Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Awright friends, it’s bright and sunshiny out there, so let’s get with the thanks and praise, as we all joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And we’d be very foolish and ungrateful not to do so my brethren, because that’s why the Lord made the beautiful day – so that His precious people could enjoy it. Glory to our Most High God, whose kind, gracious and LOVING thoughts are always upon us, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

Yes my dear brethren in Christ, our God only has our best interest at heart, but we foolishly screw it up when we don’t pay Him His much-deserved obeisance and obedience. Anyway, He’s also overflowing with forgiveness, so when we realize the error of our ways and come to Him in sincere repentance, He WILL have mercy on our poor human souls, and forgive us. That’s just how magnanimous and generous He is! 

And that’s why the workingman, even in his somewhat mislead agenda, can cry out in thanks and appreciation this Friday morning to the Most High: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! MamaYo! The weekend is at hand; the time to celebrate life is upon us. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s celebrate life! 

We alive and kicking, and the wisest man ever, Solomon, said that it was good for a man to eat drink and enjoy the fruits of his labour! So leh we do that nuh, celebrate the end of another back breaking week of slave-like labour, as we give thanks for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah friends, as always, I have no complaints re the workingman’s song, except that he takes the celebrating thing a little too far, so that he opens wide the door for Lucifer and his evil minions to get a foothold in his soul. And that’s why, as believers, our Friday Chant is somewhat different; still exuberant and enthusiastic, but with tighter boundaries and a li’l more circumspection. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, as we declare our thanks for the weekend to Almighty God. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes people, we have to be careful to not go too far out on the limb of freedom, so that we don’t allow the enemy to muddy our clean, clear waters. And remember too, that not because a wide door or path has been opened to us, that we have to go through or take it, for oftimes, it is the enticement of the enemy. 

That’s why Jesus warned us: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

 And that’s the God awesome truth friends! Living and working for Jesus, does take away some of our wiggle room. (smile) Meanwhile, Luke puts it thus: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:24) Yes my brethren, the way to eternal life is narrow and fraught with difficulty, and only those who sincerely seek it and are willing to pay the price will find it. 

And it’s not only narrow, but there’s only ONE WAY, that through Jesus, as He succinctly informed doubting Thomas. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Right there you have that narrow, one-way street to eternal life my people! Jesus didn’t mince words; He told it exactly like it is: ONLY through Him can one get to the Father and bypass eternal damnation with Lucifer in the lake of fire! 

So what’s it going to be eh: eternal salvation in the amazing company of our Triune God, or hell fire and damnation with the fallen angels? It’s a decision each individual has to make for themself; nobody else can make it for you. They can suggest it, or even lead you to that narrow path, but it’s always going to be your decision to tread or not to tread it. 

 Let’s hope today my people, that we all make the wise decision; that to follow Jesus on the narrow but difficult and self-sacrificing path to victory and everlasting life. It’s the best and wisest decision we can ever make in this lifetime! And we will never regret it, all the way through eternity! Much LOVE!

…if Christ…who cannot lie…says He is the ONLY way to the Father…then it must be true…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2018 Ephesians 6:11.

And once again it’s Sunday friends: our day of rest from mortal toil. A day where we are expected to spend time in worship and fellowship with other believers in the house of God, so that our souls and spirits can be renewed and refreshed and our Creator praised and exalted. 

And as always, each Sunday we begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, because there’s nothing the Lord likes more than hearing His praises sung, and it also softens our hearts, enabling them to be more receptive to His Word. And the song we’re going to sing is an ole favourite, the American Christian Hymn, ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.’ 

But before we get into it, let’s look at its supposed history, a rather interesting one. Apparently it was written by a Presbyterian Minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858, who at that time was an associate of one Dudley Atkins Tyng; a Pastor recently ‘removed from his local Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery. Duffield assisted Tyng in supporting an evangelical revival in Pennsylvania. 

In March 1858, Tyng gave a sermon at a YMCA meeting of over 5,000 men on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord”, converting over 1,000 men listening in the crowd. The following month, Tyng was maimed in a farming accident. Before he died a few days after the accident he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

Duffield then wrote the hymn based on those words. At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield gave a sermon based on Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and ended it by reciting the new hymn he had written as a tribute. After first publication, the hymn was popular and was sung by both the Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. 

The hymn also became popular among British revivalists and within public schools in England. As a result of the images of Christian militarism in the hymn, some people object to the hymn, and some people do not stand to sing it’  With such a colourful and controversial history, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. 

