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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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2017 Jeremiah 31:3.

Jeremiah 31:3.    The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.

And the pendulum of time swings – back and forth – every minute of every hour, of every day, month and year. But who knows when that pendulum of time will stop swinging eh?  Only Jehovah God, who created it, in the first place. It is not for man to know the plans God has for His universe, but to just accept them with humility and gratitude, while praising and worshipping the One who breathed the exotic breath of His eternal life into our frail, mortal bodies.  

Now, as another Sunday rolls around, we gather once more in joyful fellowship in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship, exalt and glorify His Holy Name, as he desires of us. And, as always, we’ll begin the worship by offering up the sacrifice of praise in song. Today’s opening hymn is an old one, ‘Jesus LOVER of my Soul,’ written by Charles Wesley way back in the 18th century. It’s one we all know and cherish, so let’s belt it out with great joy and enthusiasm. 

‘Jesus, LOVER of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high; hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last! Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. 

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus had to LOVE our sinful souls, else why did He sacrifice His righteous life, taking our sin unto His shoulders, while giving us His righteousness? True LOVE could be the only answer. Jesus said it to His disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He went out and laid down His life for us all. 

But it all began with the Father, as Jeremiah reports in our Bit, when the Lord promised the restoration of Israel. ‘The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.’ 

Yuh see how often He allowed Israel to be torn apart, then He LOVINGLY built them back up again. And it’s not only LOVE that God has for His human creation, but also infinite patience! Oh my people, what great and undying concern the Lord has for us! It’s almost impossible to understand the length and breadth and height and depth of it. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time), Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

As the scholars explain: ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit, but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ Oh my people, how touching and heartwarming that is eh! Knowing that Christ died instead of me, so that I didn’t have to die an awful, sinful death… How much more should that make me LOVE Him and place my undying trust in all that He stands for! 

Oh my fellow believers, as we truly study it, the portrait of LOVE coming out of heaven, just keeps on getting bigger and deeper. How so, you ask?  Because Jesus didn’t have to die for us, but because He was sinless, He was the ONLY One who could atone for our sins, pay the sacrificial debt needed to wash and cleanse us and prevent us from being thrown into everlasting darkness. And being the wonderful and obedient Son that He was, He accepted the Father’s assignment without hesitation, and like a lamb, without a bleat, eventually went to the His awful death for our sakes. 

And now, ingrates that we are, we’re boldfaced enough to make nasty jokes about Him, mock Him, put Him down, offer blatant derision and blaspheme His holy name! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom, for time is truly longer than twine, and in God’s good time, He will send Jesus back into this horrible world to clean it up, and all those naysayers and unbelievers, and workers of iniquity will not be laughing then, because Jesus will be sitting on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem running things. Glory to God! 

So let the fools have their way now my brethren, we will have the last laugh when Jesus comes back in all His shining glory and mercurial splendor. Then ALL knees WILL bow before Him, and ALL voices WILL declare that He is Lord of all, to the everlasting glory of God the Father! 

Yes friends, that’s how it is going to be whenever the Lord decides it’s time to clean up this awful mess of His world that we have created. So please hang in there, stay focused on Jesus and in serious and sincere LOVE with Him, so that when He returns, we will be numbered amongst His entourage. Much LOVE!

…oh when the saints…go marching in…I want to be amongst that glorious number…oh when the saints…go marching in…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O 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 her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2017 Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38.   Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.

It’s a brand new day friends, so rise and greet it with joy and enthusiasm! Oh yeah! It’s also Saturday, which means some of us want to sleep in. Well then sleep in with joy and enthusiasm! (smile) 

The important thing is that we have the joy of Jesus in us in whatever we do or don’t do. Let His wondrous Spirit simply lead and guide us wherever He may want us to go. But sadly, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us is a problem for many believers. 

We either can’t decipher what He wants us to do, or simply don’t want to go where He wants to lead us. But friends, as Christians, the Holy Spirit is our divine guide here on earth, so if He is not leading us, then we’re not being divinely led. As simple as that! 

