Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 October 2021 John 14:16.

John 14:16.     And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide in you for ever. 

Another good-looking autumn day in my area! It’s so good when we wake up and see the sun shining along with the spiritual light that we get from Jesus. That just gives us a full house! (smile) So let’s hope that your house is also filled with light this Wednesday morning in the latter part of October, in this crazy year of 2021. And even if you don’t have physical sunlight, just remember that the light from Jesus is more than enough to quell all our darkness, all our fears and anxieties. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to this overwhelming story from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which I believe proves our point. It is titled ‘It Happened to Me.’ Please read with me: ‘It may be a question you’d rather not face. You’ve struggled with it for so long. A resentment perhaps, or a seething rebellion…or an ugly jealousy that keeps churning. There may be someone you haven’t forgiven, despite a whole string of resolutions. Day after day, in fact week after week, you live with no sense of fulfillment, no recharge of joy, no happy expectations. You long for a deeper understanding of God’s will for your life. 

Your heart feels empty, your soul feels weary. Do you wonder if there is a way out? If other Christians have found the secret? Oh yes! Assuredly YES! Let me tell you when! When they were desperate enough to trust the Holy Spirit to do what they could not do. When they were simple enough to trust God’s promise. “I will put my Spirit within you.” When they were willing enough to open their hearts and give it all over to God. Do you wonder why I am so joyfully sure? It happened to me!’ 

Oh friends, what a true and wonderful story! And I hope it soon happens to you if you are suffering from any of the frustrations and human limitations listed above. I can understand, because it also happened to me. But it’s oh so true that when you give it all up to the Holy Spirt, which is in you, if you are a Christian, then the load, whatever it is becomes bearable, because you don’t have to carry it all by yourself. 

Remember, the Lord promised this way back in the Old Testament to the children of Israel through the prophet Ezekiel, saying: ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh (take out your stony heart of sin, and give you a new, obedient heart). (Ezek. 36:26) 

And we know that the Lord keeps ALL of His promises, and after Jesus came, He kept that one. We know that on the first Pentecost day after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit descended upon the believers seated in the upper room in Jerusalem. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

The scholars explain: 2:2-3. On the Day of Pentecost God provided two symbols of the Spirit’s presence, the wind, which was associated by the Jews with the Spirit (Ezek. 37:9-14; John 3:8) , and the fiery tongues which divided and rested upon each one, showing that the Spirit’s baptism included ALL. The purpose here for the sign gift of tongues was not to make possible the hearing of the gospel but to seize the attention of all, so they would listen.’ And from that time forth, all those who believe and place their trust in Christ Jesus are imbued with the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and comfort them. 

Yes friends, those are some of the things the Holy Spirit of Christ is supposed to do in our lives, but as with everything else, we do have to LISTEN to Him, if we are to receive the benefits He has to offer. And that’s where so many believers fall down. We either don’t listen to the Spirit’s guidance, or we hear it and don’t follow it, then wonder why our lives are so miserable and muddled. 

Let’s remember some of Jesus words re the Holy Spirit nuh. First, He promised it. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide in you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive , because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:  but ye know him; for he dwelleth in you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) 

Yes my brethren, the Holy Spirit is another comforter, just like Jesus is and was. And unlike the Old Testament, where the Spirit occasionally fell on believers, after Jesus, He indwells ALL believers. He is a constant companion. That’s the Spirit of Jesus in us working on our behalf. And hear Jesus again on the Holy Spirit. ‘But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.’ (John 15:26-27) 

And this note from the scholars follow those verses. ‘15:26-27. The Comforter refers to the Advocate beside us as we bear witness to Christ (cf. 14:15-16) (which we spoke of earlier). The action of the word translated “proceedeth” is “in the process” – “continually proceeds.” The eternal procession of the Spirit means that He continually proceeds from beside, not out of the Father. If the Holy Spirit came out God, He would be less than God. To be more specific, the Holy Spirit not only proceeds from the Father, but also from the Son. 

This means the Father and the Son continually send the Holy Spirit. This in no way suggests the Spirit is less in deity than are the Father or Son. Instead it explains the relationship among the three eternal persons of the Trinity. Illustration: Just as Jesus came to do the will of the Father, so the Holy Spirit is sent to speak not of Himself, but of Christ (cf. 16:13) Application: In this sense the Holy Spirit is the Promise of the Father who has been given to every Christian (Acts 1:4: 2:39).’ 

In plain and simple everyday language, I like to say that the Holy Spirit is the work horse of the Holy Trinity! (smile) He actions the promises and intents of the Father and the Son. So friends, it’s ever important that we consider the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, if we claim to be believers in Christ Jesus. You can’t be a true believer without engaging with Him. So hopefully from now on, since we have a better understanding of what He’s all about, we will embrace Him more faithfully and consistently. 

