Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2018 Isaiah 1:19.

Isaiah 1:19.   If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the work week… And we’re getting a li’l bit earlier everyday with the Bit. (smile) Hope within the next few days we’ll be back to an early morning Bit. And when are we going to dance the Maypole eh people? Wonder if some of the young people even know what that is. 

It’s a celebration for the month of May. You have a tall decorated flagpole with long ribbon streamers attached at the top, and then everybody takes a ribbon and dances around it to form an intricate pattern all the way down the pole. I remember going to May fairs as a boy in High School, but usually thinking myself too macho to dance the maypole. That was something for girls. 

Now here is a li’l something from Matt Chandler, lead Pastor of the Village Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Texas. He tells us that ‘God is awesome. He doesn’t need us to be awesome. He needs us to be obedient.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? 

All our magnanimous and magnificent God really wants from us is obedience to His law. If we’d only practice greater obedience, we’d be surprised at how blessed we’d truly be. But we insist on choosing our own areas of obedience. However my brethren, our God wants total obedience from His people. Not some obedience here, and some obedience there, like a hodgepodge of obedience and disobedience. 

And friends, the Lord made His intentions clear a long time ago to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah in our Bit. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ That’s fairly simple and straightforward eh my fellow believers. 

And the corollary to that is the next verse: ‘But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:20) And it’s not like the Israelites, who were found to be disobedient several times did not suffer by the sword and all kinds of pestilence. 

I don’t know why we think that the Lord isn’t going to keep His word. He kept it with the Israelites and He’s going to keep it with us too, as our disobedience level is riding sky high. Can’t we see all the unusual things that are happening in our society? And even though we’re the most advanced civilization ever, we’re still flailing along in a mire of poverty, sickness, greed and poor relationships. 

A lot of our trouble stems from our disobedience. The Lord is not going to allow us to continue the way we’re currently going forever, so we need to smarten up as soon as possible, if we want to get out of the quicksand that we’re slowly drowning in. 

Now let’s look at some important scriptures that tell us about obedience. And we’ll begin at the beginning, with the words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19). 

Yeh friends, by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, sin flooded the world, likewise by the sacrificial death of Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, grace, salvation, and eternal life were provided by our Lord to overcome the bondage of sin. 

And more words from Bruh Paul, this time to the Philippian church, pertaining to Jesus. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:9) 

Oh my people, there’s no better example of obedience than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  Though He was God Himself, once He took the form of man, He didn’t try to boost His ego or importance here on earth, but gave total obedience to His heavenly father. Even when He tried to get out of going to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, He finally gave in and said, ‘not my will, but thine,’ acknowledging the Father’s supremacy. 

As Hebrews tells us: ‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb.5:8-10) Yeh people, Jesus learned obedience just like all of us do, through suffering, through adversity and trials. That’s the only way to learn it. And that’s why the Father elevated him to the highest position there is; the one to whom all knees will bow, and all voices will cry Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Now listen to this last scripture from Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct). Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.’’ (1 Pet.2:13-16) 

I can’t say anything more friends, except to lead us in our declaration of our Wednesday Wail, which tells the world our strong and obedient position in Christ. 

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!’ 

And we can’t even imagine how glorious that future will be, because our minds are too small and finite! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)

 

 

 

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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 12 November 2017 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:19.   Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.

Aye friends, I try, but you have to bear with the ole fella, because I’m only human. (smile) I try to have different, interesting and stimulating openings each day, but there are only so many words and phrases, etc. in the language that you can’t always conjure up new ones every day. So sometimes we just have to settle for the same old ones. In other words, I’m trying to say that I don’t know how to begin this Sunday morning’s Bit in an enthusiastic fashion that I haven’t already done. (smile) 

But we do know that since it’s Sunday, it means a gathering of faithful believers in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three may be gathered, to worship and give Him praise, glorify and exalt His holy name and receive His blessings, confidence, strength and assurance to face the upcoming week. And, as always, we like to begin with a song of praise, to get us excited, enthused and in the mood to worship our heavenly Father. 

And if this late 18th century one by Edward Perronet, ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ Name,’ doesn’t move you, then I don’t know what will. So let’s raise our voices in the sacrifice of praise, as we belt out, in harmony and heart-felt sincerity. ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all. Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all. 