So please, let’s get wise and ask the Lord to help us understand when the Holy Spirit speaks to us, so that we can faithfully and trustingly follow Him, and thus do God’s will. Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble intention to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

This first one says: ‘Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back. They’re behind you for a reason.’ And I guess that makes sense. If people need to talk behind your back, then that means they have no parts, and you have no use for them. 

That leads us to this quote: ‘Sometimes you just need to distance yourself from people. If they care, they’ll notice. If they don’t, you know where you stand.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! These days people are so deceitful and disgusting that we have to be very careful about whom we associate with. 

And sometimes the Holy Spirit will just lead us away from those who don’t fit into our divine programme. And as the quote says, ‘If they care they’ll notice.’ And if they don’t, then you’ll know they were never on your side in the first place. 

And emotionally, that can be tough, but as our next quote comforts: ‘Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place.’ Yeh, so if you seem to be losing people from your inner circle, it might actually be a good thing. 

The Lord might just be purging the ones you don’t need anymore to rise up and do His will. So ‘Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.’ 

Remember the age-old saying that silence is golden, and Cousin Sol’s words that even a fool is considered wise when he keeps his mouth shut. And right now, with the ease of worldwide communication, too much useless and senseless talking is indeed a problem. 

However, it is an important, though difficult lesson for us to learn. Sometimes it’s just best to shut up! And finally: ‘Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.’ 

Yes friends, as true believers, material wealth, in and of itself, should not matter that much to us, but what it enables us to do for others is important. And it’s so good to go to bed at night knowing that you have helped someone in need. 

There’s no better feeling in the universe than giving of oneself, one’s treasures and talents and time to others! That’s why our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Jesus Christ warned us about giving in our Bit. 

‘Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, the manner in which we give, the measure we use to give, that’s the same measure and manner that will be used to give back to us. So if we give with a generous, positive heart, then others will give back to us with a generous, positive heart. 

However, if we behave like Scrooge and give grudgingly, that’s exactly how we will be treated. It’s all about reaping what you sow my brethren. In God’s economy, you don’t reap more than you sow, unless it’s with true generosity. 

Notice Cousin Sol’s words from Proverbs. ‘He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.’ (Prov.19:17) 

Unfortunately though my people, in this modern society the emphasis is on getting, rather than giving. We all want to know what we can get, instead of what we can give. No wonder that greed and fraud and hoarding are so rampant in our society, which leads to a lot of poverty, homelessness and poor economic conditions. 

And nowadays, we’re always searching for something of good value, hoping to pay little or nothing for it. But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom! As Confucius is reputed to have said: ‘Good thing no cheap, and cheap thing no good!’ (smile) 

So in general, the value of what you receive, will equal the amount you pay for it. So please, let’s stop thinking about always getting nuh, and concentrate on giving instead. That’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…to give…to give….and yet to give again…that should be the Christian’s mantra…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2017 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.   But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible. 

Oh my brethren, another beautiful summer’s day is forecasted for my area today! Brother! The Lord has been so good to us recently weather wise that I don’t know what to say but ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Unfortunately, many of our neighbours to the south and west of us have not been so blessed, having been recently plagued by wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes. 

Friends, I can’t instill sufficiently our Christian requirement to help them as much as we can, in the giving of our time, talent, physical goods and money. And most importantly remember them in our prayers. 

Remember, prayer is the most powerful force in God’s great universe, and when we use it wisely and sincerely, it can cause mighty mountains to be moved. And this is certainly a time for universal prayer, as our world is falling apart through both natural and man-made calamity. 

However, the ordinary workingman might not realize the fiasco that is brewing and continue in his hedonistic ways by declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend and party time is here once again! 

I can just see the eating…and the drinking…the barbecuing and sunbathing in this summer weather! We certainly going to be carousing plenty on we days off this weekend. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, so we can get away from massa an’ ‘im slave labour!’  

Oh friends, technically speaking all of that is true, it’s just the degree to which it’s being taken. We all are entitled to enjoy our days off from work, but remember those boundaries that are necessary to stop Beelzebub and his evil cohorts from invading our sacrosanct space. 

