Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

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

Well friends, as they say, all good things must end! And it looks like this delightful, unexpected party of summer weather is over as of today! Chuh! But we’ve certainly enjoyed it while it lasted. 

As of tomorrow, we’re supposed to go to highs of around 19 Celsius, which is more like the normal temp for this time of year. So enjoy today’s twenty something high, cause it’s the last time we’ll see it for a long, long while. (smile)  

And today, I have an interesting excerpt to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared it before, but it certainly applies to a lot of us believers. It’s simply titled ‘Excuses.’ 

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

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

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

Ah mih people, I’m sure all of us, at some time or other have made various excuses to God why we didn’t or couldn’t do something He desired of us, but deep down we knew that those excuses were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold up to the Lord’s scrutiny. 

I don’t know why we insist on doing that foolishness nuh, when we very well know that the Lord can see right into our heart and detect the truth, including our nefarious motives. We all know that being a pilgrim here on earth is not easy, but we do have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. 

And if we truly feel unable or afraid to do something, it’s better to go to God with the truth, than with a flimsy, selfish excuse. Remember, we can’t ever run, nor hide from God! But some of us still insist on trying. (smile) 

And the Bible verse for that poem, as well as today’s Bit, is one we all know. ‘Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes) on Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, in rough and uncertain times we need to keep our gaze fixed completely on Jesus, seeing how He handled His hard times and trying to do likewise. Our Bit talks about the joy that was set before Jesus. Yuh think His physical ‘sufferation’ and unholy crucifixion were joyful? 

Surely not! But the joy was the knowledge that His sacrificial death would set us free, pay our sin debt in full, and then elevate Him to the right hand of the Father, where He could still advocate on our behalf. That was the joy which Jesus beheld friends! 

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

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus has already done it all, we don’t need to carve out a new trail, just follow the one He has blazed. 

And I like the two verses after our Bit. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

For sure friends, the majority of us have not, and will never come up against anything close to what Jesus endured on our behalf. So just remember when things get rough and tough, that Jesus is the supreme example of endurance, both physical and spiritual, andHe is the One we must always look to, as a mighty example, and for help in our own endurance. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which shows that we are truly on the right path, the straight and narrow one. In strong voice, with true sincerity: ‘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!’ 

How could it be anything other than that eh mih breddren? Much LOVE!

…what a glorious example we have in Jesus…in how to live a pilgrim’s life…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

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

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, 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!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

Our Bit tells the story in one sentence. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’(Phil.2:6-8)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

‘Oh friends, I, I am blessed, Yes, I want to tell the world that I, I am blessed!’ Sing it with me: ‘Oh we. We are blessed! Let’s tell the world, that we, we are blessed!’

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! For as children of the Most High God Jehovah, followers of Jesus Christ, and fertile soil in which the Holy Spirit dwells, then we must be blessed! Only thing is that a lot of the time, many of us don’t behave as though we are blessed. Instead, we moan and groan and complain about insignificant stuff. 

And yuh know what friends, a lot of the things we consider problems, are things that most of the world would only be too glad to have, along with the many benefits that we take for granted.

We are just too spoiled and complacent, expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. But that’s not real life friends, for in this world serious problems abound, many of which fortunately don’t touch or concern us. 

Most of us have a job, a roof over our heads, food on table and we are reasonably healthy, and if not, we have the opportunity to go to a doctor. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world have none of those amenities, or rather necessities. But yet, we complain about petty stuff. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week’s quotes are both short and to the point. The first says: ‘Don’t expect people to listen to your advice and ignore your example.’ 

And that’s one of the biggest problems in our Christian faith! We talk a good talk, but don’t walk the necessary walk. Consequently we acquire a reputation as hypocrites, like the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

Oh mih people, that hypocritical aspect of our earthly pilgrimage is hurting our cause so badly that Jesus’ church has now become something of a laughingstock among unbelievers. Sad but true. And it’s our own fault too. 

My fellow believers, we badly need to clean up our act on that front, otherwise all our efforts to mobilize the heathen to join Jesus’ LOVE Revolution will fall on deaf ears, and we’ll be laughed to scorn.

Now is that the result we desire for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? NO WAY! So let’s get serious and start practicing what we preach nuh, if we truly want to represent Jesus in the best manner possible. Remember, actions work more forcibly on the mind than precepts, mere words.  

And the second of Anselm’s quotes declares: ‘Instead of complaining–contribute.’ Now that’s what we were talking about earlier on. We are a society that complains way too much about petty stuff, when we should be contributing to the solutions of the numerous problems we have.