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all. Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all. Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball; Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all. Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all. Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call; 

Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all. Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all. Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall, Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all. Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all. Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call, The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all, The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all. 

Sinners, whose LOVE can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall, Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all. Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all. Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall And shout in universal song the crowned Lord of all. And shout in universal song the crowned Lord of all.’ 

Yeh friends, Jesus has been crowned by the Father as Lord of ALL! And why is that eh? Hear Bruh Paul as he waxes philosophical to the Philippians. (smile) ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; (constant harmonious living – vs. 2-4). Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of 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.2:5-8) 

Oh my people, what a wonderful, faithful humble and obedient Son, our Jesus was! That’s why our Bit so gloriously proclaims: ‘ Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.’ What an honour! A well deserved one too! And is not no joke honour that the Father bestowed on Jesus nuh, but the biggest one available. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul describes it. ‘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.2:10-11) 

Fellow believers, oh fellow believers,  that’s the kind of rewarder our heavenly Father is! You do His will, humbly and obediently, and He will reward you in a just and appropriate manner. For Jesus sacrifice in vs.6-8, the Lord paid Him the highest compliment possible; a name above every other name – that’s JESUS! 

And the scholars tell us: ‘There are three purposes for Jesus’ exaltation. (1) That every being in the universe might someday submit to Him. (2) That, in addition to the future universal submission (v.10), there might also be a universal confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. On earth Jesus is recognized by many to be no more than man (v.8), yet in the future ALL will acknowledge Him to be Lord, that is, God. The ultimate purpose for Jesus’ glorification is (3) to the glory of God the Father (v.11) for His honour.’ 

Yes, Christian saints, that’s the kind of stuff that ought to get us all choked up and filled with true and sincere LOVE, adoration, reverence and praise for our wonderful God! And if you’re not filled with all those things RIGHT NOW, then something is dreadfully and drastically wrong. So please go humbly and penitently to the Lord and ask Him to fix whatever is wrong, so that you can truly delight in Him. Otherwise you are doing yourself an immense injustice. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Him…is the believer’s utmost desire for Jesus… 

 

 

 

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

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

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, 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!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

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

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of 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)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘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) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

Well, well, finally a touch of blue in the sky! But unfortunately there is also a touch of white on the ground too. I guess we can’t get one without the other these days. 

But that’s okay, we can handle it, and anything else that’s thrown at us, once we get the brilliant light of the SON, which we do every single day. Glory to our great God! 

But you’d also notice that regardless of the weather, the working folks are always rejoicing on Fridays, declaring stuff like: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Slave labour done for two whole, big days! Is we time now to do what we want, when and how we want! 

And we going to start by partying down the place…giving vent to all the frustration that’s built up over the past week! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, so we can do our thing!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the world tends to go overboard in the carnality of the weekend. As Jeeves would say ‘a modicum of circumspection’ is needed to temper it. Something more along the lines of our Friday Chant, that we shall now declare. 

‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, unless we get some rest, relaxation and fellowship on the weekend, next week will be even rougher than normal. So I implore us not to party the whole weekend away, like so many of us tend to do, for that just makes life more difficult in the long run. Moderation in all things friends! That should be our motto. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Yes my people, that was the psalmist Asaph’s conclusion after trying to solve the mystery of prosperous wickedness. And even today we wrestle with that fact that a lot of good people are suffering severe want and need while the wicked are prospering. 

But yuh know what? The Lord has promised to destroy the wicked in His own time, so we don’t need to worry about them, that’s His problem. 

Our number ONE PRIORITY is to get ourselves clearly aligned with the goodness of God, for that’s the ultimate in wisdom! It’s where salvation, eternal life and true prosperity are to be found! 

Listen to the writer of Hebrews. ‘And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:21-24) 

Yes friends, it’s all there! We have a high priest in Jesus who knows our problems and can identify with them, because He also experienced them while here on earth. So we need to stand strong in faith and LOVE and good works, like He did, and like Him, we’ll eventually receive the promise, for our wonderful God is faithful. 

