Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2020 Zechariah 4:6.

Zechariah 4:6.     ​Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
 

Well hello there mih lovelies! Greetings and salutations! It’s so good to come to you again in fellowship with LOVE and peace in Christ uppermost in our minds and souls! It means that the Lord has granted us another day to do His work down here on earth, to complete the plan He’s ordained since the beginning of time for our lives. And this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin admirably describes how our heavenly Father works in our lives when we are obedient to His will. It’s simply titled ‘The Task.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord you give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By Your own magnificent power. Then You praise the performance Your creativity achieved And You reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself. My Father.’ 

Now how wonderful is that eh? I’d say, most wonderful! (smile) That’s why I keep telling us about the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve. No other supposed deity would ever do such a thing; give you a tough task, then help you do it, then give you credit for it when it was done strictly under His watchful eye and mighty power! But that’s how the great God; Jehovah, Yahweh, I Am, whatever you choose to call him, operates! And that’s why I also can’t understand why we don’t live in greater obedience to Him, but foolishly prefer to run behind the things of the world. 

And our stupidity just boggles my mind, because He’s most faithfully promised that if we seek first his kingdom and His righteousness that all those worldly things we need…and much more too, will be given to us! Our problem is that we’re proud and greedy and impatient. We want it all, and right now, so we kill ourselves working for it, and sadly end up with no time to truly enjoy the worldly fruits of our labour. Now does that make sense my brethren? Obviously not! 

And even in these dangerous times of pandemic and strife, it’s still the worldly things for which we’re hungering, instead of being peaceful and calm and using this imposed time to come closer to our God, the One who LOVES unconditionally, and so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die, to be led like a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter, so that our sins could be paid for by His sinless blood. And yet still…we refuse to believe and obey… Ah mih people, I don’t know what else to say nuh to get us to truly embrace our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to do His works down here on earth as He so greatly desires. 

So let’s turn back to our poem and the Bible verse to which it’s associated. It’s a promise of our God to the prophet Zechariah, re His doing of difficult or seemingly impossible things. In a vision the prophet saw a golden candlestick and two olive trees and did not understand their meaning. The angel of the Lord told Zechariah. ‘This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Zech. 4:6) Oh friends, what a most wonderful promise! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:1-14. The fifth vision, the golden candlestick and the two olive trees: The work of God (the rebuilding of the temple) would be accomplished through God’s leaders, Joshua and Zerubbabel, who would be enabled to perform their tasks by the Spirit of God….’ Ah mih people, that was not the first time that the Lord had used His Spirit to enable His followers to perform His work. How do you think that Nehemiah was able to rustle together the remnants in Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city in only fifty two days eh? (Neh. 6:15) It was through the Spirit of the Lord! 

And it’s a promise that the Lord made several times in the Old Testament. Hear Him to the prophet Hosea with his unfaithful wife. ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos. 1:7) And then to the prophet Joel, our great God proclaimed: ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the (men) servants and the handmaids (maidservants) in those days will I pour out my spirit.’ (Joel 2:28-29)

 Oh what a marvellous promise! And we’ll go back to the scholar’s explanation of Zechariah’s vision. ‘…The vision indicates that future Israel will be a blessing to all the nations of the world through an abundant supply of the Spirit of God as the result of the coming of the Messiah, who will unite the offices of priest and king in Himself.’ 

And yes, that’s exactly what happened when Jesus came, and when He promised the coming of the Comforter. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you’ (John 14:16-17) 

And furthermore, Jesus reassured them.. and us: ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26) Ah my fellow saints in Christ, how beautiful is our Lord and Saviour eh! And it happened exactly as promised on the day of Pentecost, some fifty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, after telling them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. (Acts. 1:4) 

They were all in one place, with the same purpose in mind. ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Oh mih people, yuh think we God easy nuh! Not at all! He likes to show off His awesome power on behalf of His people, and since that momentous day of Pentecost, His Holy Spirit has dwelt within every believer, leading and guiding, comforting and renewing and helping us to live this earthly life in godly fashion! Wow! What more can we ask for eh? Not much! So let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail letting the world know of our awesome position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 we know for sure that if we hold our positions, endure to the end, then that promise will be kept, even more gloriously than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to sincerely follow Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to live…   

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long…but oh so informative and reassuring! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2018 2 Corinthians 9:8.

2 Corinthians 9:8.    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

It’s Sunday once again friends, the Lord’s Day, and all roads lead to His sanctuary, to praise, worship, fellowship, hear His word and receive strength and confidence to go out and do His work with diligence and excellence in the upcoming week! 

And that’s partly why the Bit is this late; the ole fella finally darkened the church’s door after about three or four weeks of absence. Hn! I can’t remember being that long away from church for several years now. Anyway, we’re back, and did enjoy the fellowship and the reading of the word. 

