Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2018 Hebrews 10:22.

Hebrews 10:22.   Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

And the days of 2018 are passing by so quickly, with such topsy-turvy weather, we don’t know whether we are coming or going. We’ve already used up two weeks of the new year already, and gone from snow to rain and back again.  

But it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, which means a time for fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three are gathered, to give Him praise and thanks, and receive His mercy, forgiveness, grace and confidence in return. In other words, boosting our faith to meet the upcoming week. 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song; one of Frances Crosby’s old, but ever beautiful hymns, ‘Blessed Assurance.’ So with hearts aglow and spirits sincere, let’s raise our voices in song, offering up the sacrifice of our lips in humility and truth. 

‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.’  Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels, descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of LOVE. 

(Refrain) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long).’ 

Oh friends, what great assurance there is in singing those beautiful words of that hymn! We really couldn’t ask for much more nuh. Just knowing that Jesus is ours, and we are His, makes this troublesome life all worthwhile. Glory to God! Just imagine nuh, which we’ve been purchased by God, through the sacrificial death of Christ! We’ve been washed in His blood and cleansed white as snow! Glory Hallelujah! 

And to add the icing on the cake, we’ve been made heirs of salvation with Christ! Wow mih people! It just couldn’t get any better than that. That’s why we’re so honoured and grateful to sing praises to His name, while we wait, eagerly, patiently and  faithfully for His return, ‘filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE.’  

Mama Mia! What a fantastic individual is our Jesus! The only problem though is that the whole world doesn’t think of Jesus in such glowing terms. Even some of His own supposed believers don’t think that highly of Him, that’s why the author of Hebrews issued the plea to the early believers to hold to the new faith, and I am reissuing it to us in these modern times. 

Listen to this heartfelt plea. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); (Heb.10:19-23) 

Yeh friends, by Jesus destroying the veil in the temple covering the Holy of Holies, with the sacrifice of His sinless life, where only the high priest could go at certain times of the year, we are now able to go to God personally with confidence that He will hear and answer us. That’s why we are encouraged to stand strong in the faith, be assured that all that Jesus said and did and promised are true. 

As believers we can’t afford to waiver back and forth. We must keep hope alive and flourishing, because our God has promised us good things like salvation and everlasting life, and He is ever-faithful to His word. That I can personally testify to, because I couldn’t write this Bit everyday now for some eleven years without His faithful help. He proposed the idea, and He NEVER gives us projects to do without giving us the wherewithal to do them. So any time He calls you, just jump to it, for though it might seem difficult, even impossible, God will always help you. 

And having stood strong in faith and confidence, the author of Hebrews continues. ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:24-25) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important it is, especially as the Second Coming approaches, to fellowship, to gather, to assemble with each other so that we can stir up and encourage each other to spread LOVE and do good works. As the scholars say: ‘It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren. 

And the scholars further explain: ’10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food.’ 

So friends, that means we don’t just go to church at Easter and Christmas or once in a blue moon and believe we’ve done our duty. Our duty is to attend church regularly, so that we can encourage and strengthen each other. So let’s seriously consider our church attendance this year nuh mih breddren, and with God’s help try and do better. It will be a boon for all of us individually, and above all, Christ’s body, the church. Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t assemble… don’t fellowship…how can they share Christ eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2018 Galatians 6:7.

Galatians 6:7.    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Okay friends, the consecutive long weekends are over now. You have to get back to working five day weeks, so let’s hope that you are well rested and churched, so that you have the wherewithal to make it through the whole week. Hope that you haven’t gotten so spoiled that you expect every week to be a short one. (smile) I know it’s very easy to get accustomed to that sort of easy living. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and regardless of the circumstances or the weather, we have to get up and go to work. So let’s roll out of the warm bed and get the ball rolling by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that awesome song that revs our engines and activates our adrenaline. With some enthusiasm now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, yuh feel the good vibrations that immediately wash over us as we sincerely declare those words? Now let’s keep those good vibes going as we hit the road. Don’t allow the bumper to bumper traffic to get to us. Let’s try and be at peace in the storm, using the perfect sense of peace that Jesus instills in us all when we become believers. 

