Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Oh Friends, please be advised that the NHL Hockey Playoffs began last night, with several games on every night. And since I am a fan of the game, it means there will be several late nights, like last night, in the offing. Unfortunately, those late nights will obviously lead to late mornings, like this one.

So please don’t be too peeved and upset with me if the Bits are somewhat late in the next few weeks. (smile) It’s just a fact of life. There isn’t much I watch on the tube, but hockey is one of those things.

And a much better bit of news is that it looks like spring has finally truly sprung. Yesterday was warm, not hot, and beautiful, with loads of brilliant sunshine, and today is forecasted to be more of the same.

The temps are getting up to the mid to high teens, and that’s bringing out the pent-up winter frustration, so the hot rod cars with their loud engines and mufflers are now out on the road, the walkers, runners, cyclists and the ‘motorbikers’ are getting into gear too. So look out for the madness, especially after such a long and harsh winter.

And Friends, on this Thursday morning in mid –April, I want to remind us of some rather important facts as they pertain to our faith. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, but they are the words of the prominent American churchman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

And he reputedly said that: ‘Religion can never be the answer to human problems. All of the religions of the world are inadequate. Christ alone is the Answer. Christ alone understands. Christ alone forgives. Christ alone eliminates your guilt.

Christ alone saves and then assures you that you are God’s child and the most wonderful person possible! Christ alone fills the human heart with LOVE –joy- peace- self-confidence. No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Oh my people, my people, what wonderful words of utmost truth and wisdom! There is nothing in that passage that can be disputed! So please, please, this morning let’s allow those fateful words of truth to sink into our hearts, minds and spirits, so that they can reinforce, renew and reinvigorate our passion and joy in our faith and in Christ Jesus!

We need that sort of renewal regularly, because in these last days the enemy is fighting mightily, to keep us from believing and acknowledging the wonder and worthiness of our faith.

And I like that last part of Dr. Shoemaker’s statements: ‘No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Why, you ask? Because if all of the previous statements are true, which they are, we ought to have such LOVE for our God, ourselves and our neighbours, that nothing whatsoever can diminish the light and joy of Jesus in our souls and lives.

That brings us to our Bit. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sorrow that filled Jesus’ heart when He saw His people so lost and scattered, without any proper guidance, just going astray any which way? Remember Isaiah’s prophecy, re comfort through trust in the Lord?

He said: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11)

And that is exactly what Jesus came to do my people! He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read John 10 and you can hear Him expound on the theory of the sheep and the shepherd, as pertains to Himself.

First, He tells them a parable. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:1-5)

Ah my brethren, all of that is oh so true! Now listen to some useful explanations by the scholars. ‘10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. (the pen where the sheep were kept at night). The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees. See also verse 8.’

’10:3. Sheep know only their shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced in area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’

Obviously the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He was talking about. ‘Then Jesus saith unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:7-10)

And at the remembrance of that wonderful news, all God’s people gave a mighty and glorious shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the awesome shepherd of our flock; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly!’

So my people, in ending, let me remind us, that if we are the sheep of Jesus’ flock, then it is of the utmost importance that we listen to His voice, and follow Him and Him alone. If not, then we’ll be marked for certain death, as all else are merely thieves and robbers, come to kill, steal and destroy.

So let’s open our ears and quite clearly hear our Master’s voice and follow Him down the straight and narrow, but safe path where He will inevitably lead us. That my brethren, is certainly wisdom and understanding of a heavenly nature! Much LOVE!

…all we like sheep have gone astray…but Jesus in His LOVING-kindness…has found us and brought us safely back to His fold…oh what a joy…





Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2013 Acts 9:16

Acts 9:16.    For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, it’s time to get ready to go out and labour! And I don’t want to hear any nonsense about yuh tired or blue, or any such selfish, petty excuse. If you’re a true Christian, a true believer in Jesus Christ, then you have the necessary parts to conquer whatever is holding you back.
So let’s be humble and cast our cares on Jesus, as He’s repeatedly told us to do, and ask for our daily bread, our share of divine grace to handle today. And like the Lord gave the Israelites manna, food sufficient for each day, for forty years in the wilderness, He’ll do the same for us if we come before Him and ask with a humble heart and sincere reverence. 
So without further ado, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn as though we really mean it, because I want to finish this Bit on Bruh Paul today, and there’s still a lot to talk about.
With one, loud, harmonious voice then, 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 excellent singing Friends! Now let’s go out into this godless world and put it all into practice, like Bruh Paul did. And as we do, let’s remember to thank the Lord that we don’t have to bear the extremely hard knocks that Bruh Paul bore in spreading the good news of Christ. For the Lord certainly lived up to His promise to Ananias in our Bit. ‘For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.’
Now living for Christ means facing some adversity, but whatever they are, let’s hope we face them with the faith, trust and confidence that Bruh Paul did. Listen as we continue with his feelings and sentiments to the trials he experienced. This passage comes from 2 Corinthians. It’s one many of us know and use conveniently. Here, Bruh Paul is talking about living by faith.
‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.’ (2 Cor.4:7-11)
Ah mih people, that level of growth and maturity in Jesus that Bruh Paul exhibits there is not easy to obtain. But it is possible in conjunction with Christ, and as a believer, it’s expected that we’ll all seriously try to reach those glorious heights. And here’s some useful info from the scholars on verse 7 above.
‘Earthen vessels: In the wilderness under the old covenant, God’s presence dwelt in a tent, (the ark). Today He dwells in the believer’s heart. This is unspeakable truth and forms a theological basis for holy living (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19-20) But the stress here is on ‘earthen.’ An earthenware jar is brittle. It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect (humanity in its strength). Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’
Now let’s turn to Philippians, where Bruh Paul tells them: ‘But I would ye should understand (want you to know), brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen (turned) out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. So that my bonds in Christ (chains are for Christ) are manifest (well known) in all the palace (by all the palace guard), and in all other places. And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil.1:12-14)
Yes Friends, lots of people in and around the palace knew of Bruh Paul’s imprisonment for Christ’s sake and thus heard about the gospel, which pleased him immensely.  And it even made some of the other believers confident enough to publicly promote the gospel. So in Bruh Paul’s mind, instead of it being a disappointment, his imprisonment actually spread the gospel more than if he’d been free.
Then at the end of that chapter, in exhorting them to steadfastness, he tells them: ‘For unto you it (salvation) is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.’ (Phil. 1:29-30)  
Oh Friends, that means that salvation from God came to us and the Philippians because of Jesus’ suffering, so that if we want it, we’ll have to suffer some, like Jesus to get it. As well, some of the Philippians were then facing persecution like they saw Bruh Paul do some ten years before in Philippi, when he was beaten and imprisoned, and was again undergoing in the Roman prison, from which he wrote. 
And we’ll end this series of messages on Bruh Paul with these fateful words to the Ephesian elders whom he called to Miletus to meet with him. ‘And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save (except) that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds (chains) and afflictions abide (await) me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.’ (Acts 20:22-24)
Oh Friends, in closing, my fervent wish and sincere prayer is that all believers will eventually come to a truly high standard of belief and faith in Christ Jesus, like Bruh Paul, and spread the Word as selflessly and unafraid as he did. Then and only then will God’s glorious kingdom be truly furthered with the zeal and passion that’s absent from our current lacklustre endeavours. Much LOVE!
…to move this wicked, ungodly world towards Christ…believers need to have…enormous amounts of faith, fortitude, belly and backbone…