Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2013 Ephesians 4:3

Ephesians 4:3.     Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
 
Oh Friends, today is the last day of February! Can you believe it? I also hope it’s the last day of the lousy snowstorm that messed up everything yesterday. I did get out to the Bible Study last night, though the place is still covered with the dirty white stuff, now that man has been through it. And astonishingly my people, two months of 2013 have already flown by. It’s like time is spinning away ever faster and faster, like the world in which we now live. That’s why it’s so important to be very aware of what’s happening in our lives. We can’t afford to put off for tomorrow, things that we can do today, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, even if there’ll be a tomorrow. Consequently, we also decided to check at the end of every month, rather than at some longer time period, on that most important New Year’s Resolution we made, about walking closer, in deeper fellowship with Christ, growing in LOVE and appreciation, while carrying out His dictates and wishes in a fuller and more complete manner. So today, please, let’s all take a few moments to ponder if we’re truly keeping that resolution, if our spiritual lives are being enriched with God’s Word, if our faith is growing, and if we’re putting that faith into action so that others can see and experience it and be caused to accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour too. And if we discover that we’re not doing as well as we should, then let’s ask the Lord, who hears and answers all sincere prayers, to help us do better, since we can’t improve without His awesome help. Now let me share a li’l something I wrote recently, but lost sight of until just now. I guess now is its appointed time. (smile) It’s simply titled ‘UNITY’ and says: ‘Unity is…brings strength. Unity is…brings power. Unity is…brings prosperity. Unity is…brings peace. But above all…Unity is simply walking in LOVE! Walking in LOVE…like Jesus did. Unity is just being decent to each other.’ Yes Friends, without Unity, we’ll NEVER have peace, prosperity, power, strength or LOVE! That’s why our world, and in particular Christ’s church is so divided. We all want the good things in life, but either don’t know, or stubbornly refuse to recognize the fact that we can’t get them, in a lasting manner, unless and until we’re unified under the umbrella of Christ and His church. That brings us to our Bit, where Bruh Paul is speaking to the Ephesians re the Unity of the Spirit. ‘Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ Ah Friends, it’s one of those conundrums, where without unity, you can’t have peace, and without peace, you can’t have unity. Like we argue about which came first, the chicken or the egg? But to get one, you must have the other. Now hear what Bruh Paul has to say before our Bit. ‘I therefore, the prisoner of (in) the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness (gentleness), with long-suffering, forbearing (bearing with) one another in LOVE.’ (Eph.4:1-2) Oh my brethren, yuh see what it takes to bring about unity and peace. It’s all about humbling ourselves before our God, living in a manner befitting His commandments and doing what He’s called us to do to the best of our ability. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit. ‘There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.’ (Eph.4:4-6) And the scholars comment on that scripture thus: ‘This passage elaborates on the “unity of the Spirit” (v.3). This oneness among Christians refers to having (1) one body – the body of Christ, the Christian church; (2) one Spirit – the same Holy Spirit who imparts the same spiritual life to all believers; (3) one hope – all Christians share the same future certainty and are headed toward the same heavenly destination; (4) one Lord – all submit to the same divine ruler, Jesus; (5) one faith – all believers have placed the same trust in Christ for salvation; (6) one baptism – Holy Spirit baptism at the time of salvation (1 Cor.12:13); and (7) one God and Father – all believers in Christ have the same God and heavenly Father.’ So friends, our unity is all about ONE! Not me, I, or you, but about One body of Christ, of faith, etc, until we get to the real ONE, who brings and keeps it all together, our Heavenly Father. So my brethren, let’s all sincerely try and come together as ONE nuh, as Jesus so desperately desires. For without unity, all we have to look forward to is more of the same strife, anger, divisions, dissensions, selfishness and ungodliness as is so disastrously personified by the state of our current world. Oh fellow believers, I’m sure that none of us likes the way our world is being ground down, demoralized and destroyed by the powers of evil that control it. But as I also keep reminding us, it’s only us true believers in Jesus, who want to see a better world, that can make any changes to it, and bring about the unity we so desperately need. And to do that, we have to consciously and seriously get up off of our inflated fannies and do whatever it takes to bring about those changes. It won’t come by only mouthing and spouting plenty scripture, but also by being action oriented; actually helping others, like the sick, the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the lost, those whom Jesus had a passion for and came to save. We have to stop beating our chests in foolish pride, like the hypocrite Pharisees and them, as though we’re doing such a great job in our faith, because we aren’t. If we were, there’d never be so much pain, poverty, misery and heartache in our world. So Friends, let’s stop all the talk and concentrate more on action nuh, because all the talk in the world won’t fill any empty bellies, clothe any naked bodies, put rooves over the heads of the homeless, cure the sick or find the lost. The only thing that will do those things is physical action, where as a supposed unified body, we have been tried, and found sadly lacking. Much LOVE!…the Word of God…is always more readily accepted…when it follows the faithful, physical actions of God’s people…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2013 Psalm 21:6

