Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Aye mih breddren, Saturday has rolled around once again! What are your plans eh? I know I’m not planning to do much of anything productive. It will be mostly a day of rest and relaxation, especially if it’s another nice one like the last few. And it’s supposed to go up to around thirty degrees Celsius. 

Mama yo! Many will now complain that it’s too hot, and the a/c will be blasting cold air. But many others will also break out the sunscreen lotion and work on their tans. It’s a good thing that my tan is natural yes, I don’t have to work at it. (smile) Thank You Lord! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm offered this week nuh, in his marvelous effort to inspire us to aspire to a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Without action you aren’t going anywhere. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.’ 

And is that ever so true and rather appropriate to our Christian faith my brethren, because we’re certainly doing more talking, more preaching, rather than putting the preaching into action, as is most necessary in this lost and evil world. 

Then he tells us: ‘Forgive and let it go. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’ I guess you have to be strong to be able to forgive and let go of hurts inflicted by others. And the eye for an eye thing will certainly make the world blind. 

What did Jesus have to say about the blind leading the blind? ‘And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14) Gospel truth that! For Jesus doesn’t lie. 

This next quote is a bit touchy. ‘You are in control. Nobody can hurt you without your permission.’ Technically speaking it’s true, we allow others to hurt us. But when someone does dreadful things to us, it’s not that easy to say ‘I won’t let them hurt me,’ and just turn off the hurt. 

The penultimate quote advises: ‘You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’ The only problem there is that our current ocean of humanity has much much more than just a few dirty drops in it. 

And I’ve left the best for last. ‘A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.’ More gospel truth friends! And there’s no better example of that than our own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at all He did for us nuh, all the ‘sufferation’ He endured on our behalf, and from then to now, He’s never gotten the plaudits He so rightfully deserves. But he didn’t do what he did for praise and glory, but for LOVE! Can you imagine it? Hn! Most of our leaders today are simply out for their own glorification. 

However our Bit declares of Jesus: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

The Father really put Him between a rock and a hard place, but He did what He had to do without a lot of complaining. No, it wasn’t easy, even for Him as the Son of God, but it’s what the Father desired, and He wanted to please the Father. Oh, how I wish that more of us supposed Christians could feel the same way; simply desirous of pleasing the Father and doing what He asks of us without a lot of hemming and hawing. That would be the day! 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living a true Christian life, but when we put our minds to it, with the help of God, it is certainly exciting and adventurous. And I’m not talking from hearsay there, but from personal experience. 

And all I want to do today is highlight a couple of scripture verses that enhance our Bit, from the magnificent prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 53, re the Suffering servant. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men: a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs (pains), and carried our sorrows (sicknesses): yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement (discipline, self-control) of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:3-6) 

Yes friends, our leader showed us the way, by walking His talk with strength of purpose. He bore our sinful burdens selflessly and gave us His peace and righteousness. Now why can’t we just live up to the little He asks of us eh…to LOVE the Father, LOVE ourselves, not in a narcissist manner, and to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? 

Is that so hard to do my Christian brethren? What a wonderful world we’d truly have! And there would be supreme joy both in heaven and on earth! Let’s try and make that a reality nuh my people. With God’s help it’s possible. But we have to sincerely want to do it and then put out the great effort necessary. Much LOVE!

…that tremendous gift of atonement…paid for with Jesus’ blood…should have us chomping at the bit…to do God’s bidding…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2017 John 3:17.

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Arise oh friends and greet the new day! It’s Monday, which means it’s time to toil, to go out and labour, so that we can eventually reap the sweat of that labour. What does the Good Book say? Something like by the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread. 

Well then, if we want to eat bread, let’s get a move on. Enough of the dilly-dallying and complaining about we sick and/ or tired. We weren’t too sick or tired to join in the partying though. So come on, let’s be up and at ‘em! And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto and heartfelt belief. 

In harmony now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Good singing friends, good singing! Our harmony wasn’t perfect, but our choirmaster, Jesus, knew that our heart was in it and He was pleased. Now let’s keep that adrenaline flowing as we get out into the evil, disaster filled world to help the needy and less fortunate, and try to right whatever wrongs we can in Jesus’ name. 

That’s our mission. Jesus states it quite plainly in our Bit. ‘ For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

Yes friends, if it was Jesus’ mission, then it’s also ours, seeing that we are His followers, His disciples, and ought to do what He does, or commands us to do. And you know my brethren that we never deserved that LOVING-kindness, but our God has such a soft spot in His heart for us that He just couldn’t help Himself, He just had to save us, regardless of how much pain and sorrow it caused Him. And it did cause Him much grief, but He knew that the result would be absolutely worth it. 

Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow believers for providing us with an option to save our sinful souls. And if you don’t believe me, or Jesus, then listen to some corroborative scripture. Hear what the angel said to Joseph, re his betrothed Mary. ‘And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his Names JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matt.1:21) 

And the scholars explain. ‘1:21. Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.”  This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature is the Saviour.’  

And if you still doubt, then listen to Jesus after a village in Samaria refused to accept Him, because they knew he was going to Jerusalem, and James and John wanted to call down fire and brimstone on the village. ‘But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

Ah friends, I keep reminding us about the wonderful, the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve, but a lot of us don’t pay attention, we’re too busy paying homage to the evil prince of this world, seeking his frivolous and fraudulent material possessions and earthly wealth. But please, please believe me, there will come a time when the material wealth and possessions will be of absolutely no use to you, and the only saving option for you will be Jesus. 

And if you don’t sincerely have Him in your heart, then you’ll be left forlornly, on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee that that will not be a very nice place to be. So let’s close with these warning words from John. 

‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Yes friends, trust in Jesus Christ is the only wise and sensible option in this life. Wisdom dictates that you accept Him before it’s too late. Much LOVE!

…what separates hell from heaven…belief in Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.     He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Well friends, it’s Saturday and there’s work to be done around the house, errands to run and shut in people to visit. Wow! For some of us it doesn’t seem like a day off at all, and we’re tempted to go to our place of employment, where we don’t work half as hard. (smile) 

But for some blessed individuals, it’s a much easier go; just sleeping in late, snoozing on the couch, idly flipping the channels on the remote,  watching golf and baseball, hockey and basketball, while sipping something cold and frothy and drowsily but sincerely saying, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes mih people, some do have it easier than others. But since it’s Saturday, we also have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week. And he does have some excellent ones this week. 

Listen to this first one. ‘Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Problems are in fact opportunities for us to grow. Note that it’s only when we face adversity that we mature, especially in our Christian walk. 

And this next quote follows on naturally. ‘We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.’ There again friends, we can’t escape pain or problems, but we can choose how to handle them; either by cringing and complaining, or by standing strong and using the adversity to our benefit. 

And this one also segues nicely to the one before. ‘You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.’ It’s all about attitudes my people; our attitudes to our problems can either make or break us. And this last quote just wraps it up nicely. ‘Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours.’

Oh is that ever so true my fellow believers! The choice is all ours. That means if we want to have a fairly happy and peaceful life we must choose attitudes that relate to happiness and peace. Remember with Jesus as our captain, we can remain calm in any storm. 

Now listen to the psalmist as he tells his story. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships; that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Ah friends that reminds me of a personal testimony to that situation. One day, some thirty something years ago, I ended up on a boat with some friends and coworkers who were headed for Rochester on the American side of Lake Ontario. To cut a long story short, going across the day was sunny and beautiful and we finally got to the American side, but up to now we haven’t reached Rochester. (smile) 

Through the obvious presence of the brown girl in the bottle and several strong imbibers, arguments broke out about continuing down the American coast to Rochester or returning to Toronto. The captain and owner of the boat eventually decided to come back to Toronto. This was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 

But lo and behold, on our way back a serious storm rose up against us and we could barely make any headway against it. And yuh better believe that prayer, for the first time in many a day, was forthcoming from several of the inebriated imbibers. It’s a good thing I wasn’t into the sauce that day, so I was able to help the skipper, while the others were rolling around, hanging on, giving drunken orders and praying. 

Now that day I learned a couple of lessons. The first one is that Lake Ontario can be very dangerous. I would be passing along the shore and see it kicking up and steups at it, saying it was nothing like the ocean I was accustomed to, and wondering how big ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald could sink and get lost in it.

But friends, that night I learned otherwise. For when the boat, I guess it was around fifteen feet long, mounted up the massive waves, I saw the good Lord in his heaven. (smile) And when it hit back down to the depths, between those waves, I felt the shivering of timbers! And that was the second lesson I learned; the actual feeling of shivering timbers. Before that night I had only read it from books. 

And believe me there was even mutiny amongst the group. For when we finally reached land on the Ontario side, somewhere around Cobourg, still many miles from our starting point, we had to stop for gas. At that point, some of the more inebriated ones wanted to use their money to take a taxi home, instead of chip in for the gas. 

But eventually cooler heads prevailed and we all came back together, arriving at our starting point around three o’clock in the morning, having left their around ten a.m. the previous day. And believe me, that was only a synopsis of the whole story. Like my family didn’t know where I was, hadn’t seen or heard from me for at least 20 hours, and the captain’s wife had the coast guard out looking for us. 

