Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2017 Exodus 34:6.

Exodus 34:6.   And the Lord passed by before him (Moses), and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

Aye mih people, my sincerest apologies for the Bit’s tardiness today, (smile) but I had one of those real late early mornings, and the ole bod simply refused to get up when I asked it to. But as they say, better late than never. 

And though a light drizzle is falling in my area, making it a somewhat grey morning, we know that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is shining brightly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Glory Hallelujah! 

And today, I want to share with us some exciting and reassuring words from Father Bob Colaresi’s opening remarks in the Spring Edition of ‘Between Friends,’ the newsletter of the Friends of the Society of the Little Flower (St. Therese of Liseux). 

He is talking about hope and renewal: ‘Spring is a time of HOPE. God is our God of HOPE. The Gospel is about HOPE – Renewed Life. The celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus speaks to the human drama of dying and rising – always rising to new possibilities, sometimes beyond our imagining.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my fellow followers of Christ? It surely is! For it was HOPE that our glorious Lord and Saviour was born, died and rose from the grave for us to have; so that we can embrace a new future filled with good things. 

And as the article in the Between Friends Newsletter also says: ‘Spring is a time to reflect on what we need to let go of so we can be alive with God’s grace, possibilities and freedom.’ 

Oh what a profound and true statement my brethren! Spring is not only the time to clean our homes and garages and get rid of unnecessary junk, but it’s also a time to clean our hearts, bodies and souls of the worthless stuff that’s gathered there, and is keeping us from having the true and right relationship with our heavenly Father that we so desperately need to have. 

So I invite us to day to have what we shall call ‘spring thinking,’ where we endeavour to cleanse ourselves of anything that’s not moving us towards God’s will for our lives. 

And one of the ways we can do that is simply by concentrating on the goodness of our God, as enshrined in our Bit. ‘And the Lord passed by before him (Moses), and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.’ 

Yeh friends, one of the easiest ways to avoid evil, is to concentrate on good; so that the mind has no place for the lies and deceits of the prince of darkness. But listen to what the Lord told Moses after our Bit. 

‘Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation.’ (Ex.34:7) 

Now the end of that statement sounds somewhat harsh, but with the coming of Jesus that was somewhat mitigated, for everybody now has to bear the consequences for their own transgressions. 

But Glory to God, there’s still mercy and forgiveness of sin! And nowhere is God’s goodness spelled out more succinctly than in Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians on the terms of grace and faith. 

‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved;) 

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show his grace in his kindness toward us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:4-7) 

How magnanimous is that eh my precious people! Our wonderful God LOVED us so much, that even when we were dead in our transgressions, He gave us an option to be lifted out of the mire, to rise godly and righteous, through the selfless sacrifice of His most adorable Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Wow! I can’t help saying it friends: ‘What a wonderful God we serve and worship! There’s NONE else like Him in all the world! Praise and Bless His Holy Name!’ 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, extolling who and whose we are. With strong conviction 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!’ 

So if that’s what we are about my brethren, then let’s go out now and share it with the rest of the world, as our friend Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…spring…the time of resurrection…of cleansing…of new beginnings…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2017 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, it’s bacchanal time in several places in the Western Hemisphere today! Most noticeably, there’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. The people are supposedly letting off the last of their carnality before immersing themselves in the seriousness of Lent, which begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. 

And recently I read that in a few parts of Brazil, the church has gotten them to tone down the lewdness and carnality of the festival. All power to them, because the festivals have really gotten out of hand with the amount of nakedness and lewd behaviour being displayed. 

Usually I’d be in T&T, watching the proceedings on the tube, as well as going into the big city of Scarborough (smile) to watch some in person. But since I’ve been grounded here on account of my medical situation, I’ll just have to imagine it in my mind. But them’s the breaks. 

Hopefully by next year, I will be strong and healthy enough to not only watch, but also participate in some of the activities. (smile) While there’s life, there’s certainly hope my people! 

But there’s also stuff that we can and should do, even though we’re not in the best of health. And today I want to share a quote from Eva Rose York (b Fitch), (1858-1935) organist, editor, teacher and one of the earliest female composers in Canada. This comes from her symphony titled ‘I shall not pass this way again.’ 

