sweet Tobago! Yes mih people, I hope you have yuh dan-dan (pretty clothes) ready to get down to that stadium in Buccoo built mainly to hold goat racing. And yuh better get there early if you want to get a seat, because they are coming from all over to check out this spectacular event, held only in Tobago. And was I ever surprised a few years ago when I went down there and saw the stadium. 

Oh, it’s nice and all that, but I don’t think it can ever capture the atmosphere of the old Goat races, further up the road, on a strip of land between some houses, where everybody gathered around the track, in a more intimate setting. And in those days, I believe they also had crab races. But the best part of the day was the parties they had in the houses surrounding the track! Yes! I remember one particular year in my teens, my buddies and I getting totally inebriated, and a friend’s sister and I partying up the place. (smile) Yuh remember that one Harry? Possibly not, since he might have been into the waters even more than me. 

I guess you would call those the good ole days. And they were, because our society was not as evil, ungodly and stressful as it is now. Today, it’s all about greed, selfishness, money, power and sinful pleasures, with God and His things of no real account. But, for the comparative handful of us who still hold Almighty God as El Numero Uno – Number One, who have unequivocally placed our hope and trust in Him, there is good reason to be joyful. Why? Because the scriptures, the immovable, unchanging everlasting true Word of God tells us so. 

Listen to these words of the prophet Isaiah spoken to the people of Israel ages ago. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Wow mih bredrin! What a mighty God we serve if He is truthfully all those amazing things to us! And if you don’t believe me, then let’s check out some scriptures which ought to make you believe. 

As per the Lord is our judge; listen to Peter preaching to the Gentiles. ‘And he (Jesus) commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick (living) and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Acts 10:42-43) And there you have two of the promised things; Judge and Saviour. 

Meanwhile, Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘But why dost thou Judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought (despise) thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.’ (Rom. 14:10-12) Now, as per verse 11 above there, we are familiar with it coming from Phil. 2:10-11), but Isaiah declared it long before that in Is. 45:23) 

And there’s never any better source of information than right from the horse’s mouth. So, check out these words of Jesus to the hypocritical Jews of His time. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth (gives life to) them; even so the Son quickeneth (gives life to) whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son…And hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man.’ (John, 5:21-22, 27) That’s straight from the horse’s mouth friends, so you better had believe it! And in there you also have about being saved by the Son of man that God sent to give us life eternal. 

Now, re God being our lawgiver, listen again to Isaiah, as he calls the faithful to courage. ‘Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed (go forth) from me, and I will make my judgement (justice) to rest, for a light of the people…Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.’ (Is. 51:4, 7) 

Then James says on the subject: ‘Speak not evil of one another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another.’ (James 4:11-12) Please remember that friends: there is only ONE lawgiver, Almighty God! And hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 37. ‘The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgement (justice). The law of his God is in his heart: none of his steps shall slide.’ (Ps. 37:30-31) 

And the scholars offer a marvellous explanation on the ‘Law of God. 37:31. The law of God is the extension of God’s nature and expression of God’s will in His creation. God’s law is expressed in different forms, relating to different areas of His creation. The physical law of God includes the laws of nature which govern the continuous physical existence of this world (Gen. 8:22; Col. 1:17). 

The moral law, also called “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25), governs the immaterial issues of life (2 Tim. 3:17). The social law of God affects interpersonal relationships and can be summarized by the “royal law” (James 2:8). The spiritual law deals with a man’s relationship with God. It is summarized in “the first and great commandment” (Matt. 23:37). 

Illustration: The purpose of the law is to reveal the sovereignty of God (Ex. 20:2), to place a restraint on the sinner (68:7-8), to show the greatness and reality of sin (Rom. 3:19-20), and to lead the sinner to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The purpose of the law did not change with the gospel. When the Judaizers in Galatia sought to teach their erroneous view of the law, they failed to realize that the law has never been able to save anyone. Application: As Christians, we should be concerned to live decently and orderly. (First ref. Gen. 2:17; Primary Ref. Rom. 7:7-14; cf. Ex. 3:13).’ 

