Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 

So we made it through Monday quite nicely, why can’t we do the same today, Tuesday eh? Especially when we have the Creator and Controller of this great universe riding a continual and steady shotgun beside us? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren since He’s promised to give us all that we need and never leave or forsake us! Brother! Those promises are surely worth more than their weight in gold! 

And yes, in this busy, evil, trouble-filled world, it’s sometimes hard to keep our wits about us and our heads above water, but if we truly believe in the Lord God Almighty and His awesome Son Jesus Christ and the amazing working of the Holy Spirit, then we can do whatever we need to do in their names and strength to fulfill the mandate they’ve given us; that is to spread the gospel all over the world and be obedient to their commands; living a life of LOVE and good fellowship. 

Now here’s a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the matter from His Hour of Power Devotional, something he calls ‘the Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ Please pray with me: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help!’ 

Mamma Mia! That’s what you call tenacity and stick-to-itiveness! (smile) And that’s exactly what is expected of the true believer, the true Christian soul – no giving up, because the words ‘give up’ don’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. And how could it eh friends, when He claims to be able to do ALL things, impossible or otherwise, and support us in doing the same? 

And giving up also makes this verse of scripture which we like to quote of no consequence: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) If that is a true statement then with Jesus’ help, we can keep on keeping on as long as it takes, and as difficult as the task is. 

Yuh see what Gramps Schuller says he’ll do when a mountain gets in his way: He will keep on striving, looking at all the alternatives; climb over it, find a pass through it, tunnel underneath it. And if all of that fails, then he’ll just stay right there and turn the mountain into a gold mine. And that’s how we believers ought to behave; do everything in our power, with God’s help, to succeed, but if none of our efforts are successful, then it means that the Lord wants us to stay right where we are and grow and do His will right there! 

And yuh know what my people, our unsuccessful efforts usually stem from a few basic things. First off, an insufficient amount of mountain moving faith. And one of Jesus’ most critical remarks was: ‘O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:30, 8:26, 14:31) Hear His rebuke to the disciples when they could not heal a demon possessed boy and asked Him why. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, 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 (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) Yes my people, a believer with even a little faith can do a lot of things, especially if his actions are accompanied by sincere prayer and fasting. And I think that’s a catch 22 situation; the li’l faith is built up, made stronger by the prayer and fasting. (smile) 

And the next place we go wrong in living our lives is by ignoring Jesus’ serious command: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Jesus, as throughout all of the Sermon on the Mount keeps emphasizing the importance of the spiritual living over that of the material. Yes friends, once we have pledged our lives, our allegiance to Christ, we then need to live primarily in the Spirit, and not the flesh, meaning the material things of this world ought not to be our first LOVE. 

‘The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ It all comes right back to faith my people: if you believe in God, then you must believe that He can and will do whatever He says. 

That’s why Hebrews tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ So basically friends, to be a true believer, we must believe that God exists, then have true faith in Him, and then live the way He wants us to live, not the way we want to live. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do those things, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 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 share that amazing LOVE and friendship, as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…believe that there is a God…have sincere faith in Him…be truly obedient to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2020 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.
 

Greetings and salutations this dreary looking Tuesday morning my Scrip-Bit friends and families! And as Bruh Paul liked to say in his letters to the New Testament churches: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!’ (Gal. 1:3-5) Yes my faithful brethren, EVERY DAY, we ought to remember the Father and the wonderful things He’s done for us through Christ Jesus and give Him the necessary praise and thanksgiving! 

And please don’t tell me it’s too difficult, or you’re too busy and you don’t have time…Make time! You make time for other not so important stuff, but you can’t make time for God, the most important thing, being and element in your life? Steups! Just take a moment and consider your state if He had not shown His amazing LOVE and compassion through the incomparable gift of His Son! You’d be headed straight for hell and the eternal company of Lucifer, the fallen angel and now the deceitful, lying devil! 