Psalm 21:6.     For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.

Oh Friends, it’s now the hour just before the dawn, long celebrated as the darkest hour of the night. But contrary to that statement, my area right now (4.30 a.m) is bright and beautiful, as everything is covered in a dazzling display of virgin snow. Even the leafless trees are shrouded in white, as the strong wind has them doing an uptempo dance to its unrelenting beat. The housetops, roads and cars parked there are also covered with the white stuff. It won’t stay beautiful for much longer though, as mankind begins to traverse his difficult and unruly way through it. As promised by the weather forecasters, it began in the early evening. When I went out for a few minutes around 7.30 p.m. it was merely wet snow. However, by 10 p.m. everything and everywhere was completely covered in white, looking beautiful, but in reality ever so treacherous and deceitful, like so many other beautiful things …and people… in our tumultuous world. And I certainly know who’s not going out there today! (smile) Don’t want to risk another unfortunate experience like the one I suffered in the last big snowfall a few weeks ago. Yes Friends, no more slipping and sliding, damaging my old car, getting stuck in my driveway and the lane. No siree! Oh Brother, I forgot that today is Wednesday; Bible Study day! But we’ll see how the weather and road cleaning shape up by Bible Study time in the evening. Anyway mih people, despite all the roadblocks that are put in our way in this earthly pilgrimage, we still need to live the life that Jesus desires of us. It’s only when we write His Word deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then live it out in our actions, that we can confidently say we are true believers in and followers of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. And here I’ll share a li’l poem about that, by Eva Rose York (1858-1935), editor, teacher, organist and composer in western Ontario. It simply says: ‘I will not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, remove some barrier from the road, or brighten (lighten) someone’s heavy load.’ Oh Friends, it’s so touching in its simplicity, but yet so poignant with its message to Christians, as it encapsulates our Christian beliefs in those few words…show you care and help somebody. It can be a sort of mantra for us my brethren. I believe I’ve shared it before, but it’s says so much about us, that I felt compelled to share it again, especially in these rough times when we believers are less caring and action oriented that we ought to be. That brings us to our Bit, grateful words of Bruh David from Psalm 21, superscripted; Praise for victory. ‘For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful with gladness) with thy countenance (presence).’ Oh Friends, that state of thankfulness comes with the territory; surrendering one’s life to the Lord, putting your absolute hope, trust and faith in the ONE who created us. It shows maturity and true wisdom; a stage that as true believers we should all be striving for. Hear how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps.21:7) Awesome words of truth, my brethren! Oh how I desperately wish our leaders and those in power could gain such wisdom and the amazing power, grace and mercy that go with dedicating one’s life to walking with Jesus! What a wonderful place our world would be! But unfortunately the powers of darkness and the evildoers who currently rule the roost will not bow out or give up the fight very easily. But that’s why Bruh David is also confident that: ‘Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger; the Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.’ (Ps.21:8-9) Yes Friends, when we walk sincerely with God, our enemies are defeated, either exterminated or brought low as our footstools. (Heb.10:13) With that also go these words from Psalm 45; A psalm for the king’s marriage. ‘Thou LOVEST righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above they fellows (companions).’ (Ps.45:7) Ah mih people, our God blesses us intentionally when we keep Him uppermost in all we do, especially if we’re people of privilege and power. And we’ll end with another verse of truth and wisdom from Bruh David, from Psalm 16, where he seeks preservation and blessing. ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy: at thy right hand there pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:11) Yes my fellow believers, all those things are entwined and embedded in our lives when we choose to walk with Almighty God, our wonderful Creator and Caretaker! Today, let’s raise our level of involvement with Him nuh, as true wisdom dictates. Much LOVE!…only when we associate closely with God…will our wrongs be made right…and our enemies be defeated…forever…  P.S. This weather is really crazy yes! Would you believe it’s raining now (6 a.m) turning the snow to slush. Let’s hope it washes away everything before the temp falls later and it all turns to ice. Please be careful all of you who have to go out there. And if you don’t have to go, don’t go! (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 

