Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2010 John 11:25‏

John 11:25     Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
 
Okay Friends, you can pull in your tongues and close your mouths now, the continuation of the Scrip-Bit drama is at hand. (smile) And while you’re chuckling or shaking your head in sorrow for me, hear what Ed Howe has to say. ‘If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old.’ That’s very true. And I believe it was Winston Churchill who said that a man’s greatest ability is to be able to laugh at himself. Oh Friends, occasionally we need to lighten up and laugh at both our problems and ourselves, for by so doing we remove some of the pain and trauma we’re feeling. And then we often discover that the problems aren’t really as bad as they first seemed. If nothing else, laughter is a great energizer, and when we participate in it, it buoys our energy and spirits, giving us a better perspective on our current problems and life as a whole. Our society needs to laugh a great deal more than we do, especially the dour and sour believers who always look as though their best friend had just died and think that being serious is a Christian virtue. My people, nothing could be further from the truth, and we’d be surprised at how just a little more laughter would ease a lot of the stress, strain and tension so rampant now in our world. However, let’s get to our Bit before we spend the entire time on laughing and laughter. Unfortunately, Lazarus’ death was one of those problem times that his sisters Martha and Mary could not laugh. But when Martha heard that Jesus was approaching, she ran out of the house to meet Him along the way, ‘but Mary sat still in the house.’ (John 11:20) It seems that the sisters had opposite personalities; Martha the busy, get it done now, extroverted type, while Mary seems to be the soulful introvert, more intent on ruminating that bustling around. This is reflected in there different reactions here and also when Jesus came to dinner. (Luke 10:38-42) But Friends, say what you want about Martha and her busy body, her faith was rock solid. Listen to what she tells Jesus when she meets Him. ‘Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.’  (John 11:21-22) Oh mih people, do we have that kind of undaunted, undoubting faith? I sure hope so, because that’s the only kind of faith that’ll get us successfully through this crazy, violent, evil world we now inhabit. Note too that Martha did not berate Jesus for not coming earlier, or anything like that. She just made two simple statements that showed she believed Jesus had special favour with God. How many of us would have been so calm eh? Not too many. We’d probably be ranting at Jesus for not coming before. But Martha’s strong faith led her to the wise, sensible action, as it ought to. If she knew deep down that the Father would grant any request Jesus made, why get upset and rail at Him? My brethren, that’s the kind of strong, unshakeable faith believers today need. Sadly though, it cannot be bought, but must be earned, and not in a short space of time either. It only comes from experiencing difficulties, turning to Almighty God for help, and then seeing Him do wondrous things in our lives. I’m sure Jesus appreciated Martha’s show of confidence, but He simply replied: ‘Thy brother shall rise again.’ (John 11:23) Martha obviously did not get His true meaning, for she answered: ‘I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ (John 11:23) Though Martha had oodles of faith, it doesn’t seem that she expected Jesus to bring Lazarus back to earthly life after being so long in the grave. That’s when ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.’ It wasn’t the first time that Jesus had made such a startling claim. He’d said it to the Jews who wanted to stone Him for breaking the Sabbath by healing on it, and making Himself equal to God. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth (gives life to) them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.’ (John 5:21) He also said it in greater detail to the crowd while teaching in Capernaum. ‘And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day… No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:39-40,44) And if you want to hear it in a stronger, more assured voice, then listen: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ (Rev.1:17-18) My Friends, Jesus wasn’t a mad prophet, making all sorts of weird, dubious claims. He proved Himself right here on earth; walked His talk, which many before and after Him could not do. And He’s doing it in heaven on our behalf right now. I therefore urge us all to take a firm hold of His yoke which is light and easy and let’s build the kind of faith, the strong, sure, steadfast kind that He wants us to have, but which can only be developed through adversity. Let’s be like Martha, confident in Christ’s abilities and in His treasured relationship with our Heavenly Father. It’s the only true and sure way to go. And this Easter time that’s nigh, when we celebrate Jesus’ eternal triumph over death, is the best time to sit and ponder it all and come to the only wise and sensible decision: Jesus is risen, therefore death has no hold over me! We’ll continue this tomorrow, God willing. Till then, be strong in the power of Christ. Much LOVE!…Jesus’ resurrection…the greatest triumph of all time…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2010 John 11:25‏