And furthermore, ‘Several melodies have been written for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”. The one used most often now was written by George James Webb, who had originally composed it in 1837 for “Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”, a song in a secular musical show performed on a ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean it. ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Yeah friends, that’s exactly what is required of us as followers of Jesus. We’re in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil and we must acquit ourselves as brave, courageous and loyal soldiers of Jesus. And the best words in the Good Book to describe our situation comes from the pen of Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re putting on the whole armour of God. So let’s read and inwardly digest those fighting words nuh. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:10-12) 

Oh my people, you might not see our enemy, but believe me, he and his cohorts are real, and they reside in many who hold high office in this realm. And as loyal Christians, we need to battle them to the death, or until Jesus returns. But like any soldier going into battle, we have to take serious precautions: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on), the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

Fellow believers, only when we’re wearing God’s armour are we able to withstand the powerful foe that will keep on coming against us with evil schemes and demonic attacks. But we need to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, (the knowledge of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character and moral conduct). And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (a sense of eagerness or willingness to advance against the devil and take the fight to him). 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, (trusting God and believing His promises), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of (dispel all doubts induced by) the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation (the assurance of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (rhema; selected verses of Scripture): Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18)  

Yes my brethren, we need to have all the accoutrements of war, but without prayer, it’s all in vain. Prayer is indispensable to our cause, and we must be vigilant in praying for all our fellow believers. ‘Spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ There you have it friends, a quick discourse, or hopefully, to some of us, a jolting reminder on Spiritual Warfare 101.  Now let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ…be well armed…stand strong…and pray always…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2018 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Rise and shine my people, it’s a brand new Monday, of a brand new work week, and it’s overflowing with brand new mercies and blessings! Glory to God my brethren, for He will never leave us to suffer unnecessarily. Where there is no way, He will make a way! And when it seems we’ll be consumed by the fires of this world, oh friends, He’ll bring us through them unscathed, not even smelling of smoke. 

What an awesome God we serve my fellow believers! And it’s the same with the floods; when they seem ready to overwhelm us, to drown us, He’s promised to bring us through them safely. So what is there for us to be afraid of in this world eh? Absolutely NOTHING! Because the universe belongs to our God, our Father, and He is in total control and will not let evil overcome His children! 

His commitment to that was so strong that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save us from our evil doings. So if this Monday morning you are troubled, in dismay, or simply tired and down in the dumps, then please join us in singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for it lifts our spirits and puts us back on the good foot, like Papa James Brown would say. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, as one purposeful choir, in strong voice and sincere hearts. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that’s the antidote for whatever ails us this Monday morning! I’m sure you can feel your spirit rising and your soul being reinvigorated, as the adrenaline courses through your body. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit working in us friends! And with such a marvellous transformation taking place, we subsequently have to go out and work the works of Jesus, with a good attitude and a joyful spirit. 

It’s imperative that we let the world know, not only by our talk, but more importantly by our walk, of the abundant goodness of God and His exceeding faithfulness and their need to come to Him, just as they are, for comfort and succour. Yeh friends, we have to go out and do like the psalmist Ethan says in our Bit. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to ALL generations.’ 

Now that’s our bounden duty my fellow Christians! Remember Jesus’ Great Commission to His disciples and to all subsequent believers: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:18-20) 

Yeh friends, as the scholars explain: ‘28:18-20. The triumphant living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christ) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. All power or authority (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.’ 

And it’s a joy to go out into this evil world and do that. Why? Listen to the psalmist as he further exalts the Lord, extols His wonderful attributes. ‘Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgement (righteousness and justice) are the habitation (foundation) of thy throne: mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth shall go before thy face. 

Blessed is the people that know the joyful song: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (our strength) is exalted.’ (Ps.89:13-17) 

Now, with all of that going for us, how can we not be excited and enthused, and delighted to go out and extol the wonders of our God eh? We’d be truly a sorry bunch of ingrates if we felt otherwise. Much LOVE!

…the mercies and faithfulness of our God…can never be surpassed by anyone else…for there is ONLY ONE GOD…the ONE we worship…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

And so we come to Saturday – Caribana Saturday in Toronto…and again I’m up before I planned to because of the many aches and pains coursing through the ole bod. But I don’t think they are as bad as yesterday morning. And in any case, though they might slow us down some, we’re not going to let them stop us. Glory to Christ Jesus who strengthens us and allows us to do all things in His name! 

So some people are getting ready to go out and party, some are sleeping in, and some are working, like me here, asking the Lord to show me what He wants me to write about today. But before we get to that, let’s look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And we have a full slate of them this week. 

