Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2018 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

And it’s just another day of winter weather! (smile) No, the rain and higher temps have not melted the ice and snow on the ground, so please be careful if you have to go out. Ah friends, what yuh going to do eh? If you want to live in the northern climes then you’ll just have to grin and bear it, obviously with the help of our heavenly Father. 

Now before we go any further let me share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but it’s so important, especially in these rough and difficult times, that we need to hear it again. It comes from a message titled ‘God Needs Us.’ And so He does. Why? 

Because ‘Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead us on the way. He has no tongues but our tongues to tell us how he died. He has no help but our help to bring us to His side.’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! Christ has no one else to do His work and spread His wonderful word but us, His earthly ambassadors. 

And if we don’t do it, do it diligently and with excellence, then His church, His LOVE Revolution will fail, and much of the world will go to hell in a hand basket with Lucifer. Christ’s sacrificial death would also have been a waste of time, because He died that ALL people could have access to Him. And I’m sure we don’t want either of those things to happen. 

So that’s why we, as Christians, have to get really serious about our work for Christ and improve in all areas, with His help of course. Once we have contact with other human beings, Christ wants to use us, wherever we are, in whatever we do, to bring others to Him, so that they too can enjoy the free gift of grace that brings salvation and eternal life. Remember, He died so that sinners could be saved from their sins. 

As a man, Christ could only be in one place at one time, that’s why when He ascended to heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in His disciples and all those others who would believe in Him, so that they could go out and perform the words of our Bit: the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

And that is what they did my people. And that’s also what we are expected to do. Christ can only work, and is working through His Holy Spirit in our minds and bodies so that we can get His message out, which is becoming more urgent with each passing day, as He prepares to return and take His rightful place as our Lord and King. And unfortunately, when He does return, all who are not then a part of His church will be left out forever. 

That’s not a very nice fate to suffer, so it’s imperative that we His disciples and followers ramp up our efforts to bring the numerous unbelievers out there to Him: ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ (Matt.28:20a) Yeh friends, we’re all teachers in some form or fashion, either by the words we speak or the lives we live. 

The spreading of the Word is not left to pastors and church elders only, but to ALL those who believe. We all have something important to impart to another human being on the topic of Jesus. Let’s remember that nuh and get serious about the way we live our lives and what we say to others, for we are representatives of Christ, and whatever image we portray is the image others will get of Him. 

Please note that much of the recent swelling of the rolls of the ungodly can be laid right at the feet of so-called believers. We have been too wishy-washy and hypocritical in our walk with Christ and others have seen it and therefore been put off of Christ. That’s a crying shame my brethren! Instead of turning OFF people from Christ, we ought to be turning them ON to Him. 

And there’s no need to be afraid or ashamed of our belief and faith in Christ, because at the end of the Commission He faithfully promised: ‘and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:20b) There you have it my people, Jesus’ promise to be with us ALL the time, even to the end of the world. 

So why are we afraid or ashamed of speaking out and living for Him eh? Remember, man can only kill the body, not the soul. However Almighty God can kill both, so if you choose to become a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser, then you’re in for big trouble. 

Oh my fellow believers, hear this explanation of the Great Commission from the scholars. ’28:18-20. The Great Commission brings the first Gospel to its grand finale. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honoured their martyred leader. 

Here is a far different scene. The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory by the risen Saviour through His disciples.’ 

And so it is my fellow believers, so let’s treat it as such and do justice to Christ’s victory nuh. It’s the wisdom that’s been granted to us. Now let’s go home declaring to all the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

Sincerely, loudly and proudly now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

More gospel truth friends! So let’s go out and diligently share it nuh, as we’re meant to.. Much LOVE!

…a wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble)…but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health…  (Prov.13:17)

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2018 Isaiah 6:5.

Isaiah 6:5.    Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone (destroyed); because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

Okay friends, now that we’ve successfully overcome Monday, let’s turn our attention to Tuesday. Yes, just one day at a time, that’s all the Lord wants us to handle, consequently, He split our time period into days and nights. So let’s not jump ahead of ourselves nuh, and try to do too much all at once. 

