Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘Life in the Spirit.’ ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2017 Mark 13:13.

Mark 13:13.    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And then it was Saturday mih breddren; a day for lazing around for some lucky ones, while others will be forced to do household chores ignored during the week, or go grocery shopping… 

Chuh! It’s always something eh? Whatever happened to the glorious promises that technological innovation would make our lives easier eh? Our lives are busier than they ever were! Yes we have much more stuff, but we also have much more stuff to look after. Anyway friends, there’s no need to worry, for it’s all under God’s mighty and wise control! Glory to Him in the highest! 

But it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Be congruent (in harmony, together), be authentic, be your true self. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ 

Ah friends, that’s how we ought to be, but in these fraudulent, selfish times, too many people are not their true selves, they are two-faced for whatever reason, thus they cannot live in harmony with themselves.  

And then there’s this one: ‘See the good in people and help them. I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.’ That’s a very good philosophy my people. We should always look for the good in others, but in these current times, we still need to be very careful about whom we let into our private space.  

Now listen to this quote: ‘Take care of this moment. I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.’ Much truth lies in that. Jesus said that if we sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all we needed to lead a good life would be provided. 

Then He concluded: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) That simply means that every day will take care of itself if you are living under the umbrella of the heavenly Father. 

And I like this last quote. ‘Persist. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Yes, precious people of God,, there’s an awful lot to be said about persistence. It will get us through the most agonizing and harrowing experiences or situations when nothing else will. 

And we have one of the best examples of that in our Bit. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ 

Ah friends, those are the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, expressed in the course of telling His disciples about the signs for the end times. Please note that those who shall be saved, are those who endure, persist, have the patience, the belly and backbone to stand up until the end, against all the evil and unjust stuff that will come against believers. 

And we are seeing a lot of that stuff happening nowadays my fellow believers, which means we have to band our bellies and stand strong and steadfast in Jesus’ name, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. We can’t afford to fall down, give up, and whimper out in fear now. This is the most crucial time in our history; a time when the sheep will be separated from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus, while the goats will lust for Beelzebub. 

And we will invoke the eternal wisdom of the author of the Hebrews. Hear this classic verse. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

What a magnificent verse of scripture that is my brethren! So strong that it ought to light a fire under us in these end times! We need lots of patience, perseverance and endurance my people if we’re going to fight the good fight for Christ! 

And to boost our spirits and courage at this stage of the game, please listen to Jesus’ promise as told by Luke. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

What a promise mih people! Not a hair on our heads will perish if we stand up strong under the persecution that will come against us. Wow! And we all know that Jesus is ever-faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So please hold on strong, stand in unity, because together we’re much stronger than apart. 

Let’s raise up Christ’s church as we’re supposed to nuh. This is the time when all Christians must come together, regardless of colour, class, creed or race. Let’s do it for Jesus. It’s the least we can do for all that He’s done for us. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2016 Matthew 24:4‏

Matthew 24:4.    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Oh friends, it’s a bright and sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood, everything having been washed nice and clean by the wicked thunderstorm we experienced last evening. 

Now if my plans had worked out, I would have been out on the road in the heart of the rush hour and the storm, but due to the Lord’s mysterious hand working on my behalf, my plan fell through and I remained safely ensconced at home for it all. Thank you Lord! 

One friend later told me she had been caught in the storm on the highway, and it wasn’t a very nice experience, but also with the Lord’s help she managed to get through it safely. What a good God we serve and worship my people! 

Anyway, today’s a new day, and a new beginning, so let’s get some new info into us by means of a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, this one simply titled ‘Take Over.’ 

And it says: ‘At first, Lord, I asked You To take sides with me. With David the Psalmist I circled and underlined “The Lord is for me… Maintain my rights, O Lord…” “Let me stand above my foes…” But with all my pleading I lay drenched in darkness Until in utter confusion I cried “Don’t take sides, Lord Just take over.” And suddenly it was morning.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how we usually are, selfish to a fault, wanting it all our way. But we’ll never get satisfaction until we leave it ALL to our wonderful, omnipotent and understanding God! 

And the Bible Promise for that comes from Psalm 143, wise words of Bruh David: ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (on a firm footing).’(Ps.143:10) 

Ah mih breddren, that’s exactly how and where we need to walk if we’re to be successful in this our earthly journey. Now let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with a true sense of purpose and strong conviction. 

As one 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.’ 

