Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2017 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.   And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

One more day, just one more day… Yeh friends, one more day to be alive in God’s great kingdom! It’s such a pleasure to be alive again! (smile) 

But have you noticed how those one more days quickly add up to many more years? One day you’re a young pup, a spring chicken, then one day you’re suddenly a senior, an old fowl! Hn, hn! But that’s the way of life. 

And let’s hope you are enjoying each of those days to the fullest, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour desires for us and why He sacrificed His life on that wooden cross at Calvary. So if we’re not celebrating that triumph, then we’re wasting His sacrifice. And what an awful thing that would be. 

But here are a couple of good questions for us. Where is our focus concentrated today eh? And what’s on our agenda? 

Hopefully, as true believers, our focus is directly on Almighty God, and the priority on our agenda is doing the work of Jesus; spreading His awesome gospel of undying LOVE, redemption, salvation and eternal life. 

And that doesn’t always mean talking, but more so in the example of life that we live. Our lives should realistically reflect the good news of Jesus. And if they aren’t reflecting it, then we’re not doing a good job for our wonderful Leader and Saviour, we’re not being good disciples, good ambassadors for His kingdom. 

Consequently, we’re not the true Christians we ought to be. And that’s the major reason why more people are turning away from God today, than turning to Him. 

My friends, we are falling down in our Christian witness when we talk one thing, then people see us living contrary to our talk. We’re obviously not walking our talk. And it’s time to do better, if we truly want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to be successful. 

And please remember that actions speak much louder than words. So what we do, will usually have a greater impact on others than what we say. Thus the hypocrisy, the compromise and contrariness in our faith walk is souring people on the Christian lifestyle, and consequently on Christ. 

And a quote from my ‘I LOVE YOU’ Poster reminds us that ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ The present day Christian problem seems to be that too many of us are dreaming without working, that’s why we’re not accomplishing as much as we ought to. 

Obviously we’re not complying with the words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ 

Yes friends, we each have a cross to bear in our kingdom work; a task we have to perform. Now it doesn’t mean that task is necessarily onerous or body-breaking like Jesus’ cross was, but it always entails some sacrifice. 

Earlier on in Luke Jesus outlined the terms of discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will come after me (desires to follow me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. 

For whosoever will (desires to) save his life, shall lose it; but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (is lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:23-26) 

There you have it my fellow believers, the terms of discipleships as detailed by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now are we living up to those terms? Most of us aren’t. Too many of us have settled for the soft, easy comfortable life our society affords. 

And surprisingly, too many of us are ashamed of Jesus! We’re afraid to talk about Him to others. We listen to others put Him down and don’t utter a word in rebuke or support, because we don’t want them to know that we are Christians and think badly of us. 

Steups! Ah friends, if we can’t support Jesus in public, that means we hold the opinions of man more important than that of God. And that definitely does not lead to true discipleship, but rather tarnishes the image of our Saviour and His movement. 

So today is as good as any to sit down and consider the saying ‘know thyself.’ Let’s sit down and seriously inspect our own lives and see if we’re being true disciples of Jesus. Then ask the Lord to help us in our shortcomings. He won’t ever turn down our sincere pleas for help. 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly declaring our Thursday Blessings. In unison: ‘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 since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and bless others now my fellow believers in Christ! Much LOVE!

…just like Jesus had His cross to bear…all Christians have their crosses too …Christianity is a cross bearing affair…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2017 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.   Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.

Greetings to all you faithful saints of Jesus! Just want to remind us that it’s a new day, a beautiful one in my area, and that it’s filled with new mercies, grace and forgiveness, all courtesy of our magnificent and magnanimous heavenly Father! 

Mama Mia! What generosity, what magnanimity! So, if we’re wise and truly believe, then we’ll enjoy it all and give thanks and praise to the One who created us in His own holy image. 

And all God’s people said a loud and thankful: ‘All praise and honour and glory be to our great God! May He continue to bless us even though we don’t deserve it, and may He reign forever more! Amen!’ 

Don’t worry friends, our wonderful God will do all those things because He is indeed the most powerful and generous force in the universe which He created. 

Now here is one of the many ways we can serve Him faithfully; it’s through something called ‘A Family Pledge,’ and it’s taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but when I noticed it recently, it just cried out for sharing. 

