Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2017 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Oh friends, I’m so glad to be alive, especially on such a wonderful summer’s morn that I just wanted to jump for joy, click my heels, and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

But fortunately, the wise One that dwells within me immediately cautioned that the first two actions would be somewhat foolhardy, given my precarious physical state. So I simply shouted ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ (smile) 

What a bam bam it is when your body can’t keep up with your mind eh? But them’s the breaks! It’s what happens when you’ve lived a long and productive life and have finally reached the winter years. So we just have to grin and bear it. 

And with Jesus Christ in our lives, there are so many other pleasures for us to enjoy than just the physical ones, that we really lack for nothing. All glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let me apologize now for the lateness of the Bit. It seems that the pain medication I took before going to bed this morning also has some sleep inducing properties, which made it difficult to get up at an earlier hour. 

Now here is a li’l something, which I shared way back when, but is still very useful in these trying times. It’s from Sholem Asch (1880-1957), a London born dramatist and writer of Polish-Jewish background, who later settled in the U.S. 

He tells us that: ‘Not the power to remember, but the power to forget is a necessary condition for our existence.’ 

And that’s quite true mih breddren, otherwise our minds would be so riddled with memories, and mostly the bad ones too, that our lives would be even more confused that they already are. 

But thankfully many of us old fogies don’t have to worry about that condition of life, because in our advanced stage we automatically forget most things anyway. (smile) 

And though it’s convenient to forget, we have to remember to follow the critical command and warning of our Bit, even in old age. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And why is that you ask? Listen to James’ explanation that follows. ‘For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Yeh friends, uncontrolled anger and speaking have no place in the Christian’s life, because they lead us to ungodly decisions and consequently harsh repercussions. 

Hear the scholars take on those verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

There you have it friends, several good reasons for controlling talk and anger! And I guess it’s only right for us to continue listening to James on the subject of hearing. 

‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21) 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation to that verse. ‘1:21. Engrafted word might better be translated “implanted word” and may reflect Christ’s parable of the seed planted in the four different soils (Matt. 13:3-9). Both Christ and James focus on the proper hearing of God’s Word (Matt.13:13, 19-20, 22-23). 

One needs to hear that Word, for it is able to save your souls. Though the phrase accurately describes the Word’s work of producing initial salvation, it is better in this context to understand it as the Word’s ability to preserve and mature the Christian’s life through trials.’ 

So anyway we cut it people, God’s Word is of the utmost importance in a believer’s life; both for producing our initial salvation and then keeping us on that straight and narrow path which allows us to grow in faith and trust in our wonderful Creator. Praise the Lord for His wonderful Word that leads and guides us safely on our earthly pilgrimage! 

And it isn’t coincidence that Bruh Paul wrote some of those same things to the Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11) 

Yeh friends, the believer is called to a much higher standard of living than the great unwashed. (smile) And hear Bruh Paul again agreeing with James on the power and benefits of the Word. 

This while preaching at Antioch. ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts.13:26) 

My people, I implore us, to never forget that! Consequently, we can go home now truthfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday 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!’ 

Let’s do it for Jesus nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s earthly life contains difficulties…but the rewards of heaven…especially Jesus’ eternal company… totally compensate for them…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher  (perfector ) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Arise my people and greet the bright and bountiful Sabbath Day, when the Lord rested, having created the universe and all therein in the six previous days! And He saw that it was all good! It’s a day of fellowship, of the gathering of Christ’s church in His sanctuary to praise and sing, give thanks and worship and exalt His Holy Name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Praise His Name on high! For He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Only He knows the true workings of the universe!’ Yes friends, He is the great I AM, the ONLY ONE who can heal your soul and take all your troubles away. 

That’s why, our song of praise and worship this morning is titled ‘The Heavenly Vision’ or ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’ So let’s do just that nuh, as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. As one true body now: ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 

(Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are! 