John 11:25     Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
 
Oh Friends, Easter is fast approaching! That most wonderful time when our Lord and Saviour rose from the dead in glory, when He beat the evil sting of death and came back to life victorious. Glory Hallelujah! Now that is one of the three most important tenets of our faith: Christ’s death, which took away our sins; His resurrection, which showed us cleansed, risen like a new being, and His ascension, where He went back to the Father to prepare a place for us. To be a true believer, it’s necessary to accept those three vital truths. Today though, we’ll only deal with the resurrection aspect. And to whom, and in what context did Jesus speak our Bit today? He was talking to Martha, His friend Lazarus’ sister when He finally arrived several days after He’d gotten the emergency message that Lazarus was sick unto death. Now we know that everything Jesus did, had some specific purpose to it, so let’s review the situation which is all found at the beginning of John 11. On receiving the news of His friend’s illness, Jesus declares to His disciples: ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.’ (John 11:4) It’s obvious Jesus had some divine purpose up His sleeve, for the Good Book states that He LOVED Lazarus and his sisters, yet after hearing the urgent news, He still remains where He is for two days, before finally saying: ‘Let us go into Judea again.’ (John 11:7) The disciples though fear for Him since the Jews wanted to stone Him for blasphemy the last time He was in Judea, after declaring that He was the Son of God. Jesus however waves their concern aside, telling them about not stumbling if one walks in the day and not the night because of the light available in the day. Then He cleverly changes the topic by saying; ‘Our Friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.’ (John 11:11) The disciples, thinking that He means real sleep, say that rest would do Lazarus good. ‘Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.’ (John 11:14-15) Jesus is stating again that there is method to His madness for not getting to Lazarus early. Whatever His plans, they would increase the disciples’ faith and awareness of His awesome power. ‘The said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go that we may die with him.’ (John 11:16) It’s amusing to hear the disciples brimming with confidence about dying with Jesus, but when the time really comes for them to prove their talk, every last one runs away, totally scared. Anyway, by the time Jesus gets to Bethany where Lazarus lives, he’s already been in the grave (tomb) for four days. Now there are all sorts of assumptions and theories as to why Jesus purposely gets there so late. Here’s the scholars’ accounting. The Good Book says that after the Jews in Jerusalem tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy, He ‘went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized, and there he abode.’ (John 10:40) So Jesus is not in Judea when He receives the news about Lazarus. According to the scholars, it took the messenger a day to go from Bethany across the Jordan to find Jesus, a journey of  approximately 18 miles minimum. Then Jesus waits two days before heading for Bethany, and it also takes Him a day to get there, which accounts for the four days. However, they claim that since the Jews bury the dead on the day of death, Lazarus is already dead by the time Jesus gets the message of His illness. That means the two days He waits, are not for him to die. They propose another theory for that, namely: ‘Some Jews apparently believed that the soul hovered near a body for three days hoping to reinhabit the body. By the fourth day they believed the soul abandoned hope and left. Perhaps Jesus tarried two days so that the resurrection would take place after the fourth day – and convince even those who felt his earlier resurrection miracles could be explained by this theory about the soul. (The others had taken place shortly after death, or in the case of the son of the widow Nain in Luke 7, and Jairus’s daughter in Matthew 9, apparently on the very day of death.)’ Wow! An  interesting theory to be sure. Isn’t the Bible an awesome book Friends? Although some claim it’s false, or has lots of discrepancies, it’s still powerful enough to cause all sots of controversies, and has been doing so for thousands of years. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time Jesus reaches Bethany, Lazarus has lain in the tomb for four days. Hn, hn, hn! By now Friends you all must realize that we’re not going to complete this today. I knew that from the beginning, but never realized how much good, juicy stuff, varied aperitifs and appetizers there were to share before we got to the meat and potatoes of the main course. (smile) And now that we’ve gotten there, sadly I have to end. But don’t fret mih people, once the Lord’s willing, and I don’t see why not, we’ll get into the true substance of the Bit tomorrow. I hope, like a good suspense writer, I’ve left you all with mouths open, tongues hanging down, just dying to hear more. (smile) Till tomorrow then. Much LOVE!…remember…there’s always a significant purpose…to God’s every move…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2010 Ephesians 3:16‏

