Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2020 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.     ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:

So it’s Saturday! What’s new with the world eh? Nothing nuh! Just more of the same old, same old; overwhelming evil, violence, hate and strife, with not enough peace, LOVE, forgiveness and godly attitudes to quell those negative enemy traits. But if there’s one thing we believers know, is that there’s a righteous, graceful and merciful God sitting on His throne in the high heavens watching down on us, and contrary to popular opinion He IS in control of ALL things, and in His time, in His own inimitable style, will right ALL that’s wrong with this world, working ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him! 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, so let’s just hang in there in strong faith and blessed assurance, knowing that ALL promises will be fulfilled in due course of time. Now let’s see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Hear this first one, which is simple logic. ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ Now that’s obvious isn’t it. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t do the same thing all the time and expect to get a different result.’ 

But that’s exactly what a lot of us do. We keep going round the same mountain with the same attitudes, but expect things to change. That’s impossible friends! And it leads us nicely into this next quote: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.’ And isn’t that the unfortunate truth! That’s why we keep going around the same old mountain, with the same old results. Things will only change when we fess up to our problems, face them squarely in the face and get to work on them! 

Good example is the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years because they were afraid to go into the Promised Land when the Lord told them to. And when they said they were ready, He said no, it’s not your timing but mine. So He let them continue wandering, allowing the old ones to die, while He built up the courage and strength of the younger ones. So that only Joshua and Caleb of those who came out of Egypt ever set foot in the Promised Land. But please note that during all that time, their clothes nor shoes never wore out, and He fed them continually with manna! Such is the magnanimity of our God, even when He’s trying to teach us a lesson. 

Then there’s this: ‘If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis.’ Again, that’s simple logic. But sadly, logic is something that’s being constantly levered out of our society. We’re now been barraged by things and people called ‘influencers’ paid to influence us with their lifestyle, regardless of how foolish or distasteful and useless it is. And too many of us don’t ask questions as to why these things are being done. We just follow them blindly! 

Ah the pull, the power of social media to dictate our lives! Steups! What a foolish, gutless, monkey see, monkey do society we’ve become. Yes friends, we can’t see or understand what’s happening unless we ask questions, and the right ones at that! Let’s wake up and start doing that nuh, instead of merely accepting whatever social media and the supposed experts say nuh! Let’s start charting our own God-led paths, instead of those the world is setting out for us. And here’s one way to do that: ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ 

Not foolishly though. Don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, but develop a strategy of asking sensible and to the point questions on matters that interest you. Nobody likes a body who just keeps pestering them, asking questions willy nilly, without any good or apparent reason. Questions though, wisely asked and with proper timing can lead to a well-spring of growth and phenomenal understanding of the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ of this world and our earthly existence. 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.’ Well how could they eh, when they inherently pertain to growth and progress? The problem though is what we consider growth and progress. Is it the world’s version, or God’s version? I suggest that God’s version is the much better one! Here’s why in a nutshell. This from Jesus, the Son of God, and if He doesn’t know the truth, then who knows it eh? (smile) 

‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:19-20) 

Wow! What wonderful advice my brethren! So if that’s a fact – and if Jesus says so, then it is so – why would I want to have the worldly version of growth and progress eh? Then all my treasures would be liable to theft and ruin by rust and moth. But when I desire the godly version of growth and progress, then all that I achieve is safely stored in heaven. As Peter says so awesomely: ‘To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you.’ (1 Pet. 1:4) 

Oh my people, nothing bad or evil can touch anything we store away in heaven, there is never any loss or lessening of our treasures stored there. However, to be able to store away stuff in heaven we need to follow this golden rule – from Jesus again, which means it must be true. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That means we need to have Almighty God as our Number ONE priority!And just like He looked after the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness, He will look after us, granting us ALL the necessities we need for earthly living and also storing up some for us in heaven! 

Now how does the world’s version of growth and progress compare to that eh? Not very well, because all the wealth and power you may amass under the world’s evil prince, can be lost in the bat of an eye, like the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21, where the rich, greedy man decided to break down and build bigger storehouses for his wealth, but that same night the Grim Reaper came calling as he generally does rather unexpectedly. And what did the rich fool leave with eh? Nothing! 

And neither did he have anything stored in heaven, because in his earthly life, he was not rich towards God. So all his earthly work, progress, growth and possessions turned out to be of absolutely no use to him. My people, please let’s learn from his story nuh, and be wise and be rich towards God in our earthly lives. That’s wisdom to the nth degree!Much LOVE!

…earthly things are nice…but heavenly ones look better and last longer… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2019 Isaiah 51:12.

Isaiah 51:12.    ​I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass.
 

