Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2018 Revelation 3:15.

Revelation 3:15.   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.

Awright mih breddren, another wonderful day on God’s great earth is upon us! Give Him thanks and praise! And you know what? I just checked the obits and none of our names or pictures are listed there! Wow! That must mean that we’re alive, alive and kicking, alive and kicking butt for Christ! (smile) I like that. 

It sounds like something we were meant to do. But are we doing it? To a certain extent yes, but definitely not as much as we ought to. The problem with our brand of Christianity these days seems to be that we are doing a lot of right things, but we are not doing them sufficiently. 

You know, you can give, volunteer, help, pray, whatever, show Christian attributes, but with a lacklustre attitude, no real passion for what you’re doing. It doesn’t seem to come from the heart, but from the mind. Like I’m supposed to do so and so, so I’ll do it, but not with any real zeal; a more legalistic approach than a heart-felt one. 

But Jesus calls for excellence, passion, and diligence in His followers. That reminds me of what He said to the church in Laodicea, through John’s vision in Revelation, our Bit for today. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.’ 

Ah friends, that’s exactly how Christ’s church is today. The zeal and passion for growing it, for enhancing Christ’s LOVE Revolution doesn’t’ seem to be present in sufficient quantity amongst its believers. We still seem to be too taken up with the matters of the world and not enough with those of heaven. 

And as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:16-17) 

Yes my people, if we look at ourselves in truth, we will see that we are still too taken up with the things of the world and not those of God, thus Jesus’ reproach. 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm water, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. 

But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas. By the time it arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Ah friends, although I don’t think our contributions to Christ’s church are totally useless, I do believe that they are not worthwhile enough because our faith is not strong enough. Too many of us are too scared, lazy and lackadaisical about our faith. We don’t stand up steadfast and strong enough for what we believe in. 

There is too much fence sitting and compromise in our behaviour and actions. And both those things lessen the strength of anything. We talk a good talk, but we don’t walk a good enough walk. 

That’s why Jesus commanded the church at Laodicea: ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev.3:18) 

I have to chuckle there friends, because nobody can turn a phrase like Jesus, can admonish you the way He does. And the scholars have this to say about that scripture. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. 

Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’ 

Fellow believers in Christ, I believe that admonition of Jesus will also stand us in good stead today. Please, I implore us to stop running after the things and wealth of the world, because they will avail us nothing in the time to come. It’s time we raise the level of our faith and actions and concentrate on sincerely growing Christ’s church as personified by His LOVE Revolution. Why do you think He blessed us with our Thursday Blessings eh? So that we can lift Him up. 

Now let’s declare those blessings with a sincere heart and strong belief. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe, it, then let’s go out and share it with others as Christ desires, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. Much LOVE!

…Christ wants His followers to be either hot or cold…not in between…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2018 Matthew 10:33.

Matthew 10:33    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

And then it was the first of March… Can you believe it? January and February have passed us by like a whirlwind! It’s now an old year! (smile) Unfortunately though, not much has changed over the past two months, there is still an overwhelming amount of adversity, calamity and tragedy bombarding our world. 

Ungodliness is also taking a serious toll on our earthly fortunes, as lots of people, for whatever reason, unfortunately drift away from the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD. How sad that is friends, knowing that so many of our fellow man stand the very good likelihood of missing out on salvation and eternal life with Christ. And there’s nothing more important that that, in this entire world! 

But as individuals, and as Christ’s body, the church, we can only do so much. However, I do believe that we’re not doing as much as we can. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever proselytize EVERYBODY on the planet, because there are just some stubborn, foolish, adamant people who will just flatly refuse to ever believe in Jesus, but we can surely give it a greater effort than we’re currently doing. 

Too many of us are too lackadaisical about communicating the gospel to others, and some simply refuse to do it for fear of confrontation, rejection or shame. But please remember the momentous words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our Bit: ‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer than that nuh. 

