Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Here we go again friends, getting up to go and labour on a Monday morning; a rather chilly one in the northern climes, with a brisk wind blowing to liven it up. (smile) As Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) would say: ‘Lively up yourself and don’t be no drag…’ 

Yeh mih people, unfortunately we’ve got to get a move on if we want to survive, much less get ahead in this evil and cruel world. And to help inspire us, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster. 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, when we’re dressed in the Lord’s spiritual armour, we are invincible. So with the adrenaline raised by the valiant proclamation of our Battle Hymn (smile) let’s get a move on nuh, get into the world and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name, for that is what we were created to do. Being a Christian is not easy, because you have to undergo tests, trials and tribulation, to build your faith, so you can grow and be promoted in God’s kingdom. And the fact that a large proportion of the world will be against you for just being a follower of Jesus, makes it even more difficult. 

But listen to these amazing, astounding, reassuring and comforting words of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, High Priest and heavenly Advocate; Jesus Christ, as He declares in our Bit. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye  shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Wow friends! What an earth shattering statement! And there was no hesitation or doubt in Jesus’ voice when He said it. He was one hundred and ten percent sure of what He was saying. That means that we too can be one hundred and ten percent sure of all that He said. He opened His heart to the disciples and consequently to us, to give us His peace that’s like no other peace; the one that passes all human understanding. And though He knows that tribulation will be our lot in life, He assures us to be of good cheer. 

And some of us will sneer at that statement, complaining that those two things are mutually exclusive. Not if you are a follower of Christ, because He has overcome the world and all the tribulation therein. Therefore, with His help, we can handle anything that comes against us. Please remember that my people. With God and us working in tandem, we are a majority, capable of defeating anything and anyone that dares to challenge us.

Remember that verse from Philippians? ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) Well that’s the gospel truth friends! But you have to believe it, have the faith to put it into action. And though I’ve recently quoted these upcoming verses to you my brethren, I believe I have to quote them again because they are so relevant to our Bit, and the more often we hear them, the deeper they will sink into our consciousness. (smile)  

Hear Bruh Paul elucidate and expound to the Roman church nuh. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers, until we all feel that way, espouse that same conviction, we won’t be able to reach the heights of service that the Lord has planned for us. The workers of iniquity sincerely believe in their cause, and are more than willing to fight for it. Christians also need to sincerely believe and be willing to fight for our righteous cause, if we want to defeat them. 

Oh my brethren, the long and short of the story then is; if we want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to succeed, then we have to come together as ONE, and fight our battles as ONE, in Jesus name. There is no middle ground. Much LOVE!

…Christ died that His church should be united…not divided…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2018 Acts 8:35.

Acts 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

And the week and the year are rolling along like a downhill snowball. It’s already Wednesday, and we’re also into the tenth day of the new year. Time certainly is waiting for no one. 

And neither are the natural disasters, as they continue to roll along. Check out the 7.6 earthquake in Honduras a couple of days ago, and the mudslides that have killed some thirteen people in California after wicked rainstorms hit the scenic area that had already been ravaged by recent wildfires. 

Ah Lord eh! We can’t give up though friends, we have to keep keeping on despite those setbacks. But we do have to help however we can, especially with prayers. And in the face of these disasters, I believe it’s the ideal time be reminded of one of the most important facts in this world, and to acknowledge it with sure certainty. (smile)

And that fact is: ‘GOD LOVES ME!’ It’s gospel truth my brethren, and cannot be altered. Please pray this prayer with me from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that bears the above title. 

‘Thank you, Lord, for this holy sentence, this good news, this happy report, this exciting thought, this graceful truth, this fantastic lesson. God LOVES me! Even when I’m at my worst – God LOVES me. Even when my faith is dim – God LOVES me anyway! It’s incomprehensible and fantastic! Thank you, Father. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, God’s great LOVE for us might be incomprehensible, but we don’t have to understand it, just accept it for the great truth that it is! So even if we don’t remember or learn anything else today, let’s solidify that truth in our hearts and souls today nuh, because that’s where everything begins. 

God first LOVED us, and to such a degree, that even when we were still sinners, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. That ought to say a lot to Christians, for no other faith has anything even close to resembling that awesome fact. And the added fact that God LOVES us in any state, wherever we are, should indeed raise our reverence and LOVE for Him. 

And as a direct consequence of that awesome LOVE, Bruh Paul is able to ask this enormous question in our Bit. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ 

What a striking question my people! And hear how Bruh Paul answers it nuh. ‘As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Acts 8:36-39) 

Mama Mia! What surety emanates from Bruh Paul on the subject my friends! He is certain sure that NOTHING whatsoever can separate us from the LOVE of God which flows down to us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And he’s quite right! 

