Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2018 Zechariah 4:6b.

Zechariah 4:6b.   Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

‘Heat wave! It’s a heat wave! Yes a heat wave!’ Ah friends, the summer heat wave continues on this Tuesday morning after our hearty Canada Day celebrations, and the reality of work hits us once again. (smile) And I believe the searing heat might continue all week. As they say, be careful of what you wish for. We wished for summer weather, and we’re getting truly summer weather. 

That brings me to a poem I want to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s called ‘The Task’, and it resembles our reality so much that I just had to share it. Please read with me: ‘Lord, You give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. 

Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By your own magnificent power. Then you praise the performance Your creativity achieved And you reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself My Father.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that just how our wonderful heavenly Father behaves! He gives us something to do that seems impossible and we want to run and hide, escape somehow from doing it because it just boggles our imagination. But then, in His LOVING-kindness, our Father steps in and lends a hand, guides us, and sometimes does most of the hard work, until we accomplish the seemingly impossible task He assigned us. 

And then, wonder of wonders, He gives us much praise and glory and reward, as though we had done it all on our lonesome! Wow! How wonderful is He eh! 

Mankind always want to take the glory for what they do, but our heavenly Father shares it with us, so that we can be encouraged and grow in faith and LOVE, because in the natural, we can’t do very much on our own. That’s why He never gives us more than we can do, and when our tasks seem overwhelming, He steps in and helps us to accomplish them. Now that’s the kind of God I can LOVE and revere, and praise and give thanks to! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today, the awesome verse from the prophet Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ 

Yes my faithful breddren, our omnipotent God from way back when, does most of His work quietly and efficiently through the third part of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit that now indwells us. You won’t see a lot of huffing and puffing and exaggerated action, just a cool and powerful mystique as it were. That just shows the awesome power that resides in the Godhead that we serve and worship! And so it should be, otherwise there’s no reason to worship it. 

Now hear this scripture from Hosea that emphasizes God’s unreal power. Per the unfaithful people of Judah, He promised: ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos.1:7) 

Glory be mih people! The Lord doesn’t have to use man, nor animals, nor manmade implements to fight and win battles for us! He simply uses His Holy Spirit; what I term the Worker Bee of the Holy Trinity, because He does ALL the work that’s necessary in the Father’s domain. 

But unfortunately too many of us don’t pay sufficient attention to the Holy Spirit, even though He now dwells in us and is there to lead and guide us in righteousness. That’s why we so often go astray. The problem is that the Holy Spirit will not shout and bark at us, but will gently whisper to our spirit, letting us know what’s right from wrong. So if we don’t listen carefully, and don’t know the word, it’s easy to bypass the Spirit’s guiding. 

That’s why it’s so essential my brethren to know God’s word and to pay attention to what His Spirit is saying and doing within us, because that’s how He generally communicates with us. It’s all through the Holy Spirit friends! So to grow and mature in the faith, we need to be more circumspect in listening to and learning of and from the hard working Spirit of God that lives in us and is continually sharing the Father’s intentions with us. 

And it just doesn’t happen overnight, or by osmosis, (smile) but by diligent study and sincere determination. So true wisdom dictates that we start paying better and more serious attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing within us. End of sermon! 

Now for those of us who are serious about communicating with the Father through His Spirit, let’s go home today declaring our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the world who and whose we are. 

In one, strong and enthusiastic 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 as always, the corollary to that mantra is to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the Spirit of God works within us…to show us the intentions of God…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2018 Proverbs 6:6.

Proverbs 6:6.   Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

So friends, it’s Wednesday, the middle of the work week. Are you already looking forward to the weekend? I know a lot of us are. Wednesday just seems to be the day we get over the hump. (smile) But there is no need to relegate the other days to the trash pile because every day comes bearing good fruit and plenty of grace, mercy and LOVE from our heavenly Father. 

We ought to enjoy each and everyday regardless of what it’s called and what we have to do in it. That’s why I want to begin today by joyfully declaring like the psalmist of old: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Mamacita! What a good, uplifting and enriching feeling that produces! With that foundation of joy, we can now move on and handle whatever negative things that may come against us. 

