Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2017 Psalm 95:6.

Psalm 95:6.    O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Oh Glory to God my fellow believers for blessing us with another bountiful day on Planet Earth! And also for giving us the wonderful privilege of being able to gather together, in His sanctuary this Sabbath Sunday morning, to praise and worship Him and to hear His awesome word, which, as its truth seeps into our hearts and souls will strengthen us, by giving us His mercy, grace and guidance to face the upcoming week! 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Every day He gives me greater reason to make that declaration. And when I reached out for a song of praise and worship for us to sing today, I just felt like getting closer to our Maker, hence this old hymn, ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ written in the 19th century by Sarah Adams. 

It is based on the topic of loyalty and the scriptures of Genesis 28:11-13, when God spoke to Jacob at Bethel and promised to make his progeny abundant and prosperous. It’s also based on Psalm 42:2: – An intense longing for God. ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before him.’ 

Therefore friends, this morning, if our souls indeed thirst for the living God, then let’s offer the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we endeavour to get closer, or as close as we can get to Him on this our earthly journey. So in full voice, in unison and perfect harmony, let’s sing! ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!) 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Oh faithful saints of Christ, that was marvellous! And as we sang, one could feel the strong and beautiful presence of God in His house! The heartfelt feelings were so sincere that He had no choice but to grace us with His Holy presence! 

Now let’s continue in that same vein; the sincere seeking and longing for and getting closer to God by invoking the glorious words and advice of our Bit. ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.’ That’s the ultimate act my brethren; coming before the Lord in sincere, heartfelt prayer! Why, you ask? 

Listen as the psalmist explains after our Bit. ‘For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under His care). (Ps.95:7a) There could be no better reason than that friends: we are beholden to our great and wonderful God in each and every aspect of our lives! We are His people, and He cares for us, both in LOVE and by providing our earthly needs every day. 

But then the psalmist does something strange; he pleads with us: ‘Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion); and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness. When your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’(Ps.95:7b-9) 

Now why would anyone in their right mind, rebel against God and try to test Him eh? Especially after they had seen the wonderful miracles he had performed on their behalf while bringing them out of four hundred years of bondage in Egypt? Only a people mad with lustful desires of the flesh, egged on by Lucifer could be so obtuse as to rebel against their maker. 

Consequently, the psalmist, speaking on God’s behalf, continues: ‘Forty years long was I grieved with (disgusted with) this generation, and said, It is a people that do err (go astray) in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:10-11) And God fulfilled His promised, when only Caleb and Joshua of all those who had left Egypt, set foot in the Promised Land. 

For forty years the Israelites wandered aimlessly in the desert because of their disobedience to Almighty God. And friends, it just boggles my imagination that they could be so stupid after seeing all the miracles of God! No other group of people, to this day, has seen God work so miraculously on their behalf. Just the parting of the Red Sea should have been enough to convince them forever. 

However friends, they saw it and didn’t believe, we didn’t see it, but let’s be wise nuh; let’s believe and be obedient, otherwise we will not enter into God’s rest. And let these words of Jesus to His doubting disciple Thomas, be a sure promise to us. ‘Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’(John 20:29) 

Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! Words to wisely and confidently live by! Much LOVE!

…true faith in Jesus…means…believing…without…or before seeing…

 

 

 

Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ah friends, it’s time to celebrate one more day of life on God’s great earth! Wow! What a privilege! 

Remember, a lot of others did not open their eyes this morning, so there must be a reason we opened ours to the bright and dazzling light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Glory to God! 

Let’s therefore give Him appropriate thanks and praise for all the new mercies and blessings He’s specially prepared for us for today. 

And all God’s people loudly, heartily and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for us, all You’re doing right now, and all You’ve promised to do in the future. We know You are an ever-faithful Deity, thus we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now here is a gem of a quote, I found on my desk this morning. I don’t who or where I got it from, or if I ever shared it before, but it surely is worth sharing over and over. 

Listen closely. ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! And they are particularly pertinent to believers, because Jesus expects us to be persons of excellence, and you can only be excellent when you reach out for the best. 