Ephesians 3:16     That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

 Arise oh my beautiful Friends in Christ and greet the new morn with joy, thanksgiving and praise! Unfortunately it’s Monday and there’s work to be done, a living to be made. No time to cry the blues, just get yourselves together, gird your souls with your spiritual armour, then hit the battlefield of the new workweek and fight the enemy tooth and nail, even to the death. With the Lord’s help we shall certainly be victorious. Therefore, please put a smile on your face and a song in your heart so that all you come into contact with today will know that you’re a child of the Living God. Now, that inner or spiritual growth is exactly what Bruh Paul is praying for in our Bit, on behalf of the Ephesians. ‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.’ (Eph.3:14-15) Friends, please note Bruh Paul’s affirmation that the entire Christian family, both alive and dead, get, or derive their spiritual power and life only from Almighty God. There is no other source from which that is available. ‘That he would grant you according to his riches in glory…’ Of that he sincerely assured the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) To the Corinthians, he said: ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; He hath given to the poor: His righteousness remaineth for ever.’ (2 Cor.9:8-9) Verse 9 is a quote of Psalm 112:9. But even long before Jesus and Bruh Paul came on the scene Friends, Bruh David had guaranteed that the Lord would look after His own in these immortal words: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack any good thing).’ (Ps.23:1) Obviously the Gentiles; the Ephesians and all the other new believers weren’t familiar with the Old Testament, as we are. They were starting from scratch, so Bruh Paul had to boost both their knowledge of scripture and their spiritual understanding. Thus he continues: ‘to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,’ meaning that they would be divinely inspired, enabled to successfully live the believer’s life. Meanwhile, he told the Colossians that since he heard they’d received Christ, mainly through the witness of Epaphras, he had not stopped praying for them; ‘and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us to) be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transferred) us into the kingdom of his dear Son (the Son of His LOVE).’ (Col.1:9-13) Oh Friends, I have to chuckle because I had not intended to quote all of that last section, but every time I looked at it, trying to decide what to put in and what to leave out, the Spirit sort of said; ‘You can’t separate it. It’s all one cohesive statement, and leaving out any would just diminish its effectiveness.’ And since the Spirit is there to lead and guide us, like the obedient believer I am, (smile) I included the whole section. But seriously though mih people, all those words I’ve quoted here today are applicable to us, as well as to the new believers for whom Bruh Paul wrote them. In fact they might even be more important to us today since we’re engulfed in such an ungodly, sinful world, with so much pressure, tension and haste, that unless we have a wise, calming influence, like the Spirit, leading and guiding us, we’re very likely to backslide, go astray, or just give up the fight altogether. And those are things we must NEVER do my people. It’s much harder to walk in faith today than it was back then because there weren’t as many worldly distractions or attractions that vied for their attention. Today though, we’re constantly bombarded with all kinds of stuff; both good and bad, worldly and spiritual, godly and ungodly, and when we add the ordinary needs of life to all that, it’s just so much to properly process. Then, given the speed at which life now moves, we’re forced to make hurried decisions on many things, leading to further aggravation and the increased possibility of serious mistakes. Consequently Friends, I’m imploring us to pray for each other, for believers all over the world, just like Bruh Paul did in the early days of the Church. Pray that we might all be filled with ‘the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,’ so that we might walk worthy and victorious in the Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen. Please stand strong my people. It’s not easy, especially with the enemy constantly trying to trap and/or trick us into some ungodly stuff. But if we hold on steadfastly to God’s promises, we’ll certainly defeat the enemy. Much LOVE!…remember…He who promised is faithful…and will deliver…so hold on strong…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2010 Mark 11:8

Mark 11:8.     And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strewed them in the way.

