Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘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. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

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. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

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

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

Ah friends, yesterday was beautiful; bright and sunshiny…and as always, also filled with the illuminating and reassuring presence of Jesus! Wow! That surely made it an extraordinary autumn day. (smile) The good thing though is that we’ve been promised another one like that today… Glory be my people! Let’s hope the weather forecasters are not wrong nuh, because Sunday is the worst day for any kind of precipitation, because we then conveniently use it as an excuse not to join other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise, worship, give thanks and exalt His holy name.

And it is indeed a very handy and common excuse, so please don’t deny it. But yuh know what; rain, sleet or snow doesn’t stop us from going out to party. That just shows how high the Lord is on our list of priorities. He should be at the head of the list; as Jesus wisely advised: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…’ (Matt. 6:33) And if He’s not, then we will eventually have to answer, why not? Let’s stay in the moment though, we’ve come to praise and worship Almighty God and hear His Word, so lets commence in our usual fashion with a song.

But first, listen to how it became today’s song nuh. A couple of days ago, as I laid me down to have an evening nap, the thought of what song to use this Sunday suddenly flitted through my mind, and just as suddenly the answer came: ‘Because He Lives!’ That wasn’t even on my radar of possibilities, but it seems like the Lord wanted to hear that one today, and who am I to say Him nay eh? (smile) So let’s get it all together nuh and sing those wonderful words, penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither, outlining and praising Jesus amazing work on our behalf.

Now, in soulful, heartfelt and grateful harmony, let’s raise our voices to heaven on high, where Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand, advocating for us, and let Him know without a doubt, how much we truly LOVE and appreciate Him! ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus. He came to LOVE, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus)

How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living…Just because He lives. And life is worth the living…Just because He lives, And life is worth the living…Just because He lives.’

Oh friends, oh friends, that was such a moving rendition that it caused tears to well up both in the Father’s and Jesus’ eyes! And it just boggles my imagination to think that people don’t take Jesus seriously, but still abuse and blaspheme His holy name like they did way back  when He came to earth and gave His sinless life as a sacrifice for us, so that we could be reconciled to, made right with the Father!

That’s the major reason that He came, as He so eloquently declared in the scripture that we all know and cherish, but still don’t take seriously enough, otherwise there wouldn’t be as much sin and unrighteousness still existing in our world. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ That’s it right there in a nutshell friends! God’s LOVE and compassion for us sinful children was so great that He sacrificed the sinless life of His only Son to pay for our sins, for always and ever.

Jesus became the official sacrificial Lamb for ALL mankind, and that’s why the words of our song are so true! We can live now, without fear of the future, because His death and resurrection opened up a bright new, righteous world for us! He defeated hell, death and the grave so that we could be pardoned, and an empty grave and a downtrodden Satan are there to prove it! And it’s gospel truth that He came to LOVE, to heal and forgive, because we see it all in living colour in His ministry, both here on earth, and continuing in heaven above.

As He further declared: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And so said…so done! And is it ever mightily reassuring to know that because Christ lives, our children don’t have to fear the uncertain circumstances of this life either? But the greatest part though friends, is on that fateful day, when we cross over to the other side, when we’ve left pain and war and all negative things behind, He’ll be there waiting for us with opened arms, sincerely declaring (steups!): ‘Oh welcome thou good and faithful servant…welcome home!’

That’s certainly worth all the negativity, all the ‘sufferation’ down here on earth my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh; let’s do as He says and abide in Him, for His reasoning is flawless: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Matter done! Much LOVE!

…to experience true victory…and real glory in eternity…one must hook one’s cart to Jesus’ horse…

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.com

 

 
 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.’

 Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE You. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. I know that I build hard muscles in my heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. 

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same way we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2019 1 John 4:4.

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

Awright people, let’s go get ‘em this Monday morning nuh! Yes it is Monday, and the battle lines are already drawn! Satan is already working against you as sit on the side of the bed contemplating what to do; to call in sick, or force yourself to get up, do the three esses, get dressed, then face the awful traffic jam involved in getting to a job you totally detest. And in the midst of all that, you’re wondering how Monday has come around again so quickly? I’m sorry, but I can’t help you there nuh, because I’m wondering the same thing too. (smile) 

But I can help you to drive the enemy away and consequently change your thinking and attitude towards the whole scenario. And we do that through prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which we put forth as the antidote for whatever ails you on a Monday morning. (smile) But believe me, it  works! So let’s try it nuh. All together, as one voice, in sincerity of hearts and minds. 

‘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!’ 

Yeah friends! Yuh feel the Holy Spirit moving ahready nuh! Yuh see how yuh spring up from the bed, full of vim and vigour, when just a minute ago yuh didn’t have the energy to even lift a finger! And now yuh enthusiastic as ever to get out there and do battle with ole Beelzebub himself! That’s what yuh call the power of the Holy Spirit! When it moves, it moves like a magnet, separating the sheep from the goats, the men from the boys, and God’s saints from Lucifer’s evil minions! 

