Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2018 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It’s time once again friends for our weekly rejuvenation; meaning it’s the Lord’s Day and we need to go to His sanctuary to get oiled and lubed, (smile) so we can handle the upcoming week’s affairs with strength, faith, hope and confidence. 

Oh by the way, for those of us who live in the Daylight Savings Time zones, please be reminded that the clocks went back one hour tonight, which means that church will held an hour earlier. So please don’t miss it by pleading ignorance of the time change. (smile) I won’t put it past many of you to do so. 

And as always, before we hear the Lord’s word, we offer up sacrifices of praise and worship, letting our heavenly Father know that we certainly do adore, glorify, exalt and LOVE Him. Today we’ll sing one of the most well-known and heartwarming passages in the Good Book – Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. 

Those immortal words of Bruh David had to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. They are too meaningful and applicable to our earthly lives to have simply come from a man’s finite mind. But be that as it may, let’s raise our voices in sweet adoration and wonderful harmony, as we lift up those words to heaven, words written so long ago, but which still retain their awesome power even to this day. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, did you feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your individual soul and felt like He was present everywhere in the sanctuary, just enveloping us all with His amazing and unconditional LOVE?  I surely did! But what a mighty work of God that Psalm is! Almost every believer knows it, and/or has used it in some tough and unforgiving times.  

And the opening verse, our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,’ is so all encompassing and comforting that I don’t where or how to start describing it, so I’ll just share the scholar’s explanation. ‘Psalm 23. The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New Testament (John10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep; however, he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). 

Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

Wow mih people! In what other faith can you have all of that goodness and LOVING-kindness eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Only if you are a believer in Jesus can you have a Deity, lead and guide you in safe paths, beside quiet waters, look after all your needs, down here on earth, then take you to dwell with Him eternally in heaven when your earthly sojourn is over. 

And please note my fellow believers, the life of eternity in heaven will even be better than that we experience on earth. So you can imagine how wonderful heaven must be! I doubt it, because our minds are too small to imagine it, but Jesus has promised it, and He does not renege on promises. 

Now here are a couple of those other verses above that quote God as a shepherd, starting with Isaiah. When he talks about finding comfort through trust in God ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:11) 

And here is the piece de resistance from Jesus Himself. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:11, 14) 

And we’ll close with these most appropriate words from the author of Hebrews: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you what which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21) 

And that’s my wish for all of us today, my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…oh how blessed we are to have a wonderful shepherd like Jesus…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.   O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Top o’ the morn my fellow believers! It’s that wonderful day, Sunday, which means the gathering of Christians all over the world in the Lord’s sanctuary. And that can be any of the following; a magnificent cathedral, a small church, a house, a hovel, a palace, or under a coconut tree, wherever we can gather, to worship and give immeasurable thanks to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

Yes friends, wherever God’s people are gathered that’s His sanctuary, for He is there in full regal presence. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless His holy name, for He is a great God, and indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

And in keeping with that truthful sentiment, let’s open today’s celebrations with this most appropriate hymn ‘How great thou art.’  It’s a hymn apparently based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg, pastor, poet and politician (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. 

After a brief thunderstorm, it’s reputed that he opened his window and saw a rainbow gilding the sky and all of God’s nature creations shining bright and fresh having been cleansed by the rain. Supposedly modelled after Psalm 8; Bruh David’s words exalting God’s glory and man’s honour, it was first translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. Later on, it was further translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine. 

So in strong voice and total harmony, let’s offer up this favourite hymn to our heavenly father, through the sacrificial praise of our lips.  ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

(Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ (repeat). 

Ah mih people, what wonderful and truthful words of praise, worship and adoration to our mighty God. That makes the opening words of Bruh David’s psalm a perfect Bit for today. ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

And there can be no doubt whatsoever about the veracity of those adoring words! For He is the ONLY truly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Being in this whole universe. He created it, it belongs entirely to Him, and He controls it as He sees fit. Glory to God! 