Please make this prayerful family pledge with me. ‘We will permit God to use our conflicts and mixed emotions as lessons in quiet growth. With LOVING patience, without ridicule or judgement, we will support each other in the gradual untangling of built in defenses. We will focus on each other as persons made in the image of God. 

We will seek to please rather than to pressure, to delight rather than to demand, to give rather than to get. We will share the humdrums as well as the highlights, the tears as well as the laughter, the defeats as well as the victories. We will not insist on perfection – rather we will anticipate growth. 

We will not compete for the mountaintop, rather we will climb the mountain together. We will wait for each other if one of us gets behind. We will lift our hearts in a celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible. We will LOVE each other as we do these things.’ 

Oh friends what a beautiful pledge! Can you imagine if even a small proportion of the numerous supposed Christian families in our world, makes such a pledge and keep it! 

What a marvellous impression it would have on both believers and naysayers! Then the critics would surely have to agree that there was much more to the LOVE of Jesus Christ and His Movement than they had hitherto believed. 

So please, I implore us this Tuesday morning to try and bring our families together through some such pledge nuh, some such beneficial agreement. But also, please contemplate what we can implement in that pledge as individuals, because there are many things we can put into effect on our own. 

It’s got to start somewhere, so please let it begin with us nuh. We can be the catalyst for such productive and progressive action. It would certainly bring more families closer together, than the current negative actions that seem to proliferate in family affairs, and which are driving us apart, killing the bedrock, the true foundation of our society. 

Yeh friends, please remember that when families wither and die in a society, that means the society is also withering and dying. That brings us to our Bit, which is also the Bible verse that our pledge was based on: Jesus famous last words at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the most explosive, controversial and far-reaching sermon ever preached! 

‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.’ 

Oh friends, please note that Jesus was saying that hearing all the stuff that He’d spoken about was fine, but it mattered not unless you put it into practice, into action. And unfortunately that’s what a lot of supposed Christians are doing in these end times; we hearing, but we’re not doing. 

Obviously the crowds did not understand Jesus’ words, so He ended by explaining: ‘And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. 

And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt.7:25-27) 

Ah mih people, sadly, in this supposed enlightened day and age, a lot of people still don’t understand what Jesus was trying to say. And, as always, it was fairly simple: I am the rock of this world! Believe in me and do what I say, then you will be considered wise and your house will stand strong and tall! 

Otherwise…. crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Two simple choices friends; believe in Jesus and live, or don’t believe and die. 

Now, for all of us wise ones (smile) who have chosen to live for Jesus, let’s go home proudly and loudly declaring our Tuesday Mantra nuh. 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Awright mih Christian breddren, let’s go out now and behave as God’s beloved nuh, and share the LOVE OF Jesus with those who don’t know Him. That’s all He asks of us. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will most definitely follow the Lord…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

And then it was Tuesday – a semi-cloudy, chilly day in my area, but it sure feels great to be alive! 

Yes friends, there’s nothing to beat waking up to a new God-given morn, regardless of all the problems you know await you, once you set your feet on the ground. I guess the only thing better would be waking up in heaven and seeing Jesus face to face! Wow! 

But we’re not ready for that just yet, (smile) and I don’t think He’s quite ready for us yet either, otherwise we we’d be reading our names in the obits this morning. 

So let’s give Him a great big shout of praise in a ‘Thank You Lord! We LOVE You and bless Your Holy Name, and will do our very best to walk in Your will this Tuesday morning! Amen!’ 

In addition to that, let me share a li’l prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I believe I’ve shared it before, but like so many other prayers – it’s like forgiveness – (smile) one worthy of being shared again and again. 

Please pray with me. ‘Father, I turn these minutes over to you. Do something beautiful in my mind, in my heart, and in my life today. So I will look back and say: “I was caught up by an inspiring spirit of the eternal God in this moment of prayer.” In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, it’s so beautiful when the Holy Spirit inspires us! A wave of joy just spreads through our entire being, because we know that our heavenly Father has just communicated with us, and we are definitely on the right path, the straight and narrow one. Glory Hallelujah! 

I don’t know about you all nuh people, but my problem is not so much doing God’s will, but knowing what is His will? That’s why I ask for discernment and focus every day in my prayers. Once I know the path He wants me to tread, then I can usually set my mind to it. 