The first one tells us: ‘Learn to let go.’ Now that is indeed some wise advice, because we often hold on to things and people we ought to let go, because their season in our lives is over. And holding on to stuff and people who’s best by date has expired, does us no good whatsoever, just causes more problems than we need. 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.’ Yeh friends, letting go brings a kind of exhilaration and relief to our spirits, as we say ‘Yes!’ and raise our clenched fists in victory. 

And then there is this: ‘Fall in LOVE with yourself before anything else.’ Now there is some truth to that statement, but we have to be very careful with it, especially in these selfish and narcissistic times. LOVE for ourselves should be one about self-worth and self esteem, in conjunction with Jesus command to LOVE others as ourselves. 

Now there’s no way we can LOVE anybody else if we don’t first LOVE ourselves. So please pay close attention to how you think about yourself. Do appreciate and value yourself, but don’t put yourself up on any high pedestal, and think you’re so much better than others, for you’ll eventually come tumbling down. 

And the next quote poses a very interesting question. ‘Ask yourself if what you’re doing today will get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?’ Now that’s a question a lot of us need to ask ourselves! So many of us are doing stuff we don’t like, and are spread very thinly amongst so many things that we can’t focus on the thing or things we truly want to focus on. 

And in these days of multitasking and people having to work at several jobs just to make ends meet, steadily focusing on, and getting ahead in the area you particularly desire is difficult. But you can do it, if you know what you want, and are ready to make the sacrifices involved, and above all, with God’s awesome help. Remember NOTHING is impossible to Him! 

And last quote gives us: ‘Three life rules: 1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you don’t step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ And they are all quite true. We just have to put them in the context of living for Christ and what He said concerning those things. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s only when we venture forth, we step out in faith that things truly begin to happen for us. As Jesus continues: ‘For every one that asketh receiveth; and that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:8) And here Jesus was referring in particular to prayer, but in reality before we do anything, we ought to come to the Father in prayer about it. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (v.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

Now that’s certainly a very interesting statement…and it’s also true. Our wonderful God has given us ALL that we need to be successful down here on Planet Earth. We just need to exercise our authority over it all! And what better way to close than with the words of our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as he concluded His talk on the above subject. 

‘Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matt.7:9-11) 

You can’t beat Jesus’ logic there my people. If we, in our sinful nature, know how to give good things to our LOVED ones, then can you imagine the generosity of the God of LOVE and Giver of ALL good things? No! Our puny minds won’t allow us to. But if we have faith, and persevere in fervent prayer, we will get some idea of how generous He is. Much LOVE!

…asking…seeking…and knocking…are the only ways…to truly find out what’s happening…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2018 1 John 4:4.

1 John 4:4.   Ye are of God, little children, and ye have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Well a good Monday morning to all you hard working Christian folks out there! I do hope that your trip to work was uneventful; uneventful in the sense that you encountered no negative circumstances. However, on the brighter and more positive side of things, you did encounter someone to talk to about Christ. 

Oh mih people, mih people, how heartwarming and rewarding it is when we can talk to someone about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, especially so early on a Monday morning! Glory be! It just lifts our spirits and has us confidently chugging along like the li’l engine that could, beaming from ear to ear, because we’ve successfully brought Jesus to the forefront on this the first day of the work week. (smile) 

It certainly makes us feel like we’re on the right track. But however, if we weren’t that blessed, and we’re still in a sour and miserable state of mind, then let’s sing together our sure antidote for our Monday morning ills. We call it, most appropriately, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because we are indeed going out to do battle for Christ! 

Altogether now, with good enthusiasm nuh, seeing that we’re thankful for still being alive and kicking, even though we’d rather be lazing around at home. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, I can hear you all breathe a huge sigh of relief and feel your spirits lift considerably having sung our Battle Hymn. Now let’s keep the adrenaline flowing nuh, as we face a day beset roundabout by the enemy and all his evil cohorts. 

For remember the words of John, when he reminded believers about the spirit of the antichrist, which was around even then, spreading false teachings, and which is even more rampant in our world today. Ye are of God, little children, and ye have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus Christ is greater than the prince of darkness, the prince of this world. The scholars explain it thus: ‘4:4. Christ indwells believers; Satan is likewise the lord of his own followers. But Christ is greater than he who wreaks havoc in the world. Have overcome is in the perfect tense, stressing the abiding nature of their victory. Their strength lies in the fact that they are (born) of God.’ 