And Bruh David continues to prove his contention. ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings (infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention, or care for) him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’ (Ps. 8:2-5) 

Ah friends, it ought to be obvious why God cares for us. In the first place He created us in His image and gave us His breath of life, so that we could worship Him and have a positive and productive relationship with Him.

From the day He created our forefathers, Adam and Eve, He’s LOVED us with His whole heart, and though He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, when they disobeyed His command, He never stopped LOVING His human creation nuh, we stopped LOVING Him. 

So it’s not rocket science why He did as Bruh David further describes. ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ (Ps.8:6-8) 

And why not eh? We are His most precious creation, the only earthly being He created that has the ability to communicate with Him. Just like we LOVE our disobedient and trying children, our Creator LOVES us the same way – and even more.

So let’s remember to continually thank and praise Him for all the good things He’s done for us down through the ages, is currently doing, and has faithfully promised to do in the future. And we’ll end like Bruh David did, with a shout of heartfelt praise: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.’ (Ps.8:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools and mad men…refuse to praise and worship their Creator…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2017 Isaiah 11:6.

Isaiah 11:6.   The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Well it’s Sunday friends; that day when we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him in peaceful and joyful fellowship. What a pleasure that is; singing songs of LOVE and harmony, of peace and goodwill, hearing God’s word and having it strengthen our faith and put some pep in our stride. 

And as always, we like to loosen up with a song of praise. Today we’ll sing that old Gospel song ‘Peace in the Valley,’ written by the black preacher’s son, Thomas A. Dorsey in 1937 for Mahalia Jackson, though numerous people have recorded it over the ensuing years. And there’s an interesting story behind the writing of the song. 

Dorsey said of writing “Peace in the Valley,” “It was just before Hitler sent his war chariots into Western Europe in the late 1930s. I was on a train going through southern Indiana and saw horses, cows and sheep all grazing together in this little valley. Everything seemed so peaceful. It made me question, “What’s the matter with mankind? Why can’t men live in peace?” Out of those thoughts came “Peace in the Valley.” 

Yes friends, we’re all searching for peace, but that’s a very difficult commodity to find in these crazy and godless times. Nonetheless, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips and humble hearts, let’s bare our souls in soulful song and let the Lord in heaven on high know that we are truly His people. 

In unison now: ‘Oh well, I’m tired and so weary But I must go alone Till the Lord comes and calls Calls me away, oh yes Well the morning’s so bright And the lamp is alight And the night, night is as black As the sea, oh yes There will be peace in the valley for me, some day There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow No trouble, trouble I see There will be peace in the valley for me, for me. 

Well the bear will be gentle And the wolves will be tame And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes And the beasts from the wild Shall be led by a child And I’ll be changed Changed from this creature that I am, oh yes There will be peace in the valley for me, some day There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow No trouble, trouble I see There will be peace in the valley for me, for me.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? One day in the eventual reign of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, that is exactly how our world will be. The Lord promised that in His word, through the prophet Isaiah, when he talks about the righteous reign of the branch of Jesse. Our Bit spells it out loud and clear. ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.’ 

Oh my people, what a blessed day that will be when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ finally takes over the world and sets up His everlasting kingdom: His kingdom that will have no end! 

Listen as Isaiah continues with the peaceful scene. ‘And the cow and the bear shall feed (graze); their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling (nursing) child shall play on the hole of the asp (cobra), and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ (in the viper’s) den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’ (Is.11:7-9) 

Mama Mia! Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the children of men! I can’t wait to see that day friends. Chuh! How different it will be from this warmongering, hateful, strife filled age. 

And here’s how the scholars explain it. ‘11:6-9. Peace and harmony will characterize the Messiah’s kingdom. Ravenous predatory animals – wolf, leopard, lion and bear – are set in deliberate contrast to the more defenseless lamb, kid, calf, cow, and ox. That the lion shall eat straw implies a change of diet. 