And earlier on He said to the disciples: ‘Fear them not therefore (persecutors): for there is nothing covered (veiled), that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what hear ye in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:26-28) 

Yes friends, there is no need to fear what man can do to us, because he can only kill the body, but we need to fear God, who can kill both body and soul. Thus, once we embark upon the pilgrim’s journey with Christ, we cannot afford to let fear of man put us off, but we have to keep on fighting the good fight to spread the gospel to ALL the world, because that’s our bounden duty. 

And as good soldiers in Christ’s army, we need to do our duty sincerely and proudly and with lots of courage. Please note what Jesus said right before our Bit. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32) 

And the scholars enlighten us as to the meaning of our Bit and that verse. ‘10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to Me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. 

The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist tense, (hn!) referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. Therefore, a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’ 

What more can I say eh mih breddren. The scholars hit the nail on the head. We either acknowledge Jesus in public, or we don’t. We can’t sit on the fence, scared and wishy-washy. That doesn’t work in Jesus’ organization. A lot of us want to reap the benefits of knowing Jesus but don’t want to put in the hard work those benefits require before they can become reality. 

Remember friends, in God’s economy, whatever you sow, that is what you’re going to reap. So don’t think you can deny Jesus and still get to heaven. As true believers in Jesus, we ought to proudly and courageously say and act like Bruh Paul: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentiles).’ (Rom.1:16) 

Yes my people, that’s how we ought to think of the gospel of Christ, because it is indeed powerful, remember, it’s like a two edged sword. That means we have to be very careful with it, not play around with it like some ordinary knife, else we’re liable to get cut very badly with it. (smile) So please, let’s sit and ponder today, how we are treating the gospel of Christ, and if we’re denying or confessing Him, because that’s the key to our eternal salvation. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and heartfelt sincerity. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh what a magnanimous God we serve my people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others, as He intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…you can’t sow rice and expect to reap peas…likewise…you can’t deny Christ…and expect Him to confess you before His Father…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2018 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Oh mih people, I know that this Monday morning as many of us are struggling to get up and go to work under difficult circumstances, we are also asking; ‘Wherefore art thou sweet Jesus?’ You can include me in that lot. (smile) That’s because we expect Jesus to solve our every problem without any suffering on our part, or at least a minor amount. 

But He never promised that there wouldn’t be rough times. In fact, He told us to expect them, even if it’s only because we believe in Him. What He did promise is that He would see us through the storms of life, hold our hands, and bring us out safely on the other side. 

So let’s not get all up in arms against our Lord and Saviour if we are experiencing trying times this morning. Instead let’s put all our confidence in Him, in His faithful promises. For if He gave up His sinless life for us, why wouldn’t He help us through our dark times eh? And to help boost our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong voice and nuff sincerity. 

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!’ 

Oh friends, it never ceases to amaze me how that prayer can cause the adrenaline to flow and our spirits to be lifted! So let’s be wise and ride it out nuh, do our thing for Jesus, whatever it may be, and stay strong under His protection and guidance, for He is the ONLY One who can truly protect us from the storms of life. 

Hear this telling and truthful scripture from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men – that includes our Bit. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet: so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yuh see friends, the seafarers knew exactly what the psalmist was talking about, because they experienced it all the time. And I too can testify to that scripture, as I got caught out on the stormy Lake Ontario some years ago, and believe me, it was indeed a frightening scene. 

Out in the middle of the lake in a relatively small boat, surrounded by four scared, drunken men. Only the skipper and I were sober, as the boat dangled up and down between the great waves. But obviously the Lord calmed the stormy waves, and I am still here to tell the story. 

I thought I had seen bad storms on the ocean, but that one on Lake Ontario took the cake. As I’ve said before, I’d read about the shivering of timbers on a boat in a storm, but that fateful day I experienced it in living colour. And let me tell you, it wasn’t one I’d like to experience again. 

