Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 
Well the sun seems to be fighting a valiant battle out there against the dark, evil clouds that want to cover it up and shut it out from providing light for our day. But yuh know what friends? Whether the sun wins, or the dark clouds prevail, we will still be awright, in fact blessed, because we have the GREATEST, the ONE and ONLY, Jesus Christ in our corner, and He has the power to make ALL things right! Glory to God! 

So we don’t really have to be overly concerned about whether the sun shines or not, since Jesus is the true LIGHT of the world! Give Him much thanks and praise my people! And to further sweeten things, without His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, we’d all be headed for Satan’s hell instead of Jesus’ heaven! 

Wow mih breddren! No amount of thanks can ever be sufficient for those acts of selflessness by our Lord and Saviour! So let’s just worship Him, and praise Him, and give Him all the glory nuh, like we should, instead of trying to cozy up to Satan and his evil buddies, who only have evil in their hearts and no LOVE at all for their fellow man. 

No, we definitely should not be kow-towing to their values, their beliefs, their self-serving culture, seeking to build up their earthly treasures, because it all goes against the very grain of what our Leader Christ teaches us. Our concerns should be more heavenly than earthly. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay serious attention to our earthly life, but that our focus should not be so steadfast on it, that we lose sight of our life to come in heaven. 

Remember what Jesus said yesterday: that wherever our treasures are stored up, that’s where our hearts will be. (Matthew 6:21) Well the same way He declared to the Father, re our worldliness: ‘I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:14-17) 

Ah friends, once we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and His Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, we automatically become enemies of the world, hated by it because our ways don’t conform to their evil ways. And they shouldn’t because Jesus teaches a whole different way of life; one of LOVE and caring, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, and the world holds most of those things in scornful disdain. 

So as Bruh Paul said so unequivocally to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) Yes friends, we are to steadfastly resist being poured into the same mould as the world, for we are only pilgrims, sojourners here on earth, and our real home is in heaven. 

And the battle all begins and ends in our minds! That’s because the mind controls our actions. So that’s where the evil one keeps fighting for supremacy. But if we keep Jesus steadfast in our hearts and sight, we will be able to defeat the enemy.

And as John in his epistle so sternly admonishes: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ (1 John 2:15) 

It couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that my fellow believers. Satan is the ruler of this world, and if you LOVE the things in his world, then you cannot have true LOVE for the Father too.

As Jesus so rightly said: ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) And that’s gospel truth. So if the things of the world are our main focus in life, then I’m sorry friends, but we don’t truly have God in our hearts. That’s just the simple logic of the situation. 

And what’s the solution to the whole ‘confuffling’ situation? Again, Jesus provides us with the simple and straightforward answer: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Ah my people, please remember that God is the Creator and Provider of all good things, so it is certainly possible for Him to provide the things that we need in this world to live it successfully, but we have to be obedient to His will. It’s that simple. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (Spelled it right! Glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on His followers. All together now in strong voice, for remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

‘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 those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate. That’s Jesus great desire. So let’s go out and do just than nuh my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus can indeed be tough…but just think about all the wonderful rewards…both earthly and heavenly…that moths will not eat…that will not decay…or be stolen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2017 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.   Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy One fiftieth Dear Canada! Happy Birthday to You! Yeh friends, Canada is one hundred and fifty years old today! 

That takes us back to July 1. 1867 when the British North America Act was signed, paving the way for the Confederation of the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to become the Dominion of Canada. And what a colourful history it has complied over the years; both good and bad, and is now aspiring to move to the forefront in this new technological age. 

And regardless of what anybody else says or thinks, I will keep on saying that right now, it is the best big country in the world. Matter done! (smile) 

So let’s move on to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week nuh, as he tries to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And this first one is rather appropriate. ‘Start your day in a positive way.’ Simple and to the point my brethren! There’s no better way to begin our day than on a positive note. 

And that leads us to this long one. ‘Mindfully move through your day. When you spend your time in the present moment then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions and to stay practical about what you can actually do about something in your life.’ 

