Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2018 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.

Aw friends, what kind of crazy, evil, ungodly, unsafe world are we living in eh, when in broad daylight a young man can drive his vehicle into a crowd of innocent people and kill nine or ten of them and injure a whole lot more? Or another young person can enter a restaurant and just open fire with his AK 15, or some such firearm and kill four people? 

The first incident happened in Toronto, the northern section of the city yesterday, and the second down in Nashville, U.S, a couple days ago. It seems we’re safe NOWHERE on the planet. Steups! And then the popular excuse is that these people have mental issues. Chuh! Well then too large a proportion of our society has mental problems! And if that’s a fact, then why aren’t we addressing them properly eh? 

Ah mih people, nowadays our favourite pastime seems to be talk; talk for just talk sake, and get nothing done. Our society is fast going to hell in a basket and our politicians and power brokers still only seem to care about getting in power and lining their own pockets. It’s a good thing that we believers have Jesus and His many faithful promises to hang on to yes, otherwise I don’t know what would happen to us nuh. 

And as we continue looking at some of the many wonderful promises that our faithful God has made us, we open with one of the most steadfast and uncompromising, that contained in our Bit: ‘and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ 

What a powerful promise that is my fellow believers, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He sent the disciples out to proselytize the world! And it’s that kind of stuff that we need to hang on to as we navigate this unsafe and crazy world; look to heaven rather than to mankind who is as evil as the night is dark. 

And if that doesn’t quell your worries, then listen to this promise. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath saith, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

Glory be my breddren! What wonderful words of assurance given to us by our God and our Creator and Saviour. The author of Hebrews is there reiterating God’s promise to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

However friends, there is ONE thing God asked of Joshua, and is also asking of us in these dangerous and trying times: ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper (have success, or act wisely) whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, regardless of the number of great promises God has made us, we still have to take them to heart and stand strong under them. That’s our part of the bargain: stand strong and steadfast in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! But that’s exactly what a lot of us are not doing, thus our fears, worries and anxieties every day of our lives. 

Now hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church on the separation of Christ from His people. ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:34-39) 

Oh precious people of God, if that powerful assurance of Christ’s irremovable presence from our lives doesn’t move and reassure you, then I don’t know what will nuh! That’s possibly one of the greatest promises a believer has to hang on to. Once Christ comes into our lives, we cannot be separated from Him. He will NEVER leave or forsake us, unless we push Him away or turn against Him. 

Therefore friends, in these troubled times, I implore us to hold on tightly to the promises of our ever-faithful God, to stand strong and courageous as He asks of us, so that we can conquer this evil word in His name. Now let’s go home showing the world that we are indeed standing strong in Christ. Let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much vim and vigour. 

As one loud and purposeful 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 if we’re sincere, then let’s go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and everlasting friendship with world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…standing on the promises of God…standing safe and secure… on the promises of God, my Lord…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Arise friends, arise and greet this brand new day, filled with both mercy and work. The Lord is granting us new mercy so that we can be strong and courageous and go out and diligently do His work this Monday morning. So let’s rise and shine and greet the day with joy in our hearts and the LOVE of God in our souls! 

Remember it’s the Christmas season, one of the most important times of the year, when we celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That alone should be enough to drive our engine this morning. But just in case it isn’t we have our favourite stand by, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which fires us up, even when we are at the ebb of our spirits. So without further ado, let’s sing it out with some enthusiasm and sincerity. 

As one 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!’ 

Yuh see friends, when we put some zest in it, it just raises our spirits, gets our adrenaline flowing and make us just want to get out there and work our fannies off for Jesus. (smile) So having said all of that, let’s get a move on nuh, for as our Bit so rightly says: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

And just for this moment we’re going to take our Bit at face value; the night is almost done and day is dawning, so we desperately need to get up and make preparations for going to work, and getting there on time too, for punctuality is one of the strong points of the followers of Jesus. 

Turning now to the philosophical side of our Bit, let’s see if we can get some more serious insight into what Bruh Paul is talking about. Now yesterday we saw it basically meant to give up the sinful ways in which we knowingly are involved; ways that don’t suit a follower of Christ. For as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) 

Yes my people, when we become people of Christ, we are to shuck the old sinful habits we had, and pick up the new ones which reflect the nature of Christ. But a lot of us are still doing the old stuff and it’s giving both Christ and us a bad name. The unbelievers keep shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ And more often than not they are right. 

