Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2016 Matthew 5:16.‏‏

Matthew 5:16.   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh my people, the great universe of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is unfolding as it should! Yes Friends, our magnificent God, Creator and Provider is sitting on His heavenly throne running things! Glory Be! 

And we, His most wonderful creation have been blessed to see another beautiful day on planet earth. Wow! You can’t beat that my friends. But now, the problem is what should our response be to such a bountiful blessing eh? 

Let me frame an interesting little scenario here. First of all Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) tells us from his Hour of Power Devotional to ‘draw close to Him (Jesus Christ). Catch His spirit and you will never be the same again. Let Jesus Christ redesign your self-image. 

Tomorrow morning try this prayer by Richard Grubb. “Good morning Christ. I LOVE You! What are you up to today? I want to be part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!” 

Ah friends, it’s indeed a simple but interesting and powerful prayer, in that it aligns us with Jesus Christ as soon as we awaken, gets us sincerely and securely hooked up with Him, our Guide and Leader right off the bat! That way we have less chance of going astray pretty early in the day. 

Then sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) from her devotional ‘Starting Your Day Right’ tells us: ‘Another key to starting your day right is not to dread things. Don’t lie in bed dreading the whole day before you even get up. Dread is a close relative to the spirit of fear. When dread enters, joy leaves. 

Dread sets you up for misery, because by choosing to dread, you decide that you cannot enjoy what you must do today. Be excited when you face new tests. Close the door to the mindset of dread. 

Decide early to enjoy every challenge that faces you today, knowing that God will be with you to make your path straight and to prosper everything you set out to do.’ 

What great advice my brethren! Oh my people, we need to immediately get in contact with Jesus when we get up, and don’t allow the spirit of fear to enter our lives and spoil our day before we even get moving. 

And to help us do that, Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) tells us from his devotional ‘Thirty Thoughts for Victorious Living:’ “God has commanded that we live in victory. That means no matter what you are going through, no matter how dark it looks, you can be encouraged that the darkness has to give way to light. Defeat has to give way to victory! 

But in order to open that door to victory, we must continually do what the psalmist did and constantly praise His name. Don’t go around talking about your problems: go around talking about your God! Don’t go around speaking words of defeat and failure; speak words of faith and victory! 

Quit worrying and start worshipping! Start praising and thanking God, and expect things to change in your favour. God will take you places that you’ve never even dreamed of, and you’ll start experiencing the victories that He’s commanded to be yours!” 

Yes my fellow believers, the only way we can truly benefit from God’s mercies and blessings is by staying positive, expecting success and victory in whatever we do, provided it is aligned with God’s Word. 

Ah friends, I wasn’t expecting this little combo to be so long when I dreamt it up, or more correctly was led by the Holy Spirit to put it together. But that’s how it turned out. 

Now I sincerely hope that that combination of things to do at the start of each new day and during it, will inspire us to come up higher, to get with God right from the very beginning and stay with Him all day long, so that He can successfully lead and guide us along paths of righteousness. 

And again, to help us through our earthly pilgrimage this Wednesday morning, the first day of June, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with sincerity, truth and lots of passion. 

As one 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 is it ever so wonderful that all we’ve said today, when put into action, will certainly help us obey the command of Jesus in our Bit. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Yes precious people, the only way we can truly obey that command is by staying in contact with Christ from the beginning of our day, right to the very end, when we put our heads on our pillows to sleep, after thanking Him for bringing us safely through the day, and asking for a blessed and restful night’s sleep, so that we can awaken next day to do LOVE all over again with Him. 

And on that excellent note we’ll close for today, because the rest of stuff I had envisioned sharing will make it too long. And I always have in mind our short mind spans. (smile) 

So please my fellow believers, let’s go out today and make Jesus proud of us nuh, by shining our light in this dark world, being the salt of the earth, adding godly flavour to it, and doing good works so that our heavenly Father can be deservedly glorified. Much LOVE!

…oh what a thrill and a joy it is…to do LOVE with Christ…each and every blessed day…Glory to God…!

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏‏

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Thursday, another bright and sunshiny day in my neck of the woods! And on top of that, it’s also supposed to be warmer than yesterday. 

Oh, all praise and glory be to our amazing God, who bestows, who showers us with new and wonderful mercies, blessings and LOVING-kindness each and every day! 

Wow! How could I not LOVE, worship, praise, revere and glorify such a magnanimous Deity eh! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

Yes my people, we do deserve to praise our heavenly Father for His unselfish care and compassion for us. Just wish that we could show Him and each other the same kind of care and concern. Anyway, since it’s Thursday, it’s time for us to confidently declare our Thursday Blessing… 

And with a thoughtful frown, the congregation asks: ‘What yuh talking about eh? Didn’t know we had a Thursday Blessing.’ 

