Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2021 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

So friends, we have at last come to that sorrowful day of mourning in the lives of Christ’s followers! A day that we contrarily call Good Friday. But the truth is, that day, two thousand years ago, was one in which a most horrific crime was committed, the inhumane abuse and eventual crucifixion of Jesus Christ on an old, rugged cross on the hill of Calvary on the outskirts of Jerusalem. And the unbelievable thing is that this took place, less than a week after they had welcomed Him in such a wonderful manner on Palm Sunday, hailing Him as their Saviour, their Immanuel, with Hosannas to the Son of David! 

And it’s not so much the crucifixion itself that was most hurtful, but the shameful manner in which the dastardly act was perpetrated. As the song, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ puts it, that Cross was and still is ‘the emblem of suffering and shame.’ But the most important point of that day is the purpose behind Christ’s crucifixion, why He allowed Himself to be so abused and demeaned. Hear His fateful words on the subject as He talks about there being one fold and one shepherd in His kingdom. 

‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18) Yes friends, as Jesus said, they didn’t take His life from Him, He gave it to them, willingly, so that a world of lost sinners could be saved, so that our horrible sins could be forgiven by a just and righteous God the Father, otherwise we would be heading directly to eternal damnation! 

But Christ’s sacrifice on that old, rugged cross gave us another option, a most wonderful one, that of reconciliation with our Creator! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘All praise to Jesus and His atoning death on our behalf!’ And what’s so great about Jesus’ sacrifice, is that the Father didn’t force Him to do it, but He did it willingly, because of His LOVE for the Father, and knowing the Father’s great LOVE for us! And that’s why we call it Good Friday, because the good of salvation, of atonement, of sin debt relief in full was embedded in, and born of that fateful act! 

Oh, glory be mih people! What a mighty and unselfish act! And that’s why we cherish that old, rugged cross, though it’s the ‘emblem of suffering and shame,’ the manifestation of an act that could only be described as ‘sufferation!’ And yuh know what friends? We ‘LOVE that old cross with the dearest and best, for a world of lost sinners were saved.’ And we’ll keep cherishing that old, rugged cross ‘till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old, rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, what a wonderful Saviour Christ is! Who else would have spilled His divine blood on a rugged, man-made cross for a bunch of ungrateful sinners eh? NOBODY! In fact, nobody else possessed the ability to pay for the sins of a lost and fallen world, just the sinless Son of God. And God LOVED us so much, despite the bunch of disobedient ingrates we had become, that He broke His own heart and sent His Son to earth to sacrifice His life on our behalf, so that we could have an opportunity to be reconciled to Him. Now if that isn’t real, true LOVE,I don’t what is nuh. 

As Jesus so graciously puts it. ‘For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes precious people, all we need to do is believe in Christ, and we become saved, sanctified, justified, forgiven, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, with our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that means eternal life with Christ! Now what could ever be better than that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

So those of us who simply refuse to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour are just fooling ourselves, laying down a most unwelcome path to eternal damnation with that ole fool Satan, when we could have a most excellent journey through eternity with Christ. But as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. And that’s the same way with us hard-headed, stubborn sinners, who believe in the now pleasures of sin, and don’t think of the serious then consequences of our ungodly behaviour. 

Oh yes, there are always consequences to sin, because our righteous and just God can’t stand sin, can’t stand disobedience, and the pleasures of sin only last for a fleeting moment, while the consequences can last a lifetime, even an eternity. So my people, there’s no better day to embrace Christ and all that He stands for, than on this Good Friday, when He selflessly gave His life, His all for us, so that we could be filled with new and eternal life. 

And do we ever need His saving grace in this time of pandemic and strife that’s engulfing our entire world. So please, let’s go to Him in prayer nuh, the medium that He’s set out to communicate with us. So as one strong, sincere, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and show the Lord that we are indeed faithful believers nuh, by handling the situation in a godly manner! Much LOVE!

…weeping may endure for a night…but joy comes in the morning…Easter Sunday soon come…

P.S. I didn’t forget the ordinary workingman’s spiel, but he was so angry today because the province wide lockdown that starts tomorrow, has cancelled his long awaited return to work, and he bluntly refused to talk to us. Them’s the breaks! (smile) Much LOVE!

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2021 Ephesians 1:3.

