Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   ​And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2019 Matthew 13:57.

Matthew 13:57.    ​A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.
 

Oh my people, you’ll notice that the Bit is rather early today. (smile) That’s because I went to bed fairly early last night, slept through the night and got up early this morning! Brother! No fun in that at all. (smile) Neither was there any fun in what was supposed to be my last radiation treatment yesterday…

Steups! What a fiasco! Especially since I had a whole entourage (smile) (3 people) there to witness and record the end circumstances for posterity. Chuh man! But I guess it just wasn’t in the Lord’s plan for me yesterday, possibly because I was too vociferous and boastful early on in the Bit. Who knows? 

But everything that could go wrong went wrong; with both bowels and bladder, so we had to cancel the last treatment until Monday. But what yuh going to do eh? If that’s the Lord’s will, then you just have to grin and bear it. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Don’t find the fault, find the remedy.’ Now I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here (smile) by asking, if there’s no fault, then how can there be a remedy eh? But most likely he means that so many of us like to complain and find fault, that instead of always focusing on the problem, we should more often focus on the solution to the problem. 

And that’s the gospel truth, especially in this feeble and fragile world of today that’s littered with more complaints than anything else. We complain about everything, find fault with everything, and are never satisfied, even when we get what we asked for. But that’s just the world eh friends, not we believers in Christ…Hn! I wish! 

Now the next one is similar to the first: ‘The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team, to be solution focused and not problem focused.’ The same thing applies here, except to leaders. They must be focused on finding solutions, not dwelling on problems, because as they go, so will their followers. So if a leader is always harping on the problems, more likely than not the followers will be doing the same, and no organization can grow and thrive unless they are all looking to the positive side of the ledger. 

And the third quote tells us: ‘To handle yourself, use you head; to handle others, use your heart.’ I’m not sure I understand what he means there, but I’m supposing that in looking after your own interests, you should use your head, head knowledge and wisdom, but in dealing with others, it should all come from your heart, in a godly and generous manner. 

Now if that’s what he means, then there is a fair amount of truth in it, but please friends, in this greedy, deceitful and fraudulent world, we can’t always let out godly hearts and intentions run away with us, since people are liable to take serious advantage of the goodness of our nature. 

The world’s not as trustworthy as it once was, and contracts and agreements nowadays are meant to be broken. There is always some fine writing that you never look at that let’s them off the hook. So please make sure that your head is looking out for your heart. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’ And that’s the living truth! No one who’s ever done great things has ever done it comfortably sitting in their living rooms. They always had to go out on a limb, take a risk, face disappointment and seeming failure, as well as condemnation from friends and families. 

Just read the stories of people like Thomas Edison, who gave us the light bulb; Walt Disney, who was touted as failure in his early years, but look at what he created. And look at Henry Ford. Yuh think he had it easy building his cars. Not on your life. But the greatest example of them all is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at how he moved from being the God and creator of this world to being a humble, lowly man, born in a manger, not even a palace, but a smelly animal barn. Then grew up as a carpenter, and no, he didn’t have all the power tools that we have today, so it was hard, physical labour all the way. 

Then when He began His ministry, it was as an itinerant preacher, as He told the scribe who wanted to follow Him. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ (Matt.8:20) Not only didn’t He have a permanent place of residence, but He was also mocked and scorned by those around Him, the very ones he had come to save. Even His family didn’t believe in Him. 

And yuh see how they treated Him in His own hometown of Nazareth after He read the scripture from Isaiah and intimated that it related to Him. They all got hot and bothered thinking that the carpenter’s son, whom they all knew growing up was getting a bit uppity, taking such airs and graces upon Himself and tried to throw him off a cliff. ‘But He passing through the midst of them went on his way.’ (Luke 4:16-30) 

And it was in His own hometown of Nazareth that Jesus mouthed these words of immortal truth. ‘A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.’ How true that is my fellow saints in Christ. Many a great person has been looked on with disfavour by those close to them. And strangely enough, Nazareth was one of the very few places that Jesus did no miracles or mighty works, simply because of their unbelief. 