And yuh know mih people, complaining is a sin! Too much complaining doesn’t sit right with our heavenly Father. He wants us to be giving thanks and praise, regardless of our difficult situations. 

Just look at Jesus, whom we are supposed to be the mirror image of. He had real serious problems down here on earth. But He never complained. The Good Book tells us in our Bit: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

And in yesterday’s Bit, we saw where it said that Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame….’ He certainly put up with a lot of affliction and rejection for our sakes without a whole lot of complaining. Now I know that we all can’t be as stoic and uncomplaining as Jesus, but we can surely do much better than we’re currently doing. 

And when we have problems, the best way to resist the temptation to complain and carry on is to help others with their problems. It works wonders friends! It not only takes our minds off of our own troubles, but it also pleases and glorifies our heavenly Father! 

Now here are a couple of situations where Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus not speaking came to pass. First up is His interrogation before the high priest, where two false witnesses stated. ‘This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness (testify) against thee? But Jesus held his peace (remained silent). (Matt.26:61-63a) 

However, shortly after, when the high priest said unto Jesus, ‘I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said (it is as you said): nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ (Matt. 26:63b-64) 

Possibly Jesus should have kept quiet then too because that only caused the high priest to throw a tantrum, rent his clothes and declare that Jesus’ statement was blasphemous for which the council found Him guilty and began to abuse him, physically and emotionally.  (Matt.26:65-68) 

But I guess Jesus had to say something like that, otherwise they would not have had a case against Him, because it’s that charge of blasphemy for which they finally brought Him before the Roman authorities, seeking His death.  

That brings us to the other time when Jesus remained silent. He was before Pilate the Roman governor. ‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness (testify) against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.’ (Matt.27:12-14)

Oh friends, I know it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s best for us too to keep quiet when we are being wrongfully accused. It throws off our accusers, gives us time to think and also time for God to act on our behalf. 

Well enough for us to chew on today. Please take your time, chew slowly, and ponder while you chew. (smile) Much LOVE!

…silence is usually golden in most situations…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

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

Well my people, it was indeed a rainy day in my area yesterday, and today looks like it’s going to be more of the same. But as always, even when we can’t see the sun, we know it’s somewhere behind the dark clouds hovering overhead. 

Likewise, even if we don’t see the Son, we know for sure that He’s around, bright and beautiful, dwelling in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! Glory to God! 

Now it’s Friday, and despite the gloomy weather, I’m still hearing joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and two glorious days of freedom are on the horizon! Oh, the weekend is mine, to do what I want with it! Glory be! And even though the rain is falling, it’s not going to stop me from doing my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, the lusts of pleasure are rearing their ugly heads, so let’s counteract them with our more sensible way of spending the weekend nuh, by chanting our Friday Chant. In one strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

And please people, let’s not just chant the chant, but let’s work it too, put it into action, so that we can have a great upcoming workweek, for remember whatever we sow on the weekend we’ll reap during the week. (smile) 

And that segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, to run this race of life successfully, we have to keep looking to Jesus every day, for He is the one who designed the Christian way of life, and faithfully lived it right through to its sacrificial end. We can do no better than emulating Him, for therein lies eternal wisdom. 

Now yesterday we continued dissecting our Bit by looking at the statement ‘who for the joy that was set before him.’ And though there was no joy in the real sense of the word, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

His obedience to the Father’s will was outstanding. The joy came much later; after He had sacrificed His sinless soul for a bunch of ingrates. And these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians explains it all. 

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:5-11) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus came to earth as a man for the specific purpose of dying on the cross for our sins. Remember, He was God, but took on our humanity and humbled Himself as a man, without complaining, so that He could do the Father’s will. 

And yuh see what happened afterwards? The Father exalted Him; made His name higher than every other, and caused every tongue to declare that Christ is Lord, and He’s now set down at the Father’s right hand, offering intercession for us. 

Wow! That’s how the Lord rewards us when we stand in obedience to His word, despite the trials and tribulations involved in our circumstances. It’s not easy, Jesus proved that, and He also promised it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes mih breddren, though the world will be full of calamity, we can afford to be peaceful and of good cheer, because our Lord and Saviour has already overcome the sinful world. So let’s keep on looking to Jesus nuh, being humble and obedient, caring and compassionate, enduring our trials and troubles with a stalwart resolve, backed by Jesus’ promise never to leave nor forsake us. 

