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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2018 Psalm 27:4.

Psalm 27:4.   One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

Ah mih people, a friend who reads the Bit told me yesterday that everyday I complain about the weather. Well, today, I’m just going to say that it’s sunny and cold. (smile) And oh… that it’s better in Tobago. It certainly is! 

Now let’s move on to something more worthwhile than the weather. It’s a poem titled ‘Beauty’ by Gramps Schuler (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His hour of Power Devotional. I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as they say, when it’s nice you’ve got to share it at least thrice. (smile) 

Please pray with me. ‘Thank you, Father, for filling the world with beauty. I thank you for the beauty of life, the beauty of LOVE, the beauty of children, and the beauty of old people. I thank you for the beauty of Christ and for the beauty of any life where Christ is invited through the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father, that you have made my life beautiful too. Amen.’ 

Isn’t that special friends? It surely is! And you young people will notice that there’s also beauty in old people. (smile) When we’re imbued with Christ and the Holy Spirit, we can see beauty in almost any and everything! That’s because Christ Himself is beautiful and He opens our eyes to the beauty of the things around us. 

If we don’t have Christ in us, then our eyes are clouded and nothing looks beautiful. And how does this all happen eh? The Daily Bread tells us that ‘The Holy Spirit transforms us through His LOVE and by His grace.’ What powerful tools my people; LOVE and grace, through which despicable sinners like you and me can be transformed into righteous believers, to be called the righteousness of Christ! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for filling us with your grace and LOVE and bringing us into righteous fellowship with You, through Your Son Jesus Christ. We LOVE and adore You and will continue to do our best to live the way You want us to. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

That brings us to the heartfelt desire of Bruh David in our Bit. ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.’ 

Oh friends, when we take time to really know our God, we’ll find that He is truly delightful. But we can only discover that wonderful aspect of His character by taking time to spend with Him and getting to know Him intimately. Many of us claim we know God, but as soon as something negative happens and He doesn’t fix it immediately, we turn on Him. 

But we have to remember that God is the potter and we are the clay, and we have to abide by His decisions, be they convenient and/or comfortable for us. And when we abide by His decisions, without a whole lot of complaining, however they may affect us, that’s when we come into true intimacy with Him and He shows us His true delightful self by blessing us with His LOVE and mercy. 

It’s just like being with our earthly fathers. Unless we spend sufficient time with them, (pay attention children) we won’t know their true ways. But when we do, and learn their likes and dislikes, and generally stay on their good side, we see the delightfulness of our fathers and are usually showered with LOVE and blessings. Our God is no different; He wants our constant attention and expects us to do His will. 

What did Bruh David say in our Bit? ‘…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…’ Oh my brethren, do we feel that way; like we want to dwell with the Lord for our entire lives? If we’ve truly surrendered our lives to Him, then we ought to. 

And if we haven’t surrendered our lives to Him, then we ought to right now, today, because time is of the essence; Jesus is coming back soon, and once He returns there will be no more chance for surrender. 

And we all know that although Bruh David wasn’t perfect, made mistakes for which he paid dearly, he faithfully trusted the Lord in all aspects of his life, and was quick to ask for forgiveness, thus the Lord’s LOVING-kindness towards him. We can have the same kind of life friends, if we do our best to walk in step with God. 

Hear how Bruh David ends Psalm 27. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! Words that we ought to follow in our own lives, if we sincerely want to experience the goodness of God. Nuff said! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful relationship with the Lord. In all sincerity and truth now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we all know that it will be indeed a glorious future, so let’s do our best to encourage others to join us in looking forward to it nuh. Much LOVE!

…the more time we spend with God…the more intimate we’ll get with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2018 Hebrews 10:22.

Hebrews 10:22.   Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

And the days of 2018 are passing by so quickly, with such topsy-turvy weather, we don’t know whether we are coming or going. We’ve already used up two weeks of the new year already, and gone from snow to rain and back again.  

But it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, which means a time for fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three are gathered, to give Him praise and thanks, and receive His mercy, forgiveness, grace and confidence in return. In other words, boosting our faith to meet the upcoming week. 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song; one of Frances Crosby’s old, but ever beautiful hymns, ‘Blessed Assurance.’ So with hearts aglow and spirits sincere, let’s raise our voices in song, offering up the sacrifice of our lips in humility and truth. 

‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.’  Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels, descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of LOVE. 

