Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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.’ 

Yes faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2018 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Greetings friends, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He wants us to know that this Thursday morning we are only one day away from our weekend break, and that we have done a good job so far this week, we’ve been ploughing straight furrows, so we should not give up or lose hope, because He is right there alongside us, every moment of the day, and with His help, we will certainly succeed. 

So just hang in there, keep on fighting the good fight, and all will be well! What a reassuring message my people! And Jesus is nothing, if not a ‘reassurer.’ And His promises are ever-faithful and true. So please keep on believing. 

And I have an interesting thought to share from one Erwin Raphael McManus, author, futurist, designer, filmmaker and Pastor of a Los Angeles church called Mosaic. He apparently says in his book, ‘The Last Arrow,’ that ‘The pain of life is the obstacle to our future. Do not let fear and pain limit your freedom to your future.’ 

What wise and truthful words my brethren! In this fallen and sinful world of ours, it is fear and pain that take a dire toll on our freedom to enjoy this earthly life. If we didn’t have fear or pain, we’d be home free. (smile) But we know that that situation will only be rectified after the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when Almighty God births the new heaven and earth. What a joyful day that will be my people! 

And we have that on good info from John the Revelator, who writes, after seeing a vision: ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ (Rev.21:1-5) 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome promise and time we have to look forward to; living in the New Jerusalem where there will be no night or day, no pain, sorrow, or death and Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit will dwell amongst us in living colour! Mama Mia! I can’t wait for that day when there will be no more pain! (smile) 

Now let’s check out some explanations from the scholars’. ’21:1-2. Chapters 21 and 22 are a description of the eternal state (following the Millennium and the final judgement), centering in the new Jerusalem as the eternal habitation of the saved (cf. Heb.11:10; 12:22-24). 

The first heaven and the first earth are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, predicted by Isaiah (cf. Is.65:17; 66:22). The present universe will thus be cleansed from all the effects of sin (cf. 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-13). Since there will be no more sea, the increased land space will be fully capable of handling large numbers of redeemed people from all ages. 

The New Jerusalem is fully described in 21:10-22:5. It is a holy city, totally separate from sin (cf. vs, 8, 27; 22:15). It is being prepared (cf. John 14:3) as the habitation of the bride of Christ (cf. v.9). From God shows its divine purpose, and out of heaven its divine origin.’ 

Yeh mih people, a new day is coming, we know not when, that means we have to be prepared and constantly on the lookout for it. As Peter warns: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief (robber) in the night…Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ (2 Pet. 3:10a, 13-14) 

Yeh friends, we have that awesome promise of Jesus that after He’s wrapped up, destroyed all the sin and evil in the world, He will bring us to a place of everlasting peace and joy to dwell with Him forever. But it’s imperative that we make the necessary preparations RIGHT NOW, because Jesus can come back at ANY time. Oh, and please read the references in the scholars’ explanations, for they are a treasure trove of scripture. (smile) 

And having read and digested all of that, let’s go home loudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings. As one 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 please remember that those blessings were granted to us not to keep and hoard for ourselves, but to share with others, so let’s go out and share them now nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is awesome power in the word of Jesus…because that’s what created the universe and all therein…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2018 Titus 2:11.

Titus 2:11.    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

Sunday, oh Sunday! It’s Sunday my brethren! That means all roads lead to the Lord‘s sanctuary for some special time of prayer and praise, worship and fellowship! What a glorious morning it will be as we gather to give thanks and get strength and mercy in return! The Lord will be just bubbling over with joy this morning as we come to exalt His holy name, show humility and reverence to His majestic Being and renew our faithfulness by believing His promises. 

And there is no more appropriate hymn to open our worship session than the old faithful, ‘Standing on the Promises of God.’ It’s a wonder how these old hymns just seem to last forever, but that’s because they are based on the infallible truth of God’s word. So without further ado, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips, strong lungs and sincere hearts. 

All together now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.)  Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] 

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.]’ 

And isn’t that the best place to stand my fellow believers? Yes sir, right there on the faithful and everlasting promises of God, for there is none as faithful as Him! He never makes promises unless He intends to keep them. So any promise you see written in His word, will most definitely be kept. Yuh see how He promised to send the Jewish people a Messiah, a Saviour, and He did! 

