Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2016 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. 

Well friends, the big day of New Year’s Eve is finally here! The partying will be sensational, the food will be to die for and the alco will be flowing like water! And everybody will hug and kiss at midnight and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Our society will be overflowing with good feelings for at least one time in the year. Glory to God! 

And everybody will be making resolutions to improve every aspect of their lives. But wait, by a couple of weeks later all those promising resolutions would have unfortunately bitten the dust. Most of us will revert to our former selves and our former caustic, uncaring behaviour, for the New Year’s scene is simply one without any real substance. We create a great clamour as we ring in the New Year, but in truth it only lasts for a short while, since nothing much changes from one day to the next. 

Oh I know some of you might think I’m being pessimistic, but I’m simply being realistic. I’ve seen it happen for so many years of my life, and each year our society becomes more evil and ungodly. Now nothing is wrong with a good party, but when we place so much emphasis on it and we don’t follow through, then it becomes a waste of time. 

Now since it’s Saturday, here are a few quotes, resolutions, from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one. ‘One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this – To rise above the little things.’ And that does make sense, because we should never sweat the little things. 

Then he says: ‘Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.’ Now that makes sense too. And the third one declares: ‘Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.’ And the last one is: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ 

Oh my people, all those resolutions are useful in their own way, but we don’t need so many. As I said at the end of last year, there is ONLY ONE RESOLUTION we need to make, and that is a sincere and diligent resolve to walk closer with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Friend, Brother, etc. etc. each and every day that His wonderful breath of life courses through our bodies! End of story! 

Walking sincerely with Jesus, and trying to be a more mature Christian encompasses everything else we need or want to do.  Why do you think He went through the trouble in the Sermon on the Mount to tell us our Bit eh? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Yes my fellow believers, all who have pledged their allegiance to Jesus, must keep on seeking His kingdom and its righteousness without ceasing. 

Then Jesus adds: ‘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) 

And the scholars tell us, re those two verses. ‘6:33-34. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the 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.’  

And the sad part is that many of us Christians are material seekers as well as tomorrow worriers! The things of the world take first place in our lives, and consequently we have to worry about what will happen tomorrow. But if we just concentrate on following Jesus, we won’t have those things to worry about and all our material needs would be met. 

Hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy on the subject. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 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. 

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’ (1 Tim.4:7-11)  

Now listen to the scholars. ‘4:8. The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ 

Yeh friends, if we seek God first, things like physical exercise, healthy diets, and all the stuff we feel we need, they will be inculcated into our walk with Him. As we go, Jesus will see what we need and guide us and give us the wherewithal to accomplish them. 

And if you want an example of all that we’ve said, just read about Cousin Sol in 1 Kings 3:3-15, and you’ll see when he asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to rule his people Israel, instead of riches and honour, the Lord made him both the wisest and richest man who ever lived. 

Friends, He will do the same thing for each of us who sincerely surrenders to and trusts in Him. Now the burning question I have to ask before we close, is did we walk closer with Jesus this year, did we become more mature, more spiritually minded Christians? 

Now only you and Jesus know the answer, and I sincerely hope we did. But just in case we didn’t, I’m pleading with us to make walking closer with Jesus our ONE and ONLY resolution for 2017. Let’s seriously focus in on it nuh. So at the end of 2017, if we’re still around, and I ask that question again, this time I’ll get a joyful shout of ‘Yes, I did!’ Now that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…dress up in yuh fancy dan-dan…and party hearty…but please remember…that drunk or sober…to mind yuh business…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2016 Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:18.   And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation): but be filled with the Spirit.

Aw shucks friends, is it Friday already? It surely is. But that’s what happens when you only work three days of the week, you don’t realize that time is flying by. And please be careful out on the roads this morning because some snow fell again last night. Steups! Like it’s becoming a regular habit now! A li’l bit every night now. 

But that doesn’t stop the Friday workers posse from enthusiastically declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And New Year’s Eve Friday too! So you can imagine the partying! Brother! Waters flowing for so…an’ everybody black up! With the high class ones and them drinking champagne to ring in the New Year! 

But regardless of what yuh drinking, you have plenty time to drink it, because is another long weekend. No work till Tuesday! Mama Yo! Thank the Lord for Fridays and long weekends yes!’ 

And all of that is gospel truth my people. There will be more drinking this New Year’s weekend than at any other time of the year. And we certainly need to remember Granny’s wise advice: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Yes friends, because at this time of year, Lucifer is smiling from ear to ear, knowing that the probability of getting into our lives is much higher than normal with all the licentious celebrations planned for it. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a different and better perspective on how to use our weekends. All together 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.’