Today”s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2013 James 3:16

James 3:16.     For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
 
Ah Friends, yesterday has passed, and today is upon us again, with all of God’s new mercies and blessings! And His people offered a loud, ‘Thank you Lord! We praise and bless Your Holy Name!’ Unfortunately though, many of us in the Greater Toronto area won’t be pleased with it, because the weatherman has been warning us for the last few days about another terrible storm coming our way, starting this evening and continuing into sometime Wednesday. The temperature is supposed to be around 4 Celsius, so let’s hope that we are lambasted by rain, rather than the dreaded white stuff, as the weather people seem to expect. It only looks beautiful when it’s undefiled by man. Anyway, as true and strong believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ, we’ll handle it, with His most valuable help. I guess that means some breathing tests I’m supposed to have tomorrow will be cancelled again, like they were last week when the rather inclement weather struck. (smile) These days I’m so tired of the topsy-turvy weather that I’m not going out if it’s bad, unless it’s for some thing very, very important. The tests can wait. It’s not like I’m still sick and suffering from bronchial congestion like I was a few weeks ago. Anyway, enough of my unimportant problems, let’s turn to our Bit, which is way more important. It’s the same one as yesterday. ‘For where envying and strife is (self seeking exists), there is confusion and every evil work.’ And we saw yesterday that that was indeed truth of the highest order, especially in our modern, selfish, evil, godless, idol-worshipping world. Now yesterday we ended by saying that violence and strife are possibly the number one products of our present world. Ah Friends, the crime, violence, and widespread corruption within our nations are heart-rending. And here we’ll use T&T, Trinidad and Tobago as an example. It’s been recently reported that in the first forty something days of 2013, there have been sixty something murders in the twin island Republic of between 1 and 2 million people. And that’s without any major incidents from the recent Carnival celebrations, which the police said was the cleanest and least problematic in years. Now I’m not crying down T&T, just using it as a broad example because I have the figures, for violence is widespread all over the globe. And to bring that point home, right here in ole Toronto the Good, young people, all be it from 15 years old have recently been shooting up each other, in broad daylight too. In fact, young people less than 25 years of age have been recently committing most of the gun crimes. That certainly doesn’t say much about the respect that our young people have for the human life; very little for both theirs and others. And the sad part is that these shootings are over very petty stuff. Most of them can’t even spell their blooming names or even wash themselves properly, but they’re quick to pull a gun over some foolish, petty, imagined slight. Now we won’t even bother to talk about the U.S. which seems intent on returning to the days of the Wild West with its proliferation of legal guns and crimes. Please note that in several states guns are now been legally worn openly. Ah Lord eh! When is going to end? When are we going to understand and wake up to the fact that guns only foster violence? When are we going to truly believe the age-old adage, that he who lives by the sword, and also the gun, dies by the sword and the gun too? As Bruh Paul so rightly told the Corinthians: ‘For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (live according to man)? (1 Cor. 3:3) Yes my brethren, we are indeed carnal, almost totally living by the dictates of man and not God. And unfortunately a carnal mind hinders the growth of the Holy Spirit in mankind. So please, for all our sakes, let’s see if we can’t bring our world around nuh, beginning with our immediate families, to what James describes as the optimal situation. ‘But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (willing to yield), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.’ (James 3:17) Oh my fellow believers, that’s the only way we’ll ever turn our strife filled world around and see our children’s children live in harmony, peace and LOVE, rather than anger, bitterness, resentment and the resultant strife that only leads to untold, untimely and unnecessary death and destruction. That’s the wisdom for this age. Much LOVE!…and the fruit of righteousness…is sown in peace…of them that make peace… (James 3:18)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2013 James 3:16