That brings us to our Bit, but let’s start with the seminal verse before it. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’  (Col.3:12-13) 

Even greater words of wisdom my believing breddren, since it’s based on God’s basic law, of you reap what you sow. And the scholars have this to say about those verses. 

‘3:12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’  

‘3:13. The fact that believers are being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. 

For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’  

Ah friends, one more reminder that as believers we must always reach for excellence in all our doings. None of us have become spiritually perfect as yet, therefore we all need to forbear and forgive if there is to be unity in Christ’s church. 

And right there you have one of the reasons why Christ’s church is so divided and cantankerous; we refuse to forgive others and instead hold on to the negative emotions of anger, hate and resentment. 

Oh my people, please remember these immortal words of Jesus. ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt.12:25) 

How do we expect Christ’s church to stand if we are so divided and refuse to forbear and forgive eh? It’s just impossible. 

And hear these even more immortal words of Jesus, (smile) which occur in the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ the sample prayer He gave us, and which most of us pray every day. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) 

Oh friends, have we gotten so complacent in praying that prayer that we no longer consider the words we speak and what they truly mean? We ask to be forgiven as we forgive. So what does that tell us eh? Only as we forgive, will the Lord forgive us. 

So why are we allowing the nonsense of the world to interfere with our Christian behaviour and beliefs, with our joy, our peace and contentment eh? Let’s wake up and become the people of excellence that the Lord expects of us nuh. That’s the only way we’ll ever defeat the forces of darkness. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Who else has such wonderful favour eh? Nobody but us! So let’s use it nuh friends, while remembering that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In all sincerity and belief 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 the corollary to all that, is let’s remember to bless others like we blessed ourselves. Much LOVE!

…to forgive is heavenly…and to be forgiven is even more heavenly…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2016 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.   To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him. 

Oh friends, doesn’t it feel good to be alive on this Tuesday morning? It certainly does, especially when we are members of that glorious body, the church of Jesus Christ! 

Wow! What a privilege and a blessing to be numbered amongst the brothers and sisters of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Consequently, our attitude should be one of great appreciation and a burning desire to do the Lord’s will. In keeping with all that, then let us sincerely declare, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes my brethren, though the day may look dark and bleak, we know for a fact that the light of Jesus is shining in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, and therefore we have the wherewithal to go out into the evil world and make a positive difference on His behalf. 

And to boost, to bolster our faith and courage, to reaffirm our sense of purpose, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, with certainty and passion. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. 

I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, as I said earlier on, it’s sure good to be in league with Jesus and the heavenly father. How can we be beaten or discouraged when we are God’s beloved and the friend of Jesus eh? No way Jose! 

But we also need to remember that we have a part to play in the relationship; and our part is to share the LOVE of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know Him, to receive His awesome offer of salvation and eternal life! 

And all God’s people declared a loud, sincere and appreciative: ‘All praise and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for taking us under their mighty wings and keeping us safe and warm, like babes in their mother’s arms!’ 

And in so doing friends, the Holy Trinity takes the interest of each believer and deals with them personally, helping them to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to God, while they spread the good news of Jesus’ wonderful gospel. 

Nothing could be better than that my brethren! And when we consider the glorious words of our Bit, we become even more appreciative of God’s LOVE for us, His greatest creation. ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my fellow believers! No other Deity is willing to offer mercy and forgiveness to rebellious followers. That means the Lord must be strong and secure in His own Spirit. For only a very powerful and secure Being could afford to be so generous. And for that generosity, we offer a most heartfelt thanks! 

Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that uphold the argument of our Bit. And we’ll begin with words from the prophet Joel, as he calls Israel to repentance and fasting. 

‘Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and  with mourning: 

And rend (tear) your heart and not your garments, and turn (return) unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (LOVING-kindness), and repenteth him of the evil (relents from doing harm).’ (Joel 2:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting commentary on those verses. ‘2:12-13. The customary way a Jew showed his grief was to tear his outer garment. This external sign could be meaningless. The tearing of the outer garment is useless, unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition.’ 

And that still holds true up to these ungodly times my people. Outward show does not move God’s heart. That’s why He seeks our true motives by examining the state of our own hearts before answering our prayers. 

