Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2016 John 6:48‏‏‏

John 6:48.    I am that bread of life.

HAPPY  CANADA  DAY !

Happy 149th Birthday Canada! May the Lord bless and keep you strong and godly that you might see another 149 birthdays! Amen! 

And though you may have recently declined in some respects, you are still the best big country in the world! And I believe that with my whole heart. I don’t want to live in any other big country. I have spent more than half of my life here, and obviously there have been some rough times, like there are everywhere, but you’ve never mistreated me. 

And the truth is, if you can make it in the northern climes, you can make it anywhere in the world. It hardens and toughens you up, gives you belly and backbone, which so many of us sadly lack in these trying times. 

And without a doubt, the populace, at least the working populace is overjoyed that today is Friday and also a holiday, so there’s been much shouting and carrying on re ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday and this long weekend! The partying will be terrific! Lots of food and drink! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! (smile) Now to help us correct the overblown idea of the weekend being the time for excessive partying, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which offers us a much better perspective. 

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.’ 

Yes friends, our lives would be much richer if we’d use that template for our weekend behaviour. Oh, and by the way, I’d be rather remiss if I didn’t throw in Granny’s wise advice for this long weekend. ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, please, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And better advice than that could not be given my people, for ole Lucifer is always sneakily trawling around, seeking a soft or unprotected spot in our spiritual armour to jump in and cause havoc. So please let’s not give him any chances during our celebrations this weekend nuh. 

And if you think things will be humming up here this weekend, just think about what the U.S. will be like as they celebrate their 4th of July Independence Day on Monday. Mama yo! The whole of North America will be jumping this weekend, and Beelzebub and his evil cronies will certainly be busy too! 

But if we just keep our wits about us, we’ll be fine, since the enemy has no power over believers in Jesus Christ unless we allow him to. 

Now let’s address our Bit; the same one of the past couple days. ‘I am that bread of life.’ 

Christ while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, had been trying to explain to His listeners who He was and His purpose here on earth. But they were most likely more concerned with physical bread to fill their stomachs than the spiritual kind that Jesus was referring to. 

Just before our Bit, He declares unto them: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ (John 6:47-51) 

What a wonderful invitation and promise my people! Do you want to live forever? Then eat the bread of eternal life that Jesus offers! It’s that simple. 

Today it might be for us, because we know the scriptures, but back then it was a tough thing for the people to imagine much less understand. And the Good Book tells us: ‘The Jews therefore strove (disputed) among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ (John 6:52) They didn’t realize that Jesus was speaking figuratively, rather than literally. 

‘Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat (food) indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by (because of) me. This is that bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.’ (John 6:53-58) 

Now imagine talking about eating your flesh and drinking your blood to any group of people at all, much less one forbidden to drink blood? (Lev.7:26-27) Obviously they were stunned and couldn’t fathom His speech. 

But friends, today, we know that Jesus was talking figuratively, meaning the Eucharist that we now celebrate. The bread represents His flesh and the wine His blood. So technically speaking, we have no excuses for not living forever, having eternal life, if we so desire. Unfortunately, many of us refuse it, but the wise choose it, because it is the word of God, the truth. 

Friends, I do hope that you are amongst that group of wise people who chose Jesus’ offer of eternal life, for that is the wisdom of all wisdom! Much LOVE!

…to refuse the Son of man’s offer of eternal life…is like committing suicide…

 

 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2015 Mark 6:31

Mark 6:31.   And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart (aside) into a desert (deserted) place, and rest awhile: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

And then it was Sunday; that wonderful day of fellowship and rest. Glory to God! Yes friends, it’s time once again to make our way to the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him much deserved praise and thanks and glory, and in return receive spiritual rejuvenation and a strengthening of our faith. 

Our God definitely knew what He was doing when He set aside one day in every seven for rest and fellowship amongst His earthly creation. Since He created us, He obviously knew our limitations, physical, emotional and spiritual. Our batteries do need recharging every once in a while, and He figured seven days was a goodly and godly number. (smile) 

Unfortunately though, many of us refuse to heed God’s warning about rest and rejuvenation and simply continue to follow the foolish attitude of the world of constant work, until our bodies break down with physical, mental and emotional diseases. Now that’s definitely not wisdom my people. 

Oh yes, I know that many of us need the money that comes from work, but remember what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore 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.6:33- 34) 

That’s the beauty of making God’s business our first priority; He will provide all our necessities. There’s absolutely no sense worrying about tomorrow and in running down the things of the world and then don’t have the time to enjoy them, or fall down before we do. 

That brings us to a quote from an author by the name of Daniel W. Joselyn. I couldn’t find any other pertinent info on him, but he is reputed to have said, or written that ‘Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair.’  

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren. To rest doesn’t necessarily mean to do nothing. It just means to take a break from whatever’s been occupying our time. Take a few moments or whatever to recuperate from that activity. But sadly this modern society makes us feel guilty if we take time off to renew ourselves, because it’s all about go, go, go. 