Wow! So why wouldn’t you want that positive, powerful, vibrant life-force moving within you, and guiding your footsteps through this evil world eh, rather than the debilitating, negative, evil spirit that belongs to Satan? If you are wise, you will follow it, because it indwells every believer. And please remember Jesus’ words to the disciples when He promised them the Holy Spirit. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter (Helper, Advocate), that he may abide with you for ever.’ (John 14:15-16) 

And the scholars explain: ‘14:16. Another (Gr. allon) stresses that the Holy Spirit would be “another” like Jesus. A Comforter (Gr. Paraclete) is an advocate called alongside for aid in time of trouble. See the same word in 1 John 2:1, “Advocate.” And Jesus continued: ‘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. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:17-18) 

Yuh see friends, the world didn’t even know the Holy Spirit back then, and it still doesn’t! But we believers do, because as of Pentecost Sunday the Holy Spirit began dwelling in believers as Jesus promised: ‘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) 

And yuh see how the Holy Ghost come and mash up the place, create havoc on Pentecost Sunday: It showed up ‘like a mighty rushing wind from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting… appearing unto them (the disciples) like cloven (divided) tongues 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 2:3-4) That’s the amazing power of the workhorse of the Holy Trinity! 

But it can also work silently and subtlety, as Jesus indicated when He first promised it to His followers. ‘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 mih people, that Holy Spirit is usually a silent worker these days; it talks to us from within, and we ought to pay serious and strict attention to what it says, because it is there to lead us along paths of righteousness and godliness. 

But here is one fact that we should always keep uppermost in our minds. John puts it nicely in his first epistle. ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirit of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ Mamma Mia! What a wonderful and encouraging statement of fact my faithful brethren! 

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.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that all of that also applies to us, because we are also born of God, and Jesus has also provided us with the abiding victory over Satan, hell, death and the grave, our job now is to simply keep that victory going strong! Much LOVE!

…true believers…wisely use the Holy Spirit…to guide them aright…in this evil world…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2019 Acts 2:32.

Acts 2:32.    ​This Jesus hath God raised up, wherefore we are all witnesses.
 

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! And it is indeed a beautiful day in my neighbourhood! But you wouldn’t believe that daunting shower of rain that fell around midnight last night! Thought for sure it was going to be a ‘riney’ day. But thanks be to God, when I awoke it was bright and sunshiny with everything washed clean by God’s showers of blessings. Isn’t He a most wonderful God? He most surely is! 

And a note of info here: the ole fella is two thirds of the way through his radiation treatment, 20 down, 13 more to go! Wow! And so far, all thanks, as always, be to God, I haven’t experienced any serious side effects! But the best news of the day my faithful brethren is that Jesus is still alive! Alive and kicking! Kicking gloriously too! Like a powerful and artful kick-boxer, He’s just a joy to behold in His wonderful moves! He’s all over His opponents like white on rice! (smile) 

And just to give you a glimpse of how majestic and beautiful our Lord and Saviour is, check out this quote from a Daily Bread Devotion. ‘The grip of the grave is no match for the power of God!’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! For He is indeed a mighty and powerful God, deserving of much praise, exaltation and worship!’ 

And is He ever my people! For who do you think had the resurrection power to raise Jesus from the dead eh? None other than Almighty God! As Peter declared (right ho!) to all of Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost: ‘This Jesus hath God raised up, wherefore we are all witnesses.’ Yes friends, the Father raised the Son from the dead after He had paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary. 

Thus Bruh Paul could say with great assurance to all who believe in Jesus Christ: ‘But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.’ (Rom.8:11) 

Glory Hallelujah my fellow saints in Christ! Just like the Father raised Christ from the dead He will also raise all those who sincerely believe and obediently follow in the footsteps of His wonderful Son! That means us! And since Christ has defeated hell, death and the grave through His substitutionary death and most awesome and amazing resurrection, the victory is already ours. Glory to God! 

No wonder Bruh Paul could also quote from the Old Testament Scriptures: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades, hell), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:54-57) How can we not then, as believers in Christ Jesus be thankful and joyful eh, since victory is already ours through the magnificent work and selflessness of Christ? 

That’s why Christians ought to be the most joyful people on God’s great earth! But unfortunately too many of us supposed believers are so miserable, dragging around and unhappy that it’s not funny, which just makes a mockery of Jesus’ great sacrifice on our behalf. Oh, by the way, the Old Testament verses that Bruh Paul quoted above there came from Isaiah.25:8 and Hosea 13:14. 

And Jesus Himself told His disciples, after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (Mat.16:16): ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock (large stone) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) 

And please realize that Peter himself was not the rock that Jesus meant to build on, but the entire discipleship that He had put together. They would be responsible for building the church, for going to all nations and witnessing, teaching and baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

And coming up, is what Jesus said to John, as He revealed awesome wonders to the disciple that He LOVED while on earth. Who knows whether John was being presumptuous or not when he wrote that in his gospel. (John 13:23) (smile) And it can be argued that he was right since Jesus chose him to be the Revelator of those things to come, while in exile on the island of Patmos for preaching Christ’s gospel. 

And John says of his encounter with Jesus: ‘And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.’ (Rev.1:17-19) 

I have to chuckle here, because John’s initial reaction to encountering Jesus in all His glory in the vision was one of fear, and who would not be afraid under those circumstances eh? But as was so typical of Jesus while on earth, He used one of His favourite lines to His beloved disciple. ‘Fear not.’ 

And friends, today He is still giving us that same message of reassurance and conviction, that as true believers in His power and glory, we have nothing to fear. And we all said, a loud and confident: ‘AMEN!’ Now let’s go home displaying that confidence as we declare (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And our bounden duty now is to go out and action those statements we just declared. Much LOVE!

…I am Alpha and Omega…the beginning and the ending…saith the Lord…which is…and which was…and which is to come…the ALMIGHTY…  (Rev.1:8)

P.S. Not making any excuses for the Bit being somewhat late. I just got up late. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Previous Older Entries