Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, 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!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

Our Bit tells the story in one sentence. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’(Phil.2:6-8)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2015 1 John 1:9‏

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well Friends, it’s a Saturday morning at the end of March and that encouraging and uplifting season of spring has been touted as being in the air. Technically it’s now spring, being that for over a week now. But the reality of the situation is entirely different. It’s minus plenty outside right now, and the high for later on is only about a big fat ZERO, with the wind chill factor of the strong and cold March winds making it even worse.

Oh for the warm, tranquil, scenic and idyllic climes of Tobago! (smile) But I do believe that the weather is taking a negative toll on the populace. It’s been a pretty bad winter and it just keeps dragging on with no seeming end in sight.

And then the time change hasn’t helped matters either. However my people, our world wasn’t designed and set up haphazardly. Our God put plenty thought into it, and just like night follows day, and vice versa, spring always follows winter, this one is just taking its own sweet time. (smile)

And you can guess that the word for today is ‘PATIENCE!’ It’s a word though that’s fast fading from our vocabulary. But like the Roman dramatist, Plautus (254-184 B.C) is reputed to have said, way back then: ‘Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.’

And he does have a point, especially in this rat-race society of ours, where we’re accustomed to the quick- fix, the now for now stuff; like fast food drive ins, credit cards to spend cash we don’t have, etc. etc. We even expect to be healed quickly of all and any sickness that befalls us. But that unfortunately is not always the case. More often than not we need to execute patience and allow the passing of time to fix our brokenness.

It would do our society a whole lot of good if we would learn to wait. There’d be less stress, and thus less heart attacks in relatively young people, less debt, and less of a whole lot of other negative things. And unfortunately many of us Christians are being pulled into the crazy vortex of the world’s lunatic rush for everything.

Remember, we are supposed to be in the world, but not of it. (Rom.12:2)  James also tells us that friendship with this world means enmity with God. (James (4:4) And John in his first epistle clearly tells us not to LOVE this world nor the things in it, for if we do, then the LOVE of the Father is not in us.’ (1 John 2:15)

So Friends, please let us cut down on the haste and the inability to wait, for it will only cause us bigger problems in the long run. And Bruh Paul reminds us, that as Christians, if we hope for something that we can’t see, then we ought to wait with patience, perseverance and eager expectation for it, it will come, all in God’s good time.  (Rom.8:25)

That brings us to our Bit. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

Oh Friends, that’s one of the most important verses in the entire Bible, that’s why we’re spending so much time on it. Sin, as we know, has been man’s Achilles heel ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Now sin is very obnoxious to our holy and just God, and that is why He sent Jesus down from heaven to save us from them. And the Good Book has a lot to say about it, from the earliest days right down to the last ones.

So let’s look at a couple of scriptures that deal with sin nuh. We’ll begin with a most appropriate passage, one that nicely describes what we were just talking about.  It comes from John, when he was baptizing in the Jordan. ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29)  

And Friends, if anybody should know about that, it was John, for he was sent as the harbinger to proclaim Jesus’ coming and His message of salvation!

Now listen to this passage from Psalm 103; Bruh David’s song of Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 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 according to 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 transgression from us. Like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:6-14)

Again my people, if anybody ought to know about sins and their forgiveness, it is Bruh David, for he passed through his fair share of sinfulness, but the Lord forgave him whenever he cried out in confession and begged for mercy. And yuh see what he says, ‘as far as the east is from the west,’ the Lord has removed our sins from us.

Oh what a mighty and merciful God we serve my people! No other deity does anything like that. So I don’t see why it’s so difficult for us to come to the Lord and confess our sins, when we re guaranteed forgiveness and LOVING –kindness!

Friends, we’re allowing the wicked world in which we live to brainwash us with its fleshly lusts and bright, shiny but unworthy stuff, and that’s not wise. So please let’s wake up from our foolishness, and attain unto wisdom nuh; let’s confess our sins to Almighty God and be forgiven. Now that is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…confession is always good for the soul…especially when it brings forgiveness and mercy…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2014 Psalm 69:30

Psalm 69:30.    I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

And then it was Friday, the harbinger of the weekend! And the working people were joyful and sang with great enthusiasm: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and slaving for massa done! Thank God is Friday yes! That means the weekend soon come, time to party!’
 
