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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘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 more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘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 offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other 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.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2017 Mark 13:13.

Mark 13:13.    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And then it was Saturday mih breddren; a day for lazing around for some lucky ones, while others will be forced to do household chores ignored during the week, or go grocery shopping… 

Chuh! It’s always something eh? Whatever happened to the glorious promises that technological innovation would make our lives easier eh? Our lives are busier than they ever were! Yes we have much more stuff, but we also have much more stuff to look after. Anyway friends, there’s no need to worry, for it’s all under God’s mighty and wise control! Glory to Him in the highest! 

But it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Be congruent (in harmony, together), be authentic, be your true self. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ 

Ah friends, that’s how we ought to be, but in these fraudulent, selfish times, too many people are not their true selves, they are two-faced for whatever reason, thus they cannot live in harmony with themselves.  

And then there’s this one: ‘See the good in people and help them. I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.’ That’s a very good philosophy my people. We should always look for the good in others, but in these current times, we still need to be very careful about whom we let into our private space.  

Now listen to this quote: ‘Take care of this moment. I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.’ Much truth lies in that. Jesus said that if we sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all we needed to lead a good life would be provided. 

Then He concluded: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) That simply means that every day will take care of itself if you are living under the umbrella of the heavenly Father. 

And I like this last quote. ‘Persist. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Yes, precious people of God,, there’s an awful lot to be said about persistence. It will get us through the most agonizing and harrowing experiences or situations when nothing else will. 

And we have one of the best examples of that in our Bit. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ 

Ah friends, those are the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, expressed in the course of telling His disciples about the signs for the end times. Please note that those who shall be saved, are those who endure, persist, have the patience, the belly and backbone to stand up until the end, against all the evil and unjust stuff that will come against believers. 

And we are seeing a lot of that stuff happening nowadays my fellow believers, which means we have to band our bellies and stand strong and steadfast in Jesus’ name, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. We can’t afford to fall down, give up, and whimper out in fear now. This is the most crucial time in our history; a time when the sheep will be separated from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus, while the goats will lust for Beelzebub. 

And we will invoke the eternal wisdom of the author of the Hebrews. Hear this classic verse. ‘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, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

What a magnificent verse of scripture that is my brethren! So strong that it ought to light a fire under us in these end times! We need lots of patience, perseverance and endurance my people if we’re going to fight the good fight for Christ! 

And to boost our spirits and courage at this stage of the game, please listen to Jesus’ promise as told by Luke. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

What a promise mih people! Not a hair on our heads will perish if we stand up strong under the persecution that will come against us. Wow! And we all know that Jesus is ever-faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So please hold on strong, stand in unity, because together we’re much stronger than apart. 

Let’s raise up Christ’s church as we’re supposed to nuh. This is the time when all Christians must come together, regardless of colour, class, creed or race. Let’s do it for Jesus. It’s the least we can do for all that He’s done for us. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2016 Romans 8:37.


Romans 8:37.   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

And then it was Saturday! A day when most of us don’t have to go out and labour, punch in and out on the man’s time clock. Oh what a blessing! Although we might actually work harder at home doing household chores than when we’re out labouring for the man. But at least we can do how much we want, when we want and at the pace we want. Glory to God! 

And would you believe, I have just the right inspiration this morning for us from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better day. 

And for this Saturday morning, Anselm advises: ‘Do something small and create a flow. Just clean your desk. Or pay your bills. Or wash the dishes. You just need to get started. When you have finished that small task you’ll feel more alert and ready to go do the next thing. You just have to get started to get motivated. So if you really don’t feel like doing anything, start with something small and work your way out and up.’ 

That’s pretty good advice my people, especially if you’re somewhat under the weather and you don’t feel like doing anything at all, but there are things you must do. Just start small and gradually work your way up to the big things. You’ll be surprised at how much you have accomplished at the end of the day. 

Ah friends, life is certainly strange yes! And why do I say that? Because some days you need to tackle the big things first, the ones you fear or dread the most, else you’ll just keep on putting them off and they’ll never get done. At other times, like today, it’s the small stuff we need to do to motivate us into doing bigger ones. 

And you know what? That ties in rather nicely to our Bit. But before we get to it, let’s set the scene with a couple of verses before it. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, what a marvellous bit of scripture! Bruh Paul says that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God which is found in Christ Jesus. Glory Hallelujah! That is something to sing and shout and gloat about my people! For once we have become new creatures in Christ, NOTHING WHATSOEVER can break that bond; neither life, death, angels, nor the evil powers that be! 