Now, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Jesus Christ. Altogether 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 let’s not forget, that if we endure to the very end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…to live a full Christian life…one must engage wholeheartedly and faithfully with the Holy Spirit… 

P.S. Sorry the Bit’s so late, but you know…life happens. (smile) Much LOVE!                                                                                                       

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 October 2021 John 14:6.

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

And then it was Tuesday; another bright sunshiny, though somewhat chilly day in my area. But who cares what the physical day looks like eh, when we’ve got our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to brighten it up in all circumstances eh? Ah mih people, I do hope that we are realizing just how important Jesus is to us, especially in these dangerous and unprecedented times, for without Him, we don’t stand a chance of defeating the numerous problems that are currently facing us. 

He is the ONLY One who can bring us some sort of peace and comfort within the depths of the storm! He is the ONLY One who can help us to carry the back-breaking burdens so many of us bear! And He is the ONLY One who can offer us the free and marvellous gift of salvation, of resurrection from the dead and a glorious life with Him in heaven when our feeble and fragile earthly body returns to the dust from whence it originally came! So, bearing in mind all of that, how important is He to you eh? I hope your immediate and most emphatic answer is ‘Mucho, Mucho Importante!’ (smile) 

And if you claim to be one of His followers and He isn’t very important, or rather of the utmost importance in your life, then something is seriously wrong with your belief system. Please remember this conversation that Jesus had with the disciples. He told them: ‘And whither I go ye know (talking about His return to heaven), and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:4-6) 

And don’t forget this other attribute, when He said to the disbelieving Pharisees: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Therefore friends, if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light, how can anything or anybody be more important than Him in our lives eh? No way! Not if we are His sincere followers. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that certify that Jesus was indeed all those things He claimed, beginning with the Way. Before He came sins were paid for with animal sacrifices, and the high priest entered the holiest of holies once a year to offer prayers for himself and the people. But after Jesus was crucified and the veil was torn down that separated the holiest of the holies from the other parts of the temple, Jesus became the Way, the sacrifice, once and for ALL time for ALL sin! 

No more sacrificing of animals for forgiveness, or the high priest going into the holiest of holies once a year. Forgiveness and salvation were now accomplished through Christ! As Hebrews tells us: ‘Having therefore brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.’ (Heb. 10:19-20) Yes friends, Jesus is indeed ‘the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God.’ With Jesus seated at God’s right hand, we don’t need anybody else to intercede for us. We can personally go in His blessed name. 

And as per the Truth, John tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth… For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ (John 1: 14, 17) Yuh see that people, grace and truth only came with Jesus. before that there was only the law, which was abused by man for their own evil and selfish purposes. But grace and truth could not be used thus. 

And Jesus Himself claimed truth came from Him. Listen as he speaks to the Jews who believed on Him. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ (John 8:31-32) Oh people of God, only if we abide in the Word of Jesus can we ever know the truth, and nothing but the truth, for He is the truth, and if you don’t know Him, you won’t know truth! It’s not complicated at all. (smile) 

And furthermore, hear Jesus as He talks to Pilate. ‘Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest (rightly) that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.’ (John 18:37) That means, if you don’t know Jesus and hear His voice, then you don’t know the truth! 

And per the Life, listen to Jesus talk to Martha before He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. ‘Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:23-26) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘11:25. I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ Consequently friends, if you’re seeking eternal life, then you must go through Jesus, for that’s the only way to get it! (smile) 

And if you want to dispute about ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,’ then listen to these pertinent and most decisive scriptures. This one from Bruh Paul’s first letter to Timothy. ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:5-6) Jesus died at the right time, giving proof that God wanted all men to be saved. 

Now listen to Jesus as He spoke the parable about being the Good Shepherd and the people not understanding Him. (John 10:1-6) ‘Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:7-11) 

And that’s exactly what Christ did friends; He gave His life, as the Good Shepherd for us sinful sheep! And if we don’t appreciate it and consequently live for Him, then we’re only fooling ourselves and headed down the path of destruction and eternal separation from God. There’s no more that I can say to convince you of Jesus’ utmost importance in your life. 

However, for those of us who do believe and are trying to live a suitable life, then let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

That means we must now go out and share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do, because He is ever so essential in everyone’s life! Much LOVE!

…to put it simply…without Jesus…we are nothing…                                                                                                      

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 October 2021 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.     Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And since the universe unfurls exactly as its Creator programmed it to do, today is Monday! That’s what the printout says, and there is nothing we can do to change it, so we might as well just accept it and say, ‘the Lord be praised!’ (smile) Yes friends, we don’t have much, if any say in how the world turns, which means we had better learn to accept and be contented in whatever state we are in, allowing the Holy Spirit of Jesus to lead and guide us, knowing that in the end we will be well looked after by our heavenly Father, who has promised to work all things out for our good. 