And who can really give them wrong, for after a hard week’s work, one needs to have some fun. But Friends, fun is not the most important part of the weekend, merely one of them.
 
Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which will give us a better perspective on how to handle these important two days off. As one, in strong voice 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 people, the weekend is also a time for rest, relaxation and contemplation of God’s goodness and mercy with fellowship amongst other believers.
 
And then we have today’s Bit: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’
 
Oh my brethren from the moment my eyes fell on it this morning I knew it was our Bit. That verse touches my heart and brings a tear to my eyes, (smile) because it’s so heartfelt, and besides that, songs are such an integral part of worshipping our magnificent and majestic God!
 
And as the psalmist, Bruh David, as I just discovered, tells us in the next verse: ‘This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.’ (Ps.69:31)
 
So Friends, we see that our God even prefers sacrifice in songs of praise and worship to that of animals. As Hebrews informs us: ‘By him (Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.’ (Heb.13:15)
 
And what better way to do that than in song? Throughout the Good Book songs are mentioned numerous times as worthy praise to God. When we check out the Psalms, most of them were written as songs, many by Bruh David, who was an especially good ‘songmeister’ and used them all the time.
 
Cousin Sol was also a good tunesmith. He even wrote a whole book of them – Song of Solomon or Song of Songs – bursting with LOVE for his adored.
 
And what I want to do today is show how very important songs were, and still are, in praising and worshipping our wonderful Most High God. Let’s delve into some of those beautiful scripture passages now.
 
And where else we would start eh, but with God’s own ‘songmeister’, Bruh David. (smile) Listen as he profoundly declares: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7)
 
Even to Job’s buddy, Elihu, songs were important, as he bewails: ‘But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.’ (Job 35:10) So we see here that even God puts songs in our hearts.
 
Now hear the psalmist as he heartily advises us to praise the Lord for His creation. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery (small lute) and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise (joyous shout). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.’ (Ps.33:1-4)
 
Oh my people, how can we ignore such expressive feelings eh? No way!
 
Meanwhile, in his foretelling of Israel’s return to Zion, Isaiah positively declares: ‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’ (Is.35:10)
 
And Bruh Paul will not be left out, (smile) as he provides us with these wise words. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph. 5:18-20)
 
Now here’s the clincher; even in heaven, or should I say especially in heaven, songs are of great importance. Around God’s throne, John saw four ugly beasts, and what were they doing?
 
‘And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.’ (Rev.4:8)
 
Yes Friends, even the ugly beasts were continually chanting God’s praises!
 
And that’s not all. When the Lamb of God took the Book of Life, what happened eh?
 
‘And he came and took the book (scroll) out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials (bowls) full of odours (incense) which are the prayers of the saints.
 
And they sung a new sung saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.’ (Rev. 5:7-10)
 
Yeh mih people, songs of praise and worship are oh so important in worshipping our magnificent God and Saviour Jesus Christ! Not only do they glorify Him, but they also put joy and LOVE in our hearts too.
 
So please, let’s keep right on singing those glorious psalms and songs of praise to Almighty God, so that we may continually glorify Him, and also keep our hearts and minds full of joy and LOVE! Oh Friends, that’s indeed heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…praise Him, praise Him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE… 
 
P.S.  Oh Friends, please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I was somewhat tardy in rising this morning, (smile) and then there was so much info to cull together and try to make sense of, that it took me longer than expected. But remember, it’s all good. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2014 Luke 19:10

Luke 19:10.    For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 
Oh Friends, I greet you all this snowy morning with the piece of wisdom that ignorance is a helluva thing yes! (smile) And that’s no lie, it’s the gospel truth!
 
Now hear the reasons for my assertion. Sometime after two o’clock this morning, I was summarily awakened by a cramp in my left thigh. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as some I have, but as I swung my legs off the bed to attend to the cramp, I also realized that my bladder was full. So I got up and hobbled to the bathroom.
 
Don’t laugh, because that was a good hobble, some day’s I can’t even hobble, I’m more like the hunchback of Notre Dame. Unfortunately though, by the time I had appeased the evils in my body, I found that the sleep had left my eyes.
 