Ephesians 1:3.     ​Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

And then it was good ole Wednesday, the day that gets us over the hump in our work week, that is for those of that are still working. By then we have become acclimatized to the rigours of the work week and have settled down in our spirits, knowing that we can’t get away from it all, if we want to make a living. What a wonderful thing that we have Jesus to encourage and energize us as we go through the ups and downs of this evil and cruel world! 

Can you imagine the state of our livers right now in these dismal, controversial and calamitous times, if we didn’t have Jesus to hold on to, to be our rock and place of refuge, our safe shelter from the storm? Brother! It would be like the bleak, damp, winter days that we’re currently having in my area, with no sunshine whatsoever, just a grey and dark hood over the land, with nothing to inspire soul, body or spirit. But as Bruh Paul says to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy of blessings, of much praise and thanks, because He has blessed us, conferred unimaginable benefits upon us. And as the scholars ask, ‘When did He do this? Probably in eternity past (cf. vs. 4-5).’ And I’ll quote those verses here for convenience. ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in LOVE. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children (as sons) by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.’ (Eph. 1:4-5) 

Ah precious people, it’s so wonderful to know that we have been chosen long ago to be God’s children and heirs through Christ Jesus, who, through His sacrifice made it possible to become holy and righteous and in right relationship with the Father. And what’s amazing is that the Father did this out of His own LOVE and caring for us, greatly desiring to offer us His grace and mercy so we would not die an eternal death, but live with Him in eternity, for ever and ever. Yes, we need to remember that it was all God’s doing and show the appropriate thanks and gratitude by living a life that’s worthy of and appropriate for a believer in Christ Jesus. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Can you imagine any other supposed god doing that for a bunch of ungrateful, disobedient people? Not on your life! But Yahweh, Jehovah God, the Deity we worship did it, because of the magnanimity of His soul and Spirit, the awesome LOVE He had for His most precious creation. Wow! 

And turning back to our Bit, talking of the spiritual blessings conferred on us, the scholars ask: ‘Where are these blessings located? In heavenly places, that is, in heaven. As the Christian’s citizenship (Phil. 3:20), high priest (Heb. 4:14), hope (Col. 1:5), and inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) are all “in heaven,” as his treasure (Matt. 6:20-21) and affection (Col. 3:1-2) are to be “in heaven,” so also the Christian’s blessings are “in heaven.” These spiritual benefits were granted to the believer and are retained in heaven for him, being progressively dispersed to him on earth in accord with his need and Christian growth.’ 

Oh my people, as we grow in spiritual maturity, we receive more of our heavenly blessings here on earth. It’s like the money we save in the bank; when we need it we take it out. And yuh know what? It was all done through Christ Jesus! Yes, from day one, the Father planned to bless us through His magnificent Son. That was just how it had to be to be done, so it would be authentic, be just and right as demanded by His holy, righteous and just position as judge of the universe! So none of it is an accident, but a well prepared and thought out plan designed to meet all the needs, desires and commitments of all concerned. 

Bless His holy name my fellow saints for being so kind, considerate and compassionate, when we didn’t even deserve one iota of His LOVE, grace and mercy! So why we do refuse to bow down and worship Him eh? Why are we so enamoured with and are so desirous of worshipping a fallen angel, who has nothing of substance to offer but eternal death and damnation, a mere creation of God, just like us, who couldn’t defeat God, but was kicked out of heaven for rebelling against His Creator? 

Do we think that with us in tow, he can now defeat God eh? Hn! Friends, God is the Creator and Controller of this universe, and NOTHING happens in it unless He allows it. I don’t know why that’s so hard for us to accept, especially when our frailties, weaknesses and mortality show that we are no match for the Almighty. 

Friends, it should be oh so clear that we are fighting a losing battle by trying to turf God out of our society. He made it and controls it, and He’s not going anywhere. Look at how long we’ve been trying to resist His word and invitations, thousands of years, and yet still they are here with us today, stronger than ever. Shouldn’t that tell us something? 

Yes! That it’s a waste of time fighting God. And it’s best, as the ole saying goes: ‘When yuh can’t beat them, join them!’ That makes so much sense in these trying and disastrous times my people, since as our efforts are meeting with no success whatsoever. But as they also say, ‘you can only lead a horse to water, but you can’t make Him drink.’ Let’s hope that I have at least led us to Christ, and once we get there, I know that He will do the rest. (smile) 

So for those of us who are truly interested, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and most enviable position in Christ Jesus! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And my brethren, please remember that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! That’s the promise of Jesus!Much LOVE!

