Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2017 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh friends, the time is drawing ever nearer to that most significant day – Christmas Day – when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give God the Father all thanks, praise and glory for the awesome miracle that He wrought in the lives of, and on behalf of sinful men that day some two thousand years ago! 

And even more importantly, please, we need to see that thanks and glory reflected in our homes as the poem ‘You Cannot Be Hid,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin so avidly describes. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home 

There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Yes my people, anytime the Lord God Almighty is the ‘Great First’ in our homes, that most excellent and welcome fact cannot be hid, because it shows in the way the family interacts with each other and with those who come around them! 

Wow! What a joyful home that becomes! That doesn’t mean that problems and other negative aspects of life don’t exist in the homes where God is FIRST. It just means that they are dealt with in a healthy, godly manner, and a continual strife-filled environment doesn’t exist there. 

Oh how I wish many many more of our homes, especially the Christian ones, were truly like that. Yeh friends, we all know that a lot of homes that seem Christian on the outside don’t really behave in good Christian fashion on the inside. 

So please, for this Christmas season, in these ongoing strife-filled and negative times, let’s try and bring a true Christian feeling, a true Christian environment to our homes nuh. Let our neighbours and the stranger just passing through see it written loud and clear in the way we interact, so that they can appreciate our way of life and come to know Jesus too. 

Remember, it’s not just the presents, the food, decorations and outward atmosphere that are important at Christmas time, but also the internal, the spiritual accent, for they bring the true Spirit of Christ to the situation. And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit, the well-known words of Jesus to His disciples and also to us. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Oh my people, that is exactly what Jesus expects from us; to be a blazing light of holiness and righteousness to the evil and sinful world that surrounds us! Then He continues with an addendum: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:15) 

Yeh friends, Jesus expects us to show our Christianity to the whole world, so that they can see and believe the awesome benefits inherent in becoming His follower. 

And furthermore, in the verse before our Bit, He declares another truth that He expects from His followers: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot by men.’ (Matt.5:13) 

Oh friends, yuh better believe that Christians, as a unified and righteous body have lost their salt and their light is not shining as brightly as it ought to! Who knows exactly why? 

But there are some reasons that definitely contribute to the unfortunate situation; reasons like fear of what man can do to us, disunity between Christians, too many factions and divisions of Christians, unnecessary compromise with the world, and simple sloth and laziness, with the avowed intention to just enjoy the things of the world and the things of God be put on the back burner. 

But friends, our avowed intention ought to be what Jesus demanded of us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) That’s the crux of the matter right there my believing brethren! We simply need to come up higher in our Christian living. 

And this Christmas season is the best time to do it. So please, let’s all promise our God, and ourselves, that this Christmas, Christ will truly be in our houses and our lives, and be clearly visible to all and sundry. And having made that promise, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ. 

In truth and sincerity 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 what a truly glorious future that will be my people! And it all began with Christ’s birth at Christmas! Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t advertise their wonderful faith…then who will eh…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2017 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.   For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Ah friends, it seems like I’m one of those who slept in this October Saturday morn! But mine was not by choice though, I just had no idea of the time. And I went to bed fairly early at that too. I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour these days… Aren’t you proud of me? (smile) 

That’s because I believe one of my problems is simply not getting enough sleep. The only problem though is when I lie in bed too long, roughly over four hours, my ole back aches like mad when I do get up. But I guess we have to suffer something to gain something better. 

Anyway, I’m up now, and it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’ 

Now that might be true sometimes, but we have to be very careful of what others think we might want, because it just might not jive with God’s will for us. 

That leads us to this one: ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.’ 

The first part makes sense, but the last part should definitely read ‘put your trust in the One and Only Jesus Christ!’ And if you do that, you certainly won’t do this next quote. ‘Don’t live a limited life.’ 

Yeh mih people, as true believers in Jesus, you will NEVER lead a limited life, because Jesus’ basic philosophy is for his followers to lead a full, abundant and productive life. Glory to God! 

