Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:20.

2 Corinthians 5:20.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.

So it’s Thursday…what’s new eh friends? I guess most of us will say the same old, same old. And we may be right, because that’s what life mainly consists of. However, with Jesus ‘ Spirit dwelling within us, we have the opportunity, the privilege to take that same old and turn it into something bright and beautiful! 

Yeh friends, if we have heaven and all that extraordinary stuff to look forward to, from now till the end of time, then we should at least be able to put a pleasant smile on our faces and have a good attitude in our hearts, because that’s how our Lord and Saviour, our Leader Jesus Christ walked while He was here on earth, and followers are supposed to show the same example as their leaders. 

And in keeping with that philosophy, here is some wise advice from the ‘First Lady of American Theater,’ Helen Hayes (1900-1993). She dispenses that ‘Positive attitudes – optimism, high self-esteem, and outgoing nature, joyousness, and the ability to cope with stress – when established early in life, may be the most important basis for continued good health.’ 

And that’s no lie friends, for whatever you’re building needs a strong foundation. And in the affairs of men, the earlier you build that strong foundation the better off you will be, the better able you will be to handle life. 

Like the Redwood trees in California that grow to enormous heights and live for a long time because they have put down long, strong roots in the earth in their formative years, so too we need to have a solid root system if we intend to live long and make a difference in this life. 

And each believer in Christ is expected to make a difference in this life, be it big or small. Why? Because as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians in our Bit: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we are ALL ambassadors for Christ! And ambassadors have certain rules and regulations to obey, and a certain type of behaviour to exhibit because they are representatives of a higher authority and ought to do so in a proper manner. That means behaving with dignity and a calm spirit and not bringing shame and disgrace on their higher ups. 

Likewise, as ambassadors of Christ, we have the responsibility to behave in a manner consistent with Jesus’ mandate and not bring negative consequences to His organization. And in Christ’s organization, His church, we do that by being faithful to His principles. 

First and foremost is the principle of LOVE; God’s defining attribute from which flow a whole lot of other things, like kindness, helpfulness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, joy, peace, long- suffering, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control). Those are things that Bruh Paul define as the fruit of the Spirit, and are expected to be a major part of a believer’s life.  

And you’ll notice my believing brethren that none of those attributes or behaviour is a mainstay of today’s world. Instead, the world glorifies all the opposites of those spiritual fruit, with the resultant consequence that it is a morass of greed, poverty, sickness, murder, strife, warfare, anger and all sorts of evil doings. 

Now that’s not what our Jesus wants to see in His world. Remember He came to save the lost and downtrodden, and there are way too many of those in our current world. Thus, as His representatives, we are called to show a different attitude, a better example to this sinful world, a more graceful and LOVING persona. 

We also need to spread His faithful Word to all and sundry, so that the lost and suffering will see what they are missing by not being a part of His kingdom and will reach out, cry out to Him for help. That’s our mandate, our bounden duty my brethren. 

And Jesus has given us some awesome tools to work with, namely our Thursday Blessings. So let’s proclaim them now nuh, to remind us of them, and to claim their awesome power, because the Word of God unleashes a mighty stream of power when spoken out loud. 

All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, what awesome tools and blessings! Now let’s go out and put them to full use, sharing them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus never sends His workers out…without the right tools to do His work…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2018 Psalm 119:97.

Psalm 119:97.   Oh how I LOVE thy law! It is my meditation all the day.

And another hot one is on the way friends! So please make sure you are lathered in your sunscreen, have on your long sleeves and your hat, and even your gloves (smile) before you venture out into the hot sun today, because it will save you from much grief later on. 

Yeh, I use to laugh at warnings like that too, but recently I’ve discovered that if I do too much sun, I get a heat rash on my arms, especially when driving and the sun is coming through the glass of the window. And believe me that kind of rash, or actual sunburn can be quite irritating and uncomfortable and even lead later on to things like skin cancer, etc. etc. So please be prepared. 