But friends, are we each individually sure of that? I don’t know. But I do know that until that idea is written in stone in our consciousness, our faith will never be as great as it should be, because that’s the foundation stone of our faith: God’s LOVE is inalterable and everlasting. Once you receive it, it can never be taken away from you. 

That’s why they say that once you receive the faith of Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, you are sealed until eternity. Glory to God! Once your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it shall not be removed, unless you turn away from God and become the devil’s advocate instead. 

So friends, today, let’s be wise and build our faith on that solid bedrock, that solid foundation that’s Christ nuh, for it is eternal wisdom. And having taking in all of that, let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know about our amazing position with Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth 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 it will indeed be a glorious future my brethren, for as the Good Book says: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ (! Cor.2:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools…will deign to refuse…God’s great and unconditional LOVE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2013 Titus 3:8

Titus 3:8:    This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
 
Oh Friends, there’s nothing nicer than awakening in the early morning hours to the gentle sound of rain falling outside! That happened to me earlier on, and it was a tad difficult to get up out of the warm, cozy bed, as I lay there listening to ‘the rhythm of the falling rain; pita pata, pita pata.’ (smile)
 
But I eventually forced my self to get up, like I might have to force myself and go out in the rain and turn off the lawn sprinkler system, that’s just spurting away like crazy out there, while the rain is falling. Now it’s not supposed to come on if the rain’s falling, but I can’t curse it today because I’m not sure if it came on before the rain began to fall. I know though that when I went to bed around 2.30, no rain was falling.
 
Anyway, I’ll give it a few more minutes, and if it doesn’t turn off automatically, then I’ll go and turn it off. Oh, the headaches that these supposed modern conveniences cause eh! I believe the guy was here up to yesterday trying to time it properly.
 
But Friends, here’s the good news, it’s Friday! And all the voices rose like one: ‘Yes, oh yes! TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here at last! What a blast it’s going to be!’
 
And in Canada it’s certainly going to be a blast, except for those unfortunately flooded out in the Western Provinces, because it’s the long weekend when we celebrate Canada Day, our Independence, on Monday. So you can imagine what it’s going to be like, especially if it’s sunny and warm.
 
I finally had to go outside and turn off the sprinkler, if only to minimize the real risk of flooding, because who knows when the rain will stop, plus stopping an unnecessary increase in my water bill, which has gone up a fair amount since the sprinkler system was put in.
 
Anyway, summer madness will definitely be on display this weekend, so let’s see if we can keep it in check a little by chanting our Friday Chant, which gives us a better and brighter perspective on how to handle it. 
 
All together now: ‘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 my brethren, we have to enjoy the couple days off, but as Jeeves would say, ‘with a modicum of circumspection,’ so that Lucifer doesn’t even find one li’l pinhole in our spiritual armour, that he can use to cause us to go against God’s will. 
 
But instead that we should do as our Bit tells us. ‘This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’
 
Yeh Friends, it’s the same Bit as the last two days because there’s some useful information from the scholars that I thought was important to share with you. It’s on the topic of regeneration, which we read about yesterday.
 
‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed (poured out) on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That we being justified (declared righteous) by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope (strong confidence) of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:5-7)
 
Now, per the scholars: ‘Regeneration refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation experience that produces new life in the believer. To express this concept, Jesus used the expression “born again” in His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3:3-7). Regeneration is the work of God, through the Holy Spirit, of placing in one who has faith a new nature, capable of doing God’s will.
 
The Holy Spirit is the agent or divine workman of this regeneration. His instrument is the Bible, which is likened to a hammer that judges sin (Jer.23:29), a mirror that reveals sin (James 1:23), a sword that defeats Satan (Heb.4:12), and a lamp that guides the believers (Ps.119:105).
 
Illustration: People are instantaneously “born again,” the moment they trust Christ as Saviour (1 Pet.1:23). Application: Christians should be careful to cooperate with God in growing as children of God after they are regenerated, or given new life. (First Ref. John 3:3; Primary Ref. Titus 3:5; cf. Eph.1:15)
 
Oh Friends, what greater gift can we be honoured with eh? None really!
 
Just ponder it for a Selah moment nuh: To be able to move from a situation of eternal death and damnation immediately to one of salvation and eternal life, simply by believing in Jesus, that He’s the Truth, the Light, the Life and the ONLY Way to God.
 