They just misunderstood the circumstances. They were looking for a warrior king, to lift the heavy burden of servitude from their shoulders under harsh Roman rule. However, the Lord had a peaceful, LOVE touting rabbi in mind; one to save their sinful souls from eternal damnation. 

And today we’re going to listen to Bruh Paul’s words to his protégé Titus on the subject of Christian living, how we can prevent the loss of our souls  to Lucifer, through accepting the faithful promise of Christ. It starts out with our Bit: ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.’ 

Yes friends, God LOVED His human creation so much that He could not exclude any from His plan for salvation. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.’ (Titus 2:12-15) 

Absolutely nothing has changed down through the ages friends. It is still the way we ought to live if we consider ourselves believers in, and followers of Christ. Hear the scholars’ explanations on that passage. ‘2:11-15. The salvation that appeared to all men is based on God’s grace that has provided salvation universally for all mankind through the unlimited atonement of Christ. 

That blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ refers to His second coming. The use of the definite article “the” with the first noun “God” and the connecting “and” indicates that the first and second “Saviour” (nouns) are one and the same person. Our “great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” is thus one and the same person, clearly proving the deity of Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, I guess the scholars’ are referring to the Greek text in that last sentence. But we don’t need any evidence or reassurance that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was deity. It’s evident from all that He did while He was here on earth. Only someone with divine power could have done His miracles, and endured the ‘sufferation’ He did on our behalf without going out of His mind. 

But all of that aside, let’s listen to Jesus’ promise to come back for us. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

So my friends, if we sang about standing on the promises of God earlier on, and then declared that Christ was deity, then simple logic would conclude that we should believe and stand on the promises Christ made in those verses. (smile) So let’s stand strong on them nuh, for He is coming back again, sometime soon, this time in all His glory and splendour, the warrior King that the Israelites first dreamed of. 

And He is going to take us home to heaven to dwell there with Him until eternity, if we believe in Him, obey His words and live the lifestyle He desires. So what’s it to be eh friends? Let’s hope we all vote for Jesus, for that’s wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing as beautiful…as living for Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2018 Acts 16:31.

Acts 16:31,   And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).

Greetings and salutations friends, this Thursday morning from our heavenly father, the Most High God, Jehovah! He sends His great LOVE and new mercies so that we can handle this day successfully, if we walk sincerely with Him. That is the key to everything; walking sincerely in His will. 

And I want to let us know that God is with us, the same way He was with Jesus Christ when He was here on earth, so we have the wonderful privilege of calling on Him as Jesus did. Glory be my people! And it doesn’t make sense having the privilege if we don’t use it. 

So let’s set our sights to call on God, at anytime, anywhere, and for everything, because that’s what He expects of us. He wants to be involved in each and every aspect of our lives, so please don’t keep Him out of anything, even the simplest aspect of our daily living, otherwise we could be in danger of losing wonderful insights, guidance and blessings. 

That’s why the Daily Bread devotional thought tells us: ‘To take the fear out of living, put your faith in the living God.’ Truth of enormous proportions my brethren! For it’s only faith that conquers fear! The world expects us to be fearful, but our God desires us to be faithful! Which are we going to chose eh? 

Fear is easy, you just kowtow, give in to it and let it run roughshod over your life. Faith however calls for us to be strong, to withstand adversity, even when times look extremely bad. It calls for pain and sacrifice, even when we don’t seem to have any more breath left in our bodies. Faith says, while there is hope there is life, and with God ALL things are possible! 

And that’s what we are called to as Christians; being strong and steadfast in our belief and living for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ, so that we abominable sinners could be reconciled to Him. No other faith has such a simple but moving and compelling narrative. That’s why some people think it is too good to be true. But true it is my brethren! And there’s no rocket science involved. 

That’s why when Paul and Silas prayed and the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and the prison keeper went to kill himself, thinking that all the prisoners had escaped, Bruh Paul warned him. ‘Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. 

And brought them out, and said, sirs. What must I do to be saved? ‘And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (household).’ (Acts 16:28-31) 

Yeh friends, that’s how simple it is. Believe, only believe in Christ and you shall be saved! It couldn’t get any simpler than that. But us complex humans think that anything so simple is of no use. Sometimes that might be right, but in this case it is definitely wrong. 

