Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2017 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Eight days friends, eight long days to Christmas Day! And can you imagine the loud voices raised in glorious  song, in praise and worship all over the world as that day draws nigh, and we gather in the Lord’s house this and next Sunday to fellowship with joy and gladness! And when you add heaven’s rejoicing with their own songs of praise and worship, what a joyful cacophony of harmonious singing there will be in the universe! (smile) 

So let’s not waste any time in joining that awesome choir of celebration, let’s declare our own joy by offering up our rendition of the old but much beloved hymn, ‘Hark the herald angels sing,’ written by Charles Wesley in the early 18th century. With much pomp and pride and heartfelt sincerity, let’s open up our mouths, and with sacrificial praise let the world know how glad and grateful we are for Jesus’ birth.  

In perfect harmony now: ‘Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”) Christ, by highest Heav’n adored; Christ the everlasting Lord; Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. (Refrain) 

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. (Refrain) Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head. Now display Thy saving pow’r, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine. (Refrain) 

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy LOVE. Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: Oh, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart. (Refrain).’

Ah friends, how beautiful it is to give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father! Nothing moves our heart like that. And it also moves the Father’s heart when He sees the outpouring of real LOVE from the very depths of our hearts towards Him, not just us spouting inane platitudes to try and win His attention. That’s why it’s ever so important to have right motives in our hearts at all times my brethren. 

Remember what the Lord said to Samuel in our Bit when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can carry on with all sorts of righteousness and holiness in public, like the Pharisees did, but if our heart isn’t right, then the Lord will simply ignore us. And unfortunately, in this current version of our society, outward appearance is a very big factor in how we react to and treat each other. That’s why there are so many outwardly good-looking ungodly, incompetent, simple-minded and evil people in our world today. Oh we can certainly put on a good outward show, be kind and generous and all that, but when the Lord checks us out and realizes that we’re only doing it just for our personal benefit, He’s simply going to cut us off at the knees. 

And a very good example of that is Jesus’ position on the offering of a poor widow and that of the rich folks. ‘And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites (small copper coins), which make a farthing.  And he (Jesus) called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance (surplus); but she of her want (out of her poverty) did cast in all that she had, even all her living (her whole livelihood).’ (Mark 12:42-44) 

Yeh friends, in the Lord’s eyes, it’s not always about how much you give, but more often what sacrifice you make to give whatever it is. If we have plenty, we can always give plenty. But it’s when we don’t have plenty, then we see the true nature of our hearts. As the scholars say: ‘12:43-44. God does not measure giving by conventional human standards.’ And that’s gospel truth! 

Thus friends, it’s ever so important for us have the kind of heart that the Lord approves of, and the best way to get that is by going to Him in sincere prayer and asking for His help, like Bruh David did at the end of Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. He humbly pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (test) me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Yes my people, that’s the best way to acquire a right heart…go directly to the Father! Much LOVE!

…a man whose heart is not right…will not find favour with the Lord…

 

 

Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

And as the days of Advent, the preparatory period before Christ’s birth advances, and the Christmas season intensifies, LOVE and joy, peace and goodwill fill the air! Wow! And I naively wonder, why can’t it be like that all year round eh? But I guess that’s just asking too much of our sinful secular society. A few days, once a year is all they seem to be able to spare. But we’ll take it and just keep working to get more. 

And as we gather in the sanctuary this Sunday, to worship and fellowship and give thanks, let’s burst out with a most worthy song, one of the all-time favourites of the Christmas season, ‘O come all ye faithful.’  In true Christmas spirit, let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven too with harmonious sacrificial praise from our joyful lips and hearts. 

‘O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, Come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of angels; ( Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.)  True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal, Lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb; Son of the Father, begotten, not created; (Chorus)  Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest; (Chorus)  

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze; We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps; (Chorus)  Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, We would embrace Thee, with love and awe; Who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly? (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be glory given; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

Ah friends, what a beautiful and grateful way to praise our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for all that’s He’s done, is still doing and will do for us in the future. Praise His Holy Name. He is the reason why we have hope for the future, faith in salvation and joy in the promise of eternal life! All the more reason to LOVE and adore Him! Not to despise and cast aspersions and try to remove Him from our society. 

