Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2017 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.   Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…

Oh friends, please forgive the ole fella for that brilliant typo (smile) I made in yesterday’s Bit. Steups! I really don’t know where my head was when I wrote that the Bit came from Proverbs instead of Job nuh. I hope you all noticed it and realized that the ole brain wasn’t functioning properly. Getting old is a helluva thing yes! (smile) 

And on a point of interest, Proverbs 13:15a says thus: ‘Good understanding giveth (gains) favour…’ And how true that is my fellow believers! 

Anyhow, it’s brand new day, with brand new mercies, grace and forgiveness, and it’s also Sunday morning, time for exciting praise and worship as we gather together in the Lord’s sanctuary to get our weekly dose of fellowship. And to get the proceedings underway, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices as we sincerely declare in song: ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.’ 

It’s a hymn that was written way back in the late 19th or early 20th centuries by Louisa Stead and William James Kirkpatrick that has marvelously stood the test of time, and is rather a good fit for today’s Bit. So without further ado, let’s offer the sacrifice of praise with our lips and voices and send sincere feelings of trust heavenward. 

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His word; Just to rest upon His promise; Just to know, Thus saith the Lord  (Refrain: Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er, Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more.) O how sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to trust His cleansing blood; Just in simple faith to plunge me, ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood. (Refrain) 

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, Just from sin and self to cease; Just from Jesus simply taking Life, and rest, and joy, and peace. (Refrain) I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend; And I know that Thou art with me, Wilt be with me to the end. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er, Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more.’ 

And wouldn’t we all benefit tremendously from being blessed with grace to trust Jesus more than we already do eh? Our lives would be so much easier and better directed; there wouldn’t be as much anxiety and frustration because our faith would be stronger and we’d have a better and more relevant sense of purpose. We’d know for sure deep down in our hearts and souls that Jesus was in perfect control. 

That’s why Job could stand so strong even though he lost everything in one fell swoop. His memorable declaration in our Bit is a testament to his enormous faith. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…’ 

Yes friends, I don’t know how many of us would be able to truthfully mouth words like those if we experienced anything close to Job’s calamity. But that’s the kind of faith and trust we’re called upon to have as sincere Christians. 

Oh, I know that all of us are at different stages along the continuum of faith, but that’s the level to which we ought to aspire. And it’s not easy, but as with everything else in this world, we can attain it with God’s help. That’s the miracle working formula; with God’s help! Otherwise the words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians which we are quick to spout are meaningless. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phi.4:16) 

Now let’s check out some more scripture passages that deal with trust. And these are two of the most important ones as succinctly declared by the psalmist. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9) Oh my people, truer words were never spoken! And especially in these fraudulent and deceptive times, it is certainly unwise to put too much trust in mankind. 

Now listen to Cousin Sol’s immortal declaration. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him; and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov.3:5-6) Words of eternal wisdom friends! 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of those verses. ‘3:5-6. Three commands are given: trust, meaning “rely on, depend on”; lean not, meaning do not depend on you own native instincts, and acknowledge him, meaning have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life. The result of such devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.’  

And which of us wouldn’t greatly desire to have straight paths in this cruel, evil, crazy, topsy-turvy world eh mih breddren? But that can only come by trusting the Lord God Jehovah with all our heart, mind, body and soul! And we’ll end with some wonderful words of Bruh David from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation. 

In it, he staunchly proclaims: ‘My soul wait thou (silently) only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength; and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

And all of that is indisputable truth friends! Almighty God is indeed our rock, our strength, our salvation and a perfect refuge, amongst many other things! So please my people, if we want to be successful and prosperous, let’s get with the program today nuh, let’s acknowledge and trust God the way we ought to, since He is the Creator of it all! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t trust the Creator of Creation… then whom are you going to trust eh…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

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

Well friends, yesterday I finally had to turn on my a/c for the first time this year. It was the first of many truly hot days I believe we’ll have this summer. But what amazes me is that though it was hot, the wind was also blowing at a brisk pace, the poor trees were dancing all day to its hectic riddim. 

But then this morning, around 3.a.m, I was outside on my porch, and though it was somewhat cooler than during the day, there was not a breeze to be had. 