Now this is where the ignorance comes in. In spite of being wide awake, I insisted that it was too early for me to get up, so I went back to bed, where I tossed and turned, devoid of the elixir of sleep, foolishly telling myself that though I couldn’t sleep, I was getting valuable rest.
 
Steups! What hogwash! And the sad part is that when I did get up, it was much later than I had planned. Chuh! And that’s why the Bit is somewhat late.
 
Ah Friends, the evil one will do those sorts of things to us, or rather will lead us to make those sort of unwise moves, so he can spoil our day. But with the grace of God, I’m choosing to believe the cliché that bad beginnings make for good endings. Glory Hallelujah!
 
Glory Hallelujah indeed! If I had listened to the wise and good Spirit instead of the foolish, evil one, I wouldn’t have put myself through those early morning horrors.
 
But thankfully our wonderful and LOVING Father in heaven saw how lost and miserable we were in our sinful condition and sent His beautiful Son, Jesus Christ to save us, both from ourselves and the ole crook Lucifer.
 
As Jesus so assuredly says in our Bit: ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’
 
And yuh better believe my people, that there are many of us, in fact, way too many of us who are still lost, and worse yet, refuse to be saved, even though Jesus went out of His way and provided free and easy salvation, through simply repenting of our sins and accepting Him as our Lord and Saviour.
 
Hn! But I’m not here to preach… Chuh! It’s amazing how that word preach likes to flow from my pen, although I insist that I’m not a preacher. (smile) Anyway, I’m not here to talk or teach about that this morning. Yeh, I’m more of a talker and teacher than preacher. Shut up my children! No noise from the penny section! (smile)
 
What we’ll continue doing today, in this last message on the topic of Christ coming to save us, is look at scriptures which proclaim and/or attest to that fact.
 
Oh my brethren, I need to retract one thing in that statement. This doesn’t seem to be the last message on Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth! Why? Because I was just checking to ensure that I had exhausted my supply of scriptures on the subject, when the Holy Spirit led me to a whole bunch more.
 
Yuh see Friends, when you’re sincerely trying to work with the Lord, He does lead and guide you to His Will and to His Word. Sorry for those of you who like to move on to a new Bit every day. But sometimes we need to hear certain things in the Word, again and again, for them to truly settle in our souls.
 
And we’ll begin our scriptures today with a most important verse from the gospel of Matthew, where the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him about the serious piece of drama that was about to be enacted in His life, and consequently the world.
 
‘And she shall bring forth a son, (referring to Mary, his betrothed) and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt.1:21)
 
Oh my fellow believers, nothing could be clearer and more explicit than that! Jesus was coming to earth as a SAVIOUR!
 
And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:21, 22. Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.” This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners.
 
Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature, is the Saviour.’
 
Yes Friends, even Jesus’ name conveys the message of saving and salvation! So why are so many humans still so reluctant to receive and accept His saving grace eh? Even to the point of getting aggressive and war-like when they hear His name mentioned! Who knows? I guess we all have our various reasons for rejecting Christ’s free gift of salvation and eternal life.
 
But Friends, I’m here to tell us that whatever reason you choose for rejecting Jesus, it’s a fool’s wisdom, for ONLY Jesus, the Son of God, begotten before every and anything else in this world, can save us from our sinful destination of eternal separation from Almighty God! And that’s definitely not going to be a nice place to spend eternity!
 
And we’ll close with this magnificent scripture from the John the Baptist, where he was baptizing the repentant at the river Jordan. ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29)
 
That my people, is the indisputable, most awesome and heart-warming truth! Please accept it as such, and gear all your earthly actions towards it, for in it lies the wisdom of all the ages. Much LOVE!
 