And the best way to end today’s Bit is with this actual story of Jesus as he crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat with His disciples. On the way over a violent storm arose, but Jesus didn’t budge, he remained asleep. However, the disciples were scared out of their minds and ‘came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matthew 8:25-27) 

Oh my fellow believers, we shouldn’t have to ask that question because we ought to know whom Jesus is – The Son of Almighty God, who made the universe and all therein, therefore He has control over it all. Consequently, He can also quiet the storms in our lives, if we would just let Him. Much LOVE!

…let God be God…in your life…that’s the only wise way to live…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2016 Matthew 5:16.‏

 Matthew 5:16.   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s another beautiful Tuesday on God’s earthly heaven! Glory be to our heavenly Father! It means we’ve been granted another day with God’s breath of life still flowing rich and strong through our physical bodies! 

And for that we ought to be most thankful, be ever grateful for all that He’s done for us in the past, is doing for us right now, and has faithfully promised to fulfill in the future. Now that also ought to lead us to offering some sincere thanks and praise to His most holy and honourable name. 

And the best way to give thanks and praise, to offer sincere gratitude and gratefulness is in joyful song. So let’s sing praises and give thanks to our Creator and Provider! Let’s shout out this powerful gospel song that I recently heard. Heard it a few times on different radio stations too. 

The singer is blessed with the name Tasha Cobbs, and I believe she was in Toronto last weekend for a live concert. The song is appropriately titled, ‘Power in the name of Jesus.’ 

Please sing it with me. ‘There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Yes there is power in the name of Jesus…. To break every chain… Break every chain…Break every chain. 

There’s an army rising up. There’s and army rising up. There’s an army rising up…To break every chain…Break every chain…Break every chain. 

There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Oh there is power in the name of Jesus…To break every chain…Break every chain…Break every chain…’ 

Now friends, I’m doing this from memory, but I’m pretty sure that’s how the song goes. In any case, that’s our version. (smile) 

And oh yes my fellow believers, there is indeed power…and awesome power at that, in the holy and majestic name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! A power so absolute and strong that it’s able to break any chain that binds us, any chain that holds us captive to the evil tendencies of this evil world! Glory Hallelujah! 

So please, let’s never forget that remarkable power and use it to break whatever is binding us to the things of this world. And now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity and sense of purpose. 

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

Oh my people, whenever we declare that mantra, I just feel real uplifted in my spirit. Why? I’m not sure. But I guess it’s because it defines me in the best way possible: the beloved of God and a friend of Jesus! 

Now there could never be a better definition of who we are than that…And better still, NO ONE can take it from us! Oh glory to our great God my believing brethren! 

That brings us to our Bit; the avid desire and command of our Leader, Jesus Christ. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Unfortunately though my people, that is one command we don’t seem to be following too well because instead of coming to Christ, people are walking away from Him in droves. That’s definitely not good my fellow believers, because it means we’re not doing our part to assure the success of Christ’s LOVE Revolution. 

Through fear and pressure from the evil world, we are allowing our spirits to fall into a sad state of disrepair; a malaise of enormous proportions seems to have taken over the Christian brotherhood, where we don’t fight as much and as hard as we used to do for our beliefs. 

That’s not right my brethren. We are supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and soldiers are supposed to fight; to fight tooth and nail for what they believe in! 

What’s happening with us eh? Don’t we believe anymore? Or are we just comfortable and contented and want to enjoy the things of the world? Or are we simply so scared of Lucifer and His evil minions that we refuse to fight for what we say we believe in? 

I don’t have the answers nuh friends. But I do know that we’re definitely not letting our light shine sufficiently before our fellow men, they’re not seeing enough of our good works, and thus are not glorifying our heavenly Father the way that He desires. 

And we’ll end with an appropriate call from Bruh David from Psalm 22 – A cry of anguish and song of praise. ‘Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed (descendants) of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him (hold Him in awesome reverence), all ye the seed of Israel. 

For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.’ (Ps.22:23-24) 

Ah mih people, let’s try and do better than we doing nuh! Let’s look deep inside and see where we are falling down, then with all sincerity and truth call upon the Lord to help us. As Bruh David says, He will hear and help us. Much LOVE!

