Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2012 Psalm 34:7

Psalm 34:7.       The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Well Friends, the next big day of the season is finally here – New Year’s Eve! And a great many shouted for joy! Unfortunately though, it is also a Monday, and the official holiday, New Year’s Day, is not until Tuesday. That means many of us still have to go to work today after eating, drinking and making merry for most of the last week. So to get our adrenalin up and running, especially in these cold, snowy, northern climes, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with mucho gusto. As one harmonious, earthly choir, let’s rock both the earth and heavens with our song. ‘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 my people, the heavenly hosts were duly impressed! Jesus just wants us now to carry that strong, energetic, vibrant, righteous and faithful attitude out into the wicked world and blaze a trail of victory in His Name, amongst the great unwashed. (smile) And if we’re still seeking encouragement to do so, there are no better enabling words than those of Bruh David in our Bit: ‘The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.’  Absolute truth Friends, absolute truth! Bruh David was personally testifying to those facts in his own life, for we all know that though he was anointed early in life to be king of Israel, he underwent a long road of horrors before it actually happened, mainly from king Saul who sought every opportunity to kill him, and rebellion from his own son Absalom. But he prevailed against them all. Why? Because he sincerely trusted in the Lord God of his fathers, and as our Bit so rightly proclaims, no one can touch the Lord’s anointed, unless He allows it. Yes my brethren, all who put their faith and trust in Almighty God are securely guarded by members of the heavenly host. Now let’s look at some scripture that backs up our facts. We’ll start in 2 Kings Chapter 6, when the Syrian army comes against Israel. Several times though, the prophet Elisha warns the king of Israel about the place and time of attack, and thus thwarts the Syrians. It leads the king of Syria to believe that there’s an Israeli spy in his camp. But his people inform him otherwise; it’s the prophet Elisha’s doing. Then the king sends a sizeable force to the city of Dothan where Elisha is then residing, to bring him hither. So you can imagine the reaction of Elisha’s servant when he gets up one morning and finds the city encompassed by the Syrian forces. In much fear, he pleads with Elisha: ‘Alas, my master! how shall we do?’ (2 Kin.6:15) But hear ye now Friends, the power, the majesty and the goodness of the great God we worship. ‘And he (Elisha) answered, Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.’ (2 Kin.6:16-17) Yes my people, the Lord opens our eyes when we come before Him in all sincerity! And if that didn’t touch your hearts and souls, then listen to Daniel after he’s spent the night in the den of lions. ‘Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).’ (Dan.6:21-22) Now Friends, if that doesn’t resonate with power and truth deep in the hearts of believers, then I don’t know what will. Nevertheless, we’ll end with some more encouraging words, this time from Psalm 91; God is a refuge and fortress. The psalmist tells it like it truly is. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone.’ (Ps.91:9-12) Oh my people, how can we not bow down and faithfully worship such an awesome, omnipotent Deity eh? It is the ONLY way to righteousness, salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!…with the Lord God Jehovah as our guide and protector…there’s no need to worry about…ANYTHING…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2012 Psalm 45:6

Psalm 45:6.        Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter.
 