But it’s true. We need to live much more in the present than in the past or the future. What did Jesus say, words to the effect that we should not worry about the future, but more about today, for tomorrow will take care of itself. (Matt.6:34) 

That then leads to this wise advice. ‘Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well.’ Now that is godly wisdom that too many of us refuse to follow in this oh so busy world, where everything is go, go, go! And the big pharma companies and shrinks are making a killing on all the therapy, drugs and over the counter stuff we use to counter the effects of poor sleeping, eating and exercising habits. 

And this last quote is very useful: ‘Learn to take criticism in a healthy way.’ But we need to take it with a grain of salt, because there are a lot of folks out there who just like to criticize, but don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. And it’s getting even worse with all the social media and evolving technology, where everybody is a critic. So just make sure you listen to someone who has something productive to offer. 

And there is no better way of acquiring discernment than by following the advice of our Bit and sincerely asking the Lord: ‘Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.’ 

Yeh friends, when you have the wisdom of God flowing through you, accentuated by His Holy Spirit, you can work wonders and move mountains! And how do we come by that awesome wisdom of God? 

Listen as James explains it. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh my brethren, godly wisdom is easy to come by, we just have to ask the Lord for it, but we have to do so in strong faith, not doubting. Jesus said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:7-8) 

Yes my fellow believers, we need to sincerely ask and seek and knock, otherwise we won’t receive much. And James admonishes us when he talks about worldliness’ and pride. ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ (James 4:2-3) 

Oh friends, it’s all right there in black and white: we don’t receive because we don’t ask, and when we do ask, we ask for the wrong things, things that are not in the will of God! And it’s obvious that if we ask for things outside of God’s will, He will not grant them to us. So we try to do stuff on our own and fail miserably. What a waste of time and effort friends, when we could be getting good things from God. 

And you know it all boils right back down to Jesus’ advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And I can tell you from personal experience my fellow believers, once you sincerely try living for God, there won’t be a whole lot of things you’ll have to ask Him for. He will provide most of what you need at the time you need it. 

As I keep saying, my only problem with the Lord is His timing. Now I know without a doubt that He will show up on time, but too often He waits for the last minute! But I guess that’s just another way to test our faith. 

Oh friends, our God is a good God; or rather a most excellent God! You just have to surrender your life to Him, trust Him and have faith in the promises in His word. And as you grow in faith, you’ll see the wonders He works in your life. 

Right now the Lord has me on a merry-go-round of sickness, and I believe that He will eventually work it all out for my good, but what took me by surprise, and what has endeared Him even more to me, is that even in these times of trial, He is also helping to bring the desires of my heart to fruition!  

And those are the desires that He placed there! So how can I not LOVE Him then eh mih breddren and try my best to please Him?  And He will do the same for you, if you give yourself, heart, body and soul to Him. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, for He knows He made us as imperfect beings, but He does ask for obedience, above all things. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so eloquently puts it…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

And then it was Sunday: the first day of the week, where we slow down, take time to smell the roses and gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to offer Him our grateful praise and worship, and in return receive health, wealth and the ability to face the upcoming week with courage and confidence. 

Wow! What a mouthful! But a true mouthful! And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And on that glorious note, let’s offer up some sacrifice of our lips by sincerely belting out this favourite old hymn, ‘Just as I am.’ So in loud voice and sincere belief, let’s raise our voices to heaven. 

‘Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot; To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt; Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind; Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!’ 

Yeh friends, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, our wonderful Saviour will accept us just we are. You know some places you have to clean up before they’ll accept you, but not with the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s looking for you at your worst possible state, because that’s one of the reasons he came to earth, to save the poor and needy, the sick and downtrodden. 

He is the ONLY One who declares that you can come to Him just as you are. And believe me, you won’t be wise if you don’t accept His wonderful invitation.  ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my brethren, every time I hear that beautiful piece of scripture, my heart just jumps for joy, knowing that I have such marvellous person to turn to in my troubles and times of need. All glory be to God for Jesus Christ! 

Anyway, before we get into our Bit, let me apologize for my typo yesterday. I don’t know how many of you noticed it, but instead of saying ‘you reap what you sow,’ I wrote ‘you sow what you reap.’ Technically speaking it’s the same thing, since you can only reap what you sow. (smile) 

And our Bit just reiterates the ideas we have declared in our hymn, and in the Great Invitation of Jesus.  ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Now why wouldn’t I put my trust in the Creator and Controller of the universe eh? Why would I put it in the foolish and deceitful rascal who tried to dethrone God and now aimlessly walks the earth backed by a façade of evil and deception, until the Lord is ready to immerse him in the lake of fire? I’m sorry friends, but as for me and mine, we’re rooting for Jesus! 