And on this Tuesday morning, in the cold spring of 2018 (smile) I have an interesting poem to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘My Only Defense.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘The powerful reality grips me, Lord That when I kneel in Your presence To ask Your forgiveness I am utterly stripped of façade. You accept no big-name references No high-caliber recommendations. Extenuating circumstances Crumble to dust In Your court of appeal… I am forgiven never Because of inherited tendencies Or emotional discomfort Or nagging weakness… 

I can never plead Corrupt environment Or life’s strange twistings Or my own unbelievable stupidity… Ultimately I have one solitary defense. Only one – But always one: Forgive me God For Jesus’ sake. Like a song unending The words keep singing…I am totally forgiven I am totally cleansed Just for Jesus’ sake.’ 

What an awesome truth that is my brethren! Only by the spilled blood of Jesus on that cross of Calvary are we, or can we be forgiven for our heinous sins by our heavenly Father. Yes, only on the basis of that sacrificial blood are we even allowed into God’s Holy presence. And then all our worldly and personal excuses are worth absolutely nothing in God’s court of law. 

Please, let’s remember that it’s only through and because of Jesus that we enjoy anything of the blessed life we now enjoy. So let’s stop putting Him down and blaspheming Him, as so many of us still do. Instead, let’s raise Him up, exalt Him, let’s acknowledge Him as the bright and shining Light that He is; our Lord, Saviour, Advocate, Counsellor, Advocate and Prince of Peace, amongst many other things. 

Yeh friends, without Jesus, we are, and we would be nothing! And until we truly recognize and acknowledge that fact our lives will continue to be topsy-turvy and without peace.

And the Bible verse for that promise is also our Bit for today. ‘Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone (destroyed); because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’ 

That was Isaiah’s response to his vision when the Lord commissioned him to speak to Israel on His behalf. But then, much to his surprise: ‘Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged (atoned for).’ (Is.6:6-7) 

Oh my people, we are ALL also of unclean lips, dwelling in a society of unclean lips. But luckily for us we don’t have to have a hot piece of coal touch our mouths to be forgiven of our sins. Thank the Lord we have the sacrifice of Jesus performing that rite of absolution!

We just need to be born again and come to acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, and our sins are forgiven. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, for His LOVING-kindness to the children of men! 

Now let’s look at some of the scholars explanations re Isaiah’s Confession and Consecration. ‘6:5. Isaiah’s confession: Having seen God in the full glory of His holiness, Isaiah pronounces the prophetic Woe upon himself. This was a legal charge meaning “ruined” or “dead.” His self-evaluation was I am undone (from Heb. ‘damah’, meaning “to be dumb” or “silent.”) 

Thus, his response was a statement of total self-condemnation: “I am dead…I am speechless!” Recognizing that he has no legitimate excuse for himself, he further realizes that he is unclean, “defiled” or “polluted”).

This self-evaluation is made in light of the fact that he has seen the King, the Lord of hosts. The heavenly King is identified as Yahweh Himself, who is called “Lord of hosts” 62 times in Isaiah and 261 times throughout the Old Testament.’ 

‘6:6-7. Isaiah’s Consecration: Isaiah’s confession of his personal sin brought the response of God’s cleansing to equip him for service to the Lord. The altar was the place of blood sacrifice, called by later rabbinic writers the ‘paraclete’, or place of expiation or intercession. The coal has no redemptive ability of its own but is symbolic of the efficacy of the burnt offering consumed on the altar. Thus Isaiah’s sin was purged (cleansed).’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have to go though all the blood sacrifice and stuff that the people of the Old Testament experienced. Jesus paid for all our sins once and for all on the cross of Calvary! And all Jesus’ followers cried out a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Jesus!’ 

Now let’s go home, as we do on a Tuesday declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In sincere and strong voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the next move is to go out and action that declaration. Much LOVE!

…behold…the Lamb of God…which taketh away the sin of the world… (John 1:29b)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2018 Luke 6:9.

Luke 6:9.    Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

‘And today I taught the world to fall in LOVE again. Yes, today I taught the world to fall in LOVE with Jesus again…’ 

Oh how I wish those words were true my believing brethren. I don’t know why, but since I got up this morning those words kept percolating in my brain, and I’ve been singing them as a li’l ditty to uplift my spirit. And as believers, we could have no greater honour or work than to bring LOVE, especially the LOVE of Jesus to this God-forsaken world. So let’s see if we can’t work on that nuh. 

And in the meanwhile, here is this acclamation which sits prominently on my desk, but which I don’t seem to see, or pay much attention to. However, I was drawn to it last night, and the Lord put it in my heart to share it today. Oh, I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but one more time won’t hurt. (smile) It’s an acclamation from Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) titled ‘Today Is My Day!’ 