Oh isn’t that just a great testament my people! We are the beloved of God, and the friend of Jesus! Nothing can be better than that eh! 

That brings us to the serious warning of Jesus in our Bit. ‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.’ 

Now that my fellow believers is a warning that we ought to heed with all diligence and concern, for it holds the very disposition of our souls in the end times. If we allow false teachers and messiahs to deceive us, then we’ll most certainly end up on the outside looking in, not a very nice place to be. 

That’s why Jesus specifically warned His disciples, and consequently all those who came after, about the great importance of staying true to His Word and not following any of the many impersonators that would come after Him. 

Listen to His description of how it will all pan out. ‘And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse (various) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ (Matt.24:6-8) 

Oh my brethren, there’s no doubt that we are currently in the end times, ‘the beginning of sorrows,’ for all that Jesus spoke about is currently happening around the world. 

And He continues: ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted (tribulation), and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 

And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. 

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all of the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt.24:9-14) 

Oh friends, we’re not quite there yet, but we’re well on our way! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘24:5-14. Wars and rumours of wars refers to peace being taken from the earth and the constant wars that have continually marked the “age of the Gentiles.” Famines and pestilences: These events mark only the beginning of sorrows (Gr. odin), “birth pangs.” 

This is followed by martyrdom and the rise of false prophets and the abounding of iniquity. The “gospel of the kingdom” refers to the missionary expansion of the church in all the world. The gospel shall be preached in all the world (Gr. oikoumene), the inhabited world, and unto all nations (Gr. ethnos), “Gentile nations,” as contrasted with the Jews. Then shall the end come would then refer to the end of the church age.’ 

Oh friends, we even teaching Greek in the Bit. (smile) But on a serious note, there’s no doubt that we’re moving, and moving fast too, towards the end of the church age, when the world will be plunged into even more iniquity and disaster than we already are seeing. 

Now can you imagine that? I don’t even want to imagine it, much less experience it, that’s why I’m doing my level best to stay rooted in Jesus, and you would be wise to do the same too. Much LOVE!

…to be saved…one must endure to the end…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2014 Psalm 10:1

Psalm 10:1.   Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

Oh Friends, oh Friends, on this fateful Wednesday morning in mid August 2014, I would like to open our deliberations with a prayer for the thousands of Christians being cruelly and unjustly persecuted for their religious beliefs in the Middle East, Africa and several other parts of the world.
 
The situation is reaching epidemic proportions now and simply cannot be allowed to continue. And it’s all simply because of their faith and trust in Jesus Christ! Ah my brethren, our fellow believers are suffering such cruel and unjust punishment like we couldn’t even begin to imagine!
 
And though most of us can’t do much to help in the physical realm, we certainly can in the spiritual world, through prayer, for remember that prayer is the most powerful tool in the universe.
 
So please pray with me: ‘Dear Lord Jesus Christ, author and finisher of our faith, this morning, we, your humble servants come before you with praise and adoration, gladly acknowledging you as our Lord and Saviour.
 
We give you sincere thanks for your goodness and LOVING-kindness, but Lord there are many of our brothers and sisters in faith, all around this evil and ungodly world, who are being cruelly and unjustly persecuted simply because they profess belief in your name.
 
Lord Jesus Christ, as your body here on earth, we ask, we plead with you to rectify the situation for those unfortunate believers.
 
Oh Jesus, you’ve said that when we pray in faith, you’d hear and answer our requests. This morning Lord, we beg you to strengthen our persecuted brethren, keep their resolve to serve and worship you unbroken, lift their sagging spirits, give them your grace to stand strong in the face of such unjust persecution.
 
Father in heaven, we pray that you will not stand idly by and see your children suffer the atrocities they are being put through. Please work on their persecutors; either help them to see the evil in their ways, or if necessary Jesus, strike them down.
 
We know that suffering and persecution are parts of this earthly life, and no one knows that better than you from your earthly experience. But Father God, this persecution of your people is so unjust, unfair and uncalled for, all because of their faith in you.
 
Please reward their faith and trust with strong sanctions against their evil persecutors, and continue to fill them with steadfast faith. Please hide them safely under your protective and everlasting arms, so that they won’t have to endure the unjust tribulation any longer.
 
We know that you have the power to mitigate their circumstances, and that we prayerfully ask you to do today Father in heaven.
 