(Refrain) His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Ah friends, such words of assurance and peace, exhortation and encouragement, penned by Helen H Lemmel (1863-1961). Her biography says that in 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary. The leaflet was entitled “Focused,” and in it was this exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” 

Mrs. Lemmel was riveted by those words. She says, “I stood still. And singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody.” The three stanzas of the song were added later the same week.’ My fellow believers, that’s just one of the mysterious ways in which our great and awesome God moves, His works to unfurl! 

And the scripture it seems to have been based on is our Bit for today. But first let’s look at the verse that precedes it, because that sets the context for our Bit. ‘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) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Ah mih people, the author of Hebrews looks at our Christian life like a race; one that is indeed difficult to run, but acknowledges that we have faithful heroes that have gone before us (a cloud of witnesses), who have run it successfully, and so can we. How? 

By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, though there were others who successfully ran the race, and gave us worthy examples to emulate, Jesus is our best example, our bright and shining star! He set the tone for it all. 

The scholars tell us: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That means fellow believers we don’t have to blaze a new trail, just follow the one Jesus laid down, and that makes it easier for us. Imagine if we had to blaze a new trail for ourselves? We’d find it even more difficult than it is now, what with all the sin that’s lurking around the corner, just waiting to ensnare us, we need to have the utmost in patience and perseverance to last the distance and finally end up at the finish line in the welcoming and comforting arms of Jesus. Praise his Holy Name! 

And these two verses following our Bit, just bolster it. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (be discouraged) in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

Oh friends, Jesus is the ‘supreme example of endurance.’ Just look at all the ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf nuh. We could not have had a finer example of perseverance and endurance. So let’s remember that, take courage from it, and steadfastly bear up under our own weight of sin in this earthly race of life. That’s the only way to do it as a true believer in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whatever befalls us…the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2017 Acts 20:28.

Acts 20:28.   Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

And then it was Thursday… and I don’t know what to write about. Hn, hn! It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it both amuses and concerns me. 

Sometimes I have to wait a while for the Lord to show up and guide me, but today I didn’t have to wait at all. I just happened to look, or rather was guided to look at a sheet of paper in front of me with some quotes that I had written down, and there it was! 

It’s titled ‘Grasping the Cross!’ And it says: ‘Lord Jesus, Your cross is the focal point of our lives. Hold us tightly as we cling to Your cross and extend Your LOVE to others.’ 

And you know friends, we couldn’t want for a more stable and solid foundation to cling to than the cross of Jesus, for that’s where it all came to fruition. 

Yeh, it’s at the cross that it was all turned around; sin, death and the grave were defeated; salvation, reconciliation and eternal life were ushered in; our sins were paid for and we became adopted sons of God. Oh glory to the Most High! 

And this excerpt from ‘At the Cross’ by the Hillsong Group amplifies it all.   ‘At the cross I bow my knee Where Your blood was shed for me There’s no greater LOVE than this, no You have overcome the grave Glory fills the highest praise 

What can separate me now You tore the veil, You made a way When You said that it is done You tore the veil, You made a way When You said that it is done.’ 

Jesus certainly did, my fellow believers! No other act in human history has had such a sensational, fruitful and positive impact as Christ’s death on the cross. And it was all for us my people…all for us worthless sinners. 

Now do we truly appreciate that monumental sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? And do we pay the appropriate homage that is due to Him by the way we live our lives? I certainly hope so, otherwise we’d be doing Him a most serious injustice. 

He died that we could be free…free from sin and shame…free to live forever under His glorious umbrella of eternal life. Have we accepted that fact, and do our lives reflect it? That’s how His body, the church, ought to be portraying His sacrifice. 

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Bruh Paul to the elders of the church of Ephesus, whom he called to him at Miletus. 

‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, in these modern times, I don’t think we are doing a worthwhile job of shepherding God’s body, the church. There are too many divisions, too much dissension and resentment within Christ’s body over miniscule matters. Too much, I an me, instead of we and thou. 

I don’t have to specify anything, because we all know of some negative matter affecting the smooth and godly running of our church, something that should not be taking place at all. And sadly, this disunity within the ranks of the church is turning others away in droves, for who wants to be a part of a body that’s cantankerous and quarrelsome eh? 

