Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2013 Ecclesiastes 4:2

Ecclesiastes 4:2.    Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday… But a somewhat subdued one, because when I got up earlier on, I saw the message light on the phone blinking, and I wondered if it was really a message or just the phone malfunctioning as it sometimes does.
 
You can imagine my concern, since I’d gone to bed late and there had been no calls up to that time, and calls late at night are usually harbingers of bad news.
 
And I had a second sense when I checked the message and heard this small, sad voice with its lilting British accent asking us to call when we received it. There was only one conclusion to be drawn from that; my wife’s Aunt, Aunt Ivey, had finally gone home to be with the Lord from over the pond in England. 
 
That supposition unfortunately turned out to be true. I believe we can change that last sentence though, and say fortunately, since she had been suffering for sometime with mankind’s dreaded scourge, cancer.
 
I spoke to her several times on the phone, but only met her once, however from the little I saw, and what I heard from others, she was one of the sweetest, dearest persons you could ever find; a genuine Christian, thoughtful and kind, raising several children, none of which belonged to her.
 
She reminds me of my mother, Molly, and my mother-in-law, Enid, women who all had tough lives, but never allowed the dirtiness and evil of the world to affect their pleasant, positive outlook on life.
 
Aunt Ivey, you’ll certainly be missed a whole lot by all those whom your life touched. Your  LOVING-kindness won’t ever be forgotten. And I know that right now you are talking with the Saviour, and He’s embracing you and saying, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Welcome home!’ May you rest in peace with Him forever.
 
Ah mih people, though we know that we all must go the way of the grave at some time, it still brings sadness to our souls. But those of us left behind cannot afford to grieve too long or too intensely, because there is still much work left behind for us to do, by those saints who’ve gone on before us.
 
So on this Friday, the last day in May 2013, let’s chant our Friday Chant to put the right perspective in our souls for this weekend. ‘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.’
 
Now please pay serious attention to what we just chanted Friends, because in the long run it can be the deciding factor in our fate, between eternal life and eternal death.
 
And no, I didn’t go looking for a Bit on death, that’s where I was guided. But before we get to it, let’s look at what brought Cousin Sol to that unusual conclusion.
 
He opens the chapter, oppressions increase vanity, by saying: ‘So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side (at the hand) of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.’ (Eccl.4:1)
 
Oh my brethren, Cousin Sol saw so much oppression in the world that he began to believe that the oppressed would truly be better off dead. Thus he declares in our Bit: ‘Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.’
 
It’s a challenging statement, but it does have some sense of logic to it. Why stay here on this evil, ungodly earth, oppressed, dispossessed and with no comforter, when you could be living a much better life in heaven with the Lord, your comforter and Saviour?
 
Bruh Paul struggled with the same question. He felt like he would much prefer to be with Christ in heaven, but he had work to do down here.
 
And Cousin Sol continues in the same vein: ‘Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.’ (Eccl.4:3)
 
And sadly my people, we can still voice the same opinion today, thousands of years later, because the oppression of mankind is at an all time high. I don’t know if man’s inhumanity to his fellow man has ever been this gross, especially when we’re supposed to be living in the most enlightened times ever.
 
And if the oppressed choose death over life, we can’t really fault them because many of us in their positions would probably feel and do likewise.
 
And we’ll conclude with some appropriate scripture from Job, where he bewails the day of his birth. ‘There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.
 
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?’ (Job 3:17-22)
 
Oh Friends, none of us really know the answers to those questions posed by Job, but of one thing we’re very sure; when this earthly life is over, we shall all be in a better place, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which means we can handle anything meted out to us here on earth with absolute confidence, for He has faithfully promised to look after us down here, then LOVINGLY receive us to Himself when we shuffle off this mortal coil.
 
There can be no better promise, no better ending than that! Much LOVE!
 
…O death…where is thy sting…O grave…where is thy victory… (1 Cor.15:55) 
 
    
 
 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2013 Psalm 50:22

Psalm 50:22.    Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
 
Top o’ the morn, mih people! Another God-given day is in the offing, and are we ever blessed to be alive and kicking! Wow! 
 