Remember that this too shall pass, because we need to be bright and bubbly when we do get to work, so we can do good things on Jesus’ behalf. We can’t afford to be sour and miserable and let the enemy steal our joy, thereby making us incapable of sowing and bearing good fruit for Christ.  Thus the important warning from Bruh Paul in our Bit. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ 

Oh my people, let’s not ever fool ourselves into thinking we can deceive or outwit God.  That’s impossible since He sees all and knows all. This means if we sow bad seeds then we will reap bad fruits. And we can only sow good seeds and therefore reap good fruits only if we are operating from a good spiritual place, a place with Jesus first and foremost in our hearts. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal.6:8) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider application. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction. Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’ 

And I know it sounds simple, but it’s not so easy in reality, because our natural sinful nature, in conjunction with the evil lures of the world, constantly exert great pressure on us to be carnal minded. But Bruh Paul admonishes us further:  ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart).’ (Gal.6:9) That means we have to keep on keeping on friends, don’t give up, regardless of how difficult times might be, because we will be well rewarded if we finish our race and stay strong in Christ. 

‘As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9) So my faithful brethren, since we are to be divinely rewarded, it is essential that we seize every opportunity to do good, especially to our Christian brethren. And we’ll close with a gentle reminder of the fruit of the Spirit. (smile) ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23)  

Yes my people, let’s go out and practice that kind of stuff today nuh, because it is of Jesus, because it will help to build His LOVE Revolution, as well as bring divine rewards. Much LOVE!

…to bear good fruit…one must be a branch of Christ’s vine…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2018 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah mih people, 2018 has certainly come roaring in like a ravaging lion with a wicked winter storm mashing up the East coast of North America, after we’ve already been in a deep freeze for the past two weeks. 

Boston is apparently a mess from snow and flooding caused by surging sea tides. Places in Florida that have not seen snow in decades have certainly seen it now. All the snowbirds that left Canada to winter in Florida must be pretty annoyed. 

They’re calling this extraordinary winter storm a ‘Bomb Cyclone!’ Why I don’t know, but it’s certainly living up to its name. Let’s hope that my li’l area doesn’t get any of it, because all we’ve been seeing and feeling recently is white and cold! Hn! 

But I must say that the ordinary workingman does have an extraordinary resilience to this type of weather, for it has not stopped him from boldly declaring his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend reach at last! So it cold and snowy, so what? Is winter in the north country, that’s what it’s all about! 

We not going to let a li’l bit of snow and cold stop our partying, stop us from enjoying we two days off from slave labour! Hell no! We going to go outside and play in the snow, then come inside and warm up with some hot toddies! (And his beady eyes twinkle at the thought) What a wonderful weekend it’s going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! I daresay that not all of us are feeling that way. Definitely no playing in the snow…but the hot toddies…well…maybe… (smile) Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which runs somewhat contrary to the workingman’s song, because our emphasis is not on play and our carnal appetites. 

‘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.’ 

Oh friends, it’s not that we Christians don’t or can’t have fun, but fun is not our goal; working and living for Jesus is. And though that includes having fun, it also means being more focused and cautious about overstepping certain boundaries that can get us in serious trouble. And some of that trouble can have serious lifetime consequences. So it’s not advisable for believers to just go overboard in their leisure time. 

Anyway, enough preaching; (smile) here is our Bit: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ And that’s the awesome truth my brethren, as Bruh David found out during his rough times. Who else are we going to turn to in our time of need and trouble eh? Obviously the One who made us and still cares for us! 

Bruh David said before our Bit: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.’ (Ps.28:6) And it only makes sense to turn to someone who hears your cry for help. And we’ve seen throughout the Good Book that it was to the God of his forefathers that Bruh David turned when the enemy came a calling. 

Hear him from Psalm 18 – A prayer for deliverance. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1:3) 

What powerful sentiments my people! But that’s because Bruh David didn’t only turn to God in times of need, he kept Him in his heart ALL the time! And that’s why the Lord saved him from his enemies. Oh friends, it’s the same thing the Lord desires of us; to be with Him all the time, not just when life gets rough to remember Him and cry out for help and expect it to come right away. 

Please note that Bruh David was not exempt from trials and tribulations, he had more than his fair share, but the Lord made sure that he came through them safely. Likewise friends, we will experience trouble and heartaches in our lives, but if like Bruh David, we stay anchored in the Word and faith of our great God, then He will also bring us through the fires of our lives unscathed. 

Remember how he brought out the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, without them even smelling of smoke. And more importantly, while they were in the furnace, king Nebuchadnezzar saw four people in there. Obviously the fourth was either the preincarnate Christ who often appeared in the Old Testament, or an angel of the Lord sent to protect them. (Daniel 3) 

So my faithful brethren, it only makes good sense, it’s eternal wisdom to place our trust in the One who created us and still cares for us. And there’s no better way to end today than with the ever-faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Words to live by my people! Much LOVE!

…with the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in us…there’s  absolutely no need to be afraid…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2018 1 John 4:7.