And we don’t have time to talk about all the unfair, and unjust ‘sufferation’ that Jesus endured so that He could build the greatest body, the most powerful organization the world has ever seen, the Christian church, which has lasted for over two thousand years, and is set down to last until eternity. 

So friends, if we want to do great things, we can’t only sit down and talk about them, we have to get up off of our comfortable fannies and put in the blood, sweat and tears required of every great and or lasting achievement; just like Christ did! And please note, He did it all on our behalf. 

He didn’t have to, but the Father asked, and being the obedient Son that He was, He got up off His comfortable rear end in heaven and came down to the hellhole we call earth and selflessly and sacrificially suffered to atone for our abominable sins and bring us into reconciliation with the Father. Now that is indeed the greatest deed ever done on this earth! Please acknowledge and respect it like you ought to. Much LOVE!

…doing great and worthwhile stuff…requires…great and worthwhile effort…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2019 John 15:11.

John 15:11.   ​These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

What a lousy, miserable, pain filled night! Yes mih first born, the ole fella complaining! (smile) And I’m sure if you had a night like I had, you’d complain too! Can’t find a comfortable position in which to sleep, because everyone I try, some ole broken down joint cried out in anguish. Then having to get up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, courtesy of the radiation treatment. 

Steups! Is a good thing this radiation nonsense finish this week yes! Couldn’t handle no more of it nuh. Is since May I’ve been going down to the hospital every blooming day for the treatment. Now is July, time for it to done oui! And the sad part is that I try to stay away from the pain killers, since I’m already a walking pharmacy (smile) but this morning I had no choice, had to get some of father’s li’l helpers to keep the ole bod moving sprightly. And that’s my rant for this morning! (smile) 

Now here is what we should all be having…JOY! Yes friends, that’s the watchword for today – JOY! And we’ll check it out from a poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Please pray with me: ‘JOY! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Yes mih people, JOY is of the Lord! And as the poem says, anyone one who wants it can have it, they just have to ask for it! Now are we asking the Lord for joy? Or are we merely living with happiness determined by our earthly circumstances? I certainly hope we are doing the former because that is what Christians ought to have; it’s what Christ died for us to have. 

Hear these immortal words of our Lord and Saviour nuh, while talking to the disciples about Him being the vine and they the branches, who need to stay connected to Him, if they expect to grow and thrive. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:10-11) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that! The joy of Christ in us enables us to handle any situation that comes against us with wisdom and steadfastness. We don’t get wishy-washy because of our circumstances. Now hear some more of Jesus talking to the disciples on the subject of joy. At one stage He told them this li’l riddle: ‘A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) 

Obviously the disciples were confused and muttered amongst themselves over what His words meant. And Jesus, sensing their confusion, explained it to them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail (labour) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of (has given birth to) the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born into the world. 

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:20-24) 

Ah mih people, words of true wisdom and enlightenment from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Words that have stood the test of time and are still applicable to these evil and troubled days! Just knowing that with Jesus in us, and we in Him, and being sure that He will come again to take us home, to be with Him in paradise forever, ought to be such a great motivator for us to live and die for Him. 

And when you add that last piece about asking for anything in His name and the Father will grant it…Hn! Our lives ought to be overflowing with joy everlasting! For no other faith, religion, or whatever you choose to call it, offers that kind of assurance and satisfaction. Now obviously Jesus is not referring to asking for selfish, ungodly stuff, but things that fall under the Father’s will. 

Too many of us though use those words to ask for selfish, ungodly stuff, and when we don’t get it, rail against God and His word. But please remember that God is not sitting in heaven like a doting grandfather to just give us any and everything we want. He has a universe to run, and doesn’t have time for our selfish, childish, petulant needs. We have a serious part to play in this world, so please friends, let’s play it nuh. 