So let’s give our ever-LOVING Creator some thanks and praise for that wonderful blessing, then go out and enjoy the day, be glad and rejoice in it, spreading His Word, and joyously living our faith as He desires us to.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and heartfelt, ‘All praise to the honour and glory of our great God! For He’s the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD! The Creator and Controller of this amazing universe.’ 
 
Yes Friends, it’s ever so right and good to begin our day with some glorification of Almighty God! Even the lesser animals instinctively do it, so why can’t we ‘brainiacs’ eh? And I guess that’s the problem right there; we have too much brains, which makes us think too much, and also too much of ourselves.
 
Sometimes the best reaction is the instinctive one, not the well laid and thought out plan. Anyway, the important thing is that we’re alive and kicking and glorifying God. And all God’s children said a hearty ‘Amen!’
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit, a rather interesting one. ‘Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.’
 
Oh what a warning my Friends! That psalm of Asaph is aptly titled ‘God is the judge.’ And so He very well is, my brethren! Please don’t ever forget that! A judge that we should be very wary of, and careful to do His bidding.
 
Asaph lists the sins and disobediences of Israel, then that terrible warning to those who forget Jehovah God comes down from on high. It’s no child’s play my Friends. That godly promise of ‘lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver’ – that’s serious business people.
 
And for those of you who don’t know, haven’t clued in or yet realized it, our God is a very serious God, especially when it comes to things like obedience, pride and idolatry. He’s the most LOVING and generous Being there is, but if you constantly disobey Him and try to shunt Him aside, His anger can be very great indeed.
 
Listen to Job’s supposed buddy, Bildad, affirm God’s justice. ‘Can the rush (papyrus) grow up without mire (marsh)? Can the flag (reeds) grow without water? Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:’ (Job 8:11-13)
 
That requires no explanation, my brethren. Now hear Bruh David on the subject, from Psalm 9, ‘Praise for God’s justice.’
 
‘The Lord is known by the judgement which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion (meditation or song). Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.’ (Ps.9:16-18)
 
Yes Friends, our God is a just God, and He executes justice and judgement on the wicked, while having mercy for the poor and oppressed.
 
Now let’s open our ears, hearts, minds and souls and listen to God’s promise to those who are obedient and godly. ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation (conduct) aright will I show the salvation of God.’ (Ps.50:23)
 
Oh my people, that’s the greatness of our God right there! Once you praise and glorify Him and conduct yourself in a manner suited to a believer, He will show you the wonders of His salvation. Now isn’t that much better than the ugliness and sinfulness that Lucifer has to offer? Of course!
 
And we’ll end with some appropriate words from Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save (except) in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world (or by which the cross) is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
 
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (creation). And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.’ (Gal.6:14-16)
 
And we’ll have a word from the scholars here. ‘Unlike the Judaizers, who brag about their religious accomplishments Paul takes pleasure only in Jesus’ atonement and all the spiritual blessings it brings. The world is the world system. Paul has renounced his old life and all its ways, along with its values and religious accomplishments in which he used to boast.’ 
 
And so should we my brethren, because the fleshly religious stuff like circumcision no longer pertains. It’s all about the new creation of man in the Spirit of Christ, and whether you’re a Gentile or Jew, once you walk in and adhere to that principle, God’s mercy will be forever upon you.
 
Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship, my Friends! Please, let’s continue doing so with all that we have, so that His blessings will continually be upon us. Now that’s indeed wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…to live for God…is the sweetest sacrifice a man can make…  
 
P.S. Ah mih people, our God is so amazing and amusing, would you believe that as I wrote that last word in my rough draft, the lights went out for a split second, putting a godly period to the writing. (smile)  
 
I guess a flash of lightning must have occurred in my area, and caused a loss of power to all the electrical appliances. It’s a good thing I didn’t have anything written on the computer as yet, else I might have lost it all. And you know how annoying that can be. But the Lord in His mercy and LOVING-kindness did not allow that to happen. Praise His Holy Name! Much LOVE!
 
