Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2017 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.   I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

And all over God’s great universe, this morning the general cry is, was, and will be: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and work soon finish for two whole lousy days! Steups! But we going to get in as much fun, as much partying as we can in those two days though! That’s for sure! 

Man wasn’t made to work like an animal all them days, one after the other. That’s how massa gets his pound of flesh, But we going to get our pound of flesh by partying down the place, by eating and drinking as though it was our last day here on earth. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, when are ever going to learn that pay back never really works. Yuh think massa really cares that his workers party all weekend? To a certain extent yes, but generally speaking, no! Not unless their dissipation interferes with his work schedule. 

And if it does, he can just fire them, deprive them of their livelihood. So who loses then eh? Certainly not massa! That’s why we Christians have a different attitude towards the weekend, which is borne out in our Friday Chant. 

Let’s chant it in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose like the workingman chants his song nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, the working life is not easy, but remember with God’s help, we can do anything at all! That’s why our song differs from the ordinary workingman’s. We know we can’t abuse our bodies or anything else and continue to do God’s work in a proper manner. 

That’s why we have boundaries and limitations to how far we can go; otherwise we’d just go overboard like the workingman and be of no use to Jesus. So please let’s be sensible and stay within those boundaries this weekend nuh. 

We have enough other stuff to worry about, as our Bit indicates. I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.’ 

Yeh friends, we have tests and trials that our Lord is putting us through to grow and mature us, so we can’t waste our time in partying, and simply enjoying the good life as the world sees it. 

We need to be strong and diligent and run our earthly race with vim and vigour, wisdom and understanding, if at the end of our days here on earth, we want Him to greet us in heaven with a crown of glory and words to the effect: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ 

My people, that’s the best welcome we can ever, or will ever get! So please let’s work seriously towards it nuh, and start by not complaining too much about the things that come against us through God’s testing. 

I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not a delightful experience when He has you on His potter’s wheel, working diligently on you, to bring you ever closer to the image of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

But our God is so wonderful that even as He is remoulding and reforming you, He will also give you the wherewithal to endure your afflictions. He’s promised never to give us more than we can bear or carry. And if that ever happens, He will carry us Himself or bear our load for us. 

That’s what Jesus did for us: He bore our sins, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin. And we don’t want to fall back into it, by refusing His free gift of grace, through salvation and eternal life. 

But if we’re going to be truly successful, we must also learn to accept the good times as well as the rough times without cursing God or turning away from Him as Job’s wife encouraged him to do. (Job 2:9-10) 

And the author of Hebrews puts it all in New Testament language for us, beginning with Cousin Sol’s words. ‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: 

For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards (illegitimate), and not sons. 

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which have corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (as seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 

Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb.12:5-11) 

That says it all friends! If we want to be considered a son by our heavenly Father, then we must undergo His discipline, just like we do for our earthly fathers. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! Much LOVE!

…spare the rod…spoil the child…that’s God’s Word…

P.S. My sincere apologies for the Bit being so late. I went out to the theatre last night and just never got my act together this morning. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2017 Psalm 4:7- 8.

Psalm 4:7-8.   Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

Oh mih breddren, it’s Wednesday! Yay! I got it right! After last week’s mess up, I have to check each day before I write. (smile) And yuh know what people, it’s not only Wednesday, but it also looks like it’s going to be a magnificent Wednesday! 

Why, you ask? Well check this out nuh: We are alive and kicking, and both the sun and the Son are shining as brilliantly as ever, and brand new blessings, things like mercies and grace are flowing like crazy down the pipeline from heaven for all those who choose to seek the Lord and His overwhelming LOVING-kindness! 

Wow! Now if that doesn’t portend a magnificent day, then I don’t know what does. But friends, with all of that goodness flooding some of our lives, let’s remember others in prayer, who are suffering, fighting for their very lives as Hurricane Harvey passed through Texas and is now heading for Louisiana, though on a lesser scale. 

Let’s also remember those people out in British Columbia and those in California who are fighting deadly wildfires, some of them for a couple of months now. Not all of us have it fairly easy, and the least we can do is offer up sincere prayers for their safety. 

Now here is another wonderful something else. (smile) It’s an uplifting and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. I just could not pass up sharing it. It’s titled ‘Beautiful Things Happen.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet You day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To your Whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Glory Hallelujah mih people! That’s the life of a true practicing and mature Christian right there! That’s how our days usually unfold when we lay it all out before the Lord in the early morning hours. 

