Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2017 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Sabbath Day; the day for gathering and fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, where His ardent followers praise and worship His holy name! It involves hearing His wonderful word which brings peace, strength and assurance to our tired and fragile souls, while filling His house with glorious song! Oh what a pleasure, a gift of grace it is to be able to worship Almighty God in freedom, with a strong sense of purpose. 

However, many believers around the world have to do it in hiding, afraid of serious persecution, but standing strong on His faithful promises, they do it nonetheless. And as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips this Sunday morning, I want us to think about all those who are not free to worship as we are, and pray that the Lord will give them that freedom someday soon, or at least keep them safe from further persecution.

Now let’s raise the roof with loud and harmonious voices, as we sing that blessed hymn ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’  

‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free. (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion For more than conqu’rors we are! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus…) His Word shall not fail you, He promised; Believe Him and all will be well; Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.)’ 

Oh friends, what words of perfect assurance! If your soul is weary and troubled, and floundering in perpetual darkness, then Jesus is the One to turn to for relief. He died that we might live, might have eternal life, so there is NO ONE better to offer us comfort and safety and light in this tragic world. As the song says: Turn your eyes on Him, look Him straight in the face, and all of a sudden the worries and problems of this world will begin to recede. 

What a tower of strength we have in Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, our Prince of Peace, our High Priest, our heavenly Intercessor, our unmatched Messiah! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE my brethren: the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In Him, majesty and holiness reign supreme! But what is even more important, is that He knows our fears, and can empathize with us on our pilgrim’s journey, because He faced the same things in His brief sojourn here on earth. 

That’s why He is such a Champion, such a Leader and could utter the words of our Bit to His doubting disciple Thomas with the utmost sincerity and truth. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

And if you want to see why he could truly say that, then read Isaiah 53, where he describes the ‘Suffering Servant,’ a foretelling of what Jesus would suffer. I’ll just remind us of the last three verses. ‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise (crush) him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 

He shall see of the travail (distress) of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil (plunder) with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’ (Is.53:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s what Jesus suffered on our behalf, and therefore earned to right to say what He said. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ’53:10-12. It pleased the Lord to bruise (from daka; “to crush”) him refers to the same condition in verse 5 (utterly crush Him for our moral iniquities). Put him to grief reads “pierce” Him in the Dead Sea Scroll copy of the text. His seed refers to those who will come to believe in Him. An offering for sin (asham, “guilt offering”) involves the trespass offering described in Numbers 5:5-10. 

The phrase he shall prolong his days indicates that the Servant’s ministry will not end with His violent death, and certainly implies His resurrection. The pleasure of the Lord refers to God’s ultimate purposes which will be accomplished by the atoning death and resurrection of the Servant. His intercession refers to His high priestly ministry, by which He makes intercession on the basis of His own substitutionary death.  The chapter ends with the glorification and exaltation of the Servant of the Lord.’  

And so it very well should my people! Hn, hn! I’m chuckling because I used some poetic license there, switching the position of the last two sentences because I thought it a better ending. Christ should be glorified and exalted at the end, that’s the proper climax! (smile) 

Anyway friends, that’s just an inkling of what Jesus suffered for us, so we could be set free from sin and receive everlasting life. Shouldn’t we therefore show Him much more appreciation and gratitude? Of course we should. So let’s do better than we doing nuh! All of us can improve in some area(s) of our lives that will exalt and glorify Jesus much more than at present. 

Remember it’s in OUR best interest do so, since Jesus doesn’t really need anything from us, but we desperately need lots of stuff from Him! So please let wisdom and common sense abound! Much LOVE!

…He knew NO sin…but was made the bearer of ALL sin…FOR US…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.   Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Well friends, yesterday I finally had to turn on my a/c for the first time this year. It was the first of many truly hot days I believe we’ll have this summer. But what amazes me is that though it was hot, the wind was also blowing at a brisk pace, the poor trees were dancing all day to its hectic riddim. 

But then this morning, around 3.a.m, I was outside on my porch, and though it was somewhat cooler than during the day, there was not a breeze to be had. 

I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that regardless of the season or time of day, in my area, the winds have been much stronger and more persistent than before. 