And here is the last quote. ‘Integrity is when our words and deeds are consistent with our intentions.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us Christians, in these evil and godless times don’t have much integrity, because our words and deeds are not consistent with our intentions. That’s why so many unbelievers, as well as believers, see us as hypocrites! 

That’s the reason a lot of people, even supposed believers, use for not going to church; they don’t want to join a bunch of hypocrites in praising God. But yuh know what friends, all of us have some hypocritical element in us – not liking someone for some foolish reason, etc. etc. – so when we go to church, all we do, is add one more hypocrite to the bunch! (smile) 

But most of us won’t see it like that. And yes, it’s very possible to have good intentions and do evil deeds, as Bruh Paul declares in our Bit: ‘For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.’ 

Yeh mih brethren, that’s just the unholy struggle between our two natures; our sinful and worldly one, and our spiritual and heaven-looking other. And as you can see, even Bruh Paul, with all his spirituality, got caught in the battle between those two strong attitudes.  

So it’s not like we are totally immune to the struggle being waged between our two natures. The lure of sin and its vapid pleasures are surely strong, but like a bodybuilder, we have to build our heavenly looking spirit so that it can stand strong and steadfast against our human nature. 

As we saw yesterday, the enemy is always on the lookout to steal our joy and have us feeling guilty and miserable. However, if we do, as the Good Book says, resist the devil and draw near to God, then we’ll usually come out victorious. 

Oh friends, we know that turning away from, resisting the things of the world is not easy, certainly not an easy row to hoe, but as with EVERYTHING else in this life, with God’s help, we can overcome. 

Please don’t ever forget this seminal, foundational, fruit-bearing, productive verse from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ((Phil.4:13) 

Yes friends, until we truly believe that and totally incorporate it into our lives, our faith walk will not be as good as it ought to be, and we’ll be doing many more wrong things than we want to do, but not understanding why. 

And sadly, there’s no easy way around the struggle of our two natures. To overcome our natural sinful nature, we just have to gut it out, stick close to Jesus; consistently read His Word, constantly communicate with Him in prayer, and do our best to be obedient to His dictates. 

That means having on our spiritual armour at all times, and continually swinging the mighty, ever-sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word in the face of the oncoming enemy to keep him at bay. 

Yes friends, to win this battle, we need to keep our wits about us ALL THE TIME, but with God’s help, we can certainly do it. Let’s remember that, and write it indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds, for it’s the foundation of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…ONLY with God’s help…can we win our earthly battles…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

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

Well friends, as they say, all good things must end! And it looks like this delightful, unexpected party of summer weather is over as of today! Chuh! But we’ve certainly enjoyed it while it lasted. 

As of tomorrow, we’re supposed to go to highs of around 19 Celsius, which is more like the normal temp for this time of year. So enjoy today’s twenty something high, cause it’s the last time we’ll see it for a long, long while. (smile)  

And today, I have an interesting excerpt to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared it before, but it certainly applies to a lot of us believers. It’s simply titled ‘Excuses.’ 

Please read with me. ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That you can see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreachable goals. I need your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what you know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure all of us, at some time or other have made various excuses to God why we didn’t or couldn’t do something He desired of us, but deep down we knew that those excuses were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold up to the Lord’s scrutiny. 

I don’t know why we insist on doing that foolishness nuh, when we very well know that the Lord can see right into our heart and detect the truth, including our nefarious motives. We all know that being a pilgrim here on earth is not easy, but we do have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. 

And if we truly feel unable or afraid to do something, it’s better to go to God with the truth, than with a flimsy, selfish excuse. Remember, we can’t ever run, nor hide from God! But some of us still insist on trying. (smile) 

And the Bible verse for that poem, as well as today’s Bit, is one we all know. ‘Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes) on 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, in rough and uncertain times we need to keep our gaze fixed completely on Jesus, seeing how He handled His hard times and trying to do likewise. Our Bit talks about the joy that was set before Jesus. Yuh think His physical ‘sufferation’ and unholy crucifixion were joyful? 