And if you don’t believe that, then listen to this scripture from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 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.2:8-11) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh see how the Father was faithful to Jesus for His unswerving obedience; exalting His name higher than all names, and causing every knee to bow to Him and every tongue to confess His Lordship. 

Likewise He will exalt us if we are faithful and obedient to Him and His word. The problem though is that the world has so many more colourful and wicked attractions that sing out for out attention, and we tend to gravitate to them, rather than to the things of the Lord. 

But that’s not true wisdom my people. For the wicked will eventually pay for their misdeeds. Please remember that. The Lord has promised it, and He does not renege on ANY promise. 

So please be wise and stand strong and faithful in the Lord God of our forefathers, for that is the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…better words were never spoken…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

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

Well my people, it was indeed a rainy day in my area yesterday, and today looks like it’s going to be more of the same. But as always, even when we can’t see the sun, we know it’s somewhere behind the dark clouds hovering overhead. 

Likewise, even if we don’t see the Son, we know for sure that He’s around, bright and beautiful, dwelling in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! Glory to God! 

Now it’s Friday, and despite the gloomy weather, I’m still hearing joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and two glorious days of freedom are on the horizon! Oh, the weekend is mine, to do what I want with it! Glory be! And even though the rain is falling, it’s not going to stop me from doing my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, the lusts of pleasure are rearing their ugly heads, so let’s counteract them with our more sensible way of spending the weekend nuh, by chanting our Friday Chant. In one strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

And please people, let’s not just chant the chant, but let’s work it too, put it into action, so that we can have a great upcoming workweek, for remember whatever we sow on the weekend we’ll reap during the week. (smile) 

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

Yes my fellow believers, to run this race of life successfully, we have to keep looking to Jesus every day, for He is the one who designed the Christian way of life, and faithfully lived it right through to its sacrificial end. We can do no better than emulating Him, for therein lies eternal wisdom. 

Now yesterday we continued dissecting our Bit by looking at the statement ‘who for the joy that was set before him.’ And though there was no joy in the real sense of the word, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

His obedience to the Father’s will was outstanding. The joy came much later; after He had sacrificed His sinless soul for a bunch of ingrates. And these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians explains it all. 

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of 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. 

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.2:5-11) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus came to earth as a man for the specific purpose of dying on the cross for our sins. Remember, He was God, but took on our humanity and humbled Himself as a man, without complaining, so that He could do the Father’s will. 

And yuh see what happened afterwards? The Father exalted Him; made His name higher than every other, and caused every tongue to declare that Christ is Lord, and He’s now set down at the Father’s right hand, offering intercession for us. 

Wow! That’s how the Lord rewards us when we stand in obedience to His word, despite the trials and tribulations involved in our circumstances. It’s not easy, Jesus proved that, and He also promised it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes mih breddren, though the world will be full of calamity, we can afford to be peaceful and of good cheer, because our Lord and Saviour has already overcome the sinful world. So let’s keep on looking to Jesus nuh, being humble and obedient, caring and compassionate, enduring our trials and troubles with a stalwart resolve, backed by Jesus’ promise never to leave nor forsake us. 

Let’s keep on keeping on, with no thought whatsoever of giving up, until that day when we come to stand before the Father, and He invites us to live with Him forever, by uttering these wonderful words: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant,’ and hugs us to His breast, the way a caring and compassionate father does his child. 

Oh friends, we couldn’t ask for a better welcome than that! So please, let’s get ourselves together and do the things we ought to do nuh – we all know what they are – so that when the trump is called up yonder we’ll be there, getting a heavenly welcome. There’s no better reward than that! Much LOVE!

…true humility and obedience to God’s word on earth…will bring untold rewards and exceeding LOVING-kindness in heaven…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏‏‏

Philippians 2:5.        Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Well friends and neighbours, it’s Thursday, the second day of Lent in this watershed year of 2016. Yes my people, I do believe that 2016 will be a very important year in mankind’s history; it will either make or break us. 

But even better than that my people, the world is unfurling exactly as it should; exactly as the script was penned by our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God, many many moons ago. Glory to God! 

And so it should be, because the Almighty is the greatest dramatist ever! The Bible, right from the beginning in Genesis, to the very end in Revelation, is filled with all kinds of drama; good, bad and ugly, so we couldn’t want for a better script to show us how life runs, or is supposed to run. 