As Bruh Paul puts it later on to the Corinthians: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (in common) with unrighteousness (lawlessness)? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness? And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.6:14-16) 

Yes friends, individually and collectively we are the temple of God, the church of Christ, and as such we need to live a life that reflects the nature of Christ, and obviously the unbeliever’s life doesn’t reflect that, so we shouldn’t be too chummy chummy with them and pick up their bad habits. 

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t associate or work with them, because how else would we show and teach them about Jesus eh?  However we have to make sure that their unbelief doesn’t contaminate us, and that our belief is the more powerful nature of the relationship so that we can eventually draw them to Christ. 

But seriously though my believing brethren, in these troubled and evil times, we desperately need to come up higher. There is way too much strife and evil happening in our world, not enough LOVE, joy peace and goodwill, and if it continues in the current vein, it will only lead to a massive explosion, which I’m sure none of us want. So please, please, in Jesus’ name, I implore us, let’s do better nuh, for all of us have room for improvement.  If not for our sakes, then for our children’s. Much LOVE!

…the light of Jesus’ followers…ought ALWAYS to overpower…the darkness of the unbelievers…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2017 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.   Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Awright mih people, one of the biggest, if not the biggest weekend of the year is upon us! Wow! We’re talking about the one hundred and fiftieth birthday of this great country called Canada! Glory to God my people! For it’s only with God’s help that we’ve come so far! 

Yeh friends, tomorrow, the first of July, the BEST BIG COUNTRY in the world will be 150 years old! Oh, I know that in terms of age, it’s very young compared to many others, but its spirit is overwhelming! 

So you can just imagine how the ordinary workingman is carrying on this weekend. ‘Oh, Mama Yo! TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is an extra special weekend, because we big country Canada, is a hundred and a half! 

Oh brother, the partying will be big…an beautiful…an loud…mas like crazy…with everybody ramajaying deh body…just jumping and shouting…Happy Birthday Canada! Ah just can’t wait to get started nuh! Oh thank God for Fridays and them kinda weekends like this one yes!’ 

Yes mih breddren, my sentiments exactly, but unfortunately we can’t afford to let down our hair too much and cater to the carnal lust of the flesh that comes out in these joyful situations. 

And I would certainly be amiss if I didn’t remind us of Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business this weekend!’ 

And we couldn’t get any better advice for this national party weekend friends, because when we let it all hang out, the enemy can easily get a toehold, even a foothold, in our lives. And we definitely don’t want that to happen. 

So here’s how the average Christian ought to play it out. Please join me as we declare our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh, I know it sounds staid and stuffy in comparison to the workingman’s song, but it’s the safe and right attitude to adopt if we want to keep our righteousness intact. Nobody’s saying we can’t party, but we just have to do so within certain boundaries, since getting outside of them can cause serious heartache and numerous problems with everlasting consequences. 

So now that all the warning is done (smile), let’s turn to our Bit, which helps us handle the warnings, as we sincerely ask the Lord: ‘Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.’ 

Now that’s a very good request, but please note that it’s a big and often times tough one to handle, for it comes with the serious promise at the end. We’re promising to sincerely observe God’s law if He helps us to understand it. 

Remember the wise words of Cousin Sol in Ecclesiastes. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

And that goes for not only vows to God, but promises to each other in this lying, fraudulent and selfish world. However, if we are sincerely looking for understanding of God’s law, He will graciously grant it to us. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely expatiates early on in Proverbs. ‘Yea, if thou criest out after knowledge (discernment), and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up (stores up) sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgement (guards the paths of justice), and preserveth the way of the saints.’ (Prov.2:3-8) 

Oh my people, yuh see how willing our great God is to grant us wisdom and understanding if we come asking for it in all sincerity and truth! 

And don’t worry, don’t be afraid, for the Lord expects us to make mistakes along the way. We just have to ensure that our motives and our hearts are right when He searches them. 

So let’s be brave and courageous today nuh, and ask for whatever we know is right, whatever we need, to help us live a truly godly life. Our God will NEVER turn us down, once it is in accordance with His will. Much LOVE!

…without God’s help…we can never truly understand His law…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2017 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.   Search me,  O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts.

Welcome to another beautiful day in God’s wonderful universe, my Scrip-Bit family and friends! The day is indeed unfurling as it should, as our omnipotent God planned it. But I beg to wonder why our temperature today is supposed to go up to around ten degrees Celsius, from a low of around minus 7, or thereabouts, and then fall back to below freezing temps by Sunday night?  They say it’s climate change. 

Ah Lord eh! That’s why so many people get sick in these volatile temperature changes! Today a whole lot of people will be out in shirt sleeves, declaring what beautiful spring-like weather it is. Then they’ll get caught without proper protection from the elements later on. But that’s the nature of the beast in these parts. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week. Remember, his aspiration is to inspire us with his thoughtful words.  The first one says: ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that’s quite true! 

