Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:28-30) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2017 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Sabbath Day; the day for gathering and fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, where His ardent followers praise and worship His holy name! It involves hearing His wonderful word which brings peace, strength and assurance to our tired and fragile souls, while filling His house with glorious song! Oh what a pleasure, a gift of grace it is to be able to worship Almighty God in freedom, with a strong sense of purpose. 

However, many believers around the world have to do it in hiding, afraid of serious persecution, but standing strong on His faithful promises, they do it nonetheless. And as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips this Sunday morning, I want us to think about all those who are not free to worship as we are, and pray that the Lord will give them that freedom someday soon, or at least keep them safe from further persecution.

Now let’s raise the roof with loud and harmonious voices, as we sing that blessed hymn ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’  

‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free. (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion For more than conqu’rors we are! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus…) His Word shall not fail you, He promised; Believe Him and all will be well; Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.)’ 

Oh friends, what words of perfect assurance! If your soul is weary and troubled, and floundering in perpetual darkness, then Jesus is the One to turn to for relief. He died that we might live, might have eternal life, so there is NO ONE better to offer us comfort and safety and light in this tragic world. As the song says: Turn your eyes on Him, look Him straight in the face, and all of a sudden the worries and problems of this world will begin to recede. 

What a tower of strength we have in Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, our Prince of Peace, our High Priest, our heavenly Intercessor, our unmatched Messiah! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE my brethren: the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In Him, majesty and holiness reign supreme! But what is even more important, is that He knows our fears, and can empathize with us on our pilgrim’s journey, because He faced the same things in His brief sojourn here on earth. 

That’s why He is such a Champion, such a Leader and could utter the words of our Bit to His doubting disciple Thomas with the utmost sincerity and truth. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

And if you want to see why he could truly say that, then read Isaiah 53, where he describes the ‘Suffering Servant,’ a foretelling of what Jesus would suffer. I’ll just remind us of the last three verses. ‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise (crush) him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 

He shall see of the travail (distress) of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil (plunder) with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’ (Is.53:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s what Jesus suffered on our behalf, and therefore earned to right to say what He said. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ’53:10-12. It pleased the Lord to bruise (from daka; “to crush”) him refers to the same condition in verse 5 (utterly crush Him for our moral iniquities). Put him to grief reads “pierce” Him in the Dead Sea Scroll copy of the text. His seed refers to those who will come to believe in Him. An offering for sin (asham, “guilt offering”) involves the trespass offering described in Numbers 5:5-10. 

The phrase he shall prolong his days indicates that the Servant’s ministry will not end with His violent death, and certainly implies His resurrection. The pleasure of the Lord refers to God’s ultimate purposes which will be accomplished by the atoning death and resurrection of the Servant. His intercession refers to His high priestly ministry, by which He makes intercession on the basis of His own substitutionary death.  The chapter ends with the glorification and exaltation of the Servant of the Lord.’  

And so it very well should my people! Hn, hn! I’m chuckling because I used some poetic license there, switching the position of the last two sentences because I thought it a better ending. Christ should be glorified and exalted at the end, that’s the proper climax! (smile) 

Anyway friends, that’s just an inkling of what Jesus suffered for us, so we could be set free from sin and receive everlasting life. Shouldn’t we therefore show Him much more appreciation and gratitude? Of course we should. So let’s do better than we doing nuh! All of us can improve in some area(s) of our lives that will exalt and glorify Jesus much more than at present. 

Remember it’s in OUR best interest do so, since Jesus doesn’t really need anything from us, but we desperately need lots of stuff from Him! So please let wisdom and common sense abound! Much LOVE!

…He knew NO sin…but was made the bearer of ALL sin…FOR US…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well friends, cloudy days are here again, but the hearts of all believers are shining brightly with the brilliant light of the Son! Glory to God! 

Yes my believing brethren, the outside weather might be dark and dreary, but there’s absolutely no reason for our hearts to look the same since we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent triumvirate God living within us, leading and guiding us to victory in Jesus! 