Now hear this quote from one Robert Grant. There were so many, I couldn’t figure out which one said it. (smile) But whichever one said it, surely had his mind securely on the pulse of the matter. ‘Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end, our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend!’ 

Wow mih breddren, that’s gospel truth! And Jesus is certainly all those things, from beginning to end, and steadfast all the time, no ups and downs in His behaviour! We couldn’t ask for a better partner in this life. And from that, our Bit ought to logically follow in our lives. ‘Oh how I LOVE thy law! It is my meditation all the day.’ 

Yeh mih people, if we think that Jesus is so wonderful, then His Word, His Law and all the other names used for His communication with us, ought to have a high place of honour in our earthly lives, such that we’re always meditating upon it, contemplating it, pondering it, And if that is not truly happening, then we’re not telling the truth and only fooling ourselves. 

And here is this explanation by the scholars of the word ‘LAW.’ ‘The multifaceted character of God’s word is revealed by at least eight key synonyms for it in the psalm. 

(1) Law (torah) is the most frequent of the words. It comes from a verb meaning “to teach,” and thus came to be applied to a wide range of revelation, from an individual directive to the entire Pentateuch (first 5 Books of the Bible, assumed to have been written by Moses). It emphasizes that God has taught us in His Word what He requires of us.’ 

So there we have it friends: basically, the ‘law’ is God’s directions for godly living here on earth. Consequently, we can only live a godly life when we know the law and what’s required of us. That’s why we need to meditate and ponder and consider it a great deal. That’s why the psalmist says so profoundly in Psalm 1 –Blessed are the righteous. 

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder, talking to oneself) day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:1-3) 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see what happens when we concentrate on God’s Word and put it into action! Our lives prosper! What more can we ask eh? So I really don’t know why we foolishly insist on following Lucifer and his wicked ways that the world embraces and trumpets as wisdom. And I think it’s only appropriate that we hear the rest of the scripture after our Bit, which makes up the portion of the psalm titled ‘MEM.’  

‘Thou through thy commandments (commander’s authority, necessity of obeying God’s charge) hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than my teachers: for thy testimonies (God’s own testimony in His word) are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients (aged), because I keep thy precepts (instructions from a superior). 

I have refrained (restrained) my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word (content of God’s revelation). I have not departed from thy judgements (ordinances from God as judge to make earthly behaviour conform to His heavenly standard): for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Through thy precepts (instructions) I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.’ (Ps.119:98-104) 

Oh my brethren, I just LOVE that line about the Lord’s words being sweeter than honey! Mama Mia! What an apt description! And that’s how it’s supposed to be with ALL believers! 

So my people, I implore us today to make the Lord’s word of great importance in our lives, because it is the road map, the guide to the kind of life He wants us to live down here on earth, the kind of life that will prepare us for life in heaven with Him. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which our heavenly father has so generously bestowed on us. In strong voice and sincere heart 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!’ 

Ah friends, now let’s go out and share those blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why they were given to us. Much LOVE!

…you can’t know God’s requirements…unless and until you study His Word…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2018 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.   But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8.       

Ah friends, this is just an aberration; what the mind doctors might call deviant or abnormal behaviour. Yes, it is true that I am writing the Bit at minutes to seven, but through no desire of my own. I just happened to go out yesterday evening, got home around 10, decided to take a nap and then get up and do some stuff. But that appears to have only been wishful thinking. (smile) 

Oh, I did get up a couple of times, but just to go to the bathroom, and right back to bed. However around 6 this morning, the ole bod began complaining, and I couldn’t find a comfortable position in the bed, hence my early arising. This going to bed early business is really and truly for the birds yes. (smile) 

Anyway, it does seem that a bright and sunny day is in the offing, with Jesus’ brilliant light hovering above it all. And today I want to remind us of the Daily Bread devotional quote which says: ‘God’s LOVE for us is as expansive as the open arms of Christ on the cross.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people! Our Creator LOVES us so much that His arms are always open to welcome us. That’s what Christ’s open arms on the cross means. He is saying: ‘Come to me; I am here waiting for you; waiting to accept you just as you are; no questions asked…just come and receive my LOVE, my grace, my mercy and my forgiveness…they are just yours for the asking and the taking…!’

