Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2017 Luke 1:37.

Luke 1:37.     For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And then it was Christmas Eve! Yeh friends, Christmas Eve, the day before Christ’s birth, aren’t you excited? (smile) We should be my people, because it’s around this time two thousand years ago we received the greatest gift ever. The Son of God was born so that He could save sinful man, whom His heavenly Father LOVED with such a great LOVE that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, so that His human creation could be saved from hell fire and damnation. 

Glory to our Most High God my brethren, for there is no other Deity who would have ever dreamed of doing something like that! So my fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday, as we gather in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him, to give Him thanks and exalt His holy name and receive His mercy, grace, forgiveness, strength and confidence to face the upcoming week, let’s show our sincere gratitude and overwhelming LOVE by singing our hearts out with unspeakable joy and supreme gladness. 

And the song we’re going to offer up in our sacrifice of praise is the old but ever true and much liked standard, ‘O Holy Night.’ Apparently it was originally written in French, but was later translated to English, and has the distinction of being the first Christmas Carol to ever be played on the radio in 1906. So with sincere feeling now, as we raise our voices to high heaven. 

‘O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here came the wise men from Orient land. 

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our Friend! He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger. Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Behold your King; before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to LOVE one another; His law is LOVE and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!’ 

Oh friends, what beautiful sentiments, filled with eternal truths, while offering loads of assurance for the believer. I sincerely hope that tears of joy were flowing down all our faces as we sang those exquisite words. For how could it be otherwise eh, when we’re celebrating such a joyful occasion? And friends, the whole story of Christ’s birth is so incredible, that only a superior being could have worked it out so efficiently and competently and dramatically. 

That takes us to our Bit:  ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ Those were the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, Christ’s mother, after he informed her that she would bare God’s Son through the auspices of the Holy Spirit, and that her hitherto barren cousin Elisabeth, in her old age, was also pregnant.  And what I LOVE about Mary is that despite her young age, throughout Gabriel’s information session she never got riled or overly excited. Of course she was somewhat concerned and confused as Gabriel appeared out of the blue and began to lay such weighty matters on her. Her only real question was how was she going to get pregnant without knowing a man? 

And once Gabriel explained, she was fine. ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) I must say that Mary was pretty mature for her age and background. If an angel suddenly appeared now and told that a teenager, she’d either run away screaming in fright, or hurl vicious and angry words at the messenger. But Mary’s response at the end of the conversation was simply: ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Ah friends, I’m not sure that Mary would have been so relaxed if she had known the immense heartache she would have to face by being the mother of the Son of God. But nonetheless she held up under all the stress and strain of her position fairly well. Obviously the Lord gave her the wherewithal to stand strong and face the adversity, as He does with us all, when He gives us a job to do. 

So fellow believers, on this Christmas Eve Sunday of 2017, with our world in a complete mess, let’s try and spend some serious time contemplating the mystery and the miracle of Christ’s birth, and how it affects our lives today nuh.  And consequently, what we need to do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because if we are to be true followers of Jesus, and for His birth, death and resurrection to truly mean something, then we should always be in the process of becoming more Christ-like and setting a good Christian example to others. That’s Christ’s desire and our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…ALL things are possible with God…you just have to study Christ’s life to see it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.   Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Awright friends, it’s Monday, so let’s get up and get a move on nuh. There’s no time for pushing the snooze button and rolling over. The trumpet is calling out yonder: It’s time to go to work! Time to be up and about Jesus’ business! 

Yes my people, there’s no time for muttering and complaining. You weren’t muttering or complaining last night when you were up till all hours of the night having fun. So let’s cut out the negative actions now and get with the programme. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty enthusiasm, energy and sense of purpose. As they say, fake it until you make it. 

So let’s sing: ‘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, that rendition of our Battle Hymn was barely passable! How can such a lacklustre vocalization ever inspire anybody to go out and fight bravely eh? It’s obvious that our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t pleased. But as always, knowing our frailties, and having that great LOVE for us, He forgives us. 