It’s three days this weekend, but that scenario does make more sense, and is a better-balanced way of life, which we need if we’re going to succeed in this crazy, ungodly world. 

That brings us to our rather appropriate and explicit Bit. (smile) ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation): but be filled with the Spirit.’ Ah friends, it couldn’t be any more explicit than that! 

But before we get into our Bit, let’s look at a few verses before it. Bruh Paul told the Ephesians quite openly. ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.’ (Eph.5:15-17)

Yes my fellow believers, we have to be very careful how we live in these wicked and sinful times. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:16. Redeeming the time (or “making the most of every opportunity”). 

Contextually, the specific opportunity in view is that of exposing the sins of the lost and being a witness to them. Because the days are evil assigns a reason to seize each opportunity. It is because the sins being committed during these days are so evil.’ And are they ever! 

‘5:17. Wherefore looks back to the evil days of verse 16. Since the current age is so perilous morally, Christians must clearly understand what the will of the Lord is.’ 

Then Bruh Paul got into our Bit. And the scholars provide an interesting explanation of it. 

‘5:18. This verse gives an example of what is and what is not the Lord’s will (v.17). Believers are not allowed to be intoxicated with alcoholic beverages; the reason for this prohibition is wherein is excess; that is drunkenness leads to moral intemperance. 

This is clearly contrary to God’s will. His will is that Christians be filled with (by) the Spirit; that is, they are to allow Him to fill them with God’s own life, character and virtues. 

The analogy between these two moral states is this: a person filled with wine is under its influence; similarly, a Christian is filled with the Spirit when He (the Holy Spirit) controls his thoughts, attitudes, and actions.’ 

And it all makes a whole lotta sense, for who wants to be controlled by alcohol eh, when the Holy Spirit of the Most High God Jehovah can successfully control us! 

Okay, so a small portion likes the control of the alcohol, but that’s not wisdom my brethren, because then you have no idea of what you’re doing, and it will eventually lead to some serious disaster. That’s definitely not the will of the Lord for His people. 

Now let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s spiel to the Ephesians, re what they should be doing. ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:19-21) 

Yes precious people of God, those are the kinds of things expected of us! It doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, but we need to have our p’s and q’s about us if we don’t want to succumb to Beelzebub’s evil and sinful frivolities. 

So please let’s think sensibly about what kind of New Year’s Eve we are going to have nuh…whether we will bow to Lucifer or to Jesus Christ. I’m depending on us to make the right decision. Much LOVE!

…a man can only march to one drumbeat at a time…likewise…he can only have one Leader at a time…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

And then it was Thursday, two days away from the great celebration of New Year’s Eve, with a smattering of fresh snow on the ground. It’s not a great deal, but sufficient to cause problems if we’re not careful. So please be careful on the roads this morning. 

And despite problems and otherwise, everybody is getting their dan-dan, (smile) their finery ready to go out and party and ring in the New Year with much pomp and ceremony. 

But here again, please, let’s just be careful while we’re having fun, because the slightest mistake whatever it may be, can cause disaster. And we certainly don’t want to ring in the New Year amidst a disastrous scene. 

Now here is a simple but interesting prayer I got from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. Please pray with me: ‘Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished within me.’ 

Yeh friends, there’s nothing like trusting our heavenly Father and waiting with eager anticipation for His promises and purposes to be done in us, for spiritually we’re still a work in progress, and He’s continually molding and shaping us into reflections of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

No wonder Bruh Paul could declare in our Bit: ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yes, he was still in that molding process. In spite of all his successes and achievements, Bruh Paul still felt he hadn’t attained that level of maturity and ‘knowing Christ,’ the way he wanted to. 

Consequently he stopped concentrating on what had gone before, accounting it all loss and dung to the wonderful privilege of advancing his knowledge in Christ in the foreseeable future. 

And to continue his noble search, he further declares after our Bit. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:14) 

That verse the scholars explain thus: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, there can be no higher calling than that of God, which exists through Jesus Christ, bringing the wonderful gifts of grace called salvation and eternal life! 

Now the smart or wise thing for us all to do is to simply keep pressing on, reaching out for the prize, racking up rewards in heaven for the things we’ve done here on earth. 

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.’ (Phil3:15) 

And the scholars explain: 3:15. Be thus minded literally means “let us think this” or “let us hold this opinion.” Mature Christians must realize that they are not ethically perfect, but they tirelessly press onward for higher spiritual attainments (vv.13-14). 

There is present, then, a bit of irony: perfect (mature) believers are those who admit they are not perfect in any absolute sense. The apostle urges all mature Philippian Christians to hold his attitude; conceding that none has yet “spiritually arrived” but ever pressing on toward further development. 