Too often I’ve thought that I knew His will, only to discover that it really wasn’t His will, but my own, which led to unfortunate circumstances. And the way the world is so flashy and insistent and persistent today, it’s very easy to get thoughts into our heads that seem to be God’s, when in actual fact they are our own longings and desires. 

So we have to be very careful in our discernment, otherwise we can be very easily led astray by the wiles and deceptions of the enemy. And my fellow believers, knowing the will of God, and pursuing it is one of the most important aspects of our faith. 

And we can see how important it was to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so it had to be even more important to us. At the time of His greatest anxiety, the night before His crucifixion, in the Garden of Gethsemane, what was His prayer eh? 

After telling Peter, James and John, the three disciples that were with Him: ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry (stay, wait) ye here, and watch with me.  

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

Ah mih breddren, Jesus was every bit as human as us, with all the aches and pains and fear of death. Now wouldn’t you be afraid if you not only knew the time of your death, but also the unimaginable cruelty and disgrace involved. 

However, Jesus knew that He was also born for that momentous, world-changing event, and as always put the Father’s will before everything else. So too should we my believing brethren. Listen to a couple of Jesus’ pronouncements on doing the Father’s will. 

After the episode of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, (John 4), the disciples pleaded with Jesus to eat. ‘Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’ (John 4:34) 

Yuh see friends, He’s more interested in doing the Father’s will, than in physical food, which He needed to keep His body strong and healthy. How many of us are willing to make such a serious statement eh? 

Not too many. But that is exactly the kind of statement we Christians ought to be able to make, if we are to be successful in Jesus’ work here on earth. 

Now hear Jesus’ statement when the Jews tried to persecute Him after healing a lame man on the Sabbath. Here He is talking about the Son’s relationship with the Father. 

‘I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just (righteous); because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.’ (John 6:30) 

So friends, just like Jesus, let’s seek to do the Lord’s will at all times nuh, because that is the secret of true Christian living. Now let’s go home loudly and proudly declaring our Tuesday Mantra as one body secure in Christ. 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am thebeloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Oh Glory Hallelujah my people! Let’s go out now, fully clothed in the LOVE of God, and share it with all we come into contact with nuh, for that is the stated desire of our friend Jesus! Much LOVE!

…the Lord gives us LOVE…not only for ourselves…but also to share with others…

 

 

 1 Samuel 30:6b.     ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

And then it was Saturday; the day for household chores and grocery shopping for some, while for others it’s just a lazy, lying around day, doing nothing much of anything. For those blessed to be living in tropical climes, it might be a picnic or some outdoor sport or just lying in a hammock below a shade tree.  

Or if you’re in Tobago, you might just be getting ready to go up Calder Hall and get some of Brother Kirby’s rich, tantalizing and nutritious soups. That would certainly go down well on this chilly Saturday morning. How lucky can some people get eh? (smile) 

But not so in these northern parts, since it’s too cold for the usual outdoor sports and picnics, while it’s not cold enough to go skiing or outdoor skating. But to his each his own; all of us have different agendas and timelines, so let us do whatever we need to do, with God uppermost in our hearts and minds. 

And on that note, let me share with you a rather wise offering this past week from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Listen up, as he advises: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

Words of absolute wisdom my people! The worse thing we can ever do is compare ourselves with others. We all know about keeping up with the Joneses, which is a real killer in terms of physical wealth and material lifestyle. But it’s even worse when we try to compare our personal accomplishments with those of others, even those in like fields and professions because the playing fields are never level, are never the same. 

Some start out with a gold spoon in their mouths, some with silver, others with brass, and many with no spoon at all. So comparisons are seldom ever oranges with oranges, but oranges with different fruit. It never pays to measure your accomplishment with others, because more often than not we fall short of the other person’s attainment and then get discouraged, jealous and even angry, which doesn’t help us any. 

Then on the odd occasion when our accomplishment is better than others, we’re liable to look down on them with pride, conceit and contempt. That doesn’t help us either friends. The truth is that others will always be both ahead and behind us in accomplishments, and comparisons on either end will only bring us negative results. 

So as Anselm advises, if we so badly want to compare, let’s compare ourselves with our selves; take stock of our own accomplishments as we grow and mature. We have all the right tools at hand to measure ourselves against ourselves, but not against other people.  

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Oh friends, what a potent piece of scripture in only a few words. 

