Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2014 Revelation 3:20

Revelation 3:20.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.

 Oh Friends, on this fateful Tuesday morning, the penultimate day of the tumultuous year of 2014, I want to share some most valuable words of wisdom with you. The first set is that ignorance is a hell of a thing! (smile) But it is. And I am a glaring example of that this morning.

Now I know that if I lie in my bed for too long, my back will start acting up and pain like the devil. But what did I do? I went to bed rather early last night and did not get up till after five this morning.

And to tell the state of folly that enveloped my mind, around two something, I got up to go to the bathroom and felt my back aching. But did I pay it any attention? Not at all! Simple mindedly I claimed that it was too early to get up and do stuff, so I went back to bed.

Steups! And now I am paying the price for that folly. I got up tired, with cramps in my calves, and the old back aching so much that I had to put on my back brace, which I hardly use these days, and now I’m puttering around like a real old man, with small, mincing steps. (smile)

Ah Lord eh! And here are the words of wisdom that the old people would give out under those conditions; when you don’t hear, you feel. A rather apt saying, I must say.

And the moral of that story is to point out the scary imbalance in our minds and personalities, where, although we know the hefty price of doing certain things, we still do them. And then we moan and groan and complain about the resultant negative consequences. Chuh! How stupid we can be at times eh Friends!

That brings me to this matter. Earlier on, as I lay in bed soaking – for even with my back aching, I still needed to soak, hn! – my mind was in a contemplative state, considering what to write on this day. Then these words suddenly popped up: ‘And if you should hear me knocking this morning, please open the door.’

That led me to believe that our Lord’s invitation was to be our Bit for today. So here it is, in bright, living and explosive colour. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’

Oh my people, that is such a wonderful invitation that I don’t see how we can reject it! But reject it we do; foolishly and ignorantly! Just like my folly earlier this morning.

We know the consequences of not inviting Jesus into our hearts when He knocks there – death and eternal separation from God – yet we still blatantly refuse to open our hearts to Him, so that we can be truly blessed.

And the sad part is that Jesus is continually knocking at the door of our hearts, but we continually refuse to let Him in. It’s not like He just knocks once, and then goes away forever. He’s always right there, outside our heart doors, knocking, seeking entry.

And furthermore, unlike Lucifer, who threatens to knock us over if we don’t comply with his wishes, Jesus is the perfect gentleman. He prefers to ask for permission to enter, so that when He is allowed entry, He knows there’s sincerity in that particular heart.

My Friends, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is a calm and peaceful soul. He doesn’t rant and rave. He wants us to come to Him of our own volition, not feeling as though we were forced to do so.

For you know, regardless of the good and positive outcomes, when we believe we are forced into something, there’s always a tad of anger and resentment present, just because we didn’t do it of our own free will. That’s just the nature of the human animal.

Anyway my people, today, as everyday, Jesus is knocking at the doors of our hearts, quietly and sincerely asking for entry, so that He can make us His own. So if you hear that knock, please don’t be foolish and reject it.

Instead be brave, be bold, be wise, and open your heart to the wonderful Saviour of the world, because that’s what He is coming to do; save you from your sins, make you worthy to be called a child of the Most High God!

And we’ll close with these prophetic words of Jesus, when he was asked, if only a few would be saved. (Luke 13:23) ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without (outside), and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are (where you are from):

Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are (where you are from); depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.’ (Luke 13:24-30)

Oh Friends, I implore us today, to ensure that we’re not numbered amongst the sorry lot that’s refused entry to God’s eternal kingdom! And the best way to do that is to open our hearts willingly and LOVINGLY to Jesus’ knock today. That is wisdom at its ultimate best! Much LOVE!

…when Jesus knocks…he who refuses Him entry is lost forever…but he that opens with a generous and humble spirit…will dwell with Him in heaven for eternity…

 


 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2014 Titus 2:11

Titus 2:11     For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.  

Well Friends, the party is over for this week! It’s Monday, so labouring is here again. And I hear the loud groans and complaints as that reality sinks in. (smile) But please don’t worry and don’t lose the Christmas spirit, for the season’s still on, and in another three days, we’ll have the big celebration of New Year’s Eve!

