Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.   Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Ah friends, what a world we’re living in today eh, when you can wake up and hear that a tanker truck with toxic contents overturned on a major highway in southern Ontario yesterday afternoon in St. Catherines, close by to Niagara Falls. 

Also to hear that two children under 12 were doused with gasoline and set on fire by another under 12 year old boy in the Western Province of Saskatchewan. And then to see live, an apartment building in West London, England, its 24 floors being engulfed in huge flames, and the firefighters helpless to rescue many of them. 

Ah Lord eh! Sometimes it makes you long for the supposed good, old days, when we didn’t have toxic chemicals being ferried along our highways like ordinary stuff, and apartment buildings weren’t so tall, and young children weren’t as aggressive and violent. 

But we’ve opted for supposed progress and those things come with the territory. So now we just have to grin and bear them. 

But here’s the good news; we Christians don’t have to be worried over the stuff that can, and oftimes will happen, because we know that our God, our powerful heavenly Father is in control of ALL things and He will guide and protect us from harm. 

And here is an interesting quote to help us in our daily lives, courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), the famous American lecturer, essayist and poet. Ralph is reputed to have said: ‘Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what great advice for these trying times. We can’t afford to be looking back or around, but upwards, because that is where our help comes from. 

As the psalmist so rightfully declared: ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth, He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (to slip): He that keepeth thee will not slumber,’ (Ps.121:2-3)  Gospel truth friends! 

And the sad fact is that too many Christians are too worried about the sad state of our world. Now we must be concerned about it, but the truth is that most of us can do nothing to prevent the mishaps and the violence, so why worry eh? 

We need to be more concerned about the things we have control over, and make sure that they go right, and simply leave the rest to God. Our worrying will in no way change some of the awful stuff that’s happening, so we don’t need to poison our own lives with fear and worry. 

And that brings us to the wonderful advice of our Bit; immortal words of Bruh David. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes, my precious people of God, it doesn’t pay to be envious of the wicked, because their time will be short, for the Lord will mow them down like grass under a mower, and burn them in the fires of hell. 

And we have a very good example of worrying about the evildoers in the words of the psalmist Asaph. He writes in Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. 

But as for me, my feet were almost gone (my feet had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Oh my fellow believers, I know that the wicked and evil are seemingly prospering in these end times, and we all want a piece of that pie, but are we going to sell our eternal souls to Beelzebub for a little earthly wealth and prosperity, none of which we can take into the eternal spiritual realm? 

That would be incredibly foolish, though many of us are doing it. And the simple solution is that if we sincerely follow Jesus’ admonitions, we can also become prosperous and wealthy in earthly terms, as well as store up treasures in heaven. 

Listen to these faithful words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Plain and straightforward friends: seek God first, and He will give you all you need to live an abundant life here on earth. For as Jesus later said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

And having been reminded of all that my faithful followers of Christ, and having inwardly digested it, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

In strong voice as one body, let’s wail! ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and put it all into action, because that’s the only way to make it worthwhile in the sight of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…the eyes of ALL Christians…should be looking forward and upward…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2017 Psalm 27:1.

Psalm 27:1.   The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Well my Canadian friends, I hope the getting up and going back to work this Tuesday morning wasn’t too onerous, after a long weekend of celebrating Queen Victoria’s long reign over the British Empire! (smile)  

Oh I know it was hard for me to get up, and many of you had to get up long before I did and make your way through the mean traffic. But that’s why we’re so proudly Canadian; we have the courage, the wherewithal to do what we have to do! Glory to God! 

Now, rather appropriately, here is a li’l something on ‘Courage,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, where he emphatically states: 

‘The truth is that courage isn’t a gift. Courage is a decision! Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the presence of a calling – a dream that pulls you beyond yourself. Hence it is something you can never lose. It is always something that you can choose. So choose it today!’  

Yes my brethren, I’m pleading with us to CHOOSE courage over fear today, because it’s ever so necessary in our faith walk with Christ, especially in these fearful end times. 

Walking in fear is not acceptable in a child of God, for Christ died that we might have freedom, freedom from fear and all its associates. And to have freedom, one must have the courage to trust Jesus, as well as to handle whatever you need to handle. 

That’s why Bruh David was able to so boldly proclaim in our Bit: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ 

And the resounding answer from a follower of Christ, is simply: ‘ABSOLUTELY NOBODY!’ Yes friends, we ought not to be afraid of anybody or anything in this world. 