There is untold joy in living for the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob even though our individual circumstances might be somewhat rough at any particular time! 

But nonetheless as the Promise for that Poem, which is our Bit, declares: ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ 

Yeh friends, words of indisputable truth from Bruh David! That is the kind of trust and assurance we have in Almighty God, when we sincerely surrender our lives to Him. And why shouldn’t we eh, when He is the Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein? That’s only the height of wisdom and common sense! 

As I keep saying, Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered, that’s why he kept the God of his forefathers at the very front of his life, and if we are wise, we would also do the same thing. 

And the author of Psalm 97 – The Lord is far above all gods – echoes the same sentiments. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil; he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. 

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (his holy name.)’ (Ps.97:10-12)  Truer words were never spoken my fellow believers! 

And yuh know what, one of our current problems is that though we say we believe in God, we don’t truly rejoice and be glad in Him like we ought to. 

There’s always some kind of reservation, some holding back of something, we don’t give our all, possibly afraid or in some doubt that such an abundance of awesome joy and LOVE and graciousness could really be true. 

But it truly is friends, and until we truly surrender our all and truly receive all that the Lord has to offer, we will never really be satisfied and fulfilled. 

Now listen to this scripture from Bruh Paul to the people of Lystra, after he had healed a crippled man, and the people mistook him for a god and wanted to offer him sacrifices. In telling them about the One and Only True God, he ended thus: ‘Who in times past (past generations) suffered (allowed) all nations to walk in their own ways. 

Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ (Acts 14:16-17) No lie that friends! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘14:17. Even though all men have not received the special revelation of God’s written word, all have received God’s general revelation which is witnessed through the creation and man’s own nature, making man without excuse if he rejects this (Rom.1:18-20: 2:14-15) Romans 1 states that the context of general revelation is that God is holy and all- powerful. Acts 14:17 further states that God is good.’ 

And that we cannot deny my believing brethren! So having all this joy, assurance and gladness in our hearts, let’s go home boldly and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

As one voice 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!’ 

Keep on keeping on my people! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing better…wiser…more joyful…or more fulfilling…than trusting in Jesus Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2017 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Oh friends, I’m so glad to be alive, especially on such a wonderful summer’s morn that I just wanted to jump for joy, click my heels, and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

But fortunately, the wise One that dwells within me immediately cautioned that the first two actions would be somewhat foolhardy, given my precarious physical state. So I simply shouted ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ (smile) 

What a bam bam it is when your body can’t keep up with your mind eh? But them’s the breaks! It’s what happens when you’ve lived a long and productive life and have finally reached the winter years. So we just have to grin and bear it. 

And with Jesus Christ in our lives, there are so many other pleasures for us to enjoy than just the physical ones, that we really lack for nothing. All glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let me apologize now for the lateness of the Bit. It seems that the pain medication I took before going to bed this morning also has some sleep inducing properties, which made it difficult to get up at an earlier hour. 

Now here is a li’l something, which I shared way back when, but is still very useful in these trying times. It’s from Sholem Asch (1880-1957), a London born dramatist and writer of Polish-Jewish background, who later settled in the U.S. 

He tells us that: ‘Not the power to remember, but the power to forget is a necessary condition for our existence.’ 

And that’s quite true mih breddren, otherwise our minds would be so riddled with memories, and mostly the bad ones too, that our lives would be even more confused that they already are. 

But thankfully many of us old fogies don’t have to worry about that condition of life, because in our advanced stage we automatically forget most things anyway. (smile) 

And though it’s convenient to forget, we have to remember to follow the critical command and warning of our Bit, even in old age. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And why is that you ask? Listen to James’ explanation that follows. ‘For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Yeh friends, uncontrolled anger and speaking have no place in the Christian’s life, because they lead us to ungodly decisions and consequently harsh repercussions. 

Hear the scholars take on those verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

There you have it friends, several good reasons for controlling talk and anger! And I guess it’s only right for us to continue listening to James on the subject of hearing. 

‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21) 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation to that verse. ‘1:21. Engrafted word might better be translated “implanted word” and may reflect Christ’s parable of the seed planted in the four different soils (Matt. 13:3-9). Both Christ and James focus on the proper hearing of God’s Word (Matt.13:13, 19-20, 22-23). 

