Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2017 2 Chronicles 2:5.

2 Chronicles 2:5.   And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.

Rise and shine, friends, rise and shine! Hear the trumpet’s call! Battle stations all! Our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ is already at the battlefront reconnoitering the situation, waiting for us to come forward, so He can lead us into battle. 

Please, no dilly-dallying this morning, there’s urgent work to be done. So let’s get a move on, let’s be up and about our Father’s business! And if you think you don’t have the wherewithal to do battle today, then join us, as we sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which gets our adrenaline flowing and kick starts our motors. 

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!’ 

Awright mih breddren! That sounded good! Our choirmaster, Jesus was pleased. Now it’s time for us to get out there and join Jesus, our field General, on the front lines, for that’s where the battle is being fought. That brings us to our Bit: ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’ 

Ah mih people, what words of absolute truth from Cousin Sol as he set out to build the immaculate and magnificent House of God in the Golden Age of Israel! And this no idle boast, as you’ll realize when you hear the proud declaration of the psalmist from Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth (proclaim the good news of) his salvation from day to day. 

Declare his glory among the heathen (gentiles), his wonders among all 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.’ (Ps.96:2-6) 

Yeh friends, any other supposed deity beside Jehovah, is merely an idol. They are all dead objects, the work of man’s hands, or creatures of his finite imagination. That’s because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Only True Living God that there is! And if you don’t believe the psalmist, then listen to Bruh Paul in his first missive to the Corinthians, as he talks about Christian freedom and brotherly obligations. 

‘As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and there is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we (live) by him.’ (1 Cor. 8:4-6) 

Oh friends, how could there logically be more than ONE God eh? More than one god would never have made such a smooth running, self-sustaining, magnificent universe. It would have been total confusion all over! 

Now hear corroboration of that fact from way back when, from Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, when he brought Moses’ wife and children to meet him in the Israelite camp in the wilderness.  After Moses told him all that the Lord had done for the Israelites in bringing them out of Egypt, Jethro rejoiced. 

‘And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt (behaved) proudly he was above them.’ (Ex.18:10-11) 

Yes friends, our God is above everybody and everything! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise, glorify and exalt His holy name throughout all the earth! Spread His word from one end of the world to the next, so that the heathen can have a chance to experience His never-ending, unconditional LOVE, His healing power and the good news of His salvation! 

That’s our Great Commission, so let’s get out there today and do it with diligence and excellence as He desires nuh. Much LOVE!

…the good news of Jesus…was meant to be spread far and wide…not selfishly hoarded…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2017 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.   Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…

Up and at ‘em friends! The trump’s sounding the wake up call, and we can’t afford to tarry, for he who tarries is lost. (smile) 

Yeh mih people, unfortunately it’s Monday morning and work calls, got to get out and make some bread to keep the family going, keep them in the fashion to which they’ve become accustomed. 

In addition to that, we also need to get out there and do Jesus’ work; important work that He’s depending on us to do – spreading His word to all and sundry so that they can receive salvation and eternal life, for the Father doesn’t want to lose even one of His creation to Beelzebub. So you see it’s of the utmost importance that we get up and get a move on.  

And I know some of us find it hard to get going on a Monday morning, for whatever reason, that’s why we have the appropriate antidote for your Monday problems. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and it activates all our faculties, gets the adrenaline flowing so we can function like the true conquerors we are in Jesus. 

So let’s shout it out now nuh, in strong voice and much gusto. ‘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 showing friends, good showing! Our choirmaster Jesus was pleased with that rendition. Now let’s keep the energy and the adrenaline flowing by getting out onto the highways and byways with Jesus first place in our hearts. And let’s profoundly proclaim like Job did in our Bit: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…’ 

Yeh friends, unconditional trust in Jesus Christ is essential in our faith walk. As Job said, though the Lord put him under, he would still trust him. That takes mucho mucho faith. And unfortunately, it’s only as we go through trials and tribulations that we build faith. That’s why so many righteous people in the Bible went through so much calamity. 

Check out Moses, Bruh Joseph, Bruh David and Bruh Paul. They were champions of faith, but they also suffered much tribulation for their belief. But yuh know what fellow believers, throughout all their trials the Lord was with them every moment and every step of the way. 

