Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

Well it’s a brand new day and brand new mercies are being noised abroad by our wonderful God! Give Him plenty, plenty thanks nuh people, for the grace and unadulterated LOVING-kindness He shows to us when we absolutely don’t deserve it. But that’s the kind of God He’s always been and will always be! 

Look at how while we were still sinners He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us… Does that tell of an unmerciful and angry God? No way Jose! So let’s be wise and grateful and give Him thanks for ALL that He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us in the future. 

In the meanwhile let’s pray for those unfortunate people undergoing the volcano situation in Hawaii, and also in Guatemala where the Fuego volcano exploded a couple of days ago, causing much loss of life and many injuries. I tell you friends, a volcanic explosion is the closest thing we can come to hell here on earth. And remember too the people in Colorado and New Mexico where the first wild fires of the season are blazing away. 

Brother! The natural disasters are beginning to pile up already. But friends, there is no need to panic, because our great and mighty God is still on the throne in full control of things! 

And to help us handle whatever comes against us, here are these encouraging words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘I Will Move…’  I’ve shared them before, but I think we need to share them again. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, is there any other way we can come up higher than through the Lord’s help? Absolutely not! So I implore us this morning to turn to Him for help in whatever situation or circumstance that we’re going through. Now he might not change or ease up the situation, but He will certainly give you the strength, wisdom and whatever you need to come through it successfully. That’s the magnanimous and magnificent God we serve! 

Yuh see what he says in our Bit, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah? ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, what marvellous promises! And did the Lord keep them? Of course He did! Just look at how He parted the Red Sea for His people to cross over on dry land, while drowning Pharaoh and His Egyptian army behind them! Then check out how He backed up the Jordan River for them to cross over into the Promised Land! 

And if you say that’s only water, He can’t handle fire, then think again and see how the Hebrew lads, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when they refused to bow down to a golden image, survived the fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than normal, and came out not even smelling of smoke! 

Mama Yo! That’s the amazing and awesome power of our God my brethren! And He is still in the business of doing miracles and such amazing things for His people, if we turn to Him and sincerely and humbly seek Him. As He said again through Isaiah: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) Are we doing that my brethren? For all our sakes, I sincerely hope so. 

But just in case we aren’t, listen to the following verse, which expands on the first. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is.55:7) 

Oh friends, I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us to follow the Lord’s guidelines nuh, since He spells them out so plainly and simply! Especially when we’re in dire need of mercy and pardon! But we can only talk; talk till we’re blue in the face (smile), everyone still has to come to their own decision; to accept, or not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in their individual lives. 

Let’s hope we ALL will make a positive decision, sooner, rather than later, for a time will come when it will be too late. Now for those of us who have already made it, let’s go home positively declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share all of that with other unfortunate folks, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t need your Maker…then who else do you need eh…Lucifer…hn, hn!…what a joke…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2018 2 Corinthians 9:8.

2 Corinthians 9:8.    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

It’s Sunday once again friends, the Lord’s Day, and all roads lead to His sanctuary, to praise, worship, fellowship, hear His word and receive strength and confidence to go out and do His work with diligence and excellence in the upcoming week! 

And that’s partly why the Bit is this late; the ole fella finally darkened the church’s door after about three or four weeks of absence. Hn! I can’t remember being that long away from church for several years now. Anyway, we’re back, and did enjoy the fellowship and the reading of the word. 

And as always, on Sundays we begin by opening our mouths, and lifting up our voices in songs of worship and praise. It helps to soften our hearts for the word that comes later. (smile) And today’s song of praise is simply titled ‘Our God is able.’ And that’s an undeniable fact. So let’s belt it out with sincere hearts and strong voices. 

‘Our God is able. He will never fail. He is Almighty God. Greater than all we seek. Greater than all we ask. (Chorus: He has done great things. Lifted up. He defeated the grave. Raised to life. Our God is able. In His name we overcome. For the Lord, Our God is able.) 

God is with us. God is on our side. He will make a way. Far above all we know. Far above all we hope. (Chorus) God is with us. He will go before us. He will never leave us. He will never leave us. God is for us. He has open arms. He will never fail us. He will never fail us. (Chorus -repeat).’ 

Oh friends, every word we sang there is indeed gospel truth, for our God is indeed able, as Bruh Paul declared to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! 

And if you don’t believe, just look at what happened on the Day of Pentecost, which the church is celebrating today. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5)

…But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

Yeh friends, who could make such a remarkable promise and keep it eh? ONLY our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And we read it every year at Pentecost time, but it still boggles our imagination. 