And as the Bible verse attached to our poem says: ‘Don’t be dejected or sad, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10) And that’s the gospel truth friends! That’s why the enemy always targets our joy in his attacks. He knows that if he can take away our joy, then we’ll become weakened, like Samson, when Delilah cut off his hair. (smile) 

And with all of that encouragement and assurance running through our souls, spirits and bodies, let’s go home now, joyfully declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday mantra, gladly telling the world who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, what joy our sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world will bring both to us down here on earth, and to those in heaven above! So let’s get out there and share it nuh! Much LOVE!

…though living for Jesus…can be sometimes difficult…we still experience joy…unbelievable joy in doing it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2019 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.    ​Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.
 

Well an end to all good things must be, so the Canada Day party is over now, with some rain in the early morning hours and some cloudy skies. But thankfully no showers of blessings spoiled the party! (smile) Now it’s time to return to the daily grind and common task. 

Yeh, the radiation treatments are upon me again… the ole bod must have breathed a relieved sigh at the lack of treatment for three whole days. (smile) Only another couple of weeks to go though. And since the Lord promised to see me through whatever He chooses to put me through, then I’m not worried about the outcome, just dying for the very inconvenient everyday visit to the hospital to end. But patience…and a stiff upper lip friends! (smile)  

Anyhow, let’s check out this important gift from our One Year Book of Bible verses with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin nuh. It’s titled ‘LISTENING LOVE!’ Please read with me: ‘Listening LOVE is one of the greatest gifts we can give our mates, our families, and our friends. Too often we settle for surface talk or icy silences, for monologues or cutoffs, for defences. What a difference when we follow the principles of listening LOVE! 

Listening LOVE is courteous. It says… I will strive not to interrupt or outguess you. I will not finish your sentences or break into your thoughts. Listening LOVE is attentive. It says… I will give you my undivided attention. I will not turn you off or leave you isolated. Listening LOVE is patient. It says… I will not rush you or insist on a right-now conclusion. Listening LOVE is kind. It says… I will not shame you with sarcastic retorts. I will not belittle you. 

Listening LOVE is objective. It says… I will try to be informative rather than opinionated. I will not attempt to think for you. Listening LOVE is unselfish. It says… I will guard against overconfidence and trite “spiritual” answers. Listening LOVE is prayerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’ 

Oh my people, how wonderful our world would be if we would all show just a li’l more Listening LOVE! If we’re truthful, we’d all acknowledge that too often we interrupt, belittle, are impatient, unkind and otherwise in our conversations, and thus they do not go as well as we want them to, or as they ought to go. Half the time we don’t even truly listen, but while the other person is talking, we are considering our response, and thus miss half of what they are saying. 

And we can’t blame it all on this fast, now for now society in which we now live, but must cast some of the blame on our impatient, know it all selves. I know I’m guilty of some of that ‘unlistening’ LOVE, and sometimes when I catch myself doing it, I berate myself for it, but it’s not easy to change our accustomed behaviour. 

However, there is help for us in the power of the Lord our God, beginning with the Bible verse that’s allocated to our poem today. Yeh friends, the immortal words of Bruh David is our Bit for today: ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, it’s ever so important that our thoughts and words be pleasing to our heavenly Father. But as with so much of life, we can’t do it on our own, that’s why everyday we ought to ask Him for the power to think and speak wisely…in other words, with listening LOVE. 

And there’s no doubt that a lot of the strife and anger that currently exists in our world are caused by thoughtless and selfish words. No wonder Cousin Sol could warn us that ‘He that keepeth (guards) his mouth keepeth (guards) his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.’ (Prov.13:3) And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘13:3. The reward of cautious speech is fuller life and the avoidance of unnecessary trouble.’ 

Truer words were never spoken friends! Many of us would have so many fewer problems if we’d only watch what we say! That’s why Bruh David seriously asked the Lord in Psalm 141 – Prayer for help in trouble. ‘Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep (watch over) the door of my lips.’ (Ps.141:3) And if a man of Bruh David’s faith and religious stature could make such a plea, who are we, living in a much more evil, contentious and cantankerous world, not to do the same eh? 