One needs to hear that Word, for it is able to save your souls. Though the phrase accurately describes the Word’s work of producing initial salvation, it is better in this context to understand it as the Word’s ability to preserve and mature the Christian’s life through trials.’ 

So anyway we cut it people, God’s Word is of the utmost importance in a believer’s life; both for producing our initial salvation and then keeping us on that straight and narrow path which allows us to grow in faith and trust in our wonderful Creator. Praise the Lord for His wonderful Word that leads and guides us safely on our earthly pilgrimage! 

And it isn’t coincidence that Bruh Paul wrote some of those same things to the Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11) 

Yeh friends, the believer is called to a much higher standard of living than the great unwashed. (smile) And hear Bruh Paul again agreeing with James on the power and benefits of the Word. 

This while preaching at Antioch. ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts.13:26) 

My people, I implore us, to never forget that! Consequently, we can go home now truthfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday 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!’ 

Let’s do it for Jesus nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s earthly life contains difficulties…but the rewards of heaven…especially Jesus’ eternal company… totally compensate for them…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 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.

Saturday, O Saturday! What have you got in store for me today eh? Will it be an easy day, just lazing around the house or going out and taking in the sights? Or will it be pure drudgery, like household chores and grocery shopping?  

Whatever kind of day you turn out to be though Saturday, I’m sure of this one thing; I’ll constantly have the company of Jesus with me, always by my side to provide a healthy chuckle or lend a helping hand when times get difficult. And we’re going to have good time, because this is the day the Lord has made, therefore we shall rejoice and be glad in it. Glory be, mih breddren! 

What a joy and a pleasure it is to have Jesus hanging out with us. Chuh! It couldn’t get any better than that nuh! And though I could go on singing the praises of Jesus all day, He requires me to look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm blessed us with this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And this first quote is something many of us believers need to put into practice. ‘If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.’ Remember friends, it’s a good, Christian attitude and always putting your best foot forward that eventually brighten your way. 

This next quote should be obvious. ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ Doing the same thing, or thinking the same way, won’t get different results. 

Now these next two, which I’ve made one, are certainly interesting. ‘Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.’ And there’s lots of truth in them both, for problems usually show us opportunities, as well as guide us in sound decision making. 

And this last quote is a definite winner! ‘Do what you want to do. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! But we need to do our do with a modicum of circumspection and with God always predominant in the mix. And I can give a personal testimony to that, because over the years I’ve gone out on a limb – am still doing it (smile) – and done some of my heart’s desires. 

Now they were expensive in terms of time, energy, money and emotional distress, but the Lord allowed me to experience them, and I don’t regret them, because they were all learning experiences. But I have to chuckle when I remember how the Lord eased me out of them all, when He considered it time to seriously get into His Word and write His Bit. God gives us dreams, my brethren, so that we can go after them and bring them to fruition and glorify His holy name. 

Okay, enough rambling, let’s turn to our Bit, everlasting words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, as He taught the disciples, and by extension, us, how to pray. ‘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.’ 

Now yesterday we saw from the scholars’ explanation that God doesn’t tempt us, though He allows some to come against us to test our faithfulness. James gives us this talk on the subject. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them the LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars have some interesting opinions on that verse which give us better understanding. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. 

God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it. (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Cor.10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people is revealed in the Mosaic Law: “That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end” (Deut. 8:16).’  

Ah mih people, I know that doesn’t sit well with some of us, since we’d prefer to escape all the trials and tests. But then how will we ever grow in faith eh, if we keep running from difficulties, because it’s in difficult times that we grow and mature? 

And we’ll end with the verse from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians which the scholars believe makes us too soft and sappy. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

And please note friends, the scholars tell us that the Greek term used in that verse refers more to a safe landing place for a ship, than for an actual escape. So the Lord’s plan is not for us to entirely escape the temptation, but help us to endure it and come out safely on the other side. 

Let’s therefore stop thinking about only escaping temptation, but more about fighting through them and coming out victorious on the other side, with God’s help of course.  That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…only by fighting through trials…rather than escaping them…can a believer grow in faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2017 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Ah friends, the ole fella must be getting better yes, because I woke up this morning and actually felt for a cup of coffee! Glory Hallelujah! 

