Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2015 Hebrews 11:1

Hebrews 11:1.  Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

Aye Friends, can you believe it’s Wednesday already? Wow! Our workweek is almost done… Glory to God! 

And I do hope that you were all bright eyed and bushy tailed when you arose this morning. Sorry to say that ole fella was not. I had a rather rude awakening with cramps in both calves that forced me to get up. But thankfully they never lasted long. 

I guess it was just the Lord’s way of getting my attention, since it was the agreed time for me to get up, and I really didn’t want to. He can certainly move in mysterious and devious ways when He is ready. (smile) 

And then when I heard the garbage truck in the area, knowing that I had not even collected the stuff in the house, much less put it out on the curb, I dragged myself to get it done, all the time obstructed by the bag and tubing of my I.V. 

Praise the Lord though that it is supposed to come out today! I couldn’t handle the inconvenience and scratching around the needle in my hand for even one more day. And that’s my story of woe for today! (smile) 

Oh…and since it is Wednesday, that means it’s wailing time. So let’s wail nuh, with sincerity and passion. ‘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 yes my people, the road lies straight ahead to a glorious future with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God! What a wonderful opportunity it is to be linked up with Jesus! I don’t understand how so many people refuse it, and some even give it up nuh. 

To me that’s the height of stupidity, because there’s nothing in this ungodly, and evil world that even comes close to the salvation and satisfaction promised by Christ. I guess they don’t have the parts, the patience, the wisdom or the faith to trust their lives to their Creator. 

And on that point, here is a li’l poem from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from the Hour of Power Devotional on that powerful and ever so important topic of ‘FAITH.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I believe in the sun, even when it is behind the clouds; in the seed, even when it lies unsprouted under the ground; in faith, even when I have been betrayed; in LOVE, even when I have been rejected; in hope, even when I have been hurt; in God, even when you do not answer my prayers. Amen.’ 

Ah mih breddren , that’s what it means to have faith! That even when we can’t see any movement in the natural, we still know and believe spiritually, that our amazing, gracious and most merciful God is still working behind the scenes on our behalf! That definitely deserves another ‘Glory to God!’ (smile) 

And since we’re talking about faith, I guess the most appropriate Bit for today would be this explanation from Hebrews. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ 

And the scholars offer this extensive explanation on the subject. ’11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. 

First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usage, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament (cf. 3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. 

The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah Friends, it’s a long and somewhat involved explanation, but if you take your time and read it, I’m sure you’ll understand what the scholars are trying to say. 

In a nutshell, faith is a spiritual reality that causes us to have hope in Jesus Christ, both in the here and now and in the future! It’s what keeps us going when in the natural things don’t seem to be going or turning out the way we desire. 

However, because of that faith and trust in the promises of Jesus, we KNOW that He is on the case, working things out for our good, to fall into line with the good plan He has for each and every one of our lives. And we certainly can’t ask for more than that! 

So today, please, I implore us to get with the programme; to ramp up our faith and trust in our Saviour. Would He have sacrificed His holy and sinless life, if He didn’t truly LOVE and care for us? I very much doubt it. So now it’s our turn to show our gratitude and faith in the good news of His message. That is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…faith is simply…trust and LOVE…in action…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2015 Psalm 149:1

Psalm 149:1.  Praise ye (shout Hallelujah to) the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Oh Friends, another beautiful and glorious day of God’s making has been gifted to us! Wow! So let’s show some thanks and gratitude by saying it loud and proud nuh. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL, we SHALL rejoice and be glad in it.’ 

Oh Glory to God my people! For He is so faithful and true to us, filling our lives with all sorts of good things like peace and joy, mercy, grace, forgiveness and prosperity! Oh aren’t you just ecstatic to be a Christian with a leader like Jesus Christ? You should be. I surely am! 

The problem though is that until you give your life in complete and total surrender to Christ, you won’t be truly able to appreciate and enjoy the wondrous work He does in a believer’s life. 

Oh my people, our Jesus is so awesome that although I know it and experience it on a regular basis, He still surprises me most days with some of the unexpected things He does to enlighten and enliven my days on this earth. 

Please understand one very important thing though; working for Jesus is not all wine, roses and song, because He expects diligence, discipline, obedience and excellence from His followers, and also puts us through the fire to test us, and eventually forge us into a beautiful replica of Himself. 

But believe me Friends, going through the fire is worth it; the good times certainly outweigh the bad. And the benefits of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven until forever… oh what could be better than that eh? NOTHING my brethren, absolutely NOTHING! 

And those are only the long-term benefits. There are lots more short term wonders to experience down here on earth, like mercy, grace and forgiveness, when we walk obedient to God’s calling. Glory Hallelujah! 

And since today is Wednesday, it means that Wailing Time is here. (smile) So let’s wail nuh mih breddren, let’s wail with hungry hope and expectant faith. As one wailer now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you are a true believer, that is exactly where your focus should be; on our glorious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

And since this seems to be a morning of praise, let’s do it right nuh and declare our Bit in loud and faithful voice. ‘Praise ye (shout Hallelujah to) the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.’ 

