Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2017 2 Corinthians 9:6.

2 Corinthians 9:6.   But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (with blessings) shall reap bountifully.

Well greetings and salutations on this beautiful Summer Sunday morning my fellow believers! May the wonderful grace of God and His awesome peace be with and among us as we meet in His sanctuary to praise, worship, thank and glorify Him. And to get us going, let’s sing those heartfelt words of John Newton written so long ago, when he finally found God, and aptly titled ‘Amazing Grace.’

So with much passion and humble sincerity, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise to Almighty God. ‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed. 

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. 

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Oh friends, what a magnanimous God we serve and worship! His undying and undeserving grace and mercy are what keep us going in this evil world. His is the salvation and eternal life to which we look, like a bright shining beacon in the dark, stormy night, offering guidance and safety from the perils on our earthly journey. 

No wonder Jesus declared, ’I am the light of the world!’ For without Him, our world would be covered in total darkness, the cover Lucifer needs for his evil deeds. So please let’s be everlastingly grateful for the brilliant and lifesaving light of Jesus nuh, which gives us true hope, faith and trust for the future.  

Now let’s turn to our Bit; one of the life principles of our great God. ‘But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (with blessings) shall reap bountifully.’ More awesome truth of Scripture my people! Whatever we give out, shall be given back to us; whatever we sow, we shall reap, and sometimes in greater quantity too, whether it be good or evil. 

And today we’ll simply peruse some scriptures which agree with our premise. So listen to Cousin Sol as he contrasts the doings of the wise and foolish. ‘There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that witholdeth more than is meet (right), but it tendeth (leads) to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat (prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that witholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be on the head of him that selleth it.’ (Prov.11:24-26) 

Oh friends, yuh see, when we scatter, or water, or sell, meaning being generous in our giving, it usually leads to prosperity, but being miserly tends to poverty. So if we are interested in having a full and prosperous life, then we must be generous in our giving and helping. 

Meanwhile, the psalmist in Psalm 112 – Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord – joyfully declares: ‘A good man showeth favour (is gracious), and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion (justice)… He hath dispersed (distributed abroad), he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn (strength) shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved: he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.’ (Ps.112: 5, 9-10) 

Yes precious people of God, as Christians we are called to live righteous and noble lives, giving and helping from humble and sincere hearts as our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did in His earthly sojourn, two thousand years ago.  

And Moses warned the Israelites long before that: ‘If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates (towns) in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide (freely) unto him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in that which he wanteth.’ (Deut.15:7-8) 

You can’t get away from it friends, the Lord has shown us LOVE and mercy and grace, and He expects us to do the same with our fellow humans. Now if some of us would only share some of the much we have with others in desperate need, there wouldn’t be as much poverty, sickness, homelessness and despair in our world today. 

But don’t forget, the Lord is watching each of us to see how we use the resources He so generously bestowed on us, and we’ll eventually have to answer for our good or bad stewardship. Now let’s end with a timely word from Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked (fooled, outwitted)” for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ (Gal.6:7) Words of utmost wisdom friends! 

So let’s remember that generosity is at the heart of the Lord, and it should also be a major priority in ours, if we sincerely desire to be true disciples of Christ. Much LOVE!

…you can only harvest what you sow…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Lo and behold friends, it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek! These days sure are passing by quickly, and in another couple, summer should officially be upon us. 

That ought to make us happy up here in the colder climes. What a way we look forward to the hot and humid days of summer eh, after months of cold, depressing winter. But then we also complain that the summer’s too hot and humid! (smile) How to please us eh? 

Apparently we can’t be truly pleased. We are like our nowadays children, who, despite their abundance of toys, nonetheless get bored with them very quickly, and keep wanting something new to hold their short attention spans. 

That’s why some of us supposed Christians never grow in faith. We look upon Christianity as a toy, or something that will automatically bring us health, wealth and fame. But nothing is further from the truth friends. 

Of course you can become, healthy, wealthy and famous as a Christian, but that is not the reason for it all. And Christianity desires lots of perseverance, endurance, patience and oftimes much suffering and struggle. 

It’s not an easy row to hoe, especially when confronted by the many wiles and evil schemes of the devious enemy, who have set out to purposely discombobulate us. 

Consequently, many Christians fall by the wayside, because they don’t have the internal parts to run the hard race that’s set before them. But my people, if we are to be successful in the running of this earthly race, then we have to make certain preparations and hold on tightly to certain things. 

Now over the last couple of days we’ve been talking about the spiritual warfare in which we automatically enter in when we become followers of Jesus Christ. The enemy targets us, puts a big bull’s eye on our backs, once we’ve accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

And yesterday, as we saw from our Bit, one of the necessities for fighting this war is having on the protective armour of God at all times. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, without God’s armour in our possession, we’re like sitting ducks for Lucifer and his evil cohorts. But with it on, and the strength of the Lord flowing through us…oh my people, we can battle like you won’t believe. Glory to God! 

