Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  

Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ 

Chuhhh! How sad, that I will no longer be writing to you from the balcony of my little bungalow in the Sugar Mill Suites of Lowlands, overlooking the lush greenery, and the well kept golf course on God’s Little Acre.
 
Yes my people, the ole fella’s rather short sojourn in Paradise will end today. Steups! Ah Lord eh! The next time you hear from me, God willing, will most likely be from the cold, snowy North Country. And I just heard that there’s been a big, beautiful snowfall, just in time for my return. All praise and glory be to God Almighty! Well what else can a good Christian person say eh? (smile) 
 
But Friends, please note that my absence from Paradise will only be for a short period of time, obviously providing it’s the Lord’s will. And since we all know that where there’s life, there’s always hope, and since I still have some life left in me, I won’t give up, I won’t stop hoping and praying that I can return to sweet Tobago some time soon.
 
And if this just happens to be my swansong, then it was a great one. Mama Mia!
 
And as regards memories… Oh my people, I made a couple of dandy ones yesterday! Around lunch time, I visited one of my mother’s oldest and dearest friends living in Scarborough, Diana Plante.  And was I ever surprised to see how frail and weak she has become, for unfortunately she’s now sick with spinal problems and can’t get around much on her own.
 
She’s now a shadow of the tall, beautiful, buxom woman I once knew, who along with Mols, my mother, at one stage, were the hottest numbers in Scarborough. But as they so rightly say; after one time is certainly two. Now Mols has gone over to the other side, to the great palace in the sky, leaving Di here to suffer the painful afflictions of human existence. 
 
But thankfully, despite the physical ailments, Di’s mind, spirit and faith are all still strong, and that’s a wonderful thing! But nonetheless Friends, please, let’s remember her in our prayers. Let’s pray for her to be comforted in her time of need, for we never truly know what others are going through just from their outward demeanour and behaviour.
 
And there’s absolutely nothing in this world as powerful as prayer power!
 
I made one other good and significant memory yesterday; in the late afternoon, meeting, for the first time ever, one of my nieces, a doctor here on the island. And though we had a long and excellent visit, I was appalled by some of the negative things she recounted about the Health System in T&T in general, and in Tobago, in particular. Although Health Care is basically free, it seems that the level of service and professionalism is sadly lacking.
 
Ah mih people, what to say eh? Not much, because it’s a world-wide phenomenon; the standards in ALL areas of life have fallen to such low levels that it boggles the imagination. And the sad fact is that they are continuing to fall. Hopefully though, we staunch, strong and steadfast believers in Jesus Christ will soon wake up and begin correcting it, for no one else will do it.
 
And those are the most memorable memories I made yesterday… Oh, oh, I almost forgot. I also had my last constitutional at Store Bay, which, despite its total commercialism, is still my favourite beach! Amen!
 
And now, here’s our Bit. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’
 
Oh my brethren, have you noticed how, over the last few days, the Lord has adroitly manoeuvred me to this most appropriate Bit, one dealing with blessings? I guess He’s just making sure that I am fully cognisant of the many blessings He’s showered down on me over the last three weeks. It truly wasn’t necessary though, for the blessings have been so plentiful, that even an atheist would have been forced to say ‘Thanks!’ (smile)
 
And I’m saying that now Lord: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ I know it’s insufficient, but that’s the very best our inferior mortal vocabulary allows.
 
And now Friends and fellow believers, let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s explanation to the Ephesians, re the spiritual blessings received through Christ, from verse 13.
 
‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of (down payment or deposit on) our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph.1:13-14)
 
Oh Friends, what beautiful, sweet sounding terms – trust, truth, gospel, salvation, believed, sealed, holy spirit, promise – all in one sentence! Wow! Then you have down payment, deposit, inheritance, redemption, purchase, praise and glory in the next. How priceless!
 
Now let’s hear the scholars’ take on those scriptures. ‘1:13. In whom ye also (or, “by whom also you”): The first person plural (we, us) in verses 3-12 refers to Jewish Christians. The second person plural (you) refers to Gentile Christians. This seems evident from 2:11-12 where the second person is explicitly applied to non-Jews. “Ye being in time past Gentiles… ye were… aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Compare 3:1, where Paul calls his readers, “you Gentiles.”
 
The apostle’s point in this “we-you” distinction is that all those spiritual blessings God has bestowed upon “us” Jewish Christians, He has also granted “you” Gentile brethren. There is no difference.
 
In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise may be read, “By whom also, when you believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” The Christian receives the Spirit, not “after,” but when He believes in Christ as Saviour. The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. In biblical times a seal denoted both identification and ownership and protection provided by the owner.’ 
 
And re ‘1:14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance means “who is the guarantee of our salvation.” The Holy Spirit is here called “the earnest of our inheritance.” The word ‘earnest’ means “down payment”; as such the gift of the Spirit is viewed as an installment or as part of our salvation. God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of His salvation is forthcoming.
 
How long is the believer assured of his salvation? Until the redemption of the purchased possession may be read, “until God glorifies and perfects the believer (the purchased possession) whom He has bought by Christ’s blood.”
 
And that’s it for today, and for that message! Please Friends let’s, as always, ponder the words we’ve read, then let them stimulate our hearts, minds and souls as we go out today to do Christ’s work.
 
And now I’m going out on to my balcony and watch the sun rise up above the Eastern horizon for the last time. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…oh what a friend…and saviour…we have in Jesus…our hopes and cares to bear…