  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2013 Matthew 22:36

Matthew 22:36.     Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
 
Oh Friends, it looks like today will be another rainy one in my area. In fact there hasn’t been much relief from the showers of blessing since they began yesterday morning. But if that’s our biggest problem, then we surely can handle it.
 
However some water from heaven is the least of our problems right now. And I’m saying that because yesterday morning I got a zeppo, a message that says it’s time for Christians to rise up, rise up in the LOVE REVOLUTION! It’s time for Christianity to take over, to rule the world!
 
Yes Friends that’s the very serious intention and purpose of our great and wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And He’s saying, loud and clear, it’s time for us to get a move on.
 
But unfortunately, we His followers can only successfully do His bidding if we unite and live in peace and LOVE with each other and our God. All the divisions, dissensions and foolish fighting amongst ourselves is hurting the Saviour’s cause.
 
Remember what Jesus said when the hypocritical Pharisee asked Him our Bit. ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’
 
‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:37-40)
 
Yes my people, it’s so simple. There are only two laws we have to worry about; LOVING God and our neighbour, which includes LOVING ourselves, since we can’t truly LOVE anyone else until we have some decent regard for ourselves. And from those two simple commands flow all the other good stuff. It’s the way a true believer ought to live!
 
So please my Friends, neighbours, enemies, whoever you are, all mankind, please for the LOVE of God, let’s get together and stop all the foolish wars of jealousy and greed, stop the senseless hate and violence that only deteriorates to and breeds murder and mayhem, with NO LOVE, NO JOY, NO PEACE.
 
Oh my people, is that the way we truly want to live? Is that the dream our God, our Creator, the great and LOVING Artist put in our hearts? And the answer is a resounding NO!
 
So please let’s do what is right nuh, it’s so simple and easy. When we LOVE and obey God, we prosper. When we don’t, then we suffer the severe consequences, like we’re doing right now. Is simple common sense mih breddren. Oh sorry… I forgot that common sense is no longer in style, it’s not the current vogue of mankind.
 
Nowadays we’re only interested in the foolish and senseless things of Mammon. But remember what happens to those who revere Mammon and his sinful ways. The Good Book says they will surely suffer, pay an exceedingly high price for their disobedience.
 
And I won’t even bother to quote any scripture to that nuh, since on almost every page of the Good Book, and sometimes several times on one page, it reminds us to be obedient, because disobedience only causes havoc, destruction and unnecessary suffering. The world will give us enough suffering. We don’t need to create anymore for ourselves.
 
I’ll quote one scripture here though, and it’s a big one, one that we all know, but few of us really follow. And we’re talking about when Samuel accosted Saul, after he disobeyed God’s directive to totally destroy the Amelakites. (1 Sam.15:1-21)
 
‘And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:23)
 
Yes Friends, Saul lost everything because he had not obeyed. And that’s exactly what is happening to us today, we’re losing everything; our joy, peace and prosperity because we haven’t obeyed the dictates of Almighty God. And we’re committing an even greater sin by trying to remove, to totally eradicate Him from our society. Ah Lord eh!
 
Oh mih people, there are so many examples of great societies that floundered and eventually fell because of their disobedience, why do we think ours will fare differently eh? Not very likely!
 
So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh! Let’s reignite our passion for God, unite and live in PEACE, LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, TRUTH and JUSTICE, for once in our long and foolish existence nuh, for that’s wisdom at it’s finest! 
 
Oh Friends, I sincerely pray this in Jesus’ Name; in the blood that flowed from His bruised and battered body on that fateful day on Calvary’s Cross, when He selflessly gave His holy and sinless life in exchange for our unholy, sinful souls.
 
And for that, we thank Him more than words can ever say. But when He reads our hearts, He’ll surely see and know how much we truly LOVE Him.
 
And all God’s people declared a long, loud and glorious, ‘Praise the Lord! Amen! And again we say, Amen! Praise the Lord!’
 