Listen to Jesus on whom to fear. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) 

Oh my Christian brethren, those are words straight from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and as His followers, we ought to listen attentively to what he says and put it into action! 

And here are two simple explanations from the scholars on those verses. ’12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life’ ’12:5. God is the One with this power (James 4:12).’ 

Yeh precious people, the death of our mortal bodies doesn’t mean the end of life, rather, it is the beginning of eternal life with Jesus! Glory to God! 

And ONLY God has the power to cast any of us into hell with the evil one. So once you’re living under His mighty umbrella, there’s nothing to fear. 

And hear how Moses put it to the Israelites many, many moons ago. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Words of absolute truth my brethren! 

And furthermore, listen to how often God warned Joshua about not being fearful when He anointed him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 

Be strong and of a good courage… Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee… 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.1:5, 6,7,9) 

Yeh friends, within four verses, God warned Joshua three times to be strong and courageous and not be afraid. The same advice goes out to us today my people, so let’s take it to heart nuh, since it’s only the courage and strength we get from God that will see us successfully through this earthly life. 

Now hear Bruh David wrap it up, from Psalm 62: ‘In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:7-8) 

Yes, let’s ponder that for a moment nuh, before we move on to declare our Tuesday Mantra, boldly proclaiming to the world, whom and whose we are. 

In strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

And if we sincerely believe all of that deep down in our hearts, then let’s go out and put it all into action nuh, as our Leader, Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the fear of man…can never outweigh the courage of God…for Him that is in us…is greater than he that is in the world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2017 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Well mih breddren, like we’ve successfully completed another week of work in this confused and way too evil and lustful world! 

And sadly, it leads too many of us to enjoy the lusts of the flesh too much in our short time off. We try to make up for what we think we’ve lost during the workweek. 

That’s why so many of us joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Oh boy, that means the weekend is here! Time for fun and games, partying and letting all our cares drift away to wherever they go! It’s all about a good time now! Oh thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And as I keep saying, the sentiments are understandable, but the reality is not. We do have little free time during the workweek, much less that a generation ago, when times were not so hectic and busy. 

And that’s sort of strange, when all the improvements we’ve made, were supposedly to help us get more free time. How ironic eh, with plenty more amenities, we have even less free time now than then! 

But that doesn’t mean we have to overdo the lighter side of life either when we finally get some time off. If we are to keep our sanity and some sort of steadfastness, our lives must have some borders, some restraints that we will not loosen. And our Friday Chant gives us a good example of that. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with as much enthusiasm as the misguided soul above declares his Friday mission. ‘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.’ 

And all of that segues very nicely into our Bit:‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’  

And friends that’s exactly what we ought to do, every day, every waking moment of our lives! For remember, all the earth and its contents are His, and it’s only through His magnanimity and lavish generosity that we can enjoy even one iota of the things we enjoy! 

Now let’s look at a few of those things that Bruh David declares we ought to appreciate in this psalm titled – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if those are not things to be everlastingly grateful for, then I don’t know what is nuh! But yuh know what? Unfortunately, too many of us, simply don’t know, don’t pay attention to, or simply take those things for granted, and that includes Christians. 

But just think about it nuh friends, we have a God who forgives all our iniquities, all our sins, all our transgressions! Wow! That certainly is something to be thankful for! Listen to these scriptures nuh that uphold that contention. 

Isaiah declares: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us… And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven all their iniquity.’ (Is.33:22, 24). 

Now hear Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he declares at John’s birth. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; 

As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.’ (Luke 1:68-75) 

And friends, we all know that promise was miraculously and marvelously fulfilled by the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! So why we don’t appreciate our wonderful God more than we do eh? I really can’t say nuh. But eventually, we’ll all have to answer that question to our Maker. 

Now let’s close with these moving words of Bruh Paul to Titus on the Christian life. ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 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.’ (Tit.2:11-14) 

Oh my faithful followers of Christ, there’s absolutely no doubt that we need to be much more diligent in doing Christ’s work, if we are to truly show our thankfulness for His saving grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…there is no greater gift in this evil world…than the forgiveness of sins…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2017 Psalm 138:7.