Wow! What a blessed honour that is my people! That’s why on this cloudy Monday morning, at least in my area, we need to get ourselves together and get out strong and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

And since Mondays are not kind to many of us (smile) let’s belt out our antidote for those Monday Blues, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. With one heart and voice 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 I know friends, the adrenaline is just running through us now, and we’re rearing to go out and optimize our efforts in this evil and ungodly world and right whatever wrongs we can, all in the name of Jesus our Lord and Blessed Saviour! 

And so we should, on the basis of all that He has done for us; selflessly bringing us salvation and eternal life through His woeful death on the cross at Calvary and then His triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, probably the last day for this one, (smile) who know eh? ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ Meaningful direction from Jesus on how we should pray. 

Now yesterday we saw how He prayed sincerely to His heavenly Father for us, and it really touched my heart. Today we’ll look at why He had to pray for us, and why we still need lots of prayer. 

Listen to James. ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (James 1:13) Words of absolute truth friends! 

God doesn’t tempt us, for He doesn’t want us to do wrong. But He might allow some stuff to come against us to try our faithfulness. So why then do we fall victim to temptation eh? 

James further enlightens us. ‘But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (fleshly desires), and enticed.’ (James 1:14) Yeh mih people, it’s our sinful nature that propels us to temptation. 

And what happens when we give into temptation? Hear James again. ‘Then when the lust (fleshly desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:15) 

Oh friends, here we need to remember those immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is everlasting life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Yes precious people of God, as the scholars tell us: ‘6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ 

However, we can only receive that unmerited free gift by believing on God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So it’s a decision each human being needs to make. Succumb to temptation and thus death; eternal separation from Almighty God, or accept Jesus and live forever with Him in heavenly places. 

And that’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned, since eternal separation from God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being. 

Now let’s close with an interesting statement from Peter. ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.’ (2 Pet.2:9) 

Ah mih people, hopefully that statement reverberates in our hearts today and helps to keep us away from temptation. Much LOVE!

…temptation always seems so enticing…but in reality…it holds a deathly viper’s sting…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 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.

Arise my people and greet the bright and bountiful Sabbath Day, when the Lord rested, having created the universe and all therein in the six previous days! And He saw that it was all good! It’s a day of fellowship, of the gathering of Christ’s church in His sanctuary to praise and sing, give thanks and worship and exalt His Holy Name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Praise His Name on high! For He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Only He knows the true workings of the universe!’ Yes friends, He is the great I AM, the ONLY ONE who can heal your soul and take all your troubles away. 

That’s why, our song of praise and worship this morning is titled ‘The Heavenly Vision’ or ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’ So let’s do just that nuh, as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. As one true body now: ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 

(Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are! 

(Refrain) His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Ah friends, such words of assurance and peace, exhortation and encouragement, penned by Helen H Lemmel (1863-1961). Her biography says that in 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary. The leaflet was entitled “Focused,” and in it was this exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” 

Mrs. Lemmel was riveted by those words. She says, “I stood still. And singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody.” The three stanzas of the song were added later the same week.’ My fellow believers, that’s just one of the mysterious ways in which our great and awesome God moves, His works to unfurl! 

And the scripture it seems to have been based on is our Bit for today. But first let’s look at the verse that precedes it, because that sets the context for our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Ah mih people, the author of Hebrews looks at our Christian life like a race; one that is indeed difficult to run, but acknowledges that we have faithful heroes that have gone before us (a cloud of witnesses), who have run it successfully, and so can we. How? 

By ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, though there were others who successfully ran the race, and gave us worthy examples to emulate, Jesus is our best example, our bright and shining star! He set the tone for it all. 

The scholars tell us: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That means fellow believers we don’t have to blaze a new trail, just follow the one Jesus laid down, and that makes it easier for us. Imagine if we had to blaze a new trail for ourselves? We’d find it even more difficult than it is now, what with all the sin that’s lurking around the corner, just waiting to ensnare us, we need to have the utmost in patience and perseverance to last the distance and finally end up at the finish line in the welcoming and comforting arms of Jesus. Praise his Holy Name! 