Surely not! But the joy was the knowledge that His sacrificial death would set us free, pay our sin debt in full, and then elevate Him to the right hand of the Father, where He could still advocate on our behalf. That was the joy which Jesus beheld friends! 

And the scholars tell us: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus has already done it all, we don’t need to carve out a new trail, just follow the one He has blazed. 

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

For sure friends, the majority of us have not, and will never come up against anything close to what Jesus endured on our behalf. So just remember when things get rough and tough, that Jesus is the supreme example of endurance, both physical and spiritual, andHe is the One we must always look to, as a mighty example, and for help in our own endurance. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which shows that we are truly on the right path, the straight and narrow one. In strong voice, with true sincerity: ‘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!’ 

How could it be anything other than that eh mih breddren? Much LOVE!

…what a glorious example we have in Jesus…in how to live a pilgrim’s life…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.   Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Ah friends, what a world we’re living in today eh, when you can wake up and hear that a tanker truck with toxic contents overturned on a major highway in southern Ontario yesterday afternoon in St. Catherines, close by to Niagara Falls. 

Also to hear that two children under 12 were doused with gasoline and set on fire by another under 12 year old boy in the Western Province of Saskatchewan. And then to see live, an apartment building in West London, England, its 24 floors being engulfed in huge flames, and the firefighters helpless to rescue many of them. 

Ah Lord eh! Sometimes it makes you long for the supposed good, old days, when we didn’t have toxic chemicals being ferried along our highways like ordinary stuff, and apartment buildings weren’t so tall, and young children weren’t as aggressive and violent. 

But we’ve opted for supposed progress and those things come with the territory. So now we just have to grin and bear them. 

But here’s the good news; we Christians don’t have to be worried over the stuff that can, and oftimes will happen, because we know that our God, our powerful heavenly Father is in control of ALL things and He will guide and protect us from harm. 

And here is an interesting quote to help us in our daily lives, courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), the famous American lecturer, essayist and poet. Ralph is reputed to have said: ‘Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what great advice for these trying times. We can’t afford to be looking back or around, but upwards, because that is where our help comes from. 

As the psalmist so rightfully declared: ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth, He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (to slip): He that keepeth thee will not slumber,’ (Ps.121:2-3)  Gospel truth friends! 

And the sad fact is that too many Christians are too worried about the sad state of our world. Now we must be concerned about it, but the truth is that most of us can do nothing to prevent the mishaps and the violence, so why worry eh? 

We need to be more concerned about the things we have control over, and make sure that they go right, and simply leave the rest to God. Our worrying will in no way change some of the awful stuff that’s happening, so we don’t need to poison our own lives with fear and worry. 

And that brings us to the wonderful advice of our Bit; immortal words of Bruh David. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes, my precious people of God, it doesn’t pay to be envious of the wicked, because their time will be short, for the Lord will mow them down like grass under a mower, and burn them in the fires of hell. 

And we have a very good example of worrying about the evildoers in the words of the psalmist Asaph. He writes in Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. 

But as for me, my feet were almost gone (my feet had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Oh my fellow believers, I know that the wicked and evil are seemingly prospering in these end times, and we all want a piece of that pie, but are we going to sell our eternal souls to Beelzebub for a little earthly wealth and prosperity, none of which we can take into the eternal spiritual realm? 

That would be incredibly foolish, though many of us are doing it. And the simple solution is that if we sincerely follow Jesus’ admonitions, we can also become prosperous and wealthy in earthly terms, as well as store up treasures in heaven. 

Listen to these faithful words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Plain and straightforward friends: seek God first, and He will give you all you need to live an abundant life here on earth. For as Jesus later said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

And having been reminded of all that my faithful followers of Christ, and having inwardly digested it, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

In strong voice as one body, let’s wail! ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and put it all into action, because that’s the only way to make it worthwhile in the sight of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…the eyes of ALL Christians…should be looking forward and upward…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.     But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Awright my people, it’s the big day, Sunday, the Sabbath, a day of praise and worship! So let’s get straight to it nuh, let’s sing this popular song of praise and worship by Rick Founds, ‘Lord I lift Your name on high.