And it says: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or lighten someone’s heavy load; a helping hand to this one lend, Then turn some other to befriend.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, those are the kinds of things we should be concentrating on in our own little areas, in our backyards; in some form and fashion, helping those who need help. 

Remember, that’s what Jesus came to earth to do; to save and to help us in our desperate time of need. Consequently, as Christians, we need to reciprocate His caring and kindness to the needy. 

And believe me, ironically, in a world that is so full of prosperity, it is also full of people in dire need and want. So let’s try and see whom and how we can help in our little way nuh. It’s all a part of our Christian Manifesto. 

And to help us do that, we also need to consider our Bit.‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s of the utmost importance that we take the Word of God seriously and let it lead and guide us on our earthly journey, because that’s exactly what it is meant to be; a guide book, a manual for earthly living, written by our Creator and Provider for our benefit. 

The Lord doesn’t need it, since He penned it, but we miserable sinners do, and if we don’t allow it to set the direction for our lives, along the straight and narrow path, then we’ll eventually get lost, confused and blinded on the broad highway that leads to destruction. 

Now we wouldn’t want such misfortune to befall us eh? No siree! So why aren’t we more into God’s Word eh mih people? Why do so many of us complain that we can’t find the time to immerse ourselves in the Good Book? 

It’s not a matter of finding the time, it’s a matter of making the time to stay in touch with our heavenly Father and His godly desires for us. It’s easy for us to make time for the foolish pleasures of the world, but making time for God is a hard task and it usually takes second place. 

But friends, that’s a very foolish way to live. God should always be in first place in our lives, no matter what the circumstances! If you put Him second, then most likely, He’ll also put you second, and I’m sure you won’t like that. 

As the old people, would say, ‘do so, ent like so.’ Meaning that you don’t like others doing to you, what you did to them. I guess that’s just human nature though. 

Now here is an interesting take on our Bit from Cousin Sol in his warning against adultery in Proverbs. ‘My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart (mind), and tie them about thy neck. 

When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is the light; and reproofs of instruction are the way to life.’ (Prov.6:20-23) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s how important God’s word and His instructions are to us living the good life. So please, let’s try and do better nuh, let’s make time for reading, studying, meditating and subsequently putting God’s word into action in our lives. It’s the wisdom of the ages. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with all sincerity and truth. In unison 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!’ 

Glory Be precious people of God! Now let’s do as we declared nuh; go out and share the LOVE of our friend Jesus with others, for there are many who desperately need it. Much LOVE!

…helping others…is a foundation rock of Christianity…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ah my fellow believers, that wonderful day, Sunday – the Lord’s Day, is here again! And you know what that means? Gathering together in His sanctuary to fellowship with each other, to worship, praise, exalt and glorify Him, as well as receive strength and direction to do His will in the upcoming week.  And I do hope we are all declaring like Bruh David did: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) 

Yeh friends, we can’t be true believers unless we are happy to go into God’s house. I know many of us just go because we think we should go to church since we claim to be Christians, but we’re not really joyful about going. We don’t expect, or look forward to good vibes or joyful feelings or even good relationships happening there. 

But that’s not the right attitude my brethren. How can you be a true believer if you are not happy in the Lord’s sanctuary eh? But we won’t belabour the point, we’ll just open the celebrations with the singing of this old but glorious hymn: ‘O God our help in Ages Past.’ So, offering up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, let’s belt it out like there was no tomorrow. 

‘O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home: Under the shadow of your throne, your saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is your arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting you are God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in your sight are like an evening gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, soon bears us all away; we fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day. O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, still be our guard while troubles last, and our eternal home!’ 

Yes friends, that was most excellent! And it brings us to our Bit; possibly the most important verse of scripture in God’s Word, that pertains to us, for from it, everything else flows. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Ah mih people, such awesome, exciting and life-giving words! And today I’m just going to continue sharing scripture passages that talk about LOVE and reveal its true nature. Now let’s begin with Jesus as He sets the stage for all that follows. 