And as Tim Sullivan says in the opening remarks of his sermon of how to abound and how to be abased, on the workerstogetherwithhim.org website. ‘To everything there is a season. Some seasons are of ease and others are of struggle. Life certainly has its ups and downs. But God desires that we know true contentment in all seasons, regardless of the circumstances that surround us.’ 

Now all of that is gospel truth, as Cousin Sol articulates as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) And the Lord expects believers to handle whatever comes against them in any and every season with zeal and panache, with style and flair. (smile) And it’s great if we can handle the ups and downs of life with equanimity, that’s a calm and composed manner, especially in the difficult times. It’s not an easy thing to do though. 

That brings us to the encouraging words of Bruh Paul in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when talking about his appreciation of their gift. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) And therein lies the Christian’s problem: being content does not come as naturally to us, as complaining does. (smile) We have to learn how to be content. And that takes a lot of learning in a lot of difficult situations. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation on that verse. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yuh better believe that friends, you can’t learn contentment in any classroom or in a short period of time. It’s only learned by going through the many hard knocks of life. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity. Every where and in all things I am instructed (or “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is “well-fed.” Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder.’ 

And to back up that statement, they quote the British Philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) ‘For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.’ And surprisingly that is very true. There are many who will withstand adversity better than prosperity. But here is the kicker, the engine power that makes the whole situation work. Bruh Paul’s proclamation: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil 4:13) All power and glory be to God, my fellow saints! 

Yes friends, that’s how we can abound and be abased and not lose hope and faith and trust in Almighty God! Now listen to the scholars: 4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various circumstances, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And that’s exactly what He does for every one of His children! God orders our steps, and He also gives us the wherewithal to handle them. That’s the kind of God He is, a fair, just, righteous and LOVING God! And the sooner we understand and appreciate that fact, the sooner we will make inroads into living the contented life. Now, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s seek His omnipotent help with the many problems we are currently experiencing. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and keep those promises we just made, so that the Lord can bless us and our land. Much LOVE!

…you can’t strong in ALL circumstances…unless the power of Christ is within you…                                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 October 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? 

A good Sunday morning to you my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! And am I ever so glad that you joined me for some praise, worship and thanksgiving on this the Lord’s Day. Now that is a must, as the Lord decreed to the Israelites when He handed down the Ten Commandments to them. Prominent amongst the directives was this: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And that’s what we are endeavouring to do this Sabbath Day. 

And as always, let’s begin with a song, a song of praise. Today’s song is a Contemporary Christian number ‘Give Me Jesus’ written by Fernando Ortega, but his version is too slow, (smile) whereas the live, more up-tempo version by Danny Gokey suits our purposes admirably. So let’s sing that song which shows how desperately we need Jesus, that it has us crying out to heaven for Him. And we better had be sincere, because He’s not only going to listen to our pleas and praise, but also check our hearts to see if what we’re singing is really true. 

Therefore, in soulful harmony, let sacrificial praise flow from our hearts and mouths …and don’t forget the sweet background vocals from the choir, and the majestic sound of the orchestra, for those are what raise the song to a higher level. (smile) ‘Ohhh ohhh, Give me Jesus… In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus. (Chorus: Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus.) When I am alone, Oh When I am alone, When I am alone, Give me Jesus. (Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. For He is all that I need. Just give me Jesus) 

When I come to die, Oh, When I come to die, When I come to die, Give me Jesus. (Ohhhh Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Oh it’s all I need, all I need is Jesus. So Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, You can have all this world, You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, He’s all I need. He’s all I need. 

Give me Jesus…in the morning when I rise…when I lay my head down… when I wake up, when I lay my head down, said I need him, said I need you… said I only want Jesus…when I wake up… Just give me Jesus. All I need is him. We worship you, we worship you, say we worship you Lord. You’re the answer to my prayers, you’re the calm in the storm, you’re my rest and my refuge…oh yeahhh… Just give me Jesus…’ 

Ah mih people, that was beautiful…and made even more so when the heavenly host joined us in offering sacrificial praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wow! What a magnificent person He is, when we call for Him in any and every situation. When we rise up, when we lie down, when we are alone, when we die… The only name we’re calling out is Jesus! 