Well the truth is my precious people, I didn’t know that either until a couple nights ago when I got this zeppo. (smile) 

And the story goes like this. As part of my devotions, I read an old devotional written by Bubba (Joel Osteen) in his early days of ministry. It had to be, because it’s old and beat up now, with some of the pages falling apart, and it was already old when I discovered it at my mothers place some years ago and we began reading it everyday, even when we couldn’t remember Bubba’s name. (smile) 

It’s called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living.’ I don’t know if Bubba even remembers that he wrote something like that, the amount of stuff he’s written over the last few years. But I like it; it serves my purposes, and I will continue to use it as long as I can. 

On a point of interest, most of my devotionals are old, but I prefer them to some of the new-fangled stuff that’s out there now. 

Anyway a couple days ago I was reading the devotions for the 11th of the month, which says ‘Declare Blessing’, and the prevailing scripture for that is the blessing instituted by our God long time ago for the Israelites. ‘Say to them, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you His peace.’ (Num.6:24) 

And the opening lines of the devotion are: ‘A blessing is not a blessing until it is declared! So today declare a blessing over yourself and others. Speak that blessing in the name of Jesus!’ And then he goes on to declare some blessings. 

Now the other day when I finished reading it, it suddenly occurred to me that it would make a good prayer for Thursdays. I thought about a couple of names, like ‘Thursday’s Temptation,’ or ‘Thursday’s Tantrum’ (smile) but eventually ended up with ‘Thursday’s Blessing’ as being more appropriate. 

And what I’ve done is basically taken Bubba’s general blessings and individualized them. So please declare with me now my brethren our Thursday Blessing, in a loud, proud, sincere and confident manner. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Thursday Blessing. I like it, and I do hope you like it too. It’s basically a rework of the Lord’s blessings promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, some very important words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, re the terms of our discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my brethren, the number one rule in following Jesus is to deny ourselves, become selfless instead of selfish, as our world is today. That doesn’t mean we don’t look after ourselves as best we can and do stuff for ourselves, but that we are not the be all and end all of our earthly lives. 

Just as Jesus came to serve and save, we too must concentrate on serving and saving, and on a daily basis too, which isn’t always easy. But as I keep saying, with God’s help, EVERYTHING is doable! 

And we’ll end with Jesus’ words after our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:24-27) 

And there we have it friends, the self-explanatory, immortal words of Jesus on how we must approach our discipleship. Please, let’s take some time today to ponder our individual relationship with Jesus, re those terms of discipleship. And as always, with God’s help, try to improve them, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…successfully walking with Jesus…takes lots of time…lots of selflessness…lots of care and consideration for others…  

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but please be aware that the hockey playoffs have begun, which means that there’s lots of hockey every night, and thus there will be many late nights and consequently late mornings. (smile) Just bear with the ole fella nuh. He’s got to have a life too yuh know. And once he’s alive and kicking, the Bit will get there…eventually. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2014 Jeremiah 31:31

Jeremiah 31:31. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. 
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new week! Yeh! And today, Sunday, is the first day in it. So let’s give our wonderful Creator and God big thanks of praise and glory for bringing us safely through the dark, demon-filled night into the bright, brilliant, bountiful and ever so beautiful Son-light of Jesus Christ, our most LOVING Lord and Saviour!
 
And on this auspicious day of the Lord, the Sabbath, let’s joyfully remember the reason for the seasons we’re celebrating; Advent, the eagerly awaited expectation of the Christ child; Christmas, the actual birth of the Christ child.
 
And all God’s people gave out with a heartwarming shout of grateful praise. ‘Thank You heavenly Father, for sending Jesus to sacrifice and atone for our sins. We’re not worthy of Your LOVE, but You still bless us with it because You are a merciful and ever-LOVING God.
 
We praise Your Holy Name, and will endeavour to live lives that are pleasing to You, and glorify You. This we pray in the name of Jesus, whose birth at Christmas gave us hope for a new future, heralded a new era in our lives, and whose death on the cross at Calvary, along with His resurrection and ascension brought Your promise of a new covenant to pass.
 
And we can’t end without saying a big, big thank You to Jesus for selflessly sacrificing His holy and sinless life for us. He didn’t have to do it. But He was obedient to Your will. Help us to be likewise obedient to Your dictates. Thank You Jesus! We bow to Your eternal majesty, and confess that You are indeed Lord of All! Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, that prayer might seem long and disjointed, but the important thing is that it came from the heart, as all prayers ought to, regardless of their length or correctness of language. (smile) And please don’t forget that today is the day for worship, praise and fellowship with both man and God.
 
Please let’s fill God’s sanctuaries with our bodies as well as with joy, thanks and gladness of heart, because our Bit is now in a sure mode of fulfillment. ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.’
 