Can’t say I haven’t led an adventurous life – but with the grace of God always surrounding me! That’s why I can totally agree with the psalmist when he declares: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:31) Much LOVE my brethren!

…without God…where would men be eh…so let’s give Him lots of thanks and praise nuh…and faithfully adhere to His law…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2017 Joshua 24:15(a).

Joshua 24:15(a).   …choose you this day whom ye will serve…

Oh friends, it’s Monday, our favourite hate day!  (smile) And we only hate it because it means we have to get up and go out and labour, after spending a soft, cushy, licentious weekend. But them’s the breaks my people. You either go and work or be homeless and starve. 

And yuh better believe you’re darm lucky and blessed if you have a job, because there are millions of people out there who don’t have one and will gladly take yours in a heartbeat. So let’s start living right over the weekend nuh, so that on Monday we don’t have the set of steupsing and complaining we currently have. 

In any case, let’s take the antidote for that there illness right now; the glorious singing of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. In full voice and perfect harmony, let’s belt it out: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Not bad friends, not bad, but not good enough to get a big rise out of our choirmaster Jesus. Anyway, with that adrenaline antidote taking effect, as it courses through our bodies, raising both our physical and spiritual capacity, let’s get a move on, for Jesus is waiting for us out on the battlefield, so we can fight the good fight with Him. Time to move out mih people! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘choose you this day whom ye will serve…’ 

Yes friends, we can either serve the prince of this evil world, Beelzebub, or the Prince of Peace, of Light and Eternal Life, Jesus Christ. The decision is totally yours. But let me give you a li’l bit of wise advice. It will be better for you, if you serve Jesus Christ, for He is the mighty conqueror of hell, death and the grave, Beelzebub’s territory! That’s why Beelzebub now has no power over true believers, unless we fall for his lies and deceits. 

Now we all know the numerous times the Israelites turned away from God and suffered adversity, then caught themselves, repented and were welcomed back into the fold of God. Anybody with a bit of common sense can do that, but let’s check out an individual circumstance, where the reward of a Gentile for choosing the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was immeasurable. 

We’re talking about the story of Ruth, the Moabitess, who immigrated to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law Naomi from her own land of Moab, after her husband, brother and father in-law had died, leaving three widows behind. Now Naomi, having heard that the ‘Lord had visited (attended to) his people in giving them bread,’ (Ruth 1:6) she decided to return to her people in Bethlehem, where it might be possible for a Jewish widow to scrape together a half-decent living. 

So she kissed and blessed her two daughters’ –in- law and told them to go back to their own people. But they wept and refused. However, eventually the one named Orpah did leave Naomi, ‘but Ruth clave (clung) unto her. (Ruth 1:7-15) 

‘And Ruth said, Entreat me not (urge me not) to leave thee, or return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.’ (Ruth 1:16-17) 

And the scholars tell us thus: ‘1:16-17. Ruth’s faith and faithfulness are in evidence throughout the book, as expressed here in her commitment to Naomi’s God as her own. Ruth’s own concern for Naomi is bound by a strong oath made before the Lord Himself.’ 

And how did the Lord repay Ruth’s faithfulness? By causing her to marry the richest man in the city and having a baby boy whom Naomi the grandmother nursed. ‘And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.’ (Ruth 4:17) 

Ah friends, you never know what our great and wonderful God will do nuh! For from that union of Jew, Boaz, and Gentile, Ruth, came Bruh David and later his descendant Jesus!  So one more mysterious but wise working of our great God! 

And as the scholars declare: ‘from the union of Jew and Gentile would ultimately come the Saviour of all men. (Acts 4:12). The marriage of Boaz and Ruth may thus serve as a picture of Christ and His church through whom all believers become one (Eph.2:11-22).’  

No better way to end today my brethren! Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we WILL serve the Lord…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2016 2 Timothy 3:17.

2 Timothy 3:17.    That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works. 

Oh friends, I’d like to open this Tuesday morning with a call to prayer for Scotty Richards, one of our staunchest Scrip-Bit family members.Every time he sees me, he asks me something about the Bit. 

Scotty, one of my church Wardens, is presently in the hospital and I ask us all to kindly remember him in our prayers. Let’s pray that the Lord will heal him of all that’s causing him to be hospitalized right now, and that he will soon return to his normal life. 

Scotty, mih brother, we still need you here with us. So please hurry up and get well. Amen. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled; ‘The Reason’ and I daresay that it applies to many of us. 

It says: ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation? Why am I often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? 

Why am I so undisciplined So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of Your shining Presence? God, why? Why?’  

