Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to the scholars: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk, in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. (See Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ Please read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. 

If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) 

And the scholars declare: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own, but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together now: ‘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!’ And since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

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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…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2017 John 3:17:

John 3:17.    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Ah friends, on this somewhat damp and dreary looking June morning, it’s ever so important for us to have the unique and exquisite LOVE of Jesus flowing sincerely, briskly and securely in our hearts, so that we can have ready access to the wherewithal to face whatever may befall us today. 

Yes my faithful brethren, only the overwhelming, the ever abiding and abundant LOVE of Jesus has the power and the spiritual mystery to carry us through each and every day of our lives. 

Therefore, as we open our eyes to greet each and every new day, we ought to give Him thanks and praise and ask for his wise guidance as He accompanies us on our earthly journey. 

And that He does friends! Having promised never to leave nor forsake us, He walks beside, before and behind us each and every minute of each and every day, once you accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. 

As the psalmist says, He’s our shield and guiding light. NEVER forget that! 

Now here is a simple but stirring and heart-moving prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s also simply titled; ‘I Will Move…’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those prayers that are certainly worth sharing again and again. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. 

In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank You Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, that is ALL so true! It’s only with the promises, the power, the pardon and providence of Almighty God that we can truly move from death to life, abundant life that is, and have lasting success in this evil world. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

And if you believe that with all your heart, soul, body and mind, then you’re on your way to a great life in the wonderful and unique company of Jesus! 

Wow mih breddren! It couldn’t get any better than that! Hanging out with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being! And if you already know Jesus, you’ll know that what I’m saying is absolutely true! 

Oh, I’ve just got to say it again: ‘Wow, mih breddren! Walking with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being!’ (smile) 

He’s so sweet, and kind, humble, LOVING, generous, forgiving, merciful and gracious…etc…etc! And once you truly get to know Him, every so often, you’ll sit down and ask yourself, ‘how ever did I live before He came into my life eh?’ 

Well you simply weren’t living before that, just existing. But once Jesus entered your life, He made you a brand new person, regenerated you, made you to be born again spiritually…and everything changed…your mindset, your view of life, your habits and behaviour, all began to change for the better. That’s the saving power of Jesus friends! 

As our Bit says, He didn’t come to condemn but to save. However, it doesn’t happen automatically; we need to accept His saving grace, that free gift of God. 

As Jesus says after our Bit: ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:18) 

So you see friends, it’s a conscious decision that every one of us has to make; to either believe or not believe in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. This verse answers the question, “Why do people go to hell?” It is because they do not believe in Jesus.’ 

That’s straight and to the point people! It couldn’t be any simpler. Believe and you’re saved; don’t believe, and you spend eternity separated from God, the worst thing that could ever happen to a human soul. 

And we’ll give one more example of the saving grace of Jesus, His words after He had lunch with the tax collector Zaccheus. 

After Zaccheus repented of his sins, ‘Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as the kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ 

Truer words were never written friends! And since we believe it all, we can go home joyfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice and confident humility: ‘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!’ 

All glory and honour to our most kind and LOVING Saviour! Now let’s go out and share His LOVE and friendship as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…when Jesus comes into our hearts…His light and LOVE…will faithfully lead and safely guide us…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2017 Romans 10:15b.

Romans 10:15b.   How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

And then it was Tuesday; Easter Tuesday, a day of work for most! Yeh friends, the over the top celebrations finish now, and it’s time to get back to some serious labouring, both in our worldly occupations and also our spiritual work for Jesus. 

Hopefully the Easter festivities, especially Christ’s resurrection, has buoyed our spirits, reignited the flame of LOVE and service in our hearts, thus giving us a rejuvenated mind set, moving us up a notch on the stairway of maturity. 

Oh my people, my people, it’s at crucial times like these where we need to improve our spiritual witness, and move up the glory ladder; from glory to glory, where we’re once more alive and bubbling with hungry hope and expectant faith in Jesus! 

The end times are drawing ever closer my brethren, but the harvest is still plentiful, there’s yet much to be reaped, and since we are the reapers, we need to be strong and enthusiastic so that we can put our best foot forward for Christ. 

Remember we are Christ’s ambassadors, His worker bees here on earth, and He’s expecting us to bring as many people as possible – in fact ALL people to His saving grace. 

