Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the 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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2017 Psalm 118:14.

Psalm 118:14.    The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today eh? Ah friends, many of us who are getting up early this morning are indeed wondering what the day holds for us, and even what we hold for the day. (smile) 

But the blessed ones are those who choose to sleep in late, not worrying about what the world has planned for them, but knowing that their plan for the world is to sleep in…and enjoy it too. They are not only blessed, but wise too, not overly concerned about the mess, the tragic circumstances existing all over our world. They will probably live longer and have a more enjoyable life than those of us who allow ourselves to be frustrated by the evil and ungodly activities that are currently tearing our world apart.  

We have to remember friends that our wise and wonderful God is still on His throne and is still in control of all circumstances, and nothing will happen unless He allows it to happen. He has His long range plans that we won’t ever understand. So let’s just relax nuh, take one day at a time, do our best to work God’s plan for our individual lives, and give Him all the thanks and praise we can. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now let’s check out a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! For it’s only when we face adversity that we truly see what kind of person we are. Are we strong, do we have belly and backbone, can we handle the stuff that’s coming at us without breaking down? 

And nowhere is it more noticeable and applicable than in our Christian faith! Why you ask? Because every day in our walk of faith stuff comes against us that tests us, and we can only grow and pass the tests by handling them in a strong and faithful manner. 

Hence, we come to this next quote: ‘Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.’ More indisputable truth friends! A true leader is one who can inspire another to improve himself. 

That leads to this quote: ‘Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.’ No lie! The leader sets the agenda, while the manager carries it out. So ‘In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.’ 

We certainly can’t my people, we need to be moving onwards and upwards, becoming more Christ-like every day! That’s the basic plan for all of God’s children, but since we’re all different, He uses different ways to get us there. But my faithful followers, whatever methods and pathways our God uses to make us become like His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we must all come to the conclusion declared in our Bit. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.’  

Yes friends, until we can sincerely believe and proclaim that foundational verse with heartfelt passion, like the psalmist did so long ago, our progress will be painfully slow. That’s because we can’t become like Christ if we don’t truly believe in God and surrender our very being to Him. We can only get strong in God when we let it all go and allow Him to guide our lives. All the great men of God had to do that, otherwise they would not have become great men of God. 

Listen to how Moses puts it in his song. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise Him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex.15:2) 

Yeh mih people, we have to give up our will and let the Lord lead us in His. Yuh think Moses would have done all the wonders he did in God’s name if he had tried to hold on to his own will. No, never! But a lot of us nowadays try to sit on the fence, allowing God to do some things in our lives, but stubbornly withholding other stuff that we want to handle. It won’t work friends, for our God wants ALL of us, or nothing at all. He’s not a God of half measures. 

Now hear this other great man of God, Isaiah, as he talks about thanksgiving for God’s mercies. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (mighty deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6) 

Ah mih people, when we truly accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and get seriously walking with Him, we will feel those things deep down in our hearts and souls, and impulsively break out in song with the same praise and exaltation. It’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

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

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2017 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah well friends, another Monday is upon us, and we don’t have much choice but to get up and go to work – that is provided we want to continue having a roof over our heads and eating three squares a day. (smile) So let’s just stop the pussyfooting, the hemming and hawing, the moaning and groaning about our aches and pains and tiredness and just get up and get a move on nuh. 

And as always, we have the antidote for your Monday morning discomfort; it’s called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s sing it out now as one purposeful earthly choir, in loud voice, believing all that we sing. 

‘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!’ 

Good show friends, good show! Jesus, our choirmaster wasn’t ecstatic, but neither was He displeased, and that says a lot. So let’s take all the adrenaline that’s now flowing through our bodies and go out and put it to good use, put it into action on Jesus’ behalf as He desires of us. 

And we have the perfect Bit to go along with our Monday trials: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ Words of indisputable truth from Bruh David my brethren! 

And if we are true believers, then those words ought to aptly describe us and our actions! And there is no better time than this Monday morning to show the world our true colours! 

What I like about our Bit too, is that it’s so logical: If the Lord is my strength and shield, then I will obviously put a whole lot of trust in Him. Mama Mia! Consequently He will help me, and the logical conclusion to all that is I’ll be happy and rejoice and sing praises to His holy name for His faithfulness and LOVING-kindness towards me. Glory Hallelujah! 

Yes friends, they tell us not to put all our eggs in one basket, but where the Lord God Jehovah is concerned, we can NEVER go wrong by placing all our eggs in the single basket that His LOVE and caring represents!  

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. He boldly proclaims on opening: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God; my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

What strong language, what strong faith my people! Do we have that kind of faith and trust? I surely do hope so, otherwise we are certainly losing out on the Lord’s goodness. And Bruh David wasn’t afraid to declare His feelings to all and sundry. The million dollar question now is whether we have the parts, the backbone and belly to do the same? 

