Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.     Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

So what’s happening this fine Thursday morning eh Friends? I do hope that we’re all prepared to receive the new blessings and mercies that our wonderful Lord has earmarked for distribution today to His faithful and obedient followers.
 
And all God’s people mouthed a most grateful, ‘Thank You Lord! We Love You and praise Your Holy Name!’
 
Now here is the second half of the I CAN DO statements, acclamations of faith to get us started on our journey of faith today.
 
Please affirm with me: ‘I CAN have victory in my life by dealing with the things that are keeping me from God’s best. I AM confronting my struggles head on so I CAN overcome them. God has given me the power to rise above.
 
He has given me the strength to focus on Him and push through. NOTHING will hold me back! This is my declaration of what I CAN do through Christ!’
 
Now my people, let’s take that seriously and get ourselves together and DO what we just affirmed that we CAN and WILL DO! It’s the only way to move forward successfully in this life! 
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s exactly what we are endeavouring to do through the Bit; strengthen our souls so that we can continue strong in the faith, while keeping in mind the fact that we will suffer trials simply by being a follower of Jesus. So it’s all good stuff. (smile)
 
And though it can indeed be a struggle to live a good life, walking in Jesus’ footsteps, glorifying our heavenly Father, as faithful believers, we must do it, never giving up, persevering despite what ever comes against us, for in due time we will be well rewarded.
 
Now let’s continue where we left off yesterday, by looking at a couple of scripture passages that corroborate the second half of our Bit: ‘and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
I know it doesn’t cause much interest and excitement to think that we need to see troubles to enter God’s kingdom, but that’s what the Word says, and the Word doesn’t lie. However, it does promise great rewards if we stand strong in the testing of our faith.
 
Listen to Bruh Paul as he tells the church at Rome about living life in the Spirit. ‘So then they that be in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
 
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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.
 
Therefore brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
 
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bchildren of god, heirs of god, beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
 
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.’(Rom.8:8-18)
 
Yes my brethren, the only way to live this earthly life successfully is being led and guided by the Holy Spirit of God, and not by the fleshly lusts of our carnal bodies!
 
And as Bruh Paul says in the last verse there, the trials and tribulations we endure now, will be significantly outweighed by the rewards in glory later on.
 
And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then listen to Jesus, as He makes the same claim when talking to His disciples about who is great.
 
‘And there was also a strife (rivalry) among them, which of them should be accounted (considered) the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
 
(Scholars’ note: Benefactors: The underlying Greek word appears nowhere else in the New Testament. Middle-Eastern kings liked to rule with an iron hand, and then take on a title that extolled their benevolence. Christians should crave neither such power nor such acclaim).
 
But ye shall not be so: but he that is the greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief (leader), as he that doth serve. For whether (who) is greater, he that sitteth at meat (at the table), or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat (at the table)?
 
But I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto (bestow upon) you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto (bestowed upon) me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ (Luke 22:24-30)
 
Ah mih people, the world judges greatness by the material things and power we possess. But it is not so in the kingdom of God. Jesus came to earth to serve, to be a servant for His heavenly Father, to help and save those in need, and likewise, that’s what He expects of His followers.
 
Now that doesn’t mean we cannot amass great wealth and power, but we must use them wisely in doing God’s will and work here on earth, not just lay them up for our sole benefit and sit and consider how well off and wonderful we are, otherwise we’ll end up like the fool in Luke 12:16-21, who was called home the same night he decided to eat, drink and be merry over his great earthly possessions. And thus ends today’s message.
 
Oh Friends, we all know that faithfully serving Jesus in this evil, ungodly world isn’t easy, especially when He requires excellence of ALL His followers, and excellence only comes with paying a price.
 
But please remember that Jesus promises to reward all those who faithfully serve Him with rewards of excellence too, rewards like salvation and eternal life with Him and the Father. And believe me people, there is nothing on this planet Earth that’s worth more than those two things!
 
So please hang in there my brethren, and let’s faithfully spread the LOVE Revolution of Jesus all over the world, as he requires, and do it with joy and excellence! Much LOVE!
 
…all that’s required of us on this earthly pilgrimage…is to LOVE OUR GOD…LIVE OUR FAITH…AND SPREAD GOD’S WORD…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.  In your patience possess ye your souls.
 

‘Wednesday, oh Wednesday, oh glorious Wednesday – the middle of the week! A bright light at the end of the tunnel! That means the weekend is near! Glory Hallelujah!’
 