And God’s answer; short and to the point: ‘Because you pray so little.’ 

Yes friends, that could be the reason why so many negative things keep on assaulting us; our prayer life is just not full enough. We don’t spend enough time communicating with our heavenly Father. 

Remember, we can’t fight off evil or negative situations unless we have the positive power of God working with and for us. And we can only get that power by constant communication with our Creator. As the promise for that poem so rightly tells us: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) 

Oh my brethren, as followers of Jesus Christ, we should always have an attitude of prayer, though we might not be praying audibly, which will allow the Holy Spirit that indwells each believer, to do a better job of leading and guiding us. 

And today will probably the last day for this renowned Bit. (smile) ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ 

Yes my people, our wise and wonderful God has provided a guidebook for us, in the Bible, and also provided the Holy Spirit to help us walk this earthly pilgrimage. We have been given EVERYTHING we need to be successful in this life. All we have to do now is faithfully follow the instructions and directions. 

Now let’s look at a scripture that corroborates the words of our Bit. The author of Hebrews declares unto us: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 

Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ’ to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21) 

Ah my fellow believers in Christ, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! In His supreme wisdom, He’s provided for all our needs. We lack for nothing, but through His Word and the Holy Spirit we are energized to do all that we need to do. 

Now listen to these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights of the world.’ (Phil.2:13-15)  

And the scholars give us some explanation re those verses. ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (v.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. 

Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarrelling among themselves is also prohibited.’ 

The same things apply to us in these modern times my friends. We have no good reason to murmur or complain, because God has already provided all we need to do His good work. 

‘2:15. If the readers obey the commands of verses 12-14, they will be (become) blameless [i.e., no finger of accusation can justly be pointed at them] and harmless (i.e.’ morally pure). Due to party strife and bickering, this is not true of them. 

As the sons of God…in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), they are to be without rebuke – without incurring spiritual damage. The proper place for God’s people is among the lost. For only in such a position can true Christian witness be borne and influence for the gospel be effectively exerted. 

Yet believers must remain “without rebuke” in that they suffer no moral damage by contact with the unsaved. Then among unbelievers they will shine as lights in the world. As stars are readily noticeable in a dark sky, so healthy Christian lives stand out in testimony among the lost and give credence to one’s witness.’ 

Yes my people, I know it’s seems like a hard row to hoe, but please remember that we have already been granted all we need to succeed in God’s work. Now let’s go home loudly and sincerely declaring our Tuesday mantra. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And with all of that sizzling in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, let’s go out and shine like stars in the darkness of this evil and ungodly world nuh, and thus glorify our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…to shine…to shine…to shine in the darkness…that’s a believer’s bounden duty…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2016 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.    …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Okay friends, it’s Monday, the last day of October 2016, time to get a move on, time to rock and roll! (smile) The battle has already been joined and we need to be there to help our fellow soldiers in the army of Christ. The army of the evil one is already fighting tooth and nail, and without our help our brothers and sisters already on the front line will suffer innumerable loss. 

And as always, we have the antidote for our lethargy and complacency, our lack of energy and enthusiasm, our complaining and self-pity; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out so that we can be uplifted and enthused to get out and do Christ’s work nuh. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Good show mih breddren, good show! Our choirmaster, Jesus, was quite pleased with that rendition. The harmony and full voices were all that He expected. He was beaming from ear to ear. And you know there’s nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on Jesus’ face! 

So with our human motors now running smoothly on the fuel of adrenaline, let’s pick up the pace and enthusiastically get into the fray of this new workweek without further ado.  

That brings us to our Bit. ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Oh friends, you won’t know how that small bit of scripture touches and buoys my heart.  I can just see Bruh David sitting alone and forlorn at the entrance to the burnt out city of Ziklag, while his men mutter and complain around him, seriously talking about stoning him. He’s probably sadly shaking his head and thinking: ‘Why Lord, why eh?’ 

But then he remembers all the other misfortunes the Lord has successfully brought him through, the many victories the Lord had caused him to have, and his spirit lifts with the strong faith that he’s cultivated in the God of his forefathers over the years. And his next move is obviously to seek God’s advice. 

The problem here though my people, is that Bruh David had to raise that faith on his own, by himself, because there was no sympathetic human being to turn to. Likewise, there will be times when we find ourselves in the same situation; alone, with others crying out for our head, like they did for Jesus’. 

Friends, at those times, we have to dig deep down inside of us and dredge up the necessary faith that will lead us to Almighty God for help and guidance. For He is the ONLY One who can help us under those trying circumstances. 