Yes people, it’s all there waiting for us, we just have to go and receive it; the undeserved salvation of God. Please note that right there on the cross, when one of the criminals that were crucified with Him pleaded ‘Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

Wow! The thief on his figurative deathbed, asked for forgiveness and received it instantaneously! What an awesome God we serve my brethren! Such a magnanimous God that the Good Book declares: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ 

Mama Yo! What depth of LOVE that shows my brethren! I can’t even find words to describe it. One would think that we would have to stop being sinners first before any god would show LOVE and compassion towards us. But no! Our great God shows His awesome LOVE first, while we’re still abhorrent beings. One could not get more LOVING or magnanimous than that! 

That’s why I can’t understand why we are so reluctant to accept God’s free offer of divine salvation and eternal life, but are rather very intent on removing Him from our society. I guess we don’t like His rules and regulations, they are too nice, well behaved and strict. 

We seem to prefer the wild, leggo beast behaviour that Lucifer advertises. But friends, that will only lead us to the place where Lucifer lives, Hades, Hell, or whatever you want to call that dark, deep dungeon that he inhabits. I don’t know about you nuh, but I definitely don’t want to go there. I want to go to heaven; where it’s always bright and sunshiny and Jesus is there in His awesome fullness. 

Mama Mia! What a day and time that will be, when the gates of heaven open and take in all those who desire to be there! Ah friends, please remember what Bruh Paul so clearly stated: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Yes, what we deserve for our sinful behaviour and willful disobedience to Almighty God is DEATH, written in big capitals. However because of God’s great and everlasting LOVE for us, He devised a way for us to be saved from the horrible death that awaited, and still awaits us as unrepentant sinners. 

Listen to Jesus tell it: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world though him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Oh mih people, what heartwarming and reassuring words! Wow! God LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His ONE Son to save us! Doesn’t that say a whole lot about the God we worship and serve, about His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men? It certainly does! 

And it couldn’t be put any simpler or plainer than that. Yet there are many who refuse to believe and accept God’s free gift of salvation, through sincere belief in His Son Jesus Christ. But friends, believe me, that’s a fool’s wisdom! 

Our bodies will deteriorate and eventually return to the dust from which it was made, what happens to our spirits then eh? They don’t die, but live on forever, in one of two places, hell or heaven, and heaven is by far the much nicer place. 

But you can only get entrance to that beautiful eternal retreat if you repudiate Lucifer and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. So what shall it be eh? It’s a decision we all have to make, and as far as I am concerned it’s a rather easy one. Let’s hope that you make the right one today. 

Now, for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring the bountiful Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us. In strong acclamation: ‘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!’ 

And having said all of that, now let’s go out and share those blessings with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will serve the Lord God Jehovah…


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2018 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.

Well mih people, we might not have as nice a day as the last few, because they’ve called for showers, and we did have a small thunder squall earlier in the morning, but yuh know what? Right now, though it’s somewhat cloudy, the Sun is fighting valiantly to come out and shine, shine, shine! Yeh it does look hopeful out there. And yuh know the SON is always out there doing His thing! So no need to worry on that side of the ledger. (smile) 

Unfortunately however, those people in Hawaii are experiencing more volcanic activity, so let’s keep up our prayers for them, that the whole thing will soon settle down without further disruption and disaster. 

Now here is something from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It gives us a very good insight into problems, and is appropriately titled: ‘Let Your Problem Lead You to God.’ 

Gramps Schuller writes: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.” There are vast untapped resources of faith and talent that can only be discovered in adversity.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! It’s unfortunate, but the fact is that only through adversity can we build or discover true faith. And when adversity comes, the way we handle it will indeed make us a better or worse person. If we try to run away from it and hide, or adopt a completely negative attitude, then it will eat us up faster than the bat of an eyelash. 