And in our relative comfort, let’s remember in our prayers those unfortunate people in Hawaii and Guatemala who are dealing with volcanic problems, and those in New Mexico and Colorado where wildfires are burning out of hand. Yuh know fire and brimstone are mankind’s biggest threat. (smile) 

And I was just led to an interesting and very appropriate Bit for out times. Hear these words of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (bread, grain) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov.6:6-8) 

Ah my people, in these unfortunate times of excessive laziness, sloth and entitlement, there is no better example for us to follow than the ordinary ant, who though they have no leader or leaders like us, go about their business with such wisdom, gathering their food for the winter season in the summer time and storing it away for the rough times to come. 

And Cousin Sol continues on the subject: ‘How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov.6:9-11) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘6:6-11. The sluggard is the habitually lazy person. He is admonished to learn two important lessons from the ant: (1) the ant has no guide, overseer, or ruler (v.7), meaning that the ant does not have a taskmaster standing over it to make it work; it is a self-starter. (2) The ant is wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances (v.8). 

Two questions about sleep are posed to the sluggard (v.9). His answer is given in verse 10: “Just a little bit more sleep!” The result of such laziness is dire poverty, which will come as suddenly and decisively as a robber (v.11).’ 

Oh friends, I don’t know if there has ever been a time when our interest in working, in being productive has been lower than now. But I guess to a certain extent it comes with the territory, meaning that the more a society becomes prosperous, the more we tend to sit on our laurels and forget what and who brought us to that position of prosperity. 

It’s only hard work and diligence that enriches a society, and when we forget that, the society will inevitably crumble. That’s why our history is loaded with wealthy societies that soon fell to ruin, because they began feeding on themselves, rather than creating new worth. 

And if we look closely and realistically we will see the same thing happening with our current society. In this supposedly wealthy and prosperous society, our young people are more into partying and chatting up a storm of nonsense than doing productive work and so many of us have to work at more than one job just to make ends meet. 

Notwithstanding that jobs are becoming fewer and fewer, and when you find one it’s mostly part time. The level of poverty and homelessness is ridiculous for the amount of wealth we have, but so much of that wealth is in the hands of a very few fortunate and greedy ones. 

And because of that wealth, they sit in their high towers and comfortable palatial homes and don’t recognize that our society is going to the dogs, is dying a slow and painful death, and unless that wealth is shared, some time, sooner than we expect, the full effects of a very lopsided economy and society will knock us for six! 

Consequently friends, I implore us to wake up and smell the java, which incidentally is a huge aspect of our economy, and start trying to right the wrongs that we are able to. Yes, unless and until, each and every one of us begin to start making changes within our spectrum, our society will just keep going downhill, until we’ll be eventually numbered amongst the fallen lot. 

It’s not too late friends, so let’s get to it nuh. The LOVE Revolution of Jesus is waiting, praying and hoping that you will get on board. And for those of us who are already on board, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in and with Jesus. 

In strong voice and sincere heart, let’s 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!’ 

And we know that that future with Jesus will indeed be most glorious! Much LOVE!

…anything that feeds on itself…will soon cease to exist…so let’s be wise…and learn from the ant nuh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.    And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.

Good morning Tuesday! Wow! You sure do look beautiful today with all your bright shining light and splash of new green nature! Let’s hope you keep your promise of a wonderful day. (smile) 

And I believe that Tuesday will indeed keep it’s promise, granting us so much LOVE, beauty, grace, mercy, and whatever else we need from our heavenly Father to successfully live and enjoy this day. All power and glory to our magnificent God! 

Yes friends, our God is truly magnificent! What other word(s) can you use to suitably describe Him eh? None really! For all that He has done for us, is currently doing, and has promised to do in the future, He just has to be out of this world! Hn, hn! And he is indeed out of this world, running it from His heavenly place. 

Oh my people, why don’t we LOVE and honour our wonderful God more eh? After all that He’s done on our behalf, you’d think that we’d be elated to be a part of His company and venerate Him like no other. But sadly, that’s not the case. Instead we seem intent on kicking Him out of our society completely. 

Oh we know that will NEVER happen, but too many of us are working towards that goal, when we should be working to make Him a more inclusive and bigger part of our lives. 

Whatever happened to the first and great commandment eh?  ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’ But nowadays we seem to worshipping multiple Gods. 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself. By definition therefore, there can be only ONE, all-powerful, infinite, limitless God. 