Hear the story: Bruh David is running from Saul, whose avowed intention is to kill him. On this particular instance he’s living in Philistine territory in a place called Ziklag. The Philistines are preparing to make war against Saul and Israel and Bruh David goes with his rag tag band of men to help. But the Philistine counsellors distrust him, so they send him back to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

Lo and behold though, three days later when they get to Ziklag, they discover that during their absence the Amalekites have invaded the city and burned it to the ground. The really sad part though was that all their families had been taken away captive. The Good Book tells us that ‘Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.’ (1 Sam.30:4) 

Then, though it didn’t seem possible, things got even worse: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and for his daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) It didn’t matter to them that Bruh David’s two wives had also been taken captive; they were just concerned about their own families. At those times the innate selfishness of man usually comes to the fore. 

And that’s where our Bit comes in: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Ah friends, what a moving and powerful scripture. It’s something that we should all remember and keep deep in our hearts, for when circumstances come against us and there’s no man to stand with us, then we need to encourage ourselves in our God, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us even when things hit rock bottom. 

That brings to mind another instance of the Lord’s providence, this one with Bruh Paul. As he says to Timothy: ‘At my first answer (defense) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.’ (2 Tim.4:16-17) 

Yes friends, there will be times when everything and everyone will seem to be against us, but that is not the time to give up. Instead, that’s the time for us to encourage ourselves in the Lord, to remember all His promises and the good things He’s done for us in the past and call upon Him with strong, expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that He will not disappoint us, will never leave us in the lurch. 

Now I know it all sounds fine in theory, and looks good on paper in black and white, but when push really comes to shove, it’s a horse of a different colour. That’s why we need to do our utmost to build our faith in Almighty God, because it’s only with real strong faith can we handle those situations, and not be totally overwhelmed by them. 

More on this tomorrow friends, the Lord in favour. Till then let’s stand strong in our faith and keep looking to Christ for all our needs. He will meet them all. Much LOVE!

…only the powerful arms of Christ…can lift us from the very depths of despair…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2016 Isaiah 35:4.

Isaiah 35:4.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

Well a good Saturday morning to all you wonderful believers out there in LOVELAND! (smile) Yes friends, by the time we are finished with this world it will indeed be a land of LOVE, per Jesus and His LOVE Revolution! 

But you know what? To achieve that glorious aim, we, His foot soldiers have to truly be sincere and diligent and without further delay, seize the bull by the horns and just keep spreading the good news of His LOVE all over the universe! That’s the only way to ensure that the world is won for Christ!

Now it is indeed a tough situation to handle, what with Lucifer and all his evil minions also fighting for world superiority and supremacy, but look at what the handful of original disciples did with nothing but P2 (walking) and word of mouth.

It’s obvious therefore that with all the new technology available to us now, we can do umpteen times better than them! We just have to make up our minds to do it, then get on our horses and ride… (smile) 

And the wonderful thing is that nowadays you don’t have to even send out as many as missionaries as before, though they are still necessary, because a lot of the work can be done right where you are through the wonderful communications network we now possess.

So please, my brethren, let’s get really serious about spreading the LOVE of Christ nuh. Remember it’s our bounden duty, per the Great Commission. (Matt.28:19-20)  

Now let’s turn to some interesting words from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And in his first statement today, he seriously and wisely declares.

‘Do not let another human decide whether you are going to have a positive or negative day. You’re in charge of that decision, so make the decision to have a positive day regardless of how other people try to steer you in the negative direction.’ 

Ah friends, what awesome words of wisdom! We all know the controlling temperament that is predominant in today’s world, but as true believers, and strong individuals, we cannot afford to let others control us. Christ wants us to go in a positive direction, and that’s how we must go, regardless of what others think, say or do. We must make up our own minds. 

And the second quote from our wise friend Anselm, is even wiser than the previous one. Listen up; it’s titled “Life is how we view it.” And it asks these rather important questions. 

‘In your life, do you focus on those who have more than you or those who are less fortunate than you? Do you focus on how bad your job is or that you have a job? Do you focus on the smallness of your closet and house, or do you see that you have so many clothes you don’t have room to store them?

What eye are you looking out of? If you want the world to look differently, it may be easier for you to open the other eye than to paint the world.’ 