But I guess there will always be doubters and evildoers, so it’s up to us believers to raise His profile and make His LOVE Revolution a success. For we are His ears, arms, mouths, legs, and hands in the world, His ambassadors, His disciples, and as we go, so will His movement, His church. Some parts of it are thriving, who knows why, but most are finding it difficult to survive, and many are even closing. 

That’s not a very good vibe my people, and means that we’re not doing as good a job as we should. Christ is not being reflected in us as fully as He should be. That’s why we need to take the wise advice in our Bit, from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s almost dawn, Jesus will soon be coming back, and right now our efforts are sadly lacking, so we need to improve dramatically. As Bruh Paul continues to the Roman church: ‘Let us walk honestly (properly), as in the day; not in rioting (revelry) and drunkenness, not in chambering (licentiousness) and wantonness (lewdness), not in strife and envying.’ (Rom.13:13) 

And it’s no secret friends that too many of us so-called Christians are deeply involved in too much of those worldly improprieties. We need to stop the hypocrisy; narrow the gulf between the Christian stuff we mouth, and the worldly trail we walk. As Bruh Paul warns: ‘But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ (Rom.13:14) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re that verse. ‘13:14. Make not provision for the flesh: One should not seek opportunities to satisfy deep-seated desires of the sin nature, but should seek occasion to manifest works that are consistent with the new life in Christ.’  

And that’s all Christ is asking of us yes friends: if you claim to believe in Him, then please live the way He desires you to live. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because we don’t have the capacity for that, but He does expect us to be excellent and diligent in doing His work, like He was excellent and diligent in doing the Father’s work here on earth. When we don’t walk our talk, we just cause others to bad-mouth our Saviour and further demean His reputation, thus playing into the hands of the workers of iniquity. 

Therefore my faithful brethren, let’s do like Bruh Paul suggests to the Ephesians nuh. ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them). For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.’ (Eph.5:11-14) 

Oh friends, if we sincerely want to help the cause of Jesus, then we have to stop indulging in those sins that we know are ‘unfruitful works of darkness,’ sins of the unsaved, and instead expose them, bring them into the light, show them for the wrongdoings  that they are. It’s time friends, time for less talk and more action, time to throw off the cloak of darkness and put on the mantle of light that Jesus offers. That’s the ONLY way our world will ever improve. Much LOVE!

…Christians…oh Christians…where is your light that’s supposed to shine in the darkness…to light up the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2017 Isaiah 2:8.

Isaiah 2:8.   Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their fingers have made.

And behold friends, it’s a bright and sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! But it’s cold! And that’s the big difference between the light of the Sun and the light of the Son. 

The light of the sun can be so intense, you can’t even look at it without eye protection, but at the same time, depending on what part of the world you are, in certain seasons, there is no warmth in its brilliance. 

The light of the Son though is an entirely different story: His light is ALWAYS warm and comforting, regardless of where you are in this great big world! It could be in the mind-numbing cold of the Arctic or Antarctica, or the excessive heat of the Equator; Jesus is, and will forever be a warm, shining light that you can look at without eye protection. 

And all of God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh, so even though the workingman has bright sunshine in which to declare his anthem today, he still has to be bundled up to do so. 

And it doesn’t stop him, as he vociferously declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and another week of slavery done! And I don’t understand it nuh; the slave master could be so evil and unkind, even as he claims to be a man of God. He want to fire me because I refuse to work overtime on the weekend. Steups! 

But what he expect eh? The weekend is the one li’l time I have off to do my business, and he expect me to give it up for the few lousy cents he want to pay me. Chuh pool! But not to worry, I going to enjoy my weekend, eat drink and be merry, and some way, get my pound of flesh from that ole crook, who call himself a Christian! Hn! That’s why I have to say thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And right there we have one of the problems that exist in our Christian faith; supposed Christians behaving in an un-Christian-like manner. Now we don’t have to give in to all the requests of our employees, but we do have to treat them in a fair and Christian manner, otherwise that’s the conception they develop of us; an hypocritical one, and rightly so. 