If…ye be otherwise minded: The writer realizes that not all of the Philippian readers agree with this conviction of verses 12-15. But he is confident that God shall reveal their erroneous thinking to them.’ 

Likewise my faithful brethren, in these modern times we believers must also press on, seeking spiritual maturity in our earthly sojourn. And just like the Philippians, some of us might not agree with that path, but God will undoubtedly show us the error of our ways, if we don’t hold fast to that commitment. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us: ‘Nevertheless, whereto (to the degree that) we have already attained (arrived, reached), let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (be of the same mind).’ (Phil.3:16) And that is simple common sense my people. 

But hear the scholars’ comments. ‘3:16. Whereto we have already obtained refers to whatever level of Christian knowledge and maturity the Philippians have attained since conversion. 

They are to walk by the same rule, that is, live in accord with the same level of knowledge and maturity, if God is going to give them further light. Fidelity to the truth possessed is a condition for receiving more.’ 

Yes friends, at whatever our level of spiritual maturity, that is the standard to which we must walk, if we want to eventually move up higher. 

So let’s go home with that in our minds and our Thursday Blessings being proclaimed by our tongues. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

Now in full voice and strong belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, we are so blessed by our wonderful God, let’s go out and bless others nuh and thus glorify His Holy Name! Much LOVE!

…God won’t give us more…until He sees we can handle what we already have…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Well mih people, the long Christmas weekend is finally over, and it’s time to get back to some semblance of normalcy, especially where work is concerned. Some of us might even have forgotten how to do our jobs having being off for so long. (smile) 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control of His universe and everything will fall into place as He decrees it. But we still have to get one more holiday out of the way, New Years Eve. 

Hn! And sometimes that can be even more deadly than the Christmas cheer, since it’s an out and out party scene. The coming of a new year changes nothing, for most of our resolutions get thrown by the wayside soon thereafter. But I guess it’s just a way to party hearty and fool ourselves. 

Anyway, enough of throwing my cold water on the New Year’s Eve celebrations, (smile) for the Christmas season is still with us. And please friends, when we go back out to work today, let’s keep that sense of Christmas, that sense of peace and goodwill to all, still burning bright nuh. 

Let’s not be like the radio stations; as soon as Christmas day is past, they stop playing Christmas music, but let’s continue sharing all the good things that Christ’s birth brought. Now before we get into our Bit, let’s check out a couple verses before it, so that we can have some idea of the context in which Bruh Paul is speaking. 

In verse 10, he declares: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. (Phil.3:10) Bruh Paul wants to personally know Christ so that he can experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, which will make him more conformable to Christ’s death. 

‘If by any means I might attain unto (arrive at) the resurrection of the dead.’ (Phil.3:11) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:11. If by any means I might attain means “in order that I may attain” the resurrection from the dead. Like the preceding verse, this one also contains a literal and a non-literal interpretation. 

Paul is eager to become more like Jesus in His death (v.10) so that he can (1) progressively experience more of the believer’s resurrection life to be enjoyed now (“newness of life,” Rom.6:4), and (2) so that he can someday undergo physical resurrection from the grave, thus experiencing God’s power in one of its greatest aspects.’ 

And he continues: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:12) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:12. Paul denies that he has already attained his objective of verse 10 and 11. That objective is to know Christ and all that is in included in this knowledge, that is experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but he can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement. 

Either were already perfect: Unlike the perfectionists who claim to be sinless in this life, Paul admits that he is not. If the chief of the apostles does not feel he has “arrived” spiritually, then neither should we. 

I follow after…Christ Jesus. Christ “laid hold of” Paul on the Damascus road for the very objective mentioned in verses 10 and 11: “to know him.” Paul concedes that he has not yet realized this goal to the full extent possible, but he is in hot pursuit of it.’ 

Ah friends, I hope that we too are in hot pursuit of knowing Jesus, for it’s the only that makes sense in a Christian’s life. 

And finally, we come to our Bit. ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Oh mih people, Bruh Paul was certainly something else yes. Whatever he pursued, he pursued with lots of zeal. I only hope that we could have half of his zeal as we live our lives for Christ in these modern but evil and ungodly times. 

Now hear what the scholars have to say about that verse. 3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. 

In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. 

Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life.’ 

Oh friends, I know that the Bit is long, somewhat heavy and confusing this morning, (smile) but it is essential that as we grow in faith we also grow in scriptural knowledge. And that can only be done by taking time to read and study and meditate on God’s word. 