That reminds me of another instance in Bruh David’s life, where he was encouraged in God, but this time by his covenant brother Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir to the throne. At that time Bruh David was on the run from Saul. 

The Good Book tells us. ‘And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God (encouraged him).

And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.’ (1 Sam.23:15-18) 

Oh my brethren, how blessed we are when we have even one friend to offer us that sort of encouragement! Job was another man of faith who had to encourage himself in God when God allowed Satan to cause him untold calamity. His wife told him to ‘curse God, and die,’ (Job 2:9b) 

That was exactly what Satan desired. But Job was not ready to give up all hope, and he reasoned that both good and evil came from God, so one had to learn to accept them both. (Job 2:10) 

But better yet, when his supposed friends were tongue lashing him, Job stalwartly proclaimed: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.’ (Job 13:15) 

That’s what we call unquenchable faith my fellow believers! Do we have that kind of faith? We should, but the problem is that kind of faith can only be acquired by undergoing true calamity. 

And the best example of encouraging one’s self in God is obviously our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Just look at how Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him thrice and all His other followers deserted Him when His time came. How do you think He stood up under the total desertion and the enormous physical and emotional punishment that followed eh?  

By encouraging Himself in His heavenly Father! Otherwise He would not have been able to bear the intense pain and terrible ‘sufferation’ without complaining. 

So friends, I just hope that we can appreciate the importance of strong faith in our Christian walk, and that it can only be built on the foundation of trials and tribulations. Much LOVE!

…when life seems oh so futile…Christians turn  their eyes, hearts and voices heavenward…where they find succour to salve their wounds…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

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

Awright friends, it’s Monday, so let’s get up and get a move on nuh. There’s no time for pushing the snooze button and rolling over. The trumpet is calling out yonder: It’s time to go to work! Time to be up and about Jesus’ business! 

Yes my people, there’s no time for muttering and complaining. You weren’t muttering or complaining last night when you were up till all hours of the night having fun. So let’s cut out the negative actions now and get with the programme. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty enthusiasm, energy and sense of purpose. As they say, fake it until you make it. 

So let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Oh friends, that rendition of our Battle Hymn was barely passable! How can such a lacklustre vocalization ever inspire anybody to go out and fight bravely eh? It’s obvious that our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t pleased. But as always, knowing our frailties, and having that great LOVE for us, He forgives us. 

Nonetheless, now that our motors are running, let’s pick up the tempo and get ourselves into the fray of this new workweek, with Jesus, beside, behind and before us; in other words, all around us as a protective shield. That’s why we can so audaciously declare in our Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes precious people of God, once you are spiritually born again through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, then you have indeed become a conqueror through His having conquered hell, death and the grave. The same options are open to all who sincerely believe in Him and truly surrender their souls to His leading and guidance. 

Now the last couple of days we have been talking about the conquering aspect of our Bit, today however, I want to talk about the LOVE portion. And isn’t that word LOVE, the greatest word in any language on planet earth? It certainly is! Why eh? 

Listen to the most important verse in the God’s word. ‘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.’ (John 3:16) 

That’s the major purpose behind it all my faithful brethren. God’s LOVE was so great for us, His sinful creation, that He just could not live with Himself to see us all go down to Hades with Lucifer without some option for deliverance. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

And all those words were spoken by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the SON of God! So they just had to be true, since God cannot lie. That’s how blessed we are my people! Our Creator’s care and compassion for us was so strong, that He broke His own heart, by sacrificing His only Son, that we could be set free from the ravages of sin and death. 

Now doesn’t that touch a soft spot in your heart, make you everlastingly grateful? It ought to. And it also ought to raise up your own LOVE for God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in thankful appreciation for all that they’ve done for you. But such is the ungratefulness and foolish pride of man that many of us just couldn’t care less about what the Holy Trinity has done, is doing, and will do for us.  

Now let’s further develop this theory of LOVE. We have a saying that ‘LOVE makes the world go round,’ and if we follow and believe what John says in his later writings, then it might just be true. 

Hear John theorize. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested (shown) the LOVE of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

And that’s the crux of the disastrous situation right now in our world; we don’t LOVE one another! 

And we not talking about no big setta LOVE nuh, with plenty hugging and kissing etc; (smile) but just simple brotherly kindness, goodwill, care and compassion for each other. Now that’s what will make our world go round! 

Ah friends, if we want to see our world become a better place, both for ourselves and our descendants, then I implore us to start showing that goodwill, that brotherly LOVE to each other. It’s not too late, and with God’s help we can certainly do it. So let’s begin today nuh; there’s no better time than right now! Much LOVE!

…without more basic LOVE…our world WILL NOT survive for much longer…

 

 

 

 

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