Bruh Paul learned that lesson the hard way when Jesus accosted him on the road to Damascus to persecute the believers. He tells the story thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as I made my journey, and was come nigh (near) unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest.’ (Acts 22:6-8) 

And we all know how he was blinded by the light of Jesus and had to be led to Damascus where the Lord commanded one Ananias, a devout believer to go and heal his blindness. And despite the Lord’s command, even Ananias was afraid to go and confront Saul, such was his reputation for persecuting the brethren. But he perked up his courage and went and confronted him and returned his sight. And it’s interesting to hear some of the words that Ananias said to him. ‘And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.’ (Acts 22: 14-15) 

Two thousand years later, we are still relating that story, as Ananias promised. Bruh Paul also turned out to be a mighty witness for Christ, journeying all over the known world with the single-minded purpose of spreading the gospel, which seems to have been burned or branded into his psyche, into his soul and spirit. You can’t consider anything else when he says stuff like: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ (Rom. 1:16) 

And later on in the letter to the church at Rome, he confidently proclaims: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, not 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. 8:35, 38-39) 

Can you imagine all that from a man who encouraged the demise of Christians, even supposedly stood by and watched them being killed? And he eventually became so engrossed in Christ that he considered all his earlier accomplishments of no account. ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:7-8, 10) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul was very much into Christ. His zeal for Christ was amazing, more flaming that any of the other apostles. The scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:10. This verse may also be paraphrased: “In order that I may personally know Him, that I might both experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, and thus I will be more conformed to His death.” Paul wants “the righteousness…of God (vs.9) so that he can obtain a personal relationship with Jesus in actual day to day experiences. This knowledge of Christ is obtained by experiencing in daily problems, needs, ministry, and so forth, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. 

Knowing Christ also entails participating in His sufferings. Paul desires to share in the Lord’s sufferings because they bring him into a deeper and more meaningful relation with Him: companionship in sorrow establishes the most intimate and lasting of ties, as afflicted hearts cling to each other. The result of participating in Christ’s sufferings is that Paul is being made like Him in death. The word “death” has a double meaning here, including inward and outward, ethical and physical death. As Jesus died in regard to sin on the cross, so Paul is doing more and more in his daily life. As Jesus was bodily slain, so the apostle, should Caesar’s verdict go against him, is prepared to be slain.’ 

Awright, that was long, but I thought it necessary for us to get a better understanding of the scripture and Bruh Paul’s desires. Now we don’t need to become that zealous, though we must remember that suffering is a part of the Christian’s lot. But we do need to heed what he says later on: ‘this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Oh my fellow saints, we do need to put all our past glory and credentials aside and move forward to new ground, that of knowing Christ deeper with each passing day, so when we get to heaven, we will be greeted by Jesus with ‘Well done, oh thou good and faithful servant!’ Much LOVE!

…you can’t really know and appreciate Christ…without undergoing some pain and suffering…                                                                                                                 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 October 2021   2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.     For we walk by faith, not by sight:

Chuh! Another cloudy, damp day! Why can’t the sun shine better than it’s been doing recently eh? And one know-it-all shouts out: ‘Because that’s the way the Lord designed it brother!’ Awright, awright, I know that. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. And the brother went on to explain. ‘Remember, you can’t appreciate the sunshine without the rain; you can’t appreciate good without bad; you can’t appreciate Jesus without Satan. 

The Lord sent the light of Jesus to douse the darkness of Satan, so that we could have perpetual spiritual light, despite the outward physical lack of sunshine. And in fact, the light of Jesus permeates ALL darkness, so even when it’s dark outside, you still see light, Jesus’ light, shining through everything around you. Glory be my brother! Give thanks for the Light of Jesus!’ 

Okay, okay! I’ve been told! (smile) So let me get on with my Saturday job; that of putting the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week into some form of biblical thinking. And I do need the light of Jesus, to clearly see what I am doing, (smile) and His awesome help to guide my thinking. 

And the first quote advises: ‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.’ Now that’s very true. The first step is always the most important one! Even if you see the whole staircase, you can never make it to the top until you take that first step. And in living for Jesus that first step is ever so important, because it means surrendering your life, your will, your desires to an unknown entity. 

Giving up control of anything is difficult, especially if you don’t know, or can’t foresee what lies ahead. That’s why it’s often so hard for some people to come to Jesus, because He expects you to show some faith from the very beginning. And what is faith you ask? Simply put “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” (Heb 11:1) ‘With faith, you don’t have to see something to know it’s real.’ It all calls for belief and trust. As the Good Book expounds: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight:’ (2 Cor. 5:7) 

That means: ‘We must believe in the things we do not see. This is the test of true faith, and we will be rewarded in heaven.’ And the opening portion of an article on the subject on the womansday.com website wraps up that quote very nicely. ‘Faith is defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something, and when it comes to religion, faith is one of the cornerstones of your personal relationship with your spirituality.’ 

That segues right into the next quote: ‘Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.’ There again, it all revolves around faith, trust and surrender. As Jesus said: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) So, you must believe! And you can only believe, if you have faith! ‘God will grant you what you ask for in prayer. Once you will believe, he will.’ 