…just sit and contemplate for a moment…where you’ll end up if you reject Jesus…certainly no place like heaven…
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2013 John 1:29

John 1:29.     The next day John (the Baptist) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Holy Saturday, and Jesus is resting quietly in the tomb of the rich man, after being crucified between the two thieves to fulfill the scripture: ‘And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…’ (Is.53:9a) He’s storing up His energy, so that bright and early tomorrow morning, Easter Sunday, He can rise up in full force and defeat those wicked and cruel, but oh so inferior enemies; Lucifer, death and the grave. And all of God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Now Friends, I believe some of you might have taken umbrage (smile) at my wishing us all yesterday a happy Good Friday, wondering what could be so happy about a day of such cruelty and injustice. Granted it was a real sad day for those early Christians who didn’t understand what was happening. But for us, who luckily have the understanding from two thousand years of church history, it is somewhat different. For though we don’t, or didn’t want Jesus to die, please understand that without His death on Good Friday, there would have been no Easter morning for you to celebrate and be happy. When only happy circumstances make us emotionally happy, then we’re thinking like the world. But my brethren, for a true believer it’s not only our worldly circumstances that can make us happy. And the happiness – possibly happiness is the wrong word, since it denotes more of a reaction to outward circumstances. A more appropriate word might be joy, that constant levity in our souls, regardless of our outward circumstances. Even gratefulness or thankfulness might be more appropriate to the situation, for we’re not talking about a jumping up and down type of moment, but a deeper, more controlled emotion, whereby Jesus died to set us free from our ghastly sins. And if that isn’t something to be enormously grateful, thankful and joyful for, then I certainly don’t know what is! Why? Because it’s the most significant event in man’s history after God created us, but then was forced to kick our foolish, gullible and rebellious fore parents out of paradise in the Garden of Eden. And unfortunately, since then, that bequeathed foolish, gullible and rebellious streak in us has been uppermost in our history. And until Jesus came, there was very little opportunity to turn it around, even if we felt so inclined. And our Bit perfectly describes the whole enchilada. ‘The next day John (the Baptist) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ The reference to the lamb there, brings into play the sacrificial lambs slaughtered for Passover and other Jewish feasts. The scholars add that ‘Some suggest that this may allude to the scapegoat (Lev.16), or to the suffering servant (Is.53:7) We dealt with that yesterday. I guess it could actually refer to all of them, for remember the Lord required blood sacrifices of His chosen people, Israel, as some form of payment, atonement for their sins. But here now, comes Jesus, the Son of God, the sinless one, to pay the rather steep price of sin for the entire world. Now isn’t that a genuine reason to be much more than saddened at His death? Why do you think it’s called Good Friday? Because it’s the day on which the best thing since creation ever happened to man! All his evil deeds have been paid for; from the beginning of time, right through to eternity. It was certainly done in a most cruel manner, but the reason behind it was the greatest token of true LOVE ever expressed! And in our 3 hour service yesterday afternoon, what do you think the youth group sang? ‘Oh Happy Day! When Jesus washed…When Jesus washed… He washed all my sins away.’ Remember also what Jesus told His disciples in the last days: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) So where is that good cheer eh Friends? It’s supposed to be our constant companion, like the Holy Spirit. And remember too that Bruh Paul instructs us to ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:4-5) Not only is Jesus’ return imminent, but also His Spirit is always close by, thus we shouldn’t be afraid and anxious abut anything. Anyway Friends, I’m getting away from my original intention, to get into some scriptures that highlight Jesus’ basic purpose here on earth; to atone for the sins of the world. It begins with Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering servant in chapter 53:11, that we quoted yesterday, which ends: ‘for he shall bear their iniquities.’ Then it advances to our Bit, and the actual act of sin payment, when Jesus declares on the cross: ‘It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.’ (John 19:30) Bruh Paul then takes up the baton and runs with it full speed, first telling the Corinthians: ‘For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.’ (1 Cor.15:3) Then he informs the Galatians: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Gal.1:3-5) Next up is Peter, who declares: ‘Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness: By whose stripes ye were healed.’ (1 Pet.2:24) John then announces in his first epistle: ‘My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:1-2) And finally, John ends the race on a winning note in Revelation, when he greets the seven churches in Asia. ‘And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead; and the prince of (ruler over) the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ (Rev.1:5) And all God’s people gave out a mighty and joyful shout up to heaven: ‘Oh Thank You sweet Jesus! We LOVE and adore You!’ Oh Friends, with all that scripture shoring up the strong foundation of the purpose of Christ’s death, how could we ever argue with it eh? No way Jose! And again I want to remind us in Bruh David’s famous and fateful words, that though ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ (Ps.30:5b) And believe me my brethren, tomorrow morning will indeed be a most joyous morning! Just wait and see. Much LOVE!…though reality may cloud our sight with sadness…looking through the eyes of faith…gives us a 20/20 vision of joy…
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2012 Matthew 3:17