The Good Book tells us that in every rough spot Bruh Joseph found himself, God was with him and made him well-liked. And listen to his words when he finally accosted his scalawag brothers as Prime Minister of Egypt, the second most powerful man in the most powerful country in the world, when they came begging for food in the time of famine. ‘But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.’ (Gen.50:20) 

Likewise friends, a lot of times when disaster strikes us, God is allowing it to make us strong, to prepare us for our destiny. Look at the amount of stuff Bruh David went through after he was anointed by Samuel, but before he actually became king. That was to prepare him for the immense task of kingship. And he turned out to be the best king Israel ever had. 

But listen to his words from Psalm 52 – Caution to the prideful wicked – words that are not as popular as some others, but still very meaningful. ‘Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness (destruction). But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.’ (Ps.52:7-9) 

Wow! What a powerful declaration of trust on Bruh David’s part, despite all the calamity he went through. And don’t talk about Bruh Paul…Hn! His life was just one calamity after the other; shipwreck, beatings, stoning’s, jail, etc. etc. But hear his words to the Corinthians.

‘For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble (tribulation) which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure (burdened), above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead. Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.’ (2 Cor.1:8-10) 

Now that is what you call great faith, which can only be based on great trust in Almighty God! So friends, I implore us this Monday morning as we get back into work mode, please, let’s keep Jesus first and foremost in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds as He desires of us, so that we can do His work. Let’s trust Him implicitly and thus grow in faith. Much LOVE!

… faith grows…when trust grows…and vice-versa…one cannot grow without the other…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2017 John 6:38.

John 6:38.   Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure ye mete (use) withal (with that) it shall be measured to you again.

And then it was Wednesday; a bright and sunshiny day! Glory to God! No more cold and dreary-looking rain filled days! 

What a wonderful and blessed day it is, when the Sun and the SON are both shining brightly in a cloudless blue sky! All spirits are uplifted and we are proud and courageous to say: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ 

Yeh friends, we ought to rejoice regardless of the physical appearance of the day, but it so much easier to do when the day is warm and beautiful. 

And to set things right, (smile) I’ll just hit us here with a li’l wisdom from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster: ‘To get more out of life, give more of yourself.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my people! It’s a simple principle of God’s world; you want more, then give more. It’s just like the more you sow, the more you will reap. 

But unfortunately, we live in a greedy society, consequently, a lot of us want more, and much more too, but we refuse to give any of what we already have. That’s why we have so many problems in acquiring the more we want and there is so much fraud and deceit in our dealings with each other. 

And it’s not like we don’t know about the law of giving, because our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spelled it out very plainly for us, when he dwelt amongst us, some two thousand years ago. 

And His words of wisdom are today’s Bit. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure ye mete (use) withal (with that) it shall be measured to you again.’ 

What’s so difficult to understand in that statement eh mih breddren? Nothing really. It’s just that we allow the mores of the world; greed and self-aggrandizement, to dictate our behaviour instead of Jesus’ words. 

And thankfully, I won’t get into any sermon on the matter. (smile) We’ll just go through the Good Book and refresh our memories with some of its thoughts on giving. 

And we’ll begin way back in Deuteronomy, when Moses instructed the Israelites thus: ‘Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.’ (Deut.16:17) 

Please note the parameters my people; ‘as he is able…which the Lord hath given thee.’ So it’s obvious that you can’t give what you don’t have, but out of the little that you do have, you can give something. 

And that brings us to Jesus’ contention when He sat in the temple watching people offer money for God’s work. ‘And Jesus sat over against (opposite) the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites (a small copper coin worth 1/8 of a cent), which make a farthing (a Roman coin). And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, 

Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance (surplus); but she of her want (poverty) did cast in all that she had, even all her living (her whole livelihood).’ (Mark 12:41-44) 

Yeh friends, it’s not necessarily about how much we give, but also how our giving pertains to our abundance. The widow cast in all that she had, while the rich put in only of their surplus. God obviously will value her offering more than those of the rich. 