Listen to Jesus’ response to a tempting question from a lawyer -they haven’t changed, still tempters: (smile) ‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:36-40) 

It’s so simple friends. That’s the beauty of Jesus’ teachings; they are very simple and straightforward! And I won’t theorize on why so many of us DON’T LOVE the Lord, but I will do so on why we DON’T LOVE our neighbours? Because we simply DON’T LOVE ourselves. If we did, it would not be so difficult to show kindness and mercy, compassion and understanding to others. And you’ll understand why I say that when you read some of Bruh Paul’s exhortation on ‘The way of LOVE’ to the Corinthians. 

‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not LOVE, I am become as sounding brass, or tinkling (clanging) cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not LOVE, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not LOVE, it profiteth me nothing. LOVE suffereth long, and is kind; 

LOVE envieth not; 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 recounts of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things. LOVE never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease); whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away… And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor.13:1-8; 13) 

Ah mih Christian breddren, what else can we say about LOVE and its awesome power eh? Nothing really, except hope and pray that we will all embrace it even a li’l more in our lives, because it’s such a big substance and emotion, that even a li’l bit goes a long way. (smile) 

And we’ll conclude today with this passage from Revelation, where John greets the seven churches. ‘And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince of (ruler over) the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Rev.1:5-6) 

Now please, let’s ponder all that we’ve said today my people, because it’s ever so important for us to get the spirit of LOVE joyfully moving and grooving in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, if we are to achieve any success for Jesus. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now is…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…not just for some…but for everyone…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And then it was a spring- like Saturday: with even more spring like temps forecasted into the upcoming week, except for a few short-lived pockets of winter weather in between. Ah friends, I’ll take that weather any time yes, especially since in my less than perfect state, I’ve been grounded, can’t go anywhere to get away from the winter season. 

By rights, I should now be in warm, sunny Tobago, but the good Lord in His mysterious and merciful manner, after causing me to be grounded, as promised, has made a way for me to handle the situation by making the place not as cold and snowy as it usually is. All thanks and praise to Him! I have to believe that otherwise I would just go crazy. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s check out a couple of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he endeavours to inspire us. The first one states: ‘Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.’ 

And we all know about that my believing brethren; it simply means no giving up, because while there is life there is hope, and with Christ, anything is possible. So we just have to play with the hands that we’re dealt. The Lord has a reason for dealing them to us. We just have to go to Him and find out how to play them. 

And the second quote is even more interesting. It tells us: ‘The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.’ 

Some of you might have heard that quote before, but it is gospel truth! And why is that? Because a lot of those people gave up, they refused to plod on with the talent that God gave them, and therefore so many unfilled dreams and actions died with them. What a waste! As they say: Talent will not, education will not, wealth will not; only patience, perseverance and hard work will. 

Yeh mih people, we need to get down and dirty, put our noses to the grind stone and our hands securely to the plough, without looking back, if we want to be successful in this world. 

Now it’s time to bring in our Bit; that awesome fulfillment of one of Almighty God’s promises in Isaiah 9:6 – a Saviour for the world! ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And it was all based on the magnificent and magnanimous emotion termed ‘LOVE! Wow! How wonderful is that eh friends? There are no words to suitably describe the emotion or God’s action. And today I won’t get into any ‘sermonizing,’ (smile) I’m just going to share some scripture passages that highlight the word LOVE and it’s association with Jehovah God. 

Listen closely my fellow believers to the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness (LOVE) toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ (Eph.2: 4-8) 

That ought to be self-explanatory to believers. Now hear John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us.’ (1 John 4:7-12) 

I don’t think there is a better treatise on the topic of LOVE, my brethren. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:15-17) 

And that’s my sincere hope and wish and desire for all of us today my brethren. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Well a bright and blessed Thursday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends, family and neighbours! 

And I do hope that the day finds you filled with ‘expectant faith and hungry hope’ in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that is the wisest thing any of us can do in this crazy and evil world. 

Every day we hear and see more discouraging things and events in our hate-filled, angry, resentful, corrupt and crime riddled societies. Steups! Almost everything these days has negative connotations! 

Whatever happened to the positive things like LOVE, friendship, kindness, loyalty and trust eh? We spout a whole lot about LOVE, but it’s not the real thing, just a selfish, egotistic, shallow and oftimes false emotion. 