It’s obviously disrupting Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, since LOVE cannot exist under those circumstances. We desperately need to fix the situation my fellow believers, for until there is true peace and sincere fellowship in Christ’s church, we’ll keep going backward instead of forward, and that’s totally unacceptable. 

So let’s get serious about Christ’s business nuh, and stop all the petty infighting. Let’s focus on His cross and be as one, the way He desires us to be. That’s the only way we’ll accomplish anything positive. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. With such a great variety of blessings, we ought to be able to fund unity in the church. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Please put them all into action now, by declaring them over others too. Much LOVE!

…at the cross…at the cross… where I first found Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.   But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Oh friends, the freedom paper for the weekend has been signed… Thank God! And it’s only a matter of a few hours and we’ll be free; free to do our own thing. But please remember that come Monday morning, that freedom will be revoked, the freedom paper burned to ashes, and we’ll return to being slave labour. Hn, hn! 

I guess that’s what motivates us to pack as much pleasure as we can into the two days of freedom. And it’s all well and good to shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend is here! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

But we also need to remember that life is not all fun and games, not strictly the fulfilling of lustful desires and pleasures, there needs to be mixed into it some serious and godly times to balance it all out. And to help us better understand that, let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us some decent direction. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, a sense of balance is what we need on the weekends if we’re to do ourselves any good. If we don’t have that, then come Monday, we’ll just be tired and miserable and won’t be able to go out and perform properly, perform as Jesus desires. And you know that is our Number ONE priority. So let’s get smart and godly and use our two days off as we ought to nuh. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ 

Ah mih people, what an encouraging and reassuring piece of scripture! If we repent of our sins and seek the Lord our God with all our heart and soul, we WILL find Him! 

Now how gratifying is that eh, especially in these times of hardship and uncertainty? Very gratifying friends, because we know that whenever we sincerely turn to God, He will be there for us, regardless of the circumstance(s) or our behaviour. Here’s how the prophet Isaiah put it in his declaration of God’s free offer of mercy to all. 

‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is.55:6-7) 

What a magnanimous God we serve and worship my people! And my fellow believers, it’s not only talk, for we’ve seen how often God’s chosen people, Israel, fell from grace because they forsook God and turned to worshipping idols and other pagan gods. 

Yet when the enormity and foolishness of their behaviour, when the punishment for their disobedience finally sunk in to their thick skulls, they repented and were welcomed back into God’s fold. 

Now why can’t our society realize that eh my brethren and change our wicked, sinful, disobedient ways and sincerely repent and return to worshipping Almighty God, the ONE who made us and is still running the show? 

I guess many of us don’t even realize that we’re living wrong, since they don’t know Jesus. But enough of us do know Him and realize that a lot of the negative stuff that’s happening to us nowadays has a correlation to the sinful and ungodly way we’re living. 

Instead of running away from God, as so many of us are currently doing, we should be running back to Him, right back into His wonderful, safe and welcoming arms! It’s more of Jehovah God we need, not less! 

Remember how God drilled it into Joshua’s head after the death of Moses, and He made him leader of the Israelites? ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

And if we look back to our prosperous times, barely a generation ago, we’ll discover that we were a much more godly people. However, as we began moving away from God, our prosperity also began deserting us. 

Remember friends, it’s only through obedience to God’s word that a society can truly become prosperous and remain that way for any length of time. Obviously we have forgotten that, or simply choose to believe that it’s through our own efforts that we become prosperous. What an abominable mistake! 

Anyway, my fellow Christians, we are the ONLY ones who appear concerned with the deterioration of our society, and are therefore the ONLY ones who can cause us to be convicted, not condemned, by the Holy Spirit, and thus bring about repentance and a righteous return to worshipping the ONE TRUE and LIVING God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

That’s the wisdom we so desperately need today, as our world is falling apart. So please, let’s pray, as individuals, as well as collectively, the church, and then, with God’s help, do our best to make the LOVE Revolution of Jesus a successful one. Much LOVE!

