Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2017 Matthew 4:19.

Matthew 4:19.    And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Spananananana! Awake oh friends, the bugle calls reveille; time to be up and at them on this glorious Monday morn. (smile) True soldiers can’t afford to sleep in when the battle awaits. So let’s be up and about Jesus’ business! Let’s get in line as He arrays His troops in battle formation, so He can then go before us to reconitre the situation and lay the groundwork for today’s battle. 

What a wily General we follow my fellow believers. There’s NEVER been one like Him; neither will there EVER be another in His class. He is in a class all by Himself. That’s why we follow Him. And for those of us finding it difficult to get ourselves together, here is something to raise our spirits and help us find the energy we need to face the world. 

So in strong voice, let’s proclaim our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘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!’ 

Now we’re cooking friends! I can see us finally coming alive, as a strong sense of purpose rises up in our souls and spirits. That conversation with Jesus has miraculously put us over the top. Now we’re ready to go out and do battle against our evil foes, with Jesus fighting right beside us. 

Glory be, my brethren! What a leader we have! One who doesn’t just send us out to fight His battles, while He remains back at HQ, safe and comfortable, but a leader who fights right alongside of us, in the thick of the fray, all the day and all the way! 

Wow! No wonder we LOVE and admire and exalt Him so much! He is the kind of Leader who brings out the very best in us; truly inspires us to aspire to greater things, when we receive His magnanimous offer, His free gift of salvation and eternal life. What a giant is our Jesus! And a gentle and LOVING one at that too! That means we have everything we need in Him! We need No One or Nothing beside Him! Glory Hallelujah! 

Just look at the unnatural reaction those early disciples had to our Bit. ‘And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen and were casting their net into the sea when Jesus passed by and made that offer. And it’s truly interesting to see what happened immediately thereafter. The Good Book tells us: ‘And they straightway left their nets and followed him.’ (Matt.4:20) 

Now why would they just give up their livelihood to follow this, poor, itinerant Rabbi eh? Most of us would not have done something so drastic when there seemed to be no good reason for it. But that’s not the best part of the story. The Good Book continues: ‘And going on from thence, he (Jesus) saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:21-22) 

And what would entice four grown men, of apparently sane and sound mind to just give up their successful fishing business to follow a man whom they knew nothing about eh? Who knows, they must have heard something in His voice, or saw something in His demeanour, His heavenly aura might even have overcome their spirits. Or, as the scholars say: ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us the perfect picture of true obedience to the lordship of Christ.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, our response to Jesus should be immediate. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Obedience is doing what Christ says, when He says and how He says.’ Anything else is disobedience, which will have negative consequences. However friends, in these godless and evil days, the majority of mankind doesn’t seem at all interested in being obedient or obeisant to their Creator. 

That’s obviously not a good sign, for as we said above, disobedience brings negative consequences. And I truly believe that the disasters, natural as well as man-made, that are currently besieging our world is God’s response to our bold-face disobedience. You might not believe me, but the only way to find out is for the majority of us to cease our evil and godless ways, repent, turn back to God and receive His wonderful offer of salvation and eternal life. Now that is wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…  (Uncle Charles)

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Ahoy there mates! How are your sails holding up today eh? I do hope that they are full and billowing with a strong wind so that you can be pushed smoothly along life’s wide and plentiful waterways. 

And if Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour is breathing His powerful heavenly breath upon your sails, then you can be assured of a safe journey. It won’t always be smooth sailing, for life is never completely calm, but you will reach your destination safely. With Jesus as your guide and pilot, I can guarantee you that! 

And as most of us know, (smile) it’s Friday, so it’s no surprise to hear the workingman singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Massa slave work soon done, then my time is all mine! Glory to God! Ah going to party and sleep and laze about … then party and sleep and laze about some more…all weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from back-breaking labour for li’l pay!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary man’s life is getting harder though our society is prosperously reinventing itself at phenomenal speed. Why is that eh? In an age of so much, so many have so little… 

And it doesn’t seem to be getting better though millions of voices are crying out for help. In fact it seems to be getting worse, for the rich are indeed getting richer and greedier, while the poor are getting poorer and falling further behind, if that is at all possible. 

