Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2018 Matthew 10:28.

Matthew 10:28.    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Well hello there mih Scrip-Bit family! How goes it with you all this rainy day Thursday eh? I hope it goes better with you than with me, because the ole fella is shaking it a tad rough after spending the last two days running around in the concrete jungle called Toronto for doctor’s appointments and tests. That’s why the last two Bits were so early. (smile) 

But what a mish mash that place is; the roads are full of potholes, the traffic jams are constant…! Brother! I don’t see how people can handle that ridiculous commute for five days every week nuh. But I guess you have to do what you have to do to make a living. 

The good news though my brethren, is that the Lord’s generosity has not stopped flowing…and it never will! His ongoing showering of grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness on His people is guaranteed for all time. So though we may occasionally face adversity and rough times, we know for sure that our heavenly Father is right in the thick of it with us, and has promised to bring us out better than before. 

Glory to God my brethren! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh! 

And I just noticed an interesting and rather appropriate quote here amongst the confusion of papers on the desk in front of me. It’s attributed to one Alex Boyer, and it says: ‘When the body gets tired, you fight with your soul.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends! The soul is much stronger than the body, though the body leads in the fight for survival. And when the body fails or falters, it’s the soul’s job, the spiritual aspect of our humanity, to take up the battle and lead us to victory in Jesus’ name. 

I guess that’s why Jesus gave His disciples the fateful warning found in Today’s Bit. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ Ah friends, what wise and wonderful advice from our Saviour Himself; advice that is also applicable to us today. 

Hear how the scholars explain that section. ‘10:25-31. Beelzebub refers to Satan himself, the ultimate evil spirit. The disciples are told to fear…not. The disciples’ enemies can only take their physical lives, which cannot prevent their blessed resurrection to life everlasting. 

In other words, Jesus reminded them that it was more important to fear Him who had authority over the soul as well as over the body and who can bring both to eternal condemnation in hell (Gr. Gehenna). Notice that God is the One who has authority to cast men into hell, and not Satan, who will himself be ultimately cast into everlasting fire.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s only Almighty God; our Creator, Controller and Provider who can sentence us to a lifetime of hell fire and damnation! And I’m sure none of us want to suffer that terrible fate. Therefore, we need to live a life down here on earth that is subject to His law and will, if we want to see His glorious face at the end of our earthly sojourn. 

Listen to how Jesus continues His warning to the disciples. ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (1/16 of a denarius – a penny)? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29:-31) 

Oh mih breddren, what a glorious reassurance that is from our Master! We are God’s greatest creation; worth more than many sparrows, and even the very hairs on our head are numbered. Wow! The Lord knows it all and is committed to keeping us together, even though we sometimes falter. 

However, these next two verses are the ones that will cement His decision. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) There it is in black and white my people! If you deny Christ, He will deny you before His heavenly Father. 

And the scholars offer this good explanation. ’10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. 

The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist tense, (hn!) referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. Therefore a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’  

So all of us who claim to belong to Christ, but refuse to acknowledge Him in public, yuh better had think again! But for those of us who gladly acknowledge Him in public and enjoy His wonderful company, let’s go home now declaring the manifold grace and mercy we enjoy in our Thursday Blessings. 

In strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yeh mih people all of that is ours, and not just to hoard for ourselves, but to share generously with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do that now nuh. Much LOVE!

…a true Christian is one…who is not afraid or ashamed to tell the world…and also show the world…that he is living and dying for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2018 John 5:24.

John 5:24.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.  

Aye friends, can you believe it’s Friday already; the day we’ve waited for since Monday? (smile) Yes it is. And nobody is more grateful than the ordinary workingman as he shows his appreciation in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! That means the weekend is here at last! Wow! That’s music to the workingman’s ears! No more slavish work; no more abuse from insensitive and greedy men. 