And Jesus was even more explicit when He told the disciples: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ (John 15:7) That means we need to keep Jesus’ words in our hearts and live them out in our lives if we expect to see His goodness, expect Him to answer our prayers. And please note that He wasn’t talking about any foolish or self-serving prayers there, but prayers that meet the requirements of His awesome word. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘You manifest what you believe, not what you want.’ Now that’s somewhat confusing, because I think it’s possible to manifest what you believe as well as what you want. Generally speaking, what we believe will show out of us, but then it is also possible to hide our real beliefs and show what we want to show. And I think that Jesus’ words, re the Pharisees dispute over the disciples eating with unwashed hands, highlights that dilemma. The Pharisees pretended to believe one thing, but their outward actions usually showed something different. 

That’s why Jesus told the disciples: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And later on, when they didn’t seem to understand His words, He explained. ‘Do ye not yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders and adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15:17-20) 

Yes friends, ordinarily, we like to think that people manifest what they believe, like Christianity for instance. But then again, too many supposed Christians don’t manifest, or show their Christian beliefs in their outward actions, otherwise our world would not be in such an evil and ungodly state. 

And the last quote declares: ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.’ Yes and no! The Lord has a plan for every life He creates. As He says through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) That means God has a destiny mapped out for all of us, but we can either seek His will, find out what’s His personal plan and execute it, or we can turn aside and do our own thing. 

The fact is, sometimes He will allow us to go our own way, but at other times He won’t. I am a perfect example of that. I never intended to be writing about biblical stuff, and when the Lord broached the idea, I laughed and said I didn’t know enough about the Bible to do it. But He kept on pursuing me until I agreed. And look at all the people who, when He calls, give up good worldly living to do His bidding, which often entails a drop in their societal position. That’s their destiny calling! And they have no choice but to follow it. 

And yes, we have free choice, but only to a certain extent. The Lord allows some of us to do certain things, and we think we are in control, making our own choices, but friends, He is always in the background maneuvering our destiny. And He often allows us to make bad choices so that we can realize we are not in total control. Hopefully, that will cause us to come running back to Him, for He desires all of His creation to remain in His fold. He doesn’t want to lose even a single one. Please, let’s remember that and live our lives accordingly. Much LOVE!

…faith in God doesn’t come overnight…it grows with each passing day…                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 October 2021 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.     Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well it’s certainly not as beautiful out there today, as it was yesterday. It’s cloudy and miserable with rain forecasted during the day, but as I always say, what a good thing we have Jesus to otherwise brighten up our day! For even when the skies are cloudy and gray, and the storms are pounding down on us, the light and LOVE of Jesus is always present within His followers to lead and guide them along the pathway of righteousness. No wonder the psalmist confidently and gratefully declared: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) 

Yes friends, obedience to Christ’s dictates is a must if we want to sincerely live for Him. But how do we know His dictates? By reading His Word which gives us wisdom and knowledge. That means His Word is a lamp to guide us through the perilous pathways of this evil and ungodly world. And I like how the bible.com website illustrates the message on verses 105 -112 of the Psalm. It says: ‘By your words I can see where I am going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by your righteous order. 

Everything’s falling apart on me, GOD; put me together again with your Word. Festoon me with your finest sayings, GOD; teach me your holy rules. My life is as close as my own hands, but I don’t forget what you have revealed. The wicked do their best to throw me off track, but I don’t swerve an inch from your course. I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever – what a gift! And how happy it makes me! I concentrate on doing exactly what you say – I always have and always will.’ 

Now that could be an everyday prayer, because every day we are tempted by the wicked to forego and forget God’s word and the rules for righteous living found therein. But when we keep meditating on His word, it will guide our path like a light. Remember how the Lord had the cloud by day and fire by night when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light’ to go by day and night.’ (Ex. 13:21) 

Oh saints of Christ, you can see from the beginning of time that the Lord has safely guided His people. He always does it. Back then He did it with the Israelites through a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, because they were just learning about the Lord and had no written material to turn to, but we now have his holy word in print, in a physical form that we can always turn to for good and wise guidance. And we ought to be continually in it if we want to stay true to God’s dictates, for that is its stated purpose. 

Remember God’s admonition to Joshua? ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Brother! The Lord’s point is so clear, as it always is! Meditate on my law and keep it, and you will be prosperous! What’s so hard to understand about that eh? 

And we know from their history that when the Israelites did as God said, they prospered, and when they turned from Him, they fell on hard times, adversity swallowed them up. And the same thing is happening to us right now! We have turned away from the word of God and living in total sin, not reading or following His word. So what do we expect happen eh? Wine roses and song? Absolutely not! Calamity, adversity and tribulation is our much deserved lot, and that’s exactly what we are getting. 

All through the Good Book we are warned about disobedience, and see example after example where disobedient societies fall prey to adversity and calamity. So why do we think that because we have supposedly reached a higher level of civilization that we are exempt from God’s everlasting law eh? We aren’t! In fact, much more is expected of us because we know and understand more than those who have gone before us. But we choose to continue in our disobedience and evil doings, even trying to completely rid our society of God, and yet expect to prosper for a long time. 

