Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 May 2022 John 13:34.

John 13:34.      A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. 

Come on friends, let’s see some Christ-like smiles on those faces on this beautiful spring Thursday nuh! Christ is LOVE, the Good Book says so (1 John 4:8) and the first appearance of LOVE from us should be a smile! Yes, my brethren our Christian faith walk all begins with a smile, for when we realize all the marvellous and miraculous benefits we have in and from Jesus, and they all start to flow out of us, there must be a smile of joy accompanying them, otherwise, how are people going to know that we are happy in Jesus eh? 

So, if there is true joy in our souls, then it will show on our faces through a smile. And it’s sad, pathetic really, the number of sour faced, miserable, unhappy looking supposed Christians walking about the planet! Some of them falsely believing that they are pilgrims and pilgrims suffer, so they need to look like what the cat dragged in. 

But that’s not true friends. For even if you are a supposed pilgrim and life’s rough, with all the wonderful stuff that Jesus has given us and placed in our hearts and souls, the joy, which is the strength of the Lord and the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s been planted in us and growing beautifully like the new spring grass, must manifest itself in our behaviour, starting with a big smile and a heavenly look on our faces. 

Remember what Jesus said about the stuff that comes out of a man? ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And that’s how it ought to be with believers, the good stuff of Jesus coming out of our mouths and lighting up our faces with His joy. ‘As the song says: ‘Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Jesus, when Jesus washed, when my Jesus washed all my sins away!’ 

Now, that day and that action ought to be always percolating in our souls and spirits, and cause us to live rejoicing every day. And rejoicing means letting the joy in our soul and spirit being made manifest on the outside, beginning with a glow on our faces and Christ-like actions reaching out to those with whom we come into contact. That brings us to these fateful and very crucial words of Jesus to His disciples, when he said unto them. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes, my fellow believers, the world will only recognize us as true disciples of Jesus if we show the LOVE He showed to us, toward each other. And sadly, that’s not happening as much as it should because many of us supposed Christians don’t even talk to one another because we are of a different religion or denomination, we have a different doctrine or some such nonsense. But the only doctrine in Jesus’ book is LOVE, and LOVE is an action-based reality, you can’t just talk it, but must show it, like Jesus said back there, if we want to be His true disciples. 

And He said it to them again later on. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) And I like how John sets it all out in his first epistle, when he talks about tests of true knowledge. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandment is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are ever so important in our walk of faith because they testify of our genuine knowledge of God, of true discipleship, which can only be accomplished by obedience to Christ’s commandments. It must be a conscious and enduring effort, for the true ‘test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ And the scholars explain verse 6 thus. They say: ‘Even as he walked refers to Jesus’ earthly days. While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning ministry, His disciples are called on to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21.’ 

And just to refresh our memories, (smile) let’s look at those two scriptures. In John 13:15, Jesus says to the disciples after washing their feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’ Then Peter corroborates that statement when he writes. ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) 

Oh my people, are we doing those kinds of things like Jesus did, or at least attempting to live that way? Hopefully, our answer to that will be a decisive YES! And if it’s not, then we are not living for Christ and are not His true disciples and need to change our lifestyles if we truly want to be made over in His image. And the great thing about Jesus is that when we truly desire and try to live for Him, He showers us with numerous blessings to help us do just that. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and when we declare them out loud, they serve to refuel and renew our hearts and souls, so that we can go out and do His work with new enthusiasm and LOVE. 

So, let’s declare them right now nuh, in loud and confident voice. ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to go out and generously use those blessings to serve others, just as generously as Christ shares them with us. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but LOVE…that’s action…calls for sacrifice…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2021 Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.     ​This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Well a pleasant Sunday to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s another beautiful day in the life! Our God surely knows how to make them, doesn’t He! And we also wish a blessed and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, be they good, bad or indifferent! (smile) Oh, we know that our parents should be celebrated every day, but that’s not always possible, so we focus on one special day each year for each parent. 

Today is your day Fathers, so please enjoy it. So all around it’s a wonderful day! That means we can say like the psalmist did so sincerely, so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren in Christ! 

And what better way to celebrate the Lord’s beautiful day and Father’s Day than by raising our voices in praise to the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Phillip Doddridge and made popular, became a gospel music standard in the 20thcentury by the Edwin Hawkins singers. You know that I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, in an up-tempo beat, with loud, joyful, harmonious voices, let’s rock heaven…oh, and don’t forget those wonderful background vocals, because that’s the heart of the song. (smile) 

All together now: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He 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 (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a happy day! And as always, we did justice to our song of praise, because all heaven was rocking along, with us, singing and clapping…this time we even caught Jesus singing and clapping while doing a li’l two step shuffle off in the corner. You know He is usually shy and reserved and doesn’t get too caught up in the merriment, but today the energy and joy pulsating from the music was too much for Him to resist. 

