Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2018 Acts 8:35.

Acts 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

And the week and the year are rolling along like a downhill snowball. It’s already Wednesday, and we’re also into the tenth day of the new year. Time certainly is waiting for no one. 

And neither are the natural disasters, as they continue to roll along. Check out the 7.6 earthquake in Honduras a couple of days ago, and the mudslides that have killed some thirteen people in California after wicked rainstorms hit the scenic area that had already been ravaged by recent wildfires. 

Ah Lord eh! We can’t give up though friends, we have to keep keeping on despite those setbacks. But we do have to help however we can, especially with prayers. And in the face of these disasters, I believe it’s the ideal time be reminded of one of the most important facts in this world, and to acknowledge it with sure certainty. (smile)

And that fact is: ‘GOD LOVES ME!’ It’s gospel truth my brethren, and cannot be altered. Please pray this prayer with me from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that bears the above title. 

‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. God LOVES me! Even when I’m at my worst – God LOVES me. Even when my faith is dim – God LOVES me anyway! It’s incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, God’s great LOVE for us might be incomprehensible, but we don’t have to understand it, just accept it for the great truth that it is! So even if we don’t remember or learn anything else today, let’s solidify that truth in our hearts and souls today nuh, because that’s where everything begins. 

God first LOVED us, and to such a degree, that even when we were still sinners, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. That ought to say a lot to Christians, for no other faith has anything even close to resembling that awesome fact. And the added fact that God LOVES us in any state, wherever we are, should indeed raise our reverence and LOVE for Him. 

And as a direct consequence of that awesome LOVE, Bruh Paul is able to ask this enormous question in our Bit. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ 

What a striking question my people! And hear how Bruh Paul answers it nuh. ‘As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Acts 8:36-39) 

Mama Mia! What surety emanates from Bruh Paul on the subject my friends! He is certain sure that NOTHING whatsoever can separate us from the LOVE of God which flows down to us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And he’s quite right! 

But friends, are we each individually sure of that? I don’t know. But I do know that until that idea is written in stone in our consciousness, our faith will never be as great as it should be, because that’s the foundation stone of our faith: God’s LOVE is inalterable and everlasting. Once you receive it, it can never be taken away from you. 

That’s why they say that once you receive the faith of Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, you are sealed until eternity. Glory to God! Once your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it shall not be removed, unless you turn away from God and become the devil’s advocate instead. 

So friends, today, let’s be wise and build our faith on that solid bedrock, that solid foundation that’s Christ nuh, for it is eternal wisdom. And having taking in all of that, let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know about our amazing position with Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth 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 it will indeed be a glorious future my brethren, for as the Good Book says: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ (! Cor.2:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools…will deign to refuse…God’s great and unconditional LOVE…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2016 Isaiah 55:8

Isaiah 55:8.   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 

Oh friends, it’s one of those rare days when the ole fella doesn’t know what to say! Imagine that nuh! (smile) And strangely enough, I think it mostly happens to me on Saturdays. I guess it’s a ploy of our God to keep me humble and dependent on Him. But there’s no real threat of me being otherwise because I can’t do what I do without His tremendously important input. 

So since I don’t have anything sensible and concrete to say, then I’ll just use the words of someone else who has, namely our friend Anselm, who consistently aspires to inspire us.  And that’s the Lord’s doing too, in case you didn’t notice. (smile) He came to my rescue quite quickly today. 

And what does our friend Anselm has to offer us today eh? First of all he advises us to: ‘Realize that failure or being wrong will not kill you. Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.’ 

Now there is much truth in those statements friends, though our selfish and foolish society might choose to differ. Failing and being wrong are integral parts of life. All of us endure them at some time or other, and it’s through failure, that we build confidence, by starting over again, by never giving up. 

And as Anselm says, confident people know that they will not be always right, but they’re not afraid to be wrong. And that’s something we believers ought to seriously and sincerely work towards, because it brings us maturity in Christ. 

And the second quote from Anselm declares: ‘Put things into a wider perspective. It is very easy to fall into the trap of over thinking minor things in life. So when you are thinking and thinking about something ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?’ 

Oh friends, that’s gospel truth, for many of us fall into that trap of over thinking the small things in our lives. And a lot of that comes from our lack of confidence; confidence to make reasonably quick decisions with good foundations, especially on small matters. Too many of us ponder and ponder and become anxious about our decision making. 

But fellow believers, if we’d start out with the right decision; that of taking it all to God before doing anything else, our anxiety and lack of confidence would not be a problem. But too often friends, we leave God for last. 

What’s that popular saying? After exhausting all the man-made solutions we foolishly declare: ‘Well I guess I have no where else to turn but to God now.’ And we expect God to be happy with us and bend over backward to help us. 

Steups! Not so at all my brethren. Our God takes delight when we put Him FIRST in EVERY aspect of our lives, not look upon Him as a last resort. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.’ 

And that’s truth we cannot dispute my brethren! The Lord’s thoughts and ways are holy and righteous, while ours, because of our fall from grace, are basically sinful and unrighteous. 

And He goes on to further explain. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is.55:9) And so it should be, if He is indeed the Creator of the universe and all therein! 