That does say something, since I haven’t been drinking any since I left the hospital. The couple cups I had earlier on, just didn’t sit right, so I just left it alone. But this one actually tastes good. Glory to God, my taste buds are being revived! 

And in honour of that, this chilly and gloomy Saturday morning, here is a poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘Beauty!’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Thank you, Father, for filling the world with beauty. I thank you for the beauty of life, the beauty of LOVE, the beauty of children, and the beauty of old people. I thank you for the beauty of Christ and for the beauty of any life when Christ is invited through the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father, that you have made my life beautiful too. Amen.’ 

And I don’t know about you all nuh friends, but the Lord has indeed made my life beautiful! I can plainly see it after that scary, life threatening moment a couple of weeks ago. 

You never seem to truly appreciate something until you almost lose it. And yuh better believe, I am very appreciative of life right now, regardless of the state I’m in! And it’s all to the glory of God! 

Now here is an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us. This one says: ‘Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.’ 

And is that ever so true friends! A lot of us are clock-watchers, especially when it comes time to quit work and go home (smile) but you’ll notice that despite the circumstances surrounding it, the good ole clock just keeps on ticking on its merry way to wherever. 

Likewise, Christians are not to let our circumstances stop us from ticking on for Jesus. It will not always be easy to do, but if the Father has brought us to it, He will bring us through it, that’s His faithful promise. 

However, we also have to do our part in the partnership between Christ and us. It’s not a one-way street. Thus the advice of Bruh Paul to the Galatians: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yeh mih people, to walk with God, means to walk in His Spirit, so that our carnality doesn’t come to the fore. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e. “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

Ah mih breddren, I know all of that sounds hard and confusing, but it is the basis of our Christianity. We can’t live on the fence, it’s either Spiritual or carnal, fleshly living, and the first only comes by working constantly and continually at it, with God’s help. 

Please realize friends that true spirit living doesn’t come overnight, but like everything else in life takes practice and time to develop and mature. 

And the reason for Bruh Paul’s admonition in our Bit is: ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal.5:17) 

Yeh friends, it is a controversy within our souls. And the scholars tell us: ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings contrary to one another. 

The Christian then is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

But you know what friends, it’s not really a tug of war, because once we’ve made up our minds to live by the Spirit, we consciously try and remove sin from our lives, so that the flesh doesn’t have much hold over us, and we can just go on sincerely and seriously ticking for Jesus. Now that is wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…each tick and tock of our spiritual clock…means one more point for Jesus…Glory to God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2017 Psalm 27:13.

Psalm 27:13.   I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, so let’s have church like we’re supposed to nuh! And as always, let’s begin with some praise and worship to open up our hearts to receive the word of our magnificent God. 

So in full voice and strong belief, let’s sing, let’s cause our souls and voices to soar heavenward. ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of LOVE; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! 

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in love are Thine; Teach us how to love each other, Lift us to the joy divine. 

Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life.’ 

Now that was certainly a rousing rendition my people, heaven couldn’t help but pay attention! 

And today’s sermon is based on our Bit, which exudes one of God’s great promises. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ 

Yes friends, God’s goodness is a primary function of our earthly existence, else why would He make it as beautiful and provident as He did eh? A lot of us talk about seeing hell on earth, but as the Belinda Carlisle song declares: ‘They say in heaven, LOVE comes first We’ll make heaven a place on earth Ooh, heaven is a place on earth!’ 

And that is exactly what our God intends it to be, else why would He send His Son to earth to die for our sake and say: ‘The thief cometh not but for to (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

If we were not meant to have a decent life down here on earth, Jesus’ life, words and death would be meaningless. 

Oh, Jesus certainly did not mean that everything on earth would be hunky dory, but even when it wasn’t we would be okay. Listen to Him: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

He couldn’t be any clearer. Life on earth will have its problems, but even then, when we sincerely believe and trust Him, we will be able to handle those problems because He has already overcome the world’s nonsense. 

And yuh know what friends, when those problems confront us and we stand strong in His name, we come through them ever more mature in our Christian faith, for good times don’t increase faith, it’s the rough times that do. 

Just take me now as a good example. A couple weeks ago I figured I was hale and hearty, but all of a sudden I discover that I have heart problems and the whole tenor of my life changes. 

So what should my reaction be eh? Should I bang my head on the wall and blame God? Absolutely not! Because that won’t help my problem, just cause it to get worse. My reaction is to believe that God has a purpose for my problem, and wait and pray and hang in until He is ready to divulge the solution to His plan. 