That’s the devil’s lie, his favourite deception, for the word of God doesn’t change, and if He said way back when, obey me and you will be prosperous, then that command still stands today, and if we were smart, we would choose to do it wholeheartedly. And as always, Cousin Sol had his wise two cents worth to throw in, during his warning against adultery. He says: ‘For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.’ (Prov. 6:23) And if anybody should know about the law and its effects, it’s Cousin Sol, who went from being God’s shining star, in his early life, to the doghouse in his later days. 

But the wonderful thing about our God is that when we wake up from our evil ways, we can always come back to Him through sincere prayer and true repentance. So please, let’s go to Him right now nuh, through our Friday Chant, spilling out our problems in sincere repentance, asking for forgiveness and His wise help. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And please don’t forget that the Lord’s response to our entreaties will depend on our faithful behaviour and the right motives of our hearts. Much LOVE!

…you reap what you sow…so you can’t sow sin and expect to reap righteousness…                                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 October 2021 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And is it ever a beautiful looking day out there today my people! Sunshine, blue skies, with the leaves on the trees displaying a myriad of amazing fall colours; red, green, yellow, gold, russet and numerous combinations of them all! It is indeed one of those days when we have to raise our heads, hearts, eyes and hands, and sincerely declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Yes friends, it’s one of those days that’s so beautiful, that despite our many problems, rejoicing comes naturally to our soul! Glory be! 

And when we add the wonder of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to all that, can you imagine the fire that’s set a burning in our spirits and souls! Wow! It’s what really makes life worth living! It’s the abundant life that Jesus spoke of when He said: ‘The thief cometh only but to for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Oh my people, only with Jesus as the cornerstone, the foundation of our lives can we ever hope to attain and enjoy that abundant life which we all so desire. And the abundant life is not just one filled with good earthly things, but even more with wonderful spiritual and heavenly things, like salvation and forgiveness of sins, peace in the midst of the storm, unconditional LOVE, reconciliation to God the Father, justification through the Son and a transfer of His righteousness to us through His demise on the cross. 

Now how can you ever desire or acquire a better life than that eh? No way! And that’s what Jesus’ brings to our lives when we put Him first in all our dealings. Not second or third, but a faraway first! He doesn’t play second fiddle in any band, that’s any life, but always first. And that’s where so many of us fall down; we try to relegate Christ to the least or less important positions in our lives, but still expect to enjoy the abundant life that He alone can provide. That’s utter foolishness friends! 

For only when Christ is truly Number One in our lives, will the abundant life ever flow our way. It’s a built-in requirement of the Father, and who can say Him nay eh? None of us, since He’s the Creator and controller of our universe. And I believe it’s right and wise and proper (smile) that right here, in these turbulent and dangerous times, we should consider the words of the prophet Isaiah as he long ago spoke of the majesty of the Lord. Yes my brethren, it’s in serious times like these that we need to remember who our God really is, so please listen up to Isaiah, when he asks? 

‘Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted (measured) out heaven with the span (9 inches), and comprehended (calculated) the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his councillor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgement (justice), and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of (in) a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance (in fine dust on balance): behold, he taketh (lifteth) up the isles as a very little thing.’ (Is. 40:12-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, NO ONE assisted the Lord our God in creating the universe and all therein! He is the SOLE CREATOR AND RULER of the universe! And until we, mankind, His creation, wake up and realize that awesome fact, we will forever be holding the proverbial short and heifer dust end of the stick! 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars re the Freedom of God. ‘40:13. God is the only Being in the universe that possesses independence from the Creation. The only limits to God’s freedom are in His own nature and attributes. He is unlimited in His existence. Because His existence relates to His nature rather than His will. God will exist forever. He who exists by reason of His nature rather than His volition (will, choice), must have existed – and must continue to exist – forever. 

Illustration: When God revealed His name to Moses at the burning bush, He called himself “I AM” (Ex. 3:13-15). This name emphasizes God’s self-existence, the fact that He has always existed and always will. Application: Neither anyone nor any outside force will affect God’s relationship to us. He will deal with us according to His nature because He is free from outside influence. (First ref. Gen. 6;17; Primary ref. Is. 40:13; cf. Rom. 12:1).’ 

Yes faithful saints, NOTHING, or NO ONE, will or cannot influence our God, re His dealings with us, or anything else, for He is a law, or rather, the LAW unto Himself. And I don’t know what it will take for us to fully realize and appreciate that fact nuh, so that we can revere and be obedient to His dictates, and thus stay in His good graces. 