Even the asp and the cockatrice (snakes) will be harmless to a small child. Isaiah sees the Messiah ruling the world in righteousness and a peace that extends even to the animal kingdom. During this time the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Thus the prophet sees beyond the restoration of Judah to a time when the Messiah will rule the entire world.’ 

What a glorious time that will be my people. And yuh know why our time now is so disgusting? Because the earth IS NOT full of the knowledge of the Lord! Yeh friends, when God is at the forefront of our society, involved in every area of our lives, both public and private, then there is peace and LOVE and harmony in our world. 

Oh friends, we know that total peace will not happen until Jesus comes back, but that doesn’t mean that in the meanwhile, we can’t have much more peace than we currently have. It all depends on us though, for the enemy doesn’t desire peace. 

In closing, let’s take these words of Bruh Paul to the Romans to heart nuh. ‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men.’ (Rom.12:18)  What wonders that would cause in our world if Christians would live up to that scripture! Much LOVE!

…SEEK PEACE…AND PURSUE IT…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2017 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.   I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

And then it was Thursday! Another day in the life; a fresh, new slate, one filled with the grace and mercy of Almighty God, our heavenly Father! 

How wonderful is that eh, just knowing that you can handle anything that comes against you with His awesome help? I’d say there were no appropriate words to truly describe that scenario. 

But then our God is like no other; He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD who made heaven and earth and all therein. What immense might, power, wisdom and creative skills it must have taken to perform such a marvellous feat! 

And then, to show His magnanimity, even when we were dead in sins, He sent His One Son, Jesus to die for us, so that we could receive salvation and spend eternity with Him. That’s why we praise and worship Him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul! 

And who is Jesus, you ask? The glorious ONE who brought heavenly LOVE and redemption to be spread around the whole earth! 

Now listen to this description of that LOVE from Fil Anderson in an article from In Touch Magazine titled ‘But for Sorrow.’ 

Fil says: ‘The LOVE of Jesus is the most prevailing and magnificent force in this world. It’s stronger than every rejection, every failure, every tragedy, every worry, and every hurt. And it’s the source of our deepest joy, even in sorrow.’ 

Oh friends, I believe that is possibly the best description I’ve ever heard of Jesus’ LOVE, for it encompasses EVERYTHING! It brings us joy untold, even in tough, calamitous times and can help us cure all our problems. There is absolutely NOTHING greater in this world than the LOVE of Jesus! 

Oh how I wish that many, many more of earth’s people would realize that and place their deepest trust in Him, since He is the ONLY One who can save them from their sins and sorrows and eventually eternal separation from God. 

But unfortunately, today, we’re so saturated with the foolish wisdom of man, and listen so closely to the evil forces of the world that we’re turning away from God, rather than turning to Him. 

It’s truly a sad state of affairs my Christian brethren, and we have to take some of the blame for that, because we’re not working as diligently and sincerely to enlighten others about Christ as we should. 

And it’s not like the message we’re supposed to spread is a lie, but it’s gospel truth! From way back when, man knew on which side his bread was buttered and put their sole trust, depended fully on God. 

Listen to Bruh David’s declaration in our Bit. ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ 

What other religious faith can make that claim with any real truth eh mih people? NONE WHATSOEVER! Only the true believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy Trinity, can make such a heartfelt and true declaration! 

And hear how Bruh David continues after our Bit. ‘They looked unto Him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps.34:5-6) 

Ah friends, why won’t the world turn to our magnificent and magnanimous God eh; the ONLY One who can save them out of all their troubles? Most of them don’t even want to hear about God… and don’t even mention the name of Jesus, for he is the most controversial topic n the universe. 

And that’s why He is just the GREATEST and the SWEETEST and the MOST LOVING! Praise His Holy name my brethren! For He indeed deserves infinite praise for His wonderful work and sacrifice on our behalf. 

