Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2018 Revelation 3:15.

Revelation 3:15.   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.

Awright mih breddren, another wonderful day on God’s great earth is upon us! Give Him thanks and praise! And you know what? I just checked the obits and none of our names or pictures are listed there! Wow! That must mean that we’re alive, alive and kicking, alive and kicking butt for Christ! (smile) I like that. 

It sounds like something we were meant to do. But are we doing it? To a certain extent yes, but definitely not as much as we ought to. The problem with our brand of Christianity these days seems to be that we are doing a lot of right things, but we are not doing them sufficiently. 

You know, you can give, volunteer, help, pray, whatever, show Christian attributes, but with a lacklustre attitude, no real passion for what you’re doing. It doesn’t seem to come from the heart, but from the mind. Like I’m supposed to do so and so, so I’ll do it, but not with any real zeal; a more legalistic approach than a heart-felt one. 

But Jesus calls for excellence, passion, and diligence in His followers. That reminds me of what He said to the church in Laodicea, through John’s vision in Revelation, our Bit for today. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.’ 

Ah friends, that’s exactly how Christ’s church is today. The zeal and passion for growing it, for enhancing Christ’s LOVE Revolution doesn’t’ seem to be present in sufficient quantity amongst its believers. We still seem to be too taken up with the matters of the world and not enough with those of heaven. 

And as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:16-17) 

Yes my people, if we look at ourselves in truth, we will see that we are still too taken up with the things of the world and not those of God, thus Jesus’ reproach. 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm water, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. 

But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas. By the time it arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Ah friends, although I don’t think our contributions to Christ’s church are totally useless, I do believe that they are not worthwhile enough because our faith is not strong enough. Too many of us are too scared, lazy and lackadaisical about our faith. We don’t stand up steadfast and strong enough for what we believe in. 

There is too much fence sitting and compromise in our behaviour and actions. And both those things lessen the strength of anything. We talk a good talk, but we don’t walk a good enough walk. 

That’s why Jesus commanded the church at Laodicea: ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev.3:18) 

I have to chuckle there friends, because nobody can turn a phrase like Jesus, can admonish you the way He does. And the scholars have this to say about that scripture. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. 

Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’ 

Fellow believers in Christ, I believe that admonition of Jesus will also stand us in good stead today. Please, I implore us to stop running after the things and wealth of the world, because they will avail us nothing in the time to come. It’s time we raise the level of our faith and actions and concentrate on sincerely growing Christ’s church as personified by His LOVE Revolution. Why do you think He blessed us with our Thursday Blessings eh? So that we can lift Him up. 

Now let’s declare those blessings with a sincere heart and strong belief. ‘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 if we truly believe, it, then let’s go out and share it with others as Christ desires, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. Much LOVE!

…Christ wants His followers to be either hot or cold…not in between…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2015 Revelation 3:15

Revelation 3:15.    I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot: I would (wish) that thou wert (were) cold or hot.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Sunday once again! Time to gather in fellowship; to sing, praise, worship and give thanks to our magnificent Creator and heavenly Father. Wow! Isn’t that amazing? It surely is!

Oh I know some of you might think what’s all the fuss about? But if you have the blessings and the promises and faithfulness and all the other good stuff that stems from Jesus’ demise and then His ultimate resurrection, how can you not be joyful, ecstatic and passionate about your faith eh?

Unfortunately we supposed believers are not a very passionate lot. We treat our faith as though it wasn’t that important. But wait until we get a new car, a new house, or some such worldly stuff that will eventually rot and be destroyed, we jump for joy and carry on. But for the mercies, forgiveness of our abominable sins and the blessings that the Lord pours down on us every day, we are lukewarm and indifferent.

However my people, those are the things that we should be joyful and expressive about. Nothing in this evil and ungodly world will ever beat those heavenly things. So let’s show some passion about our faith nuh, let’s talk it up, live it up, enjoy it and behave like we truly appreciate it, for remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. So if we don’t have joy in God, then we won’t be strong and useful. It’s as simple as that my people.

We are behaving just like the church at Laodicea, to whom Jesus sent this message in our Bit. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would (wish) thou wert (were) cold or hot.’

Yeh Friends, it’s the same message that Jesus is sending us today, for we’re neither hot nor cold, just sort of indifferent, kind of doh-care, sitting on the fence trying to play both ends against the middle. But my brethren that attitude, that modus operandi seldom ever works positively, but negatively most of the time. We have to stand up and choose a side, else we’ll be levelled by both.

Now here’s a little history on Laodicea per the scholars. ‘3:14. Laodicea was located about 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia, in the Lycus River valley near Colossae and Hierapolis (cf. Col.4:13-16). Its name means “People Ruling,” and represents the unbelieving, materialistic church of all ages…’

Ah Friends, we can certainly fall under that heading, because we don’t behave like we truly believe and we’re extremely materialistic. And consequently, the message from Jesus continues: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit or vomit) thee out of my mouth.’ (Rev.3:16)

Now my people, we don’t want Christ to spit us out or regurgitate us, do we? Certainly not! For if He does that, we won’t have a relationship with Him again, and thus lose all the blessings and other wonderful things that He represents.

