Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2020 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.    ​So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 
Yeah! It’s the first day… the first day of the week my brethren. It’s Sunday…all day! And you know what that means, the church doors are open ready to welcome whosoever wants to come, but hoping that everybody will come. Yeh friends, that’s the hope of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that all will come to salvation and thus become a member of His earthly organization called the church, and, on a regular basis, show their faces at the physical structures created for those blessed members to come and celebrate, give thanks and praise and receive heavenly succour, so that we can go about His business the upcoming week with vim and vigour, zest and godly energy! 

And for those of us who have accepted that glorious invitation, let’s begin the proceedings as we always do, with a song, a song of worship and thanksgiving, praise and gratitude. And today’s song is a popular hymn with lyrics by Judson Van De Venter and music by Winfield Weeden, published in 1896, and appropriately titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ And do we ever need to do that…totally and completely, if we want to enjoy the good and abundant life He has planned for us. So let’s tell Him so now nuh, with sincere hearts and voices raised in praiseful sacrifice. 

As one soulful and harmonious choir: ‘All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His Name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all… I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all…’ 

Ah friends, I do hope we were all sincere in that sacrifice of praise because the Lord is going to look at our hearts and check our motives, and if we weren’t sincere then we’ll have to answer why and not be blessed as we desired. And the whole thing is simply about surrender my people, surrender to the one who gave His sinless life to atone for our sins and made us right with God, gave us the wonderful option of eternal salvation by His resurrection, and is still advocating for us with the Father. It’s a normal requirement my brethren, if we want to enjoy the fruits of His efforts. 

Look at how we give our allegiance to earthly organizations, many of whom don’t do a blooming thing for us! Why then should it be so difficult to give our all to Jesus, who gave His all for us eh? We’re just being selfish and greedy and carnal. But Jesus made it quite clear when He spoke about counting the cost of discipleship. The Good Book says: ‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned and said to them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-27) 

Wow friends, it sure looks like being a disciple of Jesus is not for the sorrowful or fainthearted! (smile) And Jesus certainly doesn’t want us to hate out families, because He is all about LOVE. He’s just saying that Him and His business must come first. Hear the scholars with some explanations. ‘14:25. Jesus had gained a wide hearing. Here was the temptation to water down the demands that discipleship entail. Yet in the following verses Jesus clearly does just the opposite.’ 

‘14:26. In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either/or that this verse sets up.’ Then Jesus in His inimitable style goes on to talk about building a tower and contemplating war, where the costs of both have to be considered before any serious commitments are made. (Luke 14:28-32)  

And the scholars say those verses are only found in Luke. And Jesus pinpoints the major lesson of the two stories in verse 33, which states: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ Yeh friends, to truly follow Jesus, one ought to count the cost. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but with His awesome help we can all handle it if we seriously commit our lives to Him. We have to be ready to give up a lot of stuff on His behalf. 

Remember the rich young ruler that came and wanted to be His disciple? (Matt.19:16-22) Jesus told him to first go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor and thus store up treasure in heaven then come back and follow Him. The young man went away sorrowful, because he had a lot of possession. Jesus didn’t really mean for Him to literally sell everything, but was merely testing His resolve. 

According to the scholars, His outward righteousness seemed fine, but he hadn’t really kept the commandments because his wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness; he LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour, the poor. And he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God. This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be Christian. 

So don’t worry my rich and well off friends, you don’t have to go and sell your possessions to be a disciple of Christ. (smile) But you do have to pick up your cross daily and follow Him, as He says early on in Luke. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now that’s the crux of the message my people: everyday we have to be willing to stand strong in His name and do whatever it takes to further His kingdom. Are we doing that in a satisfactory manner? I don’t think so, otherwise Christianity would be much stronger and much further ahead. So please, let’s spend some time today pondering our individual situations nuh, and ask the Lord to help us do better, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…discipleship…means to be willing to forsake one’s self…every day… for Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

What a crying shame it is friends when one can’t lie abed late on a cloudy Saturday morning because the various aches and pains in your aching body won’t allow you to find a comfortable position in that place that’s supposed to be one of quiet peace and refreshing rest! Hn, hn! 

