Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2016 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Ah friends, I don’t know who decided that we need eight hours of sleep per night nuh, but it obviously does not apply to me. Why am I saying that? Because last night, after a busy day, I decided to go to bed fairly early, around 11 p.m and get a good night’s rest.

But lo and behold, when I got up at 6 this morning, my ole back was a mess. I was stepping around gingerly, like an old man. (smile) I had to go and find my back brace and put it on, something I have not done in ages. 

The sad part is that I know I can’t lie in bed for such long periods, but it never reverberated in my brain, (smile) until I got up. This getting old is something else yes! 

But yuh know what? If that is my biggest problem for today, then I’m certainly giving much thanks, since it’s something I can handle. Anyway, let’s get the day started with our Tuesday Mantra, to renew our faith and trust. 

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

Yes friends, we have it all! Glory Hallelujah! We are LOVED unconditionally by Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe, and we have a most wonderful friendship with His Son, Jesus Christ, who selflessly laid down His sinless life to pay for our abominable sins. 

Wow! It couldn’t get any better than that nuh mih people! And all we have to do is to share His LOVE with the rest of the world; tell them about His wonderful gospel, the faithful promise of salvation and eternal life, if they make Him their Lord and Saviour too. 

But unfortunately, that isn’t as easy to do as it sounds, because we get a lot of resistance, resentment and lack of interest from the masses, who, under the evil influence of the prince of darkness, are more into the flimsy, worthless things of the world, rather than the everlasting things of God. 

That doesn’t mean we have to stop trying. In fact it ought to make us try harder, as we follow Jesus’ directive in our Bit, what is known as the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

Ah mih people, proselytizing, evangelizing, converting and baptizing are to be our earthly tasks. And we need to take them seriously, though not to the point that we make a nuisance or a fool of ourselves. 

And here is a very important scripture that directly relates to Jesus’ directive. Before our Bit Jesus said to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt.28:18) That means Christ indeed had the authority to give the order that He then gave. 

Now our Bit was only the first part of the Great Commission, hear the rest of it. ‘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.28:20)

Yuh see my fellow believers, even when Jesus gives us a task to do, He doesn’t leave us all alone to do it. He promises to be always with us, and we all know that He is ever faithful to keep His promises. 

So why aren’t we doing better than we are eh? Why are people leaving the church in droves and walking to the beat of the world eh? I don’t know. What I do know is that we’re not doing such a bang up job for Jesus, and we definitely need to come up higher. 

Now listen to some interesting info from the scholars on the subject. ’28:18-20. The Great Commission brings the first Gospel to its grand finale. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honour their martyred leader. 

Here is a far different scene. The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christi) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. 

All power or authority  (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on the earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church. 

Go ye, though a participle, conveys the force of a command: “Go.” In other words the idea expressed is that you must go and make disciples. Teach all nations can be translated “disciple all nations.” Thus the converting influence of the gospel is indicated here. 

The “all nations” clearly indicates that the commission to the church is a worldwide one, encompassing the entire missionary effort. The church is not to be merely “missionary-minded.” The church is the vehicle of Christ’s mission to the world.’ 

Ah friends, the scholars really give it to us there! From what they say, Christ’s church is not doing as well or as much as it should, else we’d be having more converts than backsliders. 

Anyhow, the church, though one body, is made up of many individuals, and it all begins with each of us. So today, please let’s take a serious look at how the Great Commission is being enacted in our own lives; if we are doing our best to enforce it. 

And as always, whatever answer we come up with, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and ask Him to help us do better, because we can always do better. And He never refuses a sincere plea for help. Much LOVE!

…discipleship means living our lives as Christ’s ambassador…and a worthy one at that…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Welcome to another brand new day in the life friends! It means that God still has great plans for us to accomplish, other wise He would have taken us home. 

Now we got through Monday with a smile, so Tuesday should be even easier, especially when it abounds with new mercies and blessings from our wonderful Father in heaven. 

And even if the physical state of your day is rainy, or cloudy like mine, just remember that that physical aspect doesn’t really matter that much, because we ALWAYS have the brilliant spiritual light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shining in our hearts. Glory to God! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with plenty verve, sincerity and truth. 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.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! What the world says and does, doesn’t define us. We are the beloved children of God! That’s who we are. And NOBODY can take that from us! 

Please remember that. Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. We are the beloved children of God! Never forget it! 

But please remember too that those great privileges – a child of God, and a friend of Jesus – also carry a great responsibility; sharing Christ’s LOVE with the world. We cannot be true believers or faithful Christians until and unless we are doing that. 

