Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2021 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.     ​I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Brother! I thought that 2020 went fast, but like this new year planning on going even faster! Is already Thursday the 7th, and the year just started. (smile) Just wish our calamities were going away as quickly. But what to do eh? We brought most of them on ourselves, and we’re not behaving in a manner that will encourage them to leave as quickly as they came. 

What a blessing to have Jesus on our side! The Good Book plainly and truthfully states it: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) That means, with His help, His awesome grace, mercy and strength, we can handle anything that comes against us, even if it is of our making. And furthermore, we’re also told: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

Yes mih bredrin, if Christ will strengthen me and cause the Lord to provide all my needs, who or what else do I need eh? NOTHING, or NOBODY! For Christ is sufficient in and of Himself! That’s why He instructed us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Oh friends, when we put Jesus Christ first and foremost in our lives, He will provide all that we need to live an abundant life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean rich in personal possessions, but certainly rich in spiritual things, maturity in spirituality, a good example of Christian living. So I don’t understand how so many of us refuse to follow Jesus, or only give Him lip-service and are not truly faithful to and in sync with Him. 

 I’m guessing that’s partly because living for Jesus is not easy. As His ambassadors, His earthly representatives, He expects a lot of us. He expects us to grow tremendously and shine brightly on His behalf, and that is ofttimes a difficult row to hoe. But as the ole people would say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ And that’s certainly highlighted in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled ‘The Pain of Growth.’ 

So please pray with me. ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. 

Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache and anguish. And very often in my suffering when I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

And that calls for a big ‘AMEN!’ my brethren. For it’s definitely through pain and somewhat uncomfortable circumstances that the Lord grows and matures us in His economy. And there’s nothing in that list of painful things above that Jesus never suffered on our behalf during His earthly sojourn. That’s why He can empathize with our suffering now. 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could confidently proclaim: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (empathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader felt every pain and suffering that we’ve ever felt…and more than any of us have ever felt to boot! And in Isaiah 53, Christ suffering is laid out, so much so that He’s known as ‘a man of sorrows.’ (Is. 53:3) And I like how the website www.gotquestions.org explains it. ‘Jesus is called “a man of sorrows” because of how much suffering He had to endure. He suffered first by leaving the glories of heaven and entering the human race as a man. Then He suffered all the things that humanity suffers, and then finally He suffered the wrath of God as the sin-bearer.’ 

So when He asks us to undergo a spot of suffering on His behalf, we ought to just shut our blooming mouths and do it without the hemming and hawing we’re so famous for. What would have happened if He hemmed and hawed about going to the cross for us eh? When Jesus asks us to jump, the correct answer is simply, ‘How high Lord?’ 

And before we run out of time and space, let’s look at the Bible Promise that was used for the poem above. It comes from the great psalm 119: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:75-76) 

Yes people, the psalmist realized that God in His righteousness and justice would not afflict Him without a good reason. And furthermore, His LOVING-kindness, His unfailing LOVE, would comfort him during his trails, just like He promised. 

So please, if we want to be known as true and serious followers of Jesus, let’s cut out the foolishness nuh, and grow up, stop being selfish, petty and afraid and stand up to anything that comes against, because He’s faithfully promised to bring us safely and stronger through our trials and tribulation. And if you can’t believe His promise, what’s the point in being His follower eh? 

So for those of us who are willing to undergo the troubles of the world without too much complaining, let’s go home now sincerely declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, those magnificent blessings the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Wow! 

Altogether 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!’  

And please remember, those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but generously shared, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Lord LOVETH…He chasteneth… (Heb. 12:6) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘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) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, 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!’ 

And the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2020 Hebrews 4:15.

Hebrews 4:15.    ​For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.
 
Well it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day and the ole fella did not get to visit His sanctuary because there wasn’t one close by, but he did fellowship with other believers on the tube. Yes friends, however you do it, it is important on a Sunday to join with other Christians to hear the Lord’s Word and celebrate His sovereignty with songs of praise and sacrificial offerings of prayer. 