Nonetheless, now that our motors are running, let’s pick up the tempo and get ourselves into the fray of this new workweek, with Jesus, beside, behind and before us; in other words, all around us as a protective shield. That’s why we can so audaciously declare in our Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes precious people of God, once you are spiritually born again through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, then you have indeed become a conqueror through His having conquered hell, death and the grave. The same options are open to all who sincerely believe in Him and truly surrender their souls to His leading and guidance. 

Now the last couple of days we have been talking about the conquering aspect of our Bit, today however, I want to talk about the LOVE portion. And isn’t that word LOVE, the greatest word in any language on planet earth? It certainly is! Why eh? 

Listen to the most important verse in the God’s word. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

That’s the major purpose behind it all my faithful brethren. God’s LOVE was so great for us, His sinful creation, that He just could not live with Himself to see us all go down to Hades with Lucifer without some option for deliverance. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

And all those words were spoken by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the SON of God! So they just had to be true, since God cannot lie. That’s how blessed we are my people! Our Creator’s care and compassion for us was so strong, that He broke His own heart, by sacrificing His only Son, that we could be set free from the ravages of sin and death. 

Now doesn’t that touch a soft spot in your heart, make you everlastingly grateful? It ought to. And it also ought to raise up your own LOVE for God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in thankful appreciation for all that they’ve done for you. But such is the ungratefulness and foolish pride of man that many of us just couldn’t care less about what the Holy Trinity has done, is doing, and will do for us.  

Now let’s further develop this theory of LOVE. We have a saying that ‘LOVE makes the world go round,’ and if we follow and believe what John says in his later writings, then it might just be true. 

Hear John theorize. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested (shown) the LOVE of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

And that’s the crux of the disastrous situation right now in our world; we don’t LOVE one another! 

And we not talking about no big setta LOVE nuh, with plenty hugging and kissing etc; (smile) but just simple brotherly kindness, goodwill, care and compassion for each other. Now that’s what will make our world go round! 

Ah friends, if we want to see our world become a better place, both for ourselves and our descendants, then I implore us to start showing that goodwill, that brotherly LOVE to each other. It’s not too late, and with God’s help we can certainly do it. So let’s begin today nuh; there’s no better time than right now! Much LOVE!

…without more basic LOVE…our world WILL NOT survive for much longer…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2016 John 6:48

John 6:48.      I am that bread of life.

Welcome to another Saturday morning on God’s great earth my friends! Hope it finds us all in fine spirits, and if not, by the time we are finished here, I know those spirits will have miraculously been lifted by the Holy Spirit that indwells us, as we talk about God; His holy word, His unconditional LOVE, His freely offered grace, His undeserved mercy, His never-ending forgiveness, and His eternal faithfulness! 

Now that alone should lift our spirits this Saturday morning my people! Wow! What a majestic, magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my fellow believers! I don’t see how any of us can stay depressed and downcast for very long with such a Supreme Being watching over and taking care of us. 

It’s just not possible if we concentrate on all the wonderful attributes of our God, instead of the prevailing unfortunate or uncomfortable circumstances surrounding us. 

And my Christian brethren, I have the right medicine for what we’re talking about. It’s contained in a recent quote from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And this time I think he’s done a heck of a job. 

Listen to this quote. ‘When we do what we can, the LORD will do what we can’t. FAITH hears the inaudible, sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible!!! Feed your FAITH, and your doubts will starve to death.’ 

Oh my people, my people, what glorious, indisputable, gospel truth! Faith is that good my brethren. That’s why they say it can move mountains and work wonders. What did Jesus say to His disciples when they asked why they were unable to cast out a demon?  

‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ (Matt.17:20) 

Yes friends, it only takes a little faith to do plenty things, and just as that little mustard seed grows into a big tree, so can our faith, if we’ll allow it do so by reading and meditating on God’s word, through fellowship with other believers and personal prayer…but first we have to believe. 

