Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well friends, here we are again on another beautiful Tuesday morning in the land of the living, blessed to the gills; filled to the brim with all the innate goodness and mercy of Jesus, just waiting to be brought forth in truthful words and LOVING actions! 

Hn, hn! A good mouthful that! But it’s ALL true! Yes my brethren, all the goodness and mercy of Jesus has been planted in us, like seeds in the ground, since the day we accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour! Now it’s our responsibility to let those seeds grow in us and blossom forth with much good fruit. 

Remember, Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) So the world will know whether we are true disciples of Jesus or not, by the fruit we bear. So let’s be diligent to bear good fruit in His name nuh. 

And today we’ll continue with our Bit on compassions, because it’s such an important aspect of our God, and consequently our Christian lives. Moreover, compassionate behaviour is one of the ways that we are indeed able to bear good fruit. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh my people, every time I read that passage, thankfulness and gratitude just wells up within me! Let’s hope it does in you too, because it’s only through God’s exceptional LOVING-kindness that we have hope of eternal life and not everlasting darkness and damnation! 

And finally I get to do what I wanted to from the beginning; show the compassion of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as recorded in the Good Book. (smile) Oh friends, if nothing else, Jesus was filled with compassion for the lost, the sick, the sorrowful; anyone who had a need, and to be true disciples of His, we also ought to have that compassionate mentality. 

Hear the Good Book tell it: ‘And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:35-36) 

Ah friends, sadly, that same condition still exists in our time today. There are numerous needy sheep scattered around our world, our individual countries and individual neighbourhoods with no shepherd. What are we doing, or going to do about them eh? 

Listen to Jesus when He saw that sad situation. ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38) 

Oh my people are we so moved when we see the poverty and sickness and great need that exist in this supposed prosperous society? Do we pray to the Lord to send forth more harvesters; missionaries, evangelists, doctors, nurses, philanthropists, etc. etc. to help those in need? And do we ourselves try to up our contributions to the betterment of the situation in some form or the other? 

That’s what we as Christians, as true believers and followers of Christ ought to be doing! But obviously we are not doing it as well as we should, else the mass of needy humanity in our society would not be as great as it currently is. 

Now here is another instance of Jesus’ compassion from the Good Book. This was after Herod killed John the Baptist and his head given to his (Herod’s wife). ‘And his (John’s) disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 

When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart (by himself): and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.’ (Matt.14:12-14) 

Ah mih breddren, yuh think Jesus didn’t feel sorrow and emotional pain too? Remember He was fully human, so He certainly did, as indicated by His going away by Himself after hearing about John the Baptist’s death. Remember too that John was His cousin, His forerunner. And though they did not associate much, He was still moved, because He knew that it was basically on His account that John lost his life. 

But even then, when He saw the multitudes of poor, needy and sick people, He could not avoid having compassion on them. Oh my fellow believers that’s how we ought to be too! Obviously we’ll not be able to alleviate all the suffering in the world, but come the judgement day it will be very beneficial to us, if the Lord could point out many acts of compassion which we did on His behalf, while here on earth. 

Now let’s go home, declaring who and whose we are through our Tuesday Mantra, which has compassion as a central theme. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the world is compassion. So let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…when Christians show true compassion…they are being truly Christ-like…


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Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.

Aye friends, it’s a wet one in my area today. And the rain can be so beguiling… Earlier on, for over half an hour, I lay in my bed tossing and turning from side to side, knowing that I was not going back to sleep, especially since my nostrils were all blocked up and my mouth was dry as chip, but yuh think I could get up, as I listened to the gentle rain falling outside? 

No way! There’s just something about the rain that makes you want to stay in bed and curl up under the covers next to your special someone. And don’t forget its potent aphrodisiac properties! (smile) 

And today the Lord pointed me to some stuff I have written here on a piece of paper. I don’t know who or where I got them from, possibly from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley), but I’m sure we’re not going to like them. They have to do with our behaviour as true and faithful believers in Jesus Christ. 

And they advise: 1. Don’t leap to judgement. 2. Take blame and give credit. 3. Don’t one up people, encourage them. 4. If it hurts say so, but don’t hit back. 5. Pray for your competitors. 

Mamacita! All of that goes against the very grain of our human nature! But that’s the way our Leader and Lord and Saviour wants us to operate in this crazy, selfish and greedy world. That’s how others will know that we’re different from the madding crowd and hopefully come to realize that we have what they’re missing and oh so badly need; the eternal and unconditional LOVE and saving grace of Jesus. 

And as we look back on those five things above, if we’re true to ourselves we will admit that they all play a major part in our lives. We all leap to judgement too quickly, with absolutely no relevant facts at hand. We just see or hear someone and we can spout a litany of things that are wrong with them. 