Now listen to the words of Bruh David from Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:4-5) 

And nobody knew God’s forgiveness and mercy better than Bruh David. Now let’s end with some more of his awesome words from Psalm 86. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest (the depths of) hell. 

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men (mobs) have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 

O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token (a sign) for good: that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me.’ (Ps.86:12-17) 

Oh friends, definitely a great prayer on which to begin our day! Now let’s go out there feeling helped and comforted by our God and do His wondrous will for our lives. Much LOVE!

…with our wonderful God…mercy and forgiveness are possible…even though rebellion fills our hearts…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2016 2 Timothy 3:17.

2 Timothy 3:17.    That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works. 

Oh my precious people of God, a new day has been birthed, and we’ve been blessed with the privilege of seeing it, experiencing it, and enjoying it! 

And all God’s people loudly and gratefully declared: ‘Thanks be to God!’ 

Yes friends, it’s all because of the great unconditional LOVE that our heavenly Father has for us, and we’d be very wise to accept and use it to benefit His holy kingdom. 

We can’t do anything about yesterday because that’s already past and gone, annotated in the books of history, no more to be seen. And as for tomorrow, we’re not sure that we’ll be around to see, much more enjoy it. 

So we’re left with only today, the gift of the present time, and wisdom dictates that we dedicate ourselves to using it fully, with God’s work being our number one priority. 

And how do we do that? First off, by having a close personal relationship with the Father through prayer, and reading and meditating on His holy word found in the book we call the Bible, which contains His guidelines for our daily walk on this planet earth. 

Now it’s not an easy walk, but if we stay steadfast in prayer and in the scriptures, we will be ably assisted by the Holy Spirit that dwells within it us, as our Guide and Comforter. 

Yuh see friends, our wonderful God has it all planned out; we hang with Him, read His word and be guided by His Holy Spirit and we’ll be fine. 

And what I want to deal with here today is the authority found in the scriptures and how they came to be. We’ll begin by listening to Bruh Paul as he tells his young protégé Timothy before our Bit. 

‘But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ. 

All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim.3:14-17) 

Yes friends, the Good Book has been created through godly inspiration to make us wise in Christ, so that we can achieve salvation and eternal life. 

Wow! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! 

Now here are some insights from the scholars on those verses.’3:14-17. Continue literally means “remain.” The things which thou hast learned were his oral instruction in the holy scriptures (the Old Testament here) by his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois). 

Inspiration of God (Gr. theopneustos), lit, “God breathed”) describes the unique character of Scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. 

For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (Gr. artios, “proficient, capable”) is having everything needed to do what God wants. 

Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, God has left nothing to chance, He has given us the groundwork for earthly living, filled with answers for any and every situation we’ll ever face! That’s why the Bible is called ‘The Book of Answers!’ 

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share these further insights on Inspiration as set out by the scholars. ‘3:16. This (Inspiration) refers to the supernatural guidance of the writers of Scripture by the Spirit of God, so that what they wrote was the divine Word of God, transcribed accurately, reliably, and without error in the original manuscripts (“autographs”). The word inspiration itself pictures God breathing out His Word to men. 

Illustration: Not everything written by an apostle or a prophet was necessarily inspired. Paul wrote at least three epistles to the Corinthians, but apparently only two were an inspired record (1 Cor.5:9). Samuel, Nathan and Gad each wrote accounts of David’s life, only one of those prophets produced and inspired record (1 Chr.29:29). 

Application: Since the Scriptures are given to help the Christian grow in maturity, they should rely on them for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instructions in righteousness (right living). First Ref. Gen.1:3; Primary Ref. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; cf. 2 Pet.1:21).’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that all that info will help us better understand the use and purpose of the Bible, because it’s essential for us to do so, if we intend to grow in Christian maturity. 

Now let’s go home this gracious Thursday morning declaring our Thursday Blessings with much enthusiasm and faith. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s go out into the world and make it all come through, with God’s help of course! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2016 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.   And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

And a most enthusiastic ‘Good morning’ to you my friends and family in Jesus Christ! 