And talking about being unfair and unkind, listen to this scenario. You all know the Republican Party in the U.S is trying to pass a very bad Tax Bill, very much weighted in favour of the already rich, but one element of that Bill is supposedly removing the provision of deductions for loss of property from things like wildfires and earthquakes. Hn! 

Can you imagine the devastating effect that will have on those people in California who have already been through wildfires earlier on in the year, and those who are currently undergoing the tremendous calamity of the now raging, out of control fires in that State? 

No wonder we say that man’s inhumanity to man, makes countless thousands mourn. In this case though, it will be more like countless millions. Let’s hope wiser minds prevail, and that Tax Bill, or at least that provision does not get passed. Let’s pray on it please friends. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which is a tad more spiritual than the workingman’s song. (smile) All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s more in tune with our Christian heritage; seeking God’s will rather than ours. That brings us to a rather appropriate Bit, where Isaiah talks about the day of the Lord, His judgement on the proud. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their fingers have made.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? In this sinful and secular society today, we worship the things we have made, running behind the wealth and other foolish trappings of the world, instead of seeking God and His awesome righteousness. In fact we’re trying our hardest to remove God completely from our society. 

How foolish is that eh? How can you remove the One who created you? And how can you worship something that you have made with your own hands eh; something that has no life or power? 

As the psalmist so wisely and rightly puts it in Psalm 115 – Trust in God, not in idols. ‘Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.’ (Ps.115:4-8)  

That says it all friends! Why worship the inanimate objects that you yourself have made eh? That makes absolutely no sense. What makes sense is to do as the psalmist says afterwards. ‘O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.’ (Ps.115:9) 

And with those words of awesome wisdom, we’ll close today. Please, my brethren, let’s take them to heart and follow them nuh, for they will be exceedingly beneficial to us. Much LOVE!

…what’s the use of worshipping idols…if they have no power to do anything for you…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

Ah yes friends, we’ve finally progressed to the magical day called Friday… And the workingman will most definitely remind us of that fact as he vociferously declares his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and slaving finish for this week! The next couple days is mih own to do with exactly as I please. And brother, yuh better believe I’m going to do just that! 

Wow! I’m going to eat down the place, if I want to; drink up mih liquor until ah black up and tumbling down; party like there was no tomorrow, and just thumb mih nose at the massa till Monday morning roll around again. Whew! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes, otherwise I’d just go crazy with this slave labour and a pittance for pay!’ 

Unfortunately my brethren, the ordinary workingman is finding it increasingly difficult to make a decent living in this prosperous world through the greed, incompetence and inhumane behaviour of those who own and control the means of livelihood. And sometimes you can’t really blame him when he goes overboard because the rampant injustice and strife in our society is more than enough to drive a body crazy. 

Luckily for us, we belong to the Christian faith, where our Leader Jesus Christ applies boundaries to our behaviour, so we don’t go overboard and fall into the tempter’s grasp. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it out now nuh, and thus give us the better picture of how believers ought to handle the weekend situation. 

In chorus now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we ought to put Christ first and get ourselves ready for another week of work, rather than add insult to injury by beating down our bodies even further and giving the enemy control of our lives. And for all of our blessings and good tidings, we have to thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as our Bit says: 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

And today we are going to delve a li’l deeper into verses 16-17 of Col.1, where Bruh Paul talks about the pre-eminence of Christ, to help us understand the full significance of our Bit. ‘For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things are created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist.’ (Col.1:16-17) 

The scholars then explain thus: ‘1:16. This verse provides the reason Christ is called the “first-born” in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this: Since by him were all things created, then, (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones…dominions…principalities…powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Eph.1:21; 3:10). 

“Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers; “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these heavenly beings reign; “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who wield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them. 