And the scholars have this to say about those last two verses. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas.

By the time it arrived in Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Oh Friends, does that sound like our church today? Sadly I will have to answer yes. To a great extent the church has lost its way. We no longer practice what Christ taught, plus there are too many denominations, divisions, petty differences and grievances and consequently not sufficient unity and togetherness to make a worthwhile assault on the enemy.

And we obviously can’t make any inroads against enemy since we’re not seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness as Jesus directed in the Sermon on the Mount. But instead we are too taken up with the things of the world, rather than the things of God. Our faith is not demonstrated in the way we live our lives, that’s why the heathen, the unbeliever, mocks and scorns us and calls us hypocrites and are not interested in coming to Jesus.

As I keep telling us friends, examples speak more forcibly than words. So if we sincerely want people to come to Jesus, then we have to begin living the truth, with passion and sincerity, and not the lie that so many of us live nowadays.

Now hear how Jesus puts it. ‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire (refined), that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed), and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev.3:17-19)

And the scholars explain all of that thus. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’

Ah mih people, what’s left to be said eh? Nothing really, because we are behaving just like the Laodiceans. We talk a lot, but don’t have the serious actions to back it up. And we are definitely showing more interest in the material things of the world than the spiritual things of heaven. Please remember Friends that the things of the world will rot and be destroyed, they will pass away, but the things of heaven don’t rot, and will never pass away. Much LOVE!

…he that hath an ear…let him hear…what the Spirit saith unto the churches… (Rev.3:22)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2015 1 Corinthians 3:11

1 Corinthians 3:11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Well Friends, we’ve jumped forward an hour this Sunday morning to what we call Daylight Saving Time, having lost an hour a few months ago. Hn! If that jumping back and forth benefits anyone, is open to argument, but it does seem to have some negative effects on people’s sleep and their metabolism. And I don’t think that the countries who don’t follow this eccentric behaviour (smile) suffer any setbacks either. So why do we play this mental hopscotch every year eh?

I guess that only God and the powers that be understand it. The normal, run of the mill man certainly doesn’t. He just knows that twice a year it confuses his life. Now because of that, many of us will be late for work or other important appointments, including church, since we either didn’t know or didn’t remember that the clocks were going forward one hour this morning.

Hopefully though, not many of us will miss the glorious opportunity for worship, fellowship, praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God, and in return get His strength, wisdom and confidence to face this wicked world for another week.  And today I’m excited to share this good, no wonderful news about Christianity, from Gramp’s Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. Now it’s something we all know, or should know, but we need to be reminded of it every so often.

Listen up: ‘Christianity is a religion based on mercy. It is rooted in forgiveness. Of all the religions in the world, Christianity is the only belief system that accepts grace as its source of salvation. Every other religion is based on good works – work hard enough or be good enough and you will earn your salvation, your heaven, your Nirvana. Christianity alone says, “You can’t do it. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all suffer from guilt and shame. We are all victims.

But Jesus died on the cross with these final words: ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) He has risen again. He has paid for my sins. He has paid for yours. The gift of salvation is free – no strings attached.”

Ah mih people, in light of all of that, how could I choose to be other than a Christian eh, a believer in Jesus Christ? It is certainly the best belief system in the world; spiritually, psychologically, philosophically and any other ‘ally’ you choose to bring up! (smile) It definitely beats all other belief systems in the way humans ought to live and interact with each other, and with their God.

So why are we so reluctant to embrace it eh? I really don’t know nuh. I just know that the wise people will accept and embrace it with joyful hearts, minds and souls, because that’s what it is designed to do. That’s why Bruh Paul proclaims in our Bit to the church at Corinth: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’

And that’s indisputable, gospel truth my brethren! Jesus was the foundation for all mankind from day one!  

The prophet Isaiah warned Jerusalem thus: ‘Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.’ (Is.28:16)

Yes Friends, the Lord promised that foundation stone a long, long time before Jesus came to fulfill it. Meanwhile, in Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation, the psalmist said it this way: ‘I will praise thee: for thou hast heard (answered) me, and art become my salvation.

The stone which the builders refused (rejected) is become the head stone of the corner (chief cornerstone). This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:21-24)

Oh Friends, in light of Jesus’ sacrifice, of God’s wonderful grace, of offering salvation freely, that is what we need to do each and every day; rejoice and be glad that we are alive and kicking and have heaven and eternal life with Jesus to look forward to, no matter what happens here on earth. Does any other belief system have that ensconced in their promises? Obviously not! So why aren’t we more joyful than we are eh?