And these two verses following our Bit, just bolster it. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (be discouraged) in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

Oh friends, Jesus is the ‘supreme example of endurance.’ Just look at all the ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf nuh. We could not have had a finer example of perseverance and endurance. So let’s remember that, take courage from it, and steadfastly bear up under our own weight of sin in this earthly race of life. That’s the only way to do it as a true believer in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whatever befalls us…the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2015 Galatians 6:7

Galatians 6:7.  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Greetings mih breddren on this wonderful Saturday morning in early summer!  And as Bruh Paul said to Galatians in his opening remarks: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Gal.1:3-5)

Yes Friends, I am wishing those sentiments on us all this morning, so that we begin the day on the right foot; in lockstep with Jesus, for there is no other wise and sensible way to start your day. Glory to God!

And today we’ll get right into our Bit because I have an interesting story to share on the subject. And the Bit is something that we all know and like to quote, but don’t really take time to contemplate and ponder it, before we do many of our actions.  And it simply says: ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’

Oh my people, that is like the number one rule in God’s domain. Whatever you do, whatever you give out, the same will be returned to you, like a boomerang, and usually in greater abundance too. So it behoves us to be very careful in what we say, do and think in this life.

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal.6:8)

And we have some explanations from the scholars. ‘6:7. Mocked (outwitted, outfoxed): To disobey God’s commands and then escape divine punishment would be to outwit God, thus making a mockery of Him and His Word. Soweth means “does,” “practices.” Reap could also be said “be requited,” “recompensed.” Contextually, the Galatians cannot disregard the command to support their Christian instructors (v.6) and escape divine discipline.’

‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider application. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practising the deeds of the flesh. (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is be requited with eternal destruction. Soweth to the spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is be rewarded with eternal life.’

Now listen to this story that dramatically brings out the truth in our Bit. And I don’t remember where or when, or from whom or what I got a copy of this story, but it’s been sitting on a chair in study for eons. I might even have shared it before, and if so, it certainly deserves sharing again. Some of you might even know it.

And the story goes thus: A certain successful Christian business man thought it was time for him to retire, but didn’t want to be replaced by any of his family or his directors. So he came up with this wonderful plan to give a group of young executives each a seed to plant, and at the end of a certain period of time, he would have them bring in their plants, and the one he liked the best, the owner would become the new CEO.

Well after a few weeks everybody was talking about their wonderful plants, except this one fellow named Jim. Despite all the water, manure and effort he put into it, nothing would sprout from the seed. He felt he had killed it and considered himself a failure.

A year later the boss called for the plants. But Jim’s pot was still empty. He considered not going to work, but his wife exhorted him to be honest and go with his empty pot. Now we can all imagine how Jim felt when he got to work that morning and saw all the others with a wide variety of beautiful plants in their pots, while his was the only empty one.

But to cut a long story short, Jim became the next CEO, because the boss had given them all boiled seeds which could not grow. All of them, except Jim, had changed the seeds, that’s how they managed to get such beautiful plants.

And the moral of the story is that Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring back the seed the boss had given them. Please pay special attention to that story my brethren, because you can find yourself in such a situation at any time.

Now hear these universal truths about planting. ‘If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment. If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest. So be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you reap later.’

And Friends, those are words of absolute and incomparable truth! Whatever we sow, at some later date, we will surely reap the same thing. It’s as simple as that. So please let’s be very careful in what we sow, because the consequences of negative sowing can be very disheartening and destructive.

And Bruh Paul continues to the Galatians. ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10)

And we’ll end with this paraphrase of 1 Peter. ‘We are the grass that will wither and die, but the incorruptible seed of God’s Word will live forever – sow it daily into the life of your family.’ (1 Pet.1:23-25)

And that’s wonderful advice my people. So please let’s get wise and just do it nuh, for it will greatly benefit us as individuals, our families and the world in which we live. Much LOVE!