That’s what the Easter season is about; why He selflessly sacrificed His sinless life on the cross; so that whosoever will may come and receive His cleansing and healing and new way of life, which includes salvation, reconciliation and eternal life with the Father and Himself. 

Now how precious is that eh? But friends, how can the unbelievers get this wonderful news unless someone shares it with them eh? 

And we are that someone! It’s our responsibility to share the wonderful and free saving grace, mercy, and forgiveness of Christ to all and sundry. ‘So that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, as Bruh Paul reminds the Romans, using the words found in Joel 2:32, salvation comes from calling upon the Lord for His saving grace. 

But then, as he further queries the Romans: ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?’ (Rom.10:14-15a) 

And that’s all very pertinent stuff my people. How can unbelievers be saved if they don’t hear the gospel? And they can only hear it if someone shares it with them. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ 

Oh friends that’s such a touching bit of scripture! And it’s also indisputable, gospel truth! 

For there is nothing as wonderful as believers obeying Jesus’ last command to His disciples: ‘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 always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Now that’s our basic job as followers of Jesus. And you’ll notice at the end that Jesus even assured us that He’d be always with us wherever and whenever we’re spreading His word. 

Unfortunately though my faithful brethren, we’re not doing it as well, as purposefully and diligently as we ought to. Why, I really can’t say. It might be through fear of repercussions from this evil world in which we dwell. Or it might just be simple laziness and sloth, or us being more concerned about living a comfortable earthly life than laying up rewards in heaven. 

But friends, whatever the reason or reasons might be, if we aren’t helping to spread the good news of Jesus gospel in some form and fashion, then we’re not being good ambassadors of His. 

It’s as plain and simple as that. And in these times of quick and far reaching communication tools, there is really no good excuse for any of us to not participate in the spreading of the gospel. 

Now let’s look at the two Old Testament Scriptures from which Bruh Paul fashioned our Bit. The first comes from Isaiah, as he promises that the Lord will deliver His people Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings (good news) of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And the second piece of scripture comes from the prophet Nahum, as he proclaims God’s majesty in mercy and judgement. ‘Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace! 

Oh Judah, keep thy solemn (sacred, appointed) feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked (one of Belial, or worthless one) shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.’ (Nah.1:15) 

And there you have it friends, the sources of our Bit. (smile) Now let’s go home sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘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!’ 

So if we believe it, then let’s go out and do it as we ought to nuh! Much LOVE!

…only as we spread the gospel of Jesus…will the world be saved…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2016 Ecclesiastes 5:1.

Ecclesiastes 5:1   Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Aye mih people, a blessed Sabbath Day to you and yours!  And we’ll begin as usual with some praise and worship to get us ready, to get our hearts softened up for the Word. So let’s belt out that wonderful hymn we all know and LOVE, ‘Amazing Grace’! Let’s raise our sacrifices of praise heavenward, like we truly mean it nuh. 

‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see. ’twas Grace that taught, my heart to fear. And grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed. 

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. ’tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead us home. The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures. 

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see.’ 

Yes friends, it’s all through God’s amazing grace that we can aspire to heavenly things and places! Without His saving grace, we would truly be lost like a thirsty man in an endless expanse of desert, only seeing mirages, or a rudderless ship adrift in the dark on a storm tossed sea.  Only through God’s grace can we find an oasis in the desert, or a clear path in the storm. 

That reminds me of the picture in one of my Bibles showing a ship caught in a storm with a young lad standing at the ship’s steering wheel that’s bigger than him, but comfortingly, behind the lad stands Jesus, with His left hand on the boy’s left shoulder and His right hand pointing the way through the storm.  

Ah friends, that’s how it is with all those who sincerely believe in Jesus and seek His saving grace; He takes us gently by the arm and guides us safely through the fearful storms of life. Now, given that generous life-line of grace, I don’t understand why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t have a great desire to associate with Jesus. But, I guess, if you don’t believe His Word, then you won’t see any reason for such an association. 

All I can say friends, is that I’m truly sorry for those who, for whatever reason, pass up the wonderful opportunity to walk closely with Jesus. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so let’s pray that they will come to their senses before their earthly lives are over, because then that glorious opportunity will cease to exist. 