Without belief nothing happens in the spiritual realm of Jesus. And that is borne out by our Bit. ‘I am that bread of life.’ 

It’s a simple, but true statement, but Jesus had a most difficult time getting His people to believe Him. In spite of all the signs and wonders and miracles He did, they still refused to believe. But they certainly wanted the physical bread they thought He was offering them. 

Steups! Those long ago Jews, especially the leaders, were certainly a hard-headed, stubborn bunch of people. Just look at how their forefathers behaved in the wilderness although the Lord was looking after them. 

Sadly though, we have a lot of unbelievers around today too. In fact too many of the world’s population are unbelievers, that’s partly why our world is in such complete disarray and strife is pandemic. 

Anyway, let’s look at a couple of scriptures that corroborate our Bit. First up is this verse from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, where he is saying that justification is not of the law. 

He solemnly declares: ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (by faith in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.’ (Gal.2:20) Yes friends, Bruh Paul was not living by the law again, but through faith in Christ. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars’. ‘2:20. To be crucified with Christ means the believer has been freed from the law and from the ruling power of sin that was aroused by the law. Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me is interpreted: “And I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Since the believer has been freed from the law and sin, the old sinful life no longer asserts itself as formerly. 

Instead, “Christ liveth in me,” that is, Jesus cultivates within the believer (Paul) His own desires, virtues, character, and power, thus morally transforming him and working through him in others. Paul lives his current Christian life by the faith of (in) the Son of God, that is, by depending on Him for strength and all necessities.’  

And so should we my people, if we are true believers in Christ. Now hear how Bruh Paul tells it to the Colossians. ‘Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Col.3:2-4) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s truly time to stop concentrating on, and being preoccupied with earthly things and look to things in heaven instead, since we have been reborn in Christ, who now sits in heavenly places. 

And the scholars’ explain. ‘3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God (or, “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God.”)  As all wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (2:3), so the believer’s new life is stored up in Him. 

This means that the Christian life belongs to the spiritual or heavenly real. Jesus is in intimate relation with God; so are His followers. Since the Colossians now belong to the heavenly realm and are intimate with God, they should seek those matters and interests pertaining to heaven and not to earth.’ 

So friends, what’s it to be eh? Are we going to live our lives in and for Christ, as a new creation, or are we going to let the law and its sinful attributes turn us back to our former ways? 

I do hope that we’ll ponder all that we’ve said and then make the wise decision to live in and for Christ! Much LOVE!

…glory be…our Redeemer lives…and we live in Him…and through Him…and for Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2016 Psalm 77:13‏‏

Psalm 77:13.   Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?

Well hello there my beautiful fellow believers in the ONE and ONLY Jesus Christ; Lord and Saviour of sinful mankind, Son of God, Prince of Peace, Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, etc. etc….! 

Yes friends, that is the magnificent Being, Deity, and God we serve! Now one would be extremely foolish to serve and worship any other! 

However, as sad as it is, there are many, too many on His planet earth who serve and worship other non-gods, foolishly placing them above the ONE who made the heavens, the earth and all therein. 

To them we can only say, ‘that’s madness,’ in a decent and LOVING manner now (smile), try to tell them about our great Saviour Jesus, who sacrificed His holy and sinless life on the cross at Calvary to pay for our sins, theirs included, and bring us once more into the eternal fold of His Father, Jehovah God. 

But even more importantly, while telling them all that, we should endeavour to live the kind of LOVING, caring, compassionate, forgiving and peaceful life that our Lord and Saviour espouses. For as they say, more flies are caught with honey than with vinegar. 

Yes my believing brethren, we cannot afford to brow beat the unbelievers, as so many of us do, because that will only turn them away. Best we lure them to Jesus with our sweet words and positive actions. 

Hn, hn! And I have to chuckle here friends, because I don’t know where all of that just came from, because I didn’t plan it. But came it did, and it does make wonderful sense, providing a useful template for us all to follow in our earthly relationships. 

Now it’s a beautiful Wednesday in Paradise, unfortunately my last, so let’s wail our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm, sincerity and conviction. 