And it’s not like we don’t have the example of the Archangel Lucifer trying to overthrow Him, but fought a losing battle and was unceremoniously kicked out of heaven with his foolish minions. So, I just can’t understand why we are allowing that once powerful Lucifer, who is now the powerless Satan, to turn us against our Creator, the same way he deceived our forefathers Adam and Eve. It’s totally non-understandable, non-comprehensible, in fact, totally foolish and stupid, since he has nothing better to offer us. All his glittering stuff is just that, glitter, with no gold! A façade, or frontispiece with no inside. 

So please, let’s ignore his deceitful entreaties like the sickness and plague they are nuh. Instead, let’s look to our heavenly Father who in His LOVING-kindness, bestows numerous blessings on us to do His earthly work, which we refer to as our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it is declared, let’s declare them in strong voice right now: 

Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And now that we have been so generously blessed, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, so that they can come to know and LOVE Jesus just like we have! Much LOVE!

…regardless of what the world says…the good and abundant life can ONLY be found…in Jesus…                                                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 October 2021 Proverbs 3:1-2.

Proverbs 3:1-2.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.

Oh friends, today doesn’t seem like it’s going to be as bright and sun shiny as the last two.  Wednesday has opened somewhat dark and cloudy, but let’s hope that’s just the opening salvo of the battle and the sun will win out in the end, as light always does against darkness. (smile) The temps will be up in the low twenties again though. 

I guess we are experiencing what’s known as ‘Indian Summer,’ a warmer than normal period which can crop up during the fall season. However, I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to use that name, since everybody is up in arms about using Indian names. 

But that’s a conversation for another day. Right now we’re concerned about these marvellous words of advice from Cousin Sol as he exhorts us to obedience. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) 

Yes my people, Cousin Sol says a lot in those few words. Keeping the Lord’s commandments is key to several important things in our lives; length of days, long life and peace. Now all of us crave those things, but we can only come by them when we honour the Lord with obedience to His commandments. 

And you ask what’s the difference between ‘length of days and long life?” One commentator puts it thus: “Length of days” puts more emphasis on how long someone lives, not just breathing, but in a productive fashion. Each day is put to full use and their number will be many, for God keeps a man busy.’ 

And it’s the same thing Moses said to the Israelites so long ago: ‘All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do (be careful to observe), that ye may live, and multiply (increase in number), and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto (promised) your fathers.’ (Deut. 8:1) 

Yuh see friends, Israel’s conquering of the Promised Land depended on their keeping of the Lord’s commandments which they didn’t do, and thus wandered forty long and difficult years in the wilderness for that disobedience. Likewise, our disobedience, lack of keeping God’s commands today is causing us oodles of hardship and worry, because without Him in a most privileged position in our lives, we can’t find peace in times of trouble like we’re currently experiencing. 

But let’s leave length of days and long life alone for the moment and concentrate on peace, which so many of us are dying to have. Let’s look at some scriptures that trumpet the getting and having of peace through obedience to the Lord’s commands. This first once comes from Psalm 119, and it says: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law; and nothing shall offend them (make them to stumble).’ (Ps. 119:165) That’s as plain and simple as it can get my brethren. 

And if that doesn’t touch the cockles of your heart, then listen to this scripture from Isaiah’s hymn of praise, where he confidently declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is. 26:3) 

Now, if you think because those verses come from the Old Testament they are no longer viable, then hear these from Bruh Paul in the New Testament. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phill. 4:6-7) 

So you see, if you want the peace of God, you have to stay in the good graces of God, through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, which simply means obeying His commandments as best you can. God’s peace will not be bestowed on us unless we sincerely honour Him in our walk of life. 

And when yuh talking about scripture verses on peace, here is the quintessential one, the one that trumps them all, straight from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In His promise to send the Holy Spirit to comfort the disciples, He tells them: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Now that says it all my fellow saints! The peace that Jesus gives us is nothing like what the world gives. The peace from Jesus quiets our hearts, stills our fears and anxieties even in the midst of the biggest storm, storms like what we are now going through. 

So, if you can’t find any peace in your spirit right now, I would take a look at your relationship to Jesus; see how close you are to Him, if you are studying His word, if you are keeping His commandments and what are you doing to further His kingdom. I can guarantee that if you have a close enough relationship with Him, or at least are sincerely trying, He will provide peace of mind. 

But again, as Isaiah says trust is an essential factor. If you don’t trust God to keep His promises and live your life as though you truly do, then whatever else you do is a complete waste of time. And I do hope that today’s message raises up our desire for peace so badly, that we sincerely turn to Jesus to seek it. 

Now for those of us who are already out there seeking it, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Altogether 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 as always, let us remember that if we endure until the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So please hang in there my brethren! Much LOVE!

…if you’re seeking peace…then wisdom dictates…you seek it from…The Prince of Peace…Jesus Christ… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                 

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 October 2021 Proverbs 6:6.

