Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, welcome to a beautiful morning in this part of God’s great universe! And it’s Wednesday morning too, which means that it’s Wailing Time! Yes my people, it’s time to wail our Wednesday Wail. So let’s wail on them nuh, let’s wail down the place. (smile)

As one set of harmonic wailers, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of live 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 mih breddren, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be alive, though our world is more than a bit topsy turvy! But when we have the Creator of the universe as our God and heavenly Father, our guide and protector, there’s absolutely nothing to fear! Glory be!

Remember these wonderful inspiring and uplifting words of Bruh David from Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) And the answer to those questions is simply, NOBODY!

But then, just in case the situation does arise, Bruh David faithfully declares: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4) Strong words of faith my people.

Then dwell on these reassuring words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) The death of the body is not the end of life, and the only person with power to destroy both body and soul my Friends is Almighty God!

So He is the ONLY Being we ought to fear. And if we have a personal relationship with Him, then our fear should not be as someone scared, for we can come to Him at any time with confidence and courage, but a respect and reverence for His awesome power and incredible magnanimity.

And that’s shown to full effect by the words of our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Oh my people, my people, I certainly don’t understand how anyone can turn away from such a wonderful Deity, for even a little common sense should tell us that’s where our bread is truly buttered, not with the untrustworthy things and evildoers of the world. Now let’s continue looking at scriptures that deal with the truly wonderful blessing of grace.

And we’ll begin with Bruh Paul’s words to the Galatians, when he explained how he came to be an apostle. ‘But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (Gentiles); immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.’ (Gal.1:15-17)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:15-16. Since Paul’s conversion to Christianity was due to God and not man, and since he did not consult with men subsequent to his conversion, then the apostle could not have received the gospel from any but the Lord. To reveal his Son in (to) me: The divine disclosure to man of the person and work of Christ is the essence of the gospel.’

‘1:17. Following his Damascus road conversion Paul made no trip to Jerusalem, where the apostles were, but spent approximately three years in Arabia. It is implied that he conferred with God there. During these three years he was not taught by men.’

But by the grace of God, Friends! How else could he divine all the heavenly stuff that he divined eh? Our God works in so many different ways that it’s nothing but amazing!

And to Timothy, when exhorting him to endurance, Bruh Paul declares: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God;

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time). But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (2 Tim.1:8-10)

And the scholars’ tell us: ‘1:8-10. The testimony of our Lord refers to the gospel Paul preached. Me his prisoner indicates that although Paul is actually a prisoner in a dungeon cell in the city of Rome, he regards himself there in the directive will of God. Hence he is really God’s prisoner, and Rome is merely God’s agent to put him where God wants him.

Who hath saved us refers to the ultimate effect: our salvation. And called us with a holy calling looks at the means by which our salvation was effected. His own purpose and grace…was given us indicates that our salvation was totally unmerited.

Abolished death (“having rendered death ineffective”): By His vicarious death, Christ reversed the curse of sin and brought life (eternal union of the soul with God) and immortality (“incorruption”) which is guaranteed by His resurrection.’

Ah Friends, I know it does seem like a lot of heavy stuff, but we need to understand the Good Book as best we can, so that we can make worthwhile decisions and thus live righteous lives.

Now we’ll end today’s message with these well know words from Hebrews. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16)

Now those are definitely words of awesome heavenly wisdom, so please my people, let’s put them into action in our lives today, and every day that we draw the Lord’s breath of life. Much LOVE!

…this earthly Christian life is nothing but grace…God’s free gift of grace…grace upon grace…so that we can have a beautiful eternal relationship with Him…

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2015 Psalm 55:22‏

Psalm 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

So Friends, it’s Sunday, and I do hope that a significant part of our day has been allotted to going to the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him with other believers, for that’s what He expects of us on this first day of the week.

And some serious rest and relaxation should also be included, so that we can rise refreshed and renewed tomorrow to go out and face the heathen in the work world, strong and steadfast in the LOVE of Jesus.