Please declare it with me in strong voice and full belief. ‘God has destined me to be a barrier breaker! He created me to be uncontainable! I have talent and potential given to me by the Creator of the universe. There are seeds of greatness inside of me. 

Today I choose to break free from a limited mindset and enlarge my vision. Today, God is taking me places that I’ve never even dreamed of before. Today, God is fulfilling His purpose in my life. Today, I will experience His favour like never before in every area of my life.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ Ah friends, if we’d only truly believe all of that eh! But the important thing is to keep saying stuff like that, because if we do, it will finally become rooted in our subconscious and we’ll eventually believe it and live it out in our daily lives. Such is the power of our words and our thoughts! 

Remember, ALL the battles are fought in our minds and therefore we need to win them there, so that our bodies and souls  will function in righteousness, as God desires of us. 

And as I opened the Good Book just now to search for an appropriate bit, it opened at the gospel of Luke and these immortal words of Jesus immediately caught my eye. ‘Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?’ 

Those were Jesus’ questions to a group of overly religious, hypocrite Pharisees, who stood by one Sabbath Day in the synagogue to see if Jesus would heal a man’s withered hand. ‘But he (Jesus) knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.’ (Luke 6:8) 

Then Jesus posed the questions in our Bit to them. And I like how the Good Book continues, re Jesus’ attitude and next move. ‘And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they (the Pharisees) were filled with madness (rage); and communed one with another (discussed) what they might do to Jesus.’ (Luke 6:10-11) 

Oh friends, can you feel the drama in the synagogue that day as Jesus looks around at them daring them to stop Him? So too should we be in doing the work of Jesus, daring and not afraid. And that wasn’t the first time He had had words on what was lawful on the Sabbath with the religious leaders. On another Sabbath Day they had questioned him on the disciples going through a cornfield and plucking some to eat on the Sabbath Day. 

According to them that was unlawful. But Jesus pointed out to them how Bruh David and his men, hungry to death, had gone into the Lord’s house on the Sabbath and eaten the showbread that was only lawful for the priests to eat. (1 Sam.21:1-6) And according to the scholars: ‘6:2. The disciples’ action was not in itself illegal (Deut. 23:25), but the oral tradition held that they were breaking the Sabbath.’ 

Yuh see how we can let tradition and the irrational laws of men turn us away from God’s law. And that time, ‘Jesus said unto them (the Pharisees), That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.’ (Luke 6:5) Obviously inciting words to the religious leaders. 

And the scholars tell us re that verse. ‘6:5: Having already asserted His prerogative, like God Himself, to forgive sins (5:20), Jesus now assumes the right to interpret the Old Testament in a way far different from that of the religious leaders of His time.’ Obviously the Pharisees were not thrilled with any of Jesus’ interpretations. 

And re our Bit, the scholars explain: ‘6:9. Jesus illustrates the principle lying behind 6:5. If it was in one’s power to do good to someone in such dire need, it would be wrong not to do so, whatever the day of the week. The Sabbath was not designed to make man suffer. The Pharisees seem to have lost sight of this.’ 

Consequently friends, we must not let ANYTHING or ANYONE stop us from doing good, regardless of time or place. And having taken in all of that, (smile) let’s go home now joyfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’  

So as true believers, let’s go out and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…doing good…at all times…is Jesus’ way…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2018 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ah friends, as Prince Buster, the famed Jamaican singer said in his song so long ago; ‘It was a rough night last night…’ but not in the sexual way that he meant it. (smile) I spent the night in the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for doing a heart assisted implant today, that would help the ole ticker operate more functionally than it’s currently doing. 

Everything else was okay except the bed. Chuh! These new-fangled hospital beds are so expensive and can do everything except give you a restful night’s sleep. I found it too hard to lie on and very difficult to get up from. And brother…it just kills my back! 

But there’s always a good and bad side to every story…Hn! The good side is that the Lord might have intervened miraculously on the ole fella’s behalf. Yeh friends, if the findings are true, then heavenly intervention was indeed involved. And you must be wondering what I’m being so obtuse and obscure about. (smile)

Well there seems to be something called ‘ejection fraction’ that shows how the heart is pumping the blood and my figures were low to begin with and over the past year haven’t improved a whole lot which necessitated implanting the device. 

However, yesterday, when they did the usual tests, my figures shot up so remarkably that they had to stop and review the situation. That’s why I’m talking about miracles. 