Our Friday Chant is indeed a much better ode to the weekend. (smile) So let’s chant it now nuh, with as much enthusiasm as the workingman had in his declaration. ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, if we’re to do God’s kingdom work diligently, sincerely and excellently, as He desires, we need to be bright and fresh and renewed in spirit every Monday morning. So let’s enjoy our weekend, but with ‘a modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves would say. (smile) 

And as a true and faithful Christian, keeping our sinful nature in check should not be that big of a problem, for we have the ONE and ONLY Jesus, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords on our side, in our camp. What more back up and reassurance can we ask eh? None whatsoever! 

And please note His plain and straightforward words to the disciples in our Bit, when they doubted about a camel being able to pass through the eye of a needle. ‘But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.’ 

Now isn’t that the gospel truth! If God made our marvellous and magnificent universe and all therein, then it stands to reason that He can indeed DO ANYTHING! But too many of us supposed believers don’t really and truly believe that, otherwise we wouldn’t behave in the doubting manner in which we often do. 

And it’s not only from the time of Jesus that the Lord has been trying to instill this in man’s consciousness, but long before. Listen to how the prophet Jeremiah prayed after he had bought a field on God’s advice and delivered the deed to a trusted friend, Baruch. (Jer.32:1-15) 

‘I prayed unto the Lord saying, Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard (difficult) for thee; Thou showest LOVING-kindness unto thousands, and recompensest  (repay) the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name.’ (Jer.32:16-18) 

And if you don’t believe Jeremiah, then listen to the Lord Himself later on. ‘Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?’ (Jer.32:26-27) 

Ah mih people, I hope that solidifies our belief that our God is great and powerful and can do ANY and EVERYTHING! We need to believe that if we are to serve Him properly in this evil and ungodly world. Much LOVE!

…the three first principles of Christianity…believe…believe…believe…only believe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2017 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Oh friends, it’s one of those days; the ole fella does not know what to say this Wednesday morning. Hn! Imagine that nuh! (smile) 

I slept the night away and got up feeling worse than when I went to bed. Can you believe it? But that was just my ignorance, for I knew that if lay in bed too long my back would act up something terrible. 

But I just refused to get out of the bed. If people could lie in bed for ten to twelve hours straight, why couldn’t I do it for a mere five or six eh? And now I’m paying the price. But that’s okay, because I have a rather appropriate quote for us from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. 

It says: ‘No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ End of story! 

Yeh friends, it’s up to us to make our lives as joyful and meaningful as we can. Nobody else can do that for us. We have to put in the effort to make our lives whatever we want them to be. And believe me, that’s not always easy, since most of us want to live what is considered the high life, which is not easy to attain or maintain. 

But I’ll let us into a li’l secret here (smile)… serving Jesus is the way to live the best life possible here on earth, and even into eternity. And if you doubt that, hear what He says in our Bit. ’I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

What an awesome statement my brethren! But it’s true! NO ONE else has ever made, or been able to make such an enormous and truthful proclamation! Only through Jesus can we gain access to our heavenly Father. 

Remember how it was before Jesus? There was a heavy veil that covered the holy space of God within the tabernacle and only the high priest could enter there once a year to make sacrifice and atonement for man. 

But note when Jesus gave up the ghost on that cross at Calvary, the Good Book declares: ‘And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (torn in two) from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split).’ (Matt.27:51) 

Yes my people, the tearing down of that oppressive veil opened the way for each and every one to come to the Father through Jesus! Wow! How amazing and reassuring is that eh? From then on Jesus became our high priest and heavenly intercessor, giving us individual access to the Father. 

And all of that was done out of the Father’s great and unconditional LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient children. That’s why we should be eternally grateful to both the Father, who offered His only Son, Jesus, as a living sacrifice, and to Jesus who willingly paid the enormous price for the cleansing and washing of our abominably sinful souls. 

Only Jesus, the sinless One, could have paid the exorbitant price the Father required to wash our sins away. And now we refuse to live for Him, abuse His holy name, doing our best to remove Him completely from our society. What ungratefulness my people, what ignorance and foolishness! 