Yeh mih people, getting old is nice in many ways, but not so nice in others. The wisdom and experience one accumulates, plus the ability to say most of what you want and get away with it (smile) is marvellous, but I can’t say the same for the many debilitating effects age brings to one’s body. However, we can’t seem to have one without the other, so I’ll just say thank you for the good parts and just grin and bear the bad ones. And that’s enough complaining for this morning! (smile) 

Let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.’ Now is that ever so true! 

We all know that regardless of what today brings, tomorrow will show up right on schedule, because that’s the way our great God and Creator planned it! That means we can always have hope and faith that tomorrow, the new rising of the sun, will bring a different and better outcome to our circumstances. So please hang in there…and have hope for tomorrow! 

Now hear this one: ‘Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.’ That’s somewhat complicated, but it does contain some truth. In this world we’re usually creatures of habit and comfort, and nothing’s wrong with that, because we can’t have excitement all the time. 

But the same old, same old routine does get boring and frustrating if we don’t occasionally add a li’l zing and zest to it. That’s why every so often we need to take a risk, do something new and/or different, get out of our comfort zone for a spell, take a different way home from work, eat at a new restaurant, so we can add a touch of spice to our humdrum, mundane lives. 

But having said that though, we have to be careful that we don’t change just for change sake, which is what so many of us are doing these days. We use words like ‘this is the twenty first century; this is 2019, the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, etc.’ insinuating that because we’ve reached a certain level of time and space and evolution that things must necessarily change. But please note the old saying, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

And that’s gospel truth friends! If you really check it out, most of the things we’re doing, and the reactions we’re showing to the various changes in our world, the same things have been going on for ages, possibly just on a different level. So please, especially in these explosive times of social media and technological revolution, don’t change just for change sake, or because others are doing it. The Good Book containing the Lord’s wise and precious Word must still be our guiding light! 

And I’d like to take the last two quotes as one, because they are closely intertwined. Hear them: ‘When you fail, that is when you get closer to success.’ ‘Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.’ And they are both full of awesome truth since you generally don’t have success unless you have first failed, and you can only have success if you reach out for it. 

But what do we mean by success eh? Is it how the world terms it; the accumulation of power and fame and money and worldly glory, or celebrity status? Or is it how Jesus describes it; serving the lost, the poor and downtrodden, LOVING our God with all our being, and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, overcoming evil with good and going the second mile when it’s not necessary? 

Whichever path we choose though, the results will still be the same: we won’t always succeed the first time, or even the fourth and fifth, and we’ll never succeed if we don’t try, and that means try sincerely and wholeheartedly, give our all! Anyway, here’s the best path to any kind of success at all. Obviously it comes from the Good Book, God’s direct words of wisdom and warning to His servant Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh mih people, that’s Success 101 right there! And it hasn’t changed one iota since the Lord said them to Joshua! That formula for success remains constant forever because it’s God’s Word and his Word doesn’t change! And here’s something I LOVE about our God, although I don’t always appreciate it in my dealings with Him. (smile) 

He doesn’t just tell you something and leave you floundering, He often drives it home with another suitable and well placed nail, to oftimes encourage us, like He did there with Joshua, continuing thus: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that’s after telling him basically the same thing two verses before. But He knew that Joshua would need a lot of strength and courage to lead the wayward and stubborn Israelites and that was His way of encouraging Him. And He does the same with us friends! The Lord will NEVER leave us alone and ‘unencouraged’ when He knows that we definitely need encouragement! Please remember that! All we have to do is call on Him in sincerity and truth and He will answer appropriately. 

Now let’s end with Jesus’ wise and faithful words on the matter of success. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) No truer words were ever spoken friends! And if we’re wise, we’ll take them to heart and sincerely and diligently put them into action in our lives! Much LOVE!

…following Jesus and His righteous ways…is the ONLY path to true success…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11.    ​Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.
 

Oh my fellow believers, I bring you warm and plentiful greetings of peace and LOVE this Sunday morning from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Remember it’s the Lord’s Day; the day He rested after creating our universe, and He expects us to get in some rest today too, but also to join together with other believers in sincere fellowship in His sanctuary. And believe me, He doesn’t care whether our meeting place is a splendiferous cathedral, or merely a poor, broken down hovel. 