James 3:16.     For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 

Oh Friends, it’s Monday once again! And a joyful shout goes out from all of God’s people: ‘TGIM! Thank God is Monday, so that we can go out and bring the heathen to their knees before Jesus, tearfully repenting and pleading for forgiveness, salvation and eternal life! Hn, hn! That will be the day eh Friends. But don’t worry, I’m not giving up on us. My hope is plentiful, and looking through the eyes of faith, I can see the Lord working in and on us right now, and in His own time, we’ll all be that enthusiastic to get out into the wicked, ungodly world that now rules the roost, and reap the great harvest of unbelievers out there just waiting to hear the Word and see true Christian living in action. Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of Christianity; any and everything IS POSSIBLE with our omnipotent God! If He can create this great universe and all in it, and if, as Jesus says, He can pass a camel through the eye of a needle, (Matt.19:23-26) then NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE to Him. But until that fateful day when we’re all that mature in Jesus, we’ll continue to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get our engines revving. So without further ado, let’s belt it out with great gusto, make the heavens sit up and take notice. All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ Awright Friends! All heaven sat up and took notice of our sincere and heartfelt prayer. There were shouts of: ‘Yes! Way to go!’ The Father even gave Jesus a friendly jab on the arm, saying; ‘Good job, Son!’ That means we can’t let Jesus down now, after the Father was so proud of Him. And to keep that productive and positive trend going, one of the first things we need to do, in all walks of our lives, is to get rid of the malignant jealousy and strife that inhabit it. For as our Bit so poignantly points out: ‘For where envying and strife is (self seeking exists), there is confusion and every evil work.’ And that my brethren, is the gospel, gospel truth! It’s so true that it takes two ‘gospels’ to state it. And the first place we need to start is in our immediate families. I pray everyday that there’ll be no strife in my family, because I’ve seen how evil and destructive it can be. And I’ve also been telling my children from long ago, that if I see any of that foolishness amongst them after I’m gone, I will come back to haunt them. (smile) But seriously Friends, there is way too much envy and disagreement in our families today. We see strife between spouses, between parents and children, and way too often between siblings. That’s because every one in the modern family has their own agenda and expectations and refuse to sit down and talk it out sensibly. They much prefer to get up in arms and thus create anger, resentment, bitterness and all the other negative things that strife brings, and will quickly break up a relationship, be it in or between families, friends or neighbours. As Micah warned so long ago:  ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion); keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic.7:5-6)  That’s possibly even truer of today than in Micah’s time. And unfortunately this selfish, adversarial relationship is also being played out in other areas of our society; like schools, workplaces, playing fields, and ever so sadly in Jesus’ church too. I don’t know if that selfish, jealous, confrontational attitude began from below or on top, but it is prevalent throughout all society, and has even moved on to nations. It’s much easier to name the places where there is little or no strife, than to name those where there is, that’s because they are so numerous. Violence and strife are possibly the number one products of our world now. And we’ll end there for today, as time and space have run out. But since this is such an important topic, we’ll continue it tomorrow, God willing obviously. Till then Friends, let’s make a conscious effort to sincerely walk in peace and LOVE nuh, just as Jesus did in His earthly sojourn, and wants us to do in ours. It’s the only way we’ll prevent Jesus’ heart from breaking. Much LOVE!…as the LOVE Revolution goes…so goes the peace of the whole world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2013 Psalm 5:9