And as always, on Sundays we begin by opening our mouths, and lifting up our voices in songs of worship and praise. It helps to soften our hearts for the word that comes later. (smile) And today’s song of praise is simply titled ‘Our God is able.’ And that’s an undeniable fact. So let’s belt it out with sincere hearts and strong voices. 

‘Our God is able. He will never fail. He is Almighty God. Greater than all we seek. Greater than all we ask. (Chorus: He has done great things. Lifted up. He defeated the grave. Raised to life. Our God is able. In His name we overcome. For the Lord, Our God is able.) 

God is with us. God is on our side. He will make a way. Far above all we know. Far above all we hope. (Chorus) God is with us. He will go before us. He will never leave us. He will never leave us. God is for us. He has open arms. He will never fail us. He will never fail us. (Chorus -repeat).’ 

Oh friends, every word we sang there is indeed gospel truth, for our God is indeed able, as Bruh Paul declared to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! 

And if you don’t believe, just look at what happened on the Day of Pentecost, which the church is celebrating today. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5)

…But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

Yeh friends, who could make such a remarkable promise and keep it eh? ONLY our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And we read it every year at Pentecost time, but it still boggles our imagination. 

The Good Book says that on the Day of Pentecost, ‘they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Wow, mih people! Can you imagine that scene back in ole Jerusalem on that first day of Pentecost? It must have been really wild, since there were oodles of people in Jerusalem at that time, many of them foreign born, and when the disciples emerged from their house and began to speak in several languages, so that those foreign born could understand in their own languages. Mama Yo! It must have been almost cataclysmic! (smile) 

‘Now when this was noised abroad (the sound of the wind occurred) the multitude came together and were confounded (confused), because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect) wherein we were born? …And they were all amazed and, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this?’ (Acts 2:6-8, 12-13) 

Oh fellow believers, ONLY our God is great enough to turn things on their head like that! But as always there are disbelievers and mockers, who said that the men were drunk. But Peter got up and preached his finest sermon that day, informing them that it was the coming to pass of an old promise of our God, from the days of the prophet Joel: 

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God. I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams… And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:17,21) 

Yeh mih people, the Lord promised many other signs and wonders within that passage, but the most important was the last one; that whosoever should call on His name will be saved. Glory Hallelujah! The most glorious promise in the Good Book! 

And that also marked the beginning of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within every believer to lead and guide them in the ways of the Lord. So it’s obvious that our God is able my brethren…able to do all that’s necessary to keep us going. Please don’t ever doubt God’s ability, and give Him plenty thanks and praise, for that is wisdom at its highest. Much LOVE!

…if God could speak the world into existence…what other mighty works can’t He do eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Oh my, my, friends, another glorious day is in the offing, and we’re alive to tell the tale! Mama Mia! 

How blessed we are, that our great God chose us to see another day of earthly pilgrimage! Give Him plenty thanks and praise for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to us nuh, for He certainly deserves it. 

I don’t know about you all, but I certainly look forward to each new day, that I know will be brim full of wonderful mercies, blessings and oodles of unimaginable opportunities to LOVE others, to do good, and to be obedient to His holy will. Glory to God! 

Ohhh, what a magnificent God we serve and worship my people! 

And since today is Wednesday, let’s wail our grateful and sincere Wednesday Wail. As one wailer now (smile): ‘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 fine, upstanding Christians, that is exactly what we are expected to do my brethren; be glad to be alive, have our hands strong and steadfast on the plough, looking straight ahead to the glorious future that’s promised with Christ! 

And what a future that is going to be my fellow believers! I don’t think we can really imagine or contemplate it nuh with our small, finite minds. But believe me, it’s going to be extraordinary, just like everything with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is extraordinary! 

All praise and glory be to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Now let’s continue with our Bit, which was prophesied by the prophet Joel long before that momentous day of Pentecost. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And with the universal launching of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, that aspect of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled. And we’ll also continue looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that fateful day of Pentecost. We stopped yesterday where he had explained to his listeners about the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. 

And after that, the Good Book declares thus: ‘Now when they had heard this, they were pricked in (cut to) their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren what shall we do? 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord shall call. 

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (crooked) generation.’ (Acts 2:37-40) 

Wow mih people! Peter certainly had the Holy Spirit moving and a grooving in him that day! 

And oh so many of us today deserve to hear that sermon, because too many of us have been separated from God, and will be left on the outside looking in when the day of judgement is fulfilled, unless we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 

And as I keep reminding us, the worse thing that can ever happen to a human being is to be eternally separated from Almighty God when the roll is called up yonder! 