Is we time now! We time to do as we please, and how we please. And who don’t like what we do, or how we do it…chuh pool! Too bad for them. But we going to eat and drink and party and carouse to our heart’s desire. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman is surely letting it all hang out, but unfortunately as believers in Christ, we can’t go to those lengths in our song. We need to pay attention to certain boundaries and limit our licentious and carousing behaviour, so that the enemy won’t be able to get a foothold in our souls, thus the difference between the workingman’s song and our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant now nuh, with commensurate enthusiasm to that of the workingman, and without too much envy, for you know mankind is always more enthusiastic and vociferous when he can let go and show his true lustful and carnal self. (smile) 

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, as believers we can relax, but not totally lose our focus because that’s when the evil enemy jumps right in and spoils the broth. And we certainly can’t allow him to do that, hence our more careful and controlled reaction to the weekend. 

Please remember too that next week is Holy Week, one of the most important times in our Christian faith, one that culminates in the celebration of Easter, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross at Calvary, then rose triumphantly from the grave, so that all who believe in Him can also be resurrected. 

Glory to God my people!  What a wonderful God we serve and worship! And don’t you ever forget it, for you do so at your own risk. For please note these memorable words of Jesus on the situation, found in our Bit. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ 

Yes my brethren, Jesus is clearly telling us here that if we hear His word and believe on the Father who sent Him, then we’ll be guaranteed eternal life. However, if we reject the Father, then it’s cleaners for us; condemnation, judgement, eternal separation from Him. And He backs up all of that with some of His most profound and prophetic words from an earlier chapter of John. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:16-18) 

There we have it friends, loud and clear, straight from Jesus Himself. So there can be no argument over the situation; believe in Him and the Father, and you’re saved. Don’t believe, and you’re condemned! Simple as that! 

I guess though that it’s too simple for some people. Just believing in Christ to be saved seems too easy for us mortals who glorify great works and accomplishments filled with much elbow grease and backbreaking labour. So how can such a magnificent thing be so easily accomplished eh? 

Our simple and finite minds can’t get around the generosity and magnanimity of our great God. His LOVE for us, His most wonderful creation, is so great that He can’t bear to be separated from us for ever, so in His ultimate wisdom, He offers us a FREE GIFT of reconciliation and salvation to prevent that most horrible of outcomes. 

Now a lot of us think that offer’s too good to be true, and usually offers like that are insincere, but remember, this is not an offer from deceitful and distrustful men, but from Almighty God, your Creator and Controller. He has no reason to lie or deceive you, but offers You His salvation from the wellspring of His amazing LOVE. 

And since He also gave you choice and freewill, it’s yours to accept or reject. But my brethren, I beg of you to accept God’s most generous offer, for it’s wisdom of the greatest magnitude. And if you don’t…then…unfortunately…crapaud smoke yuh pipe…! Much LOVE!

…the first movement in Christ’s magnificent symphony is…BELIEF…to enjoy it therefore…one must first…BELIEVE…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2018 Matthew 10:33.

Matthew 10:33    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

And then it was the first of March… Can you believe it? January and February have passed us by like a whirlwind! It’s now an old year! (smile) Unfortunately though, not much has changed over the past two months, there is still an overwhelming amount of adversity, calamity and tragedy bombarding our world. 

Ungodliness is also taking a serious toll on our earthly fortunes, as lots of people, for whatever reason, unfortunately drift away from the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD. How sad that is friends, knowing that so many of our fellow man stand the very good likelihood of missing out on salvation and eternal life with Christ. And there’s nothing more important that that, in this entire world! 

But as individuals, and as Christ’s body, the church, we can only do so much. However, I do believe that we’re not doing as much as we can. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever proselytize EVERYBODY on the planet, because there are just some stubborn, foolish, adamant people who will just flatly refuse to ever believe in Jesus, but we can surely give it a greater effort than we’re currently doing. 

Too many of us are too lackadaisical about communicating the gospel to others, and some simply refuse to do it for fear of confrontation, rejection or shame. But please remember the momentous words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our Bit: ‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer than that nuh. 

