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 2018 John 15:10.

John 15:10.   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.

And then it was Monday; another hot summer’s day in this Canada Day long weekend! Wow friends! We’re celebrating 151 years of Canada’s existence! Granted that’s a short time in comparison to other countries, but we’re certainly doing it with a flair all our very own. No set of copy-cat ideas, be they good, bad or indifferent. 

Anyway, the celebrations will be ramped up to the max today, and before we go any further, let’s just be reminded of Granny’s warning; Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business! And is that ever a wise warning, because if you don’t mind your business, somebody else will mind it for you, and you don’t know what they will do to it. So please take serious precautions during these celebratory times. 

And since it’s Monday, it means that some people have to go to work…not us in Canada though! Praise the Lord! It also means that some people are miserable and complaining, so let’s trot out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and sing it with gusto, to quell all those Monday morning blues. 

All together 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, the voices of those who aren’t going to work are the loudest and most enthusiastic, but also hoarse and somewhat hard to understand from the effects of too much celebrating. But be that as it may, I believe that all of us can benefit from the burst of adrenaline that our song produced, so let’s get a grip and just go out and serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the best of our ability nuh, because that’s all He asks of us. 

As He said to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘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.’ Yes friends, it’s simple; to do Jesus work, we need to keep His commandments. And they are neither grievous nor harmful. 

Then He continues: ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) Yuh see mih people, when we keep Jesus commands, we are filled with joy! Wow! So why don’t we do it eh? Is it perhaps that we don’t like the joy of the Spirit that keeping Jesus’ word provides? Who knows? 

Then He told them: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:12-14) 

Glory be mih breddren! We become Jesus’ friend when we obey His commandments…and even better than that He is the ‘BESTEST’ friend that ever existed, because He laid down His life for us! It couldn’t get any better than that! 

And please note what Jesus told the disciples earlier on. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ (John 13: 34) That makes twice He declared that our LOVE for each other was ever so important. And why? ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:35) 

And Jesus pounded it into their heads even further: ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:16-17) 

And they did LOVE one another as best they could, and went forth and brought forth good fruit, that’s why we know Jesus’ words now. Ah mih people, how often does Jesus have to remind us that we are His disciples, He chose us, not the other way around, and we are supposed to go out and bear good fruit for His name’s sake eh? And not the lackadaisical, frightened and shame-faced way that so many of us do it, when we do it. 

Remember friends, we all have to answer come the Big Day for what we did down here on earth. So it will be wise to get a move on and improve our planting and fruit bearing seasons. Much LOVE!

…they shall know them by their fruits…Christians that is… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. I took a li’l poetic liberty (smile) and got some much needed sleep. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b

Nehemiah 8:10b.    …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Oh Friends, I’ve got such a joy deep down in my soul this Thursday morning in June that I just can’t contain it! Wow! That joy just makes me feel like shouting out to the world what God has done for me! And I surely hope that you’re feeling the same way too, for that’s the beauty and benefit of being a true believer!

Oh my people, I’m talking about His unconditional LOVE, His constantly available grace and never-ending mercy, then the beautiful essence of forgiveness… and don’t even talk about salvation and eternal life! Oh my my! And what shall we say to the biggest blessing of all eh; His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Leader, Lord and Saviour!

Mama Mia! What an awesome Deity we serve and worship my brethren! So how can we ever doubt or believe that the great God who created us, doesn’t LOVE and care for us eh? Steups!

What more has He got to do my brethren before we can comfortably and assuredly put our entire trust in him, to completely surrender our souls, minds and bodies to His superior guidance through the work and presence of His Holy Spirit?

I really don’t know what it will realistically take for the numerous unbelievers and backsliders to truly understand what this life is all about nuh, one controlled by the mighty but magnanimous hand of Almighty God.

Ah Friends, we’re such small-minded doubters and disbelievers that it isn’t funny. So much so that even if God did miracles in our lives every day, we’d still have doubts and refuse to believe. But here’s the good news Friends, we, a relatively small band of true believers are here to change the world, we’re going to make a radical difference.

And the best way to do that is by living lives honouring God, giving Him all the glory. And don’t think that we can’t do it because we’re too few, for if we listen to this quote by Margaret Mead (1901-1978) the famous American cultural anthropologist, we’ll see that it’s very possible.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’

Gospel truth that, my people! Whatever serious changes that’s ever been wrought in our world have always been by a relatively small group of its population, and with the awesome power of Jesus riding shotgun with us… Oh my Friends, all and everything is possible!

And believe you me, that’s exactly what Jesus is calling us to do; to bring some radical changes to this wicked and godless world by spreading the good news of His gospel that’s overflowing with the most important elements of PEACE and LOVE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY, GRACE, SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

And all God’s people joyfully shouted out: ‘All praise, honour and glory be to the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of heaven and earth, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein!’

Now Friends, joy is something that’s always supposed to be in the spirit of the believer. As such, we therefore need to continually remember the words of our Bit: …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

Yes my people, without God’s joy coursing through our spirits, we are weaklings. That’s why Lucifer is always trying to steal our joy, because then he knows he can get his evil claws into us without too much effort.  