1 John 4:7.   Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.

                                          HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well friends, 2018 is finally here, and I wish all of us the best for this New Year. I hope that we all enjoyed a good New Year’s Eve celebration, keeping the libations to a minimum so that the brains didn’t get addled. (smile) 

But yuh know what friends, I’m dubbing 2018 as ‘THE YEAR OF LOVE!’ And our motto for this YEAR OF LOVE, is EACH ONE LOVE ONE! 

All we have to do is LOVE One person each and every day of the year, so that our world will be filled with more LOVE than hate. Now is that so hard to do friends? It should be much easier than hating one person every day, which we seem to do so well. 

The long and short of the story my people is that our world has fallen so low in the last year with all the strife and warmongering, that we don’t have much lower to go. If we continue in this sad and foolish vein, our world will soon explode. 

And we’ve already opened the year with threats from North Korea, and riots in Iran, plus all the other theatres of strife that persist from 2017. Is this the way we really want to see our world go, mushroom in a cloud of nuclear conflagration? 

Because you can bet your bottom dollar if the downward spiral continues, one of the mad, incompetent, power hungry dictators running our world is going to push that red button, and our world will never be the same. It might even cease to exist, such is the power of nuclear war and weapons. 

That’s why I’m advocating so strongly for 2018 to be a turn around year, where Christians come together and truly begin living and LOVING like followers of Christ, fighting tooth and nail to restore some sense of balance and common sense in our world. 

Oh fellow believers, if we don’t do it, who else is going to eh? Lucifer and his workers of iniquity like the way the world is going, but Jesus certainly doesn’t, and if we’re supposed to be His ambassadors, His hands, feet, mouth and ears on earth, then it’s our bounden duty to try and recapture the world from the denizens of evil. 

So please let’s get with the LOVE Scene nuh man! Let’s do our best to remove the current leaders and elect sensible, godly ones, who won’t threaten to go overboard at the drop of a hat. Let’s cut out the complacency and compromise and begin working together to make Christ’s Body the most powerful in the land. That’s the best way to glorify Him! 

And now that I’ve made my plea, added my two cents worth (smile) let’s turn to those unfortunate brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour this cold, cold New Year’s Monday since our 24/7 society needs constant care. Yuh know it’s so cold that some of the water on Niagara Falls froze. So let’s send them out to work with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which we never have a problem doing, when we ourselves are staying at home celebrating. (smile) 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih friends, I could hear the after effects of the New Year’s Eve celebrations; the hoarse, croaky and out of tune voices. But at least we had the right spirit. (smile) And my fellow believers, we couldn’t have a more appropriate Bit this morning than these wonderful words of John, as he informs us that God IS LOVE. 

‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ That means if we want to know about true LOVE, then we have to be involved in a serious relationship with God. 

And we’ll just end with these oh so appropriate words of John, as he reminds us of the importance of LOVE and knowing God. ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God: for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED US, WE OUGHT ALSO TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.’ (1 John 4:8-11) 

That’s what I’m trying to achieve friends, but amongst supposed Christians, it’s like pulling teeth. Remember some of Christ’s last words to the disciples: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12)  Plain and straightforward words, as always from our Lord and Saviour. 

Please my brethren, let’s try and seriously action them this year nuh; that is if we want our world to exist in a healthy and godly manner. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2017 John 1:14.

John 1:14.   And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Well friends, the big day has come and gone; the purists got their white Christmas and I do hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful day with friends and families, keeping Jesus first place in your thoughts as He is the reason for all the celebrations. 

But yuh know what? Christmas Day might be gone, but the Christmas season is not over as yet, there’s still a lot of peace, LOVE and good cheer yet to be spread. And on this Boxing Day, here is something titled ‘It’s Christmas,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, to bring the Christmas season into true perspective. 

Please read with me: ‘It’s Christmas!  Sing! Rejoice! Celebrate! Let God create in you Colourful explosions Of joy and excitement. Smile away fears, push away tears. Out with pretense, in with praise. It’s Christmas! Open your heart to light To trust, to LOVE, to hope. Awaken slumbering memories Stir up stupendous dreams Anticipate surprises Open your arms wide.  

It’s Christmas!  Time for candles and cards For carols and cookies For brightly lit trees With the fragrance of pine. Time to hug and hold To think and thank Time to greet the world With the Good News.  It’s Christmas!  Thank God for life Thank Him for the manger For the splintered cross For the empty tomb. Thank Him for His only Son The Saviour of the world.  Shout! Laugh! Share! Care! And say to God On Christmas morning: “I entrust myself anew To You.” 