Psalm 138:7.   Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

And then it was Thursday; a beautiful sunny spring day, with temps rising up to the high teens! Yes friends, spring has indeed finally sprung, the birds they are a singing, the trees are budding their new leaves and the grass is getting thick and a rich green. Wow! 

In fact everything is coming up green; new life is sprouting up on the earth just like our Lord and Saviour rose from the dead, alive and kicking on Easter Sunday some two thousand years ago. 

Yes my people, it’s spring, what we call the annual rebirth of life in the northern climes, where birds and animals migrate back to the lush green areas of land that had for some months been more like frozen tundra. 

Even we humans get a new lease on life, our spirits soar, no more thick, heavy clothing with gloves and scarves and hats. It’s like an annual cleansing, which leads to the term spring cleaning, where we go through all our plentiful stuff and discard what is not necessary. 

Likewise friends, I believe that we should take this time to also go through our spiritual selves, see what’s there and then clean our the old and unnecessary, making space for new stuff that will help us mature in our faith walk with Jesus. 

And there is no better time to do this than in the Easter Season, that’s so reminiscent of a new birth, of rejuvenation, of a new beginning! 

So in the next little while, I’d suggest that we all take some time and seriously ponder our spiritual lives, and then ask the Father to help us jettison what’s not necessary, so we can make space for the wonderful new things He has in store for us. 

Let’s be wise and go to Jesus with our heavy burdens, as He commands us to, so that He can joyfully lighten our loads and put us back on the right track, the straight and narrow one. 

And all of that brings us to our Bit, a profound declaration of faith from Bruh David. ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ 

Oh my fellow followers of Christ, can we make such a declaration? We ought to be able to. Those of us who have followed Christ for some time now ought to be strong and mature enough to make such a definitive statement regarding our faith. 

The Lord ought to have worked in our lives by now that we have no doubts whatsoever about His everlasting faithfulness. And as I reminded us yesterday, Bruh David didn’t make all his many declarations of faith through hearsay, but through very personal experiences. 

Now many of us might not go through the intense or serious experiences that He went through, but we’ll all go through stuff that will bring us to our knees, which only a strong and undeniable faith in Jesus Christ will help us to bear without falling apart. 

The sad part of the story is that we don’t like adversity, but adversity is what makes us strong. It’s in times of adversity that our faith springs up and keeps us afloat, keeps a smile on our faces and a strong step in our walk. 

That’s because we know unequivocally that our Lord God is working behind the scenes on our behalf, and the rough times will not last. 

Now here is an interesting exercise for all of us to do. Let’s look back through our lives at all the adversity we’ve faced, and after each strenuous time, let’s consider the growth of our faith. 

Let’s see if the next level of adversity was easier to bear than the one before. That will show if we are truly growing and maturing in our faith, for with each rough time, we should be stronger and more faithful than the last. 

Yeh friends, our eventual destination should be when we can declare the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 23 without any signs of doubt or fear. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest): He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Ah mih breddren, I think we’ve reached a pinnacle of faith when, in times of adversity, we can say those words and truly mean them. Now let’s faithfully and sincerely declare our Thursday Blessings, blessings that our great God has so liberally and generously showered down on us. 

‘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 they are not blessings until they have been spoken over someone or something. Now let’s go out and do exactly that nuh, as Jesus requires of us. Much LOVE!

…faith is a relative of hope…and one can’t have hope…unless one is alive…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 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.

Ah friends, once more we have been blessed with another wonderful day on God’s marvellous creation called planet earth! And believe me, there’s method to God’s madness for allowing us to see another day. It means we still have things to do in the great plan that He’s mapped out for us since the beginning of time. 

So let’s be joyful and declare as the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)  Yes my fellow believers, under the circumstances, it’s the only attitude that makes sense. 

And furthermore, since the psalmist wrote those words, we have even more reason to celebrate because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died to cleanse our sinful souls, reconcile us to the Father and offer us the magnificent gifts of salvation and eternal life by simply believing in Him and being obedient to His Word! Wow! What a Saviour!  

And this summer Sunday morning I’d like us to sing an old hymn, a favourite of mine in my youth, which tells of Jesus’ great sacrifice on our behalf. It’s called, ‘There is a green hill far away.’ 

Please sing loudly and lustily with me. ‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there. 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Oh precious people, it is so good to offer up praise and thanks to our God after what He’s done for us. Just look at it nuh; Jesus was the ONLY one who could unlock heaven’s’ gate so that we might enter because He was sinless! And he did it so selflessly, enduring the horrendous pain without any complaints! 