Let’s keep on keeping on, with no thought whatsoever of giving up, until that day when we come to stand before the Father, and He invites us to live with Him forever, by uttering these wonderful words: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant,’ and hugs us to His breast, the way a caring and compassionate father does his child. 

Oh friends, we couldn’t ask for a better welcome than that! So please, let’s get ourselves together and do the things we ought to do nuh – we all know what they are – so that when the trump is called up yonder we’ll be there, getting a heavenly welcome. There’s no better reward than that! Much LOVE!

…true humility and obedience to God’s word on earth…will bring untold rewards and exceeding LOVING-kindness in heaven…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

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

Well friends, it’s a cloudy morning in my area. The sun is not shining, but thankfully the Son is holding forth as usual in all His wonderful radiance and brilliant glory! 

All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Leader, Lord and Saviour! Without Him, we’d be certainly dead in our sins, heading for a rough and troubled eternity with Lucifer in Hades. 

But thanks to God’s great LOVE and Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, we have been reconciled to the Father and as His beloved children, can now look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven. Glory Hallelujah! 

And on that glorious note, let’s declare out Thursday Blessings, as we remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. With true belief, sincerity and enthusiasm now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! 

I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

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

Glory to God my people! We shall be blessed when we go out and come in, when we sit or lie down… in fact in all aspects of our lives our God will cause us to prosper. Wow! Isn’t that something else? It surely is! 

That’s why we have to pay serious attention to our Bit. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was the original trailblazer of our faith. He first ran the race and set all the standards for it. Now we need to adhere to those standards so that we can run the race successfully too. It’s not an easy race to run, for it’s a marathon across hill and dale, rivers and streams, one fraught with all sorts of dangers and impediments. 

But thankfully Jesus has blazed the trail, shown us the way, lit the path, and if we sincerely abide by His word, then we too will have success, and one day hear the Father declare: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Oh what a joyful day that will be my people! But first we have to get serious about looking to Jesus and following in His famous footsteps, otherwise we’re just wasting our time and His. 

Now let’s look at a couple of interesting parts of our Bit, the first being, ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ 

Now I really don’t see the joy in what Jesus was asked to do by the Father nuh – take the sins of the world on His shoulders, be crucified in innocence to pay for the iniquity and transgressions of ungrateful people. 

It was joyful for us, because through His actions our sins were forgiven, but it must surely have been mind-bending and agonizing for Him. However, despite the affliction, His obedience to the Father’s will was perfect. 

That brings us to Jesus’ words to the two disciples He met on Resurrection Day along the road to Emmaus. He chided them for their disbelief. 

‘Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.’ (Luke 24:25-27) 

Oh friends, the Lord didn’t send the prophets because He had nothing better to do, but to open the eyes of the people unto the coming of Jesus and what His purpose was going to be. 

Hear the scholars. ’24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16; 22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, but Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

And unfortunately, today a lot of us are also refusing to understand the importance of the Old Testament in the formation of the New Testament. But the scholars kindly inform us: ‘24:27. The entire Old Testament is indispensable for a grounded grasp of the identity and significance of Jesus.’ 

That is friends, if we don’t understand Jesus’ role and significance in the Old Testament; His appearances, His status, His doings and the prophesies about Him, we won’t be fully able to comprehend His form and function in the New Testament. 

Therefore, please, let’s stop considering the Old Testament as passé, because it isn’t. It’s just as important as the New Testament in that it expounds the nature of our faith; it’s beginnings, its ups and downs, its promises, and above all the great message about our Messiah. 

So today, as Almighty God blesses us, and as we bless others, let’s remember where we came from – the Old Testament – because if we don’t know our history and recognize it as being important, we surely won’t know our future; where we’re going, the direction in which we’re headed and how to handle it. Much LOVE!

…only as we look to Jesus…will we see the true path to successful living…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

BLESSED  GOOD  FRIDAY!

And then it was Friday – Good Friday. Yes my brethren, it is one of the most historic and commemorative days in the Christian calendar, because this is the day that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life for us upon that old rugged cross at Calvary… 

And all God’s people gave a grateful shout of ‘All praise and glory be to the Lamb who was slain for us! May His name be revered for ever and ever!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s a sad day, but also a glad day. It’s sad because of the outrageous shame and punishment Jesus went through for our sake. But by the same token, there was gladness because that sacrificial death heralded our cleansing, our reconciliation to Almighty God! 