Wow!  As though anything changes from Wednesday to Thursday, just because we deem it to be a new year. Bah humbug! (smile)

Oh my people, circumstances might not change from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can change for the better. And that’s best accomplished by bringing Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour into a higher priority position in our lives, by developing a stronger relationship with Him, which is what we aspired to do in our last New Year’s resolution, and will again commit to doing in 2015.  

Remember He is the One who sacrificed His sinless life so that we could once again have communion with our heavenly Father. And Jesus is also the One who extends that great invitation to come to Him, lay our heavy burdens on His strong shoulders, and in return, accept His light burden and easy yoke, a wonderful situation evoking a welcome sense of peace, joy, rest and unconditional LOVE!  (Matt.11:28-30)

So in these waning days of 2014, let’s not forget that Jesus is the answer to our EVERY problem!

And having said that, this Monday morning after a hectic Christmas celebration, when we have to go back out to work, and we’re not really enthused about it, let’s turn to our wonderful problem solver to give us the energy and wherewithal to go out and grab the world by the tail. (smile) Let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with all we have. We ought to still have some left in the tank despite all the recent celebrations.

So as one great voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Oh Friends, that wasn’t bad at all, but I know that come Wednesday night, you’ll be all singing a louder and more enthusiastic Old Lang Syne and Happy New Year! (smile)

Anyway, it’s time to turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s advice on the Christian Life to Titus, one of his young protégés. ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age).

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us all from iniquity, and purify unto himself  a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.’ (Titus 2:11-15)

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that is all indisputable truth! For it certainly is through God’s amazing and generous grace that we can even have hope of better days to come! Without that plethora of grace, goodwill and LOVING-kindness, we’d all be headed for death and eternal damnation!

Now here are some explanations from the scholars on those verses. ‘2:11-15. The salvation that appeared to all men is based on God’s grace that has provided salvation universally for all mankind through the unlimited atonement of Christ. That blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ refers to His second coming.

The use of the definite article “the” with the first noun “God” and the connecting “and” indicates that the first and second “Saviour” (nouns) are one and the same person. Our “great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” is thus one and the same person, clearly proving the deity of Christ.’

Oh Friends, as I keep saying, it’s truly mind boggling to consider the wonderful God we serve and worship! He’s so awesome that we can’t help but stand in wonder and reverence at Him. So let’s go out today and do what He desires of us nuh, for if we are truly His followers, then we need to do what He desires of us. Keep the faith! Much LOVE!

…ye are my friends…if ye do whatsoever I command…  (John 15:14)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2014 Matthew 6:33

Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Aye mih breddren, it’s the blessed day of the Lord; Sunday, the Sabbath Day! The day on which our great God rested, took a break from His labour of creating the  universe and all therein. And in His Word, He specifically advises us to do the same.

‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11)

Now that ought to wake some of us up, because we feel that we should be working all the time, everyday of the week. That’s obviously wrong, for work is not the panacea for our ills; Almighty God is! So today let’s put that idolatry behind us and get some rest, as well as darken the church doors, especially for those of you who seldom darken them. It never ceases to amaze me when I hear or read about those folks who only go to church at high times like Easter and Christmas.

Steups! Hope if any of you are reading this, that you went to church and fellowshipped with other believers this Christmas season. And from here on in, you will go to church regularly.

Remember Friends, we’re not doing God a favour by going to church, but ourselves, because church is where we’re supposed to come together as one in the body of Christ, to praise and worship Him and receive encouragement and uplifting of our faith, so that we can stand strong and face the persecution and unfairness of the evil and ungodly world in which we currently live.

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ And as with most things that have to do with faith and God, my people, we have to step up to the plate first, before the promises of God are fulfilled.

We have to first see the promises through the eyes of faith, believe that they will come, before they come. Otherwise faith would not be necessary for ‘faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) So if we see something, then there’s no need to hope for it, as Bruh Paul told the Roman church. (Rom.8:24-25)

Now hear are some timely and important explanations from the scholars, re our Bit. ‘6:33-34. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is summarized by the statement seek ye first the kingdom of God. The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeto) indicates a continual or constant seeking.

