Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2010 Lamentations 2:19‏

Lamentations 2:19.    Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella’s been driven to lamenting for our world, for it’s indeed a sad day when the inmates are running the asylum. To begin, I’m querying the responsibility quotient of the latest round of Wiki Leaks exposures. Who are the people behind this foolishness, that’s only fodder for more hate, anger and resentment in our world? How did they get hold of these documents, and aren’t they liable to persecution in a court of justice for spreading these state secrets? Yuh know it’s only in the good ole U.S. of A that that kind of stuff is tolerated. It’s good to have transparency in government, but some things ought to remain secret, especially with our world already in such a heightened state of tension. I wonder if these same fools who are releasing this material would like what is said or done in the privacy of their homes or offices broadcast so publicly around the world? I very much doubt it. They would be the first ones to raise a hue and cry over their precious privacy and threaten to sue the whole world. Steups! Oh Friends, we all say and do things in private that we possibly should not, but we expect them to stay private since they would only inflame already touchy relationships. And what’s the role of the big newspaper chains in this tragedy eh? Are they acting responsibly in printing the stuff? I guess they’d argue that if they don’t print it someone else will, and it’s obviously a revenue boosting set of circumstances. Hn! But moving on, the next question is: And what of Haiti? It’s arguably the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, but paradoxically sits very close to the richest. For generations it’s been plagued by corruption, then recently devastated by several natural disasters in a very short space of time, tormented by a cholera epidemic and now more upheaval because of botched Presidential Elections. Ah Lord eh! And if you want some more tense stuff, check out Lebanon, where Hezbollah, the Iranian backed Lebanese Shiite political party and militia are threatening to up their militancy if any of it’s members are arrested for the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s Sunni President, Rafik Hariri. It’s been widely expected that an international tribunal is soon expected to do so. A country that not too long ago suffered through many years of civil war then hostilities with Israel, now getting a breath of polluted peace, could be thrown right back to the wolves again. Add to the mix that just this past week, the current President, Saad Hariri, the late President’s son, visited Iran, all smiles and well-wishes. What to make of that eh? Oh my people, there are so many undercurrents of tension in our world that it’s enough to drive you crazy. And we’re only talking about the simmering situations, not the ones already boiling and bubbling over. And one such situation we need to watch very closely is the North and South Korean standoff. Sabres have not only been rattled, but some interaction has been had. And when talking about gross irresponsibility the North Korean situation takes the cake. It’s citizens are literally starving while the ruling elite, living high on the hog, is focused on nuclear armament and military might and facetiously promising to wage war on their South Korean neighbours. And there are many more irresponsible, ungodly, inhumane, disgusting and detestable situations around our world, but that’s enough for one Bit. No wonder when I asked the Lord tonight for guidance in finding a Bit, I opened the Good Book right at Lamentations. Oh Friends, our God’s lamenting over the sad state of His Creations; His beautiful world and His proudest workmanship, His sinful, disgusting, disobedient children. Oh my people, like Jeremiah so rightly warned his countrymen so long ago, I’m warning us today, to: ‘Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.’ Oh mih breddren, our world has most certainly gone mad! And all the technological inventions that make communications so much easier and quicker are fomenting more dissension, division and dislike than bringing us together, as many hoped it would. Chuh! Beelzebub and his evil cohorts are using it to the max to spread their evil and malicious tentacles, while the followers of Christ sadly lag behind in their efforts to spread the Word, the good news of Christ and His Salvation. But Friends, there’s solace to be had, always is for believers. So let’s turn to the Good Book and lament some for our unfortunate world. And what better place to start than with the longest chapter therein, Psalm 119: ‘I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented (rose before) the dawning of the morning, and cried (for help): I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent (are awake through) the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. Hear my voice according unto thy LOVING-kindness: O Lord, quicken (revive) me according to thy judgement (justice).’ (Ps.119:145-149) Oh mih people, it’s essential that we get up from our lazy slumber and cry out to the Lord for help, both day and night, for deliverance from our enemies! But only in so much as we are obedient to His Word, can we expect His help. Yes Friends, we need to develop an intense longing for God as Psalm 42 directs: ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps.42:1-4) Oh my brethren, as Jeremiah asserts, though our God is omnipotent and all-knowing, the only way He will appreciate our problems is if we pour out our hearts like water before Him; communicate with Him seriously, sincerely and steadfastly, let Him know that our hearts are right and that we hunger for His LOVING-kindness and mercy. If we don’t come before Him with our petitions, we’ll just be left to our own devices, which obviously aren’t working very well. Anyway Friends, time and space have run out on us, so we’ll have to continue this topic tomorrow, God willing. But in closing, let’s read this scripture and hang on to it for dear life, as we lament over the sad state of our world. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Hold fast and hang tight my brethren, our God is still in control! Much LOVE!…like Humpty Dumpty…our world is falling apart…but the good news is…Jesus can put it back together again…Praise the Lord…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2010 Romans 1:16‏

