Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2016 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.   To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him. 

Oh friends, doesn’t it feel good to be alive on this Tuesday morning? It certainly does, especially when we are members of that glorious body, the church of Jesus Christ! 

Wow! What a privilege and a blessing to be numbered amongst the brothers and sisters of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Consequently, our attitude should be one of great appreciation and a burning desire to do the Lord’s will. In keeping with all that, then let us sincerely declare, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes my brethren, though the day may look dark and bleak, we know for a fact that the light of Jesus is shining in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, and therefore we have the wherewithal to go out into the evil world and make a positive difference on His behalf. 

And to boost, to bolster our faith and courage, to reaffirm our sense of purpose, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, with certainty and passion. 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!’ 

Ah mih people, as I said earlier on, it’s sure good to be in league with Jesus and the heavenly father. How can we be beaten or discouraged when we are God’s beloved and the friend of Jesus eh? No way Jose! 

But we also need to remember that we have a part to play in the relationship; and our part is to share the LOVE of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know Him, to receive His awesome offer of salvation and eternal life! 

And all God’s people declared a loud, sincere and appreciative: ‘All praise and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for taking us under their mighty wings and keeping us safe and warm, like babes in their mother’s arms!’ 

And in so doing friends, the Holy Trinity takes the interest of each believer and deals with them personally, helping them to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to God, while they spread the good news of Jesus’ wonderful gospel. 

Nothing could be better than that my brethren! And when we consider the glorious words of our Bit, we become even more appreciative of God’s LOVE for us, His greatest creation. ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my fellow believers! No other Deity is willing to offer mercy and forgiveness to rebellious followers. That means the Lord must be strong and secure in His own Spirit. For only a very powerful and secure Being could afford to be so generous. And for that generosity, we offer a most heartfelt thanks! 

Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that uphold the argument of our Bit. And we’ll begin with words from the prophet Joel, as he calls Israel to repentance and fasting. 

‘Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and  with mourning: 

And rend (tear) your heart and not your garments, and turn (return) unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (LOVING-kindness), and repenteth him of the evil (relents from doing harm).’ (Joel 2:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting commentary on those verses. ‘2:12-13. The customary way a Jew showed his grief was to tear his outer garment. This external sign could be meaningless. The tearing of the outer garment is useless, unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition.’ 

And that still holds true up to these ungodly times my people. Outward show does not move God’s heart. That’s why He seeks our true motives by examining the state of our own hearts before answering our prayers. 

Now listen to the words of Bruh David from Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:4-5) 

And nobody knew God’s forgiveness and mercy better than Bruh David. Now let’s end with some more of his awesome words from Psalm 86. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest (the depths of) hell. 

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men (mobs) have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 

O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token (a sign) for good: that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me.’ (Ps.86:12-17) 

Oh friends, definitely a great prayer on which to begin our day! Now let’s go out there feeling helped and comforted by our God and do His wondrous will for our lives. Much LOVE!

…with our wonderful God…mercy and forgiveness are possible…even though rebellion fills our hearts…

 

 

Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2014 Matthew 5:20

Matthew 5:20.    For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 
Ah Friends, the ole fella’s paying the price for disobedience this morning, an aching back. Too much rest it would seem. (smile) Apparently I ignored the wake up bell this morning and slept in. But my body was tired, I pleaded! No excuse, I was summarily informed. When the bell goes, you arise. End of story! 
 

Ah what a hard taskmaster. But I guess dem’s the breaks! (smile) I know the rules, so if I don’t abide by them, I’ll just have to pay the price. And that’s the way it is with most things in life my people. If we don’t do right, especially if we know what’s right, then we pay.
 
Anyway, today I want to share with you a couple of passages from an article in the July issue of In Touch Magazine, titled ‘Know Your Place,’ by Jim Daly. Some of you might have read it already, but didn’t even pay it any real serious attention, but Friends these words and actions are of vital importance in the life of each and every Christian believer.
 
Mr. Daly quotes Timothy Keller, from his book, ‘The Prodigal God.’ “You can’t live the Christian life without a band of Christian friends, without a family of believers in which you find a place.”
 
And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! We can’t live a truly Christian life alone, it’s too difficult to do, especially with all the inviting and exciting wrongs the world has to offer nowadays. We need the empathy, encouragement and bolstering that a tightly knit group offers.
 
And in any case, Jesus didn’t desire and plan for His people to be separate and apart, but be together as one, as one body in His name. It’s all well and good to go to church and participate in the ceremonies and rituals on an individual basis. 
 
But as Mr. Daly later adds: ‘But if we’re not making an effort to connect and engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re missing out on a key element of the church as described in the New Testament.’ And that’s the fostering of true community amongst the Christian brethren.
 
Oh Friends, that’s why there is so much resentment, jealousy and antagonism in the church today. We don’t individually nor collectively foster a sense of true community in the body of Christ. We talk it, but don’t actually walk it. Consequently, we’re not able to be as productive in spreading the good news of the gospel, as we ought to be.
 
We need to put away the selfishness and petty things that keep us apart, die to our own selves, and encourage the things that truly bring us together. And though the leaders in the church might be to blame for some of that, every single believer also has to shoulder some blame too, because it all begins with us as individuals.
 
And that brings us to this passage from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Romans, where he talks of the people having zeal but no righteousness. ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved. For I bear them record (witness), that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge.
 
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Rom.10:1-4)
 
And the scholars have a good explanation of that scripture. ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law.  Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law.
 
The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’
 
And sadly my people, today too many of us are still doing the same thing; depending on our own religiosity rather than God’s available mercy and grace.
 
But please note what our Bit says about that behaviour. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’
 
Those are the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so obviously there’s no doubting them!
 
And the scholars provide a wonderful explanation of all that. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven.
 
The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness.
 