But through Christ, He’s offered us another option, much better than what we had – eternal life with Him and Christ in heaven – and yuh boldfaced enough to tell me that you can’t make time to spend a few minutes with Him every day! Chuh! Pure foolishness that mih breddren! Anyway, here’s a most appropriate writing for this time of year and our current winter affliction; SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. And it’s also appropriately titled ‘January.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken and marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When You said “Behold I make all things new” Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’ 

Ah friends, I think the correct answer is more like the last one – we forget the Lord, because He’s promised NEVER to leave nor forsake us, and He always keep His promises. That we know for a fact. So if any forgetting goes on, it’s most surely on our side of the equation. And the strange thing is that the drearier and more downcast the weather and our souls are, the more we need to find consolation in God, not forget or move further away from Him. It’s like when you’re sick, that’s when you certainly need a doctor, and the worse you get, the more you need the medic! You run to Him more than ever then, not away from him. 

And it’s the same with our great God; we need Him more than ever when things are not going so good. So let’s think on that some today nuh, and see if we’re falling into that common rut. And we should also think on the Bible Promise from the poem, which is our Bit for today. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Yes friends, we have so many heavenly witnesses looking on at our race of faith, who earlier ran the same race and testified to the LOVE and faithfulness of God, that we need to get serious and put aside any and everything that will hinder us in our own faith walk. And please remember that our race of faith is not a sprint, but a long-distance race, a marathon; one that requires lots of endurance and energy, not merely simple patience. As Bruh Paul said to the Roman church: ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom.12:12) 

That’s the kind of belly and backbone we need to run our race friends! And though we have plenty of other believers to look at as examples, the best and brightest is as the Good Book says: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Oh my people, how can there ever be a better example than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ eh? NEVER! For He is the One who blazed the trail, made the way, didn’t consider the shame or rejection or all the other negative stuff thrown at Him, and finished the race in steadfast and enduring faith! Wow! What a giant is our Jesus! That’s why the Father exalted Him to sit at His right hand of His throne ‘and given Him a name which is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

And likewise my brethren, if we are faithful and run our race with an abundance of the necessary Christian elements, then we too will also be rewarded at the end. As Peter calls it: ‘a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ (1 Pet. 5:4) So let’s up the ante this cold and dreary-looking winter’s day nuh – and even if you’re in the blazing sunshine too! (smile) Let’s raise the level of our faith so that we can witness for Jesus, like the true salt and light we’re meant to be. 

And we can begin doing that by declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra with strong voice and sincere hearts. As one 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!’ 

Then the next move is to actually go out and share Jesus’ wonderful LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the race of life…the hardest to run…but the most rewarding to win…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘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, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2019 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.    ​Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.
 

Well we didn’t get it for Christmas day, but it looks like we getting it for New Year’s! We talking about that beautiful looking but ever dangerous thing called snow. (smile) Yes, outside is covered in white, not deep, but still covered, and who knows we might get some more before the day is done. And it is indeed one of the biggest days in our social calendar: New Year’s Eve, or as we call it down south, Old Year’s Night! Yeh, the partying will be over the top, but please my fellow believers, let’s keep Granny’s warning in the back of our minds nuh. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah begging yuh, please mind yuh business!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, if we ever need that warning, it’s certainly on this New Year’s Eve night, when even those without hair let it down, (smile) when the waters flow like a river in flood, yeh, the alkie abuse is tremendous and the bacchanal stupendous! It’s a night that the ole fool Satan just has a continual grin on his ugly face and licks his chops ever so sweetly, because there’s so much fodder out there for his evil deeds. But remember, we going to party, party hearty too, but not give him any opportunity whatsoever to get into our business. 

And, as seems to have recently become the norm, the duchess and I will be partying right here in we yard! What a way life changes eh! As the ole people would say, after one time is certainly two yes! I remember the days when every New Year’s Eve night we’d be on the road, come rain or snow, going to some rollicking party. But over the last few years we’ve come to feel like homebodies; the parties too far away…and there’s too much snow to drive in…and yuh have to pay so much close attention to how much yuh drink, because Babylon always on the lookout for impaired drivers. 