Hold down now people, hold down… there’s a new twist to the story now. I just spoke to the doctor about the surgery and they have decided to postpone it, to err on the side of caution, until they do some other tests that will give them a clearer picture. Only problem is it takes months to get that done. 

But per his reasoning, if my heart has really improved, then I should be okay. Seems though that there are two different implants for the situation and until they are sure of what’s happening it doesn’t make sense to do any surgery which could complicate matters later on. 

Ah Lord eh! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Life is always full of surprises, and who knows when they will crop up. But when you’re walking with Almighty God, He gives you the ability to handle all that comes against you. 

Hence the awesome and always encouraging words of our Bit. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Not a single soul, for our God will fight them off on our behalf! 

Glory to God my fellow believers! Though He allows us to go through all sorts of stuff, ultimately, He uses everything for our good, as Bruh Paul says a few verses earlier. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) We couldn’t ask for more than that. 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul clarifies our Bit by reassuring us. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom.8:32) Yeh friends, if the Lord went to that length to sacrifice His only Son for us, why wouldn’t He freely give us lesser things eh? None whatsoever! 

Thus, Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘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.’ (Rom.8:35-37) 

Oh my people, we are so blessed to have the Lord God of Hosts as our Guide and Protector, that we need nothing or no one else to advocate for us. No wonder Bruh Paul ends this remarkable chapter with these wise, wonderful and reassuring words. ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not 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.8:38-39) 

Yes precious people of God, NOTHING in this world can separate us from God’s LOVE! Why? As the scholars explain. ’38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

So friends, with all that reassurance let’s go home with bountiful feelings, on this rainy morning in Toronto, heartily declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In full voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that. Much LOVE!

…with God on our side…we should be afraid of nothing…    

P.S. Oh friends, sorry the Bit is so late, I never got to finish it at the hospital and I’m just getting home. It’s just been one of those days. Hope it makes some kind of sense. (smile) Much Love!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2018 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Happy First Day of Spring friends! Yes, today is the official first day of spring, and what a gorgeous day it is in my neighbourhood! So it’s somewhat chilly…so what? Once the sun and SON are shining brightly, it doesn’t matter what else is happening. And besides, from now on, the weather picture is all heads up, no tails! (smile) 

Spring has finally been sprung from its winter lair! Thank God for His awesome mercy! Soon there will be no more snow and heavy winter clothing to put on and cart around…Thank the Lord again! 

And on a point of interest, it seems as though one of these self-driving cars we’re touting so much and are so quickly trying to build, has killed a woman in Arizona trying to cross the road. Ah Lord eh! Why are we in such a hurry to replace ourselves and make us extinct eh? 

Everything we’re working on is autonomous; self-driving cars and trucks, self-flying planes, not to talk about robots taking over most of the functions that humans are supposed to do. Can’t we see that God’s greatest creation is foolishly trying to kill itself off either through horrible collisions, or just through laziness and having nothing to do? 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m NOT going in any car that doesn’t have a driver at the wheel, or a plane that has no pilot at the controls! I’ll take my chances with people, not with artificial intelligence. End of sermon! (smile)  

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to change our mood and lift our spirits this glorious Tuesday. The title simply says ‘It’s Good.’  

Please pray with me. ‘God, it’s good to be LOVED by You! The breathtaking knowledge Of Your life-giving LOVE Rings chimes in my tremulous heart. It fashions eternal declarations Out of unsettled questions. It creates a majestic life symphony From a solitary note. GOD IT’S GOOD TO BE LOVED BY YOU!’ 

And is it ever? If you don’t know the LOVE of God, then you’re missing the best part of life. For without His awesome and amazing LOVE percolating in our souls, and bodies, we’re nothing but another wild animal without any sense of purpose or reason. And that’s why our world is in such a mess; the LOVE of God is absent from too many of our lives! 

That brings us to our Bit, the Bible verse associated with the poem above. It’s taken from Psalm 89 – A Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite declaring ‘God’s sure promises to David. And it joyfully proclaims: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 

For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.   Selah.’ (Ps.89:1-4) 

And that is exactly what the Lord has done! He has established the kingdom of Jesus, Bruh David’s descendant, and by His great mercy and LOVE, we are a part of that awesome gathering. Glory to God my brethren! For without His faithfulness, we’d still be living under the sinful law of man, and not God’s unconditional LOVE. Bless His holy name for all of His goodness to us my people! 