What a most blessed opportunity that is! One that we as believers have wisely taken hold of, but also need to share with others, because it’s the greatest gift ever bestowed on mankind, and right now too many people have not heard about it, so they’re still living in darkness, seriously threatened by eternal death and damnation, because they don’t know better.
 
And they won’t know better unless somebody tells them the Good News. And that somebody is us, Friends, the church of Christ!
 
Please remember Jesus’ last directive to the disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach 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, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20)
 
Yes my fellow believers, that’s our job, our bounden duty! But we can only accomplish it by first thinking the right things, affirming Christ-like stuff, then going out into this evil, ungodly world and putting them into action.
 
Please, let’s live up to the promise we made when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour nuh; that is truly LOVING our wonderful God, sincerely LIVING our Christian faith, and faithfully SPREADING the Lord’s Word!
 
That my brethren is definitely wisdom and Christian ethic at their highest levels. And Jesus desires nothing but excellence from His followers. Much LOVE!
 
…to act like a true believer…our thoughts must first be in sync…with those of Jesus…
 
   

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today”s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2012 Luke 2:19

Luke 2:19.    But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Sunday; the eve of Christmas Eve! (smile) That means there are only two more days to the big one; Christmas Day. And what a celebration that will be! However, please, let’s remember we’re celebrating because of Jesus’ birth, the incarnate Son of God, come to earth as man, so that He could eventually rescue us from eternal death and separation from our Creator. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Jesus!’  Now yesterday we saw how Jesus was born and all the ramifications necessary to fulfill the prophecies concerning Him in the Old Testament. We also saw some of the challenges Mary faced in her young, inexperienced life, and the way she handled them with graceful faith and quiet contemplation. Today, I want to continue looking at Mary’s journey as the mother of Jesus, and some of the unusual things she experienced because of it. The next instalment of the story begins when Jesus is eight days old and is taken according to custom to be circumcised and presented to the Lord. ‘As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.’ (Luke 2:23-24) The first verse there comes from Ex.13:2, and the second from Lev.12:8. And the scholars add this interesting note to the last verse. ‘It is indicative of the relative poverty of Jesus’ family that they could not afford to offer a lamb as part of the cleansing and dedicatory ritual.’  Imagine that nuh people, the earthly family of God’s Son was so poor, all they could afford to sacrifice at His presentation before His heavenly father were some cheap birds. What does that say about God wanting Him to be really lowly and suffer human lack eh? Anyway, at the temple in Jerusalem, there was this old, devout priest, Simeon, who really believed that the coming of the Messiah was the only thing that could ever bring peace and prosperity to Israel. ‘And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came (guided) by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him (Jesus) up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (the promise earlier on); For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten (to bring revelation to) the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.’ (Luke 2:26-32) There again Friends, as promised, Simeon was guided by the Holy spirit, so that he was in the right place at the right time to see and hold Jesus, the Lord’s salvation.  The next verse is interesting as it shows Joseph and Mary’s reaction to Simeon’s prophecy. The Good Book says: ‘And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.’ (Luke 2:33) But that wasn’t all: ‘And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ (Luke 2:34-35) Wow Friends! Yuh hear all that confusion. And the scholars tell us that, ‘Here for the first time the parents hear a startling prophecy that Jesus’ significance will extend even to the Gentiles. This would be surprising even if it had not come from an apparent stranger.’ Oh fellow believers, how would you react after hearing such good and bad things about your first-born, from a total stranger eh? According to the scholars, Jesus would bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. That both redemption and judgement were bound up in His birth. And that last verse with the ominous warning to Mary, that a sword would also pierce her soul. Hn! I don’t think many of us would have been ecstatic about any of it. Then to add to their confusion, after Simeon was done, a prophetess by the name of Anna, took over. ‘And she was a widow of about four score and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:37-38) Ah Lord eh! Poor Mary and Joseph! I’m sure that though they had some inkling that Jesus would be different, would be special in some form and fashion, I doubt that in their lowly estate they could have really comprehended the true stature of their first-born. And the Good Book ends this exercise thus: ‘And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:39-40) And like most mothers, even those whose sons don’t have any exceptional qualities or abilities, I’m sure Mary kept a wary eye on Jesus, surely noticing certain nuances and idiosyncrasies, the little differences between Him and the other children in the community. And her reaction to it all was no doubt just as our Bit says: ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ Wise woman that! Just wish that the majority of us could be like her. Much LOVE mih breddren!…not all we see or hear…will we readily understand…but as true believers…oftimes we simply must accept it all by faith…knowing that our God is always in control…