But there are sensible risks and not so sensible ones. So we still have to consider whether the risks are worthwhile or not. It’s brave to go out on limb that seems able to stand your weight, but foolish to go out on one that is obviously too small. The same goes for risks. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.’ That’s also true, but then again how far outside of your comfort zone do you want to go, or is it wise for you to go? It’s all a matter of your comfort level. 

And this next one declares: ‘The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.’ More truth friends! You know how we always like to say marvelous things, then affix them with ‘a but.’ That’s the bane of our modern day language; everything, everything – but.  

And the last one tells us. ‘No one rises to low expectations.’ Yes my people, we cannot rise high unless our expectations are high. That’s just the normal workings of the universe. And our Christian faith expects us to keep on rising higher and higher, making excellence the watchword of our earthly walk with Jesus.  For if we do not aspire to excellence, the church will simply become stagnant and eventually fall apart. 

And I believe that is what’s happening right now. Christ’s church, His earthly body is not growing as it should, for numerous reasons. But we’re not here to talk about that today, we’re here to discuss the motives of our heart, of our spiritual being, as expressed by Bruh David in his grand Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. 

He boldly, but contritely states in the last two verses – the first one our Bit. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 39:23-24)  

Ah mih people, the overriding question now is, whether we as Christians, are willing, and or able to declare such a brave statement to our Maker? The truth of the matter is that we ought to be. We ought to be so open and be so close to our God, that we shouldn’t fear to go to Him in any situation at all, even though we know we are on the wrong side of the fence. 

For as the author of Hebrews reminds us: ‘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.4:16) 

And I like the explanation the scholars put forward. ‘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 (Jesus Christ). 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.’  

Yeh friends, only our wonderful faith exhibits such a confidence in being able to go to God in any and every circumstance. He welcomes us, invites us in the Great Invitation (Matt.11:28-30) to come to Him when we‘re tired and weary and beset by life’s circumstances, and He will give us rest. 

No other faith offers such succour my brethren. So I don’t understand why so many of us are afraid to bare our hearts to the Lord. Remember though that’s He’s our Creator, and already knows what’s happening with us, even more than we know. He knows and sees the beginning to the end. 

Consequently friends, please let’s stop trying to hide our innermost secrets and fears from Him, because it’s foolish to do so. He wants us to come to Him and let it all out, to show that you truly believe in and trust Him.  

Yuh notice how Bruh David went to God without fear on everything – even eventually His adultery with Bathsheba and His murder of Uriah, her husband, after the prophet Nathan berated him about it. 

Now we won’t always get away scotch free with our wicked deeds – Bruh David paid a hefty price with strife in his house – but we’ll always get forgiveness and mercy if we sincerely repent of them. That’s wisdom for the ages my people. Please ponder on that today. Much LOVE!

…fear should never override faith…especially in dealing with God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Greetings and salutations my fellow brethren in Christ! Welcome to what looks like a somewhat cloudy and hopefully rainy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. And do we ever need some decent rainfall. 

But the best part of the morning is knowing that regardless of what the weather is like, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is alive and well and that His brilliant light is shining in our hearts, minds, and souls for all to see. 

And the most important part of that sentence is the last part, ‘for all to see.’ That’s because Christ is shining His light not only in, but also through us. The light is for us to share with the rest of the world who don’t know Him and cause them to come to Him for His saving grace, without which they can’t find eternal life. 

And it’s especially in these difficult and trying times that the world needs believers to stand up and declare the gospel with great zest and passion, and live it in true Christian fashion. 

We must not be seen as wishy-washy, fence sitting hypocrites, else that would just invalidate our witness for Christ and make His organization, His church, more of a laughing stock than it already is. 

So friends, please, let’s promise ourselves this morning to be excellent ambassadors for Christ so that we can raise the level, the intensity of His LOVE Revolution, that’s the only hope for our misguided, evil and increasingly ungodly world. 

Wow! Where did all of that come from eh? When I sat down just now to write, that was nowhere in my imagination, but as always, I asked for guidance, and I guess that’s where I was guided. Ah mih people, you never know with our great God nuh! 

Now let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. And I like this first one: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth! For as Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) said in his song: ‘That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race. That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizen ship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained… and everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ 

Yes friends, until equal rights and justice play a much larger role in our society, we will ALWAYS be engulfed in strife. And the second quote from Anselm tells us that, ‘The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.’ 