Yes Friends, Sunday is possibly the most important day of the week in the lives of those Christians who celebrate the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day of rest on that day.  In fact, on whichever day you celebrate the Sabbath, that should be the most important day of the week for you, for we have been commanded to ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work.’ (Ex.20:8-9)

And keeping it holy means getting together with the Father in a big way, spending most of the day resting and concentrating on Him and His wonderful promises and deeds on our behalf. And now that I’ve reminded us of all that, let’s hope that I’ve more than just piqued our interest in church and God this morning. (smile)

That means if you are physically able, you will get up and go out to church and praise and glorify God, and in return get godly encouragement, Christian fellowship and spiritual ‘upliftment’ from associating with other believers. Yeh mih breddren, associating with other believers is a very important part of our pilgrim’s journey, for Jesus wants us to be like one total, composite body, though we are individuals and all have our separate roles to play.

He’s staked His reputation on the one body, the church, made of all His followers from all parts and cultures of the earth. So please, let’s try and come together in His name nuh, rather than the serious separation we’re unfortunately witnessing these days.

And one way we can enable and ensure that that happens is by all of us seriously taking the advice of our Bit and putting it into sincere and positive action. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’

Oh Friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other supposed deity makes promises, faithful promises like that, and it is definitely in our best interest to take Him up on His word.

Now let’s look at some scriptures that support our contention. And to start, we’ll go all the way back to the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. Many blessings would befall them, if they walked in obedience to God’s Word.

Listen to Moses tell it: ‘If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments and do (observe) them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts (eliminate wild beasts) out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.’ (Lev.26:3-6)

Yes Friends, that is what happens when we surrender our lives to God, and walk in obedience to His will. He blesses us and our land mightily. And you can read the rest of the blessings for yourself from Leviticus 26:7-13.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 56 – a confident prayer for help. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me.’ (Ps.56:3-4)

Ah mih people, what powerful words of faith and encouragement! But we can only be so brave and bold when we have definitely cast all of our cares on God and are sincerely trying to do His will.

And Isaiah wisely tells us in his hymn of praise: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ (Is.26:3-4)

Yuh see my brethren, all these men of great faith had at least one thing in common; they believed in the Most High God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and displayed the utmost faith in His promises because they saw them being fulfilled.

Now why can’t you and I develop such awesome trust and faith eh? I don’t know nuh. But I do know that until we totally surrender to Jesus, cast all our cares upon Him, and be obedient to His commandments, we will not be blessed as abundantly as we can and should be.

It all depends on us now Friends; our lives will be blessed or cursed by our response and reaction to Jesus’ outpouring of LOVE.  So we have no one to blame but ourselves, for the way our lives turn out in the long run.

And to solidify all of that advice and promise, I’ll leave us with another most wonderful promise and bit of encouragement from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’(John 14:27)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, how can we not be moved by such heartfelt words of heavenly wisdom eh! Now let’s go and put them into action, so that we can become the strong body of the church that Jesus desires and is depending on, to do His will here on earth.  Much LOVE!

…surrendering our lives to Jesus…is a complete no brainer…for when we do…He faithfully grants us His wonderful blessings…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2014 Psalm 56:1

Psalm 56:1.     Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 

Ah Friends, the Big Day, Caribana Saturday is finally here! And I don’t know why, but in the past week or so, there’s been a persistent bug in my ear, urging me to go down to the parade this year. I haven’t been for the last couple of years due to the condition of my ole knees and my lost enthusiasm for what the parade has morphed into.
 
And I was seriously considering it, but after the traffic problems I experienced going into the city last evening to check out the Pan Alive Steelband competition, I very much doubt that I’m going. With the major highway shut down to just two lanes right around the site of the parade, can you imagine the traffic jam that’s going to be out there this morning? 
 

People are already having problems getting into area with the closure of a major bridge, the Burlington Skyway, due to an accident on Thursday evening. Anyway, I’m suffering from Caribana Friday-itis…Hn!
 