As one proud and loud wailer 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 I will add another ‘Glory Hallelujah’ to that my brethren, because I’m so thankful for being alive in sweet Tobago on such a beautiful day! Glory to God my fellow believers! Now how can I look back at the past and dwell in it eh, when there’s such a glorious future to be had with Jesus? 

Remember we’ve got to keep looking straight ahead, so we can create straight furrows, for as Jesus says, he who looks back is not worthy to be in the kingdom. And we all see what happened to Lot’s wife when, against the Lord’s directive, she looked back as they were hurrying away from the godly devastation that was Sodom and Gomorrah; she became a pillar of salt. (Gen.19:26) 

We obviously wouldn’t want any such calamity to befall us, that is why we have to keep on worshipping and serving the Lord of the Universe, who provides us with sufficient to meet our earthly needs. 

That brings us to our very timely Bit. ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ 

Ah mih people, as per the second half of that sentence, there are so many scriptures to show the might and power of our God, that I don’t even know where to begin. But as they say, the best place to begin is at the beginning. 

So let’s consider how He made the universe and all therein nuh. He spoke it into existence. Note, He used mere words to create the universe, not any kind of heavy or busy action, just simple words. How much more powerful can we get eh? And if you don’t believe me, you can read all about it in the first chapters of Genesis. (smile) 

And note how He made man too eh: by simply forming him from the dust of the ground, then breathing His own spiritual breath of life into him. Up to now no other supposed deity or even the brilliance and ingenuity of present man can do that. 

Look at how He brought His chosen people, Israel out of Egypt nuh. Starting with the mind games He played with Pharaoh, the nine plagues and the killing of the Egyptians first born, from which the Jewish Passover was derived. You can check that out in Exodus chapters 7-10. 

Then look at how He got the Egyptians to give and lend their jewels to the Israelites, so that when they finally left Egypt after four hundred and thirty years, many of those under tough bondage, they left very wealthy. (Ex.11:1-3) All praise and glory to our great and powerful God! 

And what about the crossing of the Red Sea eh? Who else could have caused the simple stretching out of Moses’ hand over it, to part and allow the Israelites to cross over on dry land eh? Then when the Egyptian army tries to pursue them, Moses again stretches out his hand over the sea, and the water rushes back together and drowns the entire army? (Ex.14:21-30) 

The Good Book ends that chapter with these words. ‘And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared (stood in awe of) the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.’ (Ex.14:31) 

Aye mih people, that’s just the beginning of God showing His awesome might and power! We’ll continue with it tomorrow, the Lord in favour, because I doubt we can stand to hear about all of our God’s mighty works in one sitting; it’s liable to boggle our frail and simple minds. (smile) 

And our homework for today is to sit and ponder how mighty is our God, and seriously consider why we, or anyone else, would even consider serving and worshipping any other deity. Much LOVE!

…Elohim…O Elohim…God of exceeding strength and mighty power…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2014 Psalm 4:1.

Psalm 4:1.  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.

 Ah Friends, once again it’s Friday…! And as usual there are loud and joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for bringing us safely through another week of work! Praise His Holy Name!’ 
 
Yes my people, we do indeed need to thank our heavenly Father for allowing us to successfully complete another week of life, both in the general world and in our particular place of work.
 
Many people can’t say that at all, so please let’s learn to appreciate the wonderful blessings we have, by giving some thanks and praise to our Creator and Provider, for without Him, we’d be all alone out on some lonely back street, languishing in abject poverty, as numerous others are unfortunately doing today.
 
And I don’t know why, but I got up a while ago humming the chorus to our old and dear hymn, ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus.’ And just in case it was a sign (smile) I decided to include it in our discourse today.
 
Please sing the first verse with me. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
 
Yeh mih breddren, we have such a wonderful Lord and Saviour, such a wonderful High Priest and Advocate, to whom we can carry all our cares and problems for sure help, yet we foolishly decline to do so. Thus we suffer, endure so many unnecessary burdens and cares. That’s not very wise my people.
 