As the scholars remind us: ’12:43-44. God does not measure giving by conventional human standards.’ So, in future, let’s remember that when we hem and haw about how much to give. (smile) 

Now hear Cousin Sol’s take on the subject. ‘He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.’ (Prov.28:27) 

Now we have one more factor to this whole giving scene, so listen to Bruh Paul as he educates the Corinthians of the topic. ‘But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall also reap bountifully (generously). 

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor.9:6-7) 

Yes friends, it’s not only how much you give, but also the attitude with which you give! Hear the scholars. ‘9:6. One’s return is determined by one’s investment. The passage doesn’t suggest indiscriminate giving, but it does denote “unrestrained” giving.’ 

9:7. Cheerful giver: The giver is to have a willing heart and a sincere desire to participate in the offering. Giving is not a joke. It is serious business, but it is a delightful experience all the same.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? When we give generously and willingly we experience a rush of godliness! So let’s prayerfully ponder our giving habits today and see how we can improve them nuh. 

And we’ll close by sincerely and harmoniously declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. 

I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that’s all we need friends! Much LOVE!

…generous and willing giving…is a reflection of God’s actions towards us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

And then it was Thursday…Wow! Only 16 more shopping day to Christmas! 

Steups! Notice the language, the commercialism? That is how we count down the days to Christmas – in shopping days, not in days till the birth of Jesus Christ – the real reason for the season. 

Ah Lord eh! After all the rigmarole of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are still talking in terms of shopping! How much shopping can we do eh, especially when so many people are not working? 

But that seems to be the overwhelming feature of our lives in these modern times. It’s all about gifts and presents and food and what not, all the material things! 

There is precious little talk, if any at all, of Jesus being born, of Him being the real gift of Christmas, the most wonderful present ever from our heavenly Father. And then when things get rotten, or go sour, we wonder why. No wonder our world is in such a sorry mess. 

Anyway friends, please, let’s not be found carrying that baggage of the secular and commercial world; let’s concentrate on the first coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when the angels rocked heaven and earth with their great pronouncement; ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11) 

Now that’s what we should be getting all excited and enthusiastic about! Not the rushing and pushing and confusion of unnecessary shopping. 

So, having said all that, which might not make any difference to anybody, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, the immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Now that again is something that should be resonating in our minds, souls and bodies, rather than the shopping days till Christmas. What’s going to happen, how are we going to feel when the days of lives are coming to an end eh? 

Will we be satisfied with what we’ve done down here? Will we be able to utter words similar to Bruh Paul’s? It’s ever so important that we can my brethren. Otherwise we would have wasted our earthly sojourn on things of the world, and stand the chance of losing the righteous crown that’s been set aside for us in heaven. 

We stand the chance of losing Jesus’ greeting at the pearly gates of: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

No Friends, we don’t want to be missing that wonderful greeting at all! So please, let’s smarten up and get with the right programme nuh; that of Jesus and not Beelzebub! 

Now Bruh Paul thought that running a strong race was so important that he also spoke of it to the Corinthians. Listen up: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’ (1 Cor.9:23) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers. 

They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’  

So that shows the Corinthians knew what Bruh Paul was talking about. But he doesn’t stop there, He continues forcefully: ‘And every man that striveth for mastery (competes for the prize), is temperate in all things (has self-control). 

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown: but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:25-27) 

Yes my faithful believers, to run a good race and fight a good fight for Christ, we must have plenty self-control and self-discipline, for that’s the only way we can reject the amorous advances of the world. 

And even worse, what a shame and disgrace it would be, after we have preached to others about running the race and fighting the good fight, that we ourselves would be disqualified! Now I definitely would not like that, so I try, with God’s help obviously, to practice what I preach. (smile)

Anyhow, here’s the best part of today’s Bit nuh; we going home with the anointing of our Thursday Blessings. But remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. So in full voice and strong faith, let’s bless ourselves my people. 

‘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!’ 

Now my faithful believers in Christ, let’s go out strong and secure in those blessings and not be selfish, but remember to bless others too. Much LOVE!

…oh what a joy it will be…to win that crown of righteousness…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

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

Once again it’s Sunday friends – the day of the Lord – so let’s begin our celebrations of praise, worship and thanksgiving with a wise and sensible hymn titled ‘I choose Jesus.’  What can be wiser than that eh? Absolutely nothing! 