…Christ’s earthly army needs a boost…probably a good, swift kick in the tail…to get us going like we ought…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2016 Psalm 79:9

Psalm 79:9.    Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away (provide atonement for) our sins, for thy name’s sake.  

So now it’s Saturday morning friends, meaning that our magnanimous God has granted us another meaningful day on His great earth, to do His glorious work and enjoy His unending mercies and blessings! Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! 

Now some of us are lucky, or preferably, blessed to be able to sleep in, but many others have to get up and get busy around the house, as well as go out and buy food and other necessities for the upcoming week. But fellow believers, whatever our agenda for today, please remember that our wonderful, kind, LOVING and merciful God is ALWAYS with us, ensuring our safety and goodwill. 

If we don’t sincerely believe that, then every time the enemy comes against us, even in minor situations, we’ll worry unnecessarily. And if Jesus said it once, He said it a million times – DO NOT FEAR! 

And the other day I heard a preacher declare that that sentence was possibly the most used in the entire Bible. I forget how many times they said it was used. But from the beginning of time the Lord has been telling His people not to be afraid. 

But despite it all, we Christians are still a scared and cowardly bunch. We let the enemy beat us down too easily, and we don’t seem to have the belly and backbone needed to stand up strong and steadfast again the evil one. Steups! 

This has got to be the weakest generation of Christians that our world has ever seen! I guess that’s because we’ve become too comfortable with the good living, and the material prosperity of the world, and we don’t want to upset our precariously balanced apple cart, to jeopardize the good thing we have going in the world. 

So we sheepishly give in and/or compromise with the evil world, and consequently loose most of the rights and privileges that our forefathers died to have ensured and enshrined. Remember Jesus said we ought to be IN the world but not OF the world. Too many of us have fallen, and are still falling by the wayside with that directive. 

And we also conveniently forget that He declared that if we first seek the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, then all the stuff that we need will be granted to us. (Matt.6:32) But we don’t seem to have the true faith and trust in our Redeemer that that directive implies, so we try to do it, work for it all ourselves, and then die from the stress and pressure. That’s certainly not wisdom my brethren. 

Now here is an interesting but true Trini quote a Trini friend just sent me. ‘Rub meh belly, ah go scratch yuh back.’ Used to reassure someone that there is a need to look out for each other: I’ll help with your issues and you help with mine: Let’s help each other to achieve success. It can even be used as a gentle, but loving scolding — come on and pull your weight because I should not be doing most of the work to build our relationship. Have a great day. 

Watch your thoughts: They become words. Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ True and faithful words my people! I certainly hope we can successfully apply them to our lives. 

And now, turning to our Bit, we hear the psalmist Asaph plead with the God of his fathers. ‘Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away (provide atonement for) our sins, for thy name’s sake.’ 

Ah friends, Asaph was not the only man of God who pleaded fervently with God for deliverance. Let’s listen to a couple of others who did the same, beginning with Bruh David, from Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection. ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O Lord pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.’ (Ps.25:10-11) That was Bruh David pleading on a personal note. 

Now hear the psalmist pleading in Psalm 106 on behalf of Israel sins against God’s LOVE.  ‘Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise the Lord.’ (Ps.106:43-48) 

Oh my fellow believers, the Israelites were surely hard-headed and stubborn, but at least they knew whom to run to when they had gone their own way and things backfired on them. Today, more than ever we need to cry out to our Creator for mercy, grace and forgiveness for our continuing rebellion against Him. But that’s the furthest thing from the minds of the majority of our society. 

Unfortunately, we are still so tied up in the bondage of material wants and lustful dealings that we are dying, trying to remove God from our lives, instead of reinstating Him on the throne of the world. Ah friends, as I said yesterday, that’s a fool’s wisdom and no good can ever come from it! 