Whenever we feel, anxious, angry, or like the burdens of the world are bearing down on us, it’s quite okay to take a time out. As the Daily Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, from which I got this quote says: ‘Pamper ourselves once in a while to rejuvenate the physical and emotional strength needed to face our world.’ Now that’s an absolutely brilliant idea! 

And all of that provides a very smooth segue into our Bit. But first, here is what leads up to it. ‘And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart (aside) into a desert (deserted) place, and rest awhile: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert (deserted) place by ship privately (by themselves.’ (Mark 6:30-32) 

That was Jesus’ advice to His disciples and the action they took, after they had returned from the mission field. Obviously Jesus saw their need for a break from the strenuous activity of proselytizing, especially on foot. And if He could recommend rest and revitalization, why are we so proud and /or foolish not to also take it for ourselves every so often eh?  

It makes it ever so much easier to begin the week on a day of rest and righteousness than on one of work and worry. And that’s why I keep telling us that Sunday, which most Christians celebrate as the Sabbath, is the first day of our week, not the last, and we need to use it wisely in rest and godliness so that come Monday, we will be refreshed and renewed and able to handle the cares of the world with greater ease and much more passion. 

Remember too, Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, my people, what an awesome invitation! Whenever we’re tired or weary, in any aspect of our lives, we have an open invitation to go to Jesus and get rest. Glory Hallelujah! 

But yuh know what?  Too many of us, for whatever reason, disdain to accept Jesus’ invitation to come to Him for rest and renewal. That’s why we’re always running around like a chicken with our heads cut off, too busy to make time for ourselves, always anxious and uptight about the cares of the world. But true wisdom tells us that we shouldn’t always be rushing around. 

How did Cousin Sol famously put it as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes? ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ (Eccl.3:1) 

Yes Friends, there was, and still is, method to God’s madness. However, I can’t say the same for us, as our crazy, very disturbed, and chaotic world so perfectly exemplifies. 

So please, for all our sakes, let’s be wise and make this day, this Sunday, one of rest and worship nuh, thereby giving us a fresh mind, body and soul for tomorrow, Monday. Now that’s definitely the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…’I can simplify my life…by giving myself this day for relaxing…’

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2013 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the first day of December? The days sure are flying fast! Soon it will be Christmas, and then the New Year! And it seems that just recently we were cavorting and carrying on during the lazy, hazy days of summer. (smile)
 
That brings to mind that New Year’s Resolution we made to follow Jesus more closely in this year 2013. Time to check on it again my brethren, and do whatever is necessary to fulfill it.
 
Sorry, but you can’t truly fulfill it in just one month, since following Jesus is a process built on time and constancy of effort. That’s why I’ve been encouraging us to check on it at the beginning of each month.
 
And now that Christmas is upon us, meaning we’ll be busy with all the preparations and shopping, all that stuff is very liable to take us out of Jesus’ orbit and into that of the world. And talking about shopping, let’s chalk up one for Jesus and the sanctity of the family!
 
It seems that a brave and godly woman in Plymouth, New Hampshire, a Sears Homestore owner, refused the Head Office’s request to open at 7.p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, citing her support for families getting together on such a notable holiday.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and heartfelt, ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!’  Yes Friends, our God should indeed be praised for that bit of chutzpah on the store owner’s part. 
 
And the commercial nonsense is getting worse daily, for whereas Black Friday usually meant stores opening at midnight, they’re now opening early on Thanksgiving evening, cutting even deeper into the celebrations. Ah Lord eh!
 
And even sadder is the fact that there’s no break between the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping blitz, it’s all one concerted effort now. Steups! But I’ve got to say a big thank you to our God, because personally I don’t get caught up in all the hoopla.
 
However, the good thing about it all, is if we do stray, get lost and caught up in the idolatry of the worldly events, we have a way out in the godly promise of our Bit. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Now yesterday we were mainly concerned about what John had to say on the matter, today though, we’ll look at what other figures in scripture have to say about the confession of sins. 
 
And we’re going to begin with the wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ (Prov.28:13) 
 
Oh my people, that’s such an awesome truth! For when we try to hide our sins, they usually come back to haunt us at the worse time possible. As the old people would say, whatever is done in darkness will eventually come to light, with more disastrous consequences too. That’s another awesome truth, to which most of us can testify from personal experience.
 
Now let’s turn to a man who knew all about sins, righteousness, confessions and cleansing, Bruh David. Listen to him in Psalm 32; The blessedness of forgiveness. ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not (does not charge his account with) iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile (deceit).
 
When I kept silence, my bones waxed (grew) old through my roaring (groaning) all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture (vitality) is turned into the drought of summer.   Selah.
 
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.   Selah.’ (Ps.32:1-5)
 
Oh Friends, I’m sure that many of us can say the same thing, if we’re truthful. (smile) For when our wrongdoings weigh us down, our spirits usually become deflated and we just don’t feel right in the sight of our holy and righteous God.
 