Romans 1:16.     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.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes it is, and some of you who live in the U.S. had the enviable luxury of a four-day weekend because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, so you have no reason to complain. So rise and shine and get yourself together, for it’s time to join the workweek battle once again. That calls for the singing of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! And though you may be drowsy, hung over and listless from too much food and drink, still raise your voices with verve and gusto, that will boost your spirits. (smile) 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 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!’ Now get out there and battle my brethren! Like Bruh Paul, proclaim with heartfelt sincerity: ‘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.’ Oh Friends, if we truly believe and operate on that basis, then the battle’s already half won! Yesterday we ended with Jesus detailing the disciples to go and preach the good news of the gospel to the whole world, promising to be always with them. Bruh Paul was also imbued with that passion and zealously went around both the Jews and heathens preaching it. As he so intensely informed the Corinthians: ‘For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching (message) of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer (debater) of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (the message preached) to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor.1:17-19, 21-25) Yes Friends, right there Bruh Paul lays it all out for us. He didn’t go around preaching any highfalutin stuff, but a plain, simple message of Christ crucified, which is always more successful than dressing it up in a lot of verbiage. And our God, who is stronger and wiser than men, chose ‘foolishness’; the simple manner of preaching the gospel unto salvation to save those who would believe, but to confound the supposedly wise, the high and mighty men of earth. Oh my people, to be considered wise in God’s eyes, we must accept the message; the good news that leads to salvation, which Jesus first preached to the Jews because they were originally chosen by God to be special, and were first promised salvation. ‘Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds (families) of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.’ (Acts 4:25-26) But Friends, that was only the first phase of Jesus’ plan. He always intended to offer salvation to all God’s children. As He said when referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd: ‘And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:16) That was Bruh Paul’s mission; to preach the gospel of salvation to the Gentiles. ‘Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.’ (Rom.2:9-11) Ah Friends, it’s indeed a rough row we hoe on this sinful and evil earth, but through the gospel of Christ and its immense power, we, as believers, can rise above everything, regardless of colour, creed or race, and become one flock of followers under the Good Shepherd, Jesus, who gave His holy, innocent life as a sacrifice so that salvation and eternal life would be available to all who wanted it. What more can we ask eh? And all God’s people gratefully shouted: ‘Thank you Jesus! Worthy are you to be praised!’ Now my brethren, let’s go out and seriously and sincerely preach and live the gospel of Christ, like He asked of us. Till we talk again tomorrow, God willing, go in peace and safety, to LOVE and serve the Lord. Much LOVE!…preaching the gospel means…LOVING Your God… LIVING Your Faith…and SPREADING His Word…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2010 Romans 1:16‏

Romans 1:16.      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.