Wow! That’s a lot of scripture to reference, but that’s the only way we can truly learn it. So please, take some time and check out as many of them as you can nuh. I assure you it will lift your scriptural knowledge and increase your awareness of the law and LOVE of our great God. And, as per the saving part of our Bit, we don’t really need to talk about it, because that’s what we’ve been focused on and celebrating all weekend, the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ so selflessly accomplished through His crucifixion on Good Friday, then His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

It’s done friends! Like Jesus said on the cross before He gave up the ghost; ‘It is finished!’ Yes, it is! Salvation has finally come. Now it’s up to us to accept or refuse it. And for those of us who have wisely and confidently accepted it, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we graciously belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having made that boast, it now behooves us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…Easter…the season of forgiveness, of redemption and salvation… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 April 2022   1 Chronicles 16:34.

1 Chronicles 16:34.      O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 

And it’s a bright and beautiful spring Tuesday…getting warmer every minute too! (smile) Oh yes, it’s high time that we are blessed with some of the sun’s real warmth after such a long winter of hibernating. But that’s just the price we pay for living in the cold northern climes. Nothing that we can’t handle though with the indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ moving and grooving with us. And one of those marvellous moves happened just now. I’m talking about where the Good Book opened this morning; at 1 Chronicles 16, which contains this beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving from the mighty pen of Bruh David. 

And you know what means, we’ve got to declare it today. (smile) So, let’s do as Bruh David says nuh. ‘Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols (worthless things): but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. 

Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear (tremble) before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth. 

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:23-36) 

Oh my people, my people, what beautiful, wise, true and sure sentiments! Bruh David surely knew how to pull one into the Lord’s sphere, to wrap one in the cocoon of God’s LOVE, mercy and greatness! If, after reading those true and worthy sentiments and you have not felt the LOVE, the nearness, the warmth and safety emanating from God’s Holy Spirit then your heart must really be made of stone. For the words just evoke a sense of totality, an all-encompassing serenity, stability and unchangeability that flows from the wonderful Creator of the universe and all therein. ‘For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.’ 

Now there’s no doubting His greatness if He can merely speak into existence this amazing world and all that’s in it. And just for that He definitely deserves praise and glory! Then when you add His goodness and mercy, His salvation, His saving grace…Oh friends, the honour and glory He truly deserves for all that He is, is way above our frail, fickle and finite ability. No wonder the Good Book tells us: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) 

We just are not in His league my brethren! And why should we be eh, when He is our Creator, the author of infinity, and we are just lowly, though highly adored minions with a finite existence? And that’s why we should be forever grateful and do like Bruh David says: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.’ And friends, not only the Lord’s mercy endures for ever, but also His amazing unconditional LOVE and ever-saving grace! Without His mercy, grace and LOVE, we’d be totally destroyed long ago! 

Jeremiah said it so succinctly and wisely in His Lamentations. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Blessed be His Holy Name! Give thanks for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And so we should my fellow saints, for without the Lord’s abundant faithfulness, patience and long-suffering, we would have already been ignited with hell-fire and damnation! Because He promised, the fire next time, no more simplistic water. (smile) But yet still we refuse to bow to Him, to be obedient to His holy law and live according to the guidelines found in His word. And that’s even after He sacrificed His only Son on the cross of Calvary so that our abominable sins could be forgiven and our devilish souls washed clean. 

For whatever reason, the deceitful enemy still holds the reins of too many of our hearts and souls, desiring to take us down to the depths of Hades with him, forever separated from the God of our creation and salvation. But people, that’s the worst decision, the biggest mistake any created being can make, for eternity is a long, long time, and without Almighty God in our lives, for any time at all, much less such a long period, we will endure much ‘sufferation.’ 