Welcome friends and neighbours to a wet and cloudy Tuesday morning, the penultimate day of July 2019! It might not seem like a beautiful day, but it is another day in the oh so small number of days in our life basket – like a breath of air compared to the life of the universe! So please let’s be determined to rejoice and enjoy it nuh, for that’s why the Lord gave it to us, and if we don’t, He will be heartbroken! (smile) 

And since I know that sometimes the cloudy weather depletes our natural enthusiasm and energy, I’m here to day to help us build up both. Now Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) claims that ‘Enthusiasm begets energy. Success depends on positive energy that enables you to stick with it. Energy that is positive is energy fed by enthusiasm. 

Enthusiasm produces such positive energy that even when you’re physically exhausted you can’t wait to wake up the next morning to climb to a higher ledge. Positive energy moves you forward. Enthusiasm lifts you higher. Success becomes self-perpetuating. Negative thinking fatigues you, but positive energy replenishes you!’ 

So let’s see if we can’t get some positive thinking in our spirits today nuh, so that we can replenish what the negativity has lost. And we’ll begin with this short prayer from Gramps Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me: ‘Jesus Christ, come into my life. Flush all negative thinking out of my mind. LOVE people through me. 

I believe you are coming into me now in the form of God-filled ideas. I know I have enormous undiscovered, untapped energy within me. I feel young, I have energy, I am energetic. Thank you for this vitality and strength of mind and body. Live within me, O God, and do good works through me. Thank you again. Amen!’ 

And if you were sincere in that prayer, then friends, I can guarantee that you now feel much more positive and enthusiastic about your life and whatever difficult circumstances might be currently swirling around you! I certainly am more encouraged and enthusiastic! I just have to go and find a suitable Bit now to keep our engines running on positive energy. Soon come! 

And it didn’t take me long to find this most interesting and encouraging scripture from the book of the prophet Isaiah, where he promises, in the Lord’s name, that the faithful, who are first called to courage, WILL be comforted. ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass. 

And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is.51:12-13) 

Wonderful questions those are my people! The fury of the oppressor has been stilled by the victory of Christ over him! Thus we have no need to be afraid of his satanic majesty. And even before that, both the psalmist and Isaiah had given us reason not to fear. 

In his declaration of thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation, the psalmist confidently proclaimed: ‘The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Not a lot friends. He can kill our bodies but not our souls. Only the Lord Jehovah can kill both, so we ought to be more concerned with His wishes. 

And Isaiah, while talking about comfort through trust in the Lord, made it very clear when he cried, that: ‘All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness (loveliness) thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit (breath) of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.’ (Is.40:6-8) 

And that my brethren, we all know as gospel truth! The world shall pass away, but NEVER the word of our Mighty Jehovah God. Now let’s turn to the New Testament for a couple of scriptures of comfort and encouragement. First off, listen to Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: 

‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of god.’ (2 Cor.1:3-4) What a brilliant strategy my people! Our God comforts us in our times of trouble, so that we can comfort others, in their troubled times! 

And Peter adds his two cents worth: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again into a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Yes friends, treasures and rewards, incorruptible and undefiled are stored up in heaven for those who believe and run the great race of faith through the salvation of Christ! Wow! What can be more encouraging and comforting that eh? Absolutely nothing! So please, let’s put all this fearful and negative thinking out of our minds, bodies and souls, and instead rejoice in the positive things that the Lord has done for us, and also has stored away in heaven for us. That’s the whole purpose of our faith! 

Consequently, let’s go home now in excellent, positive spirits, as we declare (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. All together in unison and harmony 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!’ 

Oh my precious peeps, with that positive spirit now flowing and flowering through our souls, let’s go out and share Jesus’ great LOVE and friendship, like He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…when one sincerely serves Jesus…there’s noting to worry about…because He has all the bases covered…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2018 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Ah friends, after looking at some of the news headlines and seeing the unnecessary strife and the many natural disasters that are plaguing our once beautiful world, I decided that there was only one way to begin today’s Bit; that’s with some acclamations of our faith to bolster our courage and help us keep keeping on in the face of so much negative happenings. 

So let’s affirm with sincere heart and ongoing faith. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY whatsoever! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And isn’t that a fact, a most awesome one! And last but not least: God will supply all my needs through His riches in glory through Jesus Christ! 

Glory be mih people! That should get us going and hold us for today as we hear about and see the ungodly and disastrous things that are happening in our world. 

And it’s only fitting that with the great amount of talk and li’l action taking place in our world that we should continue with our Bit from yesterday, where James talks about hearing and doing the word. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And he told us why?  ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Therefore we should put away all evil and lustful stuff and concentrate on the Word that’s implanted in our hearts, since it is what keeps us going on the course of faith, thus helping us to mature as time goes by. 