The Good Book says that on the Day of Pentecost, ‘they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Wow, mih people! Can you imagine that scene back in ole Jerusalem on that first day of Pentecost? It must have been really wild, since there were oodles of people in Jerusalem at that time, many of them foreign born, and when the disciples emerged from their house and began to speak in several languages, so that those foreign born could understand in their own languages. Mama Yo! It must have been almost cataclysmic! (smile) 

‘Now when this was noised abroad (the sound of the wind occurred) the multitude came together and were confounded (confused), because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect) wherein we were born? …And they were all amazed and, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this?’ (Acts 2:6-8, 12-13) 

Oh fellow believers, ONLY our God is great enough to turn things on their head like that! But as always there are disbelievers and mockers, who said that the men were drunk. But Peter got up and preached his finest sermon that day, informing them that it was the coming to pass of an old promise of our God, from the days of the prophet Joel: 

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God. I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams… And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:17,21) 

Yeh mih people, the Lord promised many other signs and wonders within that passage, but the most important was the last one; that whosoever should call on His name will be saved. Glory Hallelujah! The most glorious promise in the Good Book! 

And that also marked the beginning of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within every believer to lead and guide them in the ways of the Lord. So it’s obvious that our God is able my brethren…able to do all that’s necessary to keep us going. Please don’t ever doubt God’s ability, and give Him plenty thanks and praise, for that is wisdom at its highest. Much LOVE!

…if God could speak the world into existence…what other mighty works can’t He do eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2018 Psalm 146:2.

Psalm 146:2.    While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Here I am again my brethren, writing from the ninth-floor neurological section of St. Michael’s Hospital in the great city of Toronto. I could have written the Bit before, but at first I was somewhat on the lazy side and slept out the whole morning, then in the afternoon my family came, as well as the families of the other three patients in the room, so it was somewhat noisy and inappropriate. That’s why I wanted a private room, but apparently they don’t have any here. But that’s okay, we’ll manage with the Lord’s help, as always. 

Now it’s somewhat quieter so here we are on a Sunday, of course opening with praise and worship, something from Frances Crosby called ‘Praise Him!’ And do I ever have cause to praise our great God, so please do it with me. In strong voice and sincere hearts let’s sing at evening song. (smile) ‘Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy Name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, In His arms He carries them all day long. 

(Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song! Praise Him!) Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died. He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong. 

(Refrain) Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming! over the world victorious, Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong. (Refrain)’ 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONE and ONLY ONE! That’s why I’ve decided like the psalmist did, that ‘While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.’ 

We can’t do any better than that my people, but we can surely do worse. Like the psalmist continues: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (human being), in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, (his spirit departs) he returneth to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ (Ps.146:3-4)

And that’s no lie, as we all know. But what some of us refuse to realize is what the psalmist says after that. ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgement (justice) for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. 

The Lord looseth (gives freedom to) the prisoners: The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord LOVETH the righteous: The Lord preserveth (watches over) the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down (makes crooked). The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy Gods, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.146:5-10) 

And that penultimate sentence is the gospel truth friends. Our great God will reign for ever, because there is none else like Him. He made the world and all there is, so how can anybody or thing be greater than Him eh? No way Jose! And until mankind truly realizes that fact, we’ll always be in trouble. But our God is also merciful and magnanimous. He doesn’t want to punish or get rid of us all who don’t live according to His rules and regulations. 

Listen to Bruh David, as he explains: ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us for our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more (not remember it). But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.’ (Ps.103:8-17) 

Yes, my people, that’s the wonderful kind of God we serve and worship. Let’s shout it out to the world, to the many who don’t know Him, or simply refuse to accept Him because they think He is otherwise than He really is. And the best way we can do that is by sharing His LOVE and mercy with the unfortunates of the world. You know what we need to do, so I won’t belabor the point. (smile) 

In closing I’d just like to say thanks to all of you who have written in with your prayers and good wishes. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and appreciate them all. Please keep on reading the Bit and letting it be a catalyst for your LOVE walk with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…there is no better walk…than that with Jesus…  

P.S. To my St. Francis Parishioners, sorry I had to miss our Spring Fling on Saturday night. I just know that it was most excellent, because that’s how we party. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2018 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It’s time once again friends for our weekly rejuvenation; meaning it’s the Lord’s Day and we need to go to His sanctuary to get oiled and lubed, (smile) so we can handle the upcoming week’s affairs with strength, faith, hope and confidence. 

Oh by the way, for those of us who live in the Daylight Savings Time zones, please be reminded that the clocks went back one hour tonight, which means that church will held an hour earlier. So please don’t miss it by pleading ignorance of the time change. (smile) I won’t put it past many of you to do so. 

And as always, before we hear the Lord’s word, we offer up sacrifices of praise and worship, letting our heavenly Father know that we certainly do adore, glorify, exalt and LOVE Him. Today we’ll sing one of the most well-known and heartwarming passages in the Good Book – Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. 