And NO, I’m not referring to the after effects of inebriation – I’m too old and wise for that (smile) – I’m just talking about tiredness from a busy day and not getting to bed until after three this morning, hence the lateness of the Bit.
 
And I’m not even going to say much about the Pan competition either, because this year I found it to be rather mediocre. The attendance wasn’t as great as it usually is, and only ONE band out of the 13 that played really moved me – Pan Fantasy.
 
And to make matters worse, just as the last band, Pan Masters came on stage, they put out the main stadium lights, the ones focused directly on the band. Steups! What utter nonsense eh! So it was eleven o’clock, the byelaw wasn’t going to be in jeopardy for another five or ten minutes! Chuh!
 
So the poor band had to play in the darkness, with only the backlights of the stadium on. The fans couldn’t even see them. That just soured the whole situation for me, and I got up and left before they were finished. Subsequently I don’t know the results of the competition.
 
However, the organizers have to accept a large share of the blame, because they know about the eleven o’clock byelaw, though I can’t ever remember seeing it so rigidly enforced, but a show that was billed to start at six p.m. didn’t get underway till about 7.45, almost two hours after the announced starting time. Unfortunately I was one of those who rushed down there for six o’clock.
 
Anyway that’s all over and done with now, time to move on. Let’s get some ‘I CAN’ affirmations to counteract the prevailing sense of tiredness and lethargy nuh.
 
So please say with me: ‘I CAN do ALL things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I’m not settling for where I am now, I’m stretching myself and pursuing what He has put in my heart! God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I’m determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I CAN do through Christ.’
 
And now that we’ve declared it, my fellow believers, let’s go out and make it reality nuh. For it doesn’t make sense to declare something, then not do it.
 
And that affirmative declaration of what I CAN do through Christ, fits nicely in with our Bit; a cry of Bruh David when the Philistines took him in Gath. (1 Sam.21:11)
 
‘Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up (hound me): for they be that fight against me, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.56:1-2)
 
Yeh Friends, daily, without fail, Lucifer and his evil cohorts come against us, trying to devour our spirits, to make us feel frail, feeble and inferior. But with our omnipotent God, we know that all things are possible!
 
Therefore, when the enemy comes against us, we can say a confident prayer for help, as Bruh David did: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4)
 
Oh my brethren, my brethren, what simple but powerful words of faith and trust! Bruh David certainly knew on which side his bread was buttered! That’s why the Lord blessed him so much, despite his nefarious activities.
 
Can we truthfully say those words? We ought to. When the enemy comes against us, do we with hungry hope and expectant faith turn confidently to Almighty God for help, guidance and/or succour? I certainly hope so Friends, because it is ONLY in our heavenly Father that there is rest and freedom from the manipulations of the evil one.
 
Listen to Bruh David’s great faith at work: ‘When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.’ (Ps.56:9)
 
Oh my people, that is a declaration of faith that ought to be written in the depths of our souls, and then given voice through our mouths, as well as action through our behaviour, EVERYDAY that we’re alive on planet earth, since it’s gospel truth for ALL believers!
 
We need to be sure and confident enough in our God to be able to stand on His promises. For as the Good Book says: ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom.8:31)
 
And the glorious answer to that my fellow believers is NOBODY!
 
And now with that affirmation boldly declared, let’s go home with some more faith building words from Bruh David: ‘In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
 
Thy vows are upon me (are binding upon me), O God: I will render praise unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?’ (Ps.56:10-13)
 
Yes Friends, our great and wonderful God will surely deliver us in times of trouble, so that we can walk faithfully with Him, to continue praising and glorifying His Holy Name here on earth!
 
So let’s continue to stand strong and be numbered amongst His most awesome soldiers of faith nuh, for it’s the wisest action a human being can ever take! Much LOVE!
 
…faith in God is great…but it doesn’t come cheaply…it is paid for with the exacting price of experience…