The bother has become too much. So we just stay at home and have our own private party! (smile) Don’t have to worry about any of those outside influences. And as for resolutions… Chuh! I don’t know why we even bother to make them nuh, because in a week or two, we’re right back to our old selves. Ah friends, there’s only ONE New Year’s resolution that we really need to make yes; that of following Christ more closely in the upcoming year of 2020! And once we do that, everything else will be taken care of. The Lord in His infinite wisdom will, as we say but don’t truly believe, work everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and want to do His will. (Rom. 8:28) 

Yes, if your heart and soul are set on Jesus, then you will exercise and eat properly and thus lose the weight you need to lose. Your financial arrangements and other glaring needs will be looked after because God has promised to satisfy all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus! (Phil. 4:19) And let’s remember to follow these few, but ever so important guidelines for Christian living nuh, as penned by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves (believers), and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thess. 5:15-18). 

Oh my people, those are not difficult things to do, if Christ truly dwells within us. But so many of us follow the dictates of the world so much, that when we hear those things they seem to be oh so difficult and life changing. Yes, they are life-changing, but not difficult, if you truly believe. So for this upcoming year of 2020, let’s promise ourselves…and Jesus too, to follow Him much more closely than we’ve done this past year of 2019. And let’s put some sincere effort into it nuh, not just a lot of talk, for the world is looking towards us to be its salt and light in the pervasive darkness and tastelessness that currently has it in grip. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s end the year on a most uplifting and appropriate note with some refreshing and energizing words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). These are his last thoughts and words for the end of the year, from his Hour of Power Devotional, which he’s titled: ‘To Feel the Presence of God.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘As a great wave rises from the deep to wash away the scratches on the sand, come, O God, to dissolve forever in your sea of peace my cares, my fears, my worries, and my anxieties. As the blessed blackness of a quiet night comes to blanket from my sight the cluttered collection of billboards, buildings and power poles until my eyes see only bright stars, so come, O God, and blot out this day’s dreary and weary accumulation of daily irritations, hurts. dents, and disappointments until I see only your goodness shining in the shadows. 

As an explosion of happy sunshine brings a joyful glow to dark corners, so come, O God, and explode your bright joy into the gloomy corners of my mind. As a great victorious general awakens his battalions with a trumpet blast, and rallies his retreating army with renewing power, so come, O Lord, and awaken me to “rise up, be done with lesser things, to give heart, soul, mind, and strength to serve the King of Kings.” As the spring rain gently, patiently, irresistibly falls to soften the hard crust of frozen ground until it can receive fruit-producing seed, so, O God, may showers of your LOVE soak in to soften the cold corners of my heart, allowing creative new life to break forth. 

As a happy fountain leaps jubilantly and tumbles joyfully, come, O Holy Spirit, to transform my melancholy mood until my heart erupts in joy and happiness. O Father, make my life a melody like that of a great wave, a calm night, a morning sun, a spring rain, a happy fountain! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, let’s see if we can’t end this year and begin the next one on those melodious notes nuh, evermore believing and applying our Tuesday Mantra to the articles of our faith. ‘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! Much LOVE!

…let’s allow our victorious General…Jesus…to awaken us this coming year…with a great trumpet blast…of His eternal LOVE… 

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long and late, but ever so uplifting and true! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2019 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 

And then it was Tuesday…Christmas Eve! Wow! One more day to the Big One! And the preparations are certainly in full swing now; the food is plentiful – too plentiful, the decorations are plentiful – too plentiful, with Christmas trees and stockings and all the other whatnots that show up at Christmas time. Yes, the house seems more congested than ever…too much stuff – not enough room for the people who are supposed to be celebrating. 

And NO, I’m not a grinch or some such negative Christmas person, but I think we tend to overdo the physical and worldly aspects of the season and don’t pay enough attention to the spiritual side. But that’s just my humble opinion… so who’s paying any attention to it eh? (smile) And to help us get a li’l more into the spiritual aspect of the season, let’s get into something interesting from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s aptly titled ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger (food trough) carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. 

So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving, solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen!’ Oh my fellow believers, what beautiful Christian sentiments, so appropriate for not only this festive Christmas season, but for all the year, for all our lives! 