I think it just shows that we are not very true, but merely half-hearted believers. No other religion has the wonderful and fulfilled promises that ours does, but yet they rejoice in theirs more than we do in ours. Maybe it’s because we are like the church at Laodicea, to whom Jesus sent this message.

‘And unto the angel (messenger) of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen,  the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (Christ); I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would (wish) thou wert (were) cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:14-17)

Yes Friends, Laodicea was famous for its wealth, but that did not translate into a genuine and strong faith. Likewise our faith today is somewhat compromised by our wealth and freedom, which lead us to not trust and have as much faith in Jesus as we ought to.

Please, I implore us to get really serious about Jesus, so that those words to the Laodiceans no longer are applicable to us, for if we continue in our less than genuine faith, Jesus is liable to spit us out, eject us from His church. And that my brethren is the last thing we can afford to have happen to us. So let’s ponder it all and come to the wise conclusion to raise our faith in Jesus nuh, which is wisdom to the nth degree. Much LOVE!

…He that hath and ear…let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2013 Joshua 1:8

Joshua 1:8.  This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Oh Friends, it’s going to be a beautiful day, regardless of what the physical appearance might be! I just feel it in my spirit! (smile) Yuh know sometimes when you just feel something, you feel a feeling, you don’t understand why, but you feel it deep down inside?
 
Well that’s the way I feel this morning, as all the new mercies, manna, forgiveness and blessings begin to pour down on me! In fact, that’s how believers in Jesus Christ ought to feel EVERY DAY, since we have His ever-faithful promises to be with us always, leading and guiding us every step of our earthly journey. 
 
Now here’s something I planned to write on a Monday morning, because it’s sort of more appropriate for that day. But all the Mondays seem so chocked full of other stuff, I decided to do it today, since it’s a rather important and useful observation, and I didn’t want to wait too long to bring it to our notice. 
 
It’s taken from an article in the August issue of In Touch Magazine. A homeless, black, older man asks a wealthy, white, Christian man to explain how and why Christians could and do pray to and worship a homeless man on Sundays, then pass the first homeless person they meet on Mondays without even a backward glance, no acknowledgement whatsoever?
 
Wow! From the mouths of babes and the downtrodden often come undeniable words of wisdom!
 
Yuh see what I’m talking about mih breddren? When I read that, it just struck me as being so appropriate that I just had to share it. Remember Jesus had no fixed place of abode, just ‘coched’ (smile) by His friends, family and followers, or wherever the night found Him. So in essence, He was indeed a homeless person. 
 
Now my fellow believers I wanted to draw that non Christ-like behaviour to our attention, because I know that TOO many of us do it, though we really shouldn’t. Anyway, now that it’s been pointed out to us, please let’s pay more attention to the homeless nuh, for in truth, they are a reflection of Jesus.
 
What did He say about that? ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:40b) That’s the poor, the sick, the hungry, the needy, the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, and the homeless to whom Jesus is referring!
 
So Friends, let’s try, no, let’s DO a better job of helping the unfortunate amongst us, because then we’re in effect helping Jesus and being a true reflection of His wonderful, selfless, LOVING character!
 
And at long last, we come to our Bit: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’
 
And don’t blame me for it being the same over the last few days, but it’s such a powerful and potent bit of scripture, so life changing, that we need to drive it home deep in our hearts, minds and souls! For if we were truly observing it, our world would not be in half the mess that it’s currently in. There’s also plenty scripture, especially in the Psalms, dealing with Meditation on God’s Word, so let’s get to some.
 
And we’ll begin with the words of Asaph from Psalm 77, superscripted, ‘Who is a great God as our God?’ ‘And I said, This is my infirmity (anguish): but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ (Ps.77:10-13)
 
And all God’s people immediately shouted the answer to that question: ‘NOBODY!’
 
Yes Friends, there’s NO Being, dead or alive, as great as Jehovah God! Now let’s delve into the longest chapter in the Good Book, that wonderful Bit of God-inspired writing, Psalm 119, ‘The Lord’s judgements are righteous.’ As indeed they are my brethren!
 
The psalmist unequivocally proclaims: ‘I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto (contemplate) thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.’ (Ps.119:14-16)
 
Oh my people, those are statements that ALL BELIEVERS ought also to unequivocally proclaim!
 
And we’ll end with some more joyful and encouraging words from Psalm 104, ‘God’s preservation of nature.’ Here, the psalmist delightfully declares: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
 
My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord. (Shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps.104:33-35).
 
Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, let’s make that declaration loudly and seriously this fateful morning, then diligently put it into practice nuh! For that attitude in a believer’s life is the apex of steadfast faith, everlasting wisdom and gospel truth! Much LOVE!
 
…to faithfully contemplate God’s Word…oh what strength and energy it brings…  
 
P.S. Told you all I was feeling the Spirit this morning! (smile)