With strong voices and sincere hearts let’s allow our song to rise to heaven and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart as we praise and glorify His awesome majesty, magnify His holy name and give Him thanks for all that’s He’s done for us. 

‘Lord I lift Your name on high  Lord I love to sing Your praises  I’m so glad You’re in my life  I’m so glad You came to save us You came from Heaven to earth  To show the way  From the earth to the cross  My debt to pay  From the cross to the grave  From the grave to the sky  Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high…’ 

Beautiful my people, truly beautiful! Heaven had to be moved by such an outpouring of praise and thanksgiving! Now since I couldn’t share yesterday, the two of our friend Anselm’s quotes that I usually share, I’ll include one today. And it simply says: ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ 

So true friends, so true! We all know that when one door closes another is usually opened, but we pine for what’s behind the closed door so much, especially if it was good, that ofttimes we can’t see, or are not even aware of the newly opened door. We’ve got to learn that when God shuts a door, we’re to leave it alone, look elsewhere for the next thing He has earmarked for us. 

But, sadly, being creatures of habit and comfort, allergic to change, we still yearn and hunger for what’s behind the closed door, although deep down we know that the Lord has something better waiting for us through the newly opened door. Yes my brethren, we have to keep looking forward not backward. 

As they say, the Lord brings certain things and people into our lives for a reason and/or a season, but when that time is up, and He shuts that door, we have to let whatever it is go and move on. Otherwise we’ll spend our lives miserable, wanting and wishing for what is no longer available to us. End of sermon! (smile) 

Let’s turn to our Bit; the same one we’ve had for the last couple days. Why, you ask? Because it’s such an important scripture, one on which our basic faith is based, and thus there are several references to it throughout the Good Book. And more importantly, it is very appropriate for these evil and ungodly times in which we’re now living. 

Just listen to the great promise it contains. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what a glorious promise that is from our magnanimous and merciful God! In our most sinful times, our times of trials and tribulations, of disobedience and idolatry, it is yet possible to seek Jehovah God, through confession and repentance, a sincere heart and soul and find Him. Wow! 

Oh friends, that’s something our world needs to take advantage of RIGHT NOW because everything is falling down around us. War and strife, poverty, hunger, persecution, homelessness, failing economies, failing families and societies; those are the things that are currently colouring, are currently prominent in our world. 

Things like LOVE, peace, harmony, compassion, understanding and helping each other are unfortunately on the way out. And the ONLY way to change the negative aspects of our world is to turn to God in true repentance and receive His graceful forgiveness. 

Now hear this warning of the prophet Azariah to the Israelites. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa (the king) and said unto him. Hear ye me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 

Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their troubles did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.’ (2 Chr.15:1-4)  

Ah friends, although the Israelites were stiff-necked, stubborn and hard-headed and often disobeyed God, when the rough times, meaning God’s punishment, really caught up to them, they were smart enough to return to worshipping the God of their fathers. Now why can’t we recognize our serious plight and realize that God’s hand is working against us and turn back to Him eh? 

The Israelites did it several times, and each time He welcomed them back with opened arms. He will certainly do the same for us, that is, if we can wake up before our entire world falls down, disintegrates around us. And it all depends on us my fellow believers in Christ, through the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20), we are supposed to spread the good news of Christ all over the world. And right now we have the tools to do it. 

So let’s get serious nuh, put our hands to the plough and just move forward with the saving grace of Christ’s LOVE Revolution. He is depending on His church to fight the good fight…and win it too. 

Now let’s end with a rather appropriate piece of scripture, words of our wonderful God, after He had spoken to the Israelites out of the mountain of fire, and they were all afraid. And the Lord said unto Moses. ‘O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!’ (Deut.5:29) 

That says it all friends! Now let’s go out and do our best for Jesus, because that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…only true LOVE…in the guise of Jesus…can save our fast deteriorating world…