Oh Friends, a good Sunday morning to all you beautiful followers of Christ! Or as 3 Canal would say in the vernacular: ‘Mornin’ Neighbuh, Mornin’!’ (smile) But sadly that sort of camaraderie or community spirit has all but disappeared. Now, neighbours pass each other without a word. If you’re lucky you might get a grimace that passes for a smile. We’re no longer true neighbours, where we mix and mingle and support each other. Now we just reside beside each other. And that surely lessens the neighbourly spirit. How many of you know your neighbours’ names? I don’t know any of mine. And how many of you have been inside your neighbours’ houses? I haven’t been in any of mine for over ten years, neither have any of them been in mine. Now that’s not a very healthy situation. But if you ask any of us, we’ll all say we’re neighbours. How sad it is that so many meaningful words have lost their true meaning in our society today! But Friends, that’s what we followers of Christ ought to be about; building close knit, neighbourly communities, with the gospel of Christ as the strong foundation upon which they’re built. That’s what Bruh Paul did when he went around Asia and the other outposts preaching the gospel. And he gives us a great reason for doing so: ‘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.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth Friends! The gospel of Christ is the most powerful entity on earth! And once Bruh Paul discovered that, he was forever hooked on it, with no shame or apologies for his addictive state. Yesterday we mentioned that some us were ashamed and fearful of acknowledging the gospel of Christ and the very important part it plays in our lives, but my people, having read Bruh Paul’s apt description we shouldn’t be: ‘for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’ And all God’s people sang a mighty ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ And Friends, if you don’t believe that the Lord had all this planned, listen to the story of Simeon, as told by the Good Book: ‘And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten (bring revelation to) the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.’ (Luke 2:25-34) Oh my people you see how the Lord’s plans dovetail so nicely together. Simeon was promised that he wouldn’t die until he saw Jesus. Then the Spirit led him to the temple when they brought Jesus to dedicate him to God, as per custom. He was in the right place at the right time and had his promise fulfilled. He also noted that Jesus would bring enlightenment to both Jews and Gentiles, obviously startling His parents with the prophecy that Jesus’ significance would also extend to the Gentiles, then subsequently informing poor Mary that Jesus’ coming would bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. Can you imagine a stranger telling you all that stuff about your newborn Son? It would just boggle and baffle you no end! But that wasn’t all: ‘And there was one Anna, a prophetess… And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’(Luke 2:36-38)  So you see Friends, bit-by-bit, the Lord was exposing His people to Jesus, His long promised salvation. That means it wasn’t a fly by night operation, but as all God’s doings, a well thought out and executed plan. And according to the scholars, the words ‘dynamo’ and dynamite’ come from the word ‘power.’ And they further claim that if Bruh Paul were writing today, instead of talking about mere power, he would probably liken the strength of the gospel to ‘atomic power.’ And he’d be right too, because the gospel of Christ is that powerful! It’s so powerful it can take us all the way from an earthly sinful state that calls for death, to heaven and eternal life, through its outreach of salvation. Wow! However my people, there are two undeniable and unavoidable conditions in the pathway to heaven and salvation. The first condition is acknowledging that salvation is a gift of God. Only through His LOVING grace and mercy was it made available through the sacrificial offering of His Son Jesus. That means it’s not something we can earn through our deeds, which brings us to the second essential condition; to get or receive salvation, we must BELIEVE. Yes Friends, believe in the gospel of Christ; that His death paid for our sins, and His resurrection and ascension assures us of salvation and eternal life. So unless we believe in the gospel of Christ, have faith in all it declares, then we cannot appropriate the gift of salvation. Hence Jesus’ admonition to the disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And with that definitive word from Jesus, we’ll stop there for today Friends. You have enough stuff to read, and inwardly digest for today. (smile) So tomorrow, God willing, we’ll continue with this very important Bit. ‘Chuh ole fella!’ the Spirit just cut in. ‘All the Bits are very important!’ (smile) Till then, please walk safely with God. Much LOVE!…to receive salvation…only believe…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2010 Romans 1:16‏

Romans 1:16.    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.