 PALM SUNDAY.

 ‘And (Jesus) saith unto them. Go your way into the village over against (opposite) you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any many say unto you, Why do ye this? Say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.’ (Mark 11:2-3)  Yes my Friends, that was the last stage setting for the crucial drama, set to unfold in the Holy City of Jerusalem that bright and sunny day many years ago. The Lord had already taken care of the other stage props: It was the feast of the Passover, so a multitude of people had come and were still coming to the city of Bruh David to celebrate that important day in the Jewish calendar. And obviously the two disciples Jesus sent to get the donkey found it just as He said. ‘And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.’ (Mark 11:7) Then began one of the greatest, most unique and exceptional triumphal entries of a monarch into a city: Our Lord and Saviour  triumphantly entering the city of His famous forefather, riding on a donkey, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. John puts it this way. ‘Fear not daughter of Zion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.’ (John 12:15) ‘And many spread their garments in the way (road): and others cut down branches off trees, and strewed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.’ (Mark 11:8-10) Oh Friends, can you imagine the ‘carnivalian’ atmosphere that gripped stead, old fashioned Jerusalem on that auspicious occasion? (smile) Throngs of people gathered along the narrow street, jostling each other, all eager to catch a glimpse of Jesus, everybody waving their palm branches or clothes, and also throwing clothes or palm branches in the road so that the King of Glory could ride and trample over them. Oh Mama! What a sight that must have been eh mih people! The Pharisees and other Jewish elders must have been horrified though by the spectacle, since they considered Jesus a nonentity, a brash upstart. And this magnificent show of support must have surely deepened their resolve to get rid of Him. ‘And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Mat.21:10-11) And though that first Palm Sunday must have been a rather joyous and colourful scene Friends, yuh know what, the Second Coming of our Saviour will put His first to shame. Back then He rode a lowly donkey and people had to ask who He was. But the next time…Hn! The next time my people, our Leader Jesus will be coming in the pomp and splendour and glory befitting the extraordinary King that He is. The joy, the riot of colour, the singing of His praises, the acknowledgment of His eternal and everlasting supremacy will be sensational to say the least. Oh what a film palette to die for! Can you picture some great director like Cecil B. DeMille capturing that wonderful epic scene in blazing Technicolor as he did with the religious themed movies like The Ten Commandments? Wow! What a field day he would have! And most important of all mih breddren, on this Second Coming, nobody will have to ask ‘Who is this?’ For all will know that it’s the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counsellor, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the King of Kings come at last to claim His rightful throne. And most refreshing too, after the next Coming, there’ll be no Good Friday, no more weeping and gnashing of teeth, no sorrow and pain. Then Jesus won’t have to pay for our misdeeds. This time there’ll be only joy and laughter, happiness and harmony amongst all His people. And Friends, how can you help but LOVE our Jesus, for though He was meek and gentle, He also had much manly parts (smile). I’m talking about after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the procession ended at the temple, He went in there and cleaned out all the crooks and scallywags violating its Holy premises; ‘Saying unto them, It is written, My House is the House of Prayer: but ye have made it into a den of thieves.’ (Luke 19:46) That’s a combination of Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11. And they said Jesus had no chutzpah. Well if that isn’t chutzpah, I don’t know what is. The Jewish elite that ran and profited from the elicit schemes that went on in the temple must have been so incensed by Jesus’ brash, brazen behaviour that were it not for the crowds gathered around Him, they would probably have done Him harm right then and there, instead of waiting a week more before railroading Him. By the way Friends, just a little info I read in the papers yesterday; they claim the Romans found some similarity between the branches of the trees the people spread and waved for Jesus and the palms of man, so that’s why they’re called palm trees. Anyhow Friends, please let’s give some serious attention to the state of our lives and souls this week, Holy Week, for it’s possibly the most profound time in our Christian calendar, leading up to the time Jesus was crucified for our sins. Have a pleasant Palm Sunday. Much LOVE!…the first coming was lowly and humble…but the second will be mighty and victorious…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2010 Psalm 1:1‏