So let’s raise our voices in glorious song. ‘When I need someone in time of grief, Someone my cheer to be, Jesus I choose, for He gives relief, He is the best for me. (Refrain) – I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.  

When I need someone to guide my soul Over the stormy sea, Always to Jesus I give control, He is the best for me. (Refrain) When I need help to defeat the foe, Someone my shield to be, Always to Jesus in faith I go, He is the best for me. (Refrain) 

When all my trials on earth are o’er, And the dark stream I see, Jesus shall bear me to yonder shore, He is the best for me. (Refrain) I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.’ 

Oh my people what awesome words of truth and wisdom! Jesus is our everything; our be all and end all! Whatever we need we can find in Him, all we have to do is surrender our lives to Him. Then He comes in and takes control of our lives; leads and guides us along the straight and narrow path through the poignant and comforting power of the Holy Spirit. 

Yeh friends, all we need is Jesus. As our Bit so rightly declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, through Jesus sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, His glorious resurrection and ascension, we have been redeemed, justified, sanctified and become conquerors over the evil powers that be.  

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in his first missive to them. ‘The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15: 56-58) 

Ah friends, what wonderful words of encouragement and reassurance this Sunday morning! Words of indisputable truth! Through God’s eternal LOVE for us and His sacrifice of His sinless Son, we have been granted victory over the evil twins of sin and death. Glory Hallelujah! 

But please note that everything doesn’t just fall in our laps without any sweat from us. We still need to be strong and faithful, full of plenty belly and backbone, and do God’s work, for once we diligently keep keeping on in faith, we will be well rewarded eventually. 

Sadly though, that is where a lot of us fall down. We allow the trials and tribulations and temptations of this world to wear us down so that we aren’t of much use to Christ and His LOVE Revolution. That’s very unfortunate my brethren, because Christ is depending on us to be His foot soldiers, His ambassadors in the battle with the evil forces that are fighting against Him for world supremacy. 

But we can’t be strong and faithful unless we continually read His word and meditate on it, as well as have meaningful communication with Him through constant prayer, and fellowship regularly with other believers. 

So if you find that your faith is slipping, please go to God for help through the means we’ve just outlined. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him comfort and strengthen you. That’s the only way to be reinvigorated with His awesome blessing, mercies and grace. 

But getting back to our topic, listen to Bruh Paul in his second missive to the Corinthians, as he talks about being triumphant in Christ. ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. 

For we are unto God a sweet savour (the fragrance) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish. To the one we are the savour (aroma) of death unto death; and to the other the savour (aroma) of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many who corrupt (peddle by trickery) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of (from) God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.’ (2 Cor. 2: 14-17)  

Yeh friends, in usual Bruh Paul fashion those statements are somewhat convoluted, but the scholars offer us some explanations. ‘2:14-17. Triumph (cf. Col.2:9-15): The imagery conveyed in the use of this term is of the Roman general who marched in victory with his entourage, consisting of two groups: them that are saved…and them that perish. 

The former group referred to those allowed to live as slaves of the empire. The latter group comprised the condemned, who were being led to their death. Each group carried burning incense. The one was, verse 16, a savour of death unto death, the other was a fragrance of life unto life. 

Calvary was the mighty display of the infinite power of a sovereign God. The human race was divided into two categories, those of life unto life and those of death unto death.’ (2 Cor.2:14-17) 

Hope that explanation helps us to better understand what Bruh Paul is talking about. In ending friends, all I can say is ‘Glory to God, through Christ Jesus, that we ended up in the life unto life group!’ Much LOVE!

…who completely destroyed the prince of evil…JESUS…who had victory over hell, death and the grave…JESUS… who saved our sinful souls…Jesus…praise His holy name…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2016 1 Corinthians 12: 27‏

1 Corinthians 12:27.    Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually).

Welcome, welcome one and all to this glorious summer’s day! Yes friends, it’s now officially summer in the northern climes, as of last Monday evening! Glory be! 

The strange part though is that we’ve been experiencing some rather strong winds for the past couple of days, along with some reassuring summer temps. But who knows what our omnipotent and ever-wise God is up to and about eh? Nobody! 