Ah Friends, it’s another day in the life, and whether it’s good, bad, indifferent, boring exciting or bitter-sweet, please remember two things; our God is a good God, and He’s still alive and kicking, in full control of our lives and all that happens in the entire universe. At this moment my life is somewhat amusing because I couldn’t figure out an intro for this Bit, so I petitioned the Lord for one, and that’s the message He guided me to. Just another instance of God’s LOVING-kindness, which brings us to the greatest outpouring of LOVE ever; the sacrificing of God’s only Son Jesus for our abominable sins. I don’t know about you all Friends, but I’d find it extremely difficult, if not impossible to sacrifice my only son for a bunch of ungrateful sinners. But the Lord did it! And all God’s people gratefully declared: ‘Thank you Lord! Worthy is the Lamb that was crucified to save us!’ And what came out of those thirty three years that God’s only Son spent amongst us? The Gospel of Jesus, my people! The Good News of Salvation and Everlasting Life that He assured through His Death, Resurrection and Ascension! Wow! The best news ever heard on this earth mih Friends! And for anyone who’s ever had even minimal contact with that wonderful news of Christ’s Gospel, they are left confounded and dumbfounded by the awesome power it exudes. And what better example can we get of that amazing power than Bruh Paul’s dramatic and sudden transformation; from being one of the gospel’s biggest detractors, to being its biggest and most zealous advocate! Only Christ’s saving grace is strong enough to strike us down as one personality, and then raise us up with a completely different or opposite one. Bruh Paul was so taken with the gospel, that he endured hell and high water, both literally and figuratively, here on earth to spread it as far and wide as he could. And that’s also why he could make the monumental declaration he did in our Bit: ‘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.’ Oh Friends, how many of us believers today could courageously stand up before a somewhat hostile crowd and boldly make such a stirring declaration eh? My guess is a rather small proportion, because though we claim to believe in Jesus, we’re still ashamed, for whatever reason, to shout it from the rooftops. We’re more concerned with what others, in particular non-Christian friends and associates will think of us. But please remember what Jesus said: ‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:33) So please be careful if you’re one of those who value or consider the opinions and approval of men more important than that of your God, because it will eventually backfire on you. Oh my brethren, the apostles and ordinary people of the early church weren’t ashamed of the gospel. They might have been afraid because of the persecution the Christian label brought you, but they certainly weren’t ashamed. Now hear Bruh David tell us how we should react as true believers: ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness (proclaimed the good news of righteousness) in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained (restrained) my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy LOVING-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation.’ (Ps.40:8-10) Yes my people, that’s how we ought to behave as true believers; delight in obedience to His will which is indelibly written in our hearts, mind and souls, then speak it, share the good news of Christ to all and sundry, far and wide, without shame or embarrassment, but with zeal and enthusiasm. Now I’m not advocating that we be all loudmouths or get so aggressive that we turn people off, for aggression often does that, actually doing more harm than good. And if there’s one thing we can’t say about our Saviour is that He was aggressive. He was persevering, assertive and sometimes forceful, but never truly aggressive. And we should adopt the same kind of attitude; preach the gospel with zeal and enthusiasm, persevering with our lifeblood if necessary, but not be too loud, aggressive or anything else that will bring disrepute to the Word of God. Oh Friends, time and space have run out, so we’ll have to continue this Bit tomorrow, God willing, but let’s close with a couple scriptures that drive the point home. ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God… For which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim.1:8,12) That was Bruh Paul to Timothy. Hear John: ‘And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.’ (1 John 2:28) Please my people, let’s take those words of the apostles to heart and start glorifying God in public, amongst our unbelieving friends, families and neighbours instead of being ashamed of Him nuh. It will all be worth it in the end. Go in peace and safety to LOVE and serve the Lord. Much LOVE!…to him that is ashamed of Christ…he might receive no answer when he knocks at heaven’s door…His heavenly home might just be closed to him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2010 Isaiah 56:1‏

Isaiah 56:1.    Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgement, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
 