Psalm 1:1     Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, not sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

 

Ah Friends, Lent is almost over, which means that Easter is near; that most important time in the history of Christianity. It’s when our faith was born, through Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension. Those are the three main pillars on which our faith is based. Because Jesus experienced them as a human being, we too can expect to go through them and come out on the other side in glory. But even before Jesus came, righteousness was a much sought after attribute. A good title for Psalm 1 is, ‘Blessed are the righteous.’ In other words, a special kind of person, the righteous, is looked upon with great favour by our God. The Psalmist admits this when he staunchly declares: ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.’ That’s so true my Friends! The Lord God Jehovah bestows special favour on those who don’t have wicked attitudes or intentions, who don’t deal with the wicked or let their evil deeds influence them. And the wisest one, Cousin Sol, saw it fit to put a very early warning in Proverbs. ‘My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…My son, walk thou not in the way with them; refrain (keep) thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.’ (Prov.1:10,15-16) That’s very wise advice Friends, advice we should impart to our children as early as possible. Sol considered it so important that he repeated it later on. ‘Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it (do not travel on it), turn from it and pass away.’ (Prov.4:15-16) Yes my people, the righteous and just God we serve takes a very dim view of His supposed followers engaging in evil deeds and harbouring evil in their hearts. And when Bruh David cried out to the Lord to examine and prove him, he made it a point to say: ‘I have not sat with vain (idolatrous) persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers (hypocrites). I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.’ (Ps.26:4-5) Oh my brethren, we ought to feel the same way about evil and evildoers although our world seems to be populated with a great number of them. Not only are they plentiful, they also appear to be prosperous. But Friends, please don’t be enticed by their earthly prosperity gained through unrighteousness, for it will not last. Remember, easy come, easy go. The Psalmist goes on to say: ‘The ungodly are not so (prosperous): but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.’ (Ps.1:4-5) Please believe that Friends, the ungodly is not worth more than the chaff, the outer, useless husk, and his destiny is serious condemnation at the judgment day. Meanwhile, Jesus refers to righteousness twice in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled…Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Mat.5:6,10)  That means those of us who truly want to be righteous and actively seek to be, will find it, will be filled with it. And those who are persecuted for trying to be righteous will indeed inherit eternity in heaven. So if we want to be true believers in Jesus and have everlasting life with Him, then it’s absolutely necessary that we seek righteousness. And how do we do that? The Psalmist offers some insight into it. ‘But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder, study) day and night.’ (Ps.1:2) True words Friends, very true words! The man who seeks righteousness delights himself in God’s word; reads and studies it regularly and most importantly lives by it. It is his guide for daily living in this ungodly world. And yuh know what mih people, for pursuing  righteousness, trying to live a good, clean, decent, believing life, our God blesses, rewards us. ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) And all God’s people joyfully sang out: ‘All praise and thanks to Almighty God, for He has kept his promise and blessed the righteous with prosperity. Hallelujah! Amen.’ Yes Friends, it’s a generous, LOVING God we serve, but He detests evil and those who commit and profit from it, and though they seem prosperous and powerful here on earth, when the day of judgement comes, they will be judged harshly. So please don’t let their worldly treasures elicit envy or jealousy in your heart and thus lead you into doing evil; instead, seek righteousness all the days of your life, so that your rewards will be great in heaven. It’s the most sensible way to live this earthly life. Much LOVE!…ungodliness brings punishment…righteousness powers blessings…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2010 1 Corinthians 2:5‏