That’s more indisputable truth my brethren! The strongest are the ones who fight the good fight of faith right down to the very end, despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way. And it all segues so smoothly into our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s all we dealing with this morning; being strong and of a good courage… Why, you ask? 

Because I believe now, more than ever, Christians need to stand up strong and steadfast and be courageous, stop being passive and allowing ourselves to be pushed around and aside by the evil world powers. 

Right now we’re definitely not doing justice to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that’s supposed to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path destined for us by our Creator. 

The anxious and fearful way in which so many of us behave, one would never believe that the Spirit of God resides within us. We have to stand up strong friends, much stronger than we’re currently doing. 

Poor Joshua was bombarded with that direction, both by Moses and the Lord. Listen up: ‘And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:7) 

The Good Book also tells us, per the Lord’s direction: ‘Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.’ (Deut.31:22-23) 

And the Lord when He commissions Joshua as Israel’s leader, after the death of Moses, He reiterates in our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage… Then in the next verse, He tells him once more; ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous…’ (Josh.1:7a) 

And if that wasn’t enough, two verses later, the Lord reminds him. ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that same message also applies to each and every believer today! Yes my people, it is ever so important that we Christians stand up proud and strong in these trying times, because that’s the only way we’ll ever serve Christ properly, and make a sincere and substantial difference in our world, which we are called to do. Much LOVE!…

Christians ought to be the strongest and most courageous people on earth…because of the awesome and ever-faithful promises of Christ…and His Holy Spirit which dwells in them…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2016 Psalm 12:2‏

Psalm 12:2.   They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.

Well friends, the celebrations finally over! Canada Day and 4th of July done for another year! It’s time to get back to the common grind and daily task. And we’ll begin that by singing this favourite ode to Joy. 

In harmony now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day! 

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed, Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, lift us to the joy divine. 

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.‘ 

Good show friends, good show! Hope that joy stays with us all day as we focus on doing Christ’s work. 

Oh, and here’s a little story about that hymn. Apparently one Henry J. van Dyke wrote it in 1907. He wrote it while staying at the home of Harry A. Garfield at Williams College, Massachusetts. It was first published in the Pres­by­ter­i­an Hymnal in 1911. It also appeared in the Poems of Henry van Dyke, 1911.  

Van Dyke wrote: “These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ 

And it surely is my people! So let’s continue to hold on securely to that trust and joy and hope we find in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because it’s what keeps us truly grounded in this earthly life. It is our sure foundation. 

And to further build on that sure foundation, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra like we truly believe it. As one 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!’ 

Oh glory to God my believing brethren! More solid and indisputable truth about the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful God! How reassuring and encouraging to know that we are His beloved children, and also the friend of Jesus! Nothing can be better than those two things! 

Now it’s our duty to go out and share the LOVE of our Lord and friend with the remainder of this our lost and quickly sinking world. But we can’t do it unless we’re very serious and diligent about counteracting the words and actions of our Bit. ‘They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.’ 

Yes precious people, that kind of ungodly activity is currently overwhelming our world, and obviously making it a place of hate and evil instead of one of peace and LOVE like our God and Saviour desire. These days one can hardly trust the words and actions of friends, much less strangers. 

Falsehood and flattery seem to be the name of the today’s game and they’re causing such havoc in the lives of so many people who are unfortunately coming under their spell. Bruh David declares in Psalm 41 –Abuse and assurance: ‘Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me (acted as a traitor against me). (Ps.41:9) 

No doubt a lot of us can attest to such traitorous treatment. That’s why we have to be ever so careful as to whom we let into our confidence. Meanwhile, in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Romans, he quotes various scripture passages to prove the presence and extent of the problem back then. 

‘Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ (Rom.3:13-18) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! The enemy right now is the driver’s seat, but it is our job to dislodge him and replace him with Jesus. But again, as I said earlier on, we need to be very serious and diligent about that duty if we want to be successful. 

We can’t afford to be lackadaisical and wishy-washy in our words and actions. We need to come up higher than the enemy if we want to defeat him. We need to be able to sincerely declare like Bruh David when he fled from his son Absalom’s rebellion. ‘I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:6) 

Yes my fellow warriors for Christ, until we can utter true words like those, until we can cast out our fear of the enemy, we won’t be able to break his stronghold on us and on the world. Remember, Jesus has already defeated hell, death and the grave, which means the enemy has no power over us unless we allow him to. 