I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that regardless of the season or time of day, in my area, the winds have been much stronger and more persistent than before. 

Who knows what our great God is doing eh? He controls everything, and His ways are so much higher than ours, that even if He explained it to us, we would not be able to comprehend it. So we just have to have faith, and trust and obey. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I want to Improve.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So, Father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely and faithfully prayed that prayer, then I’m sure something good is happening in our hearts right now.Wow! What a great God we serve and worship! 

Now it might not be a huge miracle, or manifest itself right away, but I’m sure that sometime down the line you’ll suddenly realize what’s changed, what’s improved, and then you’ll want to give even more praise, thanks and glory to our heavenly Father for His extraordinary LOVING-kindness to His undeserving but oh so faithful children! Glory to God my brethren! 

One of the problems we Christians suffer these days is that we’ve lost our passion for God, lost our zest for life, lost our faith in miracles. Chuh! 

Even worse, we expect miracles to be always big and uproarious! But the truth is that the Lord doesn’t do that many big and uproarious miracles, but He does plenty small and seemingly insignificant ones, which we either don’t notice at all or simply ignore. 

Ah friends, please remember that once we truly surrender our lives to Christ, He works continuously in them, and not everything is big and monumental. 

So please, let’s start regaining our passion for Christ nuh, which brings with an increased zest for life in general, and let’s also begin looking for and appreciating the small but still important ways He works in our lives. We are missing out on a whole lot of wonderful stuff by only looking for big, eye-catching things. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now don’t blame me, if we don’t have much space and time for our Bit, because that’s where the Lord led me. And being obedient, I had no choice. (smile) 

And is it ever an encouraging and reassuring Bit. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the amazing opening advice from Bruh David from that amazing Psalm 37- The true state of the wicked. 

And Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about because he stuck with the Lord through thick and thin, and likewise, the Lord stuck with him. His life wasn’t easy, a lot of it because of his mistakes, but he never lost his passion for the Lord God of his fathers. 

Now, as I’ve said above, lost passion for God is one of our major problems today, that’s why we’re so tossed and upset by the storms of life, by how the wicked seem to be increasing and the righteous decreasing. 

Bruh David ran from his enemies, Saul and his son Absalom for many years, but the Lord always kept him safe and secure, then finally brought him to his divine destiny; the greatest king that Israel ever knew. That’s why he could confidently open the psalm with our Bit, and then continue with that same confidence. 

‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps.37:2-5) 

Oh friends, there’s no more encouraging scripture than those few words in the Good Book, and that from a man who truly lived them and thus knew exactly what he was talking about. 

Today I implore us to take his words to heart and put them into practice, so that we too can be led to our divine destiny. Common sense and wisdom dictate it! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with the passion and strong belief that it ought to engender in us. In one, strong and unified voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the best way to show that passion is to go out now and share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a life lived without passion…is a wasted life…especially if you’re a follower of Jesus…

 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but it’s very worthwhile. (smile) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2017 John 3:17:

John 3:17.    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Ah friends, on this somewhat damp and dreary looking June morning, it’s ever so important for us to have the unique and exquisite LOVE of Jesus flowing sincerely, briskly and securely in our hearts, so that we can have ready access to the wherewithal to face whatever may befall us today. 

Yes my faithful brethren, only the overwhelming, the ever abiding and abundant LOVE of Jesus has the power and the spiritual mystery to carry us through each and every day of our lives. 

Therefore, as we open our eyes to greet each and every new day, we ought to give Him thanks and praise and ask for his wise guidance as He accompanies us on our earthly journey. 

And that He does friends! Having promised never to leave nor forsake us, He walks beside, before and behind us each and every minute of each and every day, once you accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. 

As the psalmist says, He’s our shield and guiding light. NEVER forget that! 

Now here is a simple but stirring and heart-moving prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s also simply titled; ‘I Will Move…’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those prayers that are certainly worth sharing again and again. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. 

In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank You Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, that is ALL so true! It’s only with the promises, the power, the pardon and providence of Almighty God that we can truly move from death to life, abundant life that is, and have lasting success in this evil world. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

And if you believe that with all your heart, soul, body and mind, then you’re on your way to a great life in the wonderful and unique company of Jesus! 