Oh I know that some of us have it, but too many of us don’t. We are still scared to stand up and acknowledge Jesus as the overwhelming force in our lives. But my fellow believers, until and unless we can courageously stand up amongst the heathen and declare our LOVE for Jesus, regardless of the consequences, our lives will never amount to much, or be all that they can be. 

The heathen isn’t afraid to stand up and preach Lucifer, so why should we be afraid to preach Jesus, who has already defeated Lucifer? Our reluctance and fear to lift up Jesus is just making the enemy stronger my people. And is that what we want to do? I’m sure all of us would give out with a deafening ‘NO!’ But it’s not what our actions are showing. 

Now let’s end with some more words of Bruh David that address the above question, from Psalm 56 – A confident prayer for help. He wrote this when the Philistines took him in Gath. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4) 

What more can I say eh my people? Not a whole lot. We all know Bruh David’s story, and though it was not all wine, song and roses, it was a very rich and abundant life, both physically and spiritually. And it would be difficult to find a better spiritual mentor than Him – besides Jesus of course. So since we all know what we ought to do to lift up Jesus, let’s do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah mih people, at long last a semi-serious snowfall has hit my area. Chuh! And the time was going by so nicely! But that’s the nature of this good country Canada; wintertime means snow is very likely to disrupt the situation. (smile) 

However, it wasn’t too bad a snowstorm, and hopefully by now the roads would have been cleared and salted. But still, please be careful if you have to drive because there is liable to be some icy sections out there. 

And you’d think that the snow would dampen the weekend enthusiasm…not on yuh life! The shouting of  ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us!’ still rings out. ‘A li’l snow can’t stop the party. We’ll just have to stay inside and keep warm, while the drinks and whatnot flow! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the song of the heathen, let’s sing that of the righteous; our Friday Chant, with as much, if not more verve and enthusiasm than the heathen. 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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way of handling the weekend, than simply giving into the lusts of the flesh and celebrating with gay abandon. 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s immortal words, for the last time. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Oh precious people of God, it is essential that we believers in Jesus Christ, fight a good fight against the evil of this world! The world will not simply allow us to live our lives according to God’s will, because it doesn’t fit into their programme of sin and iniquity. 

That means, at each and every chance they get, they will try to dissuade us from following the righteous path with lustful and fleshly temptations. But we have to learn to resist it. 

As we saw Bruh Paul tell the Corinthians yesterday: ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:27) 

And I worked that verse in there because I want to share a very interesting explanation of the scholars on it. ‘9:27. I keep under my body (i.e. discipline my body): The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” 

Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide hands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means …I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that …I myself should not be disqualified”): Paul was afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the bloodied bodies of the boxers in those olden times. One would have to be very brave and single minded to take part in such a carnal sport. But that’s the kind of mentality we need to have to fight off the temptations of this world and eventually win the victor’s crown. 

We can’t afford to be disqualified from Christ’s ministry and also lose the rewards earned through doing it. Now hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy in his first message re the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’  

‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah friends, the life of a true believer is not an easy one. As Jesus told the disciples, we’d be persecuted just for believing in Him: ‘but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) 

So it’s up to us to keep persevering, keep fighting the good fight, keep maturing, obviously with God’s help, until we reach the end and are presented with the victor’s crown. 

Wow mih people! What a day that will be! It will certainly be worth all the trials and tribulations endured in this earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…to fight the good fight successfully…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Once again it’s Sunday friends – the day of the Lord – so let’s begin our celebrations of praise, worship and thanksgiving with a wise and sensible hymn titled ‘I choose Jesus.’  What can be wiser than that eh? Absolutely nothing! 

So let’s raise our voices in glorious song. ‘When I need someone in time of grief, Someone my cheer to be, Jesus I choose, for He gives relief, He is the best for me. (Refrain) – I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.  

When I need someone to guide my soul Over the stormy sea, Always to Jesus I give control, He is the best for me. (Refrain) When I need help to defeat the foe, Someone my shield to be, Always to Jesus in faith I go, He is the best for me. (Refrain) 

When all my trials on earth are o’er, And the dark stream I see, Jesus shall bear me to yonder shore, He is the best for me. (Refrain) I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.’ 

Oh my people what awesome words of truth and wisdom! Jesus is our everything; our be all and end all! Whatever we need we can find in Him, all we have to do is surrender our lives to Him. Then He comes in and takes control of our lives; leads and guides us along the straight and narrow path through the poignant and comforting power of the Holy Spirit. 

Yeh friends, all we need is Jesus. As our Bit so rightly declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, through Jesus sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, His glorious resurrection and ascension, we have been redeemed, justified, sanctified and become conquerors over the evil powers that be.  