And he continues with this warning: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Ah mih people, that is so reminiscent of so many of us today; we hear the word, then immediately forget it, and don’t put it into practice. And I believe it happens very much on a Sunday, where we go to church and hear God’s word preached, but as soon as we get out, we continue with our old way of living and don’t put what we heard into practice. 

That’s obviously not good enough my people, for God’s Word is a practical treatise on daily living, and needs to be actioned if it is to be useful! So what’s the point of hearing it if we don’t intend to put it to good use in our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4) It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’ 

Ah precious people, what a day it was when Jesus defeated hell, death and the grave and set us free from all the terrorizing religious laws of Moses’ time, which no one could keep. And I’d like to say read those scriptures above, but I know very few of you will, but because I LOVE you all so much and care so much about your souls, I will spoon feed you with a couple of them. (smile) 

Listen to Jesus on the Law of Moses. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prohets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) Yes friends, Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law! 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ God had always intended for us to end up with an inner connection, through His Holy Spirit, and that’s what Jesus came to do. 

Now hear Bruh Paul as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:1-2) And we all know that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

So James concludes: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:26-27) So friends, true religion is neither mere hearing or mere doing but a timely balance of both aspects of our faith. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proud of our position in Christ. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, merely thinking about how glorious that future will be, just boggles my small mind! Much LOVE!

…to be on the same page as Jesus…we must hear…as well as do…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2017 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Welcome to Wednesday friends! It’s a brand new day with brand new mercies and blessings! Glory to God for providing us with such abundance! 

In return we ought to give Him much thanks and praise, be obedient to His holy will and enjoy the day. That’s why we can all sincerely shout: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And if we don’t follow through with that declaration, then it’s only us losing, foolishly forsaking God’s goodness. The Lord will still be in His high heaven enjoying Himself, but we will be miserable down here on planet earth. 

Consequently, I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that’s titled ‘So Profound.’ 

And it says: ‘O God I want to sing and dance I want to shout it from the hilltops: There is absolutely nothing In my wretched past That can hinder You From redeeming my future Except my refusal to let You. Thank You for invading my heart With a truth so refreshing So magnificent So profound!’ 

Yeh mih people, we should be singing and dancing and giving praise each and every day that we’re alive, thankful for our wonderful God’s redeeming and forgiving nature! 

And it’s surprising when we live a thankful and grateful life how interesting and adventurous are our days! We don’t sit around moping and groaning and complaining because things aren’t going our way. 

But it’s surprising how many supposed believers unwisely live that miserable sort of life even with God’s goodness and mercy right at their fingertips. 

And we should be especially thankful and grateful at this most important time of year when Jesus rose from the dead to allow us to have the free, God-given options of salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

And the Bible Promises used for that poem are some verses from 1 Peter that we recently looked at, but are certainly worthy of sharing again, the first one being our Bit. 

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Ah mih people, our God is so great that our small, finite minds can’t even truly comprehend His greatness! And don’t talk about His LOVE! Wow! That is so out of sight that it boggles our imagination! 

For before we LOVED Him, He LOVED us and sent His Son to die in our place, so that our sins could be forgiven! Now if that isn’t the ultimate in LOVE, then I don’t know what is!  

Now let’s look at some explanations of our verses from the scholars. ‘1:3-2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.” Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’ 

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation. Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’ 

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs. 3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. 

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. 

Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’ 

Yeh friends, the explanations might take some effort to understand, but that’s how we get to know the word. And besides, the most important fact is that it’s all for our good! So please make the effort to grasp it and hang on to it. Hope you enjoyed the lesson in Greek too. (smile) 

Now let’s end by sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s truly live it my brethren! Much LOVE!

…the great gift of salvation…would not be possible without Jesus’ sacrificial death…and His awesome resurrection…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2017 1 Corinthians 15:20.

1 Corinthians 15:20.    But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have fallen asleep, have died).

HAPPY  EASTER!

Oh my beautiful fellow believers, at last it’s Easter Sunday! Glory to God! And we all know what happened on this faithful, blessed, unforgettable day some two thousand years ago: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ rose triumphantly from the dead, having been crucified on Good Friday to pay our sin debt in full! 

Wow! What a magnificent triumph that was over hell, death and the grave! The negative elements of sin and darkness were put to flight by the brilliant, blazing light of new life embodied by Christ’s Resurrection! 

Consequently what better song of praise can we sing this Sunday morning than that penned for the occasion by Charles Wesley way back in 1739: ‘Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!?’ None my brethren! 

So in full voice, with overwhelming enthusiasm and gratitude, let’s sincerely offer up the sacrifice of praise this Easter morn, so that in heaven on high, there can be no doubt of our thankfulness for Jesus’ great victory over the enemy. 

All together now:  Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia! 

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Yes friends, that was wonderful, although there are really no words to truly convey the gratitude we owe to Jesus and our heavenly Father for making it possible to flee sin and return to the warm cockles of their everlasting LOVE! 

