Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2018 Deuteronomy 26:9.

Deuteronomy 26:9.    And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.

HAPPY  THANKSGIVING  DAY  CANADA!

 

Yes my people, it’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada! Glory to God! As the psalmist says: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) In fact, all weekend we’ve been celebrating and doubly rejoicing. Why? Because we have been obeying the Lord’s ordinance, as delivered to the Israelites by Moses, bringing the fruits of our prosperity to offer it before the Lord, sending portions to the poor and offering succour to the stranger! 

And why wouldn’t we eh my brethren when ‘He hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.’ And does this great land of Canada ever flow with milk and honey? It surely does, because we are living so much better than most of the world. Oh, like everyone else, we have our problems, but thankfully we have not sunk as deep in the mire as some of the other countries around. 

We have not pushed God out of our society as much as they have. But if we continue on the wide and destructive path we’re currently on, we will eventually get like them. And the only thing that will stop us is by concentrating on staying on the straight and narrow path of Jesus; fomenting His LOVE Revolution, and thus keeping God first place in our society. And to do that successfully, we need all Christian hands on deck because it’s a formidable task, and no one else can do it, or is even interested in doing so.

Hn! Looks like I’ve preached the Sermon before the preamble. (smile) Anyway, the Holy Spirit knows where it’s leading me. And let’s not forget that today is Monday; the day so many of us LOVE to hate. And Glory be! It’s a holiday in this great land, therefore many of us won’t be going out to labour today… 

And I hear a great groan from those who have to go to work because our modern society runs 24/7. But as always, we do have the cure for your Monday Blues. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! And it does work. So let’s get to it nuh…with whatever enthusiasm you can muster. 

‘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!’ 

And all God’s people continued with a loud, hearty and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ as they feel their spirits miraculously lifted and their minds and bodies become more alert. Oh friends, that’s the power of the Holy Spirit; the worker bee of the Holy Trinity! And if we’re wise, we’ll pay more attention to Him as He tries to guide us in godly fashion, moment by moment. 

And as always, the loudest and most raucous voices belong to those not going to work and have been deeply involved in the celebrations. And before I forget, for all you celebrators, Granny’s warning is a must this weekend. Don’t care if yuh tired hearing it, but it will protect your soul! Sonny Boy; drunk or sober, please mind your business!  

Now getting back to the Thanksgiving story, here is some interesting scripture the Israelites were told by Moses to say and do after they had presented their offering of first fruits. ‘And now, behold I have brought the first fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God: And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.’ (Deut.26:10-11) 

Yes friends, it’s our God-given right to enjoy the fruits of our labour with the poor and the stranger in our midst, but only after we have given the Lord His share first. Remember, EVERYTHING belongs to the Lord, and it’s only through His grace and LOVING-kindness that we are able to get wealth and become prosperous. So for those of us not going to work today, let’s rejoice and celebrate in the gifts God has blessed us with, but also remember to share our blessings with the less fortunate. Much LOVE!

…give thanks to the Lord…for His goodness endures forever…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2018 2 John 7.

2 John 7.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

It’s glorious out there friends! Both the sun and the Son are shining forth in all their brilliant glory! That’s why we can joyfully acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Most definitely my brethren! We’d be foolish not to rejoice in the good things our generous God has so richly provided, for they do outweigh whatever adversity comes against us. 

And I know that a lot of people are facing serious adversity all over the world, like those in North Carolina facing the ravages of hurricane Florence. But what yuh going to do eh? Just sit and bemoan your misfortune? That’s not going to help any, just make you feel worse. We need to get up and do what we can to ease the situation ourselves, plus have a good attitude, while turning prayerfully to God, our Creator and Provider. 

Remember friends, it’s God who created us and allows whatever comes against us to do so, so it just makes good sense to turn to Him in times of need. Remember too that He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, so He won’t leave us in the lurch all on our lonesome. If he decides that we should battle through the adversity, then He will be in there battling with us. That’s for sure! 

And the workingman gives us a good example of facing adversity in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Glory be! It’s the weekend and no more labour, no more labour, no more labour for that  wicked man called massa! He can’t touch me now, so I’ll just do my own thing; eat and drink and party hearty! And when I go back Monday, if I go back, I’ll deal with that then! But right now it’s the weekend which spells, party time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, he is pushing a bit to the extreme, but he’s not allowing his unfortunate work predicament to spoil his overall attitude. And so should we, my fellow believers. That’s why we have our Friday Chant; to keep us level headed and aware of what’s happening. As followers of Jesus, we can’t behave like the workingman, we need some more circumspection in our faith walk, but that doesn’t preclude us from having fun, fun within certain boundaries. 