…only when God is NUMBER ONE….can a society be truly prosperous…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2016 Psalm 77:13‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 77:13.    Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?

Oh friends, I do hope we all had strong beginnings to our new work week yesterday, and that those strong beginnings will continue into today, Tuesday, as we do the Lord’s bidding and grow in strength and maturity in Christ Jesus. 

I had a good day yesterday as I was out and about in the city having lunch with some friends whom I hadn’t seen before and visiting some older folks at home. But boy, was the sun ever hot, and I was doing this stuff between noon and early afternoon. 

The duchess believes that this is the hottest the sun has ever been since we began visiting Tobago some four years ago. Who knows though? The sun is supposed to be hot in these parts, and that’s why I came, isn’t it; for sunshine and saltwater? (smile) 

Anyway, today I want to share something called ‘No Strings Attached,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. 

Listen up closely. ‘Christianity is a religion based on mercy. It is rooted in forgiveness. Of all the religions in the world, Christianity is the only belief system that accepts grace as the source of salvation. Every other religion is based on good works – work hard enough or be good enough and you will earn your salvation, your heaven, your Nirvana. 

Christianity alone says, ‘You can’t do it. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all suffer from guilt and shame. We are all victims. But Jesus has died on the cross with these final words: ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ (Luke 23:34). He has risen again. He has paid for my sins. He has paid for yours. The gift of salvation is free – no strings attached.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my fellow believers! And isn’t that the awesome and glorious truth. That’s why we can always loudly, proudly and truthfully say that OUR GOD IS THE GREATEST! 

And that provides the answer to our Bit: ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ 

Oh friends, I know I promised that yesterday would be the last day for that particular Bit, but if you were paying close attention, you’d have noticed that we only spoke about Christ’s birth, not his death, resurrection and ascension, as we had intended to. So obviously we couldn’t be finished. (smile) 

And in a few weeks’ time we’ll be coming up to those days of painful grief and then of joyous celebration, as we commemorate the Easter Season. And isn’t that a glorious season? 

It certainly it is, for though Jesus’ birth celebrated at Christmas time is huge. Easter is the fulfillment of God’s great promises, to provide a Messiah, to reconcile us to Himself and provide eternal salvation through His free offering of grace to all those who belief in His Son, Jesus Christ! Oh Glory to God my people! 

How can anyone be greater than Him when out of the goodness and LOVING-kindness of His heart, He sacrificed His One and Only Son so that we, His most precious, but also very disobedient and sinful creation could be righteously welcomed back into His holy fold? No other supposed deity can, or has ever done anything like that! 

As Gramps Schuller says above; salvation is a free gift of God, with no strings attached! All the sinner has to do is to believe in and on Jesus Christ! What could be simpler that that eh? NOTHING really! 

So when Good Friday rolls around, though it is filled with the pain and suffering and heartache endured by Jesus, we can still call it ‘Good’ because that is when our sins were paid for. 

It wasn’t good for Jesus, though He bore it with a stiff upper lip and all that, but it was surely good for us, because without Good Friday, we could not have had Easter Sunday, when He miraculously rose from the dead and with it offered the promise that all who die in Him, will again rise in Him! 

Oh what a great and LOVING God we serve and worship my people! THERE IS NONE OTHER LIKE HIM! That’s for sure. 

And what amazes me about the other faiths out there is that they either serve dead gods, or idols created by man’s hand. Now how can something I create be my god and do all sorts of stuff for me eh? It just doesn’t sound very logical. 

And please note too, has there ever been any other of the supposed gods who died and rose again from the dead? No way! Only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has ever done that! So why would I choose to worship any other God eh? 

And on another point of interest, has anybody else ever brought anybody back from the dead after they had been in the grave for four days? NO! 

But our Lord and Saviour Jesus did! Read the full account in John 11. He raised His friend Lazarus from the dead after he had been entombed for four days. All praise and glory to our great God! 