Oh Friends: ‘It’s raining, it’s raining, on this Black Friday morning. Wonder how it will affect the shopping?’ Yes, it’s Black Friday Friends, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving, the latest incarnation of shopping days in our calendar year. And like almost everything the U.S adopts, we in the Great White North, seem to do the same. Why eh? They changed their daylight savings time, so we changed ours. Now we’re picking up the Black Friday nonsense too, to encourage shoppers to spend what little hard-earned currency they possess, North, instead of South of the border. Wonder how the merchants will fare, with so many people not working, and the few that are, still suffering from the recent economic meltdown. But however that plays out people, we’ll still shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ Now let’s chant our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Remember though Friends, that it’s important to hear Isaiah’s appeal to keep God’s judgements, but even more so, to put it into practice. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgement (justice), and do justice (righteousness): for my salvation is near (about) to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.’ According to the scholars, Isaiah here introduces God’s message of condemnation on those who refuse to repent, as contrasted with His message of salvation to all who repent. So now we’re getting what will happen if we don’t repent, as opposed to if we do. And Isaiah continues: ‘Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it (from defiling it), and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.’ (Is.56:2) So Friends, we are blessed if we seek justice and righteousness, if we don’t defile the Sabbath, and if we do no evil. But the problem is that we can’t wait too long to do those things: ‘for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.’ Yes my people, God’s judgement and salvation can come at any time, that’s why we need to be prepared. You’ll notice, that from Creation to the final end times, God has a grand plan in place, where He reveals Himself and His plans to man in increasing amounts through the prophets. They made us aware of God’s purpose for our lives on this earth. Isaiah spoke of the salvation and judgement to come, the Messiah all the things surrounding Him. Daniel amplified it in deciphering Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king’s dream: ‘And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break (crush) in pieces and consume (put an end to) all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’ (Dan.2:44) Then later on, John the Baptist was the harbinger of more imminent news, as he preached: ‘And saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’ (Matt.3:2-3) Yes my brethren, from way back in Isaiah 40:3, the prophet spoke of one coming to call for repentance and to make the way clear for the Messiah’s arrival. That didn’t happen until centuries later, but as we said, the Lord had a plan to reveal little by little the marvellous things in store for mankind. As John, when admonishing the Pharisees and Sadducees for their sinfulness, informed them: ‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose (winnowing) fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his (threshing) floor, and gather his wheat into the garner (barn); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ (Matt.3:11-12) Strong words my people, but our God is truthful, and so said, so done. Jesus arrived on the scene, just like Isaiah had foretold in Is.9:1-2. ‘The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up (has dawned). From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (near).’ (Matt.4:16-17) Wow! What accurate forecasting mih breddren! From Isaiah, through Daniel, to John, then to the Real McCoy; Jesus! Only wish our weather forecasters could be so good. (smile) But we need to cut them some slack, for theirs is an inexact science. Please note Friends, what Jesus preached on; repentance, for God’s kingdom was in the offing. He also advised the disciples: ‘And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.10:7) Just goes to show how important He considered that statement. Oh my people, what the Lord has given us in the last two thousand years is a chance, an inordinately long time to get right with Him. Jesus came, preached the need for repentance, died on the cross, rose again and ascended so that salvation and eternal life were available. After that it was up to us to accept His most generous offer. Now Friends, our earthly Commercial Law says we have the right to refuse or accept any offers, and can’t be held accountable unless we accept the offers. However, there’s a big difference between that and Jesus’ offer. If we refuse His offer of salvation and eternal life, then we’re held accountable by Almighty God. Accept and we’re fine. Refuse…hn! You’re up the creek with no paddle! And what’s so dangerous about that offer is that we have no idea when it’s going to end or expire. Even Jesus didn’t know. Two thousand years later, we’re still waiting for His Second Coming. Now He could come today, tomorrow, or even two thousand years later. But Friends, are you willing to take that chance and keep putting off your repentance and salvation? I certainly hope not, for it’s a very unwise decision. Please remember Jesus’ parable about the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom at the wedding feast, comparing them to heaven. Five were wise and five foolish. The five foolish ones took no extra oil for their lamps, and as luck would have it, the bridegroom got delayed, so by the time he arrived the lamps of the five foolish virgins had run out of oil. And the wise ones refused to give them any, just in case theirs ran out too after sharing. So the five foolish ones left to go and buy oil. But unfortunately, by the time they returned the door was locked, and though they cried for entry, it was all in vain. And the moral of the story, as Jesus so aptly puts it: ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt.25:13) Oh Friends, I can’t say it any better, so we’ll close on that definitive note from the Master. Consequently, let’s take serious stock of our lives; repent and receive salvation, so that if Jesus comes today, right now, we’ll all be ready. Till we meet again, God in favour, go in peace and LOVE. Much LOVE!…be wise…always carry extra oil…so that whenever Jesus comes…your lamp will be burning brightly…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2010 2 Chronicles 7:14‏

2 Chronicles 7:14.    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
                                             

HAPPY  THANKSGIVING  DAY  U.S.A!