The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’

Yes Friends, glimpses into the past and the future are indeed necessary at times, but generally speaking we need to live in the present, seeking the righteousness that is found in the kingdom of God, and if we do so, the Lord will fulfill all our material needs. That’s a promise of Jesus, and we all know that Jesus doesn’t lie, cannot lie, therefore doing as He advises is common sense and sound wisdom.

And we have one of the best examples of the promise being fulfilled when upon ascension to his father, Bruh David’s throne, the Lord asked Cousin Sol what he desired. And Cousin Sol, instead of asking for wealth and power, wisely asked for wisdom and understanding. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgement (justice); Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin.3:9-14)

Oh Friends, yuh see how our God keeps His word! And He even goes overboard too, giving Cousin Sol the wealth and power that he had not asked for. He will act in the same manner towards us, if we sincerely seek the things of His kingdom and His righteousness.

And we’ll close with a word on the subject from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.’ (1 Tim.4:8)

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘4:8. That verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited values, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’And that’s the gospel truth my people! So please, let’s go out today and start seeking the righteousness of God and not the unrighteous things of the world. For that’s wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom comes from sincerely seeking God…not from dallying in the lusts of the world…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2014 Matthew 6:33

 Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 
 
And then it was Saturday! Another exciting day in the Christmas season Friends! (smile) Oh I know that many of us are tired from all the Christmas activity and just want to lie down and rest. Well what’s stopping you eh? Just do it.

If the body and soul are crying out for respite, then it’s your duty to give them respite. They can’t continue being stretched and stressed out without losing their power and elasticity. Like a rubber band, the more you stretch and pull them, the loser and less effective they become.
 
Anyhow, here’s an appropriate quote from my Friend Anselm, that’s meant to inspire you for a better tomorrow. And this one comes from Abraham Lincoln. It’s simple but full of wisdom. All it says is: ‘In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.’ And that’s oh so true my people!
 
Now here is Anselm’s take on the subject. ‘It doesn’t matter how long you live, but how much you lived during the time that you were here. So many of us get caught up with age and aging and forget that it’s not about turning back the clock or staying young forever, but trying to get the best feeling that you can out of each moment of your life.
 
Abraham Lincoln was known for being handy with words, so it’s no surprise that he was able to make a quote like this, especially since he was able to pack a lot of life in his 56 years.’
 
Now how much life are we willing to pack into our years eh? It all depends on us my people, for we choose the kind of life we want to live, be it positive or negative, filled with the Word and promises of Almighty God or with the ungodly and lustful things of the world.
 
And the smart money my brethren is always on the things of God, because they have more intrinsic value and last longer than the shallow, bright but flimsy and flaky things of the world.
 
That’s why Friends, I’m encouraging us on this last Saturday in 2014, to sit down and quietly and seriously ponder the direction of our lives. Let’s check on how we spent this past year. Did we do a good, bad or indifferent job? Did we make even some small difference in the world around us? Did we reach the goals we set?
 
And most importantly, did we make any headway in our New Year’s Resolution of following Christ more closely? Have we grown in maturity and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour? Remember, that is the ONLY real resolution you need to make, because once you concentrate on following Christ, everything else falls into place.
 
For as Jesus so rightly says in our Bit, which is taken from the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes my fellow believers, when we seek God FIRST, He makes everything else fall into place for us. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to work and pay attention to things, but that we don’t need to strive and worry and feel anxious about our lives and livelihood.
 
As Jesus reminded the disciples before our Bit. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?
 
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?
 
And why take ye thought for (worry about) raiment (clothing)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed, dressed) like one of these.
 
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
 
Therefore take no thought (do not worry), saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.’ (Matt.6:25-32)
 
Matter finished Friends! Jesus spells it our like it is. If our heavenly Father can look after the things of nature so well, why wouldn’t He look after us, His most important creation, just as well eh? Even Cousin Sol, in all his worldly finery, was no match for the simple lilies of the field.
 
So my people, the life affirming choice is now ours to make. Please, I implore us to use the great wisdom and common sense that’s at our disposal to make the correct one, for the colour and tenor of our earthly lives, as well as where we spend eternity depends on the choice(s) we make today. Nuff said. Much LOVE!
 