Please release them from their persecution, however you see fit Lord, so that the heathen will see your might, your power and your glory, and eventually come to bow before you too. This we pray in the holy and sinless name of your Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.’
 
Oh my people, those words may not be spectacular, but our great and wonderful God knows that they are sincere and heartfelt. Now, in your own time and manner, please keep on praying for those unfortunate brethren on the other side of the world who are facing such cruel injustice, all because of their trust in Jesus.
 
We, in these parts, are free to worship as we like, and sadly take that freedom for granted, but millions of other believers are not so lucky. They have to hide and pray and worship and fellowship with each other.
 
Let’s make it a habit to float up prayers to heaven on their behalf, as well as taking our freedom to worship more seriously, because if the infidel has his way, their evil influence will be spread all over the world. And that we can NEVER allow to happen my brethren!
 
So let’s get truly serious about our faith nuh, and take steps to see that it is firmly entrenched in these parts, for while we foolishly dilly and dally, the enemy is making serious inroads into our positions. Remember Friends, we’re soldiers in a battle, a spiritual battle that is growing more heated with each passing day, and we need to step up and be counted.
 
Oh my fellow believers, this is not just some idle fairy tale, this is serious business, life defining business, and unless we want our descendants to face such unjust persecution, we need to come together and fight tooth and nail for what we proclaim to believe in.
 
Oh Friends, we can no longer stand idly by and see other believers being unjustly persecuted, because if that is successful, then we’ll be next in line for the evil onslaught. And if you haven’t noticed, it’s already begun.
 
Oh Friends, I know that Jesus warned us: ‘Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.’ (John 15:20-21)
 
But still my people, when the reality of the situation really occurs, it’s always a horse of an entirely different colour, one for which we’re never really prepared. And I can just picture those persecuted brethren, in their great misery, like the psalmist of old, calling out for the overthrow of the wicked, in the sorrowful words of our Bit.
 
‘Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride doth persecute (hotly pursues) the poor: let them be taken in the devices (plots) that they have imagined (devised).’ (Ps.10:1-2)
 
And on their behalf my people, we sincerely declare: ‘Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble… Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man; seek out his wickedness till thou find none.’ (Ps.10:12, 15)
 
Yes Friends and fellow believers, that’s our hope and prayer for today! Much LOVE!
 
…when persecution comes…as it must…only the grace and strength of Jesus can help us to bear it…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.     But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Oh Friends, wonder of wonders, we’ve been granted another wonderful opportunity to serve Almighty God with the gift of life today! Glory Hallelujah!
 
And my people, please realize that today is today; not yesterday or tomorrow, but simply TODAY; the present time; a present from our heavenly Father! So let’s concentrate on it and no other nuh.
 
Let’s try to do our very best on this one special day, for every day that we’ve been granted the awesome privilege of drawing breath is indeed special, and ought to be treated as such. And if we just do that, treat each day as being very special and important, then it will surely satisfy the desires of yesterday, and spur on the growth for tomorrow.
 
Please note that that was what Jesus did during His earthly sojourn. He got up early, had meaningful communication with the Father, mapped out His day in accordance with the Father’s wishes and will, then He went out and worked that plan; healing and doing good.
 
He wasn’t overly concerned with what had happened yesterday, or was going to happen tomorrow, but kept His focus on, concentrated the vast majority of His energy and time on fulfilling His goals for that particular day, which is always, TODAY.
 
Therefore, in accordance with Jesus’ modus operandi, I’m asking us to please put the same perspective in our own lives; simply concentrate on what we can and have to do today.
 
As Jesus warned His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes Friends, once we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness today, tomorrow will look after itself. And remember that tomorrow never really comes, it simply becomes today, so we just have to keep on doing the same thing, seeking God and His righteousness every today.
 
And that’s possibly the easiest way for us to adhere to our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
Oh mih people, as we said yesterday, the trait of endurance is a must in the believer’s life! And it’s possibly the hardest thing to do with all the pressures of life, of living, and of the world, being heaped upon us in these very sad and troubled times.
 
That’s why concentrating on just one day at a time, the day ahead of us, is so important. It frees us from all the other concerns that yesterday and tomorrow would have us pay unnecessary attention to. And just like yesterday, we’re going to look at some more of the many scripture passages that have to do with enduring.
 
And we’re going to begin with the words of Jesus, when He warns the disciples of serious persecution in their future. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.19:22)
 
Yes my brethren, as the saying goes, ‘the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot;’ the one who takes his time to see where he is going and spells himself, so that he can endure; last the entire race.
 