In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:’
 
Sadly Friends, it’s the same thing a lot of us are still doing today, depending on self, rather than God. And the scholars add a very useful list of what the Law required and what the Spirit of God desired.

 LAW                                                                        SPIRIT

 

No murder                                                                No anger

 

No adultery                                                               No lust

 

No divorce                                                                Commitment

 

No oath-taking                                                          Speak the truth

 

No retaliation                                                            Forgiveness

 

Hatred for your enemy                                              LOVE for your enemy

 

  (tradition allowed it)                                                   (commanded)

 

And there we have it my people, a simple breakdown of the things the religious Law called for and/or allowed, as well as the things that Jesus desired, and still desires, of His true and faithful followers.

 

So let’s sit down today and consider our own reaction and behaviour to all those things nuh, and then, as always, sincerely ask God to help us improve in whatever way we need to. That’s heavenly wisdom my brethren, for we know He will NEVER refuse any requests to draw closer to Him! Much LOVE!

 

…to be a true believer…one must lose the self in self-righteousness…

 

P.S. That makes up for the short Bit yesterday. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2013 1 John 5:14

1 John 5:14.    And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.
 
Oh Friends, what is our world coming to eh? Everyday now brings some unnecessary slaughter of innocents, all in the name of some religion! Religion is supposed to be the opiate of the people, keeping them nice and quiet, peaceful and law abiding. But unfortunately, in these ruthless and cruel times, it’s doing the exact opposite; stirring them up to war-like actions.
 
Just look at the attack in the mall in Kenya last week, and that on the Christians coming out of church in Northern Pakistan on the weekend! No one, or nothing is safe and sacred anymore from these despicable murderers. They’ll even kill their own, if they think it necessary. And the sad part is that we allow them to get away with it, calling them terrorists, when they’re simply out and out disgusting criminals!
 
Ah Lord eh! My heart is heavy and angry this morning Friends, but I won’t write what I really want to, because it might not align with God’s Word or Will. I’ll just ask us to keep praying for our fellow believers in so many parts of the world, who can’t openly worship Jesus Christ, who are oppressed, stigmatized and murdered simply because of their faith. 
 
Please pray with me. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, You know that we truly LOVE and worship You. The problem though is that some of us can do it in perfect freedom, but there are millions of Your children who are being innocently and unfairly persecuted for worshipping You.
 
Father in heaven, we implore You to help them this day. Lessen their burdens, lighten their yokes, help them to gain the freedom of worship that we blessed ones have, and please repay the perpetrators of this injustice, for You’ve promised to repay any injustice done to Your children.
 
Please, please help them Father, for their suffering is so great it’s now reached a stage where many may even consider giving up the faith, and we know You don’t want that. Please help them to stand strong, under all the oppression. Let Your Holy Spirit enable them to remain steadfast in faith, though their whole world seems to be falling apart.
 
Oh heavenly Father, we pray all this in the name of Your wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, whose blood was shed at Calvary in contrition for our sins. Amen.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, please let’s invoke a few pieces of appropriate scripture on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters around the world. The first comes from the heart and soul of Bruh David in Psalm 34, titled, ‘The Lord hears the righteous.’ ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.’ (Ps.34:17)
 
And the next scripture verse comes from Cousin Sol. ‘The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.’ (Prov.15:29)
 
Then James tells us that ‘The effectual (effective) and fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16b) And I know that there are many truly righteous people amongst us, so we ought to get a quick and positive hearing.
 
And finally, the most encouraging of all the scriptures, this from Jesus: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22)
 
Oh Friends, we’ve asked, and many are righteous who have done so. Now let’s perform the last requirement; that of believing. Let’s truly believe for God to help those many, many believers enduring injustice and ‘sufferation’ around the world.
 
And as a gentle reminder, (smile) let’s turn to heaven once more. ‘Father God, Your people are crying out today in all righteousness and faith! Please answer our heartfelt pleas with mercy and justice, on behalf of our unfortunate friends suffering such unjust persecution. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.’ 
 
Ah mih people, let’s be prisoners of hope and stand in expectant faith, that our merciful and mighty God will hear our prayers and alleviate the ‘sufferation’ of believers all over His world. Let’s keep praying for them, and at the same time, improve our own faith and strength in numbers in this supposed free part of the world, because the enemy is picking away, bit by bit, at our Christian house.
 
Like a bunch of wood ants, they’re finding the unguarded spots in our situation and slowly gnawing away at them. Note the absence of prayer in our schools, public places and numerous homes, plus the subtle attempts everyday to negate our rights to worship in freedom.
 
People of other faiths are coming to our Christian countries and getting rights that trample on ours. Friends, we cannot allow this to continue. At some stage, like RIGHT NOW, we’ve got to stand up and say, enough is enough, and fight back. Otherwise, in a few short years, our situation will surely deteriorate to such that we won’t have the freedom of worship anymore.
 
This is a wake up call my brethren! I’m therefore calling on all of us who claim to believe in Jesus, to stand up and be counted! Let’s build our churches! Let’s teach our children the Word! Let’s live the Faith we claim to have, and spread the Word of God, which is so powerful that He used it to create the universe and all therein!
 
Oh my people, these are the days of sad reckoning. We either have to put up and get some serious action going, or shut up! Which one will it be eh? Are we going to have our descendants living in fear, running and hiding to serve and worship the ONE TRUE GOD of this universe? I think not! So let’s get a move on nuh.
 
And we’ll end with the godly assurance and confidence that comes to us from our Bit. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’
 
Oh my brethren, please let’s not disappoint Jesus, let’s live up to the excellent standards that He requires of us. That’s the only way we can recapture our world and have it turn again to the Most High God Jehovah! Much LOVE!
 
…if we believers don’t do the Will of God…how else will it get done eh…