Well my people, I do hope that our answer to each question was the second half and not the first, because the first means we are too world oriented, with big eyes (greedy and jealous), allowing the lusts of the flesh to control us. And sadly, under those circumstances it’s not conducive to work sincerely for Jesus.

So please let’s ponder our situations, re that quote above, and make sure that we bring our focus into line with that of Jesus, seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, after which all those other things will be granted to us. (Matt.6:33) 

And before we run out of space and time, let’s turn to our awesome Bit for the last time. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’  

Oh my fellow believers, that one sentence is packed with so much encouragement, reassurance and promise, that if we truly believe it, there’s nothing in this evil, ungodly world that will faze us or make us fearful!

And why is that? Because it’s the solemn and faithful promise of our omnipotent God, the Creator of the universe and all therein, who never makes idle promises,  and furthermore, He has the power to make each and every one come true. 

Now listen to an example of the great power invoked in a promise, it concerns the strengthening of Daniel to receive his vision by the great river. “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.

And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.’ (Dan.10:18-19) What awesome power eh friends! And only the Lord God Jehovah, our wise and great God has it! 

And we’ll close with some more awesome words, from the song of praise by the redeemed. Hear Isaiah tell it like it is. ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:8-9) 

Yes friends, that is the wonderful God that we worship! Therefore there is no need to be afraid or anxious for anything, because He will always look out for us, once we remain under the safe and protective umbrella of His everlasting wings! Much LOVE!

…all glory and honour be to the LIVING GOD…omnipotent…omniscient…and omnipresent…there’s none other like Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2016 Luke 8:50

Luke 8:50.    But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

‘Oh Lord we give you praise and thanks, honour and glory, because through your LOVE, your grace and mercy, you sacrificed your only begotten Son, so that we worthless sinners could be saved, every single one. Thank you Lord for your forgiveness.  

From the very bottom of our hearts, we sincerely thank you for Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and we bless and revere your holy name. We promise to be always faithful and obedient to your word, so that one day we can dwell securely and joyfully with you in heaven. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

Oh friends that’s just a li’l ditty I concocted on the spur of the moment to begin our daily meditations. It’s not spectacular, but it does contain all the important and relevant elements of our faith and hopefully it will bring our focus to rest on Almighty God, our Creator and Provider as we try to build our faith, encourage each other and further the good news, the wonderful gospel of Christ.  

And to help us do that, check out these two quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And the first quote provocatively proclaims: ‘DON’T stop believing…  Every day we get up, we will have something to deal with. But we must not let these things stop us from believing in God, ourselves and others. Our belief (or faith) in good is the fuel that will keep us going. In spite of the daily challenges, there is still so much good to believe in, to experience and to tell.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my people? It certainly is! A couple things we believers cannot stop doing is believing in good, in God, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for if we do, we’ll be completely lost and most likely captured by the evil enemy Lucifer and end up in Hades with him. And believe me, that won’t be a very pleasant situation. 

And the second quote says: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ Those are more words of truth my brethren! 

Now technically speaking we all can’t lead, since leading inherently supposes followers, but all Christians ought to have some leadership tendencies in them. As Anselm says, we ought to have actions that inspire others to dream, to learn, to stand strong and faithful, to rise up to the level God has planned for them. That’s what our faith is all about! 

And to back up our contentions, let’s turn to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

That’s what Jesus said to Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, whose daughter He was on the way to heal, but then Jairus’ servants brought news of her death and the father slumped in grief. Yes friends, two simple but powerful and overwhelming statements: ‘be not afraid, only believe.’ That’s how Mark records it. (Mark 6:36)  

And they are not very easy to do when negative circumstances come against us, like in Jairus’ position, but we need to just keep on believing my people, for its ‘a mark of our Christian maturity when we can do it successfully. Remember the words ‘give up,’ do not exist in our vocabulary. 

And note too, that while Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house, a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years, made her way through the enormous crowd believing that if she could just touch His garments she would be healed. And she was too. So much so that Jesus looked around and declared: ‘Who touched me?’ 

The disciples were amazed that within the throng of people Jesus would ask such a question. ‘And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue (power) is gone out of me.’ (Luke 8:46) 

Finally the woman came to Jesus and acknowledged that she was the one who had purposely touched Him and was immediately healed. ‘And he said unto her, Daughter be of good comfort (cheer): thy faith hath made the whole (well) go in peace.’ (Luke 8:48) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘8:48. The woman likely had superstitious notions about how she had been healed, but Jesus clarifies what took place.’ It was all because of her strong belief, her unshakeable faith! So friends, a lot of what happens to us also depends on our faith and the strength of our belief in Jesus Christ.  