And since some of you might be wondering what this glorious armour consists of, let’s listen to Bruh Paul as he explains it to the Ephesians after our Bit. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Yes friends, those are the things we call the armour of God, with which we can fight the devil mano-a-mano, giving no ground whatsoever! 

Now let’s get a brief synopsis of all that. Having our loins girded with truth is basically having on a belt of truth, which is knowledge of the word of God. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The ancient soldier’s loins (“waist”) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of Scripture.’ 

There we have it precious people of God! The first and most important piece of armour is knowing the truth of God’s word! We can’t put up any resistance until we have God’s truth firmly entrenched in our souls, since that is the basic reason for our war; the truth of God, versus the lies of the enemy. 

Then we need to put on ‘The breastplate of righteousness,’ which the scholars say ‘may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”).’ 

Now there is much more stuff to talk about re God’s armour, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time and space. But tune in tomorrow and we’ll continue it. In the meanwhile, please ponder on what we’ve already talked about; the first priority of knowing the truth of God’s word, and then putting it into action with a godly, moral lifestyle. 

Now let’s go home declaring the truth that’s in our hearts via our Wednesday Wail. Wailing all: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, what bliss it is to be in league with Jesus! Now let’s go out and share that joy with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…a soldier of Christ…desperately needs God’s armour…to successfully fight his Christian war…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2017 Ephesians 6:10.

Ephesians 6:10.    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Well fathers, our special day is over now, hope we all had an enjoyable day. Mine was fairly quiet, but very interesting. However, it’s now time for us to concentrate on, and get back to labouring so that we can keep a roof over our family’s head and bread on our table. It’s nice to be pampered and spoiled, but we certainly can’t forget about our bread and butter, our jobs. (smile) 

And I know that for plenty of us fathers, after all the celebrations yesterday, it’s going to be difficult to get up this morning to go and labour, but just think about it this way nuh: no work, no pay. (smile) But as always, we have the antidote for whatever ails you this Monday morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and when we sing it sincerely and joyfully, it just refreshes and renews us, gets the adrenaline flowing in our bodies. 

So let’s belt it out now nuh, with plenty gusto and expectant faith. As one big earthly choir 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 friends, that was a bit harsh and raucous, but the enthusiasm was great, and Jesus, our choirmaster understood our shortcomings. But now, with that same enthusiasm we just showed, aided by the adrenaline that’s coursing through our veins, let’s go out and face the enemy and battle them mano a mano in Jesus’ name. That’s what He’s expecting of us. 

And as Bruh Paul advises in in our Bit: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’  

Yes my fellow believers, above everything else, if we want to go and fight the enemy, then we have to be strong in the Lord, because that’s where our strength and our help come from. As the psalmist declares: ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.’ (Ps.121:2-4) And that’s gospel truth my people! Our God will look after us at all times, under whatever circumstances and situations! 

Before we go further though, let’s check out some info from the scholars, re our Bit. ‘6:10. Finally may be rendered “from now on” or “henceforth.” The spiritual battle Christians are engaged in exists “from now on” until the Lord’s return: there is no quarter given, no cease fire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities. “From now on” till the end there is all out war. The remainder of the verse may be paraphrased, “Let yourselves constantly be strengthened by the Lord, more precisely by His mighty power.” 

Ah mih people, how mighty is our God! The mightiest of them all!!! As we’ve said a couple times above, He made the heavens and the earth and all therein, so He must be truly powerful, and He does strengthen us to do His bidding. However, regardless of what strength we have, as warriors, we also need protective covering from the enemy’s slings and arrows, that’s why the verse after our Bit is so important. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ (Eph.6:11) 

Yes friends, we need to put on our protective spiritual armour, this morning, and every morning, before we go out to fight against the enemy, so that we don’t get hurt. It’s one thing to be strong in the Lord, but it’s another to fight without protective covering.  

And the scholars offer us these explanations. ‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative) (smile) denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. To stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical positon in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”). Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’ 

So friends, it’s no joke war in which we’re involved, it’s serious business, serious stuff on which our salvation and eternal life depends. So please, let’s take it very seriously nuh, because our enemy, Lucifer, is taking it very seriously. He’s definitely out to trip us up and make us turn away from following Jesus. And that’s definitely not a wise thing to do. Therefore, let’s put on our spiritual armour, and with the strength of our great God flowing through our minds, bodies and spirits, let’s go out and battle Beelzebub – battle him to the finish! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ arise…arise fully armoured and strengthened by Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

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

Ah mih people, it’s Friday and the ole fella doesn’t know what to write… Imagine that nuh! (smile) But I have no doubt that the Lord will lead me where He wants me to go eventually. 