Remember, that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He’s our Creator and keeps the breath of life, His breath of life, going in us. He has the power to do whatever He wants with us through His omnipotence, omniscience, and omni-presence. And above all He is the God of our salvation! So, with all those things going for Him, doesn’t it make sense to bow down and worship Him, to give him much thanks and praise? I certainly think so! 

And for those of us who also think that way, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. Altogether 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!’ 

Consequently, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, just as generously as He’s shared it with us, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Oh what a wonderful task that is my people! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing better than…wallowing in the LOVE, mercy and grace of God… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 April 2022 Philippians 2:12b.

Philippians 2:12b.      work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

So friends, what are we going to do on this wet, cloudy Tuesday morning in early April, during the last two weeks of this Lenten season of 2022 eh? And I’m just being a tad humorous on this serious matter, because I very well know what’s expected of us believers each and every day of our lives; that’s a constant and faithful attitude of living for Jesus! (smile) 

And if we’re into the last two weeks of Lent, then it also means it’s two weeks to Easter, that big Christian celebration of Jesus’ death and triumphant resurrection! Yes my people, we’re talking about the rock-like foundation of our Christian faith, for without Christ’s death on the cross on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, there’d be nothing called Christianity! 

And the awesome truth is that there’s nothing better than the wonderful story of Christianity; the good news of Christ’s coming to earth and dying for us, making us right with God, and giving us the marvellous opportunity to spend eternity with Him. Now that’s a story we ought to tell; all over the world, in every nook and cranny, because it’s a life-saving tale, the most important story ever told on planet earth! And that’s what living for Jesus is all about; simply telling His story and living the way He desires of us, that’s being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, in other words being a reflection of His caring, compassionate and LOVING self. 

Now we all know that this evil, sinful, greedy and selfish world doesn’t regard those things very highly…but Jesus does, and if we are going to live for Him, then we will be expected to put up with a lot of harassment, temptation and even persecution for our different beliefs and lifestyle. But we’ve been given all that we need to do the job by Christ our Saviour; namely His Holy Spirit as a Guide, Leader and Comforter and the fruit of the Spirit which enables us to do great works in His name. The problem though is that we must embrace those tools and use them like they were intended, which isn’t always easy to do, but try we must. 

That’s why in talking to the Philippians about being shining lights in this evil world Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among who, ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15) 

Yes friends, we can never get away from that image of shining like lights to the world, because that’s what Jesus requires us to be! However, it doesn’t happen without work or overnight. That’s why Bruh Paul said to ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And let’s make it clear that you NEVER have to work for salvation, because that’s the free gift of God, but we have to continue working out to its logical conclusion what God has begun in us, that’s basically growing the fruit of the Spirit planted in us through right living; showing the world the awesome possibilities that exist for those who are lost, sick, downtrodden, whatever. 

And since it’s God who is doing most of the work in the working out of our salvation, then success is guaranteed. ‘For God is producing in us both to will (to desire) and to do (actually accomplish) of his good pleasure.’ So why then the need for ‘fear and trembling’? 

Because we won’t know all the sacrifices and problems we will have to undergo to do God’s will. And each of us will have to work seriously and sincerely on our individual problems, with God’s help of course, but it’s still not going to be easy. So, we have to be prepared to fight a good fight, which leaves no room for squabbling and dissension amongst believers, if we want to be seen as blameless and innocent, the children of God, shining as bright lights, in this evil generation. 

And I like how author Ed Elliot explains it in his article on the medium.com website. He says: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So, working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

Ah mih people, living the Christian life will always have roadblocks and trials, but if we hang in there and fight with God’s help, then we’ll live the joyful, abundant, interesting and blessed life that Christ died for us to have. Now, for those of us who have already made the wise decision to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, it’s time go and work it out; (smile) that’s share the amazing friendship and LOVE of Christ with others, just as generously as He shared it with us, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…salvation is free…but to keep it blossoming beautifully…takes work…and ofttimes sacrifice… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 March 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh friends, it’s a bright sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! This Tuesday morning in early spring, there’s nary a dark cloud in the sky! It’s so bright that I had to put on my dark glasses as I went to put out the garbage just now, else it would have blinded me! (smile) And it doesn’t even feel as cold as it did yesterday afternoon when I went out to the mailbox! 