And earlier on He said to the disciples: ‘Fear them not therefore (persecutors): for there is nothing covered (veiled), that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what hear ye in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:26-28) 

Yes friends, there is no need to fear what man can do to us, because he can only kill the body, but we need to fear God, who can kill both body and soul. Thus, once we embark upon the pilgrim’s journey with Christ, we cannot afford to let fear of man put us off, but we have to keep on fighting the good fight to spread the gospel to ALL the world, because that’s our bounden duty. 

And as good soldiers in Christ’s army, we need to do our duty sincerely and proudly and with lots of courage. Please note what Jesus said right before our Bit. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32) 

And the scholars enlighten us as to the meaning of our Bit and that verse. ‘10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to Me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. 

The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist tense, (hn!) referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. Therefore, a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’ 

What more can I say eh mih breddren. The scholars hit the nail on the head. We either acknowledge Jesus in public, or we don’t. We can’t sit on the fence, scared and wishy-washy. That doesn’t work in Jesus’ organization. A lot of us want to reap the benefits of knowing Jesus but don’t want to put in the hard work those benefits require before they can become reality. 

Remember friends, in God’s economy, whatever you sow, that is what you’re going to reap. So don’t think you can deny Jesus and still get to heaven. As true believers in Jesus, we ought to proudly and courageously say and act like Bruh Paul: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentiles).’ (Rom.1:16) 

Yes my people, that’s how we ought to think of the gospel of Christ, because it is indeed powerful, remember, it’s like a two edged sword. That means we have to be very careful with it, not play around with it like some ordinary knife, else we’re liable to get cut very badly with it. (smile) So please, let’s sit and ponder today, how we are treating the gospel of Christ, and if we’re denying or confessing Him, because that’s the key to our eternal salvation. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and heartfelt sincerity. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

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

Oh what a magnanimous God we serve my people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others, as He intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…you can’t sow rice and expect to reap peas…likewise…you can’t deny Christ…and expect Him to confess you before His Father…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2018 1 John 3:1a.

1 John 3:1a.   Behold, what manner of LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God.  

And then it was Tuesday…and the much appreciated spring break amidst the winter season continues seemingly unabated. Oh Glory to God! And on top of that, both the sun and the SON are shining forth brilliantly today. Mama Yo! What more can a mortal man ask for eh? Not much really. 

But yuh know what, in our undeserving, sinful nature, our wonderful God gives us even more. Read with me, as I share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘You LOVE Me!’ 

‘God When I am wretched and weak You LOVE me. When I am steady and strong You LOVE me. When I am very right Or terribly wrong You LOVE me. When I talk too much Or laugh too loud Or sob too long You LOVE me. When I am quiet and serene You LOVE me. 

When I willingly obey You LOVE me. When I insist on my own way You LOVE me. When I fail to put you first You LOVE me. When I come running back to You You LOVE me. I need not beg You to LOVE me For You who are LOVE Cannot exist without LOVING. 

And yet this very day, dear God I have no real assurance Of Your LOVE at all. I wonder why?  (And the Lord answered)  BELOVED child The fact remains I LOVE you.’ 

Isn’t that something now mih people! Regardless of who we are, or how we behave, our amazing God LOVES US! Even when we don’t feel His LOVE, the indisputable truth still stands; He LOVES us! He just cannot help LOVING, because He is LOVE personified! 

And He caused me to share this particular poem today because He wants to remind us of that fact. He apparently sees that we don’t appreciate the true nature of His LOVE enough, that’s why we are so unsure and uncertain of ourselves in this crazy, troubled society. 

Please accept this reminder my fellow believers, and let it penetrate our hearts and minds right to the very core, so that we’ll never be in doubt, in any situation whatsoever, of our great God’s true and unconditional LOVE for us. It’s one of the elementary tenets of our faith, and if we can’t accept it without reservation, then our faith will be lacking, and won’t be able to grow and mature, as it ought to. 

That’s why John, in his first epistle thought it so necessary to remind us of God’s great LOVE for us, as stated in our Bit. ‘Behold, what manner of LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God.’  