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in his first missive to them. ‘The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15: 56-58) 

Ah friends, what wonderful words of encouragement and reassurance this Sunday morning! Words of indisputable truth! Through God’s eternal LOVE for us and His sacrifice of His sinless Son, we have been granted victory over the evil twins of sin and death. Glory Hallelujah! 

But please note that everything doesn’t just fall in our laps without any sweat from us. We still need to be strong and faithful, full of plenty belly and backbone, and do God’s work, for once we diligently keep keeping on in faith, we will be well rewarded eventually. 

Sadly though, that is where a lot of us fall down. We allow the trials and tribulations and temptations of this world to wear us down so that we aren’t of much use to Christ and His LOVE Revolution. That’s very unfortunate my brethren, because Christ is depending on us to be His foot soldiers, His ambassadors in the battle with the evil forces that are fighting against Him for world supremacy. 

But we can’t be strong and faithful unless we continually read His word and meditate on it, as well as have meaningful communication with Him through constant prayer, and fellowship regularly with other believers. 

So if you find that your faith is slipping, please go to God for help through the means we’ve just outlined. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him comfort and strengthen you. That’s the only way to be reinvigorated with His awesome blessing, mercies and grace. 

But getting back to our topic, listen to Bruh Paul in his second missive to the Corinthians, as he talks about being triumphant in Christ. ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. 

For we are unto God a sweet savour (the fragrance) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish. To the one we are the savour (aroma) of death unto death; and to the other the savour (aroma) of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many who corrupt (peddle by trickery) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of (from) God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.’ (2 Cor. 2: 14-17)  

Yeh friends, in usual Bruh Paul fashion those statements are somewhat convoluted, but the scholars offer us some explanations. ‘2:14-17. Triumph (cf. Col.2:9-15): The imagery conveyed in the use of this term is of the Roman general who marched in victory with his entourage, consisting of two groups: them that are saved…and them that perish. 

The former group referred to those allowed to live as slaves of the empire. The latter group comprised the condemned, who were being led to their death. Each group carried burning incense. The one was, verse 16, a savour of death unto death, the other was a fragrance of life unto life. 

Calvary was the mighty display of the infinite power of a sovereign God. The human race was divided into two categories, those of life unto life and those of death unto death.’ (2 Cor.2:14-17) 

Hope that explanation helps us to better understand what Bruh Paul is talking about. In ending friends, all I can say is ‘Glory to God, through Christ Jesus, that we ended up in the life unto life group!’ Much LOVE!

…who completely destroyed the prince of evil…JESUS…who had victory over hell, death and the grave…JESUS… who saved our sinful souls…Jesus…praise His holy name…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2016 John 14:1

John 14:1.   Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

And then it was Friday! And obviously there is joy in the work place at the upcoming weekend; the couple of days off from work. 

And all around the workers are joyfully declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and slave work done! It done like dinner! The weekend party starting from this evening and going straight through! The weekend is the greatest time! Thank You Lord for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s understandable how the workers long for the weekend after a stressful week of work, but that doesn’t mean we have to go to the other extreme, where we party the whole weekend away. There needs to be some moderation, some middle ground in our weekend activities. So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a much better perspective on the situation. 

Chanting: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, that’s a much better, much more reliable and sensible way to use those two precious days off. But I guess I will have to be preaching that until I die, (smile) because the pull of the partying is getting stronger and stronger as the days get more stressful. 

And believe me, they are getting more difficult as the economy continues to falter and people lose their jobs, all to the glory of the bottom line, and the remaining ones are expected to take up the slack for no monetary incentive. That type of situation will obviously cause resentment and stress! 

But friends, as faithful believers in Jesus Christ, we must not allow those two negative emotions to permeate our souls and drag us down to unchristian behaviour.  Now that’s not easy to do when unemployment and other hard times are staring you in the face. 

You’ve got a family to feed and clothe, a mortgage to pay, car payments to make, and all the other numerous things we need to do to just get by in this society. Note, we not even talking about prospering, but merely getting by. So you can imagine the effort and faith it takes for one to prosper as a Christian in these evil and ungodly days. 

That’s why our Bit today is so important in a believer’s life. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ 

Oh my people, these days we badly need to raise the level of our faith, our trust in Jesus, so that we can stand strong against the enemy and his wicked ways. But we also need to see that faith in action. 

As Oral Roberts is reputed to have said: ‘I don’t care how much faith you have, I care about how much faith you release.’ 

And friends, that’s the basic purpose of faith: having it doesn’t mean much unless you release it. Faith in action is the Christian motto. So if the world is stressing you out today, please take hope and raise the level of your faith by seriously trusting in the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Hear how He continues after our Bit. ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:2-3)  

Oh what a wonderful promise my brethren! Our Leader has gone to prepare a place for us in heaven, then come back and take us to live with Him! Hn! It’s promises like these my faithful believers that we need to sow deep down in our souls and think on them when times and things come against us. 