The important thing is that we truly want to know God, Bruh Paul style, so please let’s get serious about it and truly delve in to it, stop merely playing around the fringes. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday wail with much zest and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now please let’s go out and put all that we’ve said today into action, as true believers. Much LOVE my people!

…we can only know Jesus…if we work steadily and steadfastly with Him…forgetting what has gone before and looking to the future with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2016 Zephaniah 3:17.

Zephaniah 3:17.   The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.

Ah mih breddren, it’s Tuesday, the last day of this extra long weekend! Let’s hope that we all used the earlier portions properly, raising up Christ as the most important part of it all, for the whole shebang is all about His marvelous and miraculous birth! 

And since the Christmas season is not yet over, I want to share with us this morning ‘A Christmas Prayer,’ from my Hour of Power Devotional by Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller). 

Please read with me. ‘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 forever. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that beautiful? It surely is! Gramps Schuller covers the whole gamut, from birth to death in words and feelings so rich in imagery that we can’t escape its hold. 

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if our lives can be tall and upright like a pine tree, exhibiting all those graceful and grateful aspects of Christianity, which can only be accomplished if our roots are deep and strong in God’s LOVE! 

Yeh, it certainly would turn this evil and ungodly world upside down on its ear. (smile) So let’s keep working diligently on it nuh my fellow believers, and not waste Christ’s birth, life and death, as we seem to be currently doing. 

Be that as it may though, let’s check out this interesting Bit that I was led to today. ‘The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.’ 

That is the wonderful promise the Lord made to His people Israel through the prophet Zephaniah, of their ultimate supremacy. And friends, that is exactly what the Lord began with the birth of Jesus! He came mightily in our midst, to save us, to bring us comfort and joy, with songs of celebration! Oh what a wonderful God we serve, my faithful breddren! 

And would you believe that earlier on in that same chapter there are two more promises along those lines. In the first part of the chapter that deals with Jerusalem’s sin and redemption, the scripture says thus. 

‘The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgement (justice) to light, he faileth not (never fails); but the unjust knoweth no shame.’ (Zeph.3:5) 

Then later on, the Good Book declares: ‘Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgements, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see (fear) evil (disaster) any more.’ (Zeph.3:14-15) 

And did our ever-faithful and ever-LOVING God ever fulfill those promises beginning with the birth of Christ! 

And through His Holy Spirit, our marvellous God has given us all the tools so that we won’t fear, but can rejoice in comfort, for our salvation has been paid for by the spilled blood of Christ, and life eternal, in His wonderful company is ours to bask in. What more can we ask eh friends? Not much really. 

Now I want to share two last scriptures, both from Isaiah, re our God’s rejoicing over us. While talking of the restoration of Zion, Isaiah declares: ‘For as the young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.’ (Is.62:5) I just LOVE promises like that! 

Now hear this final scripture of promise under new heavens and a new earth. ‘And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 

There shall be no more thence an infant of days (who lives but a few days), nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.’ (Is.65:19-20) 

Oh friends, I can surely live with promises like those! Now let’s go home strengthening ourselves in the promises of God, by declaring our Tuesday Mantra, with the zest, the passion and strong belief it deserves. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Oh people, oh people, what can be better than being LOVED by an omnipotent, caring and compassionate God, and being a friend of Jesus eh? Nothing my brethren, absolutely NOTHING! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2016 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well friends and fellow believers, Christmas Day is over, but not the Christmas season. Let’s see if we can’t drag it out for as long as possible nuh – until next year this same time. (smile) 

Yeh, I know that’s only wishful thinking because come the second, if not the first week of January 2017, we’ll be back to our ungodly, uncaring ways, treating each other with discourtesy and contempt, having forgotten the kind words, the generous giving and heartfelt compassion we had shared just a couple weeks before. But I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal, unable to stay on the straight and narrow path for any length of time, especially when the frivolities of the world call. 

And although many of us are off today, many still have to go out and labour since our society has become a 24/7 machine that never stops.  So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with those unfortunate ones who have to go out and face the music today. Let’s lend them a helping voice so that they can be inspired and enthused to go out and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

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

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your 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!’ 

Hn, hn! I have to laugh yes mih people, because it happens all the time. On the Mondays when only some of us are going to work, the raucous sound of those who are off are always louder and more enthusiastic, but also more out of key and harmony.  Our Choirmaster, Jesus, could only chuckle and shake His head, because He was well aware of the earthly goings on. And He does appreciate us putting our hearts into it, though our voices weren’t that sweet.  