And listen to some more of Cousin Sol’s wise words on the mouth. ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.’ (Prov.21:13) Gospel truth that my brethren! 

And we don’t have time or space to write all that James says about the tongue, but hear these few words. ‘Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter (forest) a little fire kindleth (sets on fire)! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.’ (James 3:5-) And we all know that’s gospel truth! 

The tongue is impossible to tame without God’s help, and it is the cause of many of the world’s most serious problems. What we seriously need in today’s world is Bruh David’s plea: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ (Ps.51:15) What a wonderful world this would be, if we were using our tongues to praise God rather than curse our fellow man! 

And having read and digested all of that, let’s go home declaring (wrong again!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 if we’re truly sincere, then let’s go out now and share that friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. That’s our bounden duty as faithful believers! Much LOVE!

…it’s not right…to curse man…and then bless God…with the same tongue…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So altogether 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 as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2019 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.    ​And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 

Rise and shine fellow warriors in Christ’s army! The trump has sounded! It’s time to gird ourselves in our protective armour and head for the frontlines, where our General, Jesus, the most highly named and exalted Commander in the universe is already there waiting for us. And like His snow-white steed that’s pawing the ground in great anticipation, He’s also eager to join the battle this good-looking summer morn, which just happens to be Monday, the first day of the new workweek (smile). 

And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the merry go round of work after a couple days off, especially with summer in the air and weekend trips to the cottage up north getting into full gear. But work we must if we want to survive, so we have this fail-safe pick-me-up we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s declare (yeh!) it all together now nuh, so that we can rise to the occasion.  

‘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 brother, yuh see how quickly we start feeling better; our eyes light up with a new gleam, our souls suddenly feel refreshed and we feel like we could fight an army or move a mountain single handedly! Wow! That’s because the Holy Spirit is working in us to give the Lord’s answer to our humble, sincere, but ever-confident prayer! And why yuh think that is eh? 

That’s because Jesus says that whenever we pray, whatever we pray for, if we believe, we will get it. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) And He also says that if we ask for anything in His name, He will do it. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

What great promises friends! But we also know that there are certain provisos to those promises, they all depend on them being in the Father’s will, timing and purpose for our lives and coming from sincere motives of the heart; they just can’t be wishy-washy, selfish, self-aggrandizing prayers. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘14:13-14. In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf.16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” (vs.12) The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

But what is Jesus really talking about here eh? It’s basically about faith; the level of our faith in Him and the Father. In the passage in Mark above, He had just cursed the fruitless fig tree and caused it to suddenly wither up. That gave Him ‘the occasion to expound concerning faith, prayer and forgiveness.’ And He began thus: ‘Have faith in God.’  And that’s the whole sermon right there in a nutshell my people! 

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

Some important points to notice there; even a li’l faith is a powerful thing, and some jobs call for not faith alone, but also for fasting and intense prayer. And please note that in almost every occasion on which He healed someone, Jesus made it a point to invoke his or her faith into the healing. 

Note the occasion when the Roman centurion approached Him for his servant’s healing, then said that Jesus did not need to come to his house to do it, He had the power to do it right there. Jesus replied in astonishment: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Matt.8:10) Yes friends, a heathen Roman centurion showed more faith in Jesus’ awesome power than any of His own people! 

And what a wonderful example of great faith is the woman with the twelve year issue of blood who fought through the throng believing if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. And when she did, she was healed instantly. But Jesus also noticed that something was wrong, because He felt some of His power go out of Him, and asked: ‘Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?’ (Mark 5:25-33). 

But Jesus persisted in looking around to find the culprit, (smile) and eventually the woman fell down before Him and admitted the truth. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And there are many more instances of Jesus calling on people to show faith, which we have no time or space to get into today. But I’ll leave us with one of Jesus favourite jibes to those who reused to belief Him. ‘O ye of li’l faith.’ 