Ah mih breddren how can we not appreciate such an awesome bestowal eh? God didn’t have to, but He wanted to. Why? Because we are His; created by His hand, in His image, and we breathe His breath of life. And even though we have become sinful and disobedient, the facts of the matter cannot be changed. 

Now listen to the scholars on our Bit. ‘3:1. Bestowed is in the perfect tense, suggesting the enduring effect of the LOVE God has given. Believers are children of God by virtue of being born of Him (2:29). Jesus stressed a connection between how the world related to God and how it would in turn relate to Christ’s true followers (John 15:18). After ‘sons of God’ the phrase “And we are” should be added, according to many ancient manuscripts.’ 

Yeh friends, for some reason or the other that definitive statement got left out of our version of the Good Book, but there is no doubt that we are indeed children of God, once we are born again and believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I think though that a part of the problem is that our minds are so small and finite, that we cannot truly grasp the concept of a mighty and holy God LOVING us, despite our sinful and blasphemous nature. But don’t we still LOVE our children though they are disobedient and go astray? So why should it be any different with God eh? Children are children, and fathers are fathers in whatever situation you place them. 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that corroborate our Bit. John says in his gospel: ‘He (the true Light) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ (John 1:10-13) 

We couldn’t get more authority than that to become children of God. Now hear this most momentous and eye opening scripture, re the LOVE of God from John’s first epistle. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. BELOVED, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

That’s our Christian faith in a nutshell right there my brethren. Please let’s practice it in all sincerity and truth nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are in strong voice. 

‘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 since we’ve declared it, let’s go out now and action it nuh! Much LOVE!

…regardless of what we have…if we don’t have LOVE…we are nothing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2017 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Well friends, that white stuff looks like it’s here to stay for a while yes! Steups! And more is forecasted to fall over the next couple of days. Brother! So the folks who so desire might get their white Christmas after all. Good for them! 

The rest of us will simply have to suffer in silence, (smile) because that’s just the way it is: if you live in the northern climes, then you can expect snow in the wintertime. 

But somehow you never seem to get accustomed to it. And in any case, we’re lucky or blessed, because with the effects of climate change, we don’t get half as much snow now as we used to get when I first came here forty something years ago. 

Oh how sweet it would be to be lying in the sun on the warm beaches of God’s li’l Acre, Tobago! But right now that’s just a dream for the future. You can’t allow those dreams to die though. (smile) 

Now, since it’s Saturday, -and several different kinds of hot, nourishing soup are being concocted up Calder Hall Road in Tobago – Oh just smell the beautiful, mouthwatering aroma nuh! Dreams friends, dreams; without them we’re just empty vessels. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this week. Listen to this first one: ‘Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.’ Yeh mih people, what we do today is important, because that sets the tone for our tomorrows. If you want to have good, productive tomorrows, you have to begin by having good, productive todays. 

And remember that ‘All things are difficult before they are easy.’ Well I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘all,’ but certainly many things begin with such difficulty that unless we’re strong, focused and truly committed, we’re likely to give up before we really get started. 

But here’s a li’l secret: ‘When life gets blurry Adjust your focus.’ Ah mih breddren, unfortunately life is getting very blurry these days, and there is only so much focus to adjust. Only if you are focused on Jesus can you have enough leeway for proper adjustment. 

Another helpful hint is to ‘Start telling the universe what you want instead of what you don’t want.’ Yeh more positive talking and thinking will certainly be of more benefit than dwelling on the negatives of life. And finally, remember this: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ 

Oh friends, you’ll be surprised at how much our attitude controls our life, especially in our Christian faith. Sour attitudes simply suck! They turn others off and away. On the other hand, a good, positive, pleasant attitude draws people to you and encourages them to either help you, or be helped themselves. 

It’s like the saying you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And that’s definitely the kind of attitude we need this Christmas season of peace, LOVE and good cheer, because that’s what Christ came to spread amongst us angry, evil, warmongering humans. Yeh friends, Jesus did come to save us, but that salvation is not automatic. We need to first turn to Him and accept Him before we can find salvation. 