Much, much LOVE, my beautiful fellow believers!
 
…to not truly live for and obey God…especially in these troubled times….only makes us look real foolish…and Jesus’ sacrificial death…a sad and sorrowful waste…
 
       
 
 
      

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2013 Revelation 22:14.

Revelation 22:14.    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s been a long and arduous night…of sleep! Hn, hn! My body had its way with me. That’s what happens when you try to burn the candle at both ends simultaneously. (smile) But hopefully, now that the ole bod has had its fill of sleep, it will be able to do the Lord’s work properly, with much vim and vigour.

Anyway, let’s get rolling with a poem of prayer from Dr. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional. And it’s truly amazing, that though I’ve been reading the Devotional for several years now, most of the stuff I share from it seems entirely new to me. This poem titled ‘Fill Me!’ falls into that category. 
 
Please read and pray with me. ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain spring; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and truth. Thank you! Amen.’
 
And I certainly hope that all our souls will be filled with God’s LOVE and TRUTH,  as we go out this rainy Tuesday morning to do His awesome bidding, securely backed up by His amazing faithfulness.
 
And all God’s people declared a mighty, ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
Yes Friends, let’s keep on praising His glorious Name, for He is indeed most worthy of all that praise, and infinitely more than we can ever come up with or imagine.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city.’
 
Ah mih people, that’s a warning we should all take very seriously and heed immediately! For as we saw yesterday, the adversity and unfixable tribulation of the opposite action, disobedience, is certainly not to be desired. Being on the outside looking in, is definitely not where you want to be at the end times.
 
And today, I want to look at some appropriate scriptures which corroborate our Bit. And we’re going to start out on a positive note, with the blessings administered for doing right.
 
John tells us in his first letter: ‘And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and LOVE one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:23-24)
 
That’s plain and straightforward Friends!
 
And as per ‘the tree of life,’ Cousin Sol describes it thus in Proverbs 11: ‘The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed (rewarded) in the earth: much more than the wicked and the sinner.’ (Prov.11:30-31)
 
Now hear Jesus’ warning and promise on it. ‘He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’ (Rev.2:7)
 
Straight from the horse’s mouth my brethren, so it has to be true! 
 
Now as regards  ‘the gates of the city,’ of the New Jerusalem, listen to John’s revelation: ‘And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
 
And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes an) abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’ (Rev.21:24-27)
 
And all God’s people said a loud and thankful ‘Amen!’
 
So there we have it Friends, in black and white. If your name’s not written in the Lamb’s book of life, then you won’t be allowed into the New Jerusalem. And the ONLY way to get your name in that awesome book, is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then obey His commandments in this earthly life.
 
So now the choice is ours. Let’s hope we make the right decision right now, for remember when the end times arrive, there’ll be no chance to change our minds. It’s certainly NOW or NEVER!
 
So please, please, my brethren, let’s be wise for once in our lives and choose Jesus nuh, for He is the ONLY answer to whatever ails us. Much LOVE!
 
…I choose Jesus…because He first chose me…and that says a whole lot…
 
   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2013 Revelation 22:14

Revelation 22:14.    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday…. And I get a rather rude response from some of my U.S brethren. ‘Oh shut up about it being Monday nuh! We doh care because we don’t have to go to work today. Is Memorial Day, so we just going back to sleep now, then get up and party later.’
 
And sadly Friends, that’s the kind of selfish attitude which is so prevalent in our world today. Last Monday when we celebrated Victoria Day, we got up and helped to boost their Monday morning adrenalin, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, it’s a completely different story. But such is our Christian heritage and maturity that we’ll forgive them, for we know that they are only human and thus still liable to resort to a sinful nature.
 
So for all of us who have to get up and go out to labour, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a whole lot of enthusiasm, even though we don’t feel it. But we’re working on the premise that if you fake it, eventually it will become real. (smile) With one harmonious voice now, let’s raise our voices to the heavens.
 
‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
That was good Friends! There was joy in heaven. But I have to laugh at how the Lord shamed our U.S. brethren into finally singing along with us. Don’t ever doubt His mysterious and righteous ways!
 
And now, turning to our Bit:  ‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’
 
Oh my brethren, that’s a most significant piece of scripture, for it’s the last warning we get at the end of the Good Book! Only by keeping the Lord’s commandments will we be assured of a place in the New Jerusalem, a place with God until eternity.
 
Now listen to how the verse after our Bit characterizes those who are not welcome there. ‘For without (outside) are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh (practices) a lie.’ (Rev.22:15)
 
And here’s the scholars’ explanation of all that: ‘They that do his commandments are believers (cf. 12:17; 14:12; Matt.7:13-21); 1 John 3:10). The tree of life indicates immortality and divine blessing (cf.2:7; 22:2). To be able to enter in through the gates into the city is to have heavenly citizenship in the eternal dwelling place of God and redeemed mankind.
 
All unbelievers are without (outside) the city (i.e., in the lake of fire -cf v.15; 21:8,27). The dogs are impure and malicious people (cf. Deut.23:17-18; Phil.3:2). Sorcerers are those who practice witchcraft (Gr. pharmakos). Whoremongers are those who practice all kinds of sexual immorality (Gr. pornos; cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Lie: See 12:9; Proverbs 16-19; 12:22; John 8:44.’
 
Oh Friends, that last part doesn’t sound like a place we want to be found at the end times nuh! So then, the only other option available is to do as our Bit wisely advises, follow the Lord’s commands. And please read the references given above, because they are for your benefit, your edification, not just for the scholars to seem knowledgeable.
 
You can’t really learn the scriptures unless you read and study them for yourselves. But that is such a difficult task to get believers to do on a consistent basis, because we’re still guided and dominated by the now for now, quick fix of today’s busy world.
 
However my people, that will never cut it. You can listen or read whatever pastors and people like me tell you, but until you read the Word consistently for yourself, you’ll never truly understand it.
 
And with that admonition, I think we’ll close for today, because the rest of what I have to say will make the Bit too long for our short attention spans. (smile) And we do have enough stuff to ponder already. So until tomorrow, our great God in favour, please, let’s all try to walk the straight and narrow path and keep the Lord’s commandments as best we can. It will serve certainly serve us in good stead in the upcoming end times. Much LOVE!
 
…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b) 
 
   
 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2013 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.    And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Oh Friends, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there, were you there, were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ 
 

Thankfully Friends, the answer to that question is NO! None of us was there, but judging from the reports outlined in the Good Book, it must have been a gory sight on a ghastly day. I’m ever so glad that I didn’t witness it in person, because I doubt I could have handled it. Just reading about it now, two thousand years later, is bad enough.
 
That brings me to a subject I don’t think many of us even consider; that’s the ignoble and excruciating torture that Jesus suffered for us; mentally, emotionally and physically.
 
Put yourselves in His position nuh Friends. Can you imagine being betrayed by one of your closest confidantes for money, then having to go through the unfair trials that Jesus did, being shuffled from one court to another, from one egotistic, unfair judge to another? And that’s the good part.
 
What about being slapped around, spat on, then being mocked by having a purple robe put around you, and a crown of thorns placed on your head? And I’m sure that crown wasn’t just placed, but jammed down on Jesus’ head, then a crowd of jeering soldiers bowing before you and crying out: ‘Hail, the king of the Jews!’
 
Just think about the scourging He received nuh. Think about those sadistic blows of a cat-o-nine tails raining down on His very human back. Could you handle it, with the various pieces of metal, etc, attached to the whip, just tearing away at your flesh with every lash? And then the march up to Calvary in such sorry state, bearing His cross. Hn! The only redeeming feature is that the tormentors enlisted Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross.
 