Who knows what our great God is doing eh? He controls everything, and His ways are so much higher than ours, that even if He explained it to us, we would not be able to comprehend it. So we just have to have faith, and trust and obey. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I want to Improve.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So, Father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely and faithfully prayed that prayer, then I’m sure something good is happening in our hearts right now.Wow! What a great God we serve and worship! 

Now it might not be a huge miracle, or manifest itself right away, but I’m sure that sometime down the line you’ll suddenly realize what’s changed, what’s improved, and then you’ll want to give even more praise, thanks and glory to our heavenly Father for His extraordinary LOVING-kindness to His undeserving but oh so faithful children! Glory to God my brethren! 

One of the problems we Christians suffer these days is that we’ve lost our passion for God, lost our zest for life, lost our faith in miracles. Chuh! 

Even worse, we expect miracles to be always big and uproarious! But the truth is that the Lord doesn’t do that many big and uproarious miracles, but He does plenty small and seemingly insignificant ones, which we either don’t notice at all or simply ignore. 

Ah friends, please remember that once we truly surrender our lives to Christ, He works continuously in them, and not everything is big and monumental. 

So please, let’s start regaining our passion for Christ nuh, which brings with an increased zest for life in general, and let’s also begin looking for and appreciating the small but still important ways He works in our lives. We are missing out on a whole lot of wonderful stuff by only looking for big, eye-catching things. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now don’t blame me, if we don’t have much space and time for our Bit, because that’s where the Lord led me. And being obedient, I had no choice. (smile) 

And is it ever an encouraging and reassuring Bit. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the amazing opening advice from Bruh David from that amazing Psalm 37- The true state of the wicked. 

And Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about because he stuck with the Lord through thick and thin, and likewise, the Lord stuck with him. His life wasn’t easy, a lot of it because of his mistakes, but he never lost his passion for the Lord God of his fathers. 

Now, as I’ve said above, lost passion for God is one of our major problems today, that’s why we’re so tossed and upset by the storms of life, by how the wicked seem to be increasing and the righteous decreasing. 

Bruh David ran from his enemies, Saul and his son Absalom for many years, but the Lord always kept him safe and secure, then finally brought him to his divine destiny; the greatest king that Israel ever knew. That’s why he could confidently open the psalm with our Bit, and then continue with that same confidence. 

‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps.37:2-5) 

Oh friends, there’s no more encouraging scripture than those few words in the Good Book, and that from a man who truly lived them and thus knew exactly what he was talking about. 

Today I implore us to take his words to heart and put them into practice, so that we too can be led to our divine destiny. Common sense and wisdom dictate it! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with the passion and strong belief that it ought to engender in us. In one, strong and unified voice 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 the best way to show that passion is to go out now and share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a life lived without passion…is a wasted life…especially if you’re a follower of Jesus…

 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but it’s very worthwhile. (smile) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2017 Psalm 121:2.

Psalm 121:2.    My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Well friends, it’s Sunday, the day we gather to fellowship, praise and worship our wonderful God! Now the rains of the last two days have cast a dreary spell over our area, and they are still falling intermittently and sporadically, but that is no excuse for us not to attend church today. (smile) 

Oh, I know the words, ‘it’s raining, so I can’t go to church this morning,’ are right on the tips of our tongues waiting to fall out. But let’s leave them there nuh, and go to church if we are otherwise able. I can guarantee that the blessings, comfort, courage and assurance you will get from fellowshipping in the Lord’s sanctuary will greatly outweigh the few negative aspects a li’l rain might cause. (smile) 

So let’s open this morning’s praise and worship with this old but majestic hymn written by St. Francis of Assisi, who just happens to be the patron saint of my church. (smile) Let’s raise our voices to high heaven in a beautiful sacrifice of praise, as we sing: ‘All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing: alleluia, alleluia! O burning sun with golden beam, and shining moon with silver gleam, O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

O rushing wind so wild and strong, white clouds that sail in heaven along, alleluia, alleluia! New rising dawn in praise rejoice; you lights of evening find a voice: O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Cool flowing water, pure and clear, make music for your Lord to hear: alleluia, alleluia! Fierce fire, so masterful and bright, providing us with warmth and light. O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Earth ever fertile, day by day bring forth your blessings on our way; alleluia, alleluia! All flowers and fruits that you grow, let there his glory also show; O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! All you who are of tender heart, forgiving others, take your part; alleluia, alleluia! All you who pain and sorrow bear, praise God and on him cast your care; O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Let all things their Creator bless, and worship him in humbleness, alleluia, alleluia! Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One: O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!’ 