And if you listen to Jesus when He was talking to the disciples about the vine and the branches, you’d hear Him say to them. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) It’s obvious my people that we do need the joy found in Jesus to be able to live this earthly life fully and to be obedient to His will.

Then later on He said to the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) Yes my brethren, the joy of God is ever so important in a believer’s life. Without it, we’re powerless to resist the wiles of the enemy.

All through the Bible there are passages which proclaim the importance of godly joy in our lives. Let’s check out a couple of them. Listen to Elihu as he reasons with Job, re God’s calling on men to repent.

‘He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto (restore to) man his righteousness.’ (Job 33:26) Joy in the Lord is ever so important my brethren.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 16, where he’s seeking preservation and blessing. He ends it thus: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:11) And isn’t that absolute truth? It surely is! For once the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us, there will be joy in our souls.

Meanwhile, Isaiah, in his thanksgiving for God’s mercies, puts it this way. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout (with joy), thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6)

Yes Friends, that’s how a nation, a people behaves when the joy of the Lord is amongst them. And we’ll end with a few words from John, from his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4)

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13 (please look it up), 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 and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’

Oh my fellow believers, that is indeed the gospel truth! And we’ll leave us this morning to each ponder our walk with Jesus, to see exactly how it is proceeding, and to strengthen it when and where necessary, with God’s help. Much LOVE!

…one can never fully appreciate the joy of walking with Jesus…until one really and truly walks with Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2014 Philippians 3:1

Philippians 3:1.     Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. to write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous (tedious), but for you it is safe.

 
‘Spah na na na na na na nah!’ Hey Friends… ‘Spah na na na na na na nah!’ It’s the bugler’s call to reveille! That means it’s time for all able bodied persons to rise and shine and get with the program on this glorious Monday morning, in the final days of the wonderful summer of 2014! (smile)
 
Yes Friends, I believe that if we all had some military training early on in our lives, waking up on a Monday morning would not be such an arduous task. But as we said yesterday, the time and place to begin preparations for Monday is Sunday, fellowshipping with other believers. And if you don’t believe me, then just try it. I dare you. (smile)
 
Anyway, let’s get our usual adrenalin rush from our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; loud and clear and harmonious my people.
 
‘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!’
 
That was wonderful my brethren! So wonderful, that the heavenly hosts felt the magnetic pull of the riddim and sang along with us. Yuh see how powerful we can be when we put our minds to it! (smile)
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit, from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, re continual pressing towards the mark. ‘Finally my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous (tedious), but for you it is safe.’
 
And I just had to chuckle as I realized the irony of the similarity of the situation; meaning that writing to you my fellow believers is not tedious for me, while it is safe and sensible for you. (smile)
 
And the scholars’ note on this verse is very educational. ‘3:1. Finally is a transitional word that might be rendered “as for the rest” or “in addition to.” It turns from the old subject just discussed in 2:19-30 (i.e. the coming visits of Timothy and Epaphroditus) to a new subject in 3:1-4:1 (i.e. the readers’ religious enemies).
 
To write the same things refers to matters that Paul touches on again and again, namely the call to rejoice found throughout the epistle, and the repeated warnings about their adversaries (1:28-30; 3:1-4:1).’
 
And today I just want to reiterate to us Bruh Paul’s advice re rejoicing in God. Ah mih people, that is such an important part of a believer’s life that we can never overestimate its importance. Without a sense and purpose of rejoicing in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, we’d be like…like… I can’t even find the words to describe it.
 
We’d be so serious and inhibited that there’d be little or no laughter, fun or joy in our lives. And unfortunately that’s how some believers live their lives, always sour and miserable, unwisely believing that to have a pleasant and laughing personality goes against the dictates of Jesus. But that’s ever so wrong my brethren.
 
Remember Jesus’ words to the disciples when talking about the vine and the branches? ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) Now you can’t be full of joy and be sour and miserable.
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures where Bruh Paul advises us to rejoice. And we’ll begin with the most famous one to these same Philippians. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ (Phil.4:4)
 
Oh Friends, there are so many things in our lives to rejoice about that we should indeed be continually rejoicing in our wonderful and merciful God!
 
Then to the Corinthians, when summarizing his ministry, he declares: ‘As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor. 6:10)
 
So even in his times of sorrow, he rejoiced because he knew and experienced the miraculous grace of God, which is to this day still available to all who sincerely believe.
 
Hear what he told the Romans: ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ (Rom.5:1-2)
 
Oh my brethren, if we have faith in Jesus Christ, then peace, joy, grace and all the other goodness of God is open to us! Now if those aren’t overwhelming reasons to rejoice always, then I don’t know what is!
 
And we’ll end with some of Bruh Paul’s simple but mighty and memorable words to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18)
 
Oh Friends, those three simple statements cover God’s entire will for us! So let’s do them nuh. I won’t even go as far as calling it wisdom, because it’s only common sense… that is if you consider yourself a believer. Much LOVE!
 
…regardless of our earthly trials…when you have faith, peace, joy, LOVE, forgiveness, mercy, grace and faithful promises of salvation and eternal life from a mighty and magnanimous God…rejoicing ought not to be a problem…but should come automatically… 
 
P.S. It’s certainly been a smiley smiley kind of day! (smile) But you can’t help but smile when you’re rejoicing! Much LOVE!