…if one wants to reap a good and plentiful harvest…then one needs to plant good and plentiful seeds…simple logic…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2014 Ecclesiastes 11:6

Ecclesiastes 11:6.   In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper (which will succeed), either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Well Friends, it’s Thursday 4 December – another glorious day in the life! (smile) But can you believe that it’s almost Christmas, and therefore almost the end of the year? Now 2014 has been a real tumultuous year in man’s history, but as true believers we stayed strong through the Holy Spirit of Jesus that indwells us.

That brings me to a question I haven’t asked in a long while – how successful have we been in keeping our New Year’s resolution of having a closer walk with Jesus?
 
We have to check on that now, my people, because another new year is upon us, and it just doesn’t make sense to get into a new resolution without having assessed our progress on the last one.
 
So please, in these last days of 2014, let’s get quiet with God, let’s get introspective, look inside and truly evaluate our attempts to know Christ better. And let’s not beat ourselves up, feel convicted yes, and ask for forgiveness if we haven’t done as well as we ought to.
 
Once we have been sincere in our efforts, Jesus will understand, and anyway, 2015 will provide us with another opportunity, since our major resolution every year is simply to come to a fuller knowledge of Jesus, our wonderful Lord and Saviour. Yes Friends, we must continue to grow closer to Christ, every day and every year!
 
Now let’s reaffirm this affirmation. (smile)  ‘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 am determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I can do through Christ.’
 
And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!’
 
Yeh mih breddren, just remember that we can do all things through the empowerment of Jesus Christ! And we have to do, because if we don’t do, then nothing’s going to happen. Remember that Christianity is an action movement.
 
That brings us to our Bit, an action statement. ‘In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper (which will succeed), either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s certainly an action Bit! And as we said yesterday, it’s just another take on God’s universal principle of sowing and reaping. You must sow to reap. And in particular, we have to sow good seed if we want to reap a good harvest. The old people would tell you that you can’t plant peas and expect to reap corn. So whatever you sow, that you shall reap.
 
And we have a couple of rather poignant and telling scriptures that address the subject. Listen to these wise words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
 
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:7-10)
 
Ah mih people, it’s all right there in black and white; we need to live good with everybody, especially our fellow believers! Now let’s check out some more detailed explanations from the scholars.
 
‘6:7. Mocked (outwitted, outfoxed): To disobey God’s commands and then escape divine punishment would be to outwit God, thus making a mockery of Him and His Word. Soweth means “does,” “practices.” Reap could also be said “be requited,” “recompensed.” Contextually, the Galatians cannot disregard the command to support their Christian instructors (v.6) and escape divine discipline.’
 
‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider applications. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction.
 
Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’
 
‘6”9. Since it is only a matter of time before Christians shall “reap” divine reward (v.8), then he is not to be weary in well doing.’
 
‘6:10. Owing to the certainty of being divinely rewarded (vv.8-9), believers are urged to seize each opportunity to do good. Contextually, doing good refers to the ministry of restoration (v.1), bearing one another’s burdens (v.2), supporting teachers (v.6), sowing to (living in accord with the leading of) the Spirit (v.8), and general perseverance (v.9). Believers are to minister first unto them who are of the household of faith (Christians), and second, to the rest of the world.’
 
Ah Friends, I thought it necessary to share those explanations because I want us to better understand the scriptures we read. And I do hope that they served the intended purpose.
 
Now let’s close with true words of wisdom from the prophet Hosea’s warning, re the punishment of Israel, words that are ever so applicable to our world today.
 
‘Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy (LOVING-kindness or faithfulness); break up your fallow (untilled) ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.’ (Hos.10:12)
 
Oh my people, truer words were never spoken and more applicable for these frightening times. Please, I implore us to get a move on with that programme RIGHT NOW, because it’s our only hope to avoid the divine repercussions that will befall us if we continue living the ungodly, disobedient, sinful and evil life that we’re currently living. It’s the wisdom of heaven, my brethren! Much LOVE!
 