No wonder, Ethan, the psalmist continues in such glowing terms: ‘And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 

Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab (Egypt) in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them.’ (Ps.89:5-11) 

Yes friends, on this first day of spring, I believe it’s only wise that we begin spring-cleaning in our hearts and souls. Let’s throw out all the old, false winter stuff and renew our minds with the wonderful LOVE of God that He has shed abroad for our eternal benefit. That’s wisdom personified! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In unison and harmony now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the next move is for us to actually go out and share that amazing LOVE of our friend Jesus with those who don’t know about it, or Him! Let’s make known His faithfulness to all generations. Happy LOVE sharing! Much LOVE!

…blessed are those…who sincerely share Jesus’ gospel of peace and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2018 2 Peter 3:18.

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.

And then it was a snowy Tuesday morning…not a whole lot of the white stuff, but certainly sufficient to cover everything and remind us that it’s still winter. Yeh, though we’ve been having some fairly mild temps recently, Ole Man Winter thought it necessary to remind us that spring has not yet sprung. (smile) 

And talking about winter; they say things happens in threes, and in the case of the North Eastern U.S. they are probably right, because for the third time in two weeks another winter storm is bludgeoning the area. Ah Lord eh! 

Let’s pray for them friends, and do whatever we can to help them otherwise, even if it’s just calling or texting or somehow communicating with those in the affected areas to find out how they are doing. For we never know when we’ll be affected by some disaster and need their help. 

And today I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that points out some of the trauma and drama in our spiritual growth. It’s titled, ‘Worth the Waiting.’ 

Please read with me: ‘Growing spiritually is such a long, slow process! It’s painful too. Every day at the turn of the road I become acquainted with new pitfalls and heartaches. Sometimes the pain backs me into a corner. For example: There is a woman I know who is so sarcastic, so curt and unkind. Am I ever excused? Is forgiveness always a part of my growth? 

So often I feel like a spiritual midget while my husband and friends appear to be spiritual giants. I seem to shrink in my own home. Another thing: I confess I’m a coward about pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain. The pain of loneliness, the pain of grief. Yet, again and again it is true. 

What I must learn in my pain is that it’s leading to something positive, something beyond what I can see in the present darkness. I do want to grow! I want to become more and more like Jesus. Even though it takes so long, surely it is worth the waiting.’ 

And it is indeed worth the waiting my fellow believers! Oh my brethren, growing in anything at all takes time and can be an arduous process, but like it is with Jesus, the end will all be worth it. And I know many of us want to grow spiritually but are having a hard time wading through all the stuff that it entails. 

But take heart, everything we go through in being recreated in the image of Jesus has a purpose. God never throws away anything in our lives, even the negative, painful stuff, He always puts them to good, positive use. That’s why Bruh Paul writes this very reassuring scripture in the word: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if we LOVE God and are called to do His work, then everything will work out good eventually. It’s God’s promise, and as a faithful believer, you are expected to accept it…without a grain of salt. (smile) And the Bible Promise for the reading above is also our Bit for today. But before we get to it, let’s hear what Peter says to the early believers who were living in the hope of the Lord’s coming. 

‘Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before (beforehand)…’ And he’s talking about the Lord’s Second Coming and how we’re looking for a new heaven, and all the stuff that Bruh Paul has written, some of which is hard to do. (2 Pet. 3:1-16) 

‘…beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.’ (2 Pet. 3:17-18). 

Oh my people, Christianity is indeed a beautiful faith; the most beautiful, but it is also time consuming and calls for a lot of effort and sacrifice! But it’s all worth it! As the scholars explain: ‘Peter urges his readers to look beyond the present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.’ 

And so should we be looking forward to coming in glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Remember this earth is not our home; we are merely strangers and sojourners here. Heaven is our real home. We should therefore look forward to it. 

But to do that we have to be strong and steadfast, like Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians in talking about the new life in Christ. ‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby thy lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up to him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.’ (Eph.4:14-15) 

Oh friends, to grow spiritually means we must stop being childlike and put in the effort to grow in all aspects of Christian living. And if we do so sincerely, God will give us the grace we need to become more like Christ, each and every day. 

Now let’s go home telling the world who and whose we are. Let’s shout out our Tuesday Mantra as though we really mean it. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those things in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…‘Christian maturity is attained in part…by thorough instruction…in sound doctrine…given in a LOVING manner…’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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