Remember what Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) Yes friends, our great and merciful God simply wants us to gather together to worship and praise Him and hear His Word so that we can be encouraged, our faith strengthened to go out and face the enemy with zest and confidence during this upcoming week. So today, please let’s make it a point to gather with believers of like faith and raise our hearts and voices to heaven in praise and exaltation.

And as always, we begin our proceedings with song, today’s being one supposedly chosen in a poll by the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, as being the greatest Christian hymn ever. We call it’ Holy, Holy, Holy.’ Some might not call it the greatest, but it surely is amongst the greatest! It was written by the Anglican pastor Reginald Heber (1783-1826), apparently for use on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost, a feast day in honour of the Holy Trinity. 

As you can see it speaks specifically of the Holy Trinity with several references to passages of scripture in the Good Book. The claim has also been made that John Bacchus Dykes composed a tune for this hymn in 1861 and titled it ‘Nicaea’ as a tribute to the First Council of Nicaea, which formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in 325. 

And now that we have all that knowledge of the tune’s origins, let’s sing it in loud, harmonious voice nuh, making heaven sit up and take notice. All together now: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty! God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy. sea; Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinful man, Thy glory may not see: Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee, Perfect in power in LOVE, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty, God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty, God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that all three personages of our Trinity were touched by that soulful and harmonious rendition! You know our God likes His praise. (smile) As the sons of Korah sang: ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.’  (Ps.47:6-7) 

But the words themselves are ever so relevant to the believer’s life.  Just listen to these sentiments nuh. ‘Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.’ And so should it my faithful brethren. Bruh David enshrined it in Psalm 5 when he declared: ‘My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.’ (Ps.5:3) And our God sure is ’Merciful and Mighty! No doubt about that whatsoever. 

As Isiah said when the Lord commissioned him, and he saw the wonder of the Lord on His throne with the seraphim all around Him. ‘And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.’ (Is.6:3) And so it is indeed my people! 

Then in the second verse of the hymn, we have the vision of John per the activities in heaven: ‘And round about the throne were four and twenty seats (thrones): and upon the seats (thrones) I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment (robes), and they had on their heads crowns of gold…. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts (living creatures) full of eyes (symbolizing wisdom) before and behind. 

And the first beast was like a lion (representing strength), and the second beast like a calf (representing service), and the third beast had a face as a man (representing intelligence), and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (representing swiftness). And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him (depicting movement); and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 

And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.’ (Rev.4:4, 6-11)) 

And that says it all friends! The scholars though expand on it some: ‘4:9-11. All of heaven worship the Father. The angels extol His character, and the elders (church) extol His creative powers. God has the right to rule and the sovereign authority to judge the earth, because He is both holy and the Creator of all.’ Please let’s remember that and live accordingly my fellow believers in Christ, for it will stand us in good stead down the road. Much LOVE!

…our Godhead…perfect in power…in LOVE…and in purity…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person , and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

Awright mih breddren, it’s the big one – one more time! Yes my people, it’s that most wonderful day called Monday, where we unwillingly exit out warm beds, put on warm clothing and head for the big city, mired in traffic jams, to labour, to labour…and yet to labour. 

Down in the U.S. this was Thanksgiving weekend, so you can imagine the state of many workers; definitely not the greatest. And after the turkey and pumpkin pie, you had the crazy shopping on Black Friday, and more shopping today on Cyber Monday… Steups! 

It’s all about commercialism, when half the people don’t have any jobs, and many of those who do have jobs, don’t even have sufficient money to make ends meet. Just look at the recent proliferation of food banks and charities providing food to unfortunate families in this land of plenty nuh. 

But yet they keep coming up with sales gimmicks to get people deeper and deeper in debt. And when the economy crashes, when the bucket bottom drops out, because debt was too cheap and easily available, the same ones who made it so, complain to the high heavens. Chuh! Just a bunch of foolish, greedy businessmen! 

Anyway friends, those of us who have jobs had better get up and get a move on, else we soon might not have one. Yuh know how the slave master quick to fire! And if yuh not feeling too hot this morning, and yuh just dragging, then please sing along with us, as we sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, to get us all charged up and ready to go out and do life with and for Christ. 