And now I’ll call on us to do what Bruh David declared at the beginning of the psalm. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

Now that is exactly how a Christian ought to behave! And friends, if we’d only do those things on a serious and continual basis, both our individual lives and our world would be so much better off, filled with much more harmony, and much less strife than it currently contains. 

So let’s try doing better nuh, for Jesus’ sake. He did so much for us, the least we can do is spread his name and His word around the earth. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and bold and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s go home proclaiming our Thursday Blessings, blessings we receive for truly believing. In unison 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!’ 

And since blessings are supposed to be shared, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share them with others now. Much LOVE!

…walking sincerely with God…doesn’t mean you won’t have problems…but you’ll be able to handle them successfully…with His amazing help…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2017 Psalm 97:10.

Psalm 97:10.   Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

So friends, what have you got planned for your Saturday eh; housework and errands, or just lazily floating through the day, doing much of nothing, trying to get your ying and yang back into some kind of sync, after a hard week at work? 

To be honest, I believe the last option is the preferable one, although the first might be the smarter and wiser of the two, since you’ll most likely have to do that housework and run those errands at some later date. But not to worry, rest and relaxation are absolutely necessary to renew your energy, so that you are able to do those household tasks and run the many errands without any problems. (smile) 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s see if we can’t provoke some thought in our lazy minds by turning to a few quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Listen to this beauty nuh: ‘Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t give any better advice than that! And the sad part is that a lot of us know that advice quite well, but we simply don’t implement it. That leads to this quote: ‘Being positive or negative, are habits of thoughts that strongly affect your actions and your life.’ More indisputable truth my brethren! 

And that brings up this gem: ‘Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.’ 

That is the positive aspect of life speaking there again, which brings us to this last quote. ‘Positive and negative are directions that lead to different outcomes. Which direction do you choose?’ 

And that’s the all-important question we must ask ourselves this Saturday morning: will we spend our lives being positive or negative, looking ahead with hope and faith, or with fear and despair?  Unfortunately friends, no one can answer that question for us, we have to make a conscious decision for ourselves. 

And I’d just like to add my two cents worth here: choosing the positive aspect of life is much better, especially if you are a believer in, and a follower of Jesus because that’s what His whole ministry is based on; positivity! 

Not fearing, not looking back, trusting and surrendering, being obedient to one’s Creator, having faith in Jesus Himself, since He sacrificed His life on the cross so that you might have the option to be reconciled with the Father and receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. Glory Be! And all you have to do is get positive and BELIEVE! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, although I’m not sure how much time and space we have to devote to it. But here goes: ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ 

Now that’s positivity in spades my brethren! One can’t be more positive than surrendering one’s life to the Lord and putting all one’s trust in Him, based on those words of immortal truth! 

Yesterday we looked at some corroborating scripture for the first section; ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil:’ Now I have one more significant scripture to add to those, this from Bruh Paul as he talks to the Romans about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’ (Rom.12:9) And that’s exactly how a true Christian ought to behave! 

Hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others (making a purposeful decision to do so), LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

Hn! I wonder how much genuine and unfeigned LOVE there is in the church today eh?  Definitely not as much as there ought to be, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much disunity, resentment and bad blood amongst Christ’s supposed saints. 

And this statistic is going to floor you, it certainly did when I heard Sister Joyce, (Joyce Meyer) recently declare that she looked up the number of denominations in Christianity and found some 33 thousand. Yes friends, thirty three thousand, broken down in all forms and fashions, and with various doctrines too! And then we wonder why Lucifer and his evil buddies are ruling the world. 

Ah mih breddren, the long and short of the story is that until supposed believers learn to live together in harmony and unity, leaving all selfishness and ego behind, Christ’s church will not be as successful as it needs to be. 

So please, let’s ponder that situation this morning nuh, and let’s all make a serious and binding decision to improve it in whatever way we can. That is, if we truly desire our children’s children to have a half decent life here on earth. Much LOVE!

…no organization can grow successfully and last for any length of time…unless there is unity and harmony amongst its members…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. 

The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one 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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…

 

 

 

 

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