It is indeed a good morning, meaning that we are alive and kicking, and regardless of our feelings and circumstances, we don’t have to let them control us because we are the blessed children of the Most High God Jehovah, the Creator of the universe and all therein, and He looks after each one of us in His own unique fashion. Glory to God! 

And I just had to share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin because it is so appropriate for most of us. It’s titled ‘Commonplace Days.’ 

Read with me. ‘Lord of my commonplace days Forgive me for foolishly waiting for “divine inspiration” Before moving in on the tasks Personally assigned to me. Hopefully I am learning To face with greater determination The day-by-day drudgery The trite, mundane tasks The pushing-pulling glamourless duties. 

Lord, even when I think I’m getting no place Keep me pushing on and on With purpose and direction. Grab my heart and quiet me When I begin to whine and whimper. Despite the daily drain I think I see it more clearly now: It is only when I begin to do That you begin to bless.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s all so true! It certainly reflects the lives of most of us; the daily drudgery and same old, same old glamourless tasks by which we make our living. But please don’t allow it get us down, because it’s simply the way life is. Everyday can’t be exciting and glamorous, for too much of that will eventually get boring and mundane too. 

So please don’t be fooled by the celebrity worship that’s currently in vogue, because even the true celebrities, not the hangers’ on, have to bow down and work hard at sometime or other if they want to keep their celebrity status intact. 

Remember friends, they are people just like us, only with a little more money, power and privilege. And besides, what passes for glamour today is only an outward show, often used to give a false impression. 

Now today is Wednesday, so let’s turn to our Wednesday Wail and wail it with sincerity, enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

Wailing: ‘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, every Wednesday that declaration truly wakes me up! It has me being sincerely thankful for the breath of life that’s flowing through my body, and reminds me of what is truly important; keeping my hands to the plough and looking forward to the wonderful future that Jesus has planned for His followers. 

And I sure hope you all feel the same way too, otherwise you’d be missing out on the most wonderful times in your lives which come from living for and with Jesus. 

All glory be to our wonderful Lord and Saviour who sacrificed His sinless lives for us! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

That brings us to our Bit, which is also the Bible Promise for our poem above. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the summation of Bruh Paul’s advice to the Colossians as he talked to them about Christian virtues. And believe me, we couldn’t get any better advice than that for living this earthly life. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (v.16), but it is also to control all areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of God’s word and Spirit indwelling us, if they don’t control our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

And I’m going to spoon feed you all today (smile). Here is verse 16, as mentioned above. ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.’ (Col.3:16) 

Ah mih breddren, I only wish that we could truly do that on a much wider scale than is currently been done, for then our world would definitely be a much better place. 

And the scholars have this to say about that verse. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing (v.13), and LOVING (v.14) toward one another, when peace reigns among God’s people (v.15), then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ 

But sadly, the church in its current state is not very fertile soil because we are not as forbearing, LOVING, and as peaceful with each other as we ought to be. There’s just way too much disunity, dissension and strife in the church. 

That’s why I’m imploring us today to improve, to lift up the qualities that are needed in us, and consequently Christ’s church, so that we can be the true believers, the godly ambassadors that we’re supposed to be, for that is the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…only when Christians dwell together in true unity…is Christ’s church truly blessed…

 

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 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.

And then it was Tuesday…wonderful Tuesday! 

And amidst all your difficulties and troubles you ask, what’s so wonderful about it eh? 

Well for one thing you’re alive. That’s more than can be said for a lot of people. Most likely you also have a roof over your head, food on your table and a paying job. Well that means you’re better off than the majority of the world of some 7 billion souls. 

And for another you’re a Christian, a believer in the One and Only Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! That alone makes it a wonderful day friends, because working for Jesus is always filled with unexpected and interesting events! 

And since it’s Tuesday, before I forget, (smile) let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and much enthusiasm nuh. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It certainly is! We’re not defined by what the dark and sinful world says about us, because we know that we are the beloved of God, and that no one can deny or take away from us. Oh glory to God my fellow believers! 