And we’ll end with the words of the prophet Jeremiah, pleading for his people, as the Lord communicates the message of the famine to him. ‘O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake: for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against thee. 

O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Why shouldest thou be as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save? Yet thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.’ (Jer.14:7-9) 

And later on in that same chapter, he declares: ‘We acknowledge, O Lord our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.’ (Jer.14:20-21) 

Yeh, I like the reasoning; we can callously and stubbornly break our covenant with Almighty God, but He must not break His with us. Hn! Sadly though friends, it just doesn’t work like that. Our God is patient and long-suffering, but even His patience runs out, especially in the face of boldfaced and continuous rebellion. 

My people, we cannot continue rebelling against God and expect Him to still show us grace and mercy. Until sincere repentance and confession become a big part of our society, like the Israelites, our fortunes will continue to decrease. Let’s think seriously on that today nuh. Much LOVE!

…continuous obedience to God’s Word…is the hallmark of true believers…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2013 Matthew 8:26

Matthew 8:26.   And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Saturday, the day of the big Caribana Parade! Or to give it its right name, the Scotia Bank Caribbean Carnival Parade. And I chuckle to see how the parade no longer matters to me.
 
And if you knew me earlier on, you would chuckle too, because once upon a time, the parade was the ONLY thing that mattered to me. I couldn’t care less about the other activities. My only concern was to meet up with my buddies in the city and behave like ‘leggo-beast,’ make a fool of myself. I do that normally now. (smile)
 
The duchess would complain, because those days she never went to the parade and I would come home dog tired and otherwise, just wanting to rest and recuperate, while she then wanted to go out and party. Now she’s the one that goes to the parade with her friends and comes home late and tired. Life certainly has a way of turning around, when we least expect it yes.
 
But this will be the third or fourth parade that I’m missing, and it doesn’t rankle my soul that much, because I know my knees can’t handle the strain any longer, and I did do a lot of walking and prancing in my time. Not to mention in the last few years I stopped seeing the people I used to party with, and the parade itself, the tenor of the celebrations, plus the quality of the mas no longer appealed to me.
 
But I did check out the Pan Alive competition last night, the only aspect that I pay any attention to now. And I almost didn’t go, because shortly after five, as I was about to get ready, a wicked thunderstorm lashed my area. And it didn’t clear up until after seven, so I was there hemming and hawing about going.
 
But fortunately, the Spirit moved me to go. So I got myself together and went. Thankfully, by then the traffic had eased off, so I got down there about 8.30, only missing the first three bands. And since there were fourteen scheduled to perform, I didn’t miss much. 
 
Only thirteen actually performed though, because one pan side dropped out, due to the death of one of their members. How sad eh. Let’s pray that they find faith and strength in Jesus to hold up under their time of sorrow. The rain behaved quite well too, for we only had a couple of drizzles, then it held off after about ten o’clock.
 
And the pan was nice, mih Uncle John! The sound system was nice and clean, and the pannists – no longer pan men – were excellent themselves. And as usual, it warmed the cockles of my heart to see the many young people, of different colours, creeds and races, beating pan. For as you would know better than most, pan has certainly come a long way. I told one young lady there about the lowly beginnings of pan and its social stigma, and she was most surprised to hear it.
 
But Friends, our God is a great and wonderful God, operating in ways we can’t even pretend to understand. Just as He allowed His Son Jesus to be born in a lowly and humble environment, a lot of His blessed undertakings start in lowly turmoil and eventually graduate to great things. Pan is definitely one of those undertakings. 
 
Anyway, the competition didn’t finish until after midnight, and by the time the winners were announced, it was minutes to one. Pan Fantasy repeated as winners of the competition, with Afro Pan coming second, and a tie for third place, but I don’t remember the names of those bands.
 
And obviously there was controversy over the results. But that’s nothing new, for I believe that there’s no other competition that causes as much controversy, regardless of who wins, as in Pan competitions.
 
So my brethren, with that time frame in mind, I didn’t get home until minutes to two this morning, and I had to grab some shut-eye, thus the lateness of the Bit. And I guess that wraps up my Caribana ‘particpaction!’
 