Anyway, we do know that He’s working all things out for our good, for those who LOVE Him and are called to participate in His wonderful world, and that’s enough for true believers like us. We’re in much, much better hands than All State! (smile) 

And to prove that we sincerely believe that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with great gusto and superior faith. Altogether 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!’ 

Ah mih people, how glorious that future with Jesus will be! And yuh know what, though life can be somewhat rough sometimes, I’m still grateful to be alive, because as far as I’m concerned my best days are still ahead of me. I haven’t done anything as yet to leave my mark on the world, which means that better days are still to come. 

Consequently, I can’t afford to look to the past, else it will only muddy up the present and disrupt the great plans God has for me in the future. 

Oh friends, we have to believe that God has great plans for our lives, otherwise life won’t be worth living! Christians won’t created to lead, mediocre, hodge-podge lives, but strong, vibrant, meaningful, god-like and purposeful ones! 

But we won’t be able to do that until we sincerely accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour and genuinely work with Him to bring to pass His good plans for our earthly days. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful; ‘Hallelujah! All praise and glory to Jesus, our ever-faithful and ever-LOVING Lord and King!’ 

And that brings us to our current Bit: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually).’ 

Yes my people, we are supposed to be one body in Christ, composed of different parts, as members, and that consequently means there is a certain kind of behaviour and attitude that’s expected of us. Unfortunately though, we are not coming up to scratch, which means that Christ’s organization is also not coming up to scratch, since we are its purveyors. 

Now let’s hear what Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians a long time ago, because it also pertains to us in these trying and desperate times. ‘And God hath set some in the church (appointed these), first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities (varieties) of tongues. 

Are all apostles? are all prophets? Are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?’ (1 Cor.12:28-30) 

And the obvious answer to all of that my friends is a big NO! 

So what? Bruh Paul provides the answer. ‘But covet (desire) earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.’ (1 Cor.12:31) 

And here the scholars give us a lengthy explanation of what Bruh Paul means. ’12:31. But covet earnestly the best gifts: This expressions explains why the apostle has arranged the list in verse 28 in order of priority. He wants his readers to be clear in their own minds as to which gifts are the best. 

Obviously, his intent is to steer them away from the more spectacular gifts such as tongues. Covet here is not to be construed negatively but means “earnestly desire.” 

A more excellent way: The import of this statement is to be seen in Chapter 13. Paul will show that a better way is not through contentious striving but through LOVING. 

Many feel that Paul is here showing how the gifts are to be administered, that is, in LOVE. However, the use of way (Gr. hodos) in the sense of “a path” instead of the way (Gr. tropos) in the sense of “manner,” and the statement of 14:1, indicates that Paul was pointing out a path of life superior to a life spent seeking and displaying spiritual gifts. 

Paul’s interest here is not to instruct his readers in how they may best use their gifts, but how to have their priorities straight. They should strive for LOVE, not spiritual gifts.’ 

Ah friends, I hope we understand what the scholars are saying: that though spiritual gifts are important, our priority should not be striving to get and display them, but our priority should be walking in LOVE. 

For as he says in the opening of Chapter 13 – The way of LOVE – ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as a sounding brass or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal. 

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (LOVE), I am nothing.’ ( 1 Cor.13:1-2) 

So you see friends, regardless of what spiritual gifts we have, if we don’t have the overwhelming gift and attitude of LOVE, we are nothing, of no importance! 

And the scholars share some important and interesting info re verse 1. ’13:1. Tongues of men and of angels: Such was the association of tongues speaking in pagan worship at Corinth. When a priest or devotee spoke in tongues, it was considered that he spoke in the language of the gods.’  

And for all you know, some of us still hold that belief today. However my people, please, please, let’s stop seeking the spiritual gifts to magnify ourselves, and instead, simply walk in the way Jesus did nuh – the way of LOVE! For that’s our priority as Christians! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope and charity (LOVE)…these three…but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE)… (1 Cor,13:13) 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. It was just one of those late mornings. I was outside on my porch at 3.am communing with my Creator, enjoying the peace and quiet, while listening to the rain fall softly on the earth. Sometimes we just have to do these things. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

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