So let’s chant up a storm today nuh! In unison and with sincere sincerity: (smile) ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, it’s time to relax from our weekly labour, but not get so relaxed that we forget about Lucifer and his ever constant attacks against our immortal souls. For as John the Revelator tells us in our Bit: ‘For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’ 

And it is! For how else would we get a sinless body to atone for our sins eh? Anybody born of man and woman will always have a sinful nature and won’t qualify as propitiation, atonement or worthwhile sacrifice for the myriad of sins we commit against a most holy God. Thus John warns: ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for), but that we receive a full reward.’ (2 John 8) 

Now hear the scholars on that verse: ‘8. The first and third we should probably be “you” (plural) according to many ancient manuscripts. It is dangerous for any person, including a believer, to follow teachings contrary to Scripture.’ 

And so it is! ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9) And per that verse, the scholars advise: ‘9. John makes Christology the central doctrine of the faith.’ But what else could it be eh? If the basic doctrine of Christ is not the central theme in the study and advocacy of Christ, then the whole thing is false. 

So John continues his warning. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him (give him a greeting) Godspeed. For he that biddeth him (greets him) Godspeed is partaker of (shares in) his evil deeds.’ (2 John 10-11) 

And if you’re wondering why that is, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘10-11. In the early decades of Christianity, local churches were planted and sustained by itinerant preachers and teachers. For those workers to survive, it was necessary for believers to show hospitality. However, one had to be sure that he was not aiding and abetting false teachers, that is, those with unorthodox views of the person and work of Christ. 

To take such people in, John says, is to endorse their teaching. John’s command forbids true Christians to actively support the ministry of false teachers. It is not a prohibition against having non-Christians (e.g. unsaved family members or neighbours) into one’s home – unless, of course, they are spreading anti-Christian doctrine, and seeking to use one’s home as a base of operations.’ 

And you know what friends? All of that still holds true today, because there are even more false teachers and preachers out there than in John’s time. So please, let’s be careful as to whom and what we open ourselves to nuh in these trying and oh so deceitful end times. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe exactly what Jesus says about Jesus…then you’re not believing the truth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2018 Hebrews 7:24.

Hebrews 7:24.   But this man (Jesus), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Aw shucks friends, Monday’s done – like dinner! (smile) And you’ll notice that we weren’t plagued by any of the evil forebodings we had conjured up in our minds for the first day of the workweek. Glory to God! It was all just peace and quiet, LOVE, joy and friendship in Jesus Christ! Mama Yo!

So let’s just keep it like that today too nuh. And the best way to start out is by declaring this mind-setting acclamation: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’  And having set our minds on that, we can now go out and bring it to pass. And to help us do that, here is this ‘Prayer for Success,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

Please pray with me. ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more important than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ That’s all gospel truth my brethren! Without those wonderful and powerful attributes of Jesus we cannot succeed in this evil and ungodly world! 

And Gramps Schuller continues: ‘Be open. Be humble. Correctable. Educable. Then you will hear God’s voice. You will see God’s plan. Grab onto it, give it all you’ve got, and you will inherit the earth!’ More words of indisputable truth friends! 

And you know what hold us back more than anything else, is not that we don’t believe etc. etc. but we don’t give it all we’ve got for a sufficient length of time. Yes my people, we give up way too easily. Just think if Jesus had given up on us, what would have happened eh? 

It’s sure scary to think about no forgiveness of sins, no mercy or grace, no salvation, no eternal life. Hn! But He persisted, even though He knew the severe trials He would have to face. And because of His persistence, He overcame them. Likewise my brethren, we, His faithful followers ought to be persistent in all that we do in His name. 

And our Bit shows just how persistent and persevering is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘But this man (Jesus), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.’ Yeh friends, all the other important priests died, and so did Jesus, but He rose from the dead and continues living and working on our behalf. 

‘Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.’ (Heb.7:25) Ah mih brethren, how blessed we are when we follow Jesus! He not only died to pay for our sins and help us be reconciled to the Father, but even now, He is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us. 

He never stops pleading on our behalf! Glory to His Holy Name; the one that’s higher than any other, and the one that all must bow to! So are we as persevering and persistent in our work on His behalf? I don’t think so, otherwise the world would not be as evil and ungodly as it is, neither would there be so many people willing and pushing, even clamouring to have God removed from our society. 