And the Good Book continues after our Bit. ‘And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat (food) before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.’ (Acts 16:31:34) 

Yuh see how it easy it is to be saved friends. But it all depends on the state of our hearts; whether we’re ready to receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour or not. Obviously the jailer and his family were ready, especially after seeing the miracle that God had wrought; the jail doors being suddenly opened, and yet no one escaping. But in general, we should not look for miracles before we believe. 

When the Lord calls us we should respond positively, don’t try to fight it. And I can tell you from personal experience, that when you try to fight God, or ignore Him, your life just gets harder and more miserable. I did that when He first suggested the writing of the Bit. But when He wants you, He doesn’t give up. So it’s to your advantage, when He first calls to answer, ‘Yes Lord. Right away!’ You’ll save your self some heartaches. 

And yuh know what? When we truly believe, we are inordinately blessed. Let’s now declare our Thursday Blessings, enthusiastically letting the world know how wonderful it is to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. As one 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!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s what you have to look forward to when you put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…put not your trust in humans…but in the One who first created the world…then saved it…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to the scholars: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk, in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. (See Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ Please read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. 

If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) 

And the scholars declare: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own, but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together 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!’ And since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2017 John 9:4.

John 9:4:   I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

So friends, as we rush headlong into the festive season of Christmas, let’s not forget the real, the ONE and ONLY reason for Christmas: Jesus! Not the shopping, the presents, the eating and drinking and otherwise. 

And yuh know, life is so strange, that on most Monday mornings many of us have a hard time getting out of bed to go to work, but in this Christmas time we eagerly roll out because we have shopping and other preparations to make before the big day! Don’t know if some of our employers are, or will be very thrilled by that nuh, because this is when we take a lot of paid time off, in other words, run away from work to go shopping etc. 

Thank the Lord that I don’t have any personal preparations to make! (smile) I’m just trying to keep my life on an even and balanced keel during this crazy time. I think I’ll spend the time I would normally devote to preparations in pondering on Jesus and all that He means and stands for. That ought to serve me in better stead than busily running around the place trying to accomplish what the world considers important at this time of the year. 

And having said all of that, let’s turn to our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, our picker-upper to help us get out the door in a Jesus state of mind. In loud, enthusiastic voice 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! ‘

Yes mih people, that was an excellent rendition! Our choirmaster Jesus was pleased with it. So now let’s get out on the road and keep that level of adrenaline flowing and our spirits bubbling with His energy and Spirit, as we do His ambassadorial work, furthering His LOVE Revolution! Mama Mia! The ole fella’s in good form this morning! (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit: ‘I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.’ 

And please note the picking of that Bit wasn’t my doing; it was divine guidance. As always, I asked for guidance on what to write on, and as I opened the Good Book, my eyes fell on that verse. Glory to God! He is such a wonderful, LOVING and faithful Deity! That’s the only reason why I can write the Bit every day. 

Oh friends, just as Jesus had to do the work of the Father who sent Him, as His disciples and ambassadors, we too need to do the work that Jesus’ commissioned us to do. ‘…Teaching all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

And Jesus was very diligent in doing the Father’s work. Listen to Him as the disciples offered Him food after He had spoken to the Samaritan woman at the well. ‘My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’ (John 4:34) 

Oh my fellow believers, Jesus certainly wasn’t skylarking on the Father’s job. Likewise we should all be diligent in doing Jesus’ work. Unfortunately though, too many of us are not as diligent as we should be, and thus Jesus’ work is suffering; suffering from the negative pangs of fear, compromise, and simple laziness. That’s not good my people. 

Remember Jesus said we should be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, so that the world could look to us and see His wonderful reflection in us, and thus want to come to Him for succor; to enjoy His awesome LOVE, grace, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, salvation and eternal life. And it’s obvious to even a blind person, that we’re not doing a bang up job, because people are turning away from God in droves. 

If our diligence and excellence were up to par, unbelievers would be beating down Jesus’ door to get into His kingdom. Now that shoddy work doesn’t look very good on us my brethren, especially as the last days come into view. So please, I implore us to take very seriously the words of Jesus in our Bit, and let’s go about His business as He went about the Father’s business. That’s the only way we’ll ever conquer the evil forces of this evil world and win the unbelievers to Him. Much LOVE!

…until He comes again…Jesus’ work is never done…

 

 

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