And the supposed LOVE that exits today can change at the drop of a hat, if the person who claims to be expressing it doesn’t get their way, whether it be the erotic or brotherly kind. And the sad part of that situation is that it’s getting worse and not better. 

What’s it going to take to change it eh friends, so that our children’s children don’t have to live in this warmongering, cutthroat society? 

Only one thing; the LOVE of Jesus Christ as exhibited by us Christians! 

If we don’t stand up strong and faithful and battle the enemy with the most lethal weapon in the universe – LOVE- then we’ll be wasting the tremendous sacrifice that our heavenly father and His sinless Son made on our behalf. 

Yuh think the Lord really wanted to send His Son to die for a bunch of ungrateful sinners? Or that Jesus wanted to give up His life by going through such a horrendous death? 

No way Jose! But they LOVED us so much and that was the only plausible solution, if the Father was to remain righteous and just and abhor sin!

Just listen to our Bit nuh: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Now that might not strike the heathen as being revolutionary, but it ought to strike reverential fear and gladness into EVERY ONE who claims to be a Christian, right down in their very hearts and souls! 

Why? Because that’s the only reason we have the option to bypass Hades and Beelzebub and look forward to salvation, heaven and eternal life with the Holy Trinity! 

Now how could that not move us eh, if we are true believers? That ought to galvanize us into serious action; into standing strong and fighting mano-a- mano against the enemies of LOVE! 

But sadly, too many of us so-called believers have become complacent and enamoured of the things of the world, to the detriment of the things of God. 

Ah friends, I’m just the messenger, and all I can do is to point out what I see as the problems and try and encourage us to do better. Every one of us will have to answer to the Lord at some stage of the game, so please take these warnings seriously and let’s put aside whatever is keeping us back from fighting the good fight for Jesus. 

Now enough of my haranguing, (smile) let me tell you what God’s Word says. Hear Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about the results of justification. 

‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. 

But God commendeth (demonstrates) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now (having being) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.’ (Rom.5:6-9) 

What more can I say to get us sincerely stirred up eh mih breddren? I really don’t know. If that doesn’t stir us up, then we’re just a bunch of ungodly ingrates. 

Anyway, listen to what the scholars have to say about this verse. ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus died so that we didn’t have to die, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin through His death! 

Hope that makes a big enough impact on us, disturbs our consciences sufficiently to wake us up to reality. And if it does, then we can go home with clear consciences declaring our Thursday Blessings. And remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

There is power in the Word my brethren, so let’s declare it now in perfect harmony: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes my beautiful and precious people of God, let’s take all those blessings now and go out and share them with others, as our Lord and Saviour Christ desires. Much LOVE!

…only real LOVE…will ever stop the world from going in its current zig-zag direction…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ah friends, it’s time to celebrate one more day of life on God’s great earth! Wow! What a privilege! 

Remember, a lot of others did not open their eyes this morning, so there must be a reason we opened ours to the bright and dazzling light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Glory to God! 

Let’s therefore give Him appropriate thanks and praise for all the new mercies and blessings He’s specially prepared for us for today. 

And all God’s people loudly, heartily and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for us, all You’re doing right now, and all You’ve promised to do in the future. We know You are an ever-faithful Deity, thus we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now here is a gem of a quote, I found on my desk this morning. I don’t who or where I got it from, or if I ever shared it before, but it surely is worth sharing over and over. 

Listen closely. ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! And they are particularly pertinent to believers, because Jesus expects us to be persons of excellence, and you can only be excellent when you reach out for the best. 

That brings us to our Bit, but let’s start with the seminal verse before it. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’  (Col.3:12-13) 

Even greater words of wisdom my believing breddren, since it’s based on God’s basic law, of you reap what you sow. And the scholars have this to say about those verses. 

‘3:12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’  

‘3:13. The fact that believers are being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. 

For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’  

Ah friends, one more reminder that as believers we must always reach for excellence in all our doings. None of us have become spiritually perfect as yet, therefore we all need to forbear and forgive if there is to be unity in Christ’s church. 

And right there you have one of the reasons why Christ’s church is so divided and cantankerous; we refuse to forgive others and instead hold on to the negative emotions of anger, hate and resentment. 