Now listen to what Jesus says later on in that same chapter, as He promises the blessing of the Holy Spirit. ‘But the Comforter (Helper), which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye LOVED me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.’ (John 14:26-28) 

Oh my brethren, I know all of that is easier said than done, how difficult it is to raise up the necessary faith when the evil world is banging on your door. But that’s what we need to do, and besides, we also have the wherewithal to do it. 

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would remind the apostles of all that He spoke to them about, and it’s also the same way He operates in our lives, leading and guiding us in wisdom and truth. It is therefore very essential that we pay special attention to what the Holy Spirit says to us. 

Nothing’s easy in this life friends, but we already have all that we need to conquer it planted deep down in our souls, we just need to ask the Lord to raise up whatever we need to overcome our negative circumstances. And you know our merciful and ever-LOVING God will answer our prayers if we come to Him in humility and sincerity.  

Now let’s close with another faithful and awe-inspiring promise of our Lord and Saviour. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Please believe Jesus’ promises my people, because that’s what gives us the belly and backbone to stand strong and steadfast against the enemy in this wicked and sinful world! Much LOVE!

…living for, and following Jesus is not easy…but it sure is satisfying and adventurous…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2016 John 6:48‏‏‏

John 6:48.    I am that bread of life.

HAPPY  CANADA  DAY !

Happy 149th Birthday Canada! May the Lord bless and keep you strong and godly that you might see another 149 birthdays! Amen! 

And though you may have recently declined in some respects, you are still the best big country in the world! And I believe that with my whole heart. I don’t want to live in any other big country. I have spent more than half of my life here, and obviously there have been some rough times, like there are everywhere, but you’ve never mistreated me. 

And the truth is, if you can make it in the northern climes, you can make it anywhere in the world. It hardens and toughens you up, gives you belly and backbone, which so many of us sadly lack in these trying times. 

And without a doubt, the populace, at least the working populace is overjoyed that today is Friday and also a holiday, so there’s been much shouting and carrying on re ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday and this long weekend! The partying will be terrific! Lots of food and drink! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! (smile) Now to help us correct the overblown idea of the weekend being the time for excessive partying, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which offers us a much better perspective. 

As one 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.’ 

Yes friends, our lives would be much richer if we’d use that template for our weekend behaviour. Oh, and by the way, I’d be rather remiss if I didn’t throw in Granny’s wise advice for this long weekend. ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, please, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And better advice than that could not be given my people, for ole Lucifer is always sneakily trawling around, seeking a soft or unprotected spot in our spiritual armour to jump in and cause havoc. So please let’s not give him any chances during our celebrations this weekend nuh. 

And if you think things will be humming up here this weekend, just think about what the U.S. will be like as they celebrate their 4th of July Independence Day on Monday. Mama yo! The whole of North America will be jumping this weekend, and Beelzebub and his evil cronies will certainly be busy too! 

But if we just keep our wits about us, we’ll be fine, since the enemy has no power over believers in Jesus Christ unless we allow him to. 

Now let’s address our Bit; the same one of the past couple days. ‘I am that bread of life.’ 

Christ while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, had been trying to explain to His listeners who He was and His purpose here on earth. But they were most likely more concerned with physical bread to fill their stomachs than the spiritual kind that Jesus was referring to. 

Just before our Bit, He declares unto them: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ (John 6:47-51) 

What a wonderful invitation and promise my people! Do you want to live forever? Then eat the bread of eternal life that Jesus offers! It’s that simple. 

Today it might be for us, because we know the scriptures, but back then it was a tough thing for the people to imagine much less understand. And the Good Book tells us: ‘The Jews therefore strove (disputed) among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ (John 6:52) They didn’t realize that Jesus was speaking figuratively, rather than literally. 

‘Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat (food) indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by (because of) me. This is that bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.’ (John 6:53-58) 

Now imagine talking about eating your flesh and drinking your blood to any group of people at all, much less one forbidden to drink blood? (Lev.7:26-27) Obviously they were stunned and couldn’t fathom His speech. 

But friends, today, we know that Jesus was talking figuratively, meaning the Eucharist that we now celebrate. The bread represents His flesh and the wine His blood. So technically speaking, we have no excuses for not living forever, having eternal life, if we so desire. Unfortunately, many of us refuse it, but the wise choose it, because it is the word of God, the truth. 

Friends, I do hope that you are amongst that group of wise people who chose Jesus’ offer of eternal life, for that is the wisdom of all wisdom! Much LOVE!

…to refuse the Son of man’s offer of eternal life…is like committing suicide…

 

 

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