And when coming to taking blame…Hn! That does not exist in our current society. We’re all about pointing fingers at others and hogging whatever credit there is for ourselves. Oh, and one-upmanship is the name of today’s game. Yuh ever listen to group of people talking about their possessions? 

Each one comes up with something better than the other. And that’s one of the reasons why so many of us are so stressed out and miserable; foolishly, we’re trying too hard to keep up with the Joneses. 

And when it comes to being hurt, we’ll certainly let you know, but the trouble is that we also look for vengeance. But remember the Lord says that vengeance is His, and He will repay. Well I won’t even touch praying for our competitors, because that is definitely out of our behavioural sphere. Oh yes, we’ll pray for them, but for them to go under, not to succeed. 

Oh friends, please remember that we’re supposed to be IN the world but not OF the world; meaning we should not behave as the world does. No wonder Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.’ (John 17:13-16) 

Ah mih people, what more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. Jesus prayed that we would not get involved with the world order even though we lived amongst it. That was necessary so that we could tell others about and show by example the good news He ushered into this world. 

And Bruh Paul reiterated the same sentiments to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, we can’t be IN the world, but not OF it, unless we completely renew our minds and bring it into line with the will of God. And the scholars offer this explanation on that subject: Dedication to the will of God. 

‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

The long and short of the story my brethren, is that we’re to live the will of God as found in His Word. And the only way we’re going to find out that will is by reading and studying His Word. So let’s get on with it nuh, so that we can all become the ‘living sacrifices’ that our Lord desires. 

Now it’s time to go home letting the world know who and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. All together now, in full voice and complete sincerity: ‘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!’ 

And the corollary to that: let’s go out and generously share what Jesus has given us. Much LOVE!

…God’s basic wish for us all…to become Christ-like clones…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

One more day mih people, one more day on God’s great earth with the setta ice covering the land in my area! Chuh! It’s pure ice all around…but that doesn’t stop us from joyfully declaring, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) 

A li’l bit of ice can’t stop us from enjoying God’s mercies and graciousness…No way! What does the Good Book say? NOTHING can separate us from Him and His LOVE! Because we are all more than conquerors through Him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:35,37) Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! Christ has already given us the victory, so there’s nothing really for us to worry about, just to live a righteous and godly life in His name. 

And a couple of quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional remind us of two important aspects of Christian life and character. The first is that ‘ Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.’ And secondly, ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’  

Yes friends, we have no other real hope but the trust that God’s promises, mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE inspire in us. Without those things we’d be truly lost. But even more importantly, we need to remember that each and every day we awaken, we need to seriously recommit to Christ, His way of life, and His plans for us. That’s the only way we can keep Him fresh and vibrant in our lives. 

And since yesterday we talked about going out and doing Jesus’ work as established in His Great Commission, today I thought it would be more than appropriate to look at how He hopes to accomplish His purpose; through the Great Invitation, a part of which is our Bit for today. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’  

My people, my people, what a wonderful invitation; the BEST that has ever been offered to mankind! Glory Be! No other supposed deity has ever proffered such a simple, but yet awesome and astounding invitation. That’s because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can keep that kind of promise, and who is also seriously interested in lightening our burdens! 

And that’s what we, as His disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives need to point out to the unbelievers, so that they too can embrace His glorious free offer of salvation and life eternal. Now that’s not all that Jesus offers in His Great Invitation. Hear how He continues after out Bit. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ (Matt.11:29) 

Just imagine that nuh my brethren; Jesus is also inviting us to take His yoke and learn from Him, for He is humble and lowly of heart…Wow! Though He is the great God, the great I AM, Jesus is not proud and stuck up, like He could be because of all His numerous attributes and power. But no; He is very simple and easily approachable, and when we sincerely approach Him, call out to Him, then we can truly learn from Him and find peace and quiet for out souls. 

And that is something which the majority of our world decidedly lacks, and which many are desperately trying find, but unfortunately are looking in all the wrong places. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is also the ONLY ONE who can bring true peace and rest to the human soul and spirit. And why is that so? ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:30)  

Oh precious people of God, what a reassuring ending to Jesus invitation! And that’s gospel truth! For He has already borne our burden of sin upon the cross at Calvary and set us free from its cruel and unholy bondage by paying the enormous price with His selfless sacrifice. 

And as Bruh Paul so astutely and correctly says in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory Hallelujah! 

So when we come to Him truly repentant, acknowledging our sins and also what He’s done for us, He doesn’t condemn us, but just enfolds us LOVINGLY in His warm and tender embrace and begins to teach us how to walk like Him.