And a couple angels who saw Him jigging, gleefully shouted out: ‘Go there mih Saviour! Show them you could step too, when you so desire!’ Obviously Jesus blushed, but He didn’t stop dancing. Ah friends, our Lord and Saviour is indeed a man of many parts, and He wants to get involved in everything that we do. So please let’s not try to leave Him out of any areas of our lives, because we are the ones who suffer when we do that. 

And I guess because today is Father’s Day, I ought to say something spiritual to the Fathers? (smile) And there are lots of scriptures that deal with the responsibilities of fathers. The most well-known one I guess is in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, where he declares: ‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

And just to be clear on what Bruh Paul means, here are some explanations from the scholars.‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive (names the subject of the action contained in another noun). This indicates that behind the parents’ rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not raise children alone.’ 

Now that is something many of the parents of this generation need to learn; they cannot raise children in isolation from the Lord. Many are still trying though, and no wonder we have so many godless children in our society. Notwithstanding the serious absence of fathers in too many households. Remember friends, the father is the titular head of the family, and if there is no father present in a child’s rearing, or the father doesn’t do a good job then the child obviously suffers in the long run. 

That’s why Cousin Sol spells it out in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Have you ever noticed how many young people who grew up in Christian homes, at some point stray from their faith, but eventually return to it when they see that there’s no other way to live a good life? I can personally testify to that. (smile) 

And a few explanations from the scholars re Cousin Sol’s words.‘22:6. Train up a childrefers to the total process of molding a child’s life…. Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph. 6:1-4). 

The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to provoke his child to rebellion.When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’ 

And there is much truth to all that the scholars and Cousin Sol say, but it’s all much easier said than done, for as the old people will tell you, ‘you make the children, but not their minds.’ So you can try your best to inculcate God into them from their formative years, and yet they will still go astray. But nonetheless it is still our job, our responsibility, to teach them the things of God, regardless of what they choose to do with that info. The Lord will deal with them for their disobedience, and with us for ours, because too many of us parents have not given the children of this generation enough of God’s fodder. 

Remember what the Lord said of Abraham. ‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and judgement); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.’ (Gen. 18:19) 

Oh my people, how many of us can the Lord give such glowing reports of today eh? Unfortunately, not as many as He should, for we have certainly fallen down in raising our children on the tenets of God. However, as the old people would further say, (smile), ‘where there is life, there is hope,’ so let’s not give up on them nuh. Let’s keep being living examples to our children, as well as reminding them of God’s Word and His will for their lives. Much LOVE!

…the foundation of a Christian family is…father, mother, children… and God…                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2020 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Oh friends, the Lord’s Day has rolled around once again, but sadly, this time His house, His sanctuary is desolate because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean He can’t bless us and make His face to shine upon us, because we’ll still be gathering to sing and praise and worship Him, though through virtual means, through the wonders of technology. 

And because of all the strife, confusion, upheaval and discontent that’s currently running rampant in our world, I decided that we needed a real thankful and joyful song to open our worship today, something to lift our spirits and remind us of our God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that there could not be a better song than this one to do it. I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

Yes mih people, up on point today is that 1967 gospel music arrangement by the Edwin Hawkins Singers of the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Philip Doddridge, which in the intervening years has certainly become a gospel music standard. Just check out YouTube and you’ll see the many different versions. And today we’re really going to get into it, giving it the full gospel treatment, with lots of hand clapping, the music rich and soulful and scintillating, with the tambourines jangling and the call and answer response right up front, for that’s what really lends the song its verve and chutzpah. (smile) 

So altogether now, in full voice, letting heaven know that we’re serious and sincere: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He 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 (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes mih bredrin, that was an awesome version! Heaven had no doubt that we were sincere! And this time, Jesus couldn’t just sit smiling shyly by the Father’s side…how could He when all heaven was dancing, singing and clapping too eh…including the Father? Jesus had to get up and do a li’l two step to acknowledge the praise and worship. And believe me precious people, Jesus deserves all of that adoration and reverence for the willing sacrifice; crucifixion on the old rugged cross at Calvary, that He made on our behalf! 

Wow! What a day it truly was when He washed our sins away, when He paid the Father’s steep price to cleanse and save us from hellfire and damnation! It was indeed the happiest day that mankind had ever experienced, and the best gift ever given to us after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our forefather Adam’s nostrils! As Jesus so rightly said of Himself: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did; gave His life for us on the cross, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and live…live forever! Glory be people! 

How amazing and sacrificial is that eh! And hear Him later on nuh: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Mama Mia! What beautiful words of reassurance? 

And the scholars express it thus: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Can any other faith sincerely promise that? Absolutely not! And what’s so great about Jesus is not that He just washed our sins away, but He also taught us to how to watch and fight and pray! Glory Hallelujah! What a giant He is! 

And to add to all that, He taught us how to live rejoicing every day too! So why wouldn’t we proud of Him eh? And revere and adore and worship Him; as well as call Him Lord and Saviour? No reason whatsoever to do otherwise my fellow saints in Christ! 