Then we have the author of Hebrews warning us: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Again, my people, it is all about staying strong and steadfast in the work of Christ, which we know isn’t always easy, but we’re certain of His generous help when we obey His will.
 
Meanwhile, James says this on the very real and tangible subject of temptation. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12)
 
And I think Friends, that it will be an excellent idea to close with some wise, interesting and important observations from the scholars on that verse.
 
‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape.
 
God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet.1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13).’
 
And I’ll break the scholars words here to show us that scripture, since I know that many of us won’t look it up if I just say to do so, and it’s very important for us to know and understand that scripture verse.
 
‘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 ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)
 
Yeh Friends, we all run to that verse as soon as trouble shows up, expecting God to quickly deliver us. But that’s not the purpose it serves.
 
For, as the scholars continue: ‘God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law: ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.’ (Deut.8:16).’
 
Yeh mih breddren, running this race of earthly life is all about ENDURANCE; about standing strong and steadfast in God’s LOVE and plan for each and every one of us.
 
So today, let’s make it our number one priority nuh, for that is indeed the wisdom of Almighty God, and we certainly can’t get any better than that! Much LOVE!
 
…when we make up our minds to endure…rather than simply escape…our heavenly Father is pleased…and gives us even more grace to endure…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Well hello there you wonderful Friends and faithful believers and followers of Jesus Christ! It’s a new day; a beautiful one, filled with new blessings and mercies, and it’s called Monday…
 
And I immediately hear the moans and groans and deleted expletives and comments like: ‘Chuh! Yuh really mean is Monday already! Steups! I really have to get up and go to this stupid job!’
 
Yes Friends, provided you want to earn a living, keep a roof over your family’s head, and bread on the table for your LOVED ones. And I am somewhat disappointed in us my brethren, because it was just last week we woke up with a better perspective, LOVING Mondays and all that it entailed.
 
Oh, so that’s what it was eh; just a dream, as someone in the penny section cried out. (smile) However Friends, the reality is that it’s Monday, and if you’re a true follower of Jesus, you have to get up and go and labour, whether you want to or not. End of story!
 
And remember, as Jesus promised, He will always help us to do whatever He desires of us. And His first helping tool today is that we sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in full, sweet voice. So let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and hands heavenward and sing as though there’s no tomorrow.
 
‘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!’ 
 
Not bad mih people, not bad, though I did hear some hoarse, cackling voices. (smile) Now let’s get ourselves together and hit the ground running for Christ; living up to the words of our Bit! ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s what all believers are called to do; strengthen the faith of others, encouraging them through faithful words and good examples, because walking in the big footsteps of Jesus is not an easy job, definitely not for the faint of heart or timid of mind.
 
The unfortunate fate of the believer is to pass through many trials and tribulations, like Jesus did, before we enter God’s heavenly kingdom. But as I keep saying, the rewards for enduring are fantastic, and totally worth it.
 
Look at what happened to Jesus eh, after He endured His heart-rending tribulation, the Father anointed and exalted Him; ‘and given Him a name to which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11)
 
So if the Father did it for Jesus, why wouldn’t He do it for us eh? No reason whatsoever!
 
Our Bit comes from the section of Acts where Bruh Paul and Barnabas were on a missionary journey, including Lystra, where Bruh Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city and left for dead. (Acts 14:19)
 
But as the Good Book so famously declares: ‘Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many (made many disciples), they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch.’ (Acts 14:20-21)
 
Fortunately though my people, most of us won’t have to endure such tribulation. But just being a believer WILL bring us trials. As Jesus said, simply ‘For my name’s sake.’ (Luk2 21:12) But please remember Friends, that true faith, trust in and surrender to Jesus brings us an inner strength that nothing or no one can match or take away.
 
Just look at our still severely persecuted brethren all over the world. Despite disastrous persecution, they are still standing strong, not giving up. So why can’t we in this fairly free Western society do the same eh? I guess life’s just too easy for us, we take freedom of worship for granted and thus abuse it.
 
Enough batting of my gums though (smile), time to share this most appropriate scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy, re being a good soldier in Christ.
 
‘Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:  Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds (chains); but the word of God is not bound (chained).
 