Now hear James, the half-brother of Christ, who like a lot of Christ’s family, did not believe until the end of His earthly ministry. Listen as James talks about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10) 

Oh my fellow believers, God gives us more grace than any of the world’s attractions or the lusts in our spirits, which means we can withstand both of them. 

And the scholars explain the last three verses thus: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead (one) into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’  

The only advice I can give after reading all of that friends, is to read those references given in the scholars note. I just did, and believe me they are invaluable, they just strengthen your spirit and help you to better understand the Lord’s word. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2013 Luke 18:14.

Luke 18:14.   I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe that we’re already closer to the end of August than to the beginning! Where does the time fly eh? Just the other day we were all excited about the upcoming Caribana celebrations, but now we’re thinking about schools opening in early September and all that that entails. Brother!
 
And please accept my most humble apologies for forgetting to remind us (smile) about our monthly check up on the state of our great New Year’s Resolution; that of following Jesus more closely, of becoming more like Him, of maturing in His school of hard-knocks, of humility, of good works, of faithfulness, and of LOVE for God and all His creation.
 
If you haven’t done that for this month on your own, then please do it now, since it’s always easier to do it in small bits than in big chunks.
 
And we’ll continue with our Bit of the last two days, because it is extremely important for us to understand the principle it details. ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’
 
I also have some scripture with which to try and impress the importance of that principle, humility, on us, meek and humble followers of Jesus. (smile)
 
Ah Friends, that smile is more one of heartache than happiness, because too many of Jesus’ supposed people are still too caught up in the petty, selfish, me and I stuff, the foolish self-aggrandisement that our ungodly world admires and does its best to encourage.
 
But true believers simply cannot afford to get caught up in that selfish system, where I, the first person, am always first. Instead we need to get into Jesus’ teaching, where I, always comes last.
 
Now I heard this story recently about a lady who went to church and saw the chairs in the sanctuary placed in a confirmation she didn’t like. Apparently they had been set that way for a few weeks. She then asked one of the ushers when the chairs would be replaced in their earlier configuration.
 
The usher replied that she didn’t know. And would you believe that fine, upstanding Christian lady walked out of the church and didn’t stay for the service!
 
Ah Lord eh! And then we wonder why unbelievers look at us with a scowl on their faces and a sour taste in their mouths. But it’s because of those stupid, selfish, very unchristian things that we do in front of them. Now was the position of the chairs so important to the conduct of the worshipping of God? Obviously she felt so.
 
Anyway Friends, enough of me. I’ll just let the scriptures speak directly to our hearts now. And we’ll begin with James talking about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)?
 
But he giveth more grace, wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
 
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10)
 
Ah mih people, there’s nothing I can add to that, except clear up some uncertainty by giving us the scholars explanations. 
 
Re verses 5 and 6: ‘Although many believe that verse 5 refers to the positive ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, yearning jealously over the believer, the tenor of verse 4 and 5 is negative, speaking of man’s envy. The good work of God begins at verse 6 in contrast to 4 and 5 as the conjunction indicates.
 
But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr.meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world’s attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 (cf. Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’
 
Re verses 7-10: ‘Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: Do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will.
 
Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam. 3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).
 
And as always Friends, I encourage us to read the scriptures that the scholars recommend. They’re placed there for our benefit, because they do help us in understanding the Word. 
 
And I guess that’s it for today mih breddren, because we already have a lot of stuff to ponder on, and what I still have to say will definitely make the Bit too long. Please note my conscious interest in our busy schedules and short attention spans. (smile)
 
We’ll just have to continue this topic tomorrow, God in favour. Till then faithful followers of Jesus, please, please let’s look to Him for divine guidance and counsel rather than to man.
 
And may He grant us the wisdom, strength and courage to tread the difficult pilgrim’s path He’s laid out for us, plus the peace that transcends all man’s understanding, and the wonderful LOVE that flows from the everlasting wellspring of His most generous and LOVING heart. Much LOVE!
 
…when a man truly knows Jesus…oh…he can’t help but LOVE Him…with all his heart, mind, body and soul…