That should be very reassuring to all who come to Christ for rescue.  Knowing that even though we may be considered simple sheep to be slaughtered, the unconditional and everlasting LOVE of God shall never depart from us and will comfort us through each and any situation, be it good or bad. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

Yes my believing brethren, our God is the greatest power in the universe, because He created it and still controls it. Everything in it is subservient to Him. And His purpose for and towards us? Why, it’s something we all know, or should know. 

The Good Book generously shares it with us, in the uplifting words of Bruh Paul. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)  

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

Yeh friends, only those who truly LOVE God can appreciate the fact that even during our worst trials and tribulations, He is in the background working it all out for our good eventually. And I’m going to spoon feed you here again (smile) because the scripture is so phenomenal and relevant to what we are talking about.  

Listen to Job during his time of tribulation. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Now isn’t that the utmost in faith? It surely is! Job has suddenly lost everything, his family and his earthly possessions, through no fault of his own, or no evil deed, but yet still he carries the flaming torch of trust and faith in the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Mama Mia! How many of us possess such great faith today eh my people? Certainly not enough, for as soon as the first lash hits, and no succour is forthcoming from God, many of us begin to complain, lose faith and backslide. 

Hear the scholars on Job’s faithfulness. ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight.  Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’  

Ah mih people, there’s no more for me to say, except that we should sincerely ponder those scriptures that we’ve touched on today and try to see where they fit into our journey with Christ, and as always, turn to Jehovah God and ask for help in bettering ourselves faith wise. That’s the greatest wisdom available to mankind. Much LOVE!

…only when one truly walks by faith…and not by sight…can one truly appreciate the LOVE of God…found in Jesus Christ…

 

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…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2016 Philippians 1:29

Philippians 1:29.    For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Well friends, all the Good Friday hoopla is finally over. The feast of the Passover is in progress. The Romans and the ruling Jewish class are happy that Jesus the interloper, troublemaker and very possible threat to their power and political status is dead. They are exhaling a big sigh of relief and resting satisfied in the culmination of their most heinous and criminal act; causing Jesus to be crucified on lies and circumstantial evidence. 

Thanks to Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, His lifeless body is now lying in a new tomb sealed by a big rock, with soldiers guarding it, so that there is no chance of any mischief from His rag tag band of followers. 

Meanwhile, in reality, that group of followers have fled hither, thither and yon, fearful for their own lives, because of their association with Jesus. Sincere disappointment also clouds their spirits, because they had had such high hopes for and in their leader. All His great sermons and miracles and wonderful philosophy had fuelled their hearts and minds with dreams of a much better and brighter day. 

But now, in the blink of an eye, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem some six days earlier, (Palm Sunday) everything  had suddenly been turned topsy-turvy by His sudden betrayal, arrest, mock trial and death on that wooden cross at Calvary. I guess, like any of us mired in a similarly difficult situation, they were wondering what would become of their lives, since they had given up everything to follow Jesus. 

Judas, His betrayer, has gone and hung himself, remorse and guilt having gotten the better of him. Then Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times, was tearing out his hair, wondering how he could have done something that stupid and cowardly. Mary, Jesus’ mother, per His dying directive, had gone to live with John, the disciple whom He LOVED. And the once solid band of believers was now in total disarray. 

It had all happened so suddenly that they had all been taken by surprise, although Jesus had tried to warn them of His impending troubles. As they were going up to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, Jesus had tried to tell them what was about to happen. 

‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles (Roman rulers): and they shall mock him, and shall scourge (flog) him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.’ (Mark 10:33-34) 

But obviously none of them were paying serious attention to His words. Even the night of the Last Supper, when He informed them that one of the group would betray Him, they still didn’t take it seriously, although they all wondered and asked if it was them. But now things had come to up bump; the Master was dead, and they were like lost, fearful sheep scattered to the four winds, without the LOVE and guidance of their shepherd. 

Yes friends, that was the general state of affairs in Jerusalem, come Saturday morning. I guess it taught that first band of believers a serious lesson; namely that being associated with Jesus could be a dangerous endeavour, entailing suffering and persecution. 

I sincerely hope it has also taught us that too, some two thousand years later, as our Bit details. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

It’s not all wine and roses my people, we ofttimes have to get down and dirty and also suffer some on Jesus behalf. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great life, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other, but like life itself, there are problems and difficulties to encounter, bear and overcome, obviously with Jesus’ help. 

As Bruh Paul declares earlier in the chapter: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ (Phil.1:21) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1:21. For explains why Paul is just as happy to magnify the Lord by death as by life (v.20). It is because to him, to live is Christ. He means that living consists of serving and glorifying the Son of God; apart from this, his life has neither meaning nor purpose. 

But why is Paul just as content to magnify Christ by death? Because to him to die is gain; that is even though living and serving God are good, death is a graduation to something better: it is a promotion to the heavenly presence of Christ and perfect fellowship with Him.’ 