And as always, we begin our proceedings with praiseful worship. Today it’s an old Negro Spiritual from back in the days of slavery, titled ‘Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.’ And back then our forefathers had plenty trouble, just like we do today, but they did the wise thing, called out to the Lord in song. So let’s do the same nuh, sing this ole ditty made famous by people like Mahalia Jackson and Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong. 

Let’s raise it to heaven with soulful, heartfelt, harmonious emotion, so that the Lord can feel our supplication and have no other alternative but to help us. (smile) So altogether now: ‘Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen  Nobody knows my sorrow  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory, Hallelujah!  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen  Nobody knows but Jesus  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory, Hallelujah!  

Sometimes I’m up Sometimes I’m down Oh, yes, Lord Sometimes I’m almost to the ground Oh, yes, Lord. Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows my sorrow  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory, Hallelujah  Oh, every day to you I pray Oh, yes Lord For you to drive my sins away Oh, yes Lord. Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows but Jesus Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen (Glory) glory Hallelujah (hallelujah) (Lord)  

Although you see me going ‘long so Oh, yes, Lord I have my trials here below Oh, yes, Lord  If you get there before I do Oh, yes, Lord Tell all-a my friends I’m coming to Heaven! Oh, yes, Lord  Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows but Jesus Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen (Glory) glory Hallelujah (hallelujah) (Lord).’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth friends? Nobody knows our troubles like Jesus does. He sees ALL and He hears ALL! And what’s even better is that He understands it ALL, because He himself faced the same sorrows and heartache, the same rejection, disappointment, betrayal, and in the end undeserved sacrificial death in our place! 

As the ole song says; ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ For without that selfless sacrifice of Jesus, we’d be all heading for Hades right now to keep company with the fallen angel Lucifer, in his reincarnation as the demon meister Satan. That certainly calls for another ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ my people.  

And this scripture from Hebrews says it all: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.’ 

Yes precious people of God, our High Priest, Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ was tempted just like we are, because He was human just like we are, and once you’re human you’re liable to temptation, but because of His godly nature, He did not sin. Now it’s necessary to make a distinction between temptation and sin. Not because you’re tempted means you’ve sinned. The sin only applies when you fall for the temptation and actually do it. 

And Isaiah describes Jesus’ suffering and temptation in more vivid detail. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men; a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. 

But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes (wounds) we are healed.’ (Is.53:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if that isn’t suffering I don’t know what is nuh. But the important thing is that through it all Jesus NEVER sinned! As Bruh Paul so truthfully informed the Corinthians: ‘For he (God the Father) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) 

Yes friends, Jesus took our sin and gave us His righteousness. What more can we ask for eh? And why aren’t we more grateful for that act eh? Because we’re too much into worldly things to appreciate it’s significance. But friends, the sooner we appreciate the great significance of Jesus’ work on the cross for us, the better off we’ll be. 

For when He returns, if your name’s not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then you’re in serious trouble, then crapaud surely going to smoke yuh pipe, as you’re left on the outside looking in, facing eternal separation from Almighty God. And as I keep reminding us, that is the WORST thing that can ever befall a human soul. 

And what does sincerely accepting Christ as our High Priest, Lord and Saviour enable us to do? In the words of the author of Hebrews: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb: 4:16) 

Oh my people, isn’t it wonderful to know that because of Christ’s selfless and sinless sacrifices we can come before Almighty God and ask for help with the utmost confidence! Wow! It surely is! So let’s smarten up and begin truly living for Jesus nuh so that we are assured of spending eternity with Him. That’s where the wise money is. (smile) Much LOVE!

..there are only two options in eternity…Hades with Satan…or Heaven with Jesus…it’s your choice… 

P.S. Yes, we’re really late but I just was not up to scratch after a busy day and late night yesterday at the wedding. And no, I did not imbibe too much (smile) hardly imbibed at all. Much LOVE!