Now why would we want to bow down to and worship a Deity that has less brain power than us eh? But foolishly we do it when we worship dead and inanimate idols. We have higher thoughts and ways than them, so why worship them eh? 

Because we listen to Lucifer and his evil minions and refuse to acknowledge the might and power of the ONE and ONLY true and living God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  

And yuh know what my people, nobody knows the truth of the matter better than Lucifer, since once upon a time He was Jehovah’s right hand man, until he foolishly chose to rebel, just like so many of us are choosing to do today. But friends, there’s no sense in rebelling against our Creator and Provider, we’ll lose in the end, because He’s the most powerful Being in the universe. 

Listen to Him again. ‘For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’ (Is.55:10-11) 

Yuh hear the confidence in that statement my fellow believers! Our God is not some little flunky trying to act big and tough like some of our earthly rulers. But He is the real McCoy! 

Listen to the scholars. ‘55:8-13. God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e. purposes or intentions) and ways (derakim, or “directions”) are higher than ours. While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. 

Therefore, He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (in vain). The word of God, therefore, accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

Yeh friends, that is the Word of our great God; powerful and mighty in its own right! It will do whatever He sends it do, and in this particular instance, the prophet Isaiah was talking about the coming of God’s salvation, a free offer of mercy to all. Glory Hallelujah! 

And as promised, it came through the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So please people, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, and embrace the most wonderful gift ever – that of salvation, with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, because that is the very essence of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…who or what can dethrone a God who is…omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent…no one or nothing…  

P.S. It’s a good thing I didn’t have anything to say! (smile)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2016 Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5.    I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.

Top o’ the morning to you my Scrip-Bit family on this bountiful Saturday! I know it’s been an exhausting week, but that’s what the weekend is there for – rest. And I do hope that we’ll all get plenty of rest and relaxation as we take down our Christmas decorations and lights from the tree and from around our homes. Now the physical Christmas season might be drawing to a close, but the spiritual season of peace and goodwill to men never closes. Let’s remember that and act accordingly. 

And I definitely could not pass up this poem from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hours of Power Devotions, because I believe it deals with something we desperately need to acknowledge, believe and remember in this most promising year of 2016, that ‘GOD LOVES ME!’  That’s the title. 

And it says: ‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. God LOVES me! Even when I’m at my worst – God LOVES me. Even when my faith is dim – God LOVES me anyway! It is incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’ 

Ah friends, what incomprehensible and fantastic news indeed that Almighty God LOVES each and every one of us! Glory Hallelujah! God knows us each by name my people, and He takes great interest in all the goings ons in our lives. 

And if you don’t believe that He knows and LOVES us like… like an earthly father LOVES His children, then just think about the heartache He endured on our behalf when He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, on the cross so that we could be reconciled to Him. If that wasn’t true LOVE, then I don’t know what true LOVE is nuh. 

So, as we go about our daily lives, please, let’s hold that fact first and foremost in our hearts and minds, and let it boost our faith, for it’s something NO ONE can ever take away from us. 

And our Bit bears out the Father’s LOVE in spades: ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, why would a holy God forgive us our sins, if He didn’t truly care about us eh? Even when He knows that we’ll keep on being disobedient, He still continues to forgive, once we come to Him in sincere repentance. I don’t know about you all nuh people, but I will LOVE and honour and glorify anyone who treats me with such LOVING-kindness! Ah friends, from the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, sin has been the bone of contention between God and man. For as Bruh Paul says in Romans: ‘For all have sinned, and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) 

And that’s no lie mih breddren, all of us have gone astray like lost sheep, doing our own thing, not obeying God’s law. And as John tells us in his first epistle: ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John1:8-10) 

Ah friends, it is ever so important that we own up to our sins, otherwise we’d not only be deceiving ourselves, but also making God a liar by denying His Word that says we’re all sinners. On the other hand, confessing our sinfulness, leads to a just and faithful God cleansing us of our unrighteousness, our sin. What more can a sinful man ask eh? Not much more my fellow believers. 

And we’ll conclude this series of messages on sin, its confession, repentance and forgiveness with the words of a well-known sinner, but also a man after God’s own heart, Bruh David, from Psalm 51 – a prayer for cleansing, after his disastrous episode with Bathsheba. 

‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified (found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest…. 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not away thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:1-4, 7-13) 

Ah mih people, yuh see sin can affect any human being regardless of their power and status! God was generous to a fault to Bruh David, but yet the sinful nature we’re born with keeps trying to pull us away from God. ‘Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.’ (Ps.51:5) 

But friends, the great part of it all, is that though Bruh David sinned grievously against the Lord, He forgave him when he confessed and repented of his transgressions. The price he paid was steep, with confusion reigning thereafter in his family, but the forgiveness was surely worth it, because it meant that he was still a child of God, sincerely LOVED and cared about by the heavenly Father. There can be no better situation than that my people. 

So please, let’s be wise and confess our sins to Almighty God nuh. And even though the consequences of our sin might be pretty tough, believe me, the forgiveness will always outweigh it. Much LOVE!