Please note what’s happening to our society as we try to remove God from it. Our lives are getting rougher and tougher despite all the supposed amenities we now have. Nobody is really happy, and we have to work harder and longer to just make ends meet. 

It just goes to show that the physical things and the ungodly lifestyle that the world wants us to adopt are not the panacea for earthly living. JESUS IS! And until we get around to truly believing that and living it, our world won’t get any better. In fact we’ll just keep wallowing in the mire of sin and ungodliness and keep being unhappy and strife-filled. 

Oh friends, I don’t know what else to say to make us believe that Jesus is the WAY nuh. I guess most of us won’t give Him a try until we hit rock bottom. But don’t worry, whenever and however we come to Him, He will always receive us with open, LOVING arms, for that’s how magnanimous He is. 

But please don’t put it off until it’s too late. He is coming back a second time, in all His magnificence and splendour, and if you’re not a member of His flock then, you will be eternally separated from Him and the Father, and end up on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee that that won’t be a very good situation. 

Now for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail as we go joyfully marching home. (smile) ‘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!’ 

Oh, how great it is to live for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…hope has a new name…that name is JESUS…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Saturday, O Saturday! What have you got in store for me today eh? Will it be an easy day, just lazing around the house or going out and taking in the sights? Or will it be pure drudgery, like household chores and grocery shopping?  

Whatever kind of day you turn out to be though Saturday, I’m sure of this one thing; I’ll constantly have the company of Jesus with me, always by my side to provide a healthy chuckle or lend a helping hand when times get difficult. And we’re going to have good time, because this is the day the Lord has made, therefore we shall rejoice and be glad in it. Glory be, mih breddren! 

What a joy and a pleasure it is to have Jesus hanging out with us. Chuh! It couldn’t get any better than that nuh! And though I could go on singing the praises of Jesus all day, He requires me to look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm blessed us with this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And this first quote is something many of us believers need to put into practice. ‘If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.’ Remember friends, it’s a good, Christian attitude and always putting your best foot forward that eventually brighten your way. 

This next quote should be obvious. ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ Doing the same thing, or thinking the same way, won’t get different results. 

Now these next two, which I’ve made one, are certainly interesting. ‘Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.’ And there’s lots of truth in them both, for problems usually show us opportunities, as well as guide us in sound decision making. 

And this last quote is a definite winner! ‘Do what you want to do. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! But we need to do our do with a modicum of circumspection and with God always predominant in the mix. And I can give a personal testimony to that, because over the years I’ve gone out on a limb – am still doing it (smile) – and done some of my heart’s desires. 

Now they were expensive in terms of time, energy, money and emotional distress, but the Lord allowed me to experience them, and I don’t regret them, because they were all learning experiences. But I have to chuckle when I remember how the Lord eased me out of them all, when He considered it time to seriously get into His Word and write His Bit. God gives us dreams, my brethren, so that we can go after them and bring them to fruition and glorify His holy name. 

Okay, enough rambling, let’s turn to our Bit, everlasting words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, as He taught the disciples, and by extension, us, how to pray. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Now yesterday we saw from the scholars’ explanation that God doesn’t tempt us, though He allows some to come against us to test our faithfulness. James gives us this talk on the subject. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them the LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars have some interesting opinions on that verse which give us better understanding. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. 

God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it. (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Cor.10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people is revealed in the Mosaic Law: “That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end” (Deut. 8:16).’  

Ah mih people, I know that doesn’t sit well with some of us, since we’d prefer to escape all the trials and tests. But then how will we ever grow in faith eh, if we keep running from difficulties, because it’s in difficult times that we grow and mature? 

And we’ll end with the verse from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians which the scholars believe makes us too soft and sappy. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

And please note friends, the scholars tell us that the Greek term used in that verse refers more to a safe landing place for a ship, than for an actual escape. So the Lord’s plan is not for us to entirely escape the temptation, but help us to endure it and come out safely on the other side. 

Let’s therefore stop thinking about only escaping temptation, but more about fighting through them and coming out victorious on the other side, with God’s help of course.  That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…only by fighting through trials…rather than escaping them…can a believer grow in faith…

 

 

 

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