Well Friends, it’s another new day on God’s great earth; the eve of New Year’s Eve! How are the party plans coming along? I hope they’re more interesting than mine, because the duchess and I have again decided to party at home, as we’ve done for the last few years. We must be getting old – but certainly not cold – (smile) since we just can’t be bothered with the hassle of dressing up and going out in the cold, especially when we now seem to have more snow around New Year’s Eve than Christmas Day. Then the parties that we went to were fairly far away from our house. The worse part though was after partying heartily, having to drive all the way back home, while keeping an eye out for Babylon, lurking around some corner to catch drinking drivers. It just doesn’t seem worth the headaches, and besides we’re quite content to ring in the New Year at home in whatever fashion we choose, then when we’ve had enough, just roll into bed. You certainly can’t beat that prescription for contentedness! (smile) The old people would possibly characterize that attitude as, after one time is two. But if you’re satisfied with your decision, and the situation is not ungodly or detrimental to anyone, then that’s your business. Whoever wants to handle the hassles and go out to party, let them, hopefully though with no ill effects afterwards. Anyway, enough of the partying stuff, we’re here to talk about our great and wonderful God. And our Bit describes His longevity and glorious majesty with unerring accuracy. ‘Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter (scepter of righteousness).’ Words of absolute truth, my people! Our God has been enthroned in the heavens since the beginning of time, and will still be entrenched there at the end. Thus it’s very important that mankind recognizes this fact and wisely and humbly accept it. For try as we may, we will never be able to get away from Him, or His statutes, His judgements and His dictates. That’s why it makes so much sense to simply accept His sovereignty and stop fighting Him. As Jesus told Bruh Paul when He knocked him down on the road to Damascus: ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks (goads).’ (Acts 9:5) Here is how the scholars describe it: ‘Saul is depicted as a rebellious beast that fights against the prod of its master (cf.26:14). He is persecuting Jesus in that he is afflicting the body of Christ. When someone does something for or against a Christian, Jesus Christ not only knows but feels it just as we do (cf. Matt.25:35-40) He is moved with the feeling of our infirmities (Heb.4:15)’ Oh Friends, the same thing goes for us today. If Jesus desires to get our attention, it’s impossible to go against His prodding. I can tell you that from personal experience. So why don’t we just stop trying to fight His calling on our lives eh, since fighting is useless? The psalmist says it with great confidence: ”The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved (shaken). Thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting.’ (Ps.93:1-2) Even Jeremiah, in his time of great sorrow, admits in his Lamentations: ‘Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation.’ (Lam.5:19) And the author of Hebrews, talking about the Son being superior to the angels, quotes our Bit and the verse after it, mixed up with other parts of the Old Testament, a favourite tactic of Bruh Paul. ‘But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God is for ever and ever: A scepter (ruler’s staff) of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast LOVED righteousness and hated iniquity (lawlessness); therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (companions). And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest: and they all shall wax (grow) old as doth a garment; And as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.’ (Heb.1:8-12) Oh my brethren, that says it all! And like we always like to do whenever possible, we’ll give Jesus the last word as He testifies to John in Revelations. ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.’ (Rev.22:13) End of story Friends! So please, today, in this most appropriate Christmas season, at the advent of the year 2013, let’s be wise and seek Jesus and His everlasting kingdom nuh, as He so LOVINGLY desires us to do. It’s the only true way! Much LOVE!…whoever wants to live forever…must embrace Jesus and all that He stands for…before their earthly pilgrimage ends…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2012 Psalm 135:5

Psalm 135:5.      For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
 
Ah Friends, welcome to another day in the life! One filled with plenty blessings, mercy and forgiveness from our heavenly Father, Creator and strong Provider. For His undeniable LOVING-kindness to us undeserving children of men, we ought therefore to be very thankful, and in return show Him the utmost honour, reverence, respect and worship He so richly deserves. But on the other hand, being the true ingrates that we are, too many of us expect to experience and bask in that LOVING-kindness, but refuse to give Him the glory that’s rightfully His. That’s a very unwise move though Friends, because the Lord is greater than the useless idols to which so many of us bow down. Our Bit puts it quite succinctly and truthfully: ‘For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.’ And that’s the living truth Friends! How do we know that? Listen to the next two verses. ‘Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in the earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours (water vapour) to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.’ (Ps.135:6-7) Yes my brethren, the entire universe is the work of His hands and His imagination. Like a potter creating pottery from scratch, He created the universe, doing whatever He pleased with His creation. So how then can any of these other supposed gods be stronger and greater than Him eh? NO WAY! And today we’re going to get into some scriptures that justify our contention…sorry, it’s not a contention, but a definite fact. We’re going to begin with Moses, a man who certainly experienced God’s greatness in his life; what with forcing Pharaoh to set the Israelites free, then parting the Red Sea for them to cross over on dry land, while swallowing up the Egyptian army, then leading a bunch of miserable, ungrateful people, their animals and their belongings through the wilderness to the Promised Land of Canaan, promised many years before to their father Abraham. Moses could therefore rightly state in his song: ‘Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods (mighty ones)? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?’ (Ex.15:11) And the definitive answer to all those questions my Friends is, ABSOLUTELY NOBODY! None of the other supposed deities can hold a match to the candle of our God; the ONE TRUE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And later on, when Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought Moses’ wife and two sons to meet him in the wilderness and heard about the wonders the Lord had done on behalf of His people Israel, he too was forced to concede: ‘Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt (behaved) proudly he was above them.’ (Ex.18:11) Even Cousin Sol, when he was planning to build God’s temple, he was so overwhelmed by the magnitude of his task and the awesome power of God, that he declared in wonder: ”And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’ (2 Chr.2:5) And my people, those men not only heard about the great God of Israel, but more importantly they experienced His greatness personally. So there is absolutely no reason to doubt them. And I daresay the lives of many of us modern day believers are also filled with the mystical, miraculous works of God. So why then do we still doubt Him eh? I guess because we’re just naturally fickle and fainthearted, wanting everything easy and now for now. But sorry Friends, that’s not how our God operates. We need to do His will first, and in His time, He will reward us. Remember, He’s the Creator, and He runs the show, not us, the created. And now, turning to Psalm 95, listen to the psalmist declare the Lord’s omnipotence. ‘Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him, with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:2-5) Meanwhile, in Psalm 96, the writer confidently proclaims: ‘Declare his glory among the heathen (Gentiles), his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.’ (Ps.96:2-6) And in Psalm 97, we read: ‘For thou Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.’ (Ps.97:9) And last but not least, hear Bruh Paul’s proclamation on the subject. ‘For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father of whom are all things, and we  in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we (live) by him.’ (1 Cor.8:5-6) And that my brethren is the gospel truth! So today, please, let’s rethink our priorities, and give praise and thanks where praise and thanks are due – to Almighty God! That’s true wisdom. Much LOVE!…no other supposed deity…has the power of the Lord God Jehovah…for they are mere idols…creations of man…
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2012 Proverbs 9:4