Now let’s look at another scenario where Jesus again invokes the power of belief. This time a father brought his epileptic son to the disciples, but they were unable to heal him. 

‘Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither. And Jesus rebuked the devil (demon); and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart (privately), and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt:17:17-21) 

So friends, although Jesus rebuked His disciples for their lack of belief, of not strong enough faith, He eventually acknowledges that prayer and fasting are important elements in faith works. 

And we’ll end with a quick explanation from the scholars. ‘17:15-23. As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’  

That means we also need His empowerment my believing brethren; the only difference is that we now have His Holy Spirit dwelling with us and back then they had Jesus in person. Ah mih people, yuh see the power that is possible when we believe. We shouldn’t have to be told to believe, but some of us still need it. So please believe! (smile) Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…all things are possible…if you’ll only believe…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2016 Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ecclesiastes 3:1.   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Summertime, Summertime, Summertime, Summertime! Thank God it’s Friday in the summertime! Mama yo! We leaving work early to beat the traffic, heading for the cottage to spend a marvellous weekend; eating, drinking, boating, swimming and fishing! Wow! The barbecues will be on fire, and the beer will be ice cold… Oh Lord, thank you for Fridays in the summertime!’ 

Yes friends, that’s the mantra of a lot of people on a Friday in the summertime, as they head for cottage country and their lakeside getaways. Consequently, many of them miss church and the wonderful fellowship and rejuvenation of spirit that comes with it. 

And then the boating accidents proliferate, because now they are drinking and driving on the water, just as they do on land. Every summer you hear of several mishaps on the water because of the brown girl in the bottle. Ah Lord eh! 

But for us few, who know how to spend a proper weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant, so that we can get the right perspective. 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.’ 

Yes my brethren, that’s more like the focus we should have for the weekend; a nice balance of rest, recreation and fellowship. And today I want to share an interesting and important quote attributed to Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope (1694-1773), 4th Earl of Chesterfield. I believe I’ve shared it before, but as they say, when it’s nice, you’ve got to play it at least twice. (smile) 

Lord Chesterfield is reputed to have said: ‘Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ 

And that my brethren is the god-awesome truth! We can’t afford to fool with, or waste time, because time waits on no one, it just goes along its own rollicking way, whether you decide to use it wisely or not. 

Remember the saying too that procrastination is the thief of time. More awesome truth! The more we put off, the less we get done and the less time we have left in our bank. Unfortunately we don’t know how much total time is in our account. 

So please, let’s learn to pay better and closer attention to our time because Almighty God has given us just enough to do whatever He desires, and if we waste it, we obviously won’t complete all that He has planned for us. End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit, the well-known verse of wisdom from Cousin Sol, writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ More indisputable truth my people, because as Christians, truth is all we ought to ever deal in. 

And after our Bit, Cousin Sol goes on to list a whole set of positive and negative things to which time have been apportioned. Like ‘a time to be born, a time to die… A time to weep, and a time to laugh…A time to LOVE, and a time to hate…’ Just read Ecclesiastes 3 and you’ll see how he has it all nicely laid out. 

Now here is some info from the scholars on that scripture. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v.5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v.8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’  

Yes friends, there’s no real time ever for the true sense of the word hating. It’s not supposed to exist in a Christian’s vocabulary. 

Now let’s look at a couple of other scriptures which deal with time in the life of man, starting with the words of Ethan the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame.   Selah.  

How long, Lord? Wilt thou hide thyself for ever? Shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain (for what futility hast thou made all men)? What man is he that liveth and shall not see (experience) death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand (power) of the grave?’ (Ps.89:44-48) 

Now listen to Moses from Psalm 90 – From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. ‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten (the span of our lives is seventy years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore (80) years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow (their boast only labour); for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps.90:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we know not how long our time on earth will be, so please let’s use whatever we have wisely nuh, meaning in the pursuit of the things of God and heaven, not those of the world and the evil one. Much LOVE!

…no one knows the time nor the hour…of their earthly demise…

 

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