Oh I know I’m preaching to the choir, (smile) but sometimes even the choir needs preaching to. Now let’s get to our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Yes friends, we’re continuing with the Pentecost story, another great day in the annals of Christianity! Yesterday we began looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that most momentous day, and we’ll continue with the same today. 

After quoting the prophecy of Joel and tying it into the Pentecost situation, he then declared: ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of (attested by) God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. 

Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked (lawless) hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up having loosed (destroyed) the pains (birth pangs) of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of (held by) it.’ (Acts 2:22-24) 

Hey people, just imagine Peter pontificating to that crowd nuh. Then he went on to quote Bruh David from Psalm 16:8-11, where he talks about the Lord not leaving his soul or Jesus’ in hell. 

‘Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher (tomb) is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (Ps.132:11); 

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Hades) neither his flesh did see corruption (Ps.16:10). This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. 

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, 

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (Ps.110:1) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ (Acts 2:29-36) 

Wow friends, Peter is surely on a roll! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:22-36. The main point of Peter’s sermon is to prove that Jesus is both God and the Messiah (v.36). Peter seeks to prove this through Christ’s miraculous works (v.22), His resurrection (vv.23-32), and His sending of the Holy Spirit (vv.33-35).’ 

And some more scholarly explanations: ‘2:27. Hell is the word Hades and does not refer to the eternal lake of fire but to the intermediate state of the Old Testament dead. In the New Testament the term also refers to the grave. Peter states that David’s words of Psalm 16:10 are a prophecy concerning the immediate resurrection of the Messiah, of whom David is a type.’ 

Ah mih people, the Day of Pentecost was indeed a red letter day in the history of Israel, also in the annals of Christianity, marking the true beginning of the body of Christ, His church. 

So please, as we go about our earthly business today, let’s contemplate the miraculous events that took place on that momentous day in Jerusalem, some two thousand years ago, and let’s also contemplate the part that the Holy Spirit has played, is playing and will play in our own lives, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…the workhorse of the Holy Trinity…the Holy Spirit…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

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

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

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

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness). Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘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 they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether 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.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Aye mih breddren, it’s Tuesday; Monday has been relegated to the annals of History, so let’s not procrastinate and put off nuh, but use this present day to do what needs doing, above all, glorifying our wonderful, amazing, awesome God! Yes friends, for that’s the number One reason we were so wonderfully made. 

And I believe we can truly say that spring has finally sprung in my area, because for the second consecutive day, there’s a soft rain falling gently on the land, the grass is green, and there are buds on the branches of the trees. 

And more importantly, a few trees are even brave and bold enough to have some leaves already budding out. Oh glory to God, that winter has finally gone back to wherever it came from – for at least another few months! (smile) 

So since our great God is still on His throne, and everything is right in our world, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and godly enthusiasm nuh. 

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, my people, what beautiful words of encouragement and assurance! When we sincerely believe that mantra, then we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Oh, there will be trials and tribulations, Jesus promised that, but deep down we will be assured that they will be properly taken care of in God’s time and in His own particular way. That’s the beauty of our faith! 

So please, let’s not allow the wily enemy to deceive us into thinking otherwise. As I said last week, using Cousin Bobby’s (Robert Schuler 111) testimony, if you’re not sure, not convinced, then please repeat the mantra everyday, several times a day, until you can feel truly assured in your soul. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which I hope to conclude today – no promises though. (smile) ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does). And that’s a sincere promise from our ever-faithful God! 

And as we’ve been doing, we’ll continue looking at the references the scholars gave about the perfect law of liberty. ‘It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death.’ 

And today’s reference comes from Galatians, where Bruh Paul gives forth on Living by faith. ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ (Gal.5:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:1. The verse could be rendered: “For freedom Christ freed us. Therefore stand fast and do not again be subject to a yoke of bondage.” The “freedom” in view is freedom from the law, here called “a yoke of bondage.” Paul wants the Galatians to “stand fast,” that is, retain their spiritual freedom.’ 

And I’m asking us today to do the same thing my fellow believers: let’s not fall back, lapse back into the bondage of the law, but continue truthfully and vibrantly in the spiritual freedom that Christ died for us to have. 

And later on in that same chapter, Bruh Paul further advises the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.’ (Gal.5:13) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:13. Having shown freedom from the law to be proper protection from legalism (vv.1-12), Paul now demonstrates it to be a proper antidote against unrestrained license to sin (vv.13-26). 

Believers are not to abuse their liberty from the law for an occasion (opportunity) to the flesh (sinful nature). That is, don’t think freedom from the law means you can indulge in sin; it means instead that you are free to serve God by serving one another.’ 