Wow! That gives us the reassurance to confidently acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! And don’t forget that something good is going to happen to us today, and something good is also going to happen through us today! That’s because we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us! And furthermore, our great and wonderful God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! That’s why it’s such a joy and a pleasure to live for Jesus. No one else provides the benefits and faithful promises that He does. That’s why He reassures in His word: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And don’t forget this other magnificent upliftment for our souls: ‘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 6:33) 

And that’s the gospel truth, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world by dying and rising from the dead, thus defeating hell, death, Satan and the grave! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful warrior is our Jesus! That’s why one of His favourite terms and words of advice while here on earth was ‘Fear not!’ But we still fear, despite all His entreaties and reassurances. 

And truthfully, we can’t ever stop fear from coming upon or against us, but we can certainly stop it from consuming us. This morning though, I want to share a poem on that malicious word ‘fear’ that I found stuck up on the bedroom wall of my young daughter. There’s no title attached to it, so we’ll just call it ‘FEAR!’ I am sure that I’ve shared it before, but in these fearful and turbulent times, it’s certainly worth hearing again. 

So please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Ah mih people, I couldn’t put it any better! And there’s a lot of truth in that poem, because many of us fear to open up ourselves not wanting to overshadow those around us. But that’s not supposed to be a problem, since when we shine our lights, we give others the encouragement to rise up and shine theirs too. Why do you think Jesus made such a fuss over us being shining lights in this evil world? Because it’s of the utmost importance. We cannot be afraid of this dark and evil world or what it threatens to do to us, because the light of Jesus is greater than any darkness that’s in the world. 

Remember John’s contention: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).’ (John 1:5) Yes friends light always opens up darkness, and the light of Jesus is the most powerful light in the world. Please remember the promise the Lord made through Isaiah, as he talks about the birth of the Prince of Peace. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

That light was Jesus. And that prophecy was considered fulfilled, as it’s recorded in Matt. 4:15-16, when Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, along the sea coast of the afflicted regions of the northern tribal areas of Israel, like Zebulun and Naphtali which suffered greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Remember too, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah at his birth, when he got back his speech. ‘Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited (will visit) us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:78-79) 

And how can we ever forget Jesus’ great pronouncement to the Pharisees; and consequently to us, and to all the world: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) And let’s not forget what Jesus said to the people when they questioned His words on His resurrection and ascension. (John 12:30-34) ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (become sons) of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s what we ought to become when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour; the children, the sons of light, because Almighty God is the Father of light, and Jesus is His bright and shining star. But He can’t shine individually to everybody, that’s why He desires to use us, His supposed ambassadors, agents and followers. And that’s why He commanded us thus: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

Jesus says it there loud and clear my people! If we are his followers, then our lights should be blazing forth to a dark and evil world, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! But unfortunately we are not doing that. Our lights are barely pouring forth, flickering like that which comes from a dying battery or a lamp low on oil, or a candle that’s at its end. And that is certainly not acceptable, not if we consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus! And sadly, we all know we can do better, but for whatever reason we refuse to make the effort it requires. 

Please friends, for a moment, let’s consider the ‘sufferation’ Jesus bore so that we could be set free and forgiven of our sins nuh, and in a moment of shame, let our resolve rise up to be better purveyors of His light in this dark world. That’s the only remedy that will suffice for our poor showing. Now, for those of us who are already trying to shine our light, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and walk that talk; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when our light shines forth…then peace, joy and LOVE…come to our world… 

P.S.  And yes, it’s long, but I think it’s very good; a good reawakening! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful voice: ‘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!’ 

So now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8      

Previous Older Entries