And there’s also no greater privilege and praiseworthy attitude than to walk like Christ. Please remember that our heavenly Father’s most noble and consistent intention is to have all believers walk as Christ-like as possible. 

And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows how we’re getting on with Christ. 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!’ 

And I implore us friends, as we walk with Christ today, let’s keep a picture of that glorious future in the back of our minds, so that it can encourage and reassure us when the going gets tough, as it no doubt will at some time or other. Much LOVE!

…to Jesus…to Jesus come…when your heart is heavy…and your soul weighed down with burdens… 

P.S. Sorry for the Bit being a tad late, but the playoff hockey game was too interesting not to watch it to the end, which meant a late night, and thus a late morning too. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2018 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Well friends, at last it’s Friday!  Glory be! Now what it is about that work that we dislike so much eh, even when we have so many modern amenities that makes it so much easier? (smile)  Our forefathers couldn’t even imagine or dream about the stuff we have now, and they willingly went to work. 

That’s possibly because they knew for sure that if they didn’t work, they wouldn’t eat. But nowadays we have so many layabouts who eat and live well without even raising a finger. Could it be that’s the fault of our over indulgent society? Well that’s something to ponder on later. (smile) 

But right now the ordinary but ever so proud workingman is singing his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God it is Friday and labouring finish for another week. And yuh know, I thought hard work was done with long time now. But apparently I was wrong, for all that missing from slavery time is the whip and the dogs, they still have the guns and them! 

Everything else is still the same. Deh trying to enslave we mind now though, rather than we body with iron shackles. But tell them for me, that that won’t work either. The same way we escape from the physical shackles, we going to escape from the mental chains. And we going to start doing that right now, by enjoying the weekend as if there was no tomorrow! 

Brother, come what may, we going to party and carouse, and carry on fuh so. And if we too sick and tired to go to work on Monday, then let massa fire we nuh. He still ain’t going to get he slave work done! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes! Because if the massa had he way, we’d work seven days straight every week without a break!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s always sad to realize that a lot of what the ordinary workingman says is so true. Our modern day economies are going backwards rather than forwards in terms of employee satisfaction, employees are not being treated as well as they should be. 

The problem though is that the ordinary workingman is taking the wrong road in trying to solve the problem. Instead of carousing and catering to his carnal will, he ought to turn to Jesus and do His will, like we try to do. It’s all about purpose and the right way my brethren. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a marked difference from the workingman’s song. In sincerity and truth 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, the big difference is that we don’t go overboard in our carnality, and thus lose control of our senses. Instead, we turn to Jesus to rejuvenate us, so we can continue doing good work in His name, for that’s what this life is all about. 

Ah mih people, it’s good to enjoy some aspects of fleshly living, that’s why God gave them to us, but we have to know where and when to draw the line, so that we don’t allow the enemy to encroach on Jesus’ territory in our hearts and souls. That’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Galatians so strongly, when he said in our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

And what does that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e.; “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit.

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

There you have it friends, a general explanation of how to walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit that dwells within us is supposed to lead and guide us in ALL of our activities. That’s why the Lord gave Him to us. As Bruh Paul says earlier on: ‘And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.’ (Gal. 4:6-7) 

Yeh mih people, as soon as God adopts us, He sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts, to give us an awareness of Himself. And having been granted such a wonderful station in life, sons of God, heir of God, through Christ, it now behooves us to behave in a son-like and heir-like manner. 

So please let’s take a minute today and ponder if we are indeed behaving son-like, heir-like and Christ-like, as we should, then ask the Lord to help us improve in whatever area(s) we need improvement. He will NEVER turn down such a request. Much LOVE!

…walking in the Spirit…is like walking in the Garden of Eden…just demanding more attention…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2018 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh friends, we late! Yuh like how I included you all in that, even though you all are not to blame? (smile) That’s what they call ‘author’s convenience.’ I guess the ole bod was just more tired than I realized, and when I did open my eyes it was already minutes to nine. 

Well no palavering, let’s get right down to business, which begins with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘God’s Promises.’ 

Please read with me. ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances. 

There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain through our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness. 

Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people? For sure! When times are good, it’s easy to trust God, but it’s in those dark and difficult times that God wants to see us sincerely trusting Him and waiting patiently for His timing, because that’s when He knows that we are growing in faith, we are becoming more Christ-like, mature Christians. 

Yeh friends, trusting God when the circumstances are negative and you don’t understand what’s happening; you’re doing right, but wrong things proliferate, is indeed difficult. But we have to learn that with God, a promise is a promise, regardless of the circumstances that surround it. 

And it’s only by undergoing such tests that we will ever be truly able to trust God and wait on His impeccable timing. One thing’s for sure; He is NEVER late! We might think so, but if you check out the facts of the situation, you’ll discover that He is ALWAYS right on time. I can tell you that from personal testimony. 