And the reason for that ungodliness lie heavily both on the church as an organization and we individuals within it. And here I’ll just recall a couple scriptures on the persistence of the early church. ‘And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:42) 

‘And they continuing daily with one accord (mind) in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat (food) with gladness and singleness of heart (simplicity). Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily, such as should be (were being) saved.’ (Acts 2:46-47) 

Friends, that just shows how fervent and persistent the early church was about living for Christ. Unfortunately though, in today’s feckless and spineless society, we seem to be more enamoured of the things of the world, than those of God. But that’s a fool’s wisdom my people. Now here is a passage of scripture I hope will encourage us to keep on keeping on regardless of what comes against us. 

‘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) 

Yeh friends, the times are evil and ungodly, and only as we believers are persistent and true in following Jesus, will, or can they ever change. So let’s think about all Jesus did for us, and is still doing, and make that extra effort to run our race for Him nuh, for His glory. 

And for those of us who have decided to do just that, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts now: ‘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 let’s go out and do exactly that, so we can effect, bring about, some badly needed godly change in our world. Much LOVE!

…the saints in heaven are watching…are cheering us on to run a good race…let’s not disappoint them nuh…

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2018 John 10:10b-11.

John 10:10b-11.   I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Awright my believing brethren, what shall we say about this day eh? ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And what else? That this is the Lord’s Day and we WILL go to His sanctuary to give Him much praise and thanks, to celebrate our blessed lives and fellowship with others of the same belief! 

We shall also listen to His Word, let it seep into our hearts and souls, and consequently have our spirits refilled with God’s LOVE through His Holy Spirit, so that we can walk tall and strong, proud and confident, when we depart from His sanctuary! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised! And there’s no better way to praise Him than in song: He enjoys it, and it brings the best out of us. And today’s song of praise is a favourite gospel song from a few years back, one we all know and LOVE; it’s simply but oh so meaningfully titled ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

It was written by the gospel singer Edwin Hawkins, and first recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Unfortunately though, Edwin Hawkins died a few weeks ago, but in conjunction with his choir, he left the world a wonderful legacy in song. I also saw a wonderful rendition of it on You Tube by Ray Charles and the Voices of Jubilation choir. Oh, Ray was so worked up that on his way off the stage he stopped at least three times and did a Happy Day dance! 

So let’s open our hearts and mouths and allow our voices to soar to high heaven with these few simple but oh so meaningful words. Remember, half the beauty of the song is in its call and response style, so let’s call and respond in all sincerity and truth nuh, letting our magnificent and magnanimous God know how deep is our joy, in having the wonderful privilege of worshipping Him. Hn! I hope that makes sense. 

But anyway, enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (oh happy day) 

Oh happy day (oh happy day) He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray And live rejoicing every, everyday Oh happy day Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how could we not be ecstatic eh, when Jesus washed away our sins, cleansed us with the blood He shed on Calvary? He also taught us how to watch, to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! Glory be! We’d be foolish and ungrateful if we didn’t appreciate His stellar and selfless efforts on our behalf. 

Just look at what our Bit says: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ And that’s exactly what Jesus did my brethren! He gave His life so that we could enjoy abundant living in concert with the Father; redeemed, made righteous once again, with salvation and eternal life the end benefits. 

That means Christians ought to be the happiest people on Planet Earth…and show it in our behaviour too. For why would anyone want to come to Jesus if we claim to have so much wonderful stuff when we believe in Him, but our attitudes and demeanour are sour and miserable and definitely don’t reflect the joy we talk about so much eh? 

If our everyday lives aren’t filled with hope, happiness and heavenly thoughts and longing then we’re not true believers and/or Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in vain. Please friends, let that not be the case, because it would break both the Father and Jesus’ hearts. 

So please let’s make every day a happy day nuh; watching for His promised return; fighting the many evil enemies who want to discredit Him and turn us away. But they don’t know that when we get on our knees, both literally and figuratively, and pray to the Father in His name that the battle is as good as won! Glory Hallelujah! 

And with all of that good stuff, the rejoicing just comes naturally. Ah mih people, we have so much to look forward to when we sincerely make Jesus our Lord and Saviour. And when our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’re sealed forever as a child of God, our bonds are so ironclad that nothing, or no one can ever break them. That’s how powerful association with the Lord and His heavenly host is. 

So today, let’s step right up to the plate and hit the devil right out of the park for a large home run. That’ll show him to mess with Jesus’ people! Much LOVE!

…as a believer in Jesus…we’re promised joy for ever more…now who in their right senses would refuse that eh…

 


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2018 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Ah friends, after looking at some of the news headlines and seeing the unnecessary strife and the many natural disasters that are plaguing our once beautiful world, I decided that there was only one way to begin today’s Bit; that’s with some acclamations of our faith to bolster our courage and help us keep keeping on in the face of so much negative happenings. 