Proverbs 9:4.    Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Well Friends, and all you party people, it’s Friday! And a loud, joyous shout of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rises to heaven. And to make matters even better, though for some worse, it’s the Friday before the long New Year’s Eve weekend. So you can imagine the party preparations that are currently been made. Mama Yo! Everybody will be going out on Monday night in their Sunday best, their evening finery to celebrate the birth of a New Year. But all I have to say is remember, drunk or sober, mind yuh business. (smile) I know some of you are tired hearing me say it, but it’s essential that we do remember to be careful about whatever we do, especially when we’re partying, cause that’s when our level of attention to spiritual matters is pretty low, and it’s very easy then to give the enemy a chance to break through our defences. Anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, to help us put the weekend into its proper perspective. All together now, sweetly and sincerely: ‘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.’ Yes Friends, that’s how we have to handle the weekend. Now here’s a quote from the famous American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) that’s particularly for us old fogies, but which, if the young people reading this are smart, will also take to heart. It simply states: ‘For age is opportunity no less Than youth itself, though in another dress, And as evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars, invisible day.’ Ah mih old Friends, there’s no fear in getting old, because it’s a time of maturity and wisdom. So please don’t let the age thing get you so down that you become afraid of life and refuse to keep on living a healthy, wealthy and wise lifestyle. Opportunities still abound for us old folks. As Henry so nicely puts it, those opportunities are only now dressed in clothes of a different fashion. That brings us to our Bit, an invitation from Wisdom: ‘Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth (lacks) understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed). Forsake the foolish (foolishness), and live; and go in the way of understanding.’ (Prov.9:4-6) Oh mih breddren, in this evil, ungodly age, many more of us need to turn away from the lustful world of the flesh and heed wisdom’s call to come in unto her and partake of her generous table, forsaking the foolishness of this world, for that of godliness and spiritual understanding. Let’s hope that in the upcoming year of 2013 many more of us will take that wise advice, for without it we’ll be even more lost and stupid than we already are. Therefore it’s not surprising that throughout the Good Book, readers are strongly advised about the wisdom of the simple, the unlearned to seek and gain understanding in spiritual matters. Let’s look at a few of those scriptures. In Psalm 19; the creation and covenants of God, Bruh David confidently proclaims: ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.’ (Ps.19:7) And in Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, the psalmist again confidently declares: ‘The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.’ (Ps.119:130) Meanwhile, in Proverbs 1, in outlining its purpose, Cousin Sol boldly tells us that one of the reasons is ‘To give subtilty (prudence) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov.1:4) And the scholars break down that verse thus: ‘The simple are naive young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge means the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out right measures.’ Yes my brethren, unfortunately, all of us are simple to some degree, some more so than others. That means we all need to look to God’s Word for enlightenment, wisdom and the proper way to live this earthly life, so that it will all eventually rebound to the glory of our heavenly Father. Remember that glorifying God is also a major part of our earthly tenure, and we can’t do that until we know what He wants, requires, likes and dislikes. So today I’m asking us to ponder on this important fact; are we learning more about God everyday and thus constantly growing in the character of Jesus? And if so, are we putting that knowledge, that wisdom, that understanding we’re daily gleaning into the normal routine of our lives, so that our faith walk with Jesus is daily improving? I really hope so Friends, for that’s truly wisdom at its finest. Much LOVE!…to improve our faith walk…we need to daily learn more about God…then Jesus-like…put it into practice…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2012 Hebrews 12:2

Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 
Oh Friends, a merry after Boxing Day morning to you! No doubt many of you went out and got involved in the crazy day of sales that Boxing Day has now become. Even with the bad weather, oodles of people still went out bargain hunting. Ah Lord eh! We’ve become such a price conscious society, cheapskates really, where we want everything cheap and will go miles to look for a bargain. It’s obvious that we’ve forgotten that sage advice of Confucius: ‘cheap thing no good, and good thing no cheap.’ That’s why we’ve outsourced so much of our jobs to areas of cheap labour and inefficient production and thus get the resultant cheap, shoddy goods in return. As the old computer adage states: garbage in – garbage out. And that’s certainly true of the manufacturing sector these days. But it’s obvious that we cannot stop the juggernaut of cheap production from ploughing ahead, neither stop mankind from running around looking for cheap stuff at this stage, since we’ve already been totally indoctrinated by the commercialism of the era. Anyway, there’s some good news for the snow lovers and some bad ones for the snow haters. Another winter storm raised its ugly, destructive head yesterday in the U.S. Midwest, unfortunately rampaging through several states doing lots of damage and taking some lives. It’s now set to head north to Canada. In fact, it’s already here, for as I write, several inches of snow covers the ground. And I don’t think this will melt later today. So please be very careful if you have to venture outside today. And by the way, you Canada bashers, please pay attention to where this storm began, as well as the last one, in the U.S, not in Canada. So please stop saying that the cold, bad weather comes from Canada, cause it’s a fallacy. And now that we’ve straitened out that misinformation, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, because I have a lot of scripture for us to read and inwardly digest. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ And those words are ever so true my brethren! For Jesus is the one who both began and then perfected our faith by going through all the suffering and challenges it took to do so. And I really don’t know if I’d call it ‘joy that was set before him.’ But nonetheless, He took the assigned task out of a combination of obedience to, and LOVE for the Father and us, and accomplished it in perfect stride, without skipping a beat. This is painstakingly pointed out by Jesus to the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection. ‘Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Yes Friends, we ought to pay much more attention than we currently do to the prophecies of the Old Testament, if we truly want to understand the happenings surrounding Jesus’ earthly life. The scholars explain those verses thus: ‘Ought (Gr.dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16; 22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, but Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ Oh my people, it’s not only in the New Testament that we’ve been advised to look to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for protection and sustenance, but long before Jesus came, Isaiah, in declaring that salvation will only come from the Lord, proclaimed these words. ‘Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (take an oath).’ (Is.45:22-23) So looking to Jesus should have been nothing new or strange to His disciples, and neither should it be for us. Now turning to the second part of our Bit: ‘endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Listen to these marvellous words Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians describing that situation. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 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.2:8-11) That says it all right there Friends! Jesus humbled Himself in human form, disregarding the shame, disgrace and physical punishment it took to do the Father’s will. But He did it all to the Father’s glory and honour. Therefore, afterwards the Father exalted Him to sit at His right hand. And my people, it works the same way with us; when we do Jesus’ bidding down here on earth, without too much whining and complaining, we’ll also be welcomed to sit with Jesus in heavenly places. And I can assure you that those places will be much nicer than any that Lucifer will provide in Hades, if you reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of all. And we’ll end with this bold prophecy of Bruh David from Psalm 110; the Lord gives dominion to the King. ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ (Ps.110:1) And so said, so was it done – in the august body of Jesus! Oh Friends, I strongly suggest that you read Psalm 110 in its entirety, so you can see that Bruh David knew what he was talking about. Now may the good Lord bless and keep us safely in this Christmas season, where we celebrate the birth of His wonderful Son, Jesus. And may He make His countenance to shine upon us and give us that awesome peace, He sent the Prince of Peace into the world to disseminate. Till we meet again, either here on earth, or heaven’s golden shores, please walk with God. Much LOVE!…it’s time for all Christians to step up to the plate…and truly LOVE our God…truly LIVE our Faith…and truly SPREAD His Holy Word…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2012 Hebrews 12:2

Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Boxing Day! We’re one day older and closer to the beautiful shores of heaven! Hallelujah! But right now I have to chuckle, though without any real mirth, at the vicissitudes of life. Yesterday morning I woke up tired because I didn’t get enough sleep, meanwhile today, I’m still getting up tired, with my back aching too, possibly because I rested too much. Hn! How to please the flesh eh? Impossible, is the answer! I guess that’s why Jesus so strongly advised us to first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then everything else would fall into place naturally. (Matt.16:33) That surely is good advice this Boxing Day of 2012 my people, where too many of us will be afflicted by the commercialism of the age, the urgent desire to go out and shop in the myriad of sales that have come to denote the day. Anyway, here’s ‘A Christmas Prayer’ from Dr. Robert H. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, I was led to share with you. And I like Dr. Schuller’s prayers because they seem so alive, so vibrant, brimming with life, boldness and confidence, as per the author of Hebrews advice. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) The scholars’ note on that verse is also very interesting. ‘Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest. The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ Now here’s Dr Schuller’s Christmas prayer, as promised. ‘You lead me Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite the road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving, solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen.’ Oh Friends, it would be ever so wonderful if our lives could take on even a small amount of the uprightness and sturdiness of Christ’s life before His heavenly Father! And that’s what we’re supposed to be all working towards, with the generous help and guidance of His Holy Spirit that indwells us. But unfortunately too many of us are eschewing the good, but difficult spiritual life of God’s kingdom, for the easy, but destructive and death-inducing fleshly lusts of the world. This ought not to be so my brethren, especially since we all know that the things of this world lead to eternal separation from God. Therefore, today, in the midst of this Christmas season, where we joyfully celebrate the incarnate birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, I urge us to change the direction of our lives. Instead of looking to Lucifer and man for security and sustenance, please look to Jesus instead, because only the things we get from Him will last, will survive the sure destruction of this earth. And as the writer of Hebrews – who can only be Bruh Paul, judging from the style and overall wealth of knowledge shown – advises us about running this earthly race in the verse before our Bit: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) Excellent advice Friends! But how do we do that with any measure of success? By taking the words of our Bit to heart. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’Yes my fellow believers, that’s indeed the perfect advice, the advice we so badly need in this evil and ungodly age! So beginning today, RIGHT NOW, let us throw off all the earthly baggage, both literal and figurative, that weighs us down, and just keep looking towards Jesus, who’s already run the race of glory – and won it- already blazed the trail for us to follow. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE my brethren!…only by looking up to Jesus…can we see the wonders of heaven…from down here on earth…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2012 Luke 2:11

Luke 2:11.    For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2012!