Now friends, all of that is perfectly true, but like most of you, I don’t think I’m ready for that heavenly promotion just yet. I still have a lot of serving and magnifying and glorifying to do down here on earth. (smile) 

But seriously though my people, like Bruh Paul, our main objective, whether down here on earth, or in heaven on high should be to seriously magnify Christ. That ought to be our basic desire; whatever we do or say should have God’s glorification as its number ONE objective. 

Yuh see all the really rough times Bruh Paul went through fearlessly for Christ’s sake! And Christ brought him safely through them all! Now most of us won’t have to go through anything like that, but we will meet opposition and even persecution, if we become and behave like serious followers of Christ. 

Now that is the number ONE question: how many of us are willing to go through trials and tribulation in Christ’s service? 

And what better day to ponder and consider that question my people, than on the Saturday between Good Friday, when Christ sacrificed His life on the cross, and Easter Sunday, when He rose triumphantly from the grave? 

Please, let’s all do that today nuh. And hopefully we’ll all come up with the same resounding answer: ‘Yes! We will go to the grave magnifying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! After what He’s done for us, we can do nothing less!’ 

Now let’s go out and put that promise into action this Easter Saturday nuh, before we have time to think about it and change our minds. (smile) Much LOVE!

…by His stripes we are healed…by His precious blood shed on the cross we are saved…thank You Jesus for salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Aye mih breddren, it’s a white winter’s morn in my neck of the woods this Holy Thursday of 2016. Yes, it’s beautiful to the eyes, but ever so dangerous to the body. A late winter, early spring storm dumped some of the white stuff on us; thankfully not as much as the East Coast and parts to the north of us. 

The problem though is it’s not straight snow but more a combination with freezing rain, which means there’s a high ice content making things very slippery and dangerous. So those of you who have to go out there, please make sure you are very careful because it doesn’t take much under those conditions for accidents to happen. 

Thankfully I don’t have to go out there today. And besides, the last two days have been rather busy, and what with the unusually late nights too, the ole fella needs a bit of a rest. He’s not as young as he was or as mobile and agile as he thinks he is. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a serious and sincere prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. We’re going to give ourselves to God, either for the first time, or if we’ve done so before, rededicate our lives to Him. 

So please pray with me: ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen.’  

Yeh friends, what better time to dedicate or rededicate our lives to Christ than just before He sacrifices His life for us tomorrow on Good Friday! 

We all know it wasn’t an easy time for Him, how He went into the Garden of Gethsemane in the evening and with an anguished spirit, pleaded with the Father, that if it were at all possible, He would be spared the difficult and dehumanizing ordeal. (Matt.26:36-46) 

But it was not, and Jesus knew that, but it just shows that in His humanity He was as vulnerable and anxious as any man would be. 

However, finally accepting that His ordeal could not be put aside, He eventually said: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) 

Ah mih people, that is how we have to react sometimes too. Even though we know that the going will be pretty rough and painful, if it’s the Lord’s will, we just have to grin and bear it. Remember too, that He will not give us more than we can bear, and will always help us through whatever painful and sorrowful situations we go through. 

Those are the thoughts of faith we must use to get us through the rough times. For as our Bit declares: ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, unfortunately, living for Jesus is a two way street. It’s not easy, but the rewards do outweigh the pain and heartache. And as we promised yesterday, here is the rather appropriate passage from 2 Corinthians. 

‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor.4:17-18) 

Yeh friends, we can’t afford to merely look at and concentrate on the things that are happening to us in this life, because they are temporary, only for a short while, but through our eyes of faith must keep focused on the things of heaven which we cannot see, but which are so much more valuable and worthwhile than the destructible things of the world. 

My brethren, it’s a serious decision we have to make to follow Christ. We cannot have a wishy-washy, half-baked, fence-sitting attitude, if we really want to be a true Christian. It’s true that Christ died that we may have an abundant life, but he also said that it would be filled with persecution, just because we believed on Him. 

However, He also said that we should not be afraid, because he had already conquered the world, and there was nothing the world could do to us. And we’ll finish with another appropriate scripture passage for this Holy Thursday. 

This one from Hebrews: ‘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.’ (Heb.12:2) 

And what was that joy, you ask? ‘Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people, that’s how the Father rewarded Jesus for sacrificing His sinless life for us. Will He not amply reward us too if we are obedient to His will? Of  course! 

So please let’s go into Good Friday with a sense of suffering for and with Christ, so that when He is exalted, we also will be exalted with Him. There’s no better wisdom than that! Much LOVE!

…any ‘sufferation’ that comes from doing God’s will…will be amply rewarded….in God’s way…and in God’s time…that’s a proven fact… 

P.S. It’s late and long, but oh so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

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