…step out in faith…trust in Jesus…and you won’t regret it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2015 Psalm 48:14

Psalm 48:14.   For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death.

Oh Friends, welcome to another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! These days are so filled with sunshine and cool breezes that it’s not funny. 

But apparently the ole fella’s head is filled with stupidity, because I did the same thing I did two nights ago; I went to bed even earlier than before with the same unhappy results. I awoke at an hour that didn’t thrill me, so I turned and tossed until I finally fell asleep again, then got up late with the usual back pains. Chuh! 

How hardheaded can one body be eh? Anyway, I sincerely hope that I’ve learned my lesson now. And the strange part is that the first time I awaken, I usually feel fresh and alive, but I just find that it’s too early to get up, since I’ve only had a few hours sleep. Then when I do get up, I feel lousy. 

So the solution seems to be either to go to bed late, or simply get up when the good Lord awakens me the first time. Obstinacy is a hell of a thing yes! (smile) 

In any case it’s still a wonderful day, so let’s all declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it, come what may!’ 

And today is Wednesday, so that means it’s wailing time. So let’s wail nuh mih breddren, with sincerity and godly feeling. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes Friends, if we stay focused on Jesus our future will indeed be glorious! Down here on earth, as well as in heaven above at the end of our mortal lives. That is what He’s promised and He is ever-faithful to fulfill His promises. He hasn’t reneged on not even one as yet, and He never will! 

So I don’t know or understand why so many people today are so reluctant to embrace Jesus and His most worthwhile cause. Why they are so willing to revile Him and cast Him out of our society when He gave up His holy and sinless life to save a bunch of abominable  sinners? 

But my brethren please remember that Almighty God created the world and still controls it, regardless of what you might think or see, and there are consequences to disobedience and evil working against His heavenly realm.

That brings us to our sterling Bit from Psalm 48; a song from the sons of Korah, titled, ‘God is our God.’ And the psalmist ends it with these beautiful and indisputably true words.‘For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death.’ 

Yes my people, that’s the gospel truth! As we said above, the Lord made us and controls us. He has a plan for every life that He’s made, and if we choose not to follow it, that’s our decision. But be sure that we will pay a substantial price for that unwise decision come the judgement day. 

And it’s not like the Lord hasn’t promised elsewhere to be our guide and defender. In our Bit from yesterday He plainly stated it thus: ‘And even unto your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.’ (Is.46:4) 

That’s an awesome promise Friends! So why do we hesitate to accept it eh and consequently draw closer to Jehovah God? I truly don’t know. I guess the flash and dash of the things of the world hold us in such thrall that it’s difficult to let go and turn to God. 

But please remember Friends, the things of the world are like beautiful vessels on the outside, merely an inviting façade, but inside they are either empty or filled with evil and darkness, and none of them will last longer than this lifetime. 

Remember too that Beelzebub is the master of deceit, so please don’t fall for His wiles and lies. He can do nothing for us besides get us thrown into the lake of fire, come the end times. So if that is what you want, then go right ahead and bow down, kow-tow to Him and His evil rapscallions. Just be warned that it will all come back to hurt you in the end. 

Meanwhile listen to this wonderful promise from Jehovah God. ‘And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (dry places), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ (Is.58:11) 

Oh Friends, the Lord did exactly that for His people Israel when they were obedient to His commands, and He will do the same for us if we heed His will. And furthermore, after Jesus sacrificed His life to pay for our sins, making us worthy to come to God in His name, the Lord was still so gracious and merciful to send His Spirit to live in us to lead and guide us. 

Listen to Jesus tell it like it is. ‘But the Comforter (Helper), which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26) And we all know the big splash the Holy Spirit made when it finally fell on the apostles on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2) 

And my people that same Spirit dwells within each and every believer today, to lead and guide and comfort us down here on this earthly pilgrimage. So how can we in all truth deny that God is our guide, our leader and protector eh? That’s utter nonsense! 

And we’ll end with the immortal words of comfort that Jesus spoke to His disciples after promising that the Holy Ghost would come to them and ultimately to us. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 15:27) 

Now that my brethren, is the ultimate in wisdom and trust! Please embrace it. Much LOVE!