Ah Lord eh! When will mankind ever learn to share his bounty with others eh? I guess not until Jesus comes to set up His eternal kingdom and greed and such negative things are removed from His world. 

Anyway, for believers, we do have HOPE… lot’s of it, and we just need to hold tight to Jesus and we’ll be okay. Now let’s refute the workingman’s song with our own Friday Chant. ‘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.’ 

And that’s a more sensible prayer, one in keeping with Jesus’ philosophy. It doesn’t allow us to go overboard in any area of our lives, but does it’s best to keep us on the straight and narrow, where we can have rest, enjoyment and fellowship, while being rejuvenated in body and soul, so we can start out strong next week. 

Wise, faithful believers will tend towards that guideline, while the unwise will want to overdo the partying and lazing around aspect, then come Monday morning and time to go back to work, they are of no use to themselves or anybody else. 

Boundaries, friends, boundaries, limits, cut offs, are very necessary in a believer’s life, for if we go too far, we’ll simply allow the enemy to gain footholds, toeholds, etc, in our lives, a situation that is totally unacceptable. 

Hence our Bit for today: ‘Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:8-9) 

And that is the gospel truth my brethren! Lucifer and his evil henchmen are constantly on the lookout for ways to invade a believer’s spirit and thus get him or her off of Jesus’ program of salvation and eternal life. Even the teeny, ‘weeniest’ chink in our spiritual armour will have them salivating. 

And remember that Lucifer and his bandits are no respecter of persons, they attack everybody, especially believers. So please don’t think that you are alone in facing and experiencing temptation. It’s a worldwide game. 

Now here is some invaluable insight from James into keeping the enemy at bay. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you…’ (James 4:7-8a) 

Yeh friends, keeping the enemy at bay involves two basic actions; vigorously and continuously resisting him, while drawing ever closer to God. They are not always easy actions to perform, but if we’re serious about our walk with God, and sincerely ask for His help, we can do it. 

And why are we sure of that? Peter explains. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Oh friends, I know we’ve heard this message over and over again, but it’s one we need to repeatedly hear so that we can stay on the right path, to remember that the enemy is always lurking, trying to bring us down to his unholy level. 

So today, I implore us to pay serious attention to our faith walk, stay close to God, and not give the enemy any chance whatsoever to devalue it. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen! Much LOVE my brethren!

…be on the lookout…always…for the enemy’s wiles and lies…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 October 2017 Psalm 100:5.

Psalm 100:5.   For the Lord is good; his mercy (LOVE) is everlasting; and his truth (faithfulness) endureth to all generations.

Ah friends, when the sleep is good, it’s ever so good! But when it’s bad…it’s also ever so bad! Chuh! And you must be wondering what all of that has to do with anything eh? 

Well everything…and nothing! (smile) Fear not…the ole fella’s just trying to be somewhat doltish this chilly fall morning and make excuses for my late getting up. Yeh, the early morning sleep was indeed sweet… 

But have you ever noticed, like how it’s darkest just before the dawn, that sleep is usually the sweetest just before you have to get up? The Lord sure knows how to disrupt one of our greatest pleasures. 

And I noticed a rather striking anomaly just now as I went to put out the garbage: most of the trees around my area are still laden with green leaves, even though my driveway is full of dead, dry ones. 

It’s certainly strange that in the middle of October, the scenery is still so green. But yuh know what? We should not be overly concerned with all of that stuff, for that’s God’s department and He knows what He’s doing. 

Here is what we should be truly concerned about. It’s contained in a poem titled ‘YOU LOVE ME!’ taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please read with me. ‘Yesterday, God, I was soaring Like a graceful eagle And You LOVED me. Today I feel like a blob And You LOVE me. Tomorrow I may ask “Whatever happened to disturb me yesterday?” And You’ll LOVE me. 