…you can’t continually sow evil and disobedience here on earth…and expect to reap good rewards from heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2014 Luke 19:10

Luke 19:10.    For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday – the day we all seem to LOVE to hate, but which we truly LOVE deep down inside! And I hear a lot of venom coming forth per that statement. (smile)
 
I guess we have a LOVE hate relationship with Mondays because on one hand, it means our free time is over, we have to get up and go out and labour. On the other hand though, it opens up interesting and unknown doors for us in the outside world. It offers us new and untold opportunities, gives us a different perspective on life, compared to if we just stayed cloistered up at home.
 
Anyway Friends, Monday is like every other day the Lord has made, so if we’re smart, we’ll also be glad and enjoy it like we do the weekends. And luckily for some of us in good, ole Canada, we don’t have to go to work today because it’s a holiday! Bless the Lord, O my soul! In Ontario it’s called Family Day, ostensibly a day to spend with family. In other provinces it’s know by other names.
 
However, many of us around the world aren’t so blessed, we have to go out and slave for Massa. So let’s join with those unlucky ones and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help us all get in the right mood and frame of mind. As one, vibrant, sweet sounding, soulful choir now, 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!’
 
Hopefully that put some pep in your step, got the adrenalin running. Please remember that we are all soldiers in Christ’s army, and for armies to win battles, their soldiers must be brave, courageous, positive and truly desirous of following their leader… And oh mih breddren, mih breddren, we have the BEST Leader in all the world!
 
He’s not only a brilliant strategist, but is also beautiful, LOVING, compassionate, thoughtful, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, merciful, forgiving, gracious and upstanding: He’s a God-man called Jesus Christ!
 
Wow! And He’s so wonderful, so selfless and giving, that two thousand years ago He left His comfortable abode in heaven and came to earth in human form so that we could have a better and more abundant life. Now which other supposed deity has even considered such a wonderful deed, much less to put it into practical operation eh?
 
None whatsoever! Because they are all false, dead gods. For there is ONLY ONE TRUE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ONLY ONE who is alive and kicking, the ONE who sent His ONLY Son, Jesus Christ to earth to be sacrificed on the cross at Calvary to pay for our sins. As Jesus so simply and straightforwardly puts it in our Bit:  ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’
 
And all God’s people loudly and joyously declared: ‘Thank You Jesus, for saving us when we were lost in sin!’
 
Oh Friends, what an amazing and mighty force is our Leader Jesus! But you’ll never know that from His simplicity and humility. And it’s not until you develop a true and fast personal relationship with Him, that you’ll realize how truly awesome He is.
 
Now the last couple of days we’ve been looking at scriptures where He describes His earthly purpose, or where others commented on it. Today we’ll continue doing the same, but for brevity’s sake (smile) we’ll only look at Bruh Paul’s words to his young protégé Timothy, re his thankfulness for God’s many mercies.
 
‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.’ (1 Tim.1:16-17)
 
Yes my fellow believers, Bruh Paul considered himself the worst sinner in the world because of how he had tried to destroy Christ’s church in his more youthful days. But after Christ waylaid him on the road to Damascus, he saw the light, both literally and figuratively.
 
Through Christ’s mercy he was saved, to be used as an example to other sinners. If he had saved the worst one, then it would not be a problem to save the less sinful ones. And in all fairness, once Bruh Paul turned his life around, he used the same zeal in building Christ’s church as he had hitherto used to destroy it.
 
Oh Friends, are we being more zealous for Christ since we’ve been saved? I surely hope so. Anyway, that’s enough for us to ponder on today. I know you are all very busy people, so I don’t want to take up too much of your valuable time talking about God. I hope you detect the note of sarcasm there. (smile)
 
So until tomorrow, God in favour, please walk safely with Him, and let His Holy Spirit guide and keep you in all that you do. For that’s wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!
 
…unfortunately…those who don’t think they need saving…are the ones who need it the most…like the Pharisees…