Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Aloha friends, and family, Aloha! Is Friday one more time… And as expected, the place is already hopping in expectation of a wild and wicked weekend, especially with Christmas time in the air. 

Yeh, mih people, all around the place yuh hearing the usual ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God for the weekend in this Christmas season, where we going to eat and drink and party fuh so…and even fall down drunk sometimes too! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend, come Christmas time!’ 

And believe me, this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, is used to cover a lot of debauchery and licentiousness. But thankfully, we believers know better, we know the true reason for the season; the birth of Christ, and we celebrate it in a much more godly manner, don’t just use it as an excuse to party. 

Anyway, since it’s Friday let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a better standard of behaviour in the use of the weekend. As one 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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to spend the weekend, getting some balance and restoration in our souls, without which we won’t be able to do Christ’s work in the excellent manner that He expects from His followers. 

Now let’s get to our Bit, which a lot of believers still can’t fathom. (smile) ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus does not come easy, for at times, much of them unexpected, we are put through the fire to test our mettle, to see how our faith matches up with the words we speak and the behaviour we display. And it’s never easy to welcome these unexpected trials with the joy that is required of us. 

However, as we grow in faith, as we stay in close proximity to Almighty God, taking all our problems to Him, finding joy in tribulation becomes easier. We have to go through it several times before we can truly appreciate the truth and the vitality contained therein. 

Now we’ve heard James’ and Peter’s take on the subject, but no word on trials and tribulations will be worth its salt if it doesn’t contain these fiery words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope: 

And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:1-5) 

So friends, since we have been justified through Christ, through God’s doing, not man’s, and thus have right standing with Him through reconciliation, we can therefore rejoice in whatever befalls us, because we are sure of God’s deliverance. 

Hn! Hope that makes sense. (smile) That’s why Bruh Paul says we can glory, can boast in all the negative stuff that comes upon us, since they only grow us, make us stronger in our faith, bring us closer to God and more Christ-like, which is our end-goal. 

Now here is the crowning glory of it all, found in the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ that He delivered in the Sermon on the Mount. This is the last of the Beatitudes, and I don’t know if Jesus had a special reason for putting it last, possibly because He knew that it would be the hardest one to live by. 

Nonetheless, please listen closely my brethren. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars give us this interesting and uplifting explanation. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! 

Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Oh friends, we know that our wonderful God is real, He is who He claims to be, plus the Bible is true, so no earthly trouble should take away our joy in the salvation of Christ Jesus! 

So let’s go out today and just exult nuh; exult in the glory of God, knowing that our place in heaven is safe and secure! That’s what it means to be a true and mature Christian! Much LOVE!

…mourning may last for a night…but joy comes in the morning…because our faith is strong…and Christ’s salvation is real… 

P.S. I visited our bubba Scotty yesterday afternoon. He is doing much better. He says he’s alive but can’t kick too hard just yet. (smile) So let’s keep on praying for him to make a full recovery very soon. Much LOVE!

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2015 Hebrews 10:35

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not therefore away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, Monday, the first day of this new workweek! Glory Hallelujah! So let’s rise and shine and greet it with a grateful and joyful spirit nuh! It’s our Christian heritage you know. Remember Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in part so that we could have a vibrant and abundant one ourselves. And there’s no knowing what wonderful things and situations our magnificent and magnanimous God has in store for us today. 

Wow! Let’s get excited nuh my people! Oh I know that Job wisely said that we can’t have good without bad, (Job 2:10) but today, and everyday hence, we must be positive and believe that the good, whatever it may be, will certainly outweigh the bad. Glory to God! 

And with all that passion and enthusiasm for Jesus bubbling up in us, let’s give the earth…and the heavens too, a rousing and most awesome rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

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

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

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

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

Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, that was beautiful; magnifico, tres magnifique! – couldn’t get in the accents (smile). We were so into it, so sincere and true that tears of joy were flowing down Jesus, our choir director’s cheeks, as our passion was contagious, and He in turn wielded a tantalizing baton to direct us. 

Oh Friends, the angels… in fact all of heaven was eventually singing along with us, including the Father. And they all stood up afterwards and clapped for an encore! What a wonderful way to begin our day my brethren! Heaven’s on our side, and thus everything is right with our world! 

Now if we could only package that enthusiasm and emotion for Jesus and distribute it all over the earth, then there would certainly be great improvement all around. Jesus’ LOVE Revolution then would be in full swing. But unfortunately, the reality is that we cannot simply package it and send it off. Somewhere along the line we also have to live it, and let others see the passion in our souls. 

For remember that actions usually speak louder than words, and people are most likely to do as we do, rather than as we say. If I remember correctly, ‘examples speak more forcibly than precepts (words),’ is how the author of the novel Joseph Andrews puts it. That brings us to the intriguing and encouraging words of our Bit. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ 

Yes Friends, in this earthly life, this pilgrim’s journey, one of the most important things we have to do is to stay confident in the faith, the belief and promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy, especially with the enemy and his evil minions constantly breathing down our necks and whispering foolish lies and deceits in our ears. 