Now some of us might wonder what happened on that Day of Pentecost after Peter gave his great speech. Listen to the Good Book tell it: ‘Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Ah friends, what a feast of souls was laid out before God that day! 

Hn! Just wish nowadays that we can get three hundred, or even thirty, or some days even three. But getting people to turn to God in these sad times, when they truly need Hi most, is becoming more difficult every day because of the enemy’s stranglehold on the world, and our less than satisfactory behaviour as true Christians. 

Now here is some info from the scholars re the Apostles’ doctrine. ‘2:42. The word doctrine derives from the Latin term for teaching and refers to the content that was taught in the New Testament. The proper teaching of Scripture was called “the apostles’ doctrine,” meaning that which the apostles’ taught. 

This contrasted with erroneous teaching called “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim.4:1), meaning that teaching whose source is not God but the messengers of Satan, whose desire is to substitute false religion for Christianity (2 Cor.11:13-15). 

Illustration: The apostles’ doctrine was true, not because an apostle taught it, but because it was consistent with the Scriptures. The Bereans examined the teaching of Paul in light of the Scriptures before accepting it (17:11). Also, the church at Ephesus examined some who called themselves apostles and found them liars (Rev.2:2). 

Application: A Christian should attempt to understand and believe true doctrine, while rejecting all that disagrees with the Word of God (1 John 4:1). (First Ref. Acts 2:42: cf. Titus 3:10).’ 

Now friends, those are very important distinctions, that’s why I am always admonishing us to read the scriptures for ourselves, because that’s the only way we can know if what is being preached or taught to us is truly God’s Word. 

So please, please try and read even a little of the Word each and every day, so that your knowledge of it can be steadily improved and you will better know how to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) 

So until tomorrow, God in favour, let’s get with the Word nuh friends. And may the Good Lord bless and keep us and help us to walk safely and kindly on this our earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not aware of what the Word says…then you’ll fall for any and every thing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Welcome to another brand new day in the life friends! It means that God still has great plans for us to accomplish, other wise He would have taken us home. 

Now we got through Monday with a smile, so Tuesday should be even easier, especially when it abounds with new mercies and blessings from our wonderful Father in heaven. 

And even if the physical state of your day is rainy, or cloudy like mine, just remember that that physical aspect doesn’t really matter that much, because we ALWAYS have the brilliant spiritual light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shining in our hearts. Glory to God! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with plenty verve, sincerity and truth. All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! What the world says and does, doesn’t define us. We are the beloved children of God! That’s who we are. And NOBODY can take that from us! 

Please remember that. Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. We are the beloved children of God! Never forget it! 

But please remember too that those great privileges – a child of God, and a friend of Jesus – also carry a great responsibility; sharing Christ’s LOVE with the world. We cannot be true believers or faithful Christians until and unless we are doing that. 

Oh I know I’m preaching to the choir, (smile) but sometimes even the choir needs preaching to. Now let’s get to our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Yes friends, we’re continuing with the Pentecost story, another great day in the annals of Christianity! Yesterday we began looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that most momentous day, and we’ll continue with the same today. 

After quoting the prophecy of Joel and tying it into the Pentecost situation, he then declared: ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of (attested by) God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. 

Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked (lawless) hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up having loosed (destroyed) the pains (birth pangs) of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of (held by) it.’ (Acts 2:22-24) 

Hey people, just imagine Peter pontificating to that crowd nuh. Then he went on to quote Bruh David from Psalm 16:8-11, where he talks about the Lord not leaving his soul or Jesus’ in hell. 

‘Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher (tomb) is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (Ps.132:11); 

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Hades) neither his flesh did see corruption (Ps.16:10). This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. 

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, 

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (Ps.110:1) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ (Acts 2:29-36) 

Wow friends, Peter is surely on a roll! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:22-36. The main point of Peter’s sermon is to prove that Jesus is both God and the Messiah (v.36). Peter seeks to prove this through Christ’s miraculous works (v.22), His resurrection (vv.23-32), and His sending of the Holy Spirit (vv.33-35).’ 

And some more scholarly explanations: ‘2:27. Hell is the word Hades and does not refer to the eternal lake of fire but to the intermediate state of the Old Testament dead. In the New Testament the term also refers to the grave. Peter states that David’s words of Psalm 16:10 are a prophecy concerning the immediate resurrection of the Messiah, of whom David is a type.’ 

Ah mih people, the Day of Pentecost was indeed a red letter day in the history of Israel, also in the annals of Christianity, marking the true beginning of the body of Christ, His church. 

So please, as we go about our earthly business today, let’s contemplate the miraculous events that took place on that momentous day in Jerusalem, some two thousand years ago, and let’s also contemplate the part that the Holy Spirit has played, is playing and will play in our own lives, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…the workhorse of the Holy Trinity…the Holy Spirit…