And sadly, in these ungodly and evil times, He’s saying that about a lot of us supposed Christians. Please friends and fellow believers, let’s rise up today and begin giving Him serious occasion to change it nuh to ‘How great is thy faith!’ That would surely warm the cockles of His holy and oh so LOVING heart! It’s about time we did something to cause that, don’t you think? Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s somewhat late…and somewhat long, but good, (smile) but I had some pressing problems that I had to deal with first. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2019 Isaiah 26:3.

Isaiah 26:3.   ​Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.
 

Oh, it was a pretty good official beginning of summer yesterday! It wasn’t hot, hot, hot, (smile) but it was sunny and a decent temperature, somewhere in the low twenties. But according to the weatherman, it’s going to be warm and rainy the next week or so, even with some thunderstorms thrown in for good measure! But that’s nothing new! It’s been the norm for the last li’l while. (smile) 

So we can handle it with great aplomb, just like we handle everything else the enemy throws at us, with Jesus’ help of course, as we confidently declare. Chuh man! It looks like I can’t spell the word ‘declare’ and it’s various parts even if my life depended upon it! But I spelt it right there though! Glory be! So let’s declare then (right ho!). ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that’s the only reason why we are able to handle life and all its complexities with great aplomb; because of the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives, operating as the Holy Spirit. Glory to God for his wonderful doings in the lives of the children of men! But enough suh-so suh-so, (smile) some people are waiting this glorious looking Saturday morning to hear what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response.’ Now that’s mostly true. I think though that the first line should read: ‘When you’re angry, you assume negative intent,’ because when you’re negative it doesn’t always mean that you’re angry. You can certainly be negative without being angry. But making a decision when you’re angry is the worst thing you can do. The only decision to make then is to decide to make none at all! 

Then there’s this one that fits into the same category as the last. ‘People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom.’ For sure! Our society certainly focuses too much on what’s wrong, rather than on what’s right, on what we’ve lost, rather than on what we still have! That only leads us to being perpetrators of an overall doom and gloom attitude, which just drives us further down into the mire of life. 

We need to be as positive as we can in this life, and Christians should be the most positive people on the planet because we have the best life, both here on earth and in the future going for us with Jesus Christ at the helm! But unfortunately, in too many instances, Christians turn out to be some of the most negative and feeling sorry for themselves people on the planet. 

But here is a practical circumstance that many of us fall into because of our wallowing in negative thinking. ‘Stop allowing yourself to focus on depressing life circumstances – including focusing on being depressed about your weight. All this negative focus will only lead you to feeling bummed and wanting to pig out. Instead, consciously focus on happy life circumstances you enjoy doing, and create more of them.’ 

Now this sense of weight insecurity is rampant in our society today, and granted many of us need to lose a lot of weight because there are definitely too many overweight and obese people in our society. But the right way to go about it is not to get overly worried and negative since that attitude will only make matters worse. The most important thing there is to first accept the fact that you are overweight and seriously decide to do something about it, without putting yourself down. 

Because, here’s what happens when we give into the negative circumstances in life: ‘Worry and reasoning are two of Satan’s most successful tools. He’ll get us started with one negative thought and then sit back and watch us finish ourselves off.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Remember the battlefield for our souls is our minds, and once the enemy is able to inject one false or negative thought there, then it’s downhill all the way after that! 

And that’s why Isaiah so rightly and wisely proclaimed in his hymn of praise: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ Yeh friends, when we keep our focus on God, He keeps our minds in good, positive and godly functioning. 

That’s also why Jesus recommended to the throng during the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) The Lord knows what we need and want before we even do, and He’s sincerely and faithfully promised that if we keep Him first in our lives, make Him the Number ONE priority, then He will look after us in spades! 

Likewise, Bruh Paul told the Philippians thus: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:6-7) And that my friends is wisdom of the utmost proportions! 

And we’ll close with these marvellous words of truth from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) Please my people, let’s use that sound mind that God has given us nuh! Much LOVE!

…for ALL anxiety…the antidote is…simply prayer with thanksgiving…

 

 

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