Now I don’t know when that is going to happen, but in the meantime I’m expected to be faithful and relax in the peace that He gives me. Oh, it’s not easy, but with God’s help, it is possible. 

All I’m trying to say friends, is that though life can be rough down here on it, it can also be a heavenly place. The problem is that we don’t count our blessings, we count our problems and magnify them. However if we put our troubles and blessings side by side, the majority of us will discover that our blessings far outweigh our problems. 

As somebody said: ‘Count your blessings, while others are adding up their troubles.’ It’s basically a problem of attitude. We allow the world system to influence us too much, when the certain and faithful promises of Jesus ought to be our mainstay. 

And we’ll end with some more strategic and encouraging words of our wonderful Lord and Saviour. When He taught the disciples to pray, this is the basic outline He gave them. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…’ (Matt.6:9-10)

Yes friends, we ought to seek God’s kingdom and through our prayers and consequently our actions, the will of the Father must also be done here on earth as it is in heaven. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

So my fellow believers, let’s stop thinking of our lives as being hell on earth nuh, and instead consider them as the Lord desires – heaven on earth. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to earth to set us free…show us a slice of heaven…not to keep us in bondage…which hell is all about… 

P.S. We’re getting a li’l earlier each day. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2016 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Ah friends, like this snow business seems to be rather serious yes, because it visited us again last night. Chuh! Not as much as over the weekend, but enough to make life somewhat difficult in the early morning rush hour. 

Some people might be happy with that, since it might mean that we’ll finally have a traditional white Christmas ten days hence. 

Over the last few years, that hasn’t been as regular an occurrence as in days gone by, and some of the purists have been disappointed. But what to do eh? If it’s winter, then there’s a very real probability of snow. (smile) 

Now here’s a timely reminder from my ‘P.S. I LOVE  YOU Poster, which says: ‘Friends are like a beautiful garden. They require regular care.’ 

And is that ever true my people! Unless we spend time fertilizing those friendships that we treasure, they’ll eventually grow weeds and disintegrate into what resembles a dilapidated and forgotten garden. We need to keep those lines of communication open with our friends, just like we need to keep them open to God. 

So, especially at this festive and friendly Christmas season, let’s remember to reach out to our friends and family with whom we haven’t had any recent communication, so the beautiful garden we have blossoming with them, won’t be changed into a weed filled jungle. 

Remember, without good relationships an important part of us goes missing and makes us less than whole. And talking about relationships, the most important one in our life is that which we have with Jesus. 

Listen to Him explain it in our Bit. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ 

And that is indisputable truth my people! For without Jesus as the leading and guiding light of our lives, we are able to do precious little in our own human strength. 

Hear Him continue His discourse. ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. 

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE.’ (John 15:6-9) 

Oh friends, what a wonderful promise! If we abide in Jesus and He in us, then we’ll be His disciples, be fruitful and glorify the Father, and the Father will grant us our requests. How awesome is that eh! 

But we need to remember that last proviso: to abide in Jesus’ LOVE! Just like the Father LOVED Him, and He LOVED us, we need to continue LOVING Him and each other. Without that LOVE shining forth my fellow believers, all that we claim to do for Jesus is of no account. 

Now here are a couple of explanations from the scholars re those verses above. ’15:6. This refers to the judgement of the believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

15:7. The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

And as we’re talking about bringing forth fruit for Christ, let’s just share Bruh Paul’s immortal words on the subject. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Yeh mih people that’s what is expected of us in terms of bearing fruit for Christ. And the scholars add. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, the product, outcome, or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. 

(2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is expected to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the Spirit does not cultivate these values in the believer’s life overnight.’ 

Yeh, I know we’re complaining that that’s a lot of fruit to bear, but as the scholars say, it doesn’t grow overnight, or all at once, but like real fruit takes time, diligence and energy. 

And as Jesus promised, if we abide in Him, and He in us, we will have the help of all heaven and earth to produce the fruit He desires of us. So there’s no need to worry; just stay close to Jesus, and all will be well. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In unison friends: ‘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!’ 

Wow! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren! So let’s take it all to heart nuh, and put it into solid action. Much LOVE!

…the bearing of fruit for Jesus…it’s such a wonderful process…and the rewards are so unique and exceptional…

 

 

 

 

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