The problem though is that we don’t seem to take our designation as God’s beloved children seriously enough, we’re still anxious, doubtful and fearful, and thus continue letting the world’s unwise and often untrue and foolish systems define us. It’s time to break that oh so restrictive chain my people! 

And the only way to do that is by sincerely and faithfully taking hold of what our wonderful God has said about us, and the magnificent things He’s done and continues to do for us each and every day. 

In other words friends, we need to truly believe! Without true belief and faith, we’re lost, caught up in the worries and troubles of the world and our circumstances. But when we’re truly walking with, and living for Jesus, we don’t let our circumstances overwhelm us; we rise above them, of course with Jesus’ help. 

As I keep reminding us, being a true and faithful believer is no easy or simple matter, but it is certainly doable and enjoyable if we rest all our burdens and fears on His strong and healthy shoulders, as He tells us in His Great Invitation, Matthew 11:28-30. Please look it up if you don’t know it…and even if you do know it, please read it again so it can revitalize your spirit. 

And yesterday we saw how Bruh Paul exhorted the Philippians to steadfastness in Christ’s gospel, through proper conduct and behaviour in unity and oneness of mind. ‘And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation.’ (Phil.1:28) 

And I repeated that verse because I want to share an explanation from the scholars. ‘1:28. One of the ways in which the readers’ proper conduct benefits the gospel (v.27) is mentioned here: not being terrified by their adversaries. The lack of intimidation is a twofold sign: (1) to unbelievers it is evidence of their lost condition; (2) to believers it is an assurance of their salvation.’ 

And that my brethren is one of the problems with present day Christians; we are terrified by our adversaries, plus have adopted the selfish behaviour of the current world; everything being, ‘I, me and mine, first person singular.’  If we weren’t, we’d be standing up strong and facing them and not allowing them to take God out of our society as they are so blatantly doing. 

Oh my people, Jesus died that we could have a good and abundant life, and we definitely can’t live that kind of life if we’re afraid and/or selfish. That brings us to the next verse in Bruh Paul’s exhortation, our Bit. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Yes friends, we have the obvious privilege of not only living the good life through Christ, but also suffering with Him. It’s a two-pronged situation, though in our selfishness and fear we expect it to be simply all good times. 

When Jesus came to die for us, He didn’t have only good times, but also plenty rough ones, especially His crucifixion, which we’ll celebrate in a few days. So why should we have it all good eh? 

And the scholars provide an interesting explanation on that passage. ‘1:29. For reinforces the assertion that the proof of the believers’ salvation, provided through their courage in persecution, comes from God. 

This justification lies in the fact of the Philippians being divinely granted the dual privilege of believing in Christ and suffering for Him. Thus the assurance of their salvation is from God, just as is their suffering for Jesus, for the latter was the occasion providing the former.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, our salvation was provided by Jesus’ suffering, let’s never forget that, and therefore let it help us to stand up strong in His name and do His will, regardless of the tough circumstances we occasionally face, for salvation is greater than anything the world can do to, or offer us! 

And all God’s children gratefully and joyfully declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All power and glory be to the Lamb that was slain for us!’ 

And we’ll end with these immortal and most appropriate words of Jesus from the greatest sermon ever preached; the best laid out philosophy of life ever promulgated, the Sermon on the Mount. 

‘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 went before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Yes my brethren, persecution will follow us simply because we believe in Jesus, that’s a fact we cannot ignore or deny since it happened to so many prophets, including Jesus, meaning we’re in excellent company. 

But by the same token, when we stand up strong during the persecution we’re blessed and are storing up rewards in heaven. No, it’s definitely not easy, but the only way to overcome it is by keeping our focus on the rewards in heaven, rather than the persecution here on earth. 

So friends, though it might be somewhat on the rough and tough side, let’s go out and put that into practice today nuh, so that our lives can be more blessed, and Jesus’ message of, and free gift of salvation can be more widely spread abroad and accepted, for that’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

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

P.S. Unfortunately, late nights breed late mornings. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2015 Revelation 1:3

Revelation 1:3.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Oh Friends, what’s there to say on this wet and somewhat chilly December 1st morning eh? Not a lot… and plenty. And what do I mean by that? 