Oh Friends, I don’t know if I’m being obedient or not here, but when I opened the Good Book, I saw a passage that seemed suitable for Today’s Bit. I even researched it. But deep down I was drawn to 2 Chronicles 7:14, especially since I’d just sent the e-mail that dealt with it. So, in my indecision, I turned to it. Next thing…I was researching and writing on it! Them’s the ways our God moves! Before we get into it though, let me wish all our Friends and Families in the U.S. a Happy Thanksgiving Day! Eat, drink and be merry! But please, also give sincere thanks for all you’ve been blessed with, don’t just use it as an excuse to stuff your faces and party. For those of who don’t realize it, our Bit is part of a covenant the Lord made with Cousin Sol when he dedicated the newly built temple. And the amazing thing Friends, is that the wording is so simple and straightforward that even a first-grader could understand it. That brings to mind something I read today about faith and belief, where the author stated that when we were children it was so easy for us to believe, but as we get older, and potentially smarter, it gets much harder to believe. And there’s a lot of truth to it. But anyway, let’s check out our Bit and see if can understand it, but more importantly, believe it and put it into practice. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ Oh mih breddren, what part of that don’t we understand eh? Let’s break it down: ‘If my people, which are called by name…’ From way back when Moses told the Israelites: ‘The Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.’ (Deut.28:9-11) Oh Friends, the Lord kept His promise to the Israelites, and also to our more recent forefathers on this side of the Atlantic. And we believers of today are the inheritors of that promise. But unfortunately, along the way we’ve regressed; become soft, indecisive and wishy washy, till now, nobody is any longer afraid of us. That’s why Lucifer and his evil-doers were able to turn the land to such unprecedented heights of ungodliness while we just stood idly by and watched, possibly complaining in low tones, but doing nothing to really stop it. Now listen to Isaiah, as he talks of the Lord, the only redeemer. ‘Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west…. Even everyone that is called by name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.’ (Is.43:5,7) Yes Friends, all the redeemed are the Lord’s, and since we consider ourselves redeemed, then we are indeed the Lord’s, called by His name. So the first part of the Bit definitely pertains to us. Now the second part clearly states that if those called by the Lord’s name, ‘shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…’ Again Friends, plain, simple, straightforward words. And the first thing required to gain the Lord’s attention is to humble ourselves. Absolutely nothing will be achieved if we seek Him in pride and arrogance, in our own strength, since He has no time for those who consider themselves too good or too big to bow to Him. Hear the Good Book tell it. This is during Shishak’s invasion of Judah. ‘Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous. And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.’ (2 Chron.12:5-7) That’s self-explanatory my people. But just in case; (smile) unless we humble our selves before the Lord, admit that we can do nothing in our own strength, all our prayers and other efforts will be in vain. James puts it thus: ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:10) Nuff said there mih breddren! And having humbled our selves, then we need to pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. As we’ve been saying all along, that’s the only way our immediate land, our society and the world at large will ever regain some modicum of lasting peace and prosperity! But who’s listening eh? Certainly not Lucifer and his evil cohorts, for the world in wicked upheaval benefits them. So it’s left up to us, those who claim to be the Lord’s, to do the dirty work and clean up our world, which we can only do with the Lord’s help, and He will only help us if we clean up our act first; meaning consistently and sincerely humble ourselves before Him, search Him out with a right heart and fervent prayer, which hopefully will cause us to change our evil ways. Then, and only then Friends, does the Lord promise and proclaim: ‘then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ Oh Friends, those conditions were based on Cousin Sol’s entreaty to God when he dedicated the temple. (2 Chron.6:26-27,30) But since I know your short attention span for things godly, I won’t make this too long, so you can read them for yourselves. (smile) Ah mih people, our world is undeniably heading for more strife, division, dissension and possibly all out war, but let’s make this U.S. Thanksgiving Day, the 25 November 2010, a red letter day in History nuh! A day when History will proclaim that God’s people rose up as one, sincerely humbled themselves before Him, diligently sought His face, prayed fervently, and renounced their wicked ways…and the Lord heard them from His throne in heaven and began to heal their land. Oh Friends, please, I implore us to make this day the one that will always be remembered as the day the healing of the nation, of the world began. It’s up to us, Christ’s followers, to pull our world back from the brink of destruction. Till tomorrow then, God willing, go in peace and LOVE with Him. Much LOVE!…and all God’s people, humbled themselves… then prayed fervently…became righteous…and the land was healed…Glory Hallelujah!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2010 Esther 10:3‏