But unfortunately I have to muddy the waters here, cause not all of His followers walk the talk that they talk. Too many of us don’t watch and fight and pray, nor live rejoicing every day, although our sins have been washed away and we’ve been guaranteed eternal life. Now isn’t that a crying shame, because it just makes Jesus’ sacrifice of no account if we keep on living that joyless, ungodly life. Remember what He also said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means we’re supposed to enjoy our earthly lives if we’re true believers, not live downtrodden and dismal existences. 

Oh my people, heaven begins here on earth if you’re a follower of Jesus, and we ought to be the happiest and most joyful group of people on the planet because of all that He’s done and promised to do in the future. So let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s change our attitudes, lift our heads and give God the glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that’s why He sacrificed His sinless life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a true believer…then you ought to be joyful…for the joy of the Lord is your strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2014 Isaiah 61:3

Isaiah 61:3.   To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Oh Friends, it’s a nice cool Thursday morning in early summer! And what does the ole fella have to say for himself? Not a whole lot nuh. I went to bed late, reading a novel, then had a rough night, turning and tossing, dreaming all sorts of stuff. But luckily though, it was all pleasant stuff, no nightmares, nothing scary… Thank the Lord for small mercies!
 
And now I’m here to write the Bit, seeking heavenly guidance to write something sensible that will help us all; that will motivate, encourage and keep our focus steadily on Almighty God, our LOVING Creator and generous Provider.
 
And in keeping with that task, I’ll just remind us that our task on this great earth is to take hold of God’s grace, to endure our afflictions with patience, without growing weary, knowing that in His own good time, our heavenly Father will perform, establish, strengthen and settle us.
 
We must be of good courage and wait with patience and perseverance, hungry hope and expectant faith on our wonderful and most faithful God. And all God’s people said a delightful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, we ought to, because that is all simply gospel truth! And why is that so? Because every worthy name named in the Good Book, had their trials and tribulations, their ups and downs, their tests and passages through the fire to check their true mettle.
 
And those who stood steadfast and strong, who passed the tests – obviously with God’s help – were subsequently rewarded By the Most High God Jehovah.
 
Oh my people, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and expectations. However, when we do acknowledge our shortcomings, confess our sins and return to being obedient to His will, He is most magnanimous to forgive and forget.
 
Oh what a great God we serve and worship! He delights so much in our repentance, that He’s promised there would be future glory in Zion, with good tidings of salvation:
 
‘To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’
 
And was His great and holy name ever glorified when His Son Jesus fulfilled the first part of His everlasting promise!
 
We’re just waiting now, with patience and perseverance, hungry hope and expectant faith – yes, I do like those terms – for that fateful day when, as Isaiah promised in the Lord’s name: ‘Violence shall no more (longer) be heard in thy land, wasting (devastation) nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
 
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. The sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw it self: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
 
Thy people shall also be righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his (its) time.’ (Is.60:18-22)
 
Oh Friends, what a glorious day that will be eh!
 
And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then listen to those same promises reiterated by our faithful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to John in His Revelations: ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:4)
 
Oh Glory Hallelujah! I can’t wait for that day my brethren! No more aches and pains – Wow!
 
And furthermore,  hear this on the New Jerusalem: ‘And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev.21:22-23)
 
Oh happy dayyyy! When Jesus washed… When Jesus washed… ALL my sins away…!
 
As the scholars explain: ’21:22-23. There is no temple in the city, since both the Father and the Son will be present in their fullest manifestations. Its light will be provided by the Shekinah glory of God and of Christ (cf. Ex.3:3-4; 24:15-17; 33:14-16; Luke 2:9; 9:29; Heb.1:3).’
 
Plenty of scripture references tocheck out Friends. (smile)Now that’s not all: ‘And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
 
And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes an) abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’ (Rev.21:24-27)
 
Mama Mia! Oh my brethren, the imagined sight of that, through the eyes of faith is just working on me, stirring me up! (smile)
 
And there’s more: ‘And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in (on) their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle (lamp), neither light of the sun; for the Lord giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.’ (Rev.22:3-5)
 
Oh my people, that is what awaits us at the end of the day, if we bear our burdens and yokes, already much lightened by our Saviour Jesus Christ, with patience and perseverance, hungry hope and expectant faith! There’s absolutely nothing better than what He’s promised!
 
So please, let’s get serious nuh, let’s buckle down, pull up our britches, pull up our socks, and whatever other cliché there is concerning improving our behaviour, and just live for Jesus, as He desires us to do. That’s wisdom of untold benefit! Much LOVE!
 
…Let’s LOVE our God…LIVE our Faith…and SPREAD His Word…that’s all He asks of us…
 
P.S.  Oh my Friends and fellow believers, I do hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. There was a smile on my face and joy in my heart from soon after I began writing it, and saw where it was headed. Hope it brings a smile to your faces too and produces a fire in your hearts for Jesus! Please have a most blessed day walking safely and talking intimately with Jesus! Much LOVE!