Oh, before we get to our Bit, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s message. Don’t know how many of you noticed it, but one heading had the 5th of November while the other had the 4th

Chuh! I didn’t notice it until after I sent out the Bit. Obviously it annoyed me, but it was too late do anything about it then. And it all stems from laziness yes, copying the heading rather than typing it all over again, then forgetting to change the date. Ah Lord eh! I guess that just shows that I’m human, and thus liable to make mistakes. (smile) 

Then this morning the clocks went back an hour, bringing an end to Daylight Saving Time. I don’t know why we continue the practice nuh, because it doesn’t seem to help anybody I know, and many other countries don’t use it and seem to get by very well. But them’s the breaks, we just have to grin and bear it, and once more figure out and remember the time difference in places we deal with. 

Anyway, we’ve finally come to our Bit, a caution against hasty vows, which seems rather appropriate for this Sunday morning as we go to church. ‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.’ 

A very timely bit of advice indeed my brethren! And the Preacher continues: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Yes friends, wisdom for the ages from Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher. And the scholars enlighten us thus. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis of the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows.’ 

Ah mih people, unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, a lot of us offer lengthy prayers and make rash, unwise promises to God, which we obviously can’t or don’t intend to keep. 

But listen to these awesome words of wisdom from the Preacher. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

The truth of the matter though my fellow believers is that wisdom doesn’t only apply to our dealings with Almighty God, but should apply to our dealings with all humans! As sincere followers of Jesus, it is imperative that we keep our promises to all and sundry. He keeps all of His promises, and consequently expects us to do the same. 

Sadly though, our social media revolution has made this a time of many words – most of them foolish and unnecessary – and rash promises – many of which we have no intention of keeping, or simply can’t keep. That’s why we are cautioned to not promise, rather than to promise and not pay. Please let that be our motto from now on my people, it will keep us out of many troubles. Much LOVE!

…whatever happened to the old adage…promises were meant to be kept…not broken…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Greetings and salutations my fellow brethren in Christ! Welcome to what looks like a somewhat cloudy and hopefully rainy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. And do we ever need some decent rainfall. 

But the best part of the morning is knowing that regardless of what the weather is like, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is alive and well and that His brilliant light is shining in our hearts, minds, and souls for all to see. 

And the most important part of that sentence is the last part, ‘for all to see.’ That’s because Christ is shining His light not only in, but also through us. The light is for us to share with the rest of the world who don’t know Him and cause them to come to Him for His saving grace, without which they can’t find eternal life. 

And it’s especially in these difficult and trying times that the world needs believers to stand up and declare the gospel with great zest and passion, and live it in true Christian fashion. 

We must not be seen as wishy-washy, fence sitting hypocrites, else that would just invalidate our witness for Christ and make His organization, His church, more of a laughing stock than it already is. 

So friends, please, let’s promise ourselves this morning to be excellent ambassadors for Christ so that we can raise the level, the intensity of His LOVE Revolution, that’s the only hope for our misguided, evil and increasingly ungodly world. 

Wow! Where did all of that come from eh? When I sat down just now to write, that was nowhere in my imagination, but as always, I asked for guidance, and I guess that’s where I was guided. Ah mih people, you never know with our great God nuh! 

Now let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. And I like this first one: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth! For as Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) said in his song: ‘That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race. That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizen ship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained… and everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ 

Yes friends, until equal rights and justice play a much larger role in our society, we will ALWAYS be engulfed in strife. And the second quote from Anselm tells us that, ‘The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.’ 

That’s more indisputable truth my brethren! The strongest are the ones who fight the good fight of faith right down to the very end, despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way. And it all segues so smoothly into our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s all we dealing with this morning; being strong and of a good courage… Why, you ask? 

Because I believe now, more than ever, Christians need to stand up strong and steadfast and be courageous, stop being passive and allowing ourselves to be pushed around and aside by the evil world powers. 

Right now we’re definitely not doing justice to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that’s supposed to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path destined for us by our Creator. 

The anxious and fearful way in which so many of us behave, one would never believe that the Spirit of God resides within us. We have to stand up strong friends, much stronger than we’re currently doing. 

Poor Joshua was bombarded with that direction, both by Moses and the Lord. Listen up: ‘And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:7) 

The Good Book also tells us, per the Lord’s direction: ‘Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.’ (Deut.31:22-23) 

And the Lord when He commissions Joshua as Israel’s leader, after the death of Moses, He reiterates in our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage… Then in the next verse, He tells him once more; ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous…’ (Josh.1:7a) 

And if that wasn’t enough, two verses later, the Lord reminds him. ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that same message also applies to each and every believer today! Yes my people, it is ever so important that we Christians stand up proud and strong in these trying times, because that’s the only way we’ll ever serve Christ properly, and make a sincere and substantial difference in our world, which we are called to do. Much LOVE!…

Christians ought to be the strongest and most courageous people on earth…because of the awesome and ever-faithful promises of Christ…and His Holy Spirit which dwells in them…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.     But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Awright my people, it’s the big day, Sunday, the Sabbath, a day of praise and worship! So let’s get straight to it nuh, let’s sing this popular song of praise and worship by Rick Founds, ‘Lord I lift Your name on high.