Anyway, the Bible Promise for the story above is also our Bit for today. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ And that is more awesome truth my fellow believers! Too many of us have lost faith in the Almighty because it seems like He was taking His own sweet time to come to our rescue. 

But He is the Creator and the Controller, He sees the big picture and knows what He is doing. That’s why the verse after our Bit explains: ‘For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:36) 

Yeh friends, it’s usually after we’ve done God’s will, that we receive the promise, and nowhere does He say that it comes immediately after. In God’s economy, we usually have to wait for things to prove our faith. And furthermore, as the author paraphrases what the Lord told Habakkuk in Hab.2:3-4.

‘For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (delay). Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But ye are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ (Heb.10:37-39) 

Oh my people, let’s hope that that is true of all of us! Let’s hope that we learn to wait on God to fulfill the promises He’s made us, in spite of how long it takes, or how dark and dangerous it might seem. And what did Jesus say about all that in the Beatitudes, in the famous Sermon on the Mount? 

‘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) 

Ah mih breddren, Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that those who faithfully stood the test of time would be faithfully rewarded. Now would you like to be amongst that lot or not? I’d suggest that that’s where we should all be actively heading for, since that’s wisdom personified. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know without a doubt, just who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong conviction 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!’ 

And, if that’s true, then let’s go out and share our friend Jesus and His awesome LOVE with the world, for there’s nothing He desires more than that! Much LOVE!

…there’s no bigger act of LOVE…than sharing the LOVE of JESUS…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2017 Luke 1:37.

Luke 1:37.     For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And then it was Christmas Eve! Yeh friends, Christmas Eve, the day before Christ’s birth, aren’t you excited? (smile) We should be my people, because it’s around this time two thousand years ago we received the greatest gift ever. The Son of God was born so that He could save sinful man, whom His heavenly Father LOVED with such a great LOVE that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, so that His human creation could be saved from hell fire and damnation. 

Glory to our Most High God my brethren, for there is no other Deity who would have ever dreamed of doing something like that! So my fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday, as we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him, to give Him thanks and exalt His holy name and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength and confidence to face the upcoming week, let’s show our sincere gratitude and overwhelming LOVE by singing our hearts out with unspeakable joy and supreme gladness. 

And the song we’re going to offer up in our sacrifice of praise is the old but ever true and much liked standard, ‘O Holy Night.’ Apparently it was originally written in French, but was later translated to English, and has the distinction of being the first Christmas Carol to ever be played on the radio in 1906. So with sincere feeling now, as we raise our voices to high heaven. 

‘O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here came the wise men from Orient land. 

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend! He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to LOVE one another; His law is LOVE and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!’ 

Oh friends, what beautiful sentiments, filled with eternal truths, while offering loads of assurance for the believer. I sincerely hope that tears of joy were flowing down all our faces as we sang those exquisite words. For how could it be otherwise eh, when we’re celebrating such a joyful occasion? And friends, the whole story of Christ’s birth is so incredible, that only a superior being could have worked it out so efficiently and competently and dramatically. 

That takes us to our Bit:  ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ Those were the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, Christ’s mother, after he informed her that she would bare God’s Son through the auspices of the Holy Spirit, and that her hitherto barren cousin Elisabeth, in her old age, was also pregnant.  And what I LOVE about Mary is that despite her young age, throughout Gabriel’s information session she never got riled or overly excited. Of course she was somewhat concerned and confused as Gabriel appeared out of the blue and began to lay such weighty matters on her. Her only real question was how was she going to get pregnant without knowing a man? 

And once Gabriel explained, she was fine. ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) I must say that Mary was pretty mature for her age and background. If an angel suddenly appeared now and told that a teenager, she’d either run away screaming in fright, or hurl vicious and angry words at the messenger. But Mary’s response at the end of the conversation was simply: ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Ah friends, I’m not sure that Mary would have been so relaxed if she had known the immense heartache she would have to face by being the mother of the Son of God. But nonetheless she held up under all the stress and strain of her position fairly well. Obviously the Lord gave her the wherewithal to stand strong and face the adversity, as He does with us all, when He gives us a job to do. 

So fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday of 2017, with our world in a complete mess, let’s try and spend some serious time contemplating the mystery and the miracle of Christ’s birth, and how it affects our lives today nuh.  And consequently, what we need to do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because if we are to be true followers of Jesus, and for His birth, death and resurrection to truly mean something, then we should always be in the process of becoming more Christ-like and setting a good Christian example to others. That’s Christ’s desire and our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…ALL things are possible with God…you just have to study Christ’s life to see it…

 

 

 

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