Proverbs 6:6.     Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Well, it was indeed a beautiful Thanksgiving Day! The sun shone brightly for a change, and the skies were blue (smile) with temps in the mid to low twenties! Wow! We haven’t seen that type of day in my area for a while now. And I do hope that all of us gave much thanks for the many blessings we have in this blessed land. I know the celebrations were plentiful, what with the recent opening up of the lockdown conditions, and though my own celebration was fairly quiet, the food was over the top and unfortunately, I partook of it with a zest that I’ve not seen or experienced in recent times. (smile) 

And since West Indian food, though nourishing and strengthening is also fattening, consequently I am a couple pounds heavier this morning. But what to do eh? When you celebrate and give thanks these things will happen. (smile) The problem now is to keep up the attitude of thanksgiving while lowering the temptation to the celebration aspect. Remember, we can never give too much thanks, but we can always overdo the celebration part, which can get us in serious trouble when laziness, idleness, slothfulness and their fellow companions rear their ugly heads. 

Sadly though, a lot of that is now floating around in our current turbulent and unhinged society. That’s why right now is a good time to consider the marvellous advice of Cousin Sol from his writings in Proverbs, where he warns against laziness and falsehood. Please listen up closely to this wise and godly advice. ‘Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe (gazelle) from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler (the bird trapper).’ (Prov. 6:4-5) 

Yes friends, we must not let the seeming beauty of sleep to capture us unawares, like a hunter captures a deer, or a fowler traps a bird in his snare. Sleep is necessary to reset our tired bodies and souls, but overdone, it can lead to very disastrous situations. And yuh better believe that sleep is one of the best traps the enemy uses to ensnare us and get us away from doing the Lord’s work. That’s why Cousin Sol in his advice directs us thus: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:’ (Prov. 6:6) 

And you ask, what’s he talking about eh? How can you learn wisdom from the ways of the ant? Well then, he explains it by saying that the ant: ‘Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov. 6:7-8) Now isn’t that a wonderful example of self-reliance and wisdom? It surely is! Then Cousin Sol goes on to ask these most pertinent questions. ‘How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?’ (Prov. 6:9) 

Oh my people, those are questions that each of must seriously consider, especially in these dangerous and crazy times of sickness and dissatisfaction. And why is that you ask again? Cousin Sol also provides the answer to that question. ‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 6:10-11) Yes mih bredrin, that’s how laziness, idleness and slothfulness bring us to our knees without our realizing it. Working too hard is not good, but not working hard enough is even worse. 

Now here are some explanations on the subject from the scholars. ‘6:6-11. The sluggard is the habitually lazy person. He is admonished to learn two important lessons from the ant: (1) the ant has no guide, overseer, or ruler (vs.7), meaning that the ant does not have to have a taskmaster standing over it to make it work; it is a self-starter. (2) The ant is wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances (vs.8). Two questions about sleep are posed to the sluggard (vs.9).  His answer is given in verse 10: “Just a little more sleep!” The result of such laziness is dire poverty, which will come as suddenly and as decisively as a robber (vs.11).’ 

And yuh better believe that our society currently seems overwhelmed with laziness, or always seeking the easy way out, or just looking at today and not tomorrow. But we must also prepare for the future, for the hereafter. And yes, not many of us want to work, but it’s wise if we do… and don’t consume everything all at once either,  put aside something for the rainy day too. At least in earlier generations some of us had no choice whatsoever but to work, if we wanted to eat and a place to sleep. 

That brings to mind Bruh Paul’s directive to the Thessalonians: ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.’ (2 Thess. 3:10-11) And there are many like that in our current society! Meanwhile, the scholars explain: ‘3:10-12. Paul expounds his simple and straightforward ethic. If a person will not work, he should not eat! The Thessalonians’ diversion encouraged their meddlesome ways, demonstrating that ‘idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.’ 

And is that ever the truth! We get into trouble most often when we are not doing anything, or anything productive. And that is exactly what’s happening right now in our society. Too many people have nothing constructive to do, so they are engaging in a whole lot of negative and evil devices and schemes. And with so much government and charitable help around, it would be hard to implement a scheme of no work, no bread. On top of that, there just are not enough jobs so that everyone can be gainfully employed. 

So what do we do eh? The best we can. That’s working ourselves, showing forth the benefits of living for Jesus, and encouraging others to do something constructive, whatever it might be. Something that would benefit them and the society. Time to stop paying so much attention to the foolishness, lies and distractions on social media, and return to a fact and truth based society. That means depending on the Good Book, the Lord’s Word! It’s not an easy task, but if we work in concert with Jesus, we can certainly do it, because He gives us strength to do any and everything He needs us to do! Glory be! 

Now for those of us who are willing and able to work for our Saviour, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, loudly and proudly proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are; in other words, to whom we belong! As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 having said that, let’s go out now and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…to fill the world with peace and LOVE…we must fill the world with Jesus…                                                                                                           

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