Matthew 3:17.         And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
 
Ah Friends, it’s another day in the heartache of Hurricane Sandy and associates. It seems the heartless, and thus the evil spirit of capitalism is showing up now in New York and New Jersey, where some people are taking further advantage of the already terribly disadvantaged by selling hard to get gasoline for up to fifty dollars a gallon, while it’s selling in the gas stations for under five dollars. And no doubt some of the die hard advocates of capitalism will consider that proper behaviour; make a buck or several bucks wherever you can, regardless of the hardship your customers are suffering. Thankfully, that’s not the way of Jesus or His genuine followers. I’m sure though, that some of those gouging their fellow man will nonetheless consider themselves Christians, because they claim to believe in Jesus, when in fact they are simply crooks. But as we constantly read in the Good Book, the wicked will get their comeuppance eventually. Enough talk about crooks though, and man’s inhumanity to man. Let’s talk instead about Jesus, who advocates Peace and LOVE, Good Health and Happiness for all mankind to share. And all God’s people shouted a joyful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise the name of Jesus, the Lamb that was slain for us!’ Yes Friends, that’s exactly whom we’re referring to. And what does our Bit say about Him? ‘And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ This particular incident occurred when Jesus came to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. John at first refused, claiming that Jesus should be the one baptizing him. (Matt.3:14) However, Jesus persuaded John, saying: ‘Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us) to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered (allowed) him.’ (Matt.3:15) Jesus knew that he had to be baptized to fulfill the prophecies that had been spoken of Him by the prophets like Isaiah. Now here are some thoughts on that scripture from the scholars. ‘Jesus sought this outward identification with John’s ministry to fulfill all righteousness. By identifying Himself with those He came to redeem, Jesus inaugurated His public ministry as the Messiah. In regard to the Jewish religious observances, such as synagogue worship, attendance at feasts, and payment of the temple tax, Jesus always met the duties of a faithful Jew.’ The next verse then opened up a whole new chapter in the annals of man’s history here on earth. ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.’ (Matt.3:16) Yes my fellow believers, the heavens were opened and numerous prophecies were fulfilled on that most momentous occasion! And not only that, but the Father also acknowledged to all and sundry, His complete trust in, and sincere appreciation for Jesus, through our Bit that comes after. And this is what the scholars have to say, re that scripture. ‘In the process of His baptism, Jesus went up…out of the water, the prepositions suggesting that He was completely in the water and came up out from it, again indicating immersion. The descending of the Spirit of God fulfilled the predicted sign to John in order to indicate the true Messiah (cf.John 1;33, Is.11:2). The dove was a symbol of innocence and purity (cf. Matt.10:16) and served as an ideal symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit. The voice from heaven is that of the Father, giving His verbal approval to the ministry of His beloved Son. There can be no doubt that all three persons of the Trinity are actively involved here as distinct persons of the Godhead. The Father speaks, the Spirit descends, and the Son is baptized.’ Oh Friends, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. (smile) Now let’s check out a couple of scriptures that provoked all that action. We’ll begin with Isaiah, who had the most to say about Jesus. In chapter 11, he boldly declares: ‘And there shall come forth a rod (shoot) out of the stem (stock or trunk) of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow (bear fruit) out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.’ (Is.11:1-2) And on that auspicious day my brethren, in the muddy Jordan, the Spirit of God, did rest on Jesus! For further confirmation of those facts, let’s turn to the Gospel of John, where he talks about John the Baptist thus: ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me (ranks higher than me): for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record (witness), saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode (remained) upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record (testified) that this is the Son of God.’ Wow! What powerful scripture my people! And we’ll end with some wise words of the scholars. ‘The baptism of Jesus serves as proof of His deity to John. The Holy Spirit came on Jesus and remained to assist him in His baptismal work. Before Jesus’ baptism, John knew Him only as a good cousin, not as the Lamb of God. Not until he saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus did John realize that He was the Son of God.’ That’s enough for us to ponder on today my people. So please read and inwardly digest all that stuff which will surely help us to understand some of the intricacies of the Good Book concerning our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through whose selfless sacrifice, our salvation and life eternal have been guaranteed. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…