Ah mih people, our great God is certainly deserving of all the praise and alleluias that that hymn declares! And I know that delicious sacrifice of praise just put you in the mood to listen now to God’s encouraging and reassuring words found in the Good Book. (smile) So let’s get on with our Bit. ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ 

Wow friends! What a bold but totally true declaration! If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, then that’s where ALL your help will come from! Some of it may be siphoned through other people, places and things, but the source, the fountainhead, WILL ALWAYS be God Almighty, the Creator and Controller of both heaven and earth! 

And why is that you ask? Because ALL things, both in heaven and on earth belong to Him, and NOTHING happens in either place without His allowing it. Now let’s hear some words of scripture that corroborate our contention. Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 124 – Praise for deliverance from enemies – as he eschews God’s goodness and greatness. 

‘If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick (alive), when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had (would have) overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over (swept over) our soul. 

Then the proud waters had gone over (would have swept over) our soul. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers (bird trappers): the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ (Ps.124:1-8) 

Oh friends, please let’s always remember that nuh; our help is in God! Now let’s close with these memorable words of assurance and comfort from the author of Hebrews. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). 

For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:14-16) 

What powerful words of comfort and confidence my people! And the scholars tell us: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest. The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

What more can I say to encourage us to embrace Jesus eh my brethren? It’s all up to you now. So please use wisdom and common sense to make the proper decision. Much LOVE!

…the wisdom of Christianity speaks for itself…since no other faith can offer what it does…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Aye friends, top o’ the morn! Now yesterday’s cloudy beginning turned into a beautiful sunny spring day, let’s hope that today’s cloudy start will also turn into a majestic ending. 

But yuh know I’m beginning to dread opening my e-mail on a morning, because I’m been bombarded with too much unfortunate news. 

Yesterday I opened it and heard about my friend Jackie’s death. Today I open the e-mail and find out that she’s to be buried tomorrow at 11 a.m. exactly when I have an appointment with my heart doctor. Chuh! 

And this is not just an ordinary, routine appointment, but one to do some technical stuff to see if my heart has improved over the last few months. So you can imagine the quandary that I’m in; I don’t want to miss Jackie’s funeral, but I do want to know what’s happening with my ole ticker. 

Anyway, I’ll just leave it all in the Lord’s hands and see how He works it out. But this morning we’re going to pray a prayer that I discovered on one of my office walls last night while looking for something else. 

And I have to laugh at the Lord’s mysterious workings, because this is a prayer that I ought to see every time I enter the office and go to sit behind the desk. But I obviously don’t. 

Ah Lord eh! I believe I’ve shared it with you a long time ago, but is it ever so appropriate for these trying times in which we’re currently living! 

So please pray with me: ‘Dear God: I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking You right now! I am thanking You because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking You because Father, You haven’t given up on me! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, what a beautiful prayer! Our God is just so good! And the important and amazing thing is that He’s so good, ALL THE TIME! Oh Praise His Holy Name my people! 

And if we’d give our wonderful God thanks and praise more often than we do, our lives would be so much better, but we’re just stubborn and hardheaded, and just seem to make our lives harder than necessary. 

And I like how this prayer just fits nicely with our Bit. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Now our God doesn’t want to cause darkness in our lives, but if we’re continually disobedient, we leave Him no choice. It’s just like us with our children; we don’t like to punish them, but constant disobedience does call for some harsh consequences. 

Hear how the psalmist puts in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation (proclaim the good news of his salvation) from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen (nations), his wonders among all the people. 