Jesus is inviting us to bring ALL our troubles to Him (Matt.11:28-30), so that He can ease our sorrows and relieve our pains. So please, let’s be wise and gratefully accept His most generous invitation nuh. We’re only hurting and depriving ourselves of wonderful opportunities to live that abundant life which Jesus died to provide for us.
 
We quickly turn to fickle and fallible man for help, when our omnipotent God should ALWAYS be our FIRST source of help. Let’s try and rectify that unfortunate situation today nuh. Let’s focus on taking our prayers to God, like Bruh David does in this evening prayer of trust in God – Psalm 4.
 
He opens it with the sincere and endearing request of our Bit: ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’
 
Friends, it’s simple and to the point. There’s no denying what he desires. And that’s all it takes to go to God; a sincere heart with a heartfelt plea. The Lord knows all our problems, but He requires us to come to Him to help us solve them. It’s true that He could solve them all with a simple snap of His fingers or a word from His lips, but that would make Him our lackey, rather than our Lord and God.
 
Please remember that we are in covenant with Him, and we need to perform our part in the covenant relationship, else the covenant becomes null and void. And today, since that’s the direction it seems our Lord wants us to go, we’ll look at a few instances where the importance and power of prayer are highlighted in the Bible, God’s divine Word to us.
 
And the greatest and best example of participating in prayer is obviously Jesus! The Good Book declares it thus: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12)
 
Ah Friends, if Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate Himself, still felt the need for prayer, who are we then, mere sinful mortals to think that we don’t eh?
 
And again, we turn to Jesus, this time as He positively promotes the act of prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22)
 
Oh my people, our Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and Atonement for our abominable sins said it, so it must be true!
 
And way back when, Isaiah declared this word from our God on the subject. ‘Even them (those who take hold of my covenant) will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for ALL people.’ (Is.56:7)
 
Oh my fellow believers, our God couldn’t be any clearer and simpler than that! His invitation is open to all those who are willing to accept it. So why don’t we do so today eh? Now that’s the million-dollar question! It’s not an idle or false and deceitful invitation like so many of man’s entreaties and advertisements.
 
We have oodles of examples, from Genesis to Revelation, where all the true servants of God prayed fervently to Him and received answers and benefits. So why are we so stubborn, so adamant in refraining from something that can only benefit us eh? I really don’t know nuh.
 
But in accordance with all we’ve written, we’ll go home with our own prayer today, our Friday Chant. No I didn’t forget, (smile) just thought it would be more appropriate today at the end rather than at the beginning.
 
So as one loud, grateful and prayerful voice, let’s chant: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, it’s short and simple, but as James so wisely and truthfully tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses, sins) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16)
 
And when we follow that heavenly wisdom my people, we certainly won’t go wrong. Much LOVE!
 
…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that is the pilgrim’s role…
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2014 1 Kings 17:24

1 Kings 17:24.   And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth. 

And then Friends, it was Thursday! The week’s moving right along as the Lord programmed it. Likewise, our lives are moving right along in union with God’s plan for them. The difference though between the days of the week and us, is that the former has no choice, so they have to move as He dictates. 
 
But as God’s supposed greatest creation, we were given a state, an option of choice. We can choose to follow His plans for us or not. And unfortunately too many of us in the world are choosing not to follow God’s plan for their lives. That’s one of the major reasons why our world is in such a sad state of disrepair and strife.
 
Now my brethren, following our own plans, those of the world, or other people is definitely not a wise move on our part, because the best plan for each human life is the one that God has prepared for it from the beginning of time!
 
So please don’t allow the unbelievers, evildoers and other godless people to fool us into thinking otherwise, because in the long run, we are the ones who will suffer most for that mistake. When we live in union with God’s plan for our lives, they take on an entirely different character and quality; one of peace, LOVE and goodwill!
 