Yeh Friends, it’s not only on Fridays we should celebrate, but if possible, everyday of the week, for it tells us that we’re alive and kicking through the generous bounty of our great and wonderful God!
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for allowing us to see another blessed day on planet earth! We bless you and praise Your Holy Name and promise to walk as worthily as we can in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, it does feel great to be alive, doesn’t it? It surely does! Despite all the pains, the setbacks, the misfortunes, the trials the tribulations, I don’t think many of us would prefer to be dead.
 
We complain a lot about the negatives in this life, but remember it’s the only one we have, and furthermore, the only one we’ll ever get. So let’s enjoy it nuh, especially when we have such a wonderful faith like Christianity to live it under.
 
Remember what Jesus said in our Bit: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
And if we don’t listen to Him and follow His wonderful example, we’ll just be wasting our God-given lives. And that would be such a tragedy!
 
And for the last day, I’ll like to bombard us with more scripture that teaches patience, perseverance, endurance, backbone and belly. (smile) No my brethren, you don’t have to tell me, for I know from personal experience, that it’s not easy, a bed of roses, working for and walking in Jesus’ footsteps, but it sure is exciting and interesting!
 
And you’ll never know how interesting and exciting it is, until YOU give it a try!
 
It’s all about a significant leap of faith Friends! A leap I enjoin us all to sincerely take today, right now, so that we can all work together to make this world a better place.
 
For that is what we were commanded to do by our leader, Jesus Christ: SPREAD the Word all over the world; LIVE our lives in true Faith, and above all, SHOW LOVE to our magnanimous and magnificent God and also our neighbours!
 
Wow! What an awesome mandate! Now let’s hear some scripture that’s supposed to encourage, uplift, exhort and keep us steadfast and strong in our earthly endeavours for Jesus.
 
Let’s start with Bruh Paul’s message to the Colossians, where he’s talking about prayer for spiritual wisdom: ‘For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 
 
(Scholars note: Wisdom is an accurate perception into the true nature of things. Understanding is the skilful application of his wisdom in practical situations).
 
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
 
(Scholars’ note: Patience is persevering through problems, trials, tribulations and so forth. Longsuffering is forbearing the faults and offences of others).
 
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transferred) us into the kingdom of his dear Son (the Son of His LOVE).’ (Col.1:9-13)
 
And the Scholars’ note in verse 12: ‘Light is the ethical condition in which God’s children live, namely, that of spiritual understanding with its accompanying morality and happiness.’  
 
Ah Friends, as I said above, it’s not easy, but working for Jesus is surely interesting! Now here these rich and encouraging verses from Hebrews 12, which we all know, but refuse to take seriously.
 
‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us,
 
Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)
 
Yes mih people, we find the best examples of it all in Jesus!
 
And the scholars’ have this to say: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.
 
12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my brethren! His is a very difficult, and possibly impossible example for most of us to emulate, but try we must. Don’t worry though, our God knows exactly what we are capable of, for He made us, and all He really expects of us is a sincere effort in our daily living.
 
And if we give that sincere effort, then He will help us to mature and grow in the image of His Son. For remember, our wonderful God doesn’t ever give us more than we can bear. And even then, He’s promised to work out everything for our good, when we’re called to do His bidding.
 
So there’s no need to worry and fret, for our heavenly Father has us in the palms of His hands, plenty better hands than All State, and will never leave nor forsake us. Ah mih breddren, what a marvellous and magnificent Deity we serve and worship! He’s just so phenomenal! I can’t understand how His human creations choose not to work for and follow His directives.
 
But we His true followers WILL change that won’t we? For sure, as we go about doing good, spreading His Word and living a life of Christian faith, celebrated with joy, peace and LOVE! Now that’s true wisdom!
 
And we’ll end here for today. You already have much scripture to ponder and meditate upon, so I won’t burden you with any more. I’m so kind and thoughtful, aren’t I. (smile) Please have a blessed day my brethren, walking in LOVE for Jesus! Much LOVE!
 
…better is the end of a thing…than the beginning thereof…and the patient in spirit…is better than…the proud in spirit…  (Eccl.7:8)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2014 Isaiah 55:1

Isaiah 55:1.    Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’
 
Oh my Friends, salutations and blessings, and courage and comfort, with wisdom and peace to all you who desire to walk faithfully in the tough but energizing footsteps of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, this chilly Thursday morning at the end of March 2014! May He, in His wisdom and great faithfulness, grant us all that we need to go out and do an excellent job in His Holy Name! Amen! 
 