So let’s affirm with sincere heart and ongoing faith. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY whatsoever! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And isn’t that a fact, a most awesome one! And last but not least: God will supply all my needs through His riches in glory through Jesus Christ! 

Glory be mih people! That should get us going and hold us for today as we hear about and see the ungodly and disastrous things that are happening in our world. 

And it’s only fitting that with the great amount of talk and li’l action taking place in our world that we should continue with our Bit from yesterday, where James talks about hearing and doing the word. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And he told us why?  ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Therefore we should put away all evil and lustful stuff and concentrate on the Word that’s implanted in our hearts, since it is what keeps us going on the course of faith, thus helping us to mature as time goes by. 

And he continues with this warning: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Ah mih people, that is so reminiscent of so many of us today; we hear the word, then immediately forget it, and don’t put it into practice. And I believe it happens very much on a Sunday, where we go to church and hear God’s word preached, but as soon as we get out, we continue with our old way of living and don’t put what we heard into practice. 

That’s obviously not good enough my people, for God’s Word is a practical treatise on daily living, and needs to be actioned if it is to be useful! So what’s the point of hearing it if we don’t intend to put it to good use in our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4) It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’ 

Ah precious people, what a day it was when Jesus defeated hell, death and the grave and set us free from all the terrorizing religious laws of Moses’ time, which no one could keep. And I’d like to say read those scriptures above, but I know very few of you will, but because I LOVE you all so much and care so much about your souls, I will spoon feed you with a couple of them. (smile) 

Listen to Jesus on the Law of Moses. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prohets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) Yes friends, Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law! 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ God had always intended for us to end up with an inner connection, through His Holy Spirit, and that’s what Jesus came to do. 

Now hear Bruh Paul as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:1-2) And we all know that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

So James concludes: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:26-27) So friends, true religion is neither mere hearing or mere doing but a timely balance of both aspects of our faith. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proud of our position in Christ. All together 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 as always, merely thinking about how glorious that future will be, just boggles my small mind! Much LOVE!

…to be on the same page as Jesus…we must hear…as well as do…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2018 Lamentations 3:24.

Lamentations 3:24.   The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.

Oh yes mih people, it’s a hot and humid Monday…but that’s no excuse to have the Monday summertime blues! Definitely not! Just think ahead for a moment; just think how we’ll be dying for, just begging the Lord for this same kind of weather in the next few months nuh, when the cold descends upon us with a determined vengeance. (smile) 

So please, let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s enjoy the time, enjoy each and every minute we’ve been granted down here on earth in this crazy summertime of 2018. Instead, let’s emphatically and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Wow mih breddren! That’s the kind of attitude and approach our gracious and merciful God wants to hear us adopt. But just in case you can’t chase away those Monday summertime blues all on your own, then let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the true antidote for just such an ailment. 

As loud and as enthusiastically as we can now: ‘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!’ 

And do words of sincere prayer ever raise the adrenaline levels in our souls my people! There is nothing else like, or as effective as it, in this whole wide world. No wonder Cousin Jerry, despite all his ‘sufferation’ could confidently declare in our Bit: ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.’  

And the psalmist Asaph concurs with Jerry, as he confidently proclaims: ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ (Ps.73:25-26) 

Oh my fellow believers, are we able to declare those kinds of statements as emphatically as Asaph? I certainly hope so. But if we can’t just yet, then it’s something we should be working very diligently towards. As I read those words it reminded me of Horatio Spafford, the fellow who wrote our yesterday hymn, ‘It is well with my soul.’ 

He had to have had that kind of and level of faith to be able to pen those immortal and poignant words after experiencing so much tragedy in his life. And the writer of Psalm 119 puts it this way. ‘Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.’ (Ps.119:57-58) 

Of course our great, wonderful and magnanimous God will be merciful to us if we sincerely offer our whole heart to Him, for that’s what He’s all about: magnanimity and mercy! But we have to give Him our all, not just a part that we figure we can’t handle. 

And Cousin Jerry puts it thus earlier on. ‘The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former (maker) of all things; and Israel is the rod (tribe) of his inheritance: The Lord of hosts is his name.’ (Jer.10:16) 

Glory be my fellow believers! And through the auspices and sacrifices of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we have been made a member of God’s tribe, we also are a part of His inheritance! What a blessed inheritance! Please, let’s make the most of it nuh, don’t throw it away and waste Jesus’ awesome sacrifice on our behalf. 

And we’ll close with these immortal and oh so encouraging words of the psalmist Asaph. ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:28) That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions my brethren! Please, I implore us to seriously embrace it. Much LOVE!

…wisdom and logic both dictate…that drawing close to our Maker…is our raison d’etre…the reason for our very existence…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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