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due his name: bring an offering and come into his courts. 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96:2-10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the majesty and magnificence, the power and glory of our great God! Please, let’s give him the reverence and honour that are His rightful due nuh. It’s only common sense and wisdom to do so. 

Now let’s go home with our hearts filled with joy and reverence, praise and thanksgiving, as we declare our Wednesday Wail in unison and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s keep looking forward to that glorious future with Jesus nuh, for He is indeed the TRUTH, the LIGHT and the WAY! Much LOVE!

…in the LIGHT of Jesus…true believers overcome darkness…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2016 John 3:16.

John 3:16:   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.

Well hello there all you blessed people residing in warm, tropical climates! Hn! I must say that right now I envy you all because it seems like the real cold weather is starting to come upon us. Temperatures are now residing in the minus category… 

Ohhhh, how the warmth and sunshine of sweet Tobago would just warm and refresh my cold body and aching soul right now!  And today is also Saturday, so that means Brother Kirby’s sensational soup will also be on the boil up Calder Hall! Some of that tasty concoction right now would just warm my innards and have me calling for more! (smile) 

And I guess that’s why we’ve been granted the ability to dream. But one day soon friends, one day soon, that dream will come alive, I will bask in the beautiful climate of God’s Little Acre! Obviously though, it all depends on the Good Lord’s willingness to so bless me. In the meantime though, we’ll just hope and pray and ask for the wherewithal to do His bidding in these cold winter climes. (smile) 

Anyway, enough of my dreaming, let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, in his efforts to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  The first one says: ‘It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself, you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship.’ 

Ah mih people, those words are so true that they couldn’t get any truer! (smile) We spend most of our time with ourselves, so we might as well like what we see in the mirror, otherwise we’d be on a negative go round all the time. 

That doesn’t mean we have to be a narcissist and go to the other extreme, but we must feel comfortable in ourselves, else we’d be even more miserable than we are right now. (smile) And besides that, if we don’t like and appreciate ourselves, we won’t be able to truly like and appreciate others. 

Anselm’s second quote declares: ‘We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! Somehow or the other we seem to have lost the use of the word encouragement from our language. 

Everyone’s a critic these days. But the fact of the matter is that none of us like criticism, even if it’s true and well-intentioned. We all respond so much better to words and acts of encouragement. I guess it’s just the overwhelming negativity of the world that has us acting so selfishly and foolishly, lacking compassion and common sense. 

And the last quote from Anselm is another gem. ‘You don’t LOVE someone because they’re perfect, you LOVE them in spite of the fact that they’re not.’  

Oh friends, if we’d only live that out, we’d certainly live in a wonderful world! But instead, we choose to LOVE others only if they LOVE us, or do what we want, or come up to the standards that we set. We seem to conveniently forget that mankind is an imperfect being, that’s how our God made us. 

But you know the wonderful thing about it all is that God LOVES us dearly despite our imperfections. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus in our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, if our wonderful God didn’t LOVE us in spite of our imperfections, which lead to abominable sins, we’d all eventually end up in the lake of fire, like Lucifer and his evil minions will do. But His heart was so filled with compassion for us, His greatest creation, that He broke His own heart and sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross at Calvary so that we could be redeemed. Glory Hallelujah! 

So why then do we find it so difficult to be kind to each other eh, to show a little brotherly LOVE eh? Remember what Jesus said to the disciples? ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35)  

And sadly, that’s how it plays out in today’s world; the heathen looks at us and laughs, considering us hypocrites, because the LOVE we claim to have, or should have as followers of Jesus, we either don’t have, or don’t show to each other. Then according to Jesus’ logic, we’re not His disciples, regardless of what we may think.

Ah my brethren, you know it’s all about that one, simple, but far reaching word – LOVE! And it all stems from the LOVE of God! 

Listen to what the scholars say about that. ‘3:16. LOVE is both an attribute of God and a description of His being. He alone is the epitome of divine LOVE and the source of all true LOVE. His LOVE is unconditional and consistently seeks the highest good of the one who is LOVED. 