God, there are innumerable things I cannot begin to comprehend But the one great certainty In all my life is this: I know that You LOVE me!’ 

Wow mih people! What a certainty! And it’s the ONLY ONE we really need to know, because all the other stuff flows directly from that! 

And I just have to proclaim it: What a wonderful God we serve and worship! There is NONE other like Him: the Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last; the ONE and ONLY True and Living God, from whom all things flow! Glory Be! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘For the Lord is good; his mercy (LOVE) is everlasting; and his truth (faithfulness) endureth to all generations.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what an awesome statement that is! One that we cannot dispute because we see and experience it every single day of our lives! Mama Mia! How then can we not LOVE the Lord eh? That’s nothing but a fool’s wisdom! 

Thus it isn’t surprising at the number of times that statement is found in the Bible, especially the Psalms. Listen to how Psalm 106 – Israel sins against God’s LOVE – begins: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). 

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter (express) the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgement (justice), and he that doeth righteousness at all times.’ (Ps.106:1-3) 

Oh friends, don’t those words move you, don’t they just sing in your heart when you consider the goodness and ‘wonderfulness’ of our great God? If you are a true and serious believer, they ought to. 

And Psalm 136 – Praise for the Lord’s past and present blessings – takes the sentiment even further. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (Ps.136:1-3) 

And the other 23 verses, after shouting out some great work of God, all end the same way: ‘for his mercy endureth for ever.’ And that’s no lie! 

And it seems that it all originated on the day the Ark of the covenant was finally brought up to Jerusalem and Bruh David delivered a psalm of praise and thanksgiving for Asaph and his brethren to sing, a psalm on which Psalm 105 is based. 

‘Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deed among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.’ (1 Chron.16:8-11) Words of everlasting wisdom my people! 

And hear how Bruh David ends the psalm. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:34-36) 

Ah mih breddren, it’s so good to sing the praises of our magnificent and magnanimous God! Now let’s go home singing our Tuesday Mantra, which let’s the world know who and whose we are. 

In loud voice and sweet harmony 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action that statement: truly share Christ’s LOVE! Much LOVE!

…oh that Christians would sing God’s praises…and give Him much deserved thanks…much more than we do… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2017 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.   If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Oh friends, who knows what kind of day any of us will have today eh? When we awaken, it’s usually with the expectation of a bright, productive and positive day, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But what’s always the case though, is that on each and every day of our lives, we are positively embraced by the Holy Trinity of our God-head. The Father is looking out for us in His wisdom, omnipotence, grace and mercy. 

Meanwhile, the Son is advocating to the Father on our behalf, and also shining down brightly on and around us, so that we can have that proverbial lamp for our feet and light for our path.  And betwixt and between all that, the Holy Spirit is operating in our spirits, showing us what the Father desires of us, helping us to do His holy will and communicate with Him through prayer.  

And regardless of how our day turns out, those three magnificent, powerful and ever-LOVING spiritual Beings are ALWAYS in our corner. Now what could be better than that eh my fellow believers? Nothing really! That’s why on this Monday morning, even if your body, soul and spirit are not in sync, and you don’t feel like getting up to go to work, you know that that feeling can be overcome through the help of our Triune God and the singing of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

So let’s belt it out now nuh with as much enthusiasm as we can muster. ‘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!’ 

Now feel the Holy Spirit working in you: brightening up your mood, causing the adrenaline to flow as you excitedly and enthusiastically get yourself together to go out amongst the heathen and do Jesus’ work in a most diligent and excellent manner. Glory to God my people! And what work is that, some of you ask? 

Well Jesus told His disciples to ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

 And that same Great Commission also applies to us, but instead of going elsewhere, right now I believe we need to concentrate on fixing our own society, which has become so godless and evil and heretical, that an alarming number of us have never even heard about Jesus, in what is supposed to be, or at least once was a Christian Society. 