Striking a blow at the Colossian heresy advocating angel worship (2:18), this text forbids Christians to pay homage to angels or other heavenly beings created by God.’  And re ‘1:17. By him all things consist: That is by Him all things are held together; Christ now preserves all that He made in Creation.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ made it all, and now holds His creation together, as He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. So let’s remember that and thus keep everything in its proper perspective: Christ is Creator, Lord and Saviour, and the ONLY ONE deserving of worship and exaltation, not angels or any other beings He has made. 

Tomorrow we will touch some more on the angel situation, but for today, let’s ponder what we’ve said and keep believing, keep studying the Word and living it out successfully in this evil world, in Jesus name, I pray. Much LOVE!

…to whom eventually shall all knees bow…and all lips declare His awesome glory…JESUS…

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 21 November 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Welcome to a bright and beautiful brand new day in God’s miraculous universe my people! There has never been another day like it… and will never be another like it either! 

That’s because our God makes each day new and fresh every morning, no left overs from yesterday, providing it with new mercies, forgiveness, LOVE, grace, strength, confidence… in fact all the things we need to see it through successfully. 

As Jesus would say, giving us our daily bread, lacking nothing to live a joyful life and do His will. What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! 

But friends, before we can enjoy all those things that our Lord and Saviour wants us to enjoy, as well as do His will successfully, we have to do ONE thing first – what our Bit says: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

That’s the invaluable key to opening the vault of God’s storehouse! We have to begin thinking like God thinks and not like the world thinks. And why is that you ask? 

Because as James prognosticates: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself the enemy of God).’ (James 4:4)  

In other words friends, in plain and simple language, one cannot LOVE God and the world at the same time! But that doesn’t stop some of us from trying though by trying to balance on the proverbial fence. (smile) 

But as Jesus so rightly proclaimed: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye CANNOT serve God and mammon (riches of the world).’ (Matt.5:24) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘6:24. This kind of spiritual double vision causes one to believe he can serve two masters. Total loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and loyalty to one’s material possessions. A master (Gr. kurios) is a lord or an owner. That God claims total lordship over His own is obvious in this passage. 

Therefore, Jesus rightly proclaimed; Ye cannot serve God and mammon. The term mammon is derived from the Aramaic term for possessions or wealth. Jesus is not condemning money or possessions in and of themselves, but the improper attitude of enslavement toward wealth.’  

But with the increasingly rough economic times, where people are desperately trying to make two ends meet, a lot of believers are focused on their wealth and possession situation, rather than their situation with God. It’s also difficult to focus on God when the world is constantly bombarding us with its supposedly glorious stuff. 

However friends, again, we have to remember the faithful words and promise of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) As believers, those words should always be uppermost in our minds. And if they are, then we WILL be able to focus on God and blot out the world and all its superficial riches. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely advises us in Proverbs: ‘Labour not to be rich (do not overwork): cease from (because of) thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not (will you cause your eyes to fly on it, and it is not)? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5) 

Gospel truth my brethren, gospel truth! For stories abound of the many who were wealthy and famous one day, then the next they were poorer than a church mouse! (smile) And it does say something about our society and our faith when poverty is equated with the lot of a mouse in the church. 

The church mouse should really be the richest of the lot – that is, if all God’s people were giving as generously to His church as they should. The sad reality though is that a lot of churches are struggling because God’s people aren’t giving like He desires; tithing and making His house a storeroom of plenty to share with the numerous unfortunates in our prosperous society. 

Anyway my people, enough badgering for today. (smile) But I do hope that what we’ve said does make a strong impression on all of us believers, and helps us to live successfully under God’s safe umbrella in this evil and sinful world. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. 

In sincerity and truth 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 corollary to that is, let’s now go out and share the undying and eternal LOVE of Jesus with others who desperately need it. Much LOVE!

…it all begins…and ends…in the mind…

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but I just got tied up in some unforeseen affairs of life. (smile) But better late than never! Much LOVE!

 

 

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…



Previous Older Entries