Oh my people, please remember these immortal words of Jesus. ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt.12:25) 

How do we expect Christ’s church to stand if we are so divided and refuse to forbear and forgive eh? It’s just impossible. 

And hear these even more immortal words of Jesus, (smile) which occur in the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ the sample prayer He gave us, and which most of us pray every day. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) 

Oh friends, have we gotten so complacent in praying that prayer that we no longer consider the words we speak and what they truly mean? We ask to be forgiven as we forgive. So what does that tell us eh? Only as we forgive, will the Lord forgive us. 

So why are we allowing the nonsense of the world to interfere with our Christian behaviour and beliefs, with our joy, our peace and contentment eh? Let’s wake up and become the people of excellence that the Lord expects of us nuh. That’s the only way we’ll ever defeat the forces of darkness. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Who else has such wonderful favour eh? Nobody but us! So let’s use it nuh friends, while remembering that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In all sincerity and belief now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the corollary to all that, is let’s remember to bless others like we blessed ourselves. Much LOVE!

…to forgive is heavenly…and to be forgiven is even more heavenly…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2016 Luke 1:76.

Luke 1:76.   And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. 

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Eve, the day before the big one – Christmas Day, when we joyfully celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the highest for selflessly blessing us with Jesus Christ! 

But yuh know what, is not everybody that celebrating this Christmas time nuh. I heard today that another of my U.W.I (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) classmates, Dwight Venner died yesterday. Ah Lord eh! He is at least the sixth one that I know about, who has died this year. Steups! 

And all of them were around my age yes. That certainly brings your own mortality to mind. But you can’t do anything about it nuh, just keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and hope for the best. The only thing we’re really sure of in this life is that someday the Grim Reaper will come a calling and we’ll go whether we want to or not. 

So I’m asking us on this Christmas Eve day to pray for the Venner family in their time of grief. I believe he was from St. Lucia, and just ask the Lord to comfort them in their mourning when they should be celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s not easy to lose anybody at all, much less at a time like this. 

Let’s also remember to pray for Keith, our Scrip-Bit family member, who is slowly recovering from his stroke, and comfort him too while he mourns the loss of his departed brother. 

Remember, as James says: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’(James 5:16) Yeh friends, prayer is the greatest power we have down here on God’s great earth, so please let’s use it often and wisely nuh. 

Now I have so much scripture to share that I only have space for one of our friend Anselm’s quotes today. And I had a hard time choosing one, because they were all interesting, they all can inspire us for a better tomorrow.  And this is the one that finally won out: ‘Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren, all those qualities are very important parts and qualities of our Christian life! Now since John the Baptist was Christ’s cousin as well as His forerunner and harbinger, I thought this Christmas Eve would be a good time to check out John’s early story, as we will do tomorrow for Christ. 

This brings us to our Bit: ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Those were the prophetic words of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, at his circumcision. Now our God is such a dramatist that sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at His doings. 

Remember how he made Zechariah dumb because he didn’t believe that his barren wife Elisabeth would eventually bear him a child. (Luke 1:5-25) And also how He brought Mary and Elisabeth together and caused John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and the three months the women spent bonding together. 

Let the Good Book tell us the story: ‘Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins (relatives) heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her. (Her barrenness was no longer a cause for reproach). 

And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings (things) were noised abroad (discussed) throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.’ (Luke 1:57-66) 

Oh my people, there’s no better dramatist than our God! And to add to that drama, the scholars tell us: ‘1:65. Fear came: The working of God produced a unique sensation among a people where not even a prophet had spoken for centuries.’  

And after that, Zechariah just went mad prophesying, making up for all those months that he’d been dumb. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophetically declared. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (A Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all them that hate us;’ (Luke 1:68-71) 

I have to leave out four verses here because of lack of space. But then Zechariah continued with our Bit. ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 1:76-80) 

Ah friends, yuh see the amazing power and dramatic expertise of our wonderful God! And that was child’s play to how He brought Jesus on the scene. (smile) We’ll talk about that tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may he bless and keep us all safe and sound and cause us to enjoy the celebrations of the birth of His only Son, Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who is greater than our God eh…NOBODY…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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