Esther 10:3.    For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
 
Oh Friends, like our world has officially gone mad yes! What with N. Korea stupidly shelling S. Korea, and one fool ‘s comment on the computer that he doesn’t mind World War III beginning, because he’d like to live in a time of war. Well better you than me yes buddy! I’m glad I was born after the second one ended, and I certainly hope the good Lord takes me home before number III begins, for I can assure us that it will be extremely horribly, with many of us not surviving it, and definitely not enjoying it. We seem to forget the telling admonition of the old song: ‘War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!’ But unfortunately, like N. Korea, in many countries around the world the people are suffering terribly, some even starving, while the foolish, power hungry, war mongering leaders are living high on the hog, and military might is favoured over food for the nation. Oh what a sad tale eh! Yuh know friends, I wrote that intro without a Bit in place, but when I opened the Good Book to look for one, it opened on the last page of Esther and the first of Job, and the first words my eyes read were these, the last verse of Esther: ‘For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.’ Well if that wasn’t a God inspired moment, I don’t know what is. I obviously concluded that it was meant to be Today’s Bit, and deservedly so, since it deals with the same sort of nonsense that’s happening in our world today; intrigue, deceit and corruption in very high places that’s causing the ordinary man extraordinary suffering. Haman, the haughty fool, tried to trick the king into killing off the Jews, during their captivity in Babylon, but Esther and her uncle Mordecai, with their own intrigue, overcame Haman’s treachery. As the Good Book tells it: ‘And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains (eunuchs), said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (his anger subsided).’ (Esth.7:9-10) Poetic justice Friends! Haman hanged on his own gallows! Or as they would say in another time: ‘Hoisted on his own petard!’ A petard was a small engine of war, formerly used to blow in doors, etc. And later on they hanged his ten sons too. Oh my people, the important thing to recognize here is the hand of God moving behind the scenes, as it so often does. What Haman and his cohorts meant for the Jew’s harm, the Lord turned into their good, with one of their own openly acknowledged as Queen, and her uncle Mordecai as Prime Minister, second in command of the land. It’s a mirror image of what the Lord did back in Egypt when Pharaoh also elevated Bruh Joseph to the second most powerful post in the country. When Bruh Joseph deciphered Pharaoh’s dreams, then told him how to solve the problem they foretold, re the seven fruitful and seven years of famine, here’s Pharaoh’s response: ‘And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet (as discerning) and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over (in charge of) my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.’ (Gen.41:37-40) Yes my people, when we walk steadfast and strong with the Lord, despite our many trials and tribulations, He does reward us admirably. But Friends, the most important part of our Bit is the very last part: ‘and speaking peace to all his seed.’ My brethren, from day one, right until the Father declares it’s over and Jesus returns to set up His kingdom, it’s absolutely essential that all believers and their leaders speak for peace. And not only simply speak for it, but raise a great hue and cry for it! Why? Because without peace, we can’t truly live and enjoy the many blessings of this world that our Creator has provided for our benefit. Lack of peace only brings destruction and ruin, and nobody wins. But mankind’s so stupid and short-sighted, we still cry for war. A good example of that is when Nehemiah went up from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem. Listen to the sentiments of his enemies. ‘When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.’ (Neh.2:10) Sanballat was apparently the governor of Samaria, who caused the Israelites much grief during his term of office. But there again Friends, the Lord worked it out for the good of His people when they stood strong and obedient to His will. And that’s exactly what we believers have to do today my Friends, for if we don’t stand up against the legions of Beelzebub, who will eh? The world’s hope, our children’s children’s hope and future, lie in the hands of today’s followers of Christ! And that’s no joke Friends. Now let’s hear some words for PEACE! Psalm 29, the voice of the Lord in the storm says: ‘The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.’ (Ps.29:11) And here are some more of Bruh David’s entreaties for peace. ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’  (Ps.34:14) And in his prayer for the peace of Jerusalem, Psalm 122, he ends it thus: ‘For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.’ (Ps.122:8-9) Oh my people, in peace is the only way to live a successful and satisfying life on this earth! So please, let’s seek and pursue it, and simultaneously get rid of the warmongers who only want to destroy. And finally some words of Jesus on the subject: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Now hear this gem: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yes Friends, let’s listen to our Lord and Saviour and develop peace in our hearts and in this crazy war-like world; His kind of PEACE! Till tomorrow then, God willing, go in peace, LOVE and safety with the Lord. Much LOVE!…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…
 

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