Hn, hn! The old people were right as usual, when they said that after one time is usually too yes. But the good thing is that it doesn’t rankle my soul now, though it did a little in the first couple of years. I’ve come to terms with it. Thank you Lord.
 
And let’s pray that there are no serious, untoward events at the parade, because you know how the powers that be can carry on over any incident, large or small, quick to threaten to ban it. But you can’t have almost a million people congregating in an area less than a mile long, and have no problems whatsoever. That’s very unrealistic.
 
Now turning to our Bit: ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.’
 
Oh my brethren, those rebuking words of Jesus apply to us even more today than they did to the disciples of Jesus’ time. That’s because we’re even more scared and concerned about our lives and the way our society is plummeting down to the depths of sinfulness and evil.
 
The disciples had been with Jesus for a while, had seen Him do several miracles, but deep down they didn’t believe, were still unconvinced that He was the Son of God, the Messiah. And thus they only considered the situation in human terms.
 
With the wind and sea so wild and frightful, and the boat doing such a crazy dance on the water, any normal man would have awakened and checked out the scene. But in the heat of their excitement and fear, they forgot that Jesus wasn’t a normal man. I guess there was some disappointment on Jesus’ part, since by then He no doubt expected them to have more faith in Him.
 
However, we can’t look down on the disciples, for their fear and lack of faith, because today we are doing the same thing. We have also seen and experienced many signs and wonders of Jesus’ LOVE and faithfulness, but when the forces of the world, of evil and darkness come against us, we still tend to cringe and get overly scared.
 
But please remember Friends, that our God created the universe and all therein, and still controls ALL that happens in it. So if He tells us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,’ (John 16:33b) then why should we doubt and not believe eh?
 
That’s where our level of faith, trust and surrender to God comes in. Now there’s nothing wrong with being afraid at times, but with all God’s promises, plus Jesus’ death, resurrection and the promise of salvation and eternal life they bring, and all the other good things that believers enjoy, we should not become so scared that we panic and thus make wrong or unwise decisions.
 
The level of our faith will dictate the level of our fear. That’s why we all need to raise the levels of our faith my people! For it is that sense of trust in our heavenly Father that keeps us truly grounded and able to not only survive, but also prosper in these ungodly and wicked times. 
 
And I won’t quote you any set of scriptures, but today I want us to read Hebrews Chapter 11, often called the Faith Chapter, where we’ll find a long list of people who found and applied faith to their lives and were renowned for it.
 
Now please don’t think you’re doing me a favour by reading it, because you’re not. I’m going to read it and hopefully build my level of faith. You’re reading it for your own good, to develop your trust and faith.
 
For remember, regardless of how much you listen to the Word, you’ll never truly understand it until YOU read, mark, meditate on and inwardly digest it. If you don’t, then you’ll be easily fooled and made afraid by what any, Tom, Dick and Harry tells you.
 
So we’ll end here and let you go and read Hebrews 11, for that’s today’s wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…no one can build our faith but us…and to do that…personally knowing the Word is a must…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2013 Philippians 1:10

Philippians 1:10.    That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.
 
Oh Friends, it’s our favourite day of the week, Monday! And I hear all sorts of complaining, many wondering if I’m mad or just stupid. Hn, hn! No Friends, I’m not any of them…well possibly a little of each, (smile) but not so much that it will affect my credibility.
 
Now don’t you think that Jesus likes Mondays? He surely does! Because that gives His followers many more opportunities to go out and interact with unbelievers, showing them His philosophy of LOVE through their actions of LOVING-kindness, and also spreading the Good News of the gospel.
 
So why shouldn’t we like Monday’s too eh? Aren’t we supposed to like whatever Jesus likes? For sure! But we’re just a combination of scared, lazy, selfish, overly comfortable and generally gotten too big for our britches followers. We talk the good talk, but don’t walk the necessary walk.
 