Illustration: To speak of more than one supreme, absolute, perfect and almighty Being is to say something contradictory. There cannot be two absolutes, for then there would be no absolute. (Simple logic dictates that). Application: By revelation, we know that only Yahweh is that one God. Therefore nothing in your life should come between you and God. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Deut.6:4).’ 

Oh friends, that last sentence is so overwhelmingly true and everlastingly important, that I feel the need to repeat it. ‘Therefore nothing in your life should come between you and God.’ 

Oh my people, my people, if we hear or learn nothing else today, please, please, I implore us, let’s plant those words deep, deep down in our hearts and souls nuh, for they are the essence of truth in our faith. And until we sincerely acknowledge and practice them, our lives will never be truly fulfilled. 

That brings us right back to Jesus, as He continues and explains after our Bit. ‘And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.’ (Mark 12:30) 

Ah friends, what a powerful piece of scripture; the basis of all that we should do. Yuh see how Jesus says we should LOVE the Lord? With every ounce of our being; heart, soul, mind, strength, everything that we have! But how many of us actually put everything we have into LOVING Jehovah God eh? Way too few! 

That’s why our lives, our faith and our world are in such a fearful mess! We don’t have our priorities straight. We put everything and everybody else before God, but then we expect have good lives. No way my brethren! Remember what the Lord said way back when He gave Israel the Ten Commandments? ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3) 

‘Thus the first commandment teaches that no deity, real or imagined is to rival the ONE TRUE GOD, who is the only ONE, who matters. It demands an exclusive covenant relationship with Yahweh (cf. Ps.81:9-10).’ And on top of all that, the Lord reminded His people: ‘for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ (Ex.20:5) 

Yuh think He’s changed since then friends? Absolutely not! So we are seriously and truly playing with fire when we fail to acknowledge Almighty God, or heaven forbid, make a mockery of Him and write Him off completely. 

Ah mih breddren, I don’t know what else to say nuh, to get people on the right track. For if the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then sadly, the way our world is currently living, doesn’t offer much hope for it. 

So friends, as ambassadors of Christ down here on earth, let’s try to do our very best to spread the good news of His story, so that folks can wake up and be saved. In the meantime let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, to show them who and whose we are. 

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

Oh fellow believers, what joy it is to be involved with Jesus! So now let’s go out and share that joy with others nuh, as He so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…truly LOVING God…is the first step…in the attainment of wisdom…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2018 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

One more day, you beautiful people of Jehovah God! Yes, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth, to enjoy His awesome LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness! How can you beat that eh? You just can’t! So let’s begin by giving the Most High some praise and thanks for all that He’s done, doing, and will do for us, even though we don’t deserve it. 

Please pray with me: ‘Oh heavenly Father, thank You for this day and all the amazing promises You’ve made! We know that You are faithful to keep them, therefore we surrender our hearts, souls and bodies to Your everlasting mercy and grace. 

Please lead and guide us to do Your will, like Jesus did. Then receive us in glory, like You did with Him. We pray this in the holy name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, because of His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we can never give God enough thanks and praise for all that He’s done on our behalf. So please let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we should. It’s ONLY through His LOVING-kindness that we still exist. 

Now here is a li’l something from Uncle John (John Hagee) to titivate our minds. (smile) ‘Nothing has meaning until we live it. Meaning: it’s not what you know, it’s how you apply what you know.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! 

All the knowledge in the world won’t help you until you put it into action. So all those people who just keep on going to school for going to school sake, and not doing anything useful with the knowledge they acquire, are simply wasting their time and their lives. I know that they say knowledge is power, but only if you use the knowledge. 

And today we’ll contemplate what is the most important bit of knowledge a man can have, as we look at Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy regarding prayer. 

He opens the chapter thus: ‘I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority (a prominent place); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (reverence). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.’ (1 Tim.2:1-3). 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:1. First of all (or, “most important of all”): Prayer is to hold the preeminent place in church meetings. Four different types of prayer are mentioned here: (1) supplications are precise requests for specific needs; (2) prayers is a general word embracing various kinds of prayer – confession, adoration, and so on; (3) intercessions denote prayer to God on behalf of others; (4) giving of thanks refers to prayers of praise.’ 

And per verses 2-3, the scholars say: ‘There are three reasons why the prayers of verse 1 are to be offered “for all men”: (1) that Christians may enjoy a tranquil life (v.2); (2) such praying is good and acceptable to God (v.3); (3) such prayers help bring about the salvation of men (v.4).’ 