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s (chosen ones) sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim.2:7-13)  
 
Oh Friends, please let those words encourage us, let them sink deeply into our consciousness, so that we can develop into good and faithful soldiers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Why? Because that’s the ultimate wisdom of life! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world….’
 
P.S. Yes Friends, it’s long, but it’s good. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.        In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, on this Sunday morning in the middle of May, in a season we call spring time, when nature is refreshed and rejuvenated with new life and colour, please, oh please, let’s be eternally grateful and give loads of thanks for the fairly free society in which we live!
 
Once upon a time it was mostly a community based on the Christian faith, but in recent times it has morphed into one of many different, diverse faiths and cultures. However, we are still free to worship and believe in whom or what we choose. Unfortunately though, this is not the case for millions of our Christian brothers and sisters in many places around the world, who live under heinous authoritarian religious regimes.
 
Today I want to highlight the unfortunate plight of one such sister. The newspapers recently reported the awful situation of a 26 year old, eighth months pregnant Sudanese woman, who married a Christian man, and for that she was sentenced to death. Steups! And as always, it’s the women and children who suffer the most.
 
As the hypocritical patriarchal Muslim society in Sudan would have it, it’s okay for a Muslim man to marry outside of his faith, and the children must by law adopt the father’s religion. Chuh! However that largesse of faith does not apply to Muslim women. This unfortunate young woman was convicted of ‘apostasy’ because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. Glory Be!
 
She is paying though a rather hefty price for that refusal since the Sudanese penal code declares that Muslims converting to any other faith is a crime punishable by death. But it doesn’t seem that the young woman was ever Muslim, for although her father, a Muslim, married and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and the law states that such children must adopt the father’s faith, her mother raised her as a Christian after the father left them.
 
Now she languishes in some sordid jail with her 18 month old son and her unborn child, awaiting her unfair fate. To make matters even more ridiculous and hypocritical, it seems that the court also ordered the young woman to receive a hundred (100) lashes. Why? For having what they considered sexual relations with her husband, a Christian from the new country of South Sudan, which is mostly Christian.
 
Ah Friends, I don’t even want to consider the hypocrisy, because it just makes me so angry that I tend to forget the LOVING-kindness principles of Jesus and desire revenge, or I should say justice (smile) in my heart. Oh I know that we Christians can be very hypocritical too, but hopefully not to that extent.
 
Let’s hope that an appeal is successfully lodged on the young woman’s behalf in the not too distant future. And to help right that wrongful situation, let’s all offer up some heartfelt prayers for her and the millions of other Christians around the world, who are suffering oppression, suppression and loads of injustice, simply because of their sensible and right thinking belief, faith, and trust in Jesus Christ, and the One and Only True and Living Deity, Jehovah God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 
 
My fellow believers, please believe that there is indeed a very real, a very serious and a very deadly spiritual war that’s currently taking place, and we are at the forefront of it. Thus we need to be on our p’s and q’s; ever-ready to resist and fight back against the evil powers that now control this ungodly world.
 
What Jesus prophesied so long ago, as we saw in yesterday’s scriptures, is now coming to pass. ‘But before all these (signs), they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you (be an occasion) for a testimony.’ (Luke 21:12-13)
 
Furthermore ‘And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers (authorities), take ye no thought (do not worry about) how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.’ (Luke 12:11-12)
 
It’s not going to be easy my people, but if we stand strong, steadfast and immovable on the promises of our wonderful Saviour, then we will eventually be victorious. Listen to this awesome promise of God’s Son. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)
 
And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Jesus has indeed overcome the world. He’s conquered sin, death and the grave with His Easter Resurrection. So let’s take comfort, derive lasting peace from it, and show the world that we are stronger than anything they can throw at us, because we have the awesome power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus working in, for, and through us!
 
Note though, that despite all our assurances, we can’t afford to let down our guard for even one moment, because the evil one is lurking around, looking for even a toehold in our spiritual armour. But we do need to be patient and persevering as Jesus advises in our Bit. ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Yes Friends, if we remain faithful, don’t give up, and keep pressing on, regardless of our adversity, then we shall indeed see ALL the promises of Jesus come to joyful fruition, and His church will be victorious!
 
So today, my fellow believers, let’s all flock to God’s house with joyful souls nuh, to pray, worship and give thanks for our many blessings and freedoms. For that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
 …the powers of evil and darkness…are no match whatsoever…for those of LOVE and goodness…found in the brilliant light of the world…our Lord and Saviour…Jesus Christ…