(Refrain) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long).’ 

Oh friends, what great assurance there is in singing those beautiful words of that hymn! We really couldn’t ask for much more nuh. Just knowing that Jesus is ours, and we are His, makes this troublesome life all worthwhile. Glory to God! Just imagine nuh, which we’ve been purchased by God, through the sacrificial death of Christ! We’ve been washed in His blood and cleansed white as snow! Glory Hallelujah! 

And to add the icing on the cake, we’ve been made heirs of salvation with Christ! Wow mih people! It just couldn’t get any better than that. That’s why we’re so honoured and grateful to sing praises to His name, while we wait, eagerly, patiently and  faithfully for His return, ‘filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE.’  

Mama Mia! What a fantastic individual is our Jesus! The only problem though is that the whole world doesn’t think of Jesus in such glowing terms. Even some of His own supposed believers don’t think that highly of Him, that’s why the author of Hebrews issued the plea to the early believers to hold to the new faith, and I am reissuing it to us in these modern times. 

Listen to this heartfelt plea. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); (Heb.10:19-23) 

Yeh friends, by Jesus destroying the veil in the temple covering the Holy of Holies, with the sacrifice of His sinless life, where only the high priest could go at certain times of the year, we are now able to go to God personally with confidence that He will hear and answer us. That’s why we are encouraged to stand strong in the faith, be assured that all that Jesus said and did and promised are true. 

As believers we can’t afford to waiver back and forth. We must keep hope alive and flourishing, because our God has promised us good things like salvation and everlasting life, and He is ever-faithful to His word. That I can personally testify to, because I couldn’t write this Bit everyday now for some eleven years without His faithful help. He proposed the idea, and He NEVER gives us projects to do without giving us the wherewithal to do them. So any time He calls you, just jump to it, for though it might seem difficult, even impossible, God will always help you. 

And having stood strong in faith and confidence, the author of Hebrews continues. ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:24-25) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important it is, especially as the Second Coming approaches, to fellowship, to gather, to assemble with each other so that we can stir up and encourage each other to spread LOVE and do good works. As the scholars say: ‘It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren. 

And the scholars further explain: ’10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food.’ 

So friends, that means we don’t just go to church at Easter and Christmas or once in a blue moon and believe we’ve done our duty. Our duty is to attend church regularly, so that we can encourage and strengthen each other. So let’s seriously consider our church attendance this year nuh mih breddren, and with God’s help try and do better. It will be a boon for all of us individually, and above all, Christ’s body, the church. Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t assemble… don’t fellowship…how can they share Christ eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2018 Psalm 143:8.

Psalm 143:8.   Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Awright friends, it’s Tuesday…and we happy! Why? Because we’ve gotten past Monday. (smile) Poor Monday takes so much blame and abuse in our society because it is the first working day of the week, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief after it’s over. 

But we have the whole thing wrong yes. Monday is supposed to be the best and easiest day of the week because we’re coming off of two days rest. Every day after that is supposed to get harder rather than easier. The problem is that we don’t rest over the weekend, therefore it’s difficult to get the body and spirit moving for work on Monday, and we end up blaming it for all our many woes. (smile) 

But be that as it may, listen to this take from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that admirably describes so many of us. It’s titled ‘Another Year.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Another new year! How did it steal in so silently? How did it arrive so quickly? So many things I determined to do in January of last year are still completely undone. So many notes and letters still unwritten. Friends I planned to entertain were never invited. 

The books I planned to read haven’t been opened. The cupboards and drawers I hoped to clean are still cluttered with things I don’t need or use. Clothes I no longer wear still crowd my closet. I planned to have coffee with our neighbours, but often I managed no more than a quick wave between errands. 

If only I could have held on to the old year a little longer! But the old year is gone. I must put it away with all its failures and broken resolves. There is no way I can reclaim even one week of last year. I see that the road to good intentions is wide and circular. I’ve walked around it until I am utterly exhausted. 

I confess my failures, my procrastination. I know God, in his graciousness will forgive me. I have one more request. I pray for God’s power to keep my forgiveness up-to-date.’ 

Yes friends, good intentions are great, if we put them into action, otherwise we just keep aimlessly going round the same mountain, like the Israelites in the wilderness. And way too many of us are guilty of all those things we read above, basically a combination of laziness, procrastination and busyness. And it’s not hard to do in the extra busy society in which we now live, where everything is go, go, go. 