With strong voices and sincere hearts let’s allow our song to rise to heaven and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart as we praise and glorify His awesome majesty, magnify His holy name and give Him thanks for all that’s He’s done for us. 

‘Lord I lift Your name on high  Lord I love to sing Your praises  I’m so glad You’re in my life  I’m so glad You came to save us You came from Heaven to earth  To show the way  From the earth to the cross  My debt to pay  From the cross to the grave  From the grave to the sky  Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high…’ 

Beautiful my people, truly beautiful! Heaven had to be moved by such an outpouring of praise and thanksgiving! Now since I couldn’t share yesterday, the two of our friend Anselm’s quotes that I usually share, I’ll include one today. And it simply says: ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ 

So true friends, so true! We all know that when one door closes another is usually opened, but we pine for what’s behind the closed door so much, especially if it was good, that ofttimes we can’t see, or are not even aware of the newly opened door. We’ve got to learn that when God shuts a door, we’re to leave it alone, look elsewhere for the next thing He has earmarked for us. 

But, sadly, being creatures of habit and comfort, allergic to change, we still yearn and hunger for what’s behind the closed door, although deep down we know that the Lord has something better waiting for us through the newly opened door. Yes my brethren, we have to keep looking forward not backward. 

As they say, the Lord brings certain things and people into our lives for a reason and/or a season, but when that time is up, and He shuts that door, we have to let whatever it is go and move on. Otherwise we’ll spend our lives miserable, wanting and wishing for what is no longer available to us. End of sermon! (smile) 

Let’s turn to our Bit; the same one we’ve had for the last couple days. Why, you ask? Because it’s such an important scripture, one on which our basic faith is based, and thus there are several references to it throughout the Good Book. And more importantly, it is very appropriate for these evil and ungodly times in which we’re now living. 

Just listen to the great promise it contains. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what a glorious promise that is from our magnanimous and merciful God! In our most sinful times, our times of trials and tribulations, of disobedience and idolatry, it is yet possible to seek Jehovah God, through confession and repentance, a sincere heart and soul and find Him. Wow! 

Oh friends, that’s something our world needs to take advantage of RIGHT NOW because everything is falling down around us. War and strife, poverty, hunger, persecution, homelessness, failing economies, failing families and societies; those are the things that are currently colouring, are currently prominent in our world. 

Things like LOVE, peace, harmony, compassion, understanding and helping each other are unfortunately on the way out. And the ONLY way to change the negative aspects of our world is to turn to God in true repentance and receive His graceful forgiveness. 

Now hear this warning of the prophet Azariah to the Israelites. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa (the king) and said unto him. Hear ye me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 

Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their troubles did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.’ (2 Chr.15:1-4)  

Ah friends, although the Israelites were stiff-necked, stubborn and hard-headed and often disobeyed God, when the rough times, meaning God’s punishment, really caught up to them, they were smart enough to return to worshipping the God of their fathers. Now why can’t we recognize our serious plight and realize that God’s hand is working against us and turn back to Him eh? 

The Israelites did it several times, and each time He welcomed them back with opened arms. He will certainly do the same for us, that is, if we can wake up before our entire world falls down, disintegrates around us. And it all depends on us my fellow believers in Christ, through the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20), we are supposed to spread the good news of Christ all over the world. And right now we have the tools to do it. 

So let’s get serious nuh, put our hands to the plough and just move forward with the saving grace of Christ’s LOVE Revolution. He is depending on His church to fight the good fight…and win it too. 

Now let’s end with a rather appropriate piece of scripture, words of our wonderful God, after He had spoken to the Israelites out of the mountain of fire, and they were all afraid. And the Lord said unto Moses. ‘O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!’ (Deut.5:29) 

That says it all friends! Now let’s go out and do our best for Jesus, because that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…only true LOVE…in the guise of Jesus…can save our fast deteriorating world…

 

 

 

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