And my faithful breddren the very same thing applies to us today; we are born of God, and thus the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, making us able to overcome Lucifer and his evil cohorts, and having the continuing victory that Christ won at Calvary! Glory to God my people! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh! 

And John continues to enlighten us: ‘They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.’ (1 John 4:5-6) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:5. They refers to all who are ruled by the spirit of the antichrist. The world finds their teaching more appealing than the truth of God.’ 

‘4:6. Those who acknowledge the truth of the apostolic (New Testament) witness to Christ will recognize and conform to the teaching John is presenting. Those who do not are animated by a common and unifying spirit of error. John warns his readers against this spirit by contrasting their false views of Christ with the views that he, a personal follower and witness of Christ, proclaims.’ 

Well friends, it does seem logical that if John was a personal witness and follower of Christ that his story would most likely be the truer one. So please, let’s be careful of all the crazy, false and inaccurate teaching that is floating around today. And the only way we can do that successfully is by knowing what the Word of God says. That means we need to consistently read, study and meditate on it. So let’s get to it nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…you cannot know truth from error…until you learn truth…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

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

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘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 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘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….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

One more day mih people, one more day on God’s great earth with the setta ice covering the land in my area! Chuh! It’s pure ice all around…but that doesn’t stop us from joyfully declaring, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) 

A li’l bit of ice can’t stop us from enjoying God’s mercies and graciousness…No way! What does the Good Book say? NOTHING can separate us from Him and His LOVE! Because we are all more than conquerors through Him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:35,37) Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! Christ has already given us the victory, so there’s nothing really for us to worry about, just to live a righteous and godly life in His name. 

And a couple of quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional remind us of two important aspects of Christian life and character. The first is that ‘ Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.’ And secondly, ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’  

Yes friends, we have no other real hope but the trust that God’s promises, mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE inspire in us. Without those things we’d be truly lost. But even more importantly, we need to remember that each and every day we awaken, we need to seriously recommit to Christ, His way of life, and His plans for us. That’s the only way we can keep Him fresh and vibrant in our lives. 

And since yesterday we talked about going out and doing Jesus’ work as established in His Great Commission, today I thought it would be more than appropriate to look at how He hopes to accomplish His purpose; through the Great Invitation, a part of which is our Bit for today. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’  

My people, my people, what a wonderful invitation; the BEST that has ever been offered to mankind! Glory Be! No other supposed deity has ever proffered such a simple, but yet awesome and astounding invitation. That’s because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can keep that kind of promise, and who is also seriously interested in lightening our burdens! 

And that’s what we, as His disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives need to point out to the unbelievers, so that they too can embrace His glorious free offer of salvation and life eternal. Now that’s not all that Jesus offers in His Great Invitation. Hear how He continues after out Bit. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ (Matt.11:29) 

Just imagine that nuh my brethren; Jesus is also inviting us to take His yoke and learn from Him, for He is humble and lowly of heart…Wow! Though He is the great God, the great I AM, Jesus is not proud and stuck up, like He could be because of all His numerous attributes and power. But no; He is very simple and easily approachable, and when we sincerely approach Him, call out to Him, then we can truly learn from Him and find peace and quiet for out souls. 

And that is something which the majority of our world decidedly lacks, and which many are desperately trying find, but unfortunately are looking in all the wrong places. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is also the ONLY ONE who can bring true peace and rest to the human soul and spirit. And why is that so? ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:30)  

Oh precious people of God, what a reassuring ending to Jesus invitation! And that’s gospel truth! For He has already borne our burden of sin upon the cross at Calvary and set us free from its cruel and unholy bondage by paying the enormous price with His selfless sacrifice. 

And as Bruh Paul so astutely and correctly says in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory Hallelujah! 

So when we come to Him truly repentant, acknowledging our sins and also what He’s done for us, He doesn’t condemn us, but just enfolds us LOVINGLY in His warm and tender embrace and begins to teach us how to walk like Him.

And there’s also no greater privilege and praiseworthy attitude than to walk like Christ. Please remember that our heavenly Father’s most noble and consistent intention is to have all believers walk as Christ-like as possible. 

And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows how we’re getting on with Christ. 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 I implore us friends, as we walk with Christ today, let’s keep a picture of that glorious future in the back of our minds, so that it can encourage and reassure us when the going gets tough, as it no doubt will at some time or other. Much LOVE!

…to Jesus…to Jesus come…when your heart is heavy…and your soul weighed down with burdens… 

P.S. Sorry for the Bit being a tad late, but the playoff hockey game was too interesting not to watch it to the end, which meant a late night, and thus a late morning too. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

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