With plenty zest and good tempo 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!’ 

Oh friends, that prayer never fails to work! It just drives away all the early morning blues and gets the adrenaline going, so we can concentrate properly on Christ’s work, as we steadfastly seek Him, His kingdom and His righteousness.  Glory to the Most High God my faithful brethren! 

And when we talking about glory, we definitely need to put Jesus in the highest category, as the author of Hebrews explains in the first four verses of his book, which contains our Bit. ‘God, who at sundry times (in many instances) and in divers manners (many ways) spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (ages); 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.’ (Heb.1:1-4) 

Now let’s look at some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:1-2. The author immediately shows that Jesus Christ, as the agent of God’s revelation, is far superior to the Old Testament prophets. Their message was fragmentary and incomplete. It came bit by bit through visions, dreams events, and direct communication as men were ready to receive it. Christ’s revelation is climactic and complete, because He is the Son and because His is the message for the last days. His incarnation initiated the end time, and it will be fulfilled when He returns to earth to reconcile and restore all things (cf. Acts 2:16-17; 3:19-21; 1 Pet.1:20).’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all about Jesus Christ! He is the medium, the motive and the message! (smile) Everything revolves around Him, and until we realize that, our lives will not be complete, nor will we have the peace and joy that He desires, that He died for us to have. 

So please take a few moments to ponder all we’ve said, and check out those scriptures listed by the scholars, as they will provide invaluable information on our topic. Till tomorrow then, the Lord in favour, I pray that we all will have a blessed and beautiful, God-filled day. Much LOVE!

…in the day of calamity…who yuh going to call…Jesus Christ…because He has all the answers…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Greetings and salutations my fellow brethren in Christ! Welcome to what looks like a somewhat cloudy and hopefully rainy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. And do we ever need some decent rainfall. 

But the best part of the morning is knowing that regardless of what the weather is like, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is alive and well and that His brilliant light is shining in our hearts, minds, and souls for all to see. 

And the most important part of that sentence is the last part, ‘for all to see.’ That’s because Christ is shining His light not only in, but also through us. The light is for us to share with the rest of the world who don’t know Him and cause them to come to Him for His saving grace, without which they can’t find eternal life. 

And it’s especially in these difficult and trying times that the world needs believers to stand up and declare the gospel with great zest and passion, and live it in true Christian fashion. 

We must not be seen as wishy-washy, fence sitting hypocrites, else that would just invalidate our witness for Christ and make His organization, His church, more of a laughing stock than it already is. 

So friends, please, let’s promise ourselves this morning to be excellent ambassadors for Christ so that we can raise the level, the intensity of His LOVE Revolution, that’s the only hope for our misguided, evil and increasingly ungodly world. 

Wow! Where did all of that come from eh? When I sat down just now to write, that was nowhere in my imagination, but as always, I asked for guidance, and I guess that’s where I was guided. Ah mih people, you never know with our great God nuh! 

Now let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. And I like this first one: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth! For as Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) said in his song: ‘That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race. That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizen ship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained… and everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ 

Yes friends, until equal rights and justice play a much larger role in our society, we will ALWAYS be engulfed in strife. And the second quote from Anselm tells us that, ‘The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.’ 

That’s more indisputable truth my brethren! The strongest are the ones who fight the good fight of faith right down to the very end, despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way. And it all segues so smoothly into our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s all we dealing with this morning; being strong and of a good courage… Why, you ask? 

Because I believe now, more than ever, Christians need to stand up strong and steadfast and be courageous, stop being passive and allowing ourselves to be pushed around and aside by the evil world powers. 

Right now we’re definitely not doing justice to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that’s supposed to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path destined for us by our Creator. 

The anxious and fearful way in which so many of us behave, one would never believe that the Spirit of God resides within us. We have to stand up strong friends, much stronger than we’re currently doing. 