Then when you’ve come to the ugly, hard-scrabble hill and gully called Golgotha – even the name, place of the skull, causes sordid thoughts – they lay the cross on the ground, then lay you down on it and nail your hands and feet to it. And yuh better believe it wasn’t the nice, clean, smooth, refined nails that he have nowadays, but the large, rough, crude pieces of metal of a bygone era. And I’m sure the ‘nailer’ wasn’t being kind or trying to inflict as little pain as possible, most likely the exact opposite.
 
Then they lift up the cross with you nailed to it, plant it in the hard, rocky ground, and leave you there in the hot, midday, desert sun, for your life to slowly ooze away in enormous pain and anguish. And when you say you’re thirsty, they give you gall, bitter vinegar to drink.
 
And all through this hateful and painful fiasco, they keep taunting you. If you’re God, then take yourself down from the cross. You saved others, now save yourself nuh. And to add to the shame, they crucify you between two vagabonds, deserving of crucifixion. Then just be to be sure you’re dead, they pierce your side with a spear, after you’ve visibly given up the ghost.
 
Now Friends, do you think you could handle all of that without uttering a single peep from all the pain and inhumane suffering, or not beg for mercy and recant? Most of us would have been dead before we even set out for Calvary.
 
But Jesus bore it all with great dignity and fortitude, because that was His assigned role, the role he was born to play. And if He hadn’t played it to the fullest, billions of sinners, billions of His Father’s greatest creation would have ended up in the labyrinth-like dungeons of Hades with that foolish fool Lucifer, who just like us today, didn’t realize what a good thing he had going as a high ranking angel in heaven.
 
The only thing that caused Jesus to cry out, not that He didn’t feel the physical pain, was the separation from His Father. That cut Him to the quick, hurt Him to the core, as he declares in our Bit. ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
 
The scholars describe it thus: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ So true Friends, so true.
 
Now recently I was thinking about all the punishment that Jesus had to bear for our abominable sins, and it struck me that the Father really extracted a terrible price from Jesus on our behalf. It got me to wondering if I could ever allow that to happen to my only and very BELOVED Son. I don’t think so.
 
But that just goes to show how righteous and just the Father is. Above all, justice must be served, for the wages of sin is death, (Rom.6:23a) and to avoid that eternal fate, a sinless, unblemished Lamb had to be sacrificed, and Jesus was the only One who met that high criteria. But I was also thinking that the Father didn’t have to be so rough on Him, make it so excruciating and torturous. Obviously He thought otherwise.
 
That brings me to two points I want to make. The first is that sin is a very serious matter, and truly disliked by God. He dislikes it so much that He went to such great lengths to provide a way out for us. Secondly, He must really LOVE us a whole heap to put both Jesus and Himself through so much pain and tribulation to redeem us.
 
And thirdly – I guess I have three points and not two. (smile) Thirdly, that we’re such a bunch of no good, ungrateful wretches, that after Jesus met such an ignominious and shameful end so that we could be reconciled to the Father, we still have the ‘boldfacedness,’ the gall to question His sacrifice, doubt His truth and make derogatory remarks about Him. Steups!
 
Oh Friends, we should be so grateful and thankful, that we’d be falling all over ourselves to not even put one foot wrong, to honour, LOVE, worship, obey and revere Him! Look at how we make obeisance to earthly rulers who only oppress and suppress us. But to the One who’s done the ‘MOSTEST’ for us, we ignore, defame and try to remove Him from our society.  How sad…
 
But my brethren, I’m begging, pleading, imploring us to change, to correct our wrong attitude today, right now, this very minute! Let’s truly begin to honour Jesus for the unselfish sacrifice He made for us. Let’s praise and glorify Him, spread His Holy Name throughout the entire world, as He asked us to do, be exceedingly glad to be His followers, and not be ashamed, as some of us are, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and glorified.
 
And please note this about the Father; He faithfully rewards obedience to His Word and Will. And Jesus was nothing but obedient during His earthly sojourn.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul could confidently and unhesitatingly proclaim to the Philippians: ‘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 things (those) in heaven, and things (those) in earth, and things (those) under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11)
 
Now that’s the gospel truth my brethren! So please, let’s live like we really believe it nuh. It speaks of both wisdom and gratefulness to the zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…just to think of what Jesus did for me…makes this earthly life all worthwhile…
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2013 Psalm 49:20.