Those immortal words of Bruh David had to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. They are too meaningful and applicable to our earthly lives to have simply come from a man’s finite mind. But be that as it may, let’s raise our voices in sweet adoration and wonderful harmony, as we lift up those words to heaven, words written so long ago, but which still retain their awesome power even to this day. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, did you feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your individual soul and felt like He was present everywhere in the sanctuary, just enveloping us all with His amazing and unconditional LOVE?  I surely did! But what a mighty work of God that Psalm is! Almost every believer knows it, and/or has used it in some tough and unforgiving times.  

And the opening verse, our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,’ is so all encompassing and comforting that I don’t where or how to start describing it, so I’ll just share the scholar’s explanation. ‘Psalm 23. The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New Testament (John10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep; however, he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). 

Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

Wow mih people! In what other faith can you have all of that goodness and LOVING-kindness eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Only if you are a believer in Jesus can you have a Deity, lead and guide you in safe paths, beside quiet waters, look after all your needs, down here on earth, then take you to dwell with Him eternally in heaven when your earthly sojourn is over. 

And please note my fellow believers, the life of eternity in heaven will even be better than that we experience on earth. So you can imagine how wonderful heaven must be! I doubt it, because our minds are too small to imagine it, but Jesus has promised it, and He does not renege on promises. 

Now here are a couple of those other verses above that quote God as a shepherd, starting with Isaiah. When he talks about finding comfort through trust in God ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:11) 

And here is the piece de resistance from Jesus Himself. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:11, 14) 

And we’ll close with these most appropriate words from the author of Hebrews: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you what which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21) 

And that’s my wish for all of us today, my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…oh how blessed we are to have a wonderful shepherd like Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2018 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Ah friends, my most humble apologies for the lateness of today’s Bit. I have absolutely no idea what happened, except that when I was supposed to get up, I was still somewhere far away in dream land. (smile) 

And it’s not like I did anything exhaustive yesterday, or went to bed later than normal. In fact yesterday was designated a day of rest, as I watched the snow fall, and then listened to the snow ploughs and dump trucks cart it away later in the evening. So my only conclusion is that I was simply tired from excessive rest! (smile) 

But on a serious note, I’m asking us, especially our St. Francis people, to offer up sincere prayers for one of our church members, Abbi, who recently had to trek down to Indianapolis to help look after her very sick mother in the hospital. Some of you might not know her, because she usually comes to the 8.30 a.m service. 

Her father doesn’t seem to be doing too well either, as he appears to be stressed out over his wife’s illness. And to complicate matters even further, Abbi is also 6.5 months pregnant, so she also has to look after herself and her unborn child. That means she has to walk a very narrow and careful path in this tremulous situation. There’s not much we can do for the family except pray. So please do that. They would very much appreciate your prayers. 

Now here is something appropriate that I just found on one of the many pieces of paper that sit next to my computer. It’s a quote from Corville Peters, host of the Christian call in programme, ‘At the Cross.’ He says: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness on your behalf.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Prayer is not about trying to twist God’s arms to help us, but to activate His waiting and His willingness to help. I guess it’s something like our 911 Emergency Number. When you call it, you don’t have to beg them to come and help you, because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

It’s the same thing with our omnipotent God; He is there to always help us when we call, not hem and haw as to whether He should, or should not. And don’t ever forget friends, that prayer is the most powerful tool or weapon in our human arsenal! Otherwise, Jesus would not have said in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’  

And it’s very true. But please note the most important word in that sentence: ‘believing.’ Yeh mih people, we have to believe that we will get what we pray for. You’ll notice, that with Jesus, everything is about believing, about having hope and faith, about seeing it when it’s nowhere in sight. 

Look at how we believe that Jesus died for us and LOVES us and all those good things, although we never met Him in the flesh. That’s what our faith is all about: when you believe, then you’ll see! And what better example is there than when Peter was imprisoned by Herod. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Him.’ (Acts 12:5) And what happened after that. An angel came and let Peter out of the prison like he was in a trance. (Acts 12:6-10)  

The Good Book continues: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord had sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) 

And we all know how when he knocked at the door of Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark, even though they were praying for him, nobody would believe that he was out there, saying nonsense like, ‘It is his angel.’ He had to keep on knocking before they would let him in. (Acts 12:12-17) 

So you see friends, even though we pray sincerely, we still lack that ever-important aspect of belief. As Jesus said so plainly before our Bit: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

It’s all about faith, and trust and belief in Jesus and His awesome power and promises my brethren! Please, let’s not lose or lessen our faith, but rather build it up, so that we can move to higher heights, become more Christ-like, as the Father desires. And in keeping with all that, let’s go home now, proudly and sincerely declaring out Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice now: ‘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 all, then our next step is to go out and share it with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…prayer…that wonderful…and oh so powerful…method of communication with our great God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

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