So let us go out today, and everyday, with words such as these pouring out of our mouths and hearts. ‘We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfill all thy petitions.’ (Ps.20:5) 

Yes friends, we need to stand up very strong, steadfast and courageous in Jesus’ name, and battle to the death, if we truly want to defeat the enemy. There’s no other way. Much LOVE!

…Stand up stand up for Jesus…Ye soldiers of the cross…Lift high His royal banner…It must not suffer loss…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2016 James 2:14

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 

 

Well my people, it’s the first Sunday in the New Year, and still the Christmas season, so I expect all the churches to be filled to capacity today with believers to give thanks and praise to our most wonderful God for causing us to see not only a new day, but also a brand new year charged with unlimited possibilities. 

And I included that reminder about the Christmas season for those who only go to church at Christmas and Easter.  (smile) Now, for the life of me, I just can’t figure out why supposed Christians do that. Church was meant to be a fairly regular occurrence, not once in a while, mostly at the high times of our faith. 

To my mind, if you can’t go more often than that, then why go at all eh? What does that do for you and the other people in the church eh? Nothing at all, as far as I can see! 

So you claim to your friends and family, you went to church at Christmas and Easter. Big deal! That doesn’t cut it my fellow believers. And I’m sure that’s not what Jesus expects. 

You’ll notice that wherever He was on the Sabbath, He always found Himself in the synagogue participating in the services. That’s what He also expects of us; not a wishy-washy, once in a blue moon, stick your face inside the doors of the church. Remember the church is supposed to be the body of Christ, and how can it be a properly functioning body when so many members only show up occasionally? 

Friends, no man is an island, especially a Christian in this evil and godless world. You cannot make it successfully on your lonesome; you need the help, encouragement, sentiments of praise and worship, of exhortation and teaching, and the steadfast faith from which a gathering of like believers emanates! 

That reminds me of an old adage, re those who seldom go to church.  Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact saying, but they are words to the effect that the church and its doors would crumble, would fall down when the occasional goers show up. 

Anyway my people, since we have designated and dedicated 2016 as the year of HOPE and the astronomical rise of Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, it’s therefore necessary that we sincerely come together under the umbrella of the church and decrease all the divisions and dissensions that are rife and rampant within that supposedly august body. 

Now here are some quotes from our friend Anselm, who is always trying to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one is very appropriate for this season. It says: ‘Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.’ And do we ever need those attributes in these stressful and dangerous times! 

The next quote from Anselm declares: ‘If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.’  

Now I don’t know if that is the greatest of all blessings, but it sure is an important, indispensable teaching which builds confidence and chutzpah in our offspring. 

And the last quote segues nicely into this final one. ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that is the gospel truth friends! If we don’t have the courage to take risks, sensible ones now, (smile) we will never accomplish anything worthwhile. 

And that’s exactly what is happening to Christ’s church in these modern times. Too many of us are afraid, or just too sedentary to step up and do what needs to be done to further God’s kingdom down here on earth. And yes, many of us talk a good talk, but we need to remember that Christianity is an ACTION movement, and without deeds to back up the talk, it’s all useless. 

That brings us to our Bit, where James talks about faith that works. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Now that is certainly an interesting question my people.  And James continues his theory with this explanation. ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:15-18)  

Ah friends, the scholars have some interesting but long explanations here, though time and space might not allow me to copy it verbatim, but I believe it’s important enough to try. 

‘2:14-17. Can faith save him? This statement and others in verses 14-26 persuade some critics that James is teaching salvation through faith and works. Luther called this epistle “strawy,” believing it emphasized works too much. Today, some regard it as a late writing in which the author is reacting to Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith alone. This is not the case. 

James’ teachings reflect neither a negative nor a positive response to Paul’s teachings. For Paul, faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5) For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post-conversion works. 

Before salvation, these Jews had believed in the efficacy of works. Now some were reacting at the opposite extreme, imagining that works play no part in the salvation experience. James retorts that the kind of faith that does not produce works is not saving faith. As Calvin said: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.”  

Thus James’ question is not simply “Can faith save?” but as the Greek text may suggest, “Can that faith save him?” Can merely professed but undemonstrated faith save?  (See vv.21-24 for further discussion.) The Greek grammar expects a negative answer to the question that ends verse 14. Hence it can be rendered, “That faith (i.e. the one mentioned in verse 14a which is without works) cannot save.’ 

Ah mih people some interesting stuff for us to ponder on this first Sunday in the New Year. And the Lord in favour, we’ll continue this discussion tomorrow. Till then, please let’s darken the doors of our churches and get our New Year’s resolution to follow Jesus more closely into full swing nuh. For that’s wisdom of everlasting and eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…faith and works…one saves…the other complements it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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