And it all begins with us acknowledging our Bit, putting those all-important, transformative words into action. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 

Ah friends, how very encouraging is our God eh? For as the scholars tell us: ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’

And there’s no doubt that although we call ourselves Christians, too many of our actions aren’t Christian-like: we’re not humble before God; we don’t seek His face or pray like we should…and don’t talk about the wickedness that exists in our ranks. Hn! That’s why I maintain that all the recent natural disasters and physical strife are a serious warning from Almighty God. 

And if you figure our Bit comes from the Old Testament so it’s outdated, then listen to James, as he talks about worldliness and pride. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted and mourn (lament) and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) 

Oh friends, if we want to see brighter days and our land healed, then we’ve got to turn back to the One True and Living God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we’ve gone astray for far too long now. So let’s be wise like the Israelites of old nuh; acknowledge the warning…and repent.  Much LOVE!

…God punished His chosen people…when they went astray…so why not us eh…the chickens are coming home to roost…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘Life in the Spirit.’ ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

So friends, it’s Monday…But the good news is that both in Canada and the U.S it’s a public holiday. In the U.S it’s Columbus Day, celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in the 1490’s. Meanwhile, in Canada, we’re celebrating our Thanksgiving Day with feasting and festivity, and hopefully thanks and praise to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s recently showered down on our land.  

Let’s also be thankful that hurricane Nate did not do much damage to the part of Louisiana that it passed over yesterday. Ah Lord eh! Hopefully this will be the last storm for this year, for the area could not handle much more disaster. Don’t forget to include in our prayers those who have recently suffered serious setbacks and that they are on their way to recovery and rebuilding their lives. Remember too the ones who are still undergoing trials and tribulations.  

And let’s hope that all this unexpected calamity serves as a wake-up call for us to repent, to forsake our evil ways and get back into the good graces of Almighty God, for it’s difficult not to consider the unparalleled circumstances that have recently afflicted us as a warning from Him. So let’s pray that we will take the warning to heart and wisely make amends for our sinful ways, and once again make Him the undisputed God of our society. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, which means that in our 24/7 society, some people must go to work, regardless of the public holiday, and there’s no time harder to get up and go out to labour than on days like these, when the majority of people are off. So let’s send them out on a high note with a wonderful rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In strong voice now, with lots of enthusiasm: ‘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, the voices of those not going out to work are the loudest and most raucous since many of us have already been celebrating for the past couple days. (smile) And whether you like it or not, I have to remind us of Granny’s warning; that drunk or sober we need to mind our business very closely, as too much celebrating can make us cross over the Christian boundary line without even noticing it, thus giving the enemy a gleeful chance to invade our space, something we want to avoid at all costs.  

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Nehemiah to the people of Israel after they had rebuilt Jerusalem and had heard for the first time God’s Word read from His Holy Book by the scribe Ezra. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

It was indeed a day of rejoicing for those Israelites, many of whom had recently returned from captivity in Babylon and were enjoying freedom for the first time in many a day, if not the first time in their lives. We should also be in rejoicing and sharing mode, but more importantly, making sure that we give God His rightful deserts of thanks and praise for bringing us to this high standard of living, for it’s only through His generosity and magnanimity that it’s possible.  

Remember what we sang yesterday? ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’ And that’s the truth in spades! For as the Good Book tells us: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18)  

Yeh friends, the Lord brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt and kept them in the wilderness for forty years, then enabled them to go into the Promised Land and take it over. Without His help, none of that would have been possible. Likewise without God’s help, our current prosperity would not have ever been realized. 

So I’m imploring us, that as we gather today, with friends, families and neighbours, let’s spend some time remembering and talking about the goodness of God towards us, and giving Him appropriate thanks and praise, glorifying and exalting His precious name, for each and every one of us has so many things to be thankful to God for in this our earthly journey. We didn’t reach this stage of evolution through our own efforts, but through God’s blessings. Consequently we ought to show the necessary gratitude. Much LOVE!