And yuh know friends, the whole thing is so simple, but through our foolish pride and stupid disobedience we make it seem so complicated. Yes mih people, it’s all simply about LOVE; about the LOVE of God! And consequently our LOVE for Him and for our fellow man. And if you don’t believe me, let’s look at some relevant scripture that proves my point. First off is this momentous declaration (steups!) by none other than Jesus Himself, re the purpose and reason for His coming to earth as a man. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh my people, we all know that monumental scripture, and mouth it often, but do we ever take a moment to truly think about it, and how it ought to affect our lives? I don’t think so. Or if we do, not nearly enough, because it’s only the LOVE of God that caused Jesus to come to earth at Christmas, so He could eventually save our sinful souls by dying on Calvary’s sacrificial cross; nothing else but LOVE my brethren!  And how should this wonderful and marvellous emotion be played out in our own lives? 

Listen to Jesus again, as the foppish, hypocrite Pharisee lawyer asked Him: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) Yuh see mih breddren, EVERYTHING, from day One, right to the end of time, has to do with LOVE!  

And the apostle John puts it all so beautifully in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

That’s it in a nutshell people! God first LOVED us, that’s why we’re celebrating the birth of Christ in this Christmas season. And furthermore, He requires His followers to both LOVE Him and our fellow human beings. That’s not a desire or a wish; it’s His command! So please, in this time of over-the-top celebrations, when there’s still so much, sickness, poverty, homelessness, hatred, strife and war in our rather prosperous world, please, I implore us, as true believers in Christ, let’s sincerely show the LOVE of God to those around us nuh, especially the less fortunate, for that’s when we’re most Christ-like. 

Now let’s go home this Christmas Eve day declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. Altogether now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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, like we ought to. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2019 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.    ​My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
 

Ah friends, it seems like one of those days where the ole fella is somewhat under the weather! And when your first job is to dress up in winter fashion and go outside to put the recycling bin on the curb, that certainly doesn’t endear the cold, dark and dreary morning to your tired and aching soul! (smile) And a couple of errant snowflakes floating down from on high doesn’t help maters either. But thankfully, we have the Supreme Being called Jesus Christ in our corner, so we don’t really have to worry about the weather or the state of our physical bodies, because He will brighten our spirits and our lives if we just ask Him sincerely! 

Give Him much thanks and praise yes mih people, because I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh! Especially on a cold, dreary morning when my mind is in the dumps and I don’t know what to write about… And how about that? By the time I could finish the thought of not knowing what to write about, I received an amazing direction: ‘Write about faith; in particular, Mary’s faith, when the Holy Ghost told her about having an incarnate birth, having a child without knowing a man.’ So how can I not LOVE and revere the Lord’s faithfulness eh? 

So we all know that Mary didn’t quibble or quiver when she heard the news which would have caused a million problems in her life. But once Gabriel explained the situation, and told her that with God nothing shall be impossible, she bowed to the Lord’s wishes. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) And you’d notice the awesome difference in standards of faith when you check out Zechariah’s response to Gabriel’s message re, he’d be the father of John the Baptist. 

He was in the temple burning incense as was his priestly duty. ‘And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zechariah saw him, (the angel of the Lord) he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zechariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord his God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ (Luke 1:11-17) 

Yes precious people, Zechariah was also informed of the good news of the upcoming birth in his family, and one would think that as an older, wiser and more worldly person than Mary, as well as a priest in God’s universe, his faith would have been at a higher level than hers. 

But listen to his response. ‘And Zechariah said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken (advanced) in years. And the angel answering, said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to thee these glad tidings (this good news). And behold, thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (own time)’ (Luke 1:18-20) 

So Zechariah remained dumb until John’s birth. Meanwhile Mary, his wife’s cousin, who later came to visit and got such a great reception from his wife and unborn son (Luke 1:39-45) that her spirit was filled with such joyful faith that she could declare: ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1: 46-55) 

Wow mih people! Imagine a teen aged girl from a backwater town called Nazareth emoting so magnificently on the Lord’s behalf nuh! Today we call her speech’ The Magnificat!’ But that’s what happens when you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, regardless of your colour, class, creed, race, gender or age! (smile) So since we all now have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, let’s do as Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians nuh. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph. 5:18) 

Yes friends, as the scholars say: ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. A person filled with wine is under its influence, but God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ Amen, to that my people! 