And before we get to our Bit, it’s necessary to remind us of Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Because if we don’t, Beelzebub will certainly mind it for us as He is out seriously prowling for any unfortunates he can find this Christmas season.  I guess that’s why I’ve been led to this Bit for today. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people that’s ever so true! Lucifer is always on the watch for when we step out of line. And he’d be especially pleased to get his tenterhooks into us in this Christmas time when we’re celebrating the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To catch us offside while we carrying on about Jesus…Wow! That would be a real feather in his cap.  So that’s why we have to pay particular attention to Granny’s advice when we are celebrating, or for that matter doing anything at all. 

And Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, that ought to give us some encouragement, knowing that others in the faith are also suffering some rough times, with the evil one right on their heels, just waiting for them to falter, to stumble and fall. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t. For as we say, ’Nobody knows the trouble I see. Nobody but Jesus.’ 

We all feel that our afflictions and problems are different and more serious than those of other believers. But the truth is my brethren, we all suffer at different levels and different degrees, but ‘sufferation’ is ‘sufferation’ in any form or level that it comes. 

That’s why Peter advised us before our Bit to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7)  

Yeh precious believers, our wonderful God cares a whole lot for us, but He can’t help us unless we surrender our all to Him. We just can’t keep some things for ourselves and give the rest to Him. He wants it all. That’s the only way He can properly control our circumstances. And believe me, He won’t ever leave us in the lurch, for He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. And we all know that He’s ever-faithful about His promises. 

And here are some encouraging words from Peter for us to go home with today. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Yes friends, in due course, the Lord will bring us out of our troubles, much stronger than when we first encountered them. So let’s apply ourselves to wisdom nuh, if we want to be honoured, exalted and looked after by our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…all things work together for good…to them that LOVE God…to them who are the called…according to his purpose… (Rom.8:28)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2016 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.

A  MERRY  CHRISTMAS TO  ONE  AND  ALL!

Ah friends, at last it’s the big one – Christmas Day – when our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory to God for that act of LOVING-kindness! 

Now it’s also Sunday, and we are in God’s spectacular sanctuary, or below a coconut tree, (smile) come to praise and worship Him, so let’s open with an appropriate song for the joyous occasion nuh, the old Christmas Carol, ‘Joy to the World,’ written by Isaac Watts a couple centuries ago. Let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven with a most passionate and heartfelt rendition, truly believing what we sing. 

In unison now: ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy. 

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love’ 

Ah mih people, that was beautiful – as it should be! There could be no doubt in the Lord’s mind now that we truly appreciate and are very grateful for the birth of His Son Jesus. And all around the world the same sentiments are being sent up, or have already been sent up to heaven! 

Wow! This is one of the Red Letter days of our earthly sojourn – the start of the greatest movement that ever hit the planet – Jesus’ LOVE Revolution!  

Now it’s scripture time, beginning with our Bit, God’s wonderful promise many centuries before to send us a Son, a redeemer. ‘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.’ 

And our great God, also being ever-faithful, fulfilled this awesome promise some two thousand years ago. Praise His Holy Name my people! And listen to the rest of the promise: ‘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 with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7) 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent Being, our Immanuel was promised to be! And was… and still is… and always will be! Now let’s turn to the actual birth of our Divine, Gift-child. We know that Joseph, Mary’s husband was of the lineage of Bruh David, so when the first emperor, Caesar Augustus declared that all his subjects were to be registered in their original birth places, Joseph and Mary had to journey to Bethlehem to do so, because that was his city. 

Now while they were there, Mary’s time drew nigh: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes (strips of cloth), and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ (Luke 2:7) What a shame to think that this great king was born in a smelly, noisy animal barn eh, and slept in a feed trough! But the Lord, as always, had His reasons. His Son was to be born lowly, for the lowly ones were whom He was coming to save. 

Now hear the most wonderful part of the night of Christ’s birth. ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in their 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.’ (Luke 2:8-11) 

Can you imagine the topsy-turvy emotions the angel’s appearance and words must have caused the poor shepherds? Then the angel continued: ‘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 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.’ (Luke 2:12-14) 

Ah mih people, the sudden appearance of the heavenly host singing and praising God, laid even more drama on the shepherds. But shepherds are a hardy stock and the Good Book tells us: ‘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. (Not the first or the last time). 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 2:15-20) 

Ah friends, can you imagine the magical mystery, the glorious effervescence in the air around lowly Bethlehem that momentous and most memorable night that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born?  

Well we should be experiencing the same sort of overwhelming emotions today, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, for His selfless LOVE and sacrifice is the only thing that keeps, or is keeping us from the ravages of hell and Lucifer. So let’s give much thanks and praise today nuh my believing brethren, because He did it all for us. Much LOVE!

…births are joyful occasions…but none’s been as joyful as the night Christ was born…

 

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