But if we keep our peace and recognize that the problem is bigger than us and take it to God, then we’re already in the driver’s seat! Glory to God! Remember friends that you and God are a majority in EVERY situation, and with Him by your side, you can win every battle. 

If you are a wise believer, then taking your problems to God is a no-brainer, because that’s what He has asked us to do. He wants to be involved in EVERY situation in our lives, big, small or otherwise! And if we don’t involve Him in everything, He feels left out and pouts, just like we do, when we’re not invited in. (smile) 

Oh friends, we cannot pick and choose which situations in our life to allow God into, that’s why I’ve chosen this encouraging scripture from the prophet Zechariah, as he talks about Zion’s future king, to be our Bit today. ‘Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what wonderful advice! And though it was given thousands of years ago, it’s still as pertinent today as it was back then. It only makes sense to turn to whatever is strong in our lives, not what is weak. And the strongest thing there is, is Almighty God, so why wouldn’t we turn to Him in all wisdom eh? 

But what I like most about that passage of scripture is the phrase, ‘prisoners of hope!’ Wow! It sounds like the perfect name for believers. Imprisoned by hope in Jesus Christ, we just keep trucking on in faith and never give up! I think it’s high time we emblazon that phrase on our mental billboards, and truly begin considering ourselves as prisoners of hope. We can never go wrong if we do. 

And yuh see what happens when we do behave as prisoners of hope? The Lord renders double unto us. He blesses us even more than He has already. So why not become a true prisoner of hope then eh my people? Wisdom and common sense demand it!  

And now, I just want to add a couple of obscure scriptures that most of us might not know, but which encourage us to turn to God. Listen to Hosea, as he talks about Ephraim’s sins being rebuked by God. ‘Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy (LOVING-kindness, faithfulness) and judgement (justice), and wait on thy God continually.’ (Hos.12:5-6) Now that’s a proven winner! 

And lastly, these most encouraging words from the vision of Daniel re the time of the end. ‘And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.’ (Dan. 12:3) 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! And since we consider these times, the end times, what better way to go than by being wise and shining brightly and turning others to Christ! Mama Mia! That verse surely excited me! (smile) 

Now, since we are wise, and are prisoners of hope, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, all that the Lord has given us for being so smart. Hn, hn! Altogether 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!’ 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship! But remember people, that’s not all for us, but also to share with the less fortunate. So let’s go and do that now nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’ve got to be a prisoner…there’s none better…than being one of hope in Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2018 Obadiah 1:3.

Obadiah 1:3.    The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

Ah friends, one more day in the land of the living! Hope today though will be better than yesterday. We won’t get into the ramifications, but yesterday was rough, to put it mildly. I guess the Lord figured I had come through the operation too smoothly, without any real pain or such, and He didn’t want me to get too full of myself, so He humbled me in a way that only He can do. (smile) 

And now that I’m completely humbled, it’s time to move on with getting better. And how do we do that? By upgrading our walk with God. And here are some tips from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) on how to do that. He strongly advises that we keep God at the centre of our universe, of our thinking: in everything we do, everything we say, everything we think, in our relationships, our finances, our plans, and EVERY area of life. 

Yes, faithful followers of God, the Almighty MUST be in the midst of our entire being. Nothing else is acceptable in His sight. We can’t pick and choose what areas we’ll allow Him into, as we are wont to do. He wants to be involved in EVERYTHING! Even the smallest and most inconspicuous decisions. 

So it’s time we stop trying to box Him out of certain areas and things of our lives, and just welcome Him wholeheartedly into every area. That’s the ONLY way we will ever get the full benefit of His magnanimity! 

That brings us to our Bit for today, a rather appropriate scripture from the prophet Obadiah, for these proud, egotistic, selfish and doh-care times. It was originally meant for the people of Edom (Esau) because of his actions against his brother Judah (Jacob). 