But the only way we’re going to overcome those failures and disappointments is by sincerely turning to God and putting the leading of our lives in His most capable hands. For once He is in control of our lives, we won’t be as busy-oriented as the world wants us to be, and He definitely won’t put more on our plate than we can handle. And whatever He puts there, we are assured we can handle it, because He gives us the wherewithal to do so! Glory Be! 

That’s the beauty of sincerely partnering with Almighty God; He controls it all! And the Bible Promise for that writing is also our Bit for today. ‘Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what beautiful words of prayer from Bruh David! Just right for every time we open our eyes to a new day. What better decision is there to start a day than to ask God for His LOVING-kindness and direction so we can do His will, because we have placed our entire trust in Him? None my brethren! None! 

And Bruh David continues: ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me (I take cover in thee) Teach me to do thy will: for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken (revive) me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off (put an end to) mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul; for I am thy servant.’ (Ps.143:9-12) 

Yeh friends, excellent words, but of no use unless we show the action that comes with that last, all important line: ‘for I am thy servant.’ Until we are involved in real servant hood to Christ, all our words are useless, for that’s where the truth of our faith shows up. 

That’s how and why Jesus came the first time: to save and to serve. He came humbly, helping the poor and downtrodden, the sick and needy, and until we begin doing the same, with right hearts and motives, we won’t be classified as servants of God. 

Remember what Jesus said about separating the sheep and the goats: ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: 

I was in prison, and ye came unto me…And the king shall say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36,40) 

Yes my faithful followers of Christ, until we begin helping the least, we will never be the most in Christ’s kingdom. And there are a whole lot of needy out there to be helped, so please let’s make this Year of LOVE, also one of servant hood nuh, for you can’t truly have one without the other. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In sincerity and strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…oh how beautiful…how heartwarming it is…to share Christ’s LOVE with others…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2017 Luke 1:37.

Luke 1:37.     For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And then it was Christmas Eve! Yeh friends, Christmas Eve, the day before Christ’s birth, aren’t you excited? (smile) We should be my people, because it’s around this time two thousand years ago we received the greatest gift ever. The Son of God was born so that He could save sinful man, whom His heavenly Father LOVED with such a great LOVE that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, so that His human creation could be saved from hell fire and damnation. 

Glory to our Most High God my brethren, for there is no other Deity who would have ever dreamed of doing something like that! So my fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday, as we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him, to give Him thanks and exalt His holy name and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength and confidence to face the upcoming week, let’s show our sincere gratitude and overwhelming LOVE by singing our hearts out with unspeakable joy and supreme gladness. 

And the song we’re going to offer up in our sacrifice of praise is the old but ever true and much liked standard, ‘O Holy Night.’ Apparently it was originally written in French, but was later translated to English, and has the distinction of being the first Christmas Carol to ever be played on the radio in 1906. So with sincere feeling now, as we raise our voices to high heaven. 

‘O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here came the wise men from Orient land. 

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend! He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to LOVE one another; His law is LOVE and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!’ 

Oh friends, what beautiful sentiments, filled with eternal truths, while offering loads of assurance for the believer. I sincerely hope that tears of joy were flowing down all our faces as we sang those exquisite words. For how could it be otherwise eh, when we’re celebrating such a joyful occasion? And friends, the whole story of Christ’s birth is so incredible, that only a superior being could have worked it out so efficiently and competently and dramatically. 

That takes us to our Bit:  ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ Those were the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, Christ’s mother, after he informed her that she would bare God’s Son through the auspices of the Holy Spirit, and that her hitherto barren cousin Elisabeth, in her old age, was also pregnant.  And what I LOVE about Mary is that despite her young age, throughout Gabriel’s information session she never got riled or overly excited. Of course she was somewhat concerned and confused as Gabriel appeared out of the blue and began to lay such weighty matters on her. Her only real question was how was she going to get pregnant without knowing a man? 

And once Gabriel explained, she was fine. ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) I must say that Mary was pretty mature for her age and background. If an angel suddenly appeared now and told that a teenager, she’d either run away screaming in fright, or hurl vicious and angry words at the messenger. But Mary’s response at the end of the conversation was simply: ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Ah friends, I’m not sure that Mary would have been so relaxed if she had known the immense heartache she would have to face by being the mother of the Son of God. But nonetheless she held up under all the stress and strain of her position fairly well. Obviously the Lord gave her the wherewithal to stand strong and face the adversity, as He does with us all, when He gives us a job to do. 

So fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday of 2017, with our world in a complete mess, let’s try and spend some serious time contemplating the mystery and the miracle of Christ’s birth, and how it affects our lives today nuh.  And consequently, what we need to do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because if we are to be true followers of Jesus, and for His birth, death and resurrection to truly mean something, then we should always be in the process of becoming more Christ-like and setting a good Christian example to others. That’s Christ’s desire and our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…ALL things are possible with God…you just have to study Christ’s life to see it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2017 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Well friends, that white stuff looks like it’s here to stay for a while yes! Steups! And more is forecasted to fall over the next couple of days. Brother! So the folks who so desire might get their white Christmas after all. Good for them! 

The rest of us will simply have to suffer in silence, (smile) because that’s just the way it is: if you live in the northern climes, then you can expect snow in the wintertime. 

But somehow you never seem to get accustomed to it. And in any case, we’re lucky or blessed, because with the effects of climate change, we don’t get half as much snow now as we used to get when I first came here forty something years ago. 

Oh how sweet it would be to be lying in the sun on the warm beaches of God’s li’l Acre, Tobago! But right now that’s just a dream for the future. You can’t allow those dreams to die though. (smile) 

Now, since it’s Saturday, -and several different kinds of hot, nourishing soup are being concocted up Calder Hall Road in Tobago – Oh just smell the beautiful, mouthwatering aroma nuh! Dreams friends, dreams; without them we’re just empty vessels. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this week. Listen to this first one: ‘Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.’ Yeh mih people, what we do today is important, because that sets the tone for our tomorrows. If you want to have good, productive tomorrows, you have to begin by having good, productive todays. 

And remember that ‘All things are difficult before they are easy.’ Well I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘all,’ but certainly many things begin with such difficulty that unless we’re strong, focused and truly committed, we’re likely to give up before we really get started. 

But here’s a li’l secret: ‘When life gets blurry Adjust your focus.’ Ah mih breddren, unfortunately life is getting very blurry these days, and there is only so much focus to adjust. Only if you are focused on Jesus can you have enough leeway for proper adjustment. 

Another helpful hint is to ‘Start telling the universe what you want instead of what you don’t want.’ Yeh more positive talking and thinking will certainly be of more benefit than dwelling on the negatives of life. And finally, remember this: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ 

Oh friends, you’ll be surprised at how much our attitude controls our life, especially in our Christian faith. Sour attitudes simply suck! They turn others off and away. On the other hand, a good, positive, pleasant attitude draws people to you and encourages them to either help you, or be helped themselves. 

It’s like the saying you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And that’s definitely the kind of attitude we need this Christmas season of peace, LOVE and good cheer, because that’s what Christ came to spread amongst us angry, evil, warmongering humans. Yeh friends, Jesus did come to save us, but that salvation is not automatic. We need to first turn to Him and accept Him before we can find salvation. 

Listen to the Lord’s promise to the children of Israel during their time of captivity, which in the first place happened because of their gross disobedience. ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place (Jerusalem). 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:10-12) 

It’s the same basic idea and promise God held out to Jews and Gentiles alike when He sent His only Son Jesus into the world to save it. Jesus made that very clear several times. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…’ (Luke 9:56) 

Oh my people, Jesus came as a Saviour, not a destroyer. However, like any other offer, His is also dependent on acceptance. Saving grace, salvation doesn’t just fall on everyone like a blanket. No, we have to come to Jesus and consciously accept His offer of salvation. 

Like the Lord said through Jeremiah: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yes friends, salvation and eternal life have been guaranteed to us through the sinless sacrifice of Jesus’ life, but we have to go seeking it diligently and sincerely in and through the Lord. Until we come to Him and confess our sins with a humble heart, salvation will elude us. 

The important thing my brethren, is truly searching and seeking out God because we can’t handle our sinful life any longer and we need the forgiveness, the mercy, the grace, the comfort and LOVE that only He can provide. 

So this Christmas season, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, I implore us to sincerely seek out the Lord and let Him give us all that He’s promised to those who diligently search for Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…anything worthwhile is worth seeking…and nothing’s more worthwhile…than the saving grace of Jesus…so please be wise…and seek it…

 

 

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