Yes Friends, that wonderful promise was set in motion through Christ’s birth and His selfless actions as a young man. We’re now awaiting its culmination through His Second Coming in blazing glory!
 
And today I want to share some important explanations of the scholars, re that covenant, because they are invaluable in helping us to understand it. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to get in, because it takes up almost an entire page of the Good Book.
 
But here goes: ’31:31-34. The new covenant is the culmination of God’s covenant-making with Israel. It may be viewed as a document of God’s prophetic programme and of His policies of administration.
 
As an administrative document, it renders obsolete and succeeds the old Sinaitic covenant that served as the manual of procedure for carrying out the moral, civil, and ceremonial regulations relative to national Israel in the pre-Christian era (cf. Deut.7:6-11; Heb.8:7-13).
 
Some features of the old covenant are carried over into the new covenant: (1) There is in the new covenant a stress on the importance of the unchangeable principles of God’s law.
 
However, these will now be written not on stone but in the hearts of God’s people – they will become part of their inward code for living, and will conform in all respects to the moral law of the Scriptures.
 
Accordingly, the ideal that the old covenant called for (cf. Deut. 6:6-7; 10:16; 30:6) in external commandments will be internalized under the terms of the new covenant.
 
(2) With the establishment of the covenant at Sinai, Israel had become nationally God’s people (Ex. 6:6-7; 19:5-6). As such, they were to be a faithful and obedient people, reflecting His standards in their lives (Deut. 14:1-2; 26:16-19).
 
In a far greater way, the intimacy of the believer with God makes the realization of God’s relation to His people under the terms of the new covenant to be a full and living experience. Moreover, not just the Israelites but all believers (those who know God, v.34) are now called under the new covenant my people. (See 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.3:6-9, 15-18, 26-29; Titus 2:14)
 
These features of vital inwardness and a universality of the knowledge of God stand out as the two great distinctive elements in the new covenant.
 
(3) A third feature that represents continuity with the old covenant, yet superiority under the new covenant is the matter of forgiveness. Although God is said to forgive their iniquity under the administration of the Sinaitic covenant (Ex.34:6-7; Num.14:18; Deut.5:9-10; cf. Ps.86:15; Joel 2:13), in the stipulations of the new covenant, God will remember their sin no more.
 
This feature is a reminder that men in Old Testament times were saved in anticipation of the finished work of Calvary. Under the old economy, believers approached God in their worship experience through human mediators (Ex.20:19); but with the completed redemption by Christ, the members of the family of God now have direct access to God (cf. 1 Tim.2:5-6; Titus 2:11-14, 3:5-7; Heb. 9:1-10:22).
 
Where full forgiveness has been granted, there is no more remembrance of sin. Positionally and experientially, with the living reality of both God’s law in the heart and the indwelling Christ (Col.1:20-27) in the believer, there is not only full and continuous forgiveness of sin (1 John 1:8-9), but full provision for faithful and victorious living.’
 
And we’ll stop there for today. I do hope that some of that explanation does improve our understanding of some of the differences between the old and new covenants. I apologize for some of the big words and terms the scholars use that might have you running to your dictionary. But that’s just the nature of the beast – scholars just use big words because they feel that shows their scholarship. (smile)
 
So basically Friends, the new covenant writes God’s law in our hearts, rather than on outward things like tablets of stone; allows us to go directly to God not through some other human mediator, and in addition to forgiving our sins, now throws them far behind God’s back, never to be remembered again.
 
As I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And whoever rejects Him is a total idiot. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2013 Psalm 92:12

Psalm 92:12.   The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, the ole fella went to se Bubba (Joel Osteen) at the ACC, Air Canada Centre last night. That’s the money making machine at the corner of Bay and Lakeshore, the home of the Maple Leaf’s Ice Hockey Team.
 
I know that some of you don’t like Bubba, find him too simplistic and smiley smiley, but I like him, and he’s been a great inspiration of mine over the years. I was first introduced to him by my mother, and when I found amongst her stuff, a little devotional booklet he’d written called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living,’ it became the last part of our daily prayer time, after I began reading prayers for her over the phone.
 
Now I don’t remember how we came to call him Bubba, maybe it was because of his Texas connection, but what’s really amusing is that some days neither of us could remember his right name, because we seldom used it. However from the moment we said ‘Bubba,’ we both knew exactly whom we were talking about.
 
Yeh Mols sugar, your Sonny Boy went to see Bubba last night, on the eve of what would have been your 86th birthday, and I know you’re up there smiling with joy for that. But I promised to uphold your good name, and I’m trying my best.
 