Now that’s something we all seriously have to work on friends, since many of us falsely believe that because of that very freedom, plus the overwhelming forgiveness and mercy of our magnanimous God, we have a licence to willfully sin. 

But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my brethren. When we truly come to God and truly have Him ensconced in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, then because of the great LOVE we bear Him, willfully falling to sin and temptation should not even enter our consciousness. It ought to make us strive not to sin. 

And the last part of the explanation re the law of liberty is: ‘James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King.’ 

And pertaining to that, James 2:8 says: ‘If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. But if ye have respect to persons (show partiality), ye commit sin, and are convinced (convicted) of the law as a transgressor.’ (James 2:8-9) I felt that last verse was necessary to show the true context of verse 8. 

And that brings us to Galatians again, where Bruh Paul is talking about applications of new principles. ‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness (gentleness), considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’  (Gal.6:1-2) 

Yeh friends, if we deliberately overstep those divine boundaries and fall into sin, those of us who walk by the Spirit, whose life shows the fruit of the Spirit, ought to talk to the Christian believer who has gone astray and try to bring them back to their normal moral condition. 

And we need to do it all in LOVE, handle it delicately, while all the time making sure that we aren’t caught up in the same carnality, which is so easy to do. 

And per verse 2, the scholars explain: ‘6:2. Contextually, the burdens are the moral faults of verse 1, but can have wider application to other kinds of burdens. The law of Christ is the sum of all Jesus’ teachings and desires; it is Christianity itself.’ 

And here endeth the lesson for today friends. (smile) We have indeed concluded the last message in the perfect law of liberty series. I do hope that we now have a much better understanding of what it means and how it applies to us, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ. 

Please, let’s put all that we have learned into proper use nuh, so that we can advance the gospel of Christ, which is our bounden duty as believers. Much LOVE!

…Christianity…the law of Christ…is not as burdensome as legalism…the law of man… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2016 James 1:23

James 1:23.   For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror).

Oh friends and neighbours, would you believe that yesterday afternoon, around 5 o’clock, the ole fella was outside catching some rays, working on my tan, making some natural vitamin D! Oh all praise and glory be to our wonderful God! 
It was actually around an abnormal 23 Celsius yesterday, although with a strong wind. We haven’t seen temps like that in the northern climes in over six months. Hn! And truthfully, I don’t believe we’ll see them for another couple months yet on a regular basis. 
Today however, has also dawned bright and sunshiny, but with eventual temps only around 15 or so. But that’s more like normal, and much better than the cold wintry stuff we’ve been experiencing so far. So you can come and check out my tan anytime…and there are no tan lines. (smile) 
Now let’s check out our Tuesday Mantra or the Prayer of the Beloved. Let’s declare it loudly and sincerely. ‘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 fellow believers that’s indeed who we are – the beloved of God and friends of Jesus! 
And I heard a testimony on that recently from Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Robert Schuller 111) grandson of Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller), who now runs the Hour of Power T.V. Programme. He said that when he began saying that prayer everyday, he began to become more secure and self-confident in his Christian walk. 
So if it could help him, it can surely help many of us who just don’t feel that confident in who we are and whom we belong to. So it might indeed be worthwhile to pray it everyday. 
And now I want to share a quote from the well-known American Rabbi, Bernard S Raskas (1924-2010). He is reputed to have said these interesting words: ‘Any real progress in the tangled world of emotions must be made by the individual. Each of us must hold the mirror to our own soul and gaze intently at what we see there.’ 
And that’s oh so true, my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in our Christian faith, because it all begins with an individual relationship with Christ. The church, the body of Christ is made up of individual believers, who look to Him for salvation and eternal life. 
But unless, and until, you have made that individual decision to follow the Lord and Saviour of mankind, you’re simply not a part of His flock and won’t have any of the benefits provided therein. 
And it’s not only in our Christian walk that we need to check ourselves in the mirror, but also as a normal human being. There are decisions to be made, and reactions to be framed, whether positive or negative, and in the natural course of life, a lot of this is based on our individual approach. 
So though we live in a plural society, much of that plurality is based on individual thoughts, feelings and sentiments. Consequently, whatever we do or think or feel, will have a substantial bearing on our lives and the lives of those around us.
That’s why it’s ever so important for us to make wise, Christian based decisions, controlling our natural emotions with self-discipline and circumspection. 
That brings us to our Bit, which reflects what we’ve been talking about. Let’s listen to it in its full context. James solemnly declares: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror). For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.’ (James 1:22-24) 
Yes my people, that’s oh so true of many of us. And it’s not that hard to do either, when we are wrapped up in the things of the world, as so many of us are. 
We can either look at ourselves in a real mirror and consider the good and kind person that we are, or think of our wonderful Christian persona, then shortly thereafter forget it all and go out and behave unwisely and against all our Christian principles. 
Friends, the pull of the flesh in this evil and ungodly world is great, and we have to be ever so careful of falling into the traps that Beelzebub designs and lays before us.
That’s why James continues: ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ (James 1:25) 
And the scholars offer this explanation of that verse. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (c.f. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4). 
It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3); Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the Messianic King (c.f. Gal.6:2).’ 
Ah mih breddren, it would be real nice and comforting if you’d check out all those references. I just did and found them all quite interesting and they helped me to better understand what we’re talking about. 
Now I’m not going to hold my breath thinking or expecting that that’s going to happen, (smile) but one can surely live in hope, which our faith so greatly and wisely espouses. 
And on that note of hope, we’ll end today. (smile) Now may the Lord bless and keep us all my people, and guide us wisely and safely along our earthly pilgrimage, until we come to finally rest in Him, on that wonderful day! Much LOVE!
…our outer man ought to reflect…the true Christian principles of our inner man…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2016 Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And then it was a dry, warmer, sunshiny Tuesday! Glory to God! Yeh friends, Tuesday has dawned much better than Monday did, and let’s hope the remaining days of the week will do likewise. 