But please note Bruh David’s solution, the only one that will bring us any peace; confession of our known iniquity to our heavenly Father. For as our Bit so rightly, faithfully and LOVINGLY declares: ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Ah mih breddren, I can’t help but note again, what a wonderful Deity we serve and worship!’ And for being so gracious and merciful to us undeserving sinners, let’s give Him a big, loud, grateful and hearty; ‘Thank You Lord! You’re the BEST! And that’s no lie Friends! 
 
And these comments from the scholars just corroborate my feelings. ‘Psalm 32. The psalm describes the blessedness of forgiveness as no other does. This is the theme of especially the first five verses, which include the happiness of the forgiven man (vv.1-2), the physical and psychological effects of unconfessed sin (vv.2-4), and the simple remedy of confession to receive God’s forgiveness (v.5). On this basis David can experience prayer (vv.6-7), divine instruction (vv.8-9), and personal witness (vv.10-11). 
 
And we’ll end with some more prayerful words from Bruh David, these from Psalm 38; The prayer of a penitent heart, which we recently covered, but is certainly worth hearing again. ‘O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me (pierce me deeply), and thy hand presseth me sore (down). There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest (peace) in my bones because of my sin.
 
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me… For I am ready to halt (fall), and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin…. Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.’ (Ps.32:1-4, 17-18, 21-22)
 
So Friends, we know our problems, and we know how to fix them, so please let’s get on with it nuh. That’s not only divine wisdom, but it also warms and pleases the heart of our wonderful, ever-LOVING God. Much LOVE!
 
…for the wages of sin is death…but the gift of God… is eternal life…through (in) Jesus Christ…   (Rom.6:23)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2013 Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5.    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (land).
 
Oh Friends, this is what I had planned for yesterday, until I read about the disastrous school shooting incident in Nevada. And in God’s everlasting wisdom, this project can, and will, definitely alleviate those kinds of tragedies, if we sincerely and seriously put our hands to the plough and furrow straight ahead without looking back.
 
Now it’s not a new project, but a very old one that we’re guilty of not doing properly. However, we’re starting over TODAY, in a more serious and sincere manner. So listen to the basic nature of the project, as Johnny Reid, in his drawling baritone, tells it to us in song.
 
‘Today I’m going to try and change the world. Gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.’
 
That’s just the chorus people, but even that’s very eye opening and inspirational!
 
Now listen to the verse. ‘I’m gonna say hello to my neighbour. Going to greet him with a smile. And shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while. I’m gonna tell someone I LOVE them from the bottom of my heart. Today I’m going to try and change the world… Chorus’
 
Oh my brethren, isn’t that a wonderful project? It sure is! And the beauty is that we’ll just take it one day at a time, no rush, doing the simple things that Jesus did in his sojourn down here on earth, and now wants us to carry on in His name.
 
And the whole thing is very easy; greet our neighbours with a smile and a pleasant hello; shake a strangers hand, then spend a li’l time chatting with them; tell someone we LOVE them, with a sincere and heartfelt feeling of truth.
 
Oh my people, my people, that’s the only way we can ever change this world!
 
But to do it sincerely and successfully, we have to live according to the dictates of our Bit. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (land).’
 
Yes Friends, we cannot do those things, or anything that Jesus requires of us, unless we’re meek, unless we’re humble. Now please remember that meek and humble don’t mean weak and afraid, like many people think, but rather strong, with an inner confidence in God, that you don’t have to huff and puff, get angry, or show off and boast.
 
Meekness and humility simple means we have a quiet, inner strength, steadfast faith, not afraid of the world or whatever it brings our way.
 
And this is the scholars’ take on our Bit. ‘5:5. The meek…shall inherit the earth refers again to those who have been humbled before God and will not only inherit the blessedness of heaven, but also will ultimately share in the kingdom of God on earth.
 
Here, in the opening statements of the Sermon on the Mount, is the balance between the physical and spiritual promise of the kingdom. The kingdom of which Jesus preached is both “in you” and is yet “to come.”
 
Solid truth that mih breddren!
 
And even before Jesus spoke those memorable words of our Bit in the Beatitudes, Bruh David solemnly declared in Psalm 37, The true state of the wicked: ‘For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider (look diligently for) his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.’ (Ps.37:10-11)
 
And as per inheriting the earth, Bruh Paul wrote this to the church at Rome. ‘For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.’ (Rom.4:13)
 
And the scholars’ explain that thus: ‘4:13. The promise: Many Jews thought that the privileges they enjoyed came from their adherence to the Mosaic Law. This is false. The promises were given to Abraham 430 years before the law was given, hence the law does not annul the Abrahamic covenant. It was merely added alongside until Christ should come to fulfill it. (cf. Gal.3:17-19)’
 
So we see Friends, it’s all based on faith, trust, and surrender to Almighty God; from the day Abraham received the promise, till the day the last trump sounds. Therefore let’s try and stop living by sight nuh, and instead live by faith, as we ought to, since it’s the ONLY WAY we can truly embrace Jesus and all that He stands for.
 
That means we continually need to ponder the strength of our faith and find ways to make it stronger. Now that’s where divine wisdom comes in. Much LOVE!
 
…if each believer tries to make a positive difference…each and every day…then we’ll soon change the world…as Jesus… so long ago, asked us to…