1 Corinthians 2:5     That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
 
Oh Friends, I know that many of you are singing the TGIF (thank God it’s Friday) song, and imagining yourselves partying and having a good time on the weekend. But please, don’t forget it’s also Sabbath time; time for rest, renewal and fellowship, so that you can go back out strong to fight the enemy on Monday. That means we need to bring some balance to our lives between partying, resting and worshipping. End of sermon for today. (smile) Turning to the Bit, which has Bruh Paul telling the Corinthians that when he first explained the gospel to them, he didn’t come with any fancy words, philosophical ploys or great oratory, but came ‘declaring unto you the testimony of God.’ (1 Cor.2:1) It wasn’t his testimony, but God’s testimony of Himself, referring to the Cross of Jesus. ‘For I determined not to know anything among you, save (except) Jesus Christ, and him crucified.’ (1 Cor.2:2) According to the scholars, this implies that Bruh Paul worked on his approach before hand and resolved not to use his pretty words or high philosophy on the Corinthians, but just to explain Christ crucified in a simple, down to earth manner. And yuh know what Friends? That’s always the best way to explain Christ, for He was a simple, down to earth man who never had much use for great oratory and high philosophy since His ministry was basically among the ordinary, common folk, and you can’t go spouting big words and complicated thoughts to them and expect them to understand. I guess Bruh Paul’s down to earth talk was also partly due to his emotionally and physically strenuous journey. He went through regions like Phrygia, and Galatia, then the Spirit led him into Macedonia, stopping at venues like Troas, being imprisoned and beaten with Silas at Philippi, (Acts 16:23) where he stopped the jailer from committing suicide after the prison doors were miraculously opened by a great earthquake, and then he converted the jailer and his family. (Acts 16:25-34) More awesome drama from the Great Dramatist! Bruh Paul and Silas then moved on to Thessalonica, where he caused a big uproar. What else is new eh? The same thing happened in Berea, but they listened to him a little closer in Athens since they spent most of their time trying to learn about all the new happenings. (Acts 17) So by the time Bruh Paul reached Corinth, he must have been a sad mess, totally worn out, possibly lacking the energy even if he wanted to be highfalutin. As he admits: ‘And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing (persuasive) words of man’s wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’ (1 Cor.2:3-4) The scholars claim that Bruh Paul’s mention of the Spirit here is important because the Corinthians seemed to think they knew more about the Spirit than the other churches, since they might have had previous experience with it. In any case, Bruh Paul chose to be down to earth and humble, so ‘That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.’ Bravo Bruh Paul! He didn’t want them to be carried away by his wisdom and oratorical skill, but rather be moved by the unadulterated Word, the wisdom of God. Friends, that’s how we need to hear the Word and also pass it on; in simple, unadorned language, so please be careful of those who are wont to teach and/or preach with big words and much unnecessary talk. Present company excluded of course. (smile) My brethren, if there’s one thing Bruh Paul lived on and died for was the power of the gospel. ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentile). (Rom.1:16) And that’s the living truth people! The gospel is packed full of power because it’s the Word of God, God’s wisdom, that takes us from sinners to saints, all the way from the depths of Hades to the heights of Heaven. So how can it be other than powerful if it does such amazing things eh? Consequently Friends, we need to take personal inventory to ensure that we’re not allowing our faith to be placed in the wisdom of man, rather than in the power of God, for if we are, then things will be truly sad with us. Hear Bruh Paul’s reasoning: ‘Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (mature): yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes (rulers) of this world (age), that come to nought (nothing). But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’ (1 Cor.2:6-8) Yes Friends, the wisdom of this world is man’s which generally comes to nothing, and often dies with him, while that of God lives on forever. Oh my people, in today’s scary world we desperately need to hear, accept, dwell on and live through the wisdom of God, for it’s only with that unbeatable support can we hope to even survive, much less thrive in the ungodliness that surrounds us. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: ‘For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit.’ (1 Thess.1:5-6) Even so must we Friends, receive the Word with the power of the Holy Spirit, and hold on to it with much assurance and faith, believing that it will truly take us through whatever problems we encounter along life’s rocky road. It’s why the Lord staged His big, dramatic plan; had Christ die for us, then send the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and protect us. Please, don’t let Christ’s sacrifice go to waste by not accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour and living a life to please Him. It’s the only way to salvation. Much LOVE!…who else has their God dwelling in them…only the followers of Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2010 Isaiah 53:1‏