The theme of the prophecy is the doom of Edom, and consequently, our doom, if we keep going the way we currently are. ‘The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ 

Before we get into the Bit though, here is some background info to help us. ‘1 Edom refers to the territory settled by Esau’s descendants. It is a mountainous desert extending for about one hundred miles from the wadi Zered to the Gulf of Aqaba. The Edomites enjoyed the security of their mountain stronghold and the prosperity obtained by taxing caravans travelling through their territory.’ 

So now we know the setting for Obadiah’s statement. The Edomites figured they were safe and secure in their mountainous lairs, so their prosperity and pride turned them away from the God of their forefathers, just like those things are doing to us today. So many of us today are prideful and haughty and have no respect for man nor God, foolishly figuring that no one can bring us down from our proud perches. 

But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. There is always some man or woman who can bring us down from our haughty heights. And if a fellow human being isn’t able to do it, then the Lord God Almighty, our Creator can, and will certainly do so, whenever He is ready. 

And as always, He clearly and plainly states His intentions, but like the fools we are, we never seem to take Him seriously. Hear the verse after our Bit. ‘Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ (Obad.1:4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4. Though thou set thy nest among the stars: This figure of speech emphasizes the inaccessibility and natural security of their city. However their natural security is no match for God’s determination.’ And that is what we have to realize my people. Our puny efforts at security and safety are no match for our Creator’s ability. Yet we still try to foolishly disregard Him and His laws. 

Oh friends, oh friends, the only thing that makes any sense is to join with God, not turn or run away from Him, since He is both wiser and more powerful than any or all of us together. We keep forgetting that He created us, and still pulls our strings. In His hands we can be like puppets, if He so desires. 

So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, in this most appropriate time for such activity, the renewal of nature, spring time. Let’s awaken from our winter slumber and call on the name of God in all wisdom and truth nuh, for that’s what our plagued world desperately needs.  

And yuh see friends, though we are so disobedient, our wonderful God still blesses us with abundant blessings as set out in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s shout them out: ‘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!’ 

And having all of that, let’s go out now and share it with the less fortunate nuh, for that is what Jesus desires of us, why He blessed us so abundantly in the first place. Much LOVE!

…the first rule of a blessing…is to share it…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2018 Revelation 3:15.

Revelation 3:15.   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.

Awright mih breddren, another wonderful day on God’s great earth is upon us! Give Him thanks and praise! And you know what? I just checked the obits and none of our names or pictures are listed there! Wow! That must mean that we’re alive, alive and kicking, alive and kicking butt for Christ! (smile) I like that. 

It sounds like something we were meant to do. But are we doing it? To a certain extent yes, but definitely not as much as we ought to. The problem with our brand of Christianity these days seems to be that we are doing a lot of right things, but we are not doing them sufficiently. 

You know, you can give, volunteer, help, pray, whatever, show Christian attributes, but with a lacklustre attitude, no real passion for what you’re doing. It doesn’t seem to come from the heart, but from the mind. Like I’m supposed to do so and so, so I’ll do it, but not with any real zeal; a more legalistic approach than a heart-felt one. 

But Jesus calls for excellence, passion, and diligence in His followers. That reminds me of what He said to the church in Laodicea, through John’s vision in Revelation, our Bit for today. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.’ 

Ah friends, that’s exactly how Christ’s church is today. The zeal and passion for growing it, for enhancing Christ’s LOVE Revolution doesn’t’ seem to be present in sufficient quantity amongst its believers. We still seem to be too taken up with the matters of the world and not enough with those of heaven. 

And as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:16-17) 

Yes my people, if we look at ourselves in truth, we will see that we are still too taken up with the things of the world and not those of God, thus Jesus’ reproach. 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm water, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. 

But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas. By the time it arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Ah friends, although I don’t think our contributions to Christ’s church are totally useless, I do believe that they are not worthwhile enough because our faith is not strong enough. Too many of us are too scared, lazy and lackadaisical about our faith. We don’t stand up steadfast and strong enough for what we believe in. 

There is too much fence sitting and compromise in our behaviour and actions. And both those things lessen the strength of anything. We talk a good talk, but we don’t walk a good enough walk. 