Poor Joshua was bombarded with that direction, both by Moses and the Lord. Listen up: ‘And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:7) 

The Good Book also tells us, per the Lord’s direction: ‘Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.’ (Deut.31:22-23) 

And the Lord when He commissions Joshua as Israel’s leader, after the death of Moses, He reiterates in our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage… Then in the next verse, He tells him once more; ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous…’ (Josh.1:7a) 

And if that wasn’t enough, two verses later, the Lord reminds him. ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that same message also applies to each and every believer today! Yes my people, it is ever so important that we Christians stand up proud and strong in these trying times, because that’s the only way we’ll ever serve Christ properly, and make a sincere and substantial difference in our world, which we are called to do. Much LOVE!…

Christians ought to be the strongest and most courageous people on earth…because of the awesome and ever-faithful promises of Christ…and His Holy Spirit which dwells in them…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2016 1 Chronicles 16:34

1 Chronicles 16:34.    O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Oh friends, it’s a new day, filled with the many new mercies and blessings showered down on us by our magnanimous, magnificent, ever-faithful, ever-LOVING God! Oh glory be! 

And since that’s so, it’s only common sense that we declare with sincerity and enthusiasm, like the psalmist of old: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we SHALL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Yes precious people, that’s the only reaction that makes any sense. For if we whine and complain and get angry and let all the negative emotions control our lives, we definitely will not rejoice. However, if we are positive, proactive, generous, friendly and faithful, we stand a much better chance of truly enjoying our day. 

Oh, I know that is difficult for some of us to do because of the difficult and challenging circumstances we are currently facing, but not to worry, our awesome God says that if we trust Him, He will never leave nor forsake us, and He has His Holy Spirit living within us to help and guide and comfort us, which proves His faithfulness. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and like it or not, we have to go back out to work and face the heathen horde. So to help us to handle that mammoth undertaking, (smile) let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much zest and plenty chutzpah. 

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!’ 

Yes mih breddren, that ought to get our motors cranked up and the adrenalin flowing freely. And it wasn’t a bad rendition either, as the smile on our choirmaster, Jesus’ face acknowledged. So let’s get out there and do whatever is necessary to win lives, or cause others to come to Him for salvation and eternal life nuh, because that’s our bounden duty. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.’ 

And all of you, my fellow believers know that that is the endearing, everlasting truth! That means we can trust our God with our lives, surrender them to Him, because He is exceedingly good and merciful, and will not lead us astray, but through His Holy Spirit, will keep us focused on the straight and narrow path that leads to Him. 

And we’ll conclude this series of messages on the goodness and mercy of our wonderful Creator, God and sure Provider by checking out some more of the instances where our Bit is used. We find it used a lot especially in the Psalms.  Yes friends, those words, or some variation thereof, begin Psalms 106, 107, 118, and 136.  

Meanwhile Psalm 117 – The truth of the Lord endureth forever – in its two verses simply says: ‘O praise the Lord, all ye nations (Gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.’ (Ps.117:1-2)  

And the scholars have an interesting note on it. ‘Psalm 117. Well known as the shortest chapter in the Bible, this little psalm contains a great message. Though some have denied it an independent existence, attaching it to Psalm 116, Psalm 117 has all three elements of the hymn of praise: a call to praise  (v.1), a cause for praise (v.2a,b), and a conclusion , which, in this case, is a simple praise ye the Lord (v.2c). 

The fact that the nations and people (lit. “peoples”)  are addressed in verse 1 makes this psalm the only one in the Psalter addressed in its entirety to the Gentile world. Its evangelical mood was still baffling to some of Paul’s readers. This is one of the four passages that Paul quotes from the Old Testament, in Romans 15, to prove that God is interested in saving the Gentiles.’ 

And now you know it friends! (smile) And the last instance of the use of our Bit for today comes from the prophet Jeremiah. He is here promising a glorious return to the captives when Judah will be revived. 

‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives of the land to return), as at the first, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11) 

Ah friends, I do hope that we took the sacrifice of praise into the Lord’s house yesterday and faithfully worshipped and fellowshipped with others of our faith, so that we could be renewed and fully equipped to go out and face the dark, evil and lustful world today and all week. Anything other than that, simply makes no sense at all. Much LOVE!

…if we don’t get our batteries of faith and trust recharged on Sundays…then we won’t have the necessary energy and power to withstand the enemy during the week…

 

 

 

 

 

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