Our world is in such a state of crisis that it doesn’t even make sense to talk about the wars and strife that are rife all over, neither the disasters, natural and man made that also abound. 

Steups! It does hurt one’s heart when one sees all the unnecessary nonsense that’s going on; the greed, the fight for power and personal aggrandizement, and the evil methods being used to accomplish those evil ends, especially when we can’t take any of it with us to our final resting place. 

Oh, I know we cannot, or will never live in a perfect world, but it certainly doesn’t have to be as warmongering and evil as it currently is. 

Such a beautiful world that God made for us to enjoy is going to waste as we rush headlong instead to foolishly destroy it …and in the aftermath, God’s greatest creation – mankind. Though sometimes I seriously wonder about that designation. 

So sometimes it’s heartwarming to hear the ordinary workingman not pay too much attention to the numerous ills of our world and simply and joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is here at last. No more slave labour for a few measly pennies, and no evil slave master continually looking over yuh shoulder. 

Is we time now! Time to do exactly as we please… to party hearty, eat, drink and shake we bodyline to endless music! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Yes friends, that goes to the extreme, and we as Christians need to have boundaries, but it’s such a simple, refreshing reaction to our unfeeling way of life, where there is so much poverty, sickness, homelessness and joblessness. 

In fact, almost every week in this supposed enlightened, sophisticated and brilliant age, fewer and fewer people are able to sing the workingman’s song, because of constant job losses to technology or outsourcing to cheaper production locations. 

But everyday, we read about the rich getting richer. Oh, I know it’s in the Bible. But does it have to be so extreme, where one percent of the world controls ninety something percent of its wealth? Definitely not! 

Blessedly though, we Christians have the wonderful God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to turn to at all times, be they times of crisis or times of joy and prosperity! 

And on Fridays we declare our Friday Chant, loud and proud: ‘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.’ 

It’s short and simple too my brethren, but it does recognize the immense role that our heavenly Father plays in our lives, gives Him the thanks and praise that He so rightfully deserves. 

And isn’t it interesting and amusing that from not knowing what to write about at the beginning, I’ve written so much! Hn, hn! But that’s the way our great God moves; in rather mysterious ways sometimes. 

And finally we come to our Bit, which reassures and gives us confidence to keep keeping on in the way of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, regardless of how the world goes. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Words to live by my brethren, although they are not always easy to put into effect. But listen to how Bruh David ends the psalm. ‘Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off (destroyed), thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay (native green) tree. 

Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect (blameless) man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 

But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps.37:34-40) 

That says it all friends! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then those words of faithful promise ought to lighten your worldly cares and have you singing for, and with joy, each and everyday of your life! Much LOVE!

…when we sincerely trust in Jesus…the burdens on our souls are truly lightened…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

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

And then it was Thursday; another blessed day on earth so generously granted to us by our magnanimous God! Give Him some thanks and praise people as we gratefully and joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Unfortunately though several people involved in the fire in London yesterday won’t see today, and in the U.S a couple in the shooting of Republicans at their baseball practice might not see tomorrow. 

What a life eh! What are we coming to? A group of legislators gather to practice for a charity game and then all hell breaks loose! 

But in a country where the gun culture rules and guns are so easy to come by, the gun will be used to settle a lot of scores. As the old adage goes: ‘You live by the gun, you die by the gun.’ 

It’s been reported that a U.S Republican congresswoman from New York received an email that asked what else she expected after her party, which has the majority in both the House of Reps and the Senate, was making the poor even poorer in order to enrich their already rich friends. 

And the current state of confusion that reigns in the U.S between its President and some of the lawmakers, doesn’t help the situation at all. But all I can say is that God is still in control, and nothing is going to happen unless He allows it, for whatever reason. 

So we just need to stay calm and collected, holding on to His ever-faithful promises and run the race that He has assigned for each of our lives. Christians definitely need to look to God more than ever in these turbulent times, where stuff we never dreamed of is sadly happening. 

Friends, this a whole new world, and it’s definitely not a brave one, but we have to have courage, and with the help of Almighty God, we can, and WILL handle whatever comes against us. 

And one of the ways we can handle this new world, is by paying serious attention to the words of Bruh David enshrined in our Bit. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Why, you ask? Because our God will deal with them in His own way and own time! Don’t worry friends, our God said that vengeance was His, and that He would repay it. He’s taking note of all the evil and evildoers, and at the right time, He will cut them down and burn them. Glory to God! 

Meanwhile, what we believers need to do, is to follow the words of Bruh David found later on in Psalm 37. ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath, fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). 