Well we’ve become such a talkative society with the flourishing of communication technology and the social media, but a lot of that talk is inane and foolish, a waste of our very valuable time, while there is a lot of meaningful and important stuff that we should be talking about which we’re not doing. 

Like for instance about the sorry state of our world and how to fix it, and of God and the ungodly society in which we’re currently living. 

Most of us will say that God is the most important element or person in our lives, but when we check out our lives in action, that statement doesn’t hold true, otherwise our world would not be in such a sad state of deterioration. Unfortunately, the things of the world are still our first priority. 

Remember yesterday we spoke about Christians concentrating on the things of heaven, rather than those of earth? And I sure hope we did our homework, reading the Book of Colossians, so that now we know what’s really expected of us, and we can go on and put it into action in our lives. 

Oh my people, unless and until we truly make God and His Word the focus of our lives, our world will never get better but continue to slide into the murky depths of Hades. And I’m sure that’s not the kind of legacy we want to bequeath to our children and our children’s children. 

So it’s completely up to us believers to keep on fomenting Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, so that the world can return to its godly roots. Nuff said! He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

And since it’s Tuesday, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra like we really believe and mean it. All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Oh my people that’s so refreshing and revitalizing! Just imagine nuh, that we are the BELOVED of God, and the FRIEND of Jesus! 

Wow! What an honour and a privilege to be so highly considered! Now let’s make the most of it by going out and sharing the LOVE that they have so graciously and mercifully shown us nuh. A LOVE that our fallen world so desperately needs. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, but we also need to hear what comes before it, so that we can understand its proper context. ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly (quickly, swiftly) come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 

Who bare record (bore witness) of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ (Rev.1:1-3) 

Oh Friends, what powerful and meaningful scripture! And I know that many of us don’t understand what the Book of Revelation is all about, so here is some info from the scholars that will help us to better understand. 

‘1.1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the title of the book. The revelation is both from Christ and about Christ. Since Christ is the revelation of God Himself (John 1:18), God gave the revelation to Christ to be shown to John by means of an angel (messenger). 

The word “revelation” (Gr. apokalypsis) refers to an unveiling or exposure of God’s program for the world through Christ. The prophecies of the book will occur shortly in the sense that the day of the Lord (the end of the age) may begin at any time (following the Rapture). The statement must be understood in accordance with God’s perspective on time (cf. 2 Pet.3:4, 8) 

The word signified (Gr. esemanen) refers to the conveyance of truth by means of signs and symbols, and refers to the visions described throughout the book. Symbols must be interpreted either from something in the context or from other scriptures.’ 

Now let’s rest for a moment after taking in all that heavy stuff. (smile) 

Yes friends, it’s time we start eating some adult food, some meat and potatoes, rather than just drinking baby milk all the time. If we want to mature in Christ, then we need to take our understanding of His Word to a higher and deeper level. 

And before we go any further, allow me to point out something. Please note that the word ‘apocalypse’, as we see from above, means the unveiling or revelation of what’s going to happen, not the eventual fiery and tumultuous destruction of the world as many of us consider it, although that might be involved in the revelation. 

Now let’s continue getting deeper in God’s Word with some more explanations from the scholars. ‘1:2-3. Bare record: John was a witness of what he wrote. He saw the revelation and wrote what he saw. The blessing of verse 3 has a threefold condition: (1) read the book, (2) hear (understand) it, and (3) keep (obey) it. 

The essential nature of prophecy was the communication of new truth (divine revelation). God has given it to be obeyed, not simply to be discussed and debated. The time is at hand in the sense that nothing else now has to occur before the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation Period.’ 

Awright mih breddren, that’s enough food for thought for today. But let’s be wise and ponder all the things we’ve read and heard, so that our hearts and minds can be truly filled with the Word of God and the things of heaven. 

More on this tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then though, let’s all try to walk in sincere peace and LOVE, showing mercy and compassion to others, as our wonderful Lord God has shown, and is still showing to us. Much LOVE!

…this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth…but thou shalt meditate therein…day and night…that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous…and then thou shalt have good success… (Josh. 1:8)

 

 

Previous Older Entries