After praying to His heavenly Father, ‘he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin (wrapped with a cloth). Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.’ (John 11:43-44) 

Now tell me, who else has ever raised a human body buried for four days, and then raised Himself from the dead after being entombed for three days eh? 

NOBODY BUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! 

And we’ll definitely close this Bit (smile) with these true and immortal words of Jesus re resurrection and life. ‘Jesus said unto her (Lazarus’ sister Martha), 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? (John 11:25-26) 

Now friends, that’s a question we must all ask ourselves, and hopefully, for all of us, the answer is a resounding YES! 

And finally, hear this verifying statement from the scholars. ’11:25. I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ 

What more can I say eh? Nothing but I do hope that during these last few days the evidence I’ve provided has convinced us that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is indeed the GREATEST and the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD!  Much LOVE!

…in the beginning…God created the heaven and the earth… (Gen.1:1) …that says it all…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2016 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.  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.

Ah mih people, it’s another cold, bleak winter’s day! But we have to remember that that’s what winter is all about; cold and bleak, though it doesn’t seem so bad when the sun shines through in all its glory. (smile) 

And since this is where we live, we just have to learn to live with it, knowing that through God’s faithful help we will be able to handle it, and eventually come out victorious in the glorious springtime. Oh glory to God friends for His unceasing help! 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that probably hits the nail on the head with many of us. I couldn’t help but share it. 

It’s simply titled ‘January,’ and reads thus: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? 

The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. 

When you said Behold, I make all things new Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget you?’ 

Oh friends, that poem certainly does resemble the mid January funk that many of us find ourselves in. The weather is the pits, the Christmas bills are starting to come in, and we don’t know where the money is going to come from to pay them, and added to that anxiety, we’re still physically and mentally tired from all the Christmas and New Year’s hoopla. It certainly is a familiar predicament. 

But to answer the poets ending question, the response is a definite Yes! We do seem to forget God in these anxious times, when these are the times we should be drawing ever closer to Him. God doesn’t make mistakes or lie. If he says that everything is made new, then it IS made new! 

That means the problem lies with us, which brings us to the promise for that poem, which is also our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Ah my fellow believers that is exactly the kind of advice we need this cold morning in mid-January. And the Lord moves in such mysterious ways, that it’s only last night I watched Uncle John (John Hagee) preach a sermon on that same verse. He titled it ‘Run To Win!’ 

And so it should be my fellow believers. Why else would we run a race if it were not to win eh? And the particular race we’re talking about here is the race of life! 

Bruh Paul likened our earthly lives to a race, having in mind the ancient Greek Olympics, which we can compare to out own modern day Olympiads. 

And the first thing he does is remind us of all the other saints, the heroes that have run this race before us, the ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ who are looking down on us as we run our race. So it’s not like we don’t have any examples or mentors to look back at. 

Then we have to ‘lay aside every weight,’ that prevents us from running this race of life. Yes my brethren we have to get rid of all the impediments that weigh us down and prevent us from putting forth our best efforts. 

And Bruh Paul refers to some of them in Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11) 

Oh my precious friends of faith, those are the kinds of things that prevent us from properly concentrating on running this magnificent race of life that’s set before us. 

And here are some explanations from the scholars, which will help us to further understand those scriptures. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.” 

‘3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’ 

‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all: that is, He is everything and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’ 

Yes Friends, we’ll end with those wonderful words of wisdom: Christ is everything to the believer, and He dwells in each and every one of us. Oh what a wonderful scenario! 

Let’s remember that, and ponder on all that we’ve said to day, so that we can increase in the knowledge and maturity of Christ our Lord and Saviour. Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2014 Proverbs 9:5‏

Proverbs 9:5.   Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed). 

And then it was Wednesday – the halfway point home my people! So please keep on keeping on, because the sun, the light of Jesus Christ will soon appear over the horizon. It’s also the tenth of December, which means we’re two weeks away from that fateful day, Christmas, the day when our wonderful Lord and Saviour was born incarnate of the Virgin Mary.