For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider His place (look diligently for him), and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.’ (Ps.37:4-11) 

Oh my people, that is the best remedy for whatever ails us: turn sincerely to God and try our best to live in peace and harmony. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these words of Bruh David, found later on in Psalm 37. ‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever merciful (merciful all day), and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed. 

Depart from evil, and do good, and dwell for evermore. For the Lord LOVETH judgement (justice) and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever; but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.’ (Ps.37:23-28) 

There we have it friends; the perfect prescription for earthly living! And when we follow it, then we are continually showered by our Thursday Blessings. Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! 

So let’s declare those blessings now with strong belief heartfelt passion. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

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

And the ultimate factor in blessings is that they must be shared, so let’s go out and do that now nuh, so that we can please our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!…

blessing and sharing…IS the Christian way…

 

 

 

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 8 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ 

Wow friends! What more can I say eh? Oh, possibly: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today! Something good is going to happen through me today!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the feeling, the positive, conquering, can’t lose feeling you experience in your spirit when Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour! Give glory and exaltation to His Holy Name! 

Abundant joy ought to mark the Christian’s life. What does the Good Book say? ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength!’ That means if we truly have the Lord in our lives, we ought to have joy and strength. 

And to make it an even better day, both the Sun and Son are shining as brightly as ever in my neck of the woods. It couldn’t get any better than that nuh mih people. And I guess you all are wandering what I’m so high on this beautiful Thursday morning in June of 2017? (smile) 

Well, as far as far as I know, I’m high on nothing but life! Life, my friends, as experienced and guided by the Spirit of Christ! Like the Holy Spirit got a zeppo from heaven directing it to infuse me with a shot of whatever, to get me excited about Christ and about this day. 

Now isn’t that refreshing and stimulating? It surely is! And why you ask, would the Holy Spirit do that eh? My best guess is because heaven wants me to share that excitement with you all, and to also get you high on life. 

Oh doesn’t our great and wonderful God move in mysterious ways? He surely does my fellow believers! That’s one of the many things I LOVE about Him; the way He can come up with wonderful goodies, at a time when you least expect them. 

But then too, He can also allow rough times when we least expect them. But as Job so rightly says, we can’t expect to have the good without the bad. But too many of us supposed Christians are always so sad and dreary, without real joy in our lives. 

We walk around with droopy shoulders, with heads hung low as though we’ve recently lost our best friend or our mother, wrongly believing that to be joyful is not a true Christian virtue. Chuh! That’s a totally false premise my people! 

Listen here, if we have Jesus dying for us on the cross at Calvary, so that our sins can be forgiven, then being raised from the dead, so that we too can be raised, consequently being reconciled to God, with assured promises of salvation and eternal life, plus unending grace and mercy here on earth, why wouldn’t you be joyful eh? 

Oh friends, as I keep trying to instill in us, we Christians should be the most joyful people on the face of this earth, and we ought to show it too, so that others can see it and want that pure, unadulterated joy and peace that ONLY comes through being in a personal relationship with the ONE and ONLY Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom all knees must eventually bow, and all lips declare his awesome majesty to the glory of Jehovah God! 

And all that I’ve said so far my brethren, comes as a direct result of the actions involved in our Bit. ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

Oh how magnanimous and full of LOVING-kindness is our wonderful God! But we don’t truly appreciate it, otherwise we’d be beating down His doors to get to Him, instead of doing our best to remove Him from our society. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars, hopefully, it will change your mind, bring you to your senses. ‘5:21. Three aspects of Paul’s concept of imputation (forgiveness) are seen in this passage. In verse 19 God imputes not iniquity (cf. Ps.32:2). Then He imputes sin to Christ, the spotless Lamb of God (cf. John 1:29; 1 Pet.1:19). 

Finally, God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the sinner’s account. This truth may be viewed from the side of justification, whereby the sinner is declared righteous based on the merits of Jesus Christ (cf. Rom.3:24-25), or it may be viewed from the side of sanctification, whereby the righteousness of Christ is daily applied. This latter sense is probably in view here. Compare 3:18’, see also 1 Cor.1:2).’ 

Ah mih people, yuh see the greatness of our God? You can look at your forgiveness in two different ways. Now hopefully that explanation will have some effect on us, especially if we look up the scriptures mentioned there. Please take a minute and do that nuh mih brethren, they are all interesting and worthwhile, and it is all for our benefit, not God’s. 

And if you still don’t believe all that’s been said above, then just look at the enormous amount of blessings we receive when we partner with Christ nuh. So let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with the excitement, the enthusiasm and sincere belief they deserve. 

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

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

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

And since blessings need to be spoken over someone for them to take effect, let’s go out and bless a whole lot of others today, my faithful followers of Christ! That’s what He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh the joy of being in Christ…and Him being in us…it’s so wonderful…that mere words can’t do it justice…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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