And all God’s people sang ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Without it we would have been all slated for death and hell, forever separated from the Father. How awful that would have been eh? But with Christ’s sacrifice, a way was prepared for us to come to Him in repentance and confession and be adopted into His household. 

Glory to God for LOVING us so much that He would give His only begotten Son to die for our disgusting sins, to bring us once again into fellowship with Him and calling us His children! 

Nothing can be sweeter and nicer and better and whatever word(s) you choose, than being a part of the family of Jehovah God, the omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present ONE who created the universe and still rules it from His throne on high! 

Now to many of the world’s population, this day is no different from any other. They still sing out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here; a long weekend to boot! No more slaving for a few days, but plenty partying time. Thank God is Friday yes!’ 

And that’s okay to a certain extent, it’s good to be off for the weekend, but the weekend is not just to party, especially this one. It’s a time to seriously and sincerely ponder the basis of our Christian faith and our individual allegiance to it. But since the heathen has no knowledge or interest in the things of God, they just continue along their merry way rejoicing in the lust of the flesh and human senses. 

In time though, we Christians will also be celebrating, but today is a day for mourning, a time for grief and sadness, while remembering that that only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the bright light of the morning. 

And does it ever, with Jesus’ resurrection! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s stay on Good Friday, first by chanting our Friday Chant, which is still appropriate, since we’ve had a hard week of work and now have a few days off which we must use wisely. 

So please let’s chant together: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to use the weekend, rather than just senseless partying and fleshly lusting. And our Bit is also ever so appropriate for today. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the part we don’t like; the suffering for Jesus’ sake. It was okay for Him to suffer for us, but we should just have life clear and easy now. Unfortunately that’s not how it works precious people. As Christians, followers of Christ, we will also be called on to face physical, mental and emotional pain. It’s all part and parcel of His offer of salvation. 

Oh friends, I wonder if we have ever sat down and contemplated exactly the ‘sufferation’ Jesus went through for us? Have you ever considered the flogging, with whips embedded with flesh cutting particles? Or what about the crown of thorns pressed down unto His head? Or the psychological and verbal abuse, the cruel taunting and mocking He endured between Pilate and Herod’s yards? 

Remember Jesus was human too and felt all that we feel. Then having been flogged and tormented, He was made to carry His own cross up to Calvary Hill. Thank God for Simon the Cyrene yes! I think the sight of Jesus struggling along with His cross was just too much for the Father and He introduced Simon into the mix of things. 

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Jesus was then nailed hand and foot to the cross and left in the hot noonday sun, approximately three hours, for the life blood to slowly but ever so painfully ebb out of His abused and banged up body. And don’t forget the javelin in His side. And when He cried out for thirst they ignominiously gave Him sour wine. 

Oh my fellow believers, ordinary crucifixion is one of the most cruel and painful ways man has ever invented for human suffering, but Jesus’ crucifixion was extraordinary, so you can imagine the pain and anguish, because both the Romans and Jewish people went to great lengths to make a sorrowful spectacle and example of Him, between two ordinary criminals, naked as a jaybird. 

But yuh know what, throughout it all, Jesus stood His bounce, He took it all like a man, ‘despising the shame,’ for the joy that was to come, and He knew that that was the main purpose for which He had come to earth. 

The only thing that seemed to truly bother Him was the purposed and painful first and last separation ever from the Father, as all our sins were placed on Him, and He cried out ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” which is, being interpreted (translated), My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34) 

So friends, please, let’s not make a big fuss for the comparable little suffering we sometimes have to undergo on Jesus’ behalf. We all know that suffering is painful and we’d like to avoid it, but that’s just not possible in this world. It will be in the next one, when Jesus returns as a mighty conqueror. 

So having considered the extent of Jesus’ ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, let’s just hunker down and do what we need to do, without too much complaining nuh. Remember the Lord will enable us to bear whatever He allows to come our way, just like He enabled Jesus to bear His pain on that long ago Good Friday. 

And I’d like to end with one of my favourite childhood hymns that tells of Jesus’ demise upon the cross, titled ‘There Is A Green Hill Far Away.’ Please sing it with me, as we consider and ponder this day on Calvary. 

‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. (Refrain) (O dearly, dearly, has He LOVED, And we must LOVE Him, too, and trust in His redeeming blood, And try His works to do.) 

We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. (Refrain) He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Heav’n, Saved by His precious blood. (Refrain) 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s what we, as followers of Christ need to do! Have a blessed Good Friday! Much LOVE!

…what’s a little Christian suffering…compared to Christ’s ‘sufferation’ eh…

 

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