Meanwhile, we soft, pampered people today, cry and complain so much if we have even a li’l hang nail. (smile) I don’t think many, if any of us, could have borne even one tenth of Jesus’ suffering without going crazy from the abuse and the pain. 

However, thankfully, we’re not called on to do that, but we are called on to bear some trials and tribulations in this earthly life, which we should try to do without too much caterwauling and complaining.  And the formula for doing that is given at the end of the hymn above. ‘LOVE Jesus, trust in His redeeming blood and diligently try to do His work.’ 

It’s all right there in a nutshell friends, just waiting for us to put it into action. And that’s exactly where we as supposed followers of Christ fall down. We talk a good talk, but can’t match it with our walk. And that’s not right, because the only way others will want to come to Jesus is by seeing His grace and truth, mercy, forgiveness and LOVE in action in our lives. 

And it’s high time we start doing better, if we want to carry the day for Jesus. But we need to first believe that it’s possible and then that we have the necessary parts to do it.  

Listen to Jesus’ admonition to Jairus the synagogue ruler when he heard that his daughter had died. ‘But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

Yes friends, the starting point for everything is BELIEF! If you don’t believe, generally speaking, it won’t happen. Now let’s look at a couple of other instances where Jesus invoked belief. 

Let’s begin with His early morning journey from Bethany to Jerusalem. He was hungry and approached a fig tree expecting to find figs because it was fig season. However the tree was barren of all fruit. Jesus then declared to the fig tree: ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.’ (Matt.21:19) 

Obviously the disciples were amazed at the fig tree’s sudden demise. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

And friends, please note that the important word in that last sentence is ‘BELIEVING!’ If you don’t believe, all your prayers are useless. 

Now let’s turn to our final example, that time when Jesus heard that His friend Lazarus was deathly ill, but He stayed where He was for another two days before returning to Bethany. By then Lazarus had died and his sister Martha met Jesus on the way and criticized Him. 

‘Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:21-27) 

Ah friends, Martha surely believed, but she did not understand Jesus’ intention to raise her brother in the current time. Thus when they took Him to Lazarus’ tomb and He ordered them to roll away the stone from the mouth, ‘Martha saith unto him, Lord by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (John 11:39-40) 

And we all know that after Jesus spoke to His Father, for the people’s sake, He ordered Lazarus to come out and he came out, alive and well and many of those who saw Jesus’ work, believed. 

I ask us now friends, do we believe that strongly so that we can see the glory of God? For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope so. Much LOVE!

…without belief…not much is possible…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2016 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Well a blessed day to all you my Scrip-Bit family and friends! And I know that some of us will be quick to say what’s so blessed about it eh? Just look at my circumstances, look at how I’m suffering and struggling. I certainly wouldn’t call that blessed. 

I understand that friends, but it’s all in our attitude toward those circumstances and struggles. Too many Christians expect to just have a nice smooth ride through life without any problems simply because they are followers of Christ. But it doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, the greater our calling from God, ofttimes the greater the struggle in our lives. 

Look at all the great prophets, Bruh Joseph, Moses, Bruh David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Bruh Paul, and finally Jesus Christ Himself; they all went through many trials and much tribulation to accomplish their earthly goals. Jesus even warned us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

And furthermore, the Lord uses these trials and struggles to test us, to build and grow our faith; to see if we truly believe and are willing to rely on Him and His promises. As Job, another righteous man who suffered great tribulation declared during his time of trial. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) 

And the scholars have an interesting take on that verse. ’23:10. I shall come forth as gold: His friends maintained that Job was full of dross, but Job is confident that no dross, or sin, would be revealed in the fires of refinement.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord puts us through our paces like we put metals through fire to purify them. And believe me, when you go through some of those refining fires, you will come out as bright and beautiful and strong and faithful as gold! 

And we don’t even have to go to the Good Book to learn about struggles; listen to these quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. He says first: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And the corollary to that is; Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ 

Gospel truth all of that my fellow believers! That’s why so many of this young generation are so soft and sappy and whiny, because they have had most everything given to them by us doting parents. They never had to struggle or work hard for something, so therefore there is no real appreciation of anything they have or get. 