Well Friends, neighbours, fellow believers, and also you unbelievers, it’s CHRISTMAS DAY! Glory Hallelujah! At last the big day that’s been causing so much confusion in our already confused world has arrived. Merry Christmas to one and all! And believe me, the ole fella is shaking it a tad on the rough side this morning, because I went to church last night and didn’t get to bed until the wee hours of the morning. And when the Lord woke me up, some half an hour ago, at minutes to six, I really didn’t feel like getting up. But in good Jesus fashion, I forced myself to get up, because there was the Lord’s work to be done, a Bit to be written. Even now, I’m still a bit dozy, waiting for my two helpers, the caffeine and the Holy Spirit to kick in and raise my level of awareness. (smile) Chuh! I just turned around to take a sip of coffee and found that it all gone, so I have to settle for some water. Anyway Friends, as usual, the Lord’s in my corner and is guiding my every word, so I’m not worried. He’s so wonderful that He led me to Today’s Bit, as soon as I opened the Good Book, and has already shown me what He wants me to say, so it’s only left up to me to pull myself together and do His will. And since I try my best to be obedient, here goes. First off, let me say that I got two wonderful Christmas presents last night. The first one being my two daughters going to church with me. And a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ rises up to heaven. I had asked them earlier on to go with me, but since they hem and hawed, I just decided to go by myself. But lo and behold, when I was ready to leave, they duly informed that they were coming. How can I look a gift horse in the mouth eh! Then on the way to church, I asked what had made them come. They informed me that that was my Christmas present, and gave me a big ‘Merry Christmas Daddy!’ Now I certainly would never look askance at my daughters going to church with me, for whatever reason. Then, wonder of wonders, when I got to church, I saw a long lost parishioner, one of my favourites, who had stopped coming to church for a while. Now don’t be jealous the rest of you, cause I have plenty favourites at church. (smile) But my heart definitely leapt for joy, and I said a heartfelt, ‘Thank You Lord!’ because he’s been an integral part of our leadership group, and it certainly hasn’t been the same these many months without him. Welcome back James! The Lord definitely moved you to return to the fold of St. Francis at a most appropriate time. Now what else did I want to say…? Oh yeh! On coming out of church after midnight, we discovered some wet snow gently falling. The Lord was obviously covering all His bases, giving the snow enthusiasts a little bit, so that when they sang about a white Christmas, they wouldn’t be lying. And strangely enough, there’s still a smattering of the white stuff in the area, so those who like it will wake up to it, though I guess it will all be melted away by lunch time. One more thing before we get into our Bit. Last week a fellow church member gave some of us a wonderful flyer explaining ‘WHY GOD MADE HUGS!’ AndI think it’s very worthwhile to be shared on this blessed day. Please say with me: ‘Everyone was meant to share God’s all-abiding LOVE and care; He saw that we would need to know a way to let these feelings show. So God made hugs – a special sign, A symbol of His LOVE divine, A circle of our open arms To hold in LOVE and keep out harm. One simple hug can do its part To warm and cheer another’s heart. A hug’s a bit of heaven above That signifies His perfect LOVE.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! That’s exactly why Jesus came to earth – because of the Father’s great LOVE for us. And at the bottom of the flyer, there’s a coupon that’s good for one free hug, along with the admonition, ‘Hug someone you LOVE today!’ Please, please my people, let’s ensure that we do that on this special day nuh. If possible, hug many, but please hug at least one person today, show them God’s true LOVE, which is what the season is all about, as our Bit so nicely puts it: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ Oh mih breddren, that’s definitely the best thing that ever happened to our world! Isaiah prophesied it so beautifully centuries before it was fulfilled. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ (Is.9:6) And all those things surely describe Jesus to a T. But the last one, ‘Prince of Peace’ is what He particularly wants us, His followers, to focus on. He desires us to be peaceful souls and not the snarky, resentful, jealous, greedy people we can too often be. And according to our Bit, Jesus is also our ‘Saviour.’ Listen to how the angel of the Lord explained Mary’s predicament to her betrothed, Joseph. ‘And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (SAVIOUR): for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt.1:21) Now hear the scholars’ timely comments on that verse. ‘Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.” This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature, is the Saviour.’ Yes Friends, Jesus surely did save us from the penalty of death, which we so rightly deserved for our abominable sins, and for which we should all be eternally grateful. And as to being ‘Christ the Lord,’ listen to Peter tell it in his famous speech at Pentecost. ‘For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until, I make thy foes thy footstool…Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ (Acts 2:34-36) There you have it Friends, the fulfillment of the scripture. So let not your hearts be troubled. Our God is still on His throne running things. But please, please Friends, on this Christmas Day of 2012, let’s all take time out from all the fun and frolic, to have a quiet moment and seriously ponder, and sincerely appreciate the true reason for this glorious season; the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Now go and have a good time with your friends and families, but remember, DRUNK OR SOBER, MIND YUH BUSINESS! Don’t give the evil, ever-lurking Beelzebub even one iota of a chance to disrupt the proceedings and steal your joy. MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! Much LOVE!…what a truly wonderful world this would be…if we took the joy, the good news and the grace of God…through Jesus Christ…out into the world everyday…instead of just at Christmas time…
 

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