Oh, they are even forecasting temps up in the high teens for the latter part of the week. Let’s hope that the weather people are right, because we do need a break from this rather unseasonable weather. And all God’s people in the beleaguered northern climes shouted a loud ‘For sure!’ (smile) 

But my people, though the weather might be important to a certain extent, we cannot allow it to be a major focus in our lives. It’s not that important. Our focus must be concentrated on Jesus and doing His will here on earth. 

And to help us do that this Tuesday, spring-like morning, (smile) let’s declare, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra with a whole lot of enthusiasm and conviction. 

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

And isn’t that the glorious truth my fellow believers? Indeed it is! We are not defined by whom this evil and adulterated world says we are. No! We are defined as God’s beloved children and all the wonderful things that entails! 

All praise and glory be to our heavenly Father for His mercy and LOVING-kindness, sending Jesus to die for us, then to become our friend and most trusted confidante! Oh what an honour that is! 

Consequently, we are duty bound to share the good news of His gospel and His unconditional LOVE with all we meet, wherever we might go, for we are today’s disciples, entrusted with the sacred duty and directive, aptly named ‘The Great Commission’: 

‘Go 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) 

Oh friends and neighbours, are we fulfilling that mandate to the best of our ability? I don’t think so nuh, else the church of Jesus; His earthly body of followers would be much larger, more cohesive and Christ-like than it is today. The divisions and dissensions, the envy and jealousy and resentment would surely not be as great as they currently are. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars, termed the ‘Purpose of the Church.’ ’28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. 

The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. 

Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objective for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, are we upholding all the aspects of the Great Commission in our local churches, are we saturating our local communities with the gospel? I don’t think so nuh. At least not to the extent that we should. 

Are we evangelizing and training disciples in the knowledge of Christ? Not as we ought to. The church of Christ ought to be more forceful and proactive, not fearful and reactive and divisive as it is. Unless we’re all on the same page, nothing truly constructive will be done to further God’s glorious kingdom. 

And it all begins with us at the individual and local level my people; right down at the grass roots. The church needs a solid foundation at the bottom, just as any successful organization needs to have, if it is to grow strong and prosper for an enduring length of time, and in Christ’s case, forever. 

That finally brings us to our Bit, where Jesus laid down the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my precious people, to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to take up our cross, and follow Jesus. And please note that He emphasizes a ‘daily’ taking up of our cross, not sometimes, or when we feel like, but each and every day of our lives. 

Now listen to how Matthew characterizes it in his gospel. ‘He that LOVETH father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that LOVETH son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.10:37-39) 

Yeh friends, Jesus is supposed to be our NUMBER ONE LOVE! No ifs ands and buts about that! And if we LOVE anybody else or anything more than Him, then unfortunately we are not worthy of Him. 

So please, today, let’s take some time to truly ponder what position Jesus holds on the depth chart of our LOVE, and do whatever it takes nuh, with God’s help obviously, to make Him Number One, El Numero Uno! For that is true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…who is the Greatest…Jesus…who is Number One…Jesus…who is our Lord and Saviour…Jesus…who is our Advocate in heaven…Jesus…it’s ALL about Jesus… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness, but the ole fella’s life been sort of topsy turvy these last few days. Got to bring it into balance. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

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