So there we have it friends, prayer helps us live quiet, untroubled peaceful lives and helps with our salvation.  But all of it is a waste of time unless we truly understand the root purpose for it all, that’s found in our Bit: ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ 

Yes my people, that is our God’s greatest wish; that we all be saved and come to know the truth, which is: ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (Jesus’ sacrifice is proof of God’s will for all to be converted). Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity (truth).’ (1 Tim. 2:5-7) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:5-7. These verses provide a threefold evidence confirming the assertion in v.4 that God “will have all men to be saved”: (1) There being but one God implies that He must have the same desire toward all people, which is, namely their salvation. 

One mediator suggests His having made the same provision for all people, namely redemption. (2) Jesusgave himself a ransom for all (v6). (3) Paul’s being divinely ordained…a teacher of the Gentiles (v.7) shows that if sinful pagans are instructed in faith and verity (truth), then surely God does indeed want all to be saved.’ 

And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren, otherwise He wouldn’t have made all the provision He’s made, especially through Christ’s sacrifice. So please, let’s keep that first place in our minds, and wisely try to live the kind of life it suggests; a godly, prayerful and righteous one. Now let’s end with our Wednesday Wail, where we tell the world about our wonderful journey with Jesus. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, everytime I consider that glorious future laid up for us, I just LOVE Jesus more! Much LOVE!

…salvation for all…God’s number ONE desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2018 Romans 5:19.

Romans 5:19.   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Monday, Monday! What a beautiful sounding name for a beautiful day! And I know that some of you think I’m being facetious and flippant, or I’m just crazy, or even both, because I’m calling Monday a beautiful day, when hordes of you despise the very name Monday and what it entails. 

But friends, regardless of how much we might dislike Mondays and what it means, or stands for, we can’t get away from it. So why keep on trying to fight it eh? Why not just make peace with it, knowing that every week it’s going to come around and we will be miserable, because we’re tired and don’t want to get up to go to work. 

So let’s just try and go with the flow nuh. (smile) Monday rolls around, you simply say to yourself, if I don’t work, then I won’t eat, and let words to that effect propel you out of the warm, cozy bed. Although, if we’d use the weekend as sensibly as we should, we’d never have the Monday morning problem. But that’s another sermon for another day. 

Right now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to give us our wake up call, so that we can get ourselves together and get back in the rat-race we call society and fight tooth and nail on behalf of Jesus. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful that prayer is at causing the adrenaline to speedily course through our bodies! Let’s not waste it nuh, but use it to improve our momentum and all around good vibes, as we begin this new work week, working steadfastly with and for Jesus. And believe people, there’s no better person in the entire world to work with or for than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! And if you have to ask why, then you’re not a believer. But I’ll tell you anyway: because of all the wondrous things He’s done for poor, lost and despicable sinners like you and me. 

Listen as Bruh Paul explains Jesus’ major accomplishment to the Roman church in our Bit. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, just like the whole world was plunged into sin and darkness by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, likewise the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ enables all who sincerely desire to be reconciled with God, to bask in the brilliant light of Jesus, be considered righteous in God’s holy eyes. 

That’s because Jesus took upon Himself ALL our sins, the Lord burdened Him with them on the cross at Calvary, and instead, like the true Saviour He is, He gave us His righteousness. Wow! What a Champion is our Jesus! There is NO ONE like Him in the universe: not even close! 

Hear how Bruh Paul describes him to the Philippians nuh. ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Yeh friends, Jesus was God incarnate, man in human form, but didn’t make a big fuss over it. Instead He chose to be a servant, to be obedient to His heavenly Father’s will. Even though it was a catastrophic situation, He withstood the shame and the ‘sufferation’ and sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross for us, so that the Father could forgive and wash away our horrible sins!  

Now that makes Him an awesome giant in my eyes. And yuh know what, the Father felt the same way: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 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) 

Mama Mia! I can’t find words to express my feelings! Jesus is just too great for words! And as we go up against the enemy today my faithful brethren, let’s remember that nuh; meaning the enemy can’t do us any real harm unless we allow him to do so. He is a defeated foe, crushed to smithereens by our Jesus and he is just trying to hold on through lies and other deceptive means. Please don’t fall prey to him today. Much LOVE!

…bend your knee…and speak His name with reverence…for Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of ALL…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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