…you can lead a horse to water…but you can’t make it drink…likewise you can lead a human to Jesus…but you can’t make him believe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September Galatians 6:1

Galatians 6:1.   Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Well a beautiful Thursday morning to you my Friends and neighbours in these last days of summer 2105! And this past week has indeed been true summer days; hot and hazy. So much so that the parched ground is crying out for drink, for rain, for heavenly blessings to keep everything from drying up and being scorched to a dull and dead brown. 

Ah mih breddren, it surely seems that these days when it’s not one thing, it’s another. Life doesn’t seem to flow along smoothly anymore, and our world just seems to lurch from one crisis to another. 

Blessedly though, as children of the Most High God, we don’t have to be overly concerned about anything, because He has promised to look after us in whatever situation we may find ourselves. And we know that our God is a most faithful Deity. 

However, we do have our part to play in the unfurling of the universe, and here are some worthwhile ideas from an anonymous Irishman from the Hour of Power Devotional, which I believe I might have shared long ago, but which today are definitely worth sharing again. 

Listen closely. ‘Take time for work, it is the price of success. Take time to think, it is the source of power. Take time to play, it is the secret of youth. Take time to read, it is the fountain of wisdom. Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness. Take time to dream, it’s hitching your wagon to a star. Take time to LOVE, it is the highest joy of life. Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul’ 

Oh Friends, what wonderful advice! And if we would only take it and adapt it to our own lives, we would be so much happier and useful in these trying times. The sad fact though, is that most of us know all those things, but we just don’t put them into action and practice them, therefore our lives are not as worthwhile as they ought to be. 

But as they say, ‘you can only lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink.’ So despite all the wise and wonderful advice we might get, if we don’t accept it and use it, then technically speaking it’s useless. 

That brings us to today’s Bit; an eloquent, though quite important aspect of our Christian beliefs. ‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.’ 

Ah mih people, that is indeed a big responsibility, but one we need to seriously address nonetheless. And the scholars give us some interesting explanations. 

‘6:1. In a fault (or, “by some transgression”). The sin in view is a deliberate overstepping of divine boundaries. Ye which are spiritual refers to those who walk by the Spirit (5:16), in whose life the fruit of the Spirit is found (5:22-23). The man who is overtaken by willful sin is also a Christian, but he has not been walking by the Spirit. The spiritual brethren are to restore the erring brother. 

This word is used of mending fishing nets (Matt.4:21) and of people mending their ways (2 Cor.13:11). Restore means therefore to bring back a person to his former moral condition. The word was also used in secular Greek for setting broken bones, which has to be done gently. So the church is to restore the lapsed in the spirit of meekness (i.e. gentleness). 

The grievous and sensitive wounds caused by sin must be handled delicately. Considering thyself: Those restoring the fallen must individually keep constant watch over their own lives. The spiritual man can be morally dragged down as he deals with the sin of his carnal counterpart.’ 

Yes Friends, to a certain extent we are our Christian brother’s keeper. We all ought to walk in the Spirit, but when we do fall, we must be assisted back to faith by our Christian brethren. But note though, in gentleness, not the harsh and brutal way that we tend to do it; severely criticizing the fallen brother or sister and spreading all sorts of gossip about them. 

Most importantly though my people, when we are trying to help another, we must pay very careful attention to our own circumstances lest we get dragged down by the same moral ineptitude of those we are trying to help. And I know that many of us will claim that that can’t happen to us. But you would be surprised at how easily it can happen. 

And we’ll end with some more pertinent words from Bruh Paul, this time to the Ephesians, re the unity of the Spirit. ‘I therefore, the prisoner of (in) the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness (gentleness), with long-suffering, forbearing (bearing with) one another in LOVE; 

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.’ (Eph.4:1-6). 

Yes Friends, there is only ONE of several things, and though we are individuals, we are all a part of that ONE, and we need to keep that ONE as tight knit, faithful and fruitful as we can. This therefore behooves us to walk in a manner fitting the divine invitation, (calling) which brought us to salvation. 

And all of God’s children said, ‘Praise the Lord! Glory Hallelujah!’ 

So please, let’s go out today and do whatever it takes to keep that ONENESS in Almighty God. Much LOVE!

…everything flows from ONE…ONE God…ONE Saviour…ONE Holy Spirit…and ONE Body…the Church…