Wow mih breddren! It couldn’t get any better than that! Hanging out with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being! And if you already know Jesus, you’ll know that what I’m saying is absolutely true! 

Oh, I’ve just got to say it again: ‘Wow, mih breddren! Walking with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being!’ (smile) 

He’s so sweet, and kind, humble, LOVING, generous, forgiving, merciful and gracious…etc…etc! And once you truly get to know Him, every so often, you’ll sit down and ask yourself, ‘how ever did I live before He came into my life eh?’ 

Well you simply weren’t living before that, just existing. But once Jesus entered your life, He made you a brand new person, regenerated you, made you to be born again spiritually…and everything changed…your mindset, your view of life, your habits and behaviour, all began to change for the better. That’s the saving power of Jesus friends! 

As our Bit says, He didn’t come to condemn but to save. However, it doesn’t happen automatically; we need to accept His saving grace, that free gift of God. 

As Jesus says after our Bit: ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:18) 

So you see friends, it’s a conscious decision that every one of us has to make; to either believe or not believe in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. This verse answers the question, “Why do people go to hell?” It is because they do not believe in Jesus.’ 

That’s straight and to the point people! It couldn’t be any simpler. Believe and you’re saved; don’t believe, and you spend eternity separated from God, the worst thing that could ever happen to a human soul. 

And we’ll give one more example of the saving grace of Jesus, His words after He had lunch with the tax collector Zaccheus. 

After Zaccheus repented of his sins, ‘Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as the kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ 

Truer words were never written friends! And since we believe it all, we can go home joyfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice and confident humility: ‘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!’ 

All glory and honour to our most kind and LOVING Saviour! Now let’s go out and share His LOVE and friendship as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…when Jesus comes into our hearts…His light and LOVE…will faithfully lead and safely guide us…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Well friends, it’s Wednesday! What’s on tap for today eh? I’m supposed to have my eaves troughs replaced today, so hopefully that will solve my problem of water leaking down into my basement when the rain falls. 

Let’s hope and pray that it actually does stop it yes, else I’ll just hold my head and bawl! Yes, I will, because I’ve been trying to fix the problem for a while now and nothing else has worked. And for the kind of money I’m expected to pay, it ought to… it better had work! (smile) 

But all I can truly do is leave it in God’s hands, for regardless of what I think or do, it’s His will that will eventually prevail, and I know that He will in His own time work everything out for my good. Glory to the great God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It so reminded me of our foolish behaviour that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Two Questions.’ 

And it simply says: ‘O God In my fear and frenzy In my darkness and dread My screaming question is “Where are You?” And in reply, the Lord simply answers: ‘Wandering child When things were going well And you carelessly ignored Me Where were you?’ 

Now that’s a very question friends, to which we have no good answer. That’s because too often, too many of us conveniently forget the Lord when things are going well. But as soon as our lives begin to get topsy-turvy we’re quick to run to Him and plead, ‘Oh Lord help me!’ And we expect Him to jump right on the problem. Hn! 

But life doesn’t work like that friends. Our God is not there to simply fix our problems when we decide to ask Him. We have the whole concept wrong: We’ve been created to serve and worship Him, to be available at His behest, not He at ours. 

But He’s so wonderful that He’s arranged a covenant, a partnership with us, that if we serve and worship Him faithfully, He will indeed answer us when we call. He has even gone so far as to promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

But friends, that all depends on us keeping our part of the bargain, faithfully serving and worshipping Him. So please let’s stop the nonsense nuh. It’s high time we stop ignoring our God and our Creator when times are good, and instead constantly seek Him, whatever the state of our lives. 

And it’s all for our own benefit yes mih people. Our God doesn’t need anything from us since He owns everything and everyone in the universe. We are the needy ones. So let’s start knowing our place and begin giving Almighty God the adulation and glory He so rightfully deserves…that is if we want to see favour and length of days. 