Illustration: God’s LOVE was clearly demonstrated at Calvary when Jesus died for all our sins (1 John 3:1). Application: Because God first LOVED us, we ought to LOVE others as well (1 John 4:11). (First Ref. Gen.2:16- 17; Primary Ref. John 3:16; cf. James 1:17).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, why is it so difficult to show LOVE and respect for each other eh, when that is exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ desires of us? In this day and age, the talk of LOVE is cheap and plentiful, but the reality of it; LOVE in action, is woefully inadequate. Please friends, let’s try and do better nuh, Jesus didn’t just ask it of us, He COMMANDED IT! Much LOVE!

…LOVING God, oneself, and each other is not merely a request…but our bounden duty…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

 Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

As one strong voice 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!’ 

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

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

Oh my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and families, how goes it this bright and sunshiny morn eh? We’ve gotten through Monday, despite our fears and frustrations, and Tuesday has dawned blessed and bountiful, with both the sun and the Son shining out in all their wonderful splendour! 

It’s a new day, so let’s treat it like such nuh, and deliriously declare: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) Yes friends, it’s the only sensible way to face each and every new day that we’re blessed to see! 

But we can’t do that successfully without the supreme trust and confidence in Almighty God, so here is something that will help us build that confidence. Quite appropriately it’s called ‘A Prayer for Confidence,’ and it comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as we say, when it’s nice, we can share it twice, and even thrice. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear: I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that prayer of confidence truly brought a surge of confidence into our hearts, bodies, souls and minds this Tuesday morning, and will enable us to go out and do a fine job for Jesus today, because it’s usually self-assurance and uncertainty that trip us up in our walk of faith. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Oh I know some of you might be tired of it, but it’s one of those scriptures that are rather essential to our successful and faithful walk with God. We can’t do it without the successful guidance of the Holy Spirit that’s sent to dwell within us for that specific purpose, so please open your hearts wisely to it. 

Now we’ve already seen what the lusts of the flesh and fruit of the Spirit are, today we’ll check out the last part of Bruh Paul’s exhortation on the subject. Yes, today’s the last day for this Bit. (smile) 

After detailing the fruit of the Spirit, Bruh Paul continues thus: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:24-26) 

Yes mih breddren, that’s how we ought to live if we’re a new creation in Christ! 

Now listen to some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:24. At conversion every believer crucified the flesh, that is, in repentance he turned from and renounced his life of sin and all its wicked passions. This verse then implies that the virtues of verses of 22-23, rather than the vices of verses 19-21, should characterize them that are Christ’s.’ And that’s gospel truth! 

‘5:25. This verse means “Since we live by the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” That is, since the Spirit gave us new life at conversion, we then should stay in step with His leading and promptings throughout life.’ Now that’s simple common sense my people; we shouldn’t forget who brought us to the dance. 

Oh, I’ve just noticed another scholarly exposition on the Fruit of the Spirit, which I don’t want to deprive you of, so here it is. ‘5:22-23. In contrast to the works (plural) of the flesh, which any individual is capable of performing, the fruit (singular) of the Holy Spirit can be produced only by God. Christian character thus results from “Christ living in me (2:20). For this fruit to develop, all nine aspects of the fruit of the spirit must mature. 

Illustration: The character of Christ is the fullest manifestation of this fruit in the New Testament. Though Jesus did not recognize the traditions of men, His enemies were unable to prove any charge against Him. 

Application: So today, Christians should allow the Holy Spirit to develop this character within them, so they might be blameless before others and not hinder the testimony of Christ. (First Ref. Ex.35:31; 36:2; Primary Ref. Gal.5:22-23; cf. Phil.1:6).’ 

Now I won’t spoon feed you all today, (smile) so please look up those reference scriptures, they are very interesting and will help you better understand the topic. 

And my people, having been through all the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit; a Christian’s character traits, over the last few days, let’s hope that it refreshes and renews our inner man, and brings out more Christ-like behaviour in us as we walk this earthly life, because this is the undoubted will of our heavenly Father. 

Now let’s go home with great confidence and trust, loudly and soulfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s indeed who we are! Let’s never forget it! Much LOVE!

…as a true believer…our earthly pilgrimage …should constantly exude Christ-like traits…fruit of the Spirit…

 

 

 

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