Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Aloha friends, and family, Aloha! Is Friday one more time… And as expected, the place is already hopping in expectation of a wild and wicked weekend, especially with Christmas time in the air. 

Yeh, mih people, all around the place yuh hearing the usual ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God for the weekend in this Christmas season, where we going to eat and drink and party fuh so…and even fall down drunk sometimes too! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend, come Christmas time!’ 

And believe me, this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, is used to cover a lot of debauchery and licentiousness. But thankfully, we believers know better, we know the true reason for the season; the birth of Christ, and we celebrate it in a much more godly manner, don’t just use it as an excuse to party. 

Anyway, since it’s Friday let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a better standard of behaviour in the use of the weekend. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to spend the weekend, getting some balance and restoration in our souls, without which we won’t be able to do Christ’s work in the excellent manner that He expects from His followers. 

Now let’s get to our Bit, which a lot of believers still can’t fathom. (smile) ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus does not come easy, for at times, much of them unexpected, we are put through the fire to test our mettle, to see how our faith matches up with the words we speak and the behaviour we display. And it’s never easy to welcome these unexpected trials with the joy that is required of us. 

However, as we grow in faith, as we stay in close proximity to Almighty God, taking all our problems to Him, finding joy in tribulation becomes easier. We have to go through it several times before we can truly appreciate the truth and the vitality contained therein. 

Now we’ve heard James’ and Peter’s take on the subject, but no word on trials and tribulations will be worth its salt if it doesn’t contain these fiery words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope: 

And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:1-5) 

So friends, since we have been justified through Christ, through God’s doing, not man’s, and thus have right standing with Him through reconciliation, we can therefore rejoice in whatever befalls us, because we are sure of God’s deliverance. 

Hn! Hope that makes sense. (smile) That’s why Bruh Paul says we can glory, can boast in all the negative stuff that comes upon us, since they only grow us, make us stronger in our faith, bring us closer to God and more Christ-like, which is our end-goal. 

Now here is the crowning glory of it all, found in the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ that He delivered in the Sermon on the Mount. This is the last of the Beatitudes, and I don’t know if Jesus had a special reason for putting it last, possibly because He knew that it would be the hardest one to live by. 

Nonetheless, please listen closely my brethren. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars give us this interesting and uplifting explanation. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! 

Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Oh friends, we know that our wonderful God is real, He is who He claims to be, plus the Bible is true, so no earthly trouble should take away our joy in the salvation of Christ Jesus! 

So let’s go out today and just exult nuh; exult in the glory of God, knowing that our place in heaven is safe and secure! That’s what it means to be a true and mature Christian! Much LOVE!

…mourning may last for a night…but joy comes in the morning…because our faith is strong…and Christ’s salvation is real… 

P.S. I visited our bubba Scotty yesterday afternoon. He is doing much better. He says he’s alive but can’t kick too hard just yet. (smile) So let’s keep on praying for him to make a full recovery very soon. Much LOVE!

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.        In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, on this Sunday morning in the middle of May, in a season we call spring time, when nature is refreshed and rejuvenated with new life and colour, please, oh please, let’s be eternally grateful and give loads of thanks for the fairly free society in which we live!
 
Once upon a time it was mostly a community based on the Christian faith, but in recent times it has morphed into one of many different, diverse faiths and cultures. However, we are still free to worship and believe in whom or what we choose. Unfortunately though, this is not the case for millions of our Christian brothers and sisters in many places around the world, who live under heinous authoritarian religious regimes.
 
Today I want to highlight the unfortunate plight of one such sister. The newspapers recently reported the awful situation of a 26 year old, eighth months pregnant Sudanese woman, who married a Christian man, and for that she was sentenced to death. Steups! And as always, it’s the women and children who suffer the most.
 
As the hypocritical patriarchal Muslim society in Sudan would have it, it’s okay for a Muslim man to marry outside of his faith, and the children must by law adopt the father’s religion. Chuh! However that largesse of faith does not apply to Muslim women. This unfortunate young woman was convicted of ‘apostasy’ because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. Glory Be!
 
She is paying though a rather hefty price for that refusal since the Sudanese penal code declares that Muslims converting to any other faith is a crime punishable by death. But it doesn’t seem that the young woman was ever Muslim, for although her father, a Muslim, married and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and the law states that such children must adopt the father’s faith, her mother raised her as a Christian after the father left them.
 
Now she languishes in some sordid jail with her 18 month old son and her unborn child, awaiting her unfair fate. To make matters even more ridiculous and hypocritical, it seems that the court also ordered the young woman to receive a hundred (100) lashes. Why? For having what they considered sexual relations with her husband, a Christian from the new country of South Sudan, which is mostly Christian.
 
Ah Friends, I don’t even want to consider the hypocrisy, because it just makes me so angry that I tend to forget the LOVING-kindness principles of Jesus and desire revenge, or I should say justice (smile) in my heart. Oh I know that we Christians can be very hypocritical too, but hopefully not to that extent.
 
Let’s hope that an appeal is successfully lodged on the young woman’s behalf in the not too distant future. And to help right that wrongful situation, let’s all offer up some heartfelt prayers for her and the millions of other Christians around the world, who are suffering oppression, suppression and loads of injustice, simply because of their sensible and right thinking belief, faith, and trust in Jesus Christ, and the One and Only True and Living Deity, Jehovah God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 
 
My fellow believers, please believe that there is indeed a very real, a very serious and a very deadly spiritual war that’s currently taking place, and we are at the forefront of it. Thus we need to be on our p’s and q’s; ever-ready to resist and fight back against the evil powers that now control this ungodly world.
 
What Jesus prophesied so long ago, as we saw in yesterday’s scriptures, is now coming to pass. ‘But before all these (signs), they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you (be an occasion) for a testimony.’ (Luke 21:12-13)
 
Furthermore ‘And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers (authorities), take ye no thought (do not worry about) how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.’ (Luke 12:11-12)
 
It’s not going to be easy my people, but if we stand strong, steadfast and immovable on the promises of our wonderful Saviour, then we will eventually be victorious. Listen to this awesome promise of God’s Son. ‘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)
 
And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Jesus has indeed overcome the world. He’s conquered sin, death and the grave with His Easter Resurrection. So let’s take comfort, derive lasting peace from it, and show the world that we are stronger than anything they can throw at us, because we have the awesome power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus working in, for, and through us!
 
Note though, that despite all our assurances, we can’t afford to let down our guard for even one moment, because the evil one is lurking around, looking for even a toehold in our spiritual armour. But we do need to be patient and persevering as Jesus advises in our Bit. ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Yes Friends, if we remain faithful, don’t give up, and keep pressing on, regardless of our adversity, then we shall indeed see ALL the promises of Jesus come to joyful fruition, and His church will be victorious!
 
So today, my fellow believers, let’s all flock to God’s house with joyful souls nuh, to pray, worship and give thanks for our many blessings and freedoms. For that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
 …the powers of evil and darkness…are no match whatsoever…for those of LOVE and goodness…found in the brilliant light of the world…our Lord and Saviour…Jesus Christ…