Listen to the Lord’s promise to the children of Israel during their time of captivity, which in the first place happened because of their gross disobedience. ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place (Jerusalem). 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:10-12) 

It’s the same basic idea and promise God held out to Jews and Gentiles alike when He sent His only Son Jesus into the world to save it. Jesus made that very clear several times. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…’ (Luke 9:56) 

Oh my people, Jesus came as a Saviour, not a destroyer. However, like any other offer, His is also dependent on acceptance. Saving grace, salvation doesn’t just fall on everyone like a blanket. No, we have to come to Jesus and consciously accept His offer of salvation. 

Like the Lord said through Jeremiah: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yes friends, salvation and eternal life have been guaranteed to us through the sinless sacrifice of Jesus’ life, but we have to go seeking it diligently and sincerely in and through the Lord. Until we come to Him and confess our sins with a humble heart, salvation will elude us. 

The important thing my brethren, is truly searching and seeking out God because we can’t handle our sinful life any longer and we need the forgiveness, the mercy, the grace, the comfort and LOVE that only He can provide. 

So this Christmas season, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, I implore us to sincerely seek out the Lord and let Him give us all that He’s promised to those who diligently search for Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…anything worthwhile is worth seeking…and nothing’s more worthwhile…than the saving grace of Jesus…so please be wise…and seek it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

Ah yes friends, we’ve finally progressed to the magical day called Friday… And the workingman will most definitely remind us of that fact as he vociferously declares his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and slaving finish for this week! The next couple days is mih own to do with exactly as I please. And brother, yuh better believe I’m going to do just that! 

Wow! I’m going to eat down the place, if I want to; drink up mih liquor until ah black up and tumbling down; party like there was no tomorrow, and just thumb mih nose at the massa till Monday morning roll around again. Whew! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes, otherwise I’d just go crazy with this slave labour and a pittance for pay!’ 

Unfortunately my brethren, the ordinary workingman is finding it increasingly difficult to make a decent living in this prosperous world through the greed, incompetence and inhumane behaviour of those who own and control the means of livelihood. And sometimes you can’t really blame him when he goes overboard because the rampant injustice and strife in our society is more than enough to drive a body crazy. 

Luckily for us, we belong to the Christian faith, where our Leader Jesus Christ applies boundaries to our behaviour, so we don’t go overboard and fall into the tempter’s grasp. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it out now nuh, and thus give us the better picture of how believers ought to handle the weekend situation. 

In chorus 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 my fellow believers, we ought to put Christ first and get ourselves ready for another week of work, rather than add insult to injury by beating down our bodies even further and giving the enemy control of our lives. And for all of our blessings and good tidings, we have to thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as our Bit says: 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

And today we are going to delve a li’l deeper into verses 16-17 of Col.1, where Bruh Paul talks about the pre-eminence of Christ, to help us understand the full significance of our Bit. ‘For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things are created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist.’ (Col.1:16-17) 

The scholars then explain thus: ‘1:16. This verse provides the reason Christ is called the “first-born” in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this: Since by him were all things created, then, (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones…dominions…principalities…powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Eph.1:21; 3:10). 

“Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers; “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these heavenly beings reign; “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who wield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them. 

Striking a blow at the Colossian heresy advocating angel worship (2:18), this text forbids Christians to pay homage to angels or other heavenly beings created by God.’  And re ‘1:17. By him all things consist: That is by Him all things are held together; Christ now preserves all that He made in Creation.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ made it all, and now holds His creation together, as He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. So let’s remember that and thus keep everything in its proper perspective: Christ is Creator, Lord and Saviour, and the ONLY ONE deserving of worship and exaltation, not angels or any other beings He has made. 

Tomorrow we will touch some more on the angel situation, but for today, let’s ponder what we’ve said and keep believing, keep studying the Word and living it out successfully in this evil world, in Jesus name, I pray. Much LOVE!

…to whom eventually shall all knees bow…and all lips declare His awesome glory…JESUS…

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