Anyway my people, it’s Monday and we have to go out and labour if we want to eat, so let’s get over our puny, miserable selves, get up and get ourselves together and go out and win souls for Christ as we ought to.
 
And to help us in that most glorious endeavour, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle hymn with plenty gusto and sincerity. All together now, in one, loud, harmonious voice. Let’s raise the roof on heaven!
 
‘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!’
 
Awright mih people! We did indeed raise heaven’s roof! Jesus was singing with us, as He always does, but this time He was also laughing heartily, pointing to the Father and saying: ‘Yuh see Father, them’s my people! They truly believe in me, and will go out and glorify me, so that we can all glorify You! I know there was a good reason why I sacrificed my life for them!’
 
The Father just smiles indulgently, looks at Jesus, who’s inebriated with joy that His people were putting on such a good show, and says: ‘Thank You Son! I know it was a bit much to ask, but I surely didn’t want to lose any of them, especially to that fallen fool Lucifer.’
 
And Jesus, positively gushing with enthusiasm and confidence, assures Him. ‘Don’t worry Father, my people, my body, my church, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, won’t let us down. You won’t loose one single one to that foolish fool Beelzebub. My people will help us to reconcile them all to You. I solemnly promise.’  
 
Now yuh hear that mih breddren! Jesus promised the Father that we’ll take care of business down here with the Holy Spirit’s help, and we certainly cannot disappoint Him, after all He’s sacrificed for us! So this Monday morning, let’s raise the level of our LOVE, passion for, and faith in Jesus and just go out and do our best to make that promise come true nuh.
 
Remember our two basic jobs on earth are to spread the gospel and glorify God, neither of which we’re currently doing to the best of our ability. And if you want to work for Jesus, you have to display a wonderful work ethic, because He only deals in excellence, not no wishy-washy, compromising, any old how behaviour like our world currently seems to favour.
 
Now I have to go and find a Bit that encompasses all that. (smile) But no worries. Soon come!
 
I’m back people! It took me a little longer than I expected, about fifteen minutes, but that’s because I had a few options to consider. However, once I saw this scripture, I felt that would be the one. But we’ll start with the verse before it, and continue with the one after it, to keep everything in the proper context.
 
This is Bruh Paul talking to the Philippians about thanksgiving and prayer. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE  may abound yet more in knowledge and in all judgement (discernment); That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:9-11)
 
Yes Friends, we need to try our best to be excellent in all things. Remember we saw this verse recently, when talking about ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus.’ (Phil/1:6)
 
That’s when the scholars explained that ‘Things that are excellent means “things that really matter.” This refers to important issues. As the Philippians LOVE increases in knowledge and discernment (vs.9), they will be able to accurately distinguish the vital and worthwhile things in life from those that are not.’
 
The Philippians are worried about Bruh Paul’s imprisonment, but he wants them to realize that his imprisonment was important, serving a useful purpose in God’s plans, causing him to spread the gospel to those around him, and thus working everything out for good as He’d promised. (Rom.8:28)
 
Bruh Paul wants the Philippians to be sincere, morally pure in their daily dealings, thus bearing fruits of righteousness that will glorify God. Oh my people, the very same thing applies to us today!
 
And though we’ve heard the scholars take on (vs.11) before, we can definitely stand to hear it again. ‘This verse could be translated, “Filled with the fruit that is righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ for the purpose of glorifying and praising God.” The believer who is pure and without offense before God (v.10) has divinely developed in him a practical “righteousness” or daily moral life that measures up to God’s standards in character and conduct. The ultimate purpose for this “righteousness” is to glorify God.’
 
And that’s gospel Friends! So let’s go out and do our bounden duty nuh! We have all the tools we need, plus the expert help of the Holy Spirit, so what are we waiting for eh? Please get a move on, for we just cannot disappoint Jesus. Much LOVE!
 
…our God doesn’t deal in halfway or half-hearted measures…it’s simply…all…or nothing at all…