Oh friends, doesn’t that picture of Christmas sound wonderful? It surely does! And though we may not be in a position to do all that’s suggested there, we can ALL do the most important things, like give God thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and pledge our LOVE and allegiance anew to Him EVERY day! 

Ah mih people, the Lord God Almighty certainly went out on a limb for us when in His awesome LOVING-kindness He decided to save us from our sinful selves. The least we can now do is to show some sincere appreciation and gratitude as we enjoy all of the blessings and mercies that He’s poured down on us, especially in this season of Christmas, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, the beginning of the whole beautiful, heartwarming and revolutionary drama. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill to men!’ 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ How majestic and marvellous for the Son of God to become human and dwell amongst us! 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘1:14. Made flesh indicated the incarnation (the miracle) of God the Son becoming human yet remaining God, and bringing us into full conviction of Christ’s humanity. The use of flesh contradicts the Gnostic heresy that God could not be united with human flesh, which was seen as evil. 

Dwelt among us: John uses the word for “tabernacled,” here translated “dwelt.” The Old Testament tabernacle was where God dwelt among the Jews in the wilderness. In this context, God is dwelling in the person of Jesus Christ. We beheld his glory: Perhaps John refers to the Shekinah glory which appeared in the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The expression signifies the visible manifestation of God. John later uses glory to refer to Jesus’ life (2:11), death, and resurrection (12:23).’ 

So my people, we could not ask for a greater gift, especially at this time of gift giving. We need to remember that God the Father gave us the greatest gift ever, God the Son, in our veritable time of need; a time when we were headed directly for eternal damnation and darkness. Not that we aren’t still heading for it, but at least now we have an option to avoid it. 

Before Jesus came and sacrificed his sinless life on our behalf, we had no option but to go straight to Hades with Lucifer and his evil band. But all praise to Jesus for giving the option of believing in Him and thus having reconciliation with the Father and eventual salvation and eternal life! Wow! If that isn’t the GREATEST my brethren, then I don’t know what is! 

Now let’s go home this Tuesday morning, letting the world know whom and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with much gumption and truth. 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 since we’re truly Christ’s people, then let’s go and truly share His LOVE with the rest of the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…there’s not enough thanks in the world…to truly give to Jesus…for His sacrifice on our behalf…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2017 Luke 2:11.

Luke 2:11.   For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

                   MERRY  CHRISTMAS  EVERYBODY!

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Day! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to you and yours! And I do hope you all have a joyous day, a day filled with celebrations and lifting up the LOVING-kindness of God, through His Son Jesus Christ, who was born on this day some years ago. (smile) 

And to lead off the celebrations, let’s give voice to one of our favourite Christmas Carols, ‘Joy to the world,’ written by Isaac Watts, in the early 18th century, and which so appropriately describes the beautiful uproarious sensations that should be felt all over the world, at the miraculous birth of Christ. 

So with grateful and joyous hearts, let’s sing: ‘Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King  Let every heart prepare Him room  And Heaven and nature sing  And Heaven and nature sing  And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains  Repeat the sounding joy Repeat the sounding joy Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy 

No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found Far as the curse is found Far as, far as, the curse is found  He rules the world with truth and grace And makes the nations prove  The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His LOVE And wonders of His LOVE And wonders, wonders, of His LOVE.’ 

Ah friends, this glorious day is and was indeed all about the wonders of Almighty God’s amazing LOVE toward us.  How does the Good Book put it? ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) I don’t think we can ever really comprehend the depth of God’s LOVE for us nuh mih breddren. The magnanimity of God offering His Son as a living sacrifice for us, is just too much for our frail and feeble minds to understand. But that’s another thing; the Lord doesn’t need us to understand, just to accept His goodness and mercy and believe on His Son Jesus.  

And so, as we eat and drink and enjoy goodwill and cheer with our friends and families, let us not forget the reason for all this celebration and enjoyment; the birth of Jesus Christ on a cold winter’s night long, long ago. Consequently, we need to keep Him uppermost in our hearts and minds today, giving Him much praise and thanks for ALL that He’s done for us from the day of His birth to the current time, and ALL that He’s promised to do in the future.  

Unfortunately though, not everyone is able to stay at home and celebrate today, what with our 24/7 society, some of us have to get up and go to work on this cold Christmas Day morn. And though we feel sorry for them, we glad that it’s them and not us. (smile) Anyway, let’s send them off with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, to get their adrenaline flowing and their motors running smoothly in spite of their unfortunate situation.  