And today I don’t want to get into all the stuff that happened in the garden at the tomb because we know all of that well enough. Instead I want to show and describe what Jesus’ resurrection really means for us as believers; namely the assurance of life after death for ALL who sincerely believe and put their heart-felt trust in Him. 

Listen to our Bit: ‘But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have fallen asleep, have died). Oh my people, the first fruits are an important symbol in our faith; the first of anything, the part we offer to God. 

And according to the scholars: ‘15:20. First fruits (cf. Lev.23:9-14): The “first fruits” in Israel always anticipated a harvest.’  Glory be my people! For that means if Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection, then there is an abundant harvest, namely His believers and followers that will be coming after Him. What a wonderful assurance of salvation and eternal life for us! 

And Bruh Paul elucidates on that after our Bit. ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.’ (1 Cor.15:21-23)  

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘15:23-26. Order (lit. “group”): Afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming: When Christ comes for the church at the Rapture, believers will also experience resurrection (cf. 1 Thess.3:13; 4:14-18).’  

Now why would be so foolish as to accept eternal separation from God, instead of Christ’s offer, His personal assurance of eternal life with God eh? I surely don’t know, but unfortunately many of us are foolishly doing it. And to further corroborate our Bit, hear Bruh Paul in his monologue to King Agrippa, as he testified of his conversion to Christianity. 

‘Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show (would proclaim) light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.’ (Acts 26:22-23) 

And we are the Gentiles my people! And for God’s good grace to bring us into His fold, we ought to shout a grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ He didn’t have to, but His LOVE was so great for ALL His creation that He couldn’t leave us out. 

Now let’s close with some words from Peter as he talks about salvation wrought by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5)  

Yes friends, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we become new creatures, and receive hope and faith through God’s power to handle anything that comes against us, knowing that we are assured of salvation, it’s guaranteed, because of Jesus’ resurrection. So today, let us rejoice that the Lord is risen and consequently we will arise at the end times too. Much LOVE!

…He is Risen…He is Risen…Christ is Risen indeed…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ah Friends, it was just one of those days where the ole fella went to bed at a  Shakespearean early hour. (smile) Three o’clock found me sitting on my porch, but I didn’t stay long because the wind was in a rather frenzied state and had the poor trees dancing to an incredibly fast riddim, and it was also a tad chilly in my shorts and T-shirt.

It’s surprising that nothing seems to have been blown down, for since early evening the wind had been having serious histrionic fits. I had to close a couple of my windows because it was making such a fuss. And it’s still not completely over it’s bad behaviour, but just not as challenging as during the night.

Thankfully though, both the sun and Son are shining quite brightly this Wednesday morning. And since it’s Wednesday, then I guess it’s time for our Wednesday Wail. Please wail with me.

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

Oh my people, what a Friend, Lord and Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! Glory to God! I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh, for He is so LOVING, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving… And that’s just the tip of His attributes. It would take me half the day to name them all.

Yes Friends, having Jesus as the guide, the rudder and compass of our lives is the wisest action we can ever take down here on God’s great earth! I don’t know how I lived, how I existed before I truly let Him into my heart. Oh, He was always there, but lurking in the background, waiting for me to smarten up and surrender my life to Him.

As they say, hindsight is certainly 20-20 vision yes! For in hindsight, I can now see the many occasions on which He lent me a helping hand. Many times when others couldn’t or refused to help, He was the One who stepped into the breach and shored it up.

That’s why, now that I’ve truly bought into His plan, I can say with all sincerity and truth; what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And am I ever so grateful for His LOVE, mercy, comfort and grace which certainly makes this life worth living.

And I know that I’m not alone in that regard because the Lord works His magnanimous works in the lives of ALL who sincerely believe in and honour Him.

That’s why we can agree with Peter when he so wisely declares in our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

Yes my brethren, this new life of ours all stems from the resurrection of Christ. Without His resurrection, there would be no new creation of man!

And as Peter continues:’(We have been raised) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:4-5)

Oh Friends, what powerful and encouraging words and promises! But all of it indisputable, gospel truth!

Now let’s delve into what it all means with the help of the scholars. ‘1:3 –2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.”  Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation: Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vv.3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation.

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time.

Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’

Ah Friends, I do hope that the general descriptions, as well as the more specific ones help us to better understand what salvation is, and all that’s laid up for us in heaven, and also helps to increase our faith by knowing, by being assured that Almighty God, our Creator and Provider is constantly watching over us, and we can have no better security than that.

Now let’s ponder it all, then put it into action as our lives unfold, obviously with God’s help, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…oh what an auspicious, blessed and reassuring day…was that Easter Sunday morn…when Christ triumphantly rose from the grave…and gave us all the hope of future life eternal…with Him in heaven…