But as the author of Hebrews continues after our Bit: ‘For ye have need of patience (perseverance, endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb. 10:36) Yes my people, our faithful God will not fail to reward us for the sincere work we’ve done in His name. 

The author of Hebrews also addressed that problem earlier on in the chapter. ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised :)’ (Heb.10:23) Those are certainly words to live by my fellow believers. It’s even better than money in the bank! (smile) 

Jesus even spelled it out for us in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars have a great explanation of that verse. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase, ‘Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow! What powerful words! And we all know that there are no ifs and buts, doubts and questions about Jesus, heaven, salvation and eternal life. They are for real. So people, let’s do the wise thing nuh and Rejoice… be exceedingly glad, exult, for that is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Jesus…should be the most exultant lot on God’s planet earth…because of the reality and blessedness…of salvation and eternal life…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2013 Matthew 5:12

 Matthew 5:12. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 
Oh Friends, do you realize that in a mere 2 months we’ll be into the new year of 2014? This year of 2013 has really passed by quickly, and today I’m asking us to check on how we’ve done on the main New Year’s Resolution we made back in January; the promise to walk more closely and sincerely with Jesus than we did before. I’ve also been encouraging us to reflect on it every month rather than at the end of the year. That way we have time to catch up on and/or make amends to any aspect(s) on which we we’ve been lagging. 
 
And what about the resolution we made last week eh; the one to try and change the world a little bit everyday? Have we been doing anything about that? I surely hope so. And if you have, then you’re also working on the first one, because making a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world everyday, is indeed walking closer with Christ, since that’s exactly what He did, and also desires of us.
 
Anyway, your reactions and answers to those questions above are between you and our heavenly Father. I am just the messenger, so please don’t shoot me. (smile)
 
And today we’ve come to the last part of the Sermon on the Mount that deals particularly with the Beatitudes. Today’s Bit: ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,’ follows from yesterday’s.
 
That Beatitude informed us: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt.5:11) And we saw how many believers are being persecuted, even unto death, for just believing in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
 
Now none of that is easy my people, but Jesus is telling us that we should rejoice and be exceedingly happy when we’re persecuted for following Him. Why? Because our reward for standing steadfast and strong in faith down here on earth, will be great in heaven; also that’s how the heathen and false believers persecuted the prophets that came before us. 
 
Now that last part is certainly true as the Good Book records all the persecution the early prophets endured, including Jesus, and the general church after that. But Friends, standing strong in the face of persecution, especially if and when it’s unfair, is definitely not that easy. And the promised rewards way up in heaven at some later date, doesn’t make it any easier for most of us, because we’re still living by sight and not by faith as we ought to.
 
It’s only when we have a real strong, steadfast and mature faith in Christ, will we be able to truly consider those rewards in heaven, against the persecution here on earth. And that can only come with time, constant communication with Almighty God, delving deeply into His Word, writing it indelibly in our souls, then trying to live by it.
 
And Friends, we’re so lucky out here in the Western world to be able to freely worship the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob without any fear of serious repercussions, but many others in distant lands are not so fortunate. And please, please, I sincerely implore us not to get too lost in that freedom which we now take for granted, because if you haven’t noticed, it’s being slowly eroded by the evil powers that be.
 
At this juncture in our evolution, the LOVE Revolution, we need to stand up even firmer and stronger against the forces of evil, so that we don’t lose what our forefathers gave their very lives for; the right to worship in freedom and peace. And that’s no joke Friends, because more and more everyday, prayer and God are being removed from schools and public places.
 
Therefore it’s imperative that we stop being as complacent as we are about it, and instead be very vigilant and pro-active if we don’t want to lose those rights. For remember, whatever freedom that’s been won, can always be taken away, and the evil minions of Lucifer are just chomping at the bit to take away our freedom to worship.
 
Now listen to the scholars’ interesting take on our Bit. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase, ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my brethren! But as we’ve said above, it won’t just happen automatically, we have to work seriously and consciously on it.
 
Now I have some scriptures to share, but they’ll make the Bit too long, so we’ll address them tomorrow, our great God in favour. In the meanwhile, please let’s concentrate on truly following Jesus, doing the things we know we ought to do, so that we can gain all those rewards laid up in heaven for us.
 
And may the Lord bless and keep us, cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us, and give us His everlasting peace and divine wisdom, so that we can greatly glorify His Holy Name and further His glorious kingdom down here on this wicked, ungodly earth. Much LOVE!
 
…to successfully handle persecution…we must focus steadfastly on what Jesus has done for us…and on the heavenly rewards He’s promised…