And for those of us sincerely and consistently endeavouring to allow the Holy Spirit more of us, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms 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!’ So let’s go out now and do just that nuh; trust Jesus and share his awesome LOVE! Much LOVE!

…to be filled with the Spirit…one must allow Him…to control one’s…thoughts, attitudes and actions…

P.S. I have to chuckle at how much I eventually wrote, when I didn’t know what to write. But that’s the Lord’s Holy Spirit for you! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2019 Daniel 6:16b.

Daniel 6:16b.    Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
 

Ah friends, the weather nowadays can be so finicky and capricious, just like… hold that thought mih brother, because in these days of female empowerment, the fairer sex is liable to get all over yuh case. (smile) But seriously though, just two days ago there was snow all over the rooftops and ground, but now there’s little trace of it, because the temperature went up to almost double digits yesterday, thus it ended up being a rainy day, and all the snow was washed away. 

And I must say that I now miss seeing the snow covered rooves of the houses when I look out my window. Imagine that nuh! But that’s the kind of guy the ole fella is; if it’s pleasing to the eye, then say so, although the presence of said thing might be inconvenient and dangerous. (smile) 

And I just want to point out to us today, how unconventional our great God can be. Remember when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he refused to fall in line with King Darius’ decree ‘that every man who shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?’ (Dan. 6:12) Now we all know that was simply a set up to get Daniel thrown into the lion’s den since they knew he would not bow down to any other God save that of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

And when the king realized that he’d been played by his senior bureaucrats, he was heartbroken, ‘sore displeased  with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (greatly strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.’(Dan.6:14) That shows how important and close Daniel was to the king. But unfortunately he couldn’t do anything about it because no decree or statute of the Medes and Persians could be changed once the king established it. So with a sad heart he watched as Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. 

But here’s what I want us to pay particular attention to; the kings last words to Daniel before he was thrown in. ‘Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.’  Wow! What words of faith and encouragement the Lord placed in the pagan king’s mouth! The king knew of Daniel’s faithfulness to his God, and obviously had heard and seen some of the miracles He wrought in and through Daniel, so his supposedly last words to Daniel were not as far-fetched as they might at first seem. 

Oh my people, how many of us can truthfully say that we serve our great and wonderful God with zeal such as Daniel eh? Not very many; certainly not enough, especially in this current mish-mash world of ours! But NOW friends, NOW is the time when our zeal for the Lord ought to be the highest it’s ever been, because the enemy is getting more powerful every day, and we simply cannot allow that to happen! We simply cannot allow the fear of the world to stop us from fighting tooth and nail for Jesus’ eternal cause. We desperately need to stand on the words of king Darius: that the God whom we serve continually will deliver us in any and every situation! 

It’s all about belief and faith friends! And those two things will bring trust and surrender and courage and confidence! It’s already all inside of us, we now have to water those seeds with faith and let them grow strong and true! If we’re to be victorious in Jesus’ cause, then we have to hunker down NOW, just like the enemy is doing, and fight, fight the good fight in our Lord and Saviour’s name! Nothing less will do! Now it’s not going to be easy, since life’s never easy, but with Almighty God in our hearts and souls remember that everything is possible; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! 

This is the time when we need the powerful and reassuring Word of God to reassure us. But it can’t do that unless we seriously and continually read, study and write it indelibly in our hearts. Please remember the immortal words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of Israel after Moses died. ‘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 faithful brethren, that is the most defining verse in the entire Word of God! Study it, and live it, then you will have good success! It’s clear as day! Please note the importance of the word ‘good’ there, for you can have success by following the enemy, but that’s bad success, a success that never lasts or get’s one into eternal life with God. And that’s simply why so many of us are not leading lives as prosperous as we can; we don’t spend enough serious and sincere time in the Word, and thus we can’t live it as we ought. 

Oh my people, I do hope that my words, or rather the words put into my heart and fingers by the Holy Spirit will be of great encouragement to us today, because we do need to increase our faithfulness and trust, so that we can fight the good fight that’s called for in these most trying and turbulent times! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 that should lead us to put on our battle armour and excitedly go out and share Christ’s LOVE and friendship! Much LOVE!

..the time is NOW…the time is NOW…NOW is the time…

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