Now today I want to share something from a comic strip called Rhymes with Orange, posted in the newspaper a couple of days ago. This particular scene shows two police officers, one white, one black, sitting in a patrol car, with the white one telling the black one: ‘Look for the cars driving straight… They’re the drunks. It’s the teetotallers swerving all over the road.’ And at the bottom of the strip, there’s a sign that says: ‘POTHOLE SEASON.’
 
And although all that is meant as a joke, right now it could be taken quite seriously in Toronto and its environs, because I’ve never seen our roads in such bad shape. This winter’s been real hard on them. The potholes are usually prevalent, but this year there are also significant cracks extending for long distances on all the roads.
 
I recently drove down the major highway 401 that runs north of Toronto, it’s one of the busiest in the world, and right by the airport, the cracks and potholes were so bad that it didn’t make sense to try and avoid them. In some places you’d think you were driving in some impoverished third world country.
 
And on my street, the cracks go almost all the way down, on both sides of the yellow, dividing line. I also noticed yesterday like they attempted to patch up some of the more serious cracks and holes, but that only makes the ride bumpier. Chuh!
 
And despite the calendar saying it’s now spring, don’t fool yuh fat nuh, the winter weather is still here, though the weather people have promised us a short break this week.
 
Anyway my people, all of that is small potatoes – until you have to take your vehicle to the mechanic (smile) – and we can handle whatever comes against us because our God is the GREATEST; not only omnipotent, but also magnanimous to a fault, and He always works on our behalf, for our benefit!
 
How awesome my people! We have a powerful and magnificent God who is always with us, working for our good. And it is all shown right here in our Bit: ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat: yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.’
 
Now how can we ever refuse such a mind-boggling offer from our Creator, Controller and Provider eh?
 
But unfortunately many people are doing exactly that. Only because they don’t really understand what this life is all about, whom Almighty God truly is, and how He operates. 
 
However Friends, that’s where we come in. It’s our job, as faithful believers, to get out into our extremely violent and wicked world and tell them about Jesus; of His unconditional LOVE, and free gift of grace that leads to salvation and eternal life. 
 
We need to get the unbelievers -and many supposed believers too – to a place where they can truly appreciate these verses: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is.55:6-9)
 
Yes my brethren, only when mankind fully understands, appreciates and believes those words, will he be able to sincerely seek refuge in our most wonderful Deity, Jehovah God!
 
And all of what Isaiah says is no lie my people, because we’ve seen Jesus saying the same thing. And we’ll quote another of Jesus’ immortal sayings on people hungering and thirsting for righteousness. 
 
‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, (feast of the tabernacles) Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38)
 
Oh fellow believers, that’s the third time that Jesus has spoken of giving living water to those who believe in Him. Now what does He mean by that eh? The next verse clears that up.
 
‘(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe in him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)’ (John 7:39)
 
Yes mih breddren, it’s the Holy Spirit which indwells ALL believers, that Jesus is referring to! And we’ll close with some interesting comments from the scholars, re the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 
‘7:39. One of God’s purposes since the beginning has been to dwell with humanity and enjoy fellowship with us. He does it in this dispensation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1) occurs automatically when a person is saved; (2) is not an “experience,” but produces spiritual experiences; (3) remains permanently; (4) is the basis of all the other ministries of the Holy Spirit; and (5) is the source of new life in the believer:
 
Illustration: When Paul met 12 disciples of John who did not know of the Holy Spirit, he knew they needed to be saved. So he preached the gospel to them (Acts 19:1-5).
 
Application: The Holy Spirit’s indwelling should motivate the believer to be careful not to harm his body nor indulge his body in sin. (1 Cor.6:19-20). (First Ref. Ex.35:31; Primary Ref. John 7:37-39; cf. 1 Cor.12:13.)’ 
 
Oh Friends, please, please let’s take all this to heart and either put into serious practice, or if we have already done that, then let’s just keep on diligently doing it nuh! In Jesus’ name, I pray. Much LOVE!
 
…and he hath filled him (Bezaleel)…with the spirit of God…in wisdom…in understanding…and in knowledge…and in all manner of workmanship…  (Ex.35:31)