Anyway Friends, Joel was his usual bright, upbeat, smiling self, teaching his message of positive, upbeat Christianity, despite all the problems we face. And you already know I consider that the true way to celebrate all that Christ has done for us.
 
Just look at Jesus nuh; we would never be called on to face more ridicule and suffering than He faced, but even in His most bitter time, He was still positive and encouraging, because He knew that He had a job to do despite all the trials and tribulations. 
 
The same thing applies to us my fellow believers. And as I’ve said so often, Christians should be the happiest, most joyful cheerful and optimistic people on God’s great earth, especially when we have all that Jesus died to provide for us; cleansing, healing, forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life, just to mention a few.
 
Joel’s mother, Jodie was there, and she shared a few thoughts on how she was miraculously saved from cancer some 20 years ago. And we can’t forget the real power behind the throne, his wife Victoria. She also shared a positive uplifting message.
 
And as I’ve seen from their interaction, and as Joel always says, it’s Victoria who has buoyed him up over the years, giving him the unstinting support and encouragement to do what he’s doing. As she said, they don’t always agree, but they agree to disagree respectfully.
 
But sadly my brethren, that principle, of respect and support, which is absolutely necessary to sound and growing relationships, is lacking in too many marriages and relationships today. We get angry and curse each other, spouting a whole lot of negative invective, and right there the respect that’s so badly needed disappears, causing so many relationships to founder on the rocks.
 
But Friends, please hear these words, believe and implement them in your own lives: ‘Behind every successful person, man, woman or child, is a sensible, understanding and encouraging person or group of persons.’
 
None of us can make it without the help and encouragement of others, who believe in and have faith in us. So please my brethren, let’s start seriously helping and encouraging each other nuh, whether it be our spouse, friend, child, co-worker or even a total stranger, since service is well pleasing to God.
 
‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb.13:1-2) Yes Friends, we never know whom we are helping, so let’s just help with LOVE, as Jesus did, for our God champions widows, orphans and strangers.
 
So fellow believers, if you see something in anyone that’s worth raising up, encouraging, please do so. Look for the positive things in people, for we all have some, and focus on those, instead of concentrating on the few negative aspects, as we tend to do.
 
You’ll notice that Jesus, God Almighty, never put down anybody, regardless of how abominable their sins might have been. But we, sinful, worthless creations that we are, are always quick to judge, ridicule and put down others, even though we don’t have a clue about why they are the way they are.
 
That brings me back to Bubba, where people are quick to criticize him, but thousands of people delight in him, as shown by the sold out crowd at the ACC last night, and the many who stood up and renewed their relation

ship with God. 
 
The fellow is only doing what he’s been anointed to do, in the manner he sees fit. But too many of us equate success with negativity, a lot of it stemming from pride and envy. And when you get right down to it Bubba’s only reiterating what the Good Book says, a very good example of that being our Bit. ‘The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.’
 
Now does that mean we should walk bowed down, miserable and unhappy? Absolutely not! Remember Jesus’ words: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) He certainly doesn’t want or expect His followers to be dead, downcast and downbeat!
 
Now listen to the psalmist as he continues after our Bit. ‘Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat (plump) and flourishing (green); To show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.’ (Ps.92:13-15)
 
And all God’s true believers said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
Oh my people, it doesn’t make sense to talk about all our God’s done, doing and plans to do for us, then walk around as though we’re living in the pit of despair. That’s why so many people consider us Christians hypocrites of the highest order! And in many instances they are quite right.
 
Our attitudes toward each other, the way we walk and talk and live our lives should be an enticement to the unbeliever to want what we have, to draw him into the body of Christ, not like it too often is, driving them away from the greatest gift and blessing ever bestowed on mankind – Jesus Christ.
 
So as of today my people, RIGHT NOW, let’s stop putting others down, especially when we don’t know anything about their circumstances. We’ve become so judgemental and prideful, like the Pharisees of old, that we’re doing more harm than good to Christ and His church.
 
We’re never going to like everybody and everything about them, but that’s no reason to be judgemental and condemn them. Remember that all of us have sinned and come short of God’s glory, (Rom.3:23) so we have no right to judge others.
 
And in any case, what was God’s reaction to our sinfulness eh? He opened His abundant storehouse of unconditional LOVE, and though it broke His heart, sent His only Son Jesus Christ to redeem us, by sacrificing His holy and innocent life on the cross at Calvary for a bunch of no-good, ungrateful sinners.
 
Now if He, the righteous judge, can do that, why can’t we forgive and stop judging others eh?
 
Oh Friends, that’s our ‘ponderation’ for today. And please do it seriously, for the way we live our earthly lives, will dictate our heavenly rewards and eternal destiny. Much LOVE!
 
…come the judgement day…will our words and deeds on earth, help or hinder us…now is the time to clean up our act.