We have internal rest even when the storms of life are raging all around us. In other words, the strong anchor that is Jesus keeps us afloat and steady, whereas if we accept the foolish wisdom of the world, we’ll end up being thrown upon the rocks, battered and bruised, and even lifeless in the times of storm.
 
And the only way to know God’s plan for our lives is to talk to Him about it, read His Word and meditate on it. You will find succour for your pain and everything else that you need because His Word is TRUTH and nothing else!
 
As the widow in our Bit confirms to Elijah: ‘And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.’
 
And before we get into the scriptures for today, I want to share some interesting info from the scholars, re terms for those who do God’s work.
 
It’s a note for ‘1 Sam. 9:16-11. Three terms for prophet occur in these verses: Seer, which stresses the reception of God’s message; Prophet, which emphasizes that the messenger is truly called of God to pronounce His word to the people; and man of God, which underscores the messenger’s relationship to God. He is above all, God’s man.
 
Other terms include: “messenger of the Lord,” which reminds the prophet of his task of bearing God’s word and “servant of the Lord,” which underscores his task before God as called to serve.’
 
I do hope that makes our understanding of those terms a little clearer. Now what I want to do today is relate some scripture where people begin believing that Jesus was indeed Lord, and His words were absolute truth. I believe they all come from the gospel of John. 
 

And we’ll begin at the beginning, which is usually the best place to start. (smile) That brings us to Jesus’ first miracle; turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. What a miraculous wine that must have been! I’d surely like to taste it! It must have gone down real smooth, as the governor of the feast remarked. (smile)
 
The Good Book informs us: ‘This beginning of miracles (signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth (revealed) his glory; and his disciples believed on him.’ (John 2:11)
 
And per the scholars: ‘2:11. Jesus’ miracles always had a purpose. This miracle resulted in the manifestation of his glory (cf.1:14), and in his disciples belief in Him (cf.20:31).’
 
Then we have the nocturnal, clandestine visit of Nicodemus, the Pharisee and Jewish leader. ‘The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles (signs) that thou doest, except God be with him.’ (John 3:2)
 
Now the scholars surmise that Nicodemus came to Jesus: ‘3:2. By night: Probably he feared criticism. John refers several times to “fear of the Jews” (see 7:13; 9:22; 12:42-43; 19:38). Nicodemus accepted Jesus as a teacher and a rabbi from God who worked miracles, but Jesus was not impressed with the depth of Nicodemus’s belief or understanding. Many unbelievers still agree that Jesus was “a great man.”
 
Oh Jesus was indeed a great man, but even more than that, He was God incarnate!
 
Then we come to that time when Jesus spoke to the disciples saying: ‘These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs (figurative language): but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs (figurative language), but I shall show (tell) you plainly of the Father.
 
At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself LOVETH you, because ye have LOVED me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
 
His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb (use no figures of speech). Now we are sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?’ (John 16:25-31)
 
I like the little touch of sarcasm in Jesus’ question: ‘So now you believe eh? What were you doing all along?’ (smile)
 
Next up is when Jesus got on Peter’s case about feeding His sheep. ‘He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonah, LOVEST thou me (do you have affection for me)? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time LOVEST thou me (do you have affection for me)? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I LOVE (have affection for) thee, Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.’ (John 21:17)
 
Peter admits that Jesus knows everything, including His LOVE for Him, so why the continued questioning?
 
And finally, we come to Thomas’ unbelief. Only when he saw the marks on Jesus body from the cruel wounds of His crucifixion, did Thomas believe. ‘Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
 
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through (in) his name.’ (John 20:29-31)
 
And the scholars explain: ’20:30-31. John tells us here he wrote this gospel for purposes of conversion, that ye might believe, and of sanctification, that ye might have life.’
 
Yes Friends, there is no mistaking that Jesus, was, is and will always be the Christ, the Son of God! And believing that will bring you salvation and eternal life, the greatest gifts ever bestowed on mankind! Wow! So please, let’s be wise and truly believe! Much LOVE!
 
…ONLY BELIEVE…and the rest will follow naturally…

 

 

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