Yes Friends, singing praises to our wonderful God is indeed something we ought to do on a regular basis! Many of us don’t, but we should take the psalmist’s wise advice, as he continues. ‘Let Israel rejoice in him that made him (their maker); let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek (humble) with salvation.’ (Ps.149:2-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, what true and faithful and precious words! The Lord certainly takes pleasure in His people; there’s absolutely no doubt about that, as so many of us can testify to. And believe me, when the Lord is on our side… nothing can harm or trouble us, for we have these two great scriptures filled with God’s promises to hold on to. 

The first one comes from Isaiah, as he talks about the Lord’s everlasting LOVE for Israel. ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is.54:17) 

And Friends, if those promises didn’t touch your souls, then listen to this one from Bruh Paul to the Romans, one we all know and LOVE! ‘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. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:28-29) Mama mia mih people! 

Oh Friends, if we are called to God’s divine purpose, and we LOVE Him as we ought to, you can be guaranteed that He is working EVERYTHING out for your good! It might not seem so when the fiery trials and temptations hit us, but just remember that God is faithful and has not ever, nor will He ever renege on a promise! Glory to God! 

What can be better than bringing us into His family fold and making us true brethren with His first-born Son Jesus eh? Again we have to say, NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, my brethren! 

Now let’s go home with these wonderful words of praise from Psalm 33. ‘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 and an instrument of ten strings. 

Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (a shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5) 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘Praise the Lord! Glory Hallelujah! Bless His Holy Name. Amen!’ 

Yes Friends, let’s go out today rejoicing in the LOVE, the goodness, the grace, mercy and forgiveness of our Lord God Jehovah, for He is indeed worthy of our praise and thanks! Much LOVE!

…praise him, praise Him…glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…yes He is LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, welcome to a beautiful morning in this part of God’s great universe! And it’s Wednesday morning too, which means that it’s Wailing Time! Yes my people, it’s time to wail our Wednesday Wail. So let’s wail on them nuh, let’s wail down the place. (smile)

As one set of harmonic wailers, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of live 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!’

Ah mih breddren, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be alive, though our world is more than a bit topsy turvy! But when we have the Creator of the universe as our God and heavenly Father, our guide and protector, there’s absolutely nothing to fear! Glory be!

Remember these wonderful inspiring and uplifting words of Bruh David from Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) And the answer to those questions is simply, NOBODY!

But then, just in case the situation does arise, Bruh David faithfully declares: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4) Strong words of faith my people.

Then dwell on these reassuring words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) The death of the body is not the end of life, and the only person with power to destroy both body and soul my Friends is Almighty God!

So He is the ONLY Being we ought to fear. And if we have a personal relationship with Him, then our fear should not be as someone scared, for we can come to Him at any time with confidence and courage, but a respect and reverence for His awesome power and incredible magnanimity.

And that’s shown to full effect by the words of our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Oh my people, my people, I certainly don’t understand how anyone can turn away from such a wonderful Deity, for even a little common sense should tell us that’s where our bread is truly buttered, not with the untrustworthy things and evildoers of the world. Now let’s continue looking at scriptures that deal with the truly wonderful blessing of grace.

And we’ll begin with Bruh Paul’s words to the Galatians, when he explained how he came to be an apostle. ‘But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (Gentiles); immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.’ (Gal.1:15-17)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:15-16. Since Paul’s conversion to Christianity was due to God and not man, and since he did not consult with men subsequent to his conversion, then the apostle could not have received the gospel from any but the Lord. To reveal his Son in (to) me: The divine disclosure to man of the person and work of Christ is the essence of the gospel.’

‘1:17. Following his Damascus road conversion Paul made no trip to Jerusalem, where the apostles were, but spent approximately three years in Arabia. It is implied that he conferred with God there. During these three years he was not taught by men.’

But by the grace of God, Friends! How else could he divine all the heavenly stuff that he divined eh? Our God works in so many different ways that it’s nothing but amazing!

And to Timothy, when exhorting him to endurance, Bruh Paul declares: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God;

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time). But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (2 Tim.1:8-10)

And the scholars’ tell us: ‘1:8-10. The testimony of our Lord refers to the gospel Paul preached. Me his prisoner indicates that although Paul is actually a prisoner in a dungeon cell in the city of Rome, he regards himself there in the directive will of God. Hence he is really God’s prisoner, and Rome is merely God’s agent to put him where God wants him.

Who hath saved us refers to the ultimate effect: our salvation. And called us with a holy calling looks at the means by which our salvation was effected. His own purpose and grace…was given us indicates that our salvation was totally unmerited.

Abolished death (“having rendered death ineffective”): By His vicarious death, Christ reversed the curse of sin and brought life (eternal union of the soul with God) and immortality (“incorruption”) which is guaranteed by His resurrection.’

Ah Friends, I know it does seem like a lot of heavy stuff, but we need to understand the Good Book as best we can, so that we can make worthwhile decisions and thus live righteous lives.

Now we’ll end today’s message with these well know words from Hebrews. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16)

Now those are definitely words of awesome heavenly wisdom, so please my people, let’s put them into action in our lives today, and every day that we draw the Lord’s breath of life. Much LOVE!

…this earthly Christian life is nothing but grace…God’s free gift of grace…grace upon grace…so that we can have a beautiful eternal relationship with Him…