And today I want to share a li’l bit of solid info from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Listen up: ‘The Bible makes it very clear that Christians are soldiers – not tourists in life. We are also servants of God, not houseguests.’ 

Yes friends, for those of us who believe we’re just here to enjoy life without any work or effort on our part, please be warned that that is not so! 

We have a big role to play in setting up Christ’s church, fighting tooth and nail to make the LOVE Revolution a wonderful and winning reality. And as such, we can’t afford to sit on our laurels and expect to be waited on hand and foot, instead, we have to do a lot of the waiting ourselves. 

Now pray this prayer with me that Gramps Schuller finishes the devotion with. ‘Father, I turn these minutes over to you. Do something beautiful in my mind, in my heart, and in my life today. So I will look back and say: “I was caught up on an inspiring spirit of the eternal God in this moment of prayer.” In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.’ 

And if we sincerely prayed that prayer my people, then beautiful things will happen in our lives today as the Holy Spirit touches us with inspiration and encouragement! Oh glory to God from whom all mercies flow! 

Now re my activities of yesterday, the ole fella played tourist. Hn! I got up in the morning and just felt this urge to visit the town of Plymouth, the island’s capital before Scarborough. It’s not too far from where I am, all on the flat side of the island, so after lunch, the duchess and I headed out to do the tourista thing. 

We drove through the villages of Buccoo, Black Rock and Grafton before we came to Plymouth. And in line with the tourist thinking, we visited Fort James, one of the several forts set up on the island by its early colonial rulers. 

On a point of interest, I believe Tobago is called the ‘Bone of Contention,’ because of the many different colonial powers who ruled it at some time in the cantankerous era of early colonialism. Anyway, from its promontory one can get a beautiful view of that part of the island. 

And not to be amiss, we also visited the ‘Mystery Tombstone,’ located just before the entrance to the fort. It has always been a talking point and tourist attraction since I was a youth. I have inserted two photos, one of the sign and one of the tomb itself. Hope they come out properly. 

But just in case they don’t, the mystery part is the inscription on the tomb that says: ‘She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgences to him.’ 

Now you too can go out and ponder the words on the tombstone of Betty Stiven which have perplexed mankind for over two centuries. (smile) 

However my brethren, it’s now time for our rather timely Bit. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ 

And friends, as we’ve been saying over the last few days, it is of the utmost importance and a vital necessity that followers of Christ, Christians, the church, Christ’s body or organization here on earth think like Him, if we expect to become like Him! That’s gospel truth! 

And today we’ll continue with Bruh Paul’s treatise on the subject. After our Bit, he notes with assurance: ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of 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) 

Oh my people, that is exactly what we were talking about before, where Gramps Schuller informed us that we were not tourists but soldiers in Christ’s army, and not houseguests, but servants in his household. It’s what Jesus came to earth and did, despite His godly connections. 

Now here are some scholarly explanations on verse 7, re ‘Kenosis.’ ‘2:7. The word Kenosis is the Greek word for “emptying” and is related to the verb translated here as “made himself of no reputation,” which literally means “He emptied Himself.” Christ emptied Himself by (1) veiling His glory and (2) taking on Himself a true but sinless human nature, and (3) voluntarily submitting to the will of the Father. 

Illustration: At all times, Christ remained God, retaining the nature and attributes of God, but taking a human nature in order to have a ministry among men. On the few occasions when His glory was more fully revealed during His ministry, those who saw it were unable to bear it. (cf. Matt.17:6; the transfiguration; John 18:6; His betrayal by Judas and His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane). 

Application: The apostle Paul urges that the attitude of humility (which led to the kenosis) ought to characterize every Christian (v.5). (First Ref. Phil.2:7; Primary Ref. Phil.2:7; cf. John 1:14).’ 

Oh friends, this morning I want to leave us with that same advice; let’s do some kenosis nuh; let’s empty ourselves of all the haughtiness and foolish pride that so often consumes us, and let’s take on the humility of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, as we ought to. For that is indeed the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE

…humility and servant-hood…two of the signs of a true Christian…