…the forgiveness of sin…can only be accomplished…on the heels of sincere confession and repentance…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2014 Romans 13:10

Romans 13:10.   LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.
 
Aye mih breddren, life’s certainly a blast yes! For the first time in about ten days, I actually ventured out of my safe, warm cocoon yesterday, and faced the ugly reality that is the outside world. It’s the longest I’ve ever been cooped up in a house that I can remember.
 
At least when I had prostate cancer surgery a few years back, it was summer, and I could sit outside on either the front porch or the back deck. In any case though, I never really felt cooped up this past week because for most of it I was sick and the weather was terrible. And it seems that quite a few people did the same thing, for the same reasons.
 
Anyway, would you believe I did a marathon session out there yesterday! Wow! Bruh Paul would have been proud of how I ran that race! (smile) I left home, went up the street to a nearby Walmart, then went all the way down to the other end of the city, to the banker, the barber, the grocer and the doctor.
 
Mama Mia! In truth though, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, because the last four places were in close proximity to each other, about two blocks separated them all. So I got up my gumption and bravely walked through the snow, ice and slush that covered the sidewalks and parking lots.
 
And wonder of wonders, in NONE of those four places did I have to wait, for all of them were sparsely populated! As soon as I walked into everyone, I was immediately served. I had to laugh at my good fortune, because as most of you know those four places usually call for a fair amount of waiting.
 
But then I realized that it was our wonderful God pouring out His abundant grace and favour on me, since I wasn’t in the best of shape
, and it was still windy and cold. Obviously I let Him know that I was very thankful. The only place I had a short wait was at the Pharmacy later on where I went to get some antibiotics that the medic prescribed.
 
That’s why Friends, today, like Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) I can certainly attest to and loudly proclaim that ‘GOD LOVES ME!’ And also say along with His prayer from His Hour of Power Devotional.
 
‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. GOD LOVES ME! Even when I’m at my worst — GOD LOVES ME. Even when my faith is dim — GOD LOVES ME ANYWAY! It’s incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, I keep reminding us that walking with Jesus is not a bed of roses, but betwixt and between the tests and temptations, there are indeed wonderful, refreshing, rejuvenating, interesting and eye-opening experiences. The only problem now is that I have to go to the dentist today for some root canal work. Let’s see how that will play out. (smile)
 
But enough of my petty problems, let’s turn to our Bit, which deals with LOVE, something that our troubled world so badly needs but unfortunately is sadly lacking.
 
As the old song so truthfully stated back then, and is even more appropriate now, in these sad days of strife and the preponderance of negative emotions: ‘What the world needs now, is LOVE, SWEET LOVE. That’s the only thing, there’s just too little of…’
 
And oh my brethren, is that ever so true! LOVE comes from our God, and is what makes our world go round, or function properly, but right now we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place because we’re so SHORT of LOVE.
 
We claim to know about God’s LOVE for us, but what we seem unable to fathom and put into place is OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER. And a long while back, Bruh Paul put it to the Romans this way in our Bit: ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’
 
Now that’s the awesome truth Friends! For even before Bruh Paul’s comment, Jesus Himself commanded His disciples, and therefore us, and all His true followers: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35)
 
Oh my fellow believers, Jesus was talking there about revolutionizing the world through LOVE! It was the beginning of the LOVE Revolution, which each generation of believers is supposed to carry on, but which, unfortunately we’re not doing, since we’re not showing LOVE to each other.
 
Remember it’s through our showing of LOVE to each other that the world will know that we’re disciples of Jesus. And since we’re not doing it, that means we’re not His true disciples.
 
No wonder the unbeliever, the heathens and many others laugh and scoff at us, and consider us hypocrites because they quite plainly see our ‘UNLOVING’ attitudes and behaviour towards each other and the world in general.
 
That’s why I keep reminding us that LOVE is an ACTION WORD! We simply can’t talk it and expect it to happen. LOVE only takes place when we DO SOMETHING TO SHOW IT! 
 
Consequently, Bruh Paul, who saw the need for LOTS OF LOVE in the evil, ungodly world, penned one of the most beautiful chapters of the Bible; re the WAY OF LOVE. And we’ll close by quoting a few appropriate verses from it, just to remind us what TRUE LOVE is all about.
 
And we’re not talking about ‘Eros’ or romantic LOVE, but ‘agape’, the spiritual LOVE that flows from God, and is supposed to be so jubilantly and vibrantly working in us through the Holy Spirit that indwells us.
 
So please listen up Friends, neighbours, heathens, whoever you are, for only these things will ever right our wrong-sided world.
 
‘Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up (arrogant), Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no accounts of evil);
 
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (LOVE) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease): whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.’ (1 Cor.13:4-8)
 
And that’s the God-awesome truth my people! Therefore, let’s ponder all these things today nuh, and with God’s ever-present, never-ending help, make the necessary changes in our attitudes and behaviour, so that we can leave this world a much better place for our children. That’s the only wisdom there is! Much LOVE!
 
…if we’re not actively doing LOVE…then we’re not true disciples of Christ…as simple as that…  
 
P.S. Friends, the Bit’s long and late, but it’s what God put in my heart to write today. Much LOVE!