…it’s not about eating and drinking…but giving thanks…to be able to eat and drink…there is a big difference…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2017 Matthew 24:35.

Matthew 24:35.   Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Ah friends, the enemy always finds some way to disturb God’s work yes! Would you believe that a short while ago, just as I was going to start writing, my trusty computer froze on me and I had to reboot it and start from scratch again? 

And though the unexpected delay frustrated me some, overall it just strengthened my resolve to complete my task with diligence and excellence! So that what the enemy meant for harm, the Lord turned into good! All praise and glory to our heavenly Father who so wonderfully inspires us to do His work! 

And then there was Nate; just a li’l ole tropical storm, but it has already caused loss of life and done oodles of damage to Central American countries like Honduras and Nicaragua, and is now supposedly heading for the U.S Gulf Coast. 

Down there they are busily preparing to weather it as best they can. Meanwhile in my area we are thankful that we finally got a decent shower of rain earlier this morning. Heavenly blessings have been conspicuously absent from my area for a while now. 

Hn! How do you reason it out eh: one place getting a surfeit, an excess of rain, while another gets a little to none? The answer is, you don’t, because that’s God’s department. You just have to grin and bear it as best you can, with His help of course. 

Anyway, let’s pray that the Lord averts further disaster in the Southern U.S, or causes it to be minimal. I don’t think they can handle much more, but that whatever happens, it will serve as a wake up call to return to right relationship with the God of their forefathers. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s consider some of the inspirational quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one let’s us have it with both barrels: ‘Stop making excuses.’ 

It hits the proverbial nail right on the head, for we are an excuse making society. We don’t want to take responsibility for anything, always blaming something or someone else for whatever has happened. And until we stop making excuses and start taking responsibility, our society will continue to be wishy-washy. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.’ That’s full of truth, but again, in our evil and ungodly society, unlike our friend Anselm, (smile) we focus more on manipulating people than inspiring them. 

And that’s not wise, because at some stage of the game people will realize they are being manipulated and then the whole Ponzi scheme will come crashing down. Just look at the stock market and all the other fraudulent schemes existing in our society. 

Now the next quote is in direct contrast to the last one: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ Lots of truth in that friends! In fact our aim should always be to inspire others, as that’s what Jesus came to earth and died for; to inspire us to seek Him and His righteousness. 

And I particularly like this last quote: ‘You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.’ Yes my fellow believers, that’s the gospel truth! A lot of us only recognize those who can do something for us, while neglecting, oftimes contemptuously, those who can’t help us in any form or fashion. 

But we’re dreadfully wrong in that kind of thinking, for the latter might not be able to do anything for us here on earth, but they’ll do lots for us in heaven if we treat them with respect and help them as best we can. In other words, looking on them favourably will build up heavenly rewards for us. The Lord’s Word says that. 

And as our Bit says: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ That means all that our wonderful God has said will remain true even into eternity…and beyond. (smile) 

And we’ll close this series of messages on the power and purpose of God’s everlasting Word with this scripture from 2 Peter, where the apostle is talking about living in the hope of the Lord’s coming. ‘Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers (mockers), walking after (according to) their own lusts (desires). 

And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep (died), all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of (forget), that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water (the great flood): 

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now (currently exist), by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against (until) the day of judgement and perdition (destruction) of ungodly men.’ (2 Pet.3:3-7)  

Yeh friends, it’s all in the Word, and done by the Word, and of the Word! And we can only be afforded salvation and eternal life through the Word! So let’s make sure we write all of that indelibly in our hearts, and souls nuh, because it’s the source, the fountainhead of wisdom and understanding. Much LOVE!

…the Word of God…a mighty two-edged sword…the most powerful instrument in the universe…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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