…a word of advice…one can never go wrong by choosing Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2014 Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6.   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.
 
Greetings and salutations this Boxing Day morn, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! The big day of Christmas is over, but definitely not the season; not by a long shot!
 
The Joy. Peace, LOVE, Thanksgiving and Goodwill to all men that were engendered yesterday, that characterized that momentous day, cannot be all used up in one 24 hours span of time, Absolutely not! So let’s keep that LOVING and joyous spirit of baby Jesus going for as long as possible Friends.
 
And I know that a lot of people in the North Country were disappointed because they did not receive their traditional white Christmas. Yes mih people, there wasn’t any snow, but it surely was a wet, windy and cloudy time. In fact, on Christmas Eve night we had a wicked windstorm that played havoc with everything.
 
So, I guess it was more like a British Christmas, than a truly Canadian one. (smile) But these days with the vagaries of the weather, we don’t know what to expect. A month before winter truly set in we had snow and pretty cold temps. But now, in the heart of winter, we’re having rain and temps above freezing.
 
Who knows what’s happening in our crazy, misguided, angry and resentful world these days eh? Only Almighty God!
 
Anyway, I sincerely hope that you and yours had a wonderful time yesterday, I didn’t do much; just wrote the Bit, went to church, then came home and had a quiet time with my family.
 
And I do hope that Jesus and His incarnate birth was a trending topic in all our conversations. For He IS the reason for the season, whether you say ‘Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or Merry Christmas!’
 
And since it is still Christmas time, please pray this wonderful ‘Christmas Prayer’ with me. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, and as you’ll see, was definitely too beautiful for me not to share it with you.
 
Let’s pray: ‘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 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 for ever. Amen.’
 
Ah my brethren, what wonderful sentiments! They are sentiments that we can also acknowledge with sincere hearts, and thus make Jesus and the Father proud of us.
 
Oh Friends, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was such a simple but very important, momentous and auspicious occasion, that two thousand years later we’re still gloriously celebrating it with much ceremony, pomp and joy! Glory be!
 
And it’s so foundational to our beliefs that the prophet Isaiah prophesied it in our Bit, hundreds of years before it actually happened. ‘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.
 
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7)
 
And as we all know, ‘the zeal of the Lord of hosts,’ did put this miracle into motion with the birth of Jesus Christ! As the angels told the shepherds on that first Christmas night: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11)
 
Oh my people, what a magnificent, magnanimous, faithful and trustworthy God we serve and worship! Please give Him much well deserved thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness to us, the undeserving children of men!
 
And the wonderful thing about Isaiah’s prophecy, according to the scholars, is that ‘he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’ Now that could only have come from God’s divine guidance, imbuing Isaiah’s spirit with a potent and positive power of discernment.
 
Now here are some important and interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘9:6-7. The Gift-Child in this passage is the same divine Child as Immanuel. Again, using the prophetic perfect, the prophet sees Him as though He were already born. Wonderful, Counselor (pele’ yo’ets) is actually one term in Hebrew.
 
A wonder is indicative of a miracle. Counselor is often used in parallel with king (cf. Mic.4:9). Thus miraculous counsel is given by this God-like King. The mighty God (El Gibor) is the strongest of these titles.
 
In Isaiah, El is always used of God and never refers to man. Gibor means “Hero.” Together they describe One who is indeed God Himself. Everlasting Father (abi’ad) literally means Father of Eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life.
 
Prince of Peace (Sar-Shalom) indicates that the mighty God will be a benevolent ruler bringing eternal peace on earth through the establishment of His kingdom. Thus the obscure figure of Immanuel is now brought to clear light: He is Himself God incarnate!’
 
Ah Friends, with all that fulfilled prophecy, how could we ever doubt that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords eh? No way!
 
Now let’s keep the faith, stand strong and steadfast this Boxing Day, which happens to fall on a Friday, as we go home chanting our Friday Chant. I didn’t forget it.
 
Altogether now: ‘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.’
 