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest. (smile) But let’s reminisce a li’l, go back to that faithful night, or early morning two thousand years ago. Let’s check out the scene. Shepherds were watching their flocks in the cold weather, when suddenly an angel appeared , ‘and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (bandage-like cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying , Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:9-14) 

What an amazing time that must have been eh friends! Angels glorifying God, as they deliver the good news of Christ’s birth and His divine purpose to bring peace and good will to all the people on earth. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been accomplished just yet, but we’re working on it, and today ought to be a reminder of Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth, and subsequently ours, as His faithful believers and followers. 

So let’s celebrate today and get reinvigorated with Christ’s Spirit nuh, so that we can go out tomorrow and ramp up our efforts to bring that peace and good will to Mother Earth. It’s certainly a worthwhile cause. Much LOVE!

…what better way to celebrate Christ’s birth…than by spreading…peace…LOVE…and good will…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2017 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Well friends, that white stuff looks like it’s here to stay for a while yes! Steups! And more is forecasted to fall over the next couple of days. Brother! So the folks who so desire might get their white Christmas after all. Good for them! 

The rest of us will simply have to suffer in silence, (smile) because that’s just the way it is: if you live in the northern climes, then you can expect snow in the wintertime. 

But somehow you never seem to get accustomed to it. And in any case, we’re lucky or blessed, because with the effects of climate change, we don’t get half as much snow now as we used to get when I first came here forty something years ago. 

Oh how sweet it would be to be lying in the sun on the warm beaches of God’s li’l Acre, Tobago! But right now that’s just a dream for the future. You can’t allow those dreams to die though. (smile) 

Now, since it’s Saturday, -and several different kinds of hot, nourishing soup are being concocted up Calder Hall Road in Tobago – Oh just smell the beautiful, mouthwatering aroma nuh! Dreams friends, dreams; without them we’re just empty vessels. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this week. Listen to this first one: ‘Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.’ Yeh mih people, what we do today is important, because that sets the tone for our tomorrows. If you want to have good, productive tomorrows, you have to begin by having good, productive todays. 

And remember that ‘All things are difficult before they are easy.’ Well I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘all,’ but certainly many things begin with such difficulty that unless we’re strong, focused and truly committed, we’re likely to give up before we really get started. 

But here’s a li’l secret: ‘When life gets blurry Adjust your focus.’ Ah mih breddren, unfortunately life is getting very blurry these days, and there is only so much focus to adjust. Only if you are focused on Jesus can you have enough leeway for proper adjustment. 

Another helpful hint is to ‘Start telling the universe what you want instead of what you don’t want.’ Yeh more positive talking and thinking will certainly be of more benefit than dwelling on the negatives of life. And finally, remember this: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ 

Oh friends, you’ll be surprised at how much our attitude controls our life, especially in our Christian faith. Sour attitudes simply suck! They turn others off and away. On the other hand, a good, positive, pleasant attitude draws people to you and encourages them to either help you, or be helped themselves. 

It’s like the saying you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And that’s definitely the kind of attitude we need this Christmas season of peace, LOVE and good cheer, because that’s what Christ came to spread amongst us angry, evil, warmongering humans. Yeh friends, Jesus did come to save us, but that salvation is not automatic. We need to first turn to Him and accept Him before we can find salvation. 

Listen to the Lord’s promise to the children of Israel during their time of captivity, which in the first place happened because of their gross disobedience. ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place (Jerusalem). 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:10-12) 

It’s the same basic idea and promise God held out to Jews and Gentiles alike when He sent His only Son Jesus into the world to save it. Jesus made that very clear several times. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…’ (Luke 9:56) 

Oh my people, Jesus came as a Saviour, not a destroyer. However, like any other offer, His is also dependent on acceptance. Saving grace, salvation doesn’t just fall on everyone like a blanket. No, we have to come to Jesus and consciously accept His offer of salvation. 

Like the Lord said through Jeremiah: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yes friends, salvation and eternal life have been guaranteed to us through the sinless sacrifice of Jesus’ life, but we have to go seeking it diligently and sincerely in and through the Lord. Until we come to Him and confess our sins with a humble heart, salvation will elude us. 

The important thing my brethren, is truly searching and seeking out God because we can’t handle our sinful life any longer and we need the forgiveness, the mercy, the grace, the comfort and LOVE that only He can provide. 

So this Christmas season, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, I implore us to sincerely seek out the Lord and let Him give us all that He’s promised to those who diligently search for Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…anything worthwhile is worth seeking…and nothing’s more worthwhile…than the saving grace of Jesus…so please be wise…and seek it…

 

 

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