In their minds the world owes them a living. And that’s a big disservice we’ve done to them. No wonder most of them have no belly or backbone, and are quick to throw in the towel as soon as hard times show up. 

Oh my people, everybody goes through struggles and hard times, whether you’re rich, poor, black, white, Muslim, Jew, or whatever, but where we believers win out over the others is that we have the rich and faithful promises of our God to depend on. 

We know for instance that as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians in his first letter: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)  

Yes my struggling and suffering fellow believers, our God promises never to give or allow us to bear more than we can handle and will either make a way out for us, or give us the wherewithal to endure it. He doesn’t always make us escape it, but more often than not He brings us safely through it. Another way to boost our faith and make us spiritually strong, more Christ-like, which is the basic goal for all believers. 

That brings us to our Bit, another crucial promise from our ever-faithful God. In the momentous words of Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! Only we Christians are assured that our omnipotent, ever-LOVING God will work out everything in our favour eventually, according to His timetable! It’s all a matter of faith, of belief, of patience and perseverance my people! 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.”  

And for those of us who want to know what Job 13:15 says but are too lazy to look it up, let me spoon feed you. (smile) Job defends his integrity before his condescending and self-righteous friends by declaring of God: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine (defend my) own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Just thought I’d throw in verse 16 for good measure. (smile) 

And the scholars say of ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, in these godless, deceitful and evil times, that is the kind of faith we believers need to have, an unquenchable kind, if we’re going to see it through to a victorious end!  

And we’ll conclude with these fateful words of Jesus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Much LOVE!

…Christians have to understand that struggles are a part of human life…but we have the certain promise of victory in the end…to see us through life’s storms in the middle…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Awright friends, it’s Monday morning, so let’s get up and get ourselves ready to go to work nuh. No whining and complaining about how we feeling sick and tired and otherwise. We know that we have to go back to work every Monday morning, so it behooves us to get ourselves together for that time. 

And especially as followers of Christ, we shouldn’t be full of whimpering excuses for not wanting to work. Jesus is sick and tired of us and our less than Christian attitude towards work. So let’s throw all of that out the window, and instead sing a rich and moving rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one earthly choir, but sounding heavenly, with Jesus as our choirmaster, 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!’  

Now that was most excellent my people! Jesus was very pleased. Yuh see how we can come up to scratch when we need to, and when we put our hearts and souls in it. Now let’s go out into that wicked and foolish world and use that adrenalin that’s currently pumping through our veins and bodies to help us do what we’re supposed to do; win souls for Christ! 

And we’re going to continue with the Bit of the last few days.  ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And that’s gospel truth! That’s the way our God operates; you do what He desires and He blesses you. 

Now we’ll continue looking at some of the passages that the scholars referenced when they spoke about the ‘perfect law of liberty.’ ‘It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death.’ And one of the references for that was this one, where Bruh Paul talks to the Roman church about ‘Life in the Spirit.’ 

‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 

That the righteousness (righteous requirement of) the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh, do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1-5) 

Yeh friends, that’s as simple as it gets. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin, through righteousness. But we have to give up the things of the flesh and live by the things of the Spirit if we want to accomplish that wonderful ideal. 

Now here are a couple of notes from the scholars. ‘8:1. Many manuscripts omit “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  They don’t say why, but it seems that the sentence is better explained with those last few words. 

‘8:3. Law…was weak: There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands. The likeness of sinful flesh: Christ was truly human but not a sinner. (2 Cor.5:21).’ 

So my brethren, we see that the basic problem with mankind is his fallen nature, his sinful leanings based on the lusts of his flesh. That’s what Jesus came to correct through the righteousness of those who believe in Him, and live according to the law of His Holy Spirit, not in accordance with man’s fleshly lust.  

And as Jesus said: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) That means if we are bent on seeking earthly treasure, then our hearts will be grounded in the world and the things of the flesh. 

However, if, as Jesus desires, we are more concerned with seeking heavenly treasure, then our hearts will be set on the things of heaven, the things of Jesus, and we’ll be living by the law of His Spirit, not by that of man, and the prince of darkness, Lucifer. 

And we’ll conclude today with that most important aspect of our Christian faith. Now let’s show the world as we go forth today, that our treasures and our hearts are indeed set on the things of heaven and not those of earth, for that is indeed true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…the treasures of earth are corruptible…but those of heaven are incorruptible…and thus much better for laying up…

 

 

 

 

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