Oh Friends, we’ve had more than two days off with riotous celebrations, which means we need even more time for rest than usual. So please get it so that we can go out well rested and rejuvenated on Monday to continue God’s great work here on earth.  Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Jesus…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…what more can I say… 
 
P.S. The Bit’s long and late Friends, but it’s great! So that makes up for the length and lateness. (smile) Cut the ole fella some slack nuh. He needs to celebrate the birth of Jesus too yuh know, that means late to bed and late to rise. (smile)  Much Much LOVE mih people!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2014 Luke 2:20

 Luke 2:20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

MERRY  CHRISTMAS !

Oh Friends, that momentous day we’ve all been waiting for with bated breath is here at last!

It’s Christmas Day! Glory Hallelujah! Much thanks and praise to Almighty God, our Creator and heavenly Father, for giving us such a perfect gift!

In fact, it’s the only perfect gift the world has ever known or seen; Jesus Christ, born so that no one would die…! Then Jesus Christ died, so that all should live…!

What a dramatic tale, one that only our wise and powerful God could weave! Oh my people, fellow believers, as well as unbelievers, let’s acknowledge our debt to Jehovah God for this wonderful day with a prayer.

Please pray with me. ‘Heavenly Father, on this special day of Christmas 2014, we raise our voices in thanks and praise, the way You desire. We LOVE You, and appreciate all that You have done, are doing, and will do for us.

Help us to keep on LOVING You and Your wonderful Son Jesus, born this day many years ago. Help us also to be obedient to Your call and our calling. We bless You this special day and laud and magnify Your Holy Name. Amen… And P.S. Thanks again so much for giving us Jesus. We’ll LOVE Him till forever!’

Yes Friends, today is a mighty special day of gift giving, with Jesus being the best gift ever!

Now here’s this poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises, titled ‘It’s Christmas’ that I just could not pass up.

‘It’s Christmas! Sing! Rejoice! Celebrate! Let God create in you Colourful explosions Of joy and excitement. Smile away fears, push away tears. Out with pretense, in with praise. It’s Christmas! Open your heart to light To trust, to LOVE, to hope. Awaken slumbering memories Stir up stupendous dreams Anticipate surprises Open your arms wide.

It’s Christmas! Time for candles and cards For carols and cookies For brightly lit trees With the fragrance of pine. Time to hug and hold To think and thank Time to greet the world With the Good News.

It’s Christmas! Thank God for life Thank Him for the manger For the splintered cross For the empty tomb Thank Him for His only Son The Saviour of the world. Shout! Laugh! Share! Care! And say to God On Christmas morning: “I entrust myself anew To You.”

Wow my people! Those are indeed the many things we can do, and the vast array of positive emotions we can share this Christmas day!

Please, I implore us to put as many of them as possible into action today, so that the Joy, the Peace and the LOVE that was meant for this day, can truly be spread across the entire globe and thus make a positive difference in all our lives.

Now let’s hear the story of Jesus’ birth as told by the Good Book. ‘And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed (registered). (And this taxing (registration, census) was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed (registered), everyone into his own city (original birthplace). And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house (family) and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused (betrothed) wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished (completed) that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough).

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:1-20)

What a marvellous story my brethren! Only our wonderful God could have arranged it thus. Please note that it was played out on a low key. The message wasn’t taken to the rich and powerful, but to the poor and lowly shepherds, who were then encouraged to share it to the rest of the world.

The Lord’s plans called for a simple, basic birth in poor surroundings, but the message covering it was enormous, everlasting: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’

What a monumental occasion my people, one that changed the course of the entire world! And that’s what we’re celebrating today.

So please let’s do all the things we’ve been encouraged to do; laugh, sing, shout, share, rejoice and give thanks, glorifying and praising God for all the good things He’s done for us, like the shepherds did two thousand years ago when they heard the good news of Jesus’ birth!

And all God’s children gave a loud and lusty shout of “Praise God in the Highest! For He is deserving of such praise! Amen!’

Now let’s observe a truly blessed Christmas day my people. Much LOVE!

…no other birth has ever caused such repercussions in all of man’s history…that’s why the birth of Jesus is indeed the GREATEST…

 

 

 

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