And all God’s people sent up a loud and jubilant cry of ‘Thank You Father! Thank You for giving us Jesus! Giving us Jesus as a baby! Thinking of Him as a baby, we can lavish all the LOVE on Him that we normally lavish on babies. He is so wonderful, so warm and cuddly. We embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies! Thank You again for Jesus heavenly Father!’

Ah Friends, the Father must be chuckling at that prayer, as I was while I was writing it. But there’s nothing wrong with it. It might just seem a little different from normal prayers, but it’s well within the borders of overall prayer. The same way we pray for our babies, the same way we can be thankful for Jesus as a baby to cuddle and snuggle Him.

Now here’s an interesting quote from the prominent American Rabbi, Harold Kushner (1935-) which I believe I have shared with you before, but it is one of those which needs repeating as often as possibly in this confused world. And it simply states: ‘To see the goal of life as “winning” forces us to see other people as competitors, threats to our happiness. For us to “win,” they have to “lose.”

And that my people is the bane of the current world we’re living in; everything is based on competition, on someone winning and some one losing. But that’s not a sensible or godly way to live. We need to understand that life is not a contest, it’s a process. One by which we establish our individual goals and work towards them. If we keep putting ourselves up against others, for whatever reason, we will bring too much despair into our lives when we lose one of those competitions, and our lives will constantly be topsy-turvy, up and down, up and down.

We need to have smooth, fairly even paths in our lives, and that certainly doesn’t come from judging life as a competition. Each individual has a personal race to run. As Bruh Paul says: ‘let us run the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) That’s just our race Friends, God’s plan for our lives, not a competition between us.

And all of that brings us to our Bit; Wisdom’s Invitation to: Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed).’

Yes my brethren, that’s God’s age-old invitation to His human creation! But unfortunately, down through the ages, not too many of them have accepted it, preferring the lustful pleasures of the world. But I can assure us that those worldly pleasures will not get us far, merely to the end of this earthly life.

But what happens after that eh Friends? What happens to the spirit that dwells with us? If we only hold on to the earthly stuff, then we’ll suffer the earthly consequences; death and eternal separation from Almighty God! However, if we accept wisdom’s invitation, which you’ll note in passing, is completely free, then after the return of our earthly bodies to the dust from whence it came, our spirits will soar in the heavenly realm with the Holy Trinity for ever and ever, throughout all eternity. Now I put it to you Friends, that is a much better option than the earthly one.

And we have so many instances where that invitation has been offered, and yet we refuse to even consider it, much less accept it. Let’s look at a few of those instances. Jesus, when talking to the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, painstakingly informed her: ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (fountain) of water springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14)  Oh Friends, what a powerful invitation! And that Samaritan woman was smart enough to accept it.

Meanwhile, ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast (feast of Tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39) There again my people, that great, free invitation to come and have a wonderful life with Jesus.

And the scholars explain that all, re the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. ‘7:39. One of God’s purposes since the beginning has been to dwell with humanity and enjoy fellowship with us. He does it in this dispensation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1) occurs automatically when a person is saved; (2) is not an “experience,” but produces spiritual experiences; (3) remains permanently; (4) is the basis of all other ministries of the Holy Spirit; and (5) is the source of new life in the believer.

Illustration: When Paul met 12 disciples of John who did not know of the Holy Spirit, he knew they needed to be saved. So he preached the gospel to them (Acts 19:1-5). Application: The Holy Spirit’s indwelling should motivate the believer to be careful not to harm his body nor indulge his body in sin (1 Cor. 6:19-20). (First Reference, Ex.35:31; Primary reference, John 7:37-39; cf. 1 cor.12:13.)’

Ah Friends, please check out those references, for they will help us to better understand the scriptures. And remember,  it makes a whole lot of sense to come to Jesus, to accept wisdom’s invitation, rather than the foolishness of the world. Much LOVE!

…And he said unto me…it is done…I am Alpha and Omega…the beginning and the end…I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts)…of the fountain of the water of life freely…

  

 

 

 

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