Isaiah 53:1     Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
 
Oh Friends, the prophecy of Isaiah, re Jesus and his ‘sufferation’ continues. But first, let me apologize for a mistake yesterday. Bruh Paul’s mention of Jesus as a high priest that could empathize with our misery is found in Hebrews 4:15, not 5:15, as I wrote. Please forgive the ole fella for he’s only human, plus he’s getting on in age, so these errors are likely to happen. (smile) And now, here’s a wise and true quote that Christopher Robin allegedly told Winnie the Pooh. ‘You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’ And that’s no lie my people! Have you ever noticed that in spite of the initial worry, agony, fear and trepidation we feel when confronted with difficult situations, that once we settle down and sincerely apply our hearts and minds to the particular task, that we usually resolve it with much less difficulty than originally feared? That’s because on the surface, at first glance, all problems appear more difficult than they truly are. It just seems to be a human trait to jump straight to the worst case scenario before even considering the problem. Now that’s not a sensible way to operate since it unnecessarily increases our fear and anxiety, and consequently our stress level, which breaks down our ability to handle the problem. Yes Friends, thinking the worst causes us to lose energy before we’ve even started. So, from now on, when problems confront us, let’s promise to take a breather and remind ourselves that ‘I am braver than I believe, stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think, and I will not allow this problem, or any other, to deter me from my God given destiny.’ Then unleash a full frontal attack on the problem. You’ll be surprised at how capably you’ll handle it. But moving on to the Bit, yesterday we ended in the middle of verse 3, where Isaiah was bemoaning the way we’d treat Jesus when He finally came; ‘despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.’ Now here’s the next part: ‘..and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.’ (Is.53:3) Oh Friends, can we get a better foretelling than that? I doubt it. Because of that severe personal torment that Jesus suffered, both emotional and physical; His agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane, His bruised and battered face, the unmerciful scourging, and finally the cruel and tortuous crucifixion, people surely seemed to hide their faces. They were either unnerved by the sight, couldn’t handle the abuse, or they didn’t want to get involved for fear of suffering similar agony. But the people of Jesus’ time surely despised Him and held Him in low esteem, did not regard Him highly at all, saw Him as a common rabble rouser, a fraud, a con artist. As John so rightly puts it: ‘He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.’ (John 1:10-11) Sadly though Friends, two thousand years later, many people still hold our wonderful Lord and Saviour in rather low esteem, even contempt. They consider Him a nonentity, of no importance in this technological, scientific world, and rudely ridicule His Holy Name when He’s the most important person that ever walked this earth. Why is He so important? Because ‘Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.’ (Is.53:4) Yes Friends, Jesus did bare our sicknesses and carry our pains, but for all that we simply reckoned that He was struck down by God, judged and punished. But the truth of the matter is, ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him: and with his stripes we are healed.’ (Is.53:5) Oh my people, for that we should be shouting ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ For Jesus did nothing whatsoever to deserve such unjust, savage punishment. He did it all for us. ‘Praise His Holy Name!’ He was pierced through for our sins, crushed for our moral laxity, the chastisement, or discipline and correction meant to give us peace was laid on Him, and by the awful, cruel blows He received, our sinful souls were healed. Oh mih breddren, how then, can we in all good  conscience disrespectfully write off or not highly consider a man who did so much for us eh? It’s both mind boggling and terribly ungrateful that we don’t hold Him in the highest state of appreciation, adoration and LOVE! Consider Bruh Paul’s words. ‘…if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.’ (Rom.4:24-25) That means everything He suffered was on our behalf. And it’s only fitting that we end with the words of Peter, who witnessed all Jesus’ suffering. ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: By whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet.2:21-25) My people, on the basis of all that Jesus did for us, and is still doing, let’s not belittle or take Him for granted. Instead, let’s put Him on the highest and brightest pedestal available, show Him proper respect and gratitude. Let’s not be numbered amongst the foolish and obtuse who saw Him suffer for them, yet refused to believe. Let’s make Jesus our be all and end all! That’s the only wise thing to do. Much LOVE!…oh what sacrifices our Saviour made for us…He paid the price for our sin…that only He could pay…
 

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