That’s why Jesus commanded the church at Laodicea: ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev.3:18) 

I have to chuckle there friends, because nobody can turn a phrase like Jesus, can admonish you the way He does. And the scholars have this to say about that scripture. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. 

Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’ 

Fellow believers in Christ, I believe that admonition of Jesus will also stand us in good stead today. Please, I implore us to stop running after the things and wealth of the world, because they will avail us nothing in the time to come. It’s time we raise the level of our faith and actions and concentrate on sincerely growing Christ’s church as personified by His LOVE Revolution. Why do you think He blessed us with our Thursday Blessings eh? So that we can lift Him up. 

Now let’s declare those blessings with a sincere heart and strong belief. ‘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!’ 

And if we truly believe, it, then let’s go out and share it with others as Christ desires, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. Much LOVE!

…Christ wants His followers to be either hot or cold…not in between…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2018 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Ah friends, my most humble apologies for the lateness of today’s Bit. I have absolutely no idea what happened, except that when I was supposed to get up, I was still somewhere far away in dream land. (smile) 

And it’s not like I did anything exhaustive yesterday, or went to bed later than normal. In fact yesterday was designated a day of rest, as I watched the snow fall, and then listened to the snow ploughs and dump trucks cart it away later in the evening. So my only conclusion is that I was simply tired from excessive rest! (smile) 

But on a serious note, I’m asking us, especially our St. Francis people, to offer up sincere prayers for one of our church members, Abbi, who recently had to trek down to Indianapolis to help look after her very sick mother in the hospital. Some of you might not know her, because she usually comes to the 8.30 a.m service. 

Her father doesn’t seem to be doing too well either, as he appears to be stressed out over his wife’s illness. And to complicate matters even further, Abbi is also 6.5 months pregnant, so she also has to look after herself and her unborn child. That means she has to walk a very narrow and careful path in this tremulous situation. There’s not much we can do for the family except pray. So please do that. They would very much appreciate your prayers. 

Now here is something appropriate that I just found on one of the many pieces of paper that sit next to my computer. It’s a quote from Corville Peters, host of the Christian call in programme, ‘At the Cross.’ He says: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness on your behalf.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Prayer is not about trying to twist God’s arms to help us, but to activate His waiting and His willingness to help. I guess it’s something like our 911 Emergency Number. When you call it, you don’t have to beg them to come and help you, because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

It’s the same thing with our omnipotent God; He is there to always help us when we call, not hem and haw as to whether He should, or should not. And don’t ever forget friends, that prayer is the most powerful tool or weapon in our human arsenal! Otherwise, Jesus would not have said in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’  

And it’s very true. But please note the most important word in that sentence: ‘believing.’ Yeh mih people, we have to believe that we will get what we pray for. You’ll notice, that with Jesus, everything is about believing, about having hope and faith, about seeing it when it’s nowhere in sight. 

Look at how we believe that Jesus died for us and LOVES us and all those good things, although we never met Him in the flesh. That’s what our faith is all about: when you believe, then you’ll see! And what better example is there than when Peter was imprisoned by Herod. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Him.’ (Acts 12:5) And what happened after that. An angel came and let Peter out of the prison like he was in a trance. (Acts 12:6-10)  

The Good Book continues: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord had sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) 

And we all know how when he knocked at the door of Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark, even though they were praying for him, nobody would believe that he was out there, saying nonsense like, ‘It is his angel.’ He had to keep on knocking before they would let him in. (Acts 12:12-17) 

So you see friends, even though we pray sincerely, we still lack that ever-important aspect of belief. As Jesus said so plainly before our Bit: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

It’s all about faith, and trust and belief in Jesus and His awesome power and promises my brethren! Please, let’s not lose or lessen our faith, but rather build it up, so that we can move to higher heights, become more Christ-like, as the Father desires. And in keeping with all that, let’s go home now, proudly and sincerely declaring out Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice 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!’ 

And if we truly believe it all, then our next step is to go out and share it with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…prayer…that wonderful…and oh so powerful…method of communication with our great God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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