And one of the surest ways to obtain God’s favour is by understanding our Bit and living according to it. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

As we said yesterday friends, one must have faith to be saved, but one must also show that faith by doing good works in Jesus’ name, for He expects it of His followers. 

Remember what He said about false prophets? ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) The same goes for us my brethren; true believers shall be known by their faithful works. It’s very easy to profess faith, but to manifest it is another story. 

That’s why Bruh Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22). And when we walk in it; in LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control), then we will obviously bring forth good fruit, good works, to back up our faith. 

Now after our Bit, James goes on to argue about Abraham and his willingness to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice as an example of the faithful being recognized for good works. And then he talks of the harlot Rehab, as a non-believer being considered faithful for her good works by her saving the Jewish spies. (James 2:21-26). 

However friends, the scholars have a long explanation which I can’t go through for lack of time and space, but what they essentially say is that James and Bruh Paul are using the word for ‘faith’ with different meanings and ‘justified’ in different senses. 

Bruh Paul using his New Testament theological idea of  ‘God’s act of declaring all believers righteous on the basis of Christ’s redemptive work. But a common Old Testament and gospel usage involves demonstrating or showing something to be righteous (cf.Ps.51:4; Luke 7:35; Rom.3:4); it is this usage that James follows. 

They are discussing totally different subjects, since they are confronted by different problems. Paul opposing the Judaizers seeks to prove that the Gentiles can be saved and sanctified apart from circumcision or any other work of the law. James opposing merely nominal, professing Christians, seeks to show that true faith confirms itself by deeds of LOVE.’  

So let’s understand that they are not fighting each other, but together, against different foes on different subjects. And now that that has all been cleared up, (smile) let’s go home sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, which addresses our faith, and consequently, our good works. 

‘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!’ 

Have a blessed day my faithful brethren, manifested by good works! Much LOVE!…

both faith and works are important parts of Jesus’ awesome LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Monday morning, so let’s be up and at ‘em nuh! 

‘Not today,’ claim our U.S. breddren. ‘Today is our Memorial Day Holiday, where we celebrate our fallen war heroes, so no work for us today. Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, the shoe is on the other foot this week; last week we in Canada had Monday off for our Victoria Day Holiday, this week the U.S honours their patriots. But since it’s still a day of labour for most of us, we still need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us going. So with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster, let’s sing. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as expected, the loudest and most off key voices were those who did not have to go to work today, and were already into the celebrations. But just remember, please listen to Granny’s advice. ‘Drunk or sober mind yuh business.’ We don’t want to go giving the evil one any foothold in our souls, for he is always lurking around, always on the prowl to find someone he can invade and cultivate. 

That’s why Peter, after telling us to humble ourselves before God, and to cast our care on him, because He cares for us, so strenuously warns in our Bit. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends!  Remember when Satan came before God in Job? ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:7. From going to and from in the earth refers to Satan’s activity. Though he does not admit it here, Satan’s character clearly shows that his many travels are for evil purposes.  In 1 Peter 5:8. Satan is described as “your adversary the devil…seeking whom he may devour.” 

The activity of Satan indicates that he only has limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (can’t be everywhere at the same time). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

Oh glory to God my people! That means Satan has no direct say over us, he can only invade our souls and spirits if God gives him permission, or of we foolishly allow him to enter therein. That’s why Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, I know it’s no great consolation to know that our brethren are experiencing the same temptation as us, but it just goes to show that we are not alone in being tempted, as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians. ‘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 it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, we have to be careful and understand that God will not always make us escape the temptation, but will often allow us to go through it, to build our faith, but will eventually bring us out safely on the other side. Remember too, that even Jesus was tempted by Lucifer during His earthly sojourn, but He successfully rebuked Him, and we ought to try and do likewise. 

James also warns us. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7) Yes my fellow believers, if we keep resisting Lucifer, he will eventually flee from us; not that he won’t come back and try to tempt us later on, (smile) because he can be very persistent. 

However, we’ll end with these reassuring words of Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11)

What a blessed and faithful assurance my people. So let’s go out today strengthened in the Word of God, so that we can do His will. Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith in Jesus…the more we are able to resist temptation…

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be strong and of a good courage… Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee… Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:5, 6,7,9) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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