Psalm 49:20.     Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.
 
Oh my people, blessed greetings to you and yours on this chilly May morn! Yes it’s somewhat chilly in my neck of the woods. The weather’s been playing games with us, moving from a high of twenty something degrees celsius a week ago, to the low and mid teens this past week. But I guess much of North America has recently been plagued by unseasonal snow, wind, rain and deadly tornados. 
 

But not to worry, for Almighty God is still on His heavenly throne, still in total control, and nothing happens in this world without His approval. So if you feel somewhat challenged today, please turn to Him and pour out all your heartfelt fears, frustrations and anxieties. He will hear your pleas and respond in the appropriate fashion at the right time.
 
And this seems to be a very good time to remind us of God’s Promise, the poem I shared a couple weeks back, for there’s nothing that lifts our sagging spirits as a timely reminder of the many wonderful promises our God has made us, and is ever so faithful to fulfill.
 
So read on dear Friends and let our spirits soar. ‘I will not fear; God is always with me. I will not doubt; God is always in control. I will not despair; God is always good. I will not falter; God is always watching. I will not fail; God is always victorious.’ 
 
Yes my Friends, our God is ALWAYS VICTORIOUS! 
 
Please remember that when the enemy comes a-calling, demeans and bad talks our wonderful and omnipotent God. It’s just pure jealousy, because he’s been spayed, neutered, declawed and defanged by Jesus’ victory over death and the grave, and all he can do now is bat his toothless gums together and try to scare us with his snide, nasty remarks, for he’s lost whatever little power he ever had over believers. He can’t harm us, unless we allow him to. Remember that.
 
Now let’s look at our Bit: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’
 
Oh my brethren, that is the foolish man who listens to Lucifer and falls for his lies, wiles and innuendo. Though he has earthly wealth and power, he is without true understanding of the ways of Almighty God. Thus he perishes as the senseless beasts, without any hope of a positive life after his earthly death.
 
Yesterday we looked at some scripture pertaining to that topic, and today we’ll look at some more. To further help us make the most important decision of our earthly lives – following Christ – let’s hear from Cousin Sol in Ecclesiastes 3, where he talks about God judges both the righteous and the wicked. 
 
‘And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgement, that wickedness was there (in the place of justice there was wickedness); and (in) the place of righteousness, that iniquity (wickedness) was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose (matter in which one delights) and for every work.
 
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest (test) them, and that they might see that they themselves are (like) beasts. For that which befalleth (happens to) the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence (advantage) above a beast: for all is vanity.’ (Eccl.3:16-19)
 
So Friends, back then, Cousin Sol saw injustice in the courts where justice should have prevailed. Sadly, our court system today is similarly as unjust. Moreover, he was sure that God’s justice would be forthcoming, though the casual observer could not see it.
 
But though man and beast seem to simply return to the dust from whence they came, the spirit of man goes back to God for judgement, as he later declares. ‘Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.’ (Eccl.12:7) 
 
And the scholars proclaim that ‘God does not clearly reveal to man all the events that will occur after him, therefore, man should be happy with the lot assigned to him by God. (v.22)’
 
Now hear Cousin Sol tell it. ‘All go unto one place; all are of dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth (knows whether) the spirit of man that goeth upward (goes upward), and (whether) the spirit of the beast that goeth (goes) downward to the earth?
 
Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion (heritage): for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?’ (Eccl.3:20-22) 
 
So Friends, the facts are before us. Jesus came later and clarified some stuff, but it’s still all a matter of personal belief. The choice is ours. Let’s hope though that we all make the right choice; JESUS, FOR THAT’S THE WISDOM OF THE AGES! Much LOVE!
 
…I choose JESUS…because HE’S THE TRUTH…THE LIGHT…THE LIFE…AND THE ONLY WAY… 
 
 

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