Psalm 5:9.     For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
 
And yet another glorious day in the life begins my Friends, so let’s start it with some thanks and praise nuh. Let’s sing a verse of the old hymn that could probably be called ‘Old Faithful’ because it’s been around for a long time and whenever we sing it, it also regenerates our faith in the faithfulness and trustworthiness of our Wonderful God. Sing with me: ‘Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All that I needed, thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers! We can all attest to the faithfulness of God in our lives; in the past, the present, and if we continue clinging to Him, also in the future. He’s just that kind of LOVING, trusting, generous and merciful God to all those who serve and worship Him in truth and sincerity. And all God’s people loudly and joyously declared: ‘All praise and thanksgiving be unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who made the earth, heavens, and all therein, and who controls it with LOVE, mercy, justice and forgiveness! Oh Lord, we your humble servants truly LOVE You, and this Sunday morning we bless and praise Your Most Holy Name! Amen.’ Oh Friends, did you see the big smiles on the faces of our heavenly Father and our Saviour, Jesus Christ as those heartfelt prayers reached up to heaven? Even the heavenly hosts were smiling and adding their own ‘Praise the Lord! For He is good and merciful and forgiving!’ Ah mih bredden, if there could only be such smiles and happiness down here on earth, instead of the many frowns, heartaches, sadness, tears and pain that currently envelop our world, that have us in an ever tightening choke hold. But I guess that’s the price we have to pay for being a fallen creation. And sadly, we’re not helping the situation by consciously steering our lives to the sinful side of our nature, instead of the righteous and godly side. We all have that pocket in our souls permanently reserved for our Maker, which nothing or no one else can fill, but unless we consciously venture to fill it with Him, our lives will end up a total mess. And if you don’t believe me, just take a look around at our society with so many people hurting and searching for relief from their many sorrows. Unfortunately though, they are searching in the wrong places, heading in the wrong direction. They’re turning to manmade aids; drugs, booze, shrinks etc, which are not helping, but making them worse, increasing their pain and sorrows. Ah Friends, there’s only one antidote for the human state, one prescription to ease his pain and suffering: that’s Almighty God, his Maker and Controller! And until we realize that and turn back to Him in droves, just like we’ve turned away in droves, the human state will remain one of exceedingly vile, evil, ungodly conditions. Tragic loss, pain and ‘sufferation’ will continue to be his unenviable lot. That brings us to our very appropriate Bit: ‘For there is no faithfulness (uprightness) in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness (destruction); their throat is an open sepulchre (tomb); they flatter with their tongue.’ And isn’t that the undeniable truth about the state of our society my fellow believers? It sure is! Now let me share a testimony of our Lord’s delightful faithfulness. When I began writing today, I had no clue what I was going to write about. I had not even opened the Good Book to look for a Bit. I just had the verse of the ‘Old Faithful’ Hymn written on a piece of paper, and contrary to my usual method of writing, where I do a rough copy on paper first, I just began writing on the computer and the words and ideas just flowed, so I continued, until I got to the unenviable lot of humans. Then I began chuckling, asked the Lord to guide me to an appropriate Bit, and opened my Bible. And, lo and behold, according to His great faithfulness, I found one in less than five minutes. Just goes to show Friends, that if we genuinely seek our God, we’ll find Him, and He will answer our prayers, especially where it pertains to His Word. Now let’s turn to some thought provoking scripture to corroborate our contentions. This comes from Bruh Paul’s writing to the Romans. ‘There is none righteous, No, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ (Rom.3″10-18) Oh Friends, doesn’t that describe our world to a T?  It certainly does. Bruh Paul uses his vast knowledge of the scriptures, using various bits and pieces to highlight our insufficiency and sad, degenerate state. Listen to the scholars comment on that passage. ‘Paul quotes scripture to prove universal guilt. Scripture, not Paul, is the judge. See Psalm 5:9; 10:7; 14:1-3; 140:3; Isaiah 59:7-8’ Those are some of the scriptures Bruh Paul uses in that very revealing section of Romans. And rather appropriately, just as we began, we’ll end with a glowing testimony from Isaiah on the Lord’s faithfulness. ‘O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.’  (Is.25:1) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! So let’s go out now and do as that great prophet just said; praise and exalt the name of the Most High God Jehovah, for it is right and meet so to do. Much LOVE!…only in the faithfulness of our heavenly Father…can man put absolute trust…
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2013 Job 8:13

Job 8:13.      So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another day in the life! However, for many down in the U. S. it’s going to be an extremely rough one, where they continue to dig out from another round of severe snowstorms, this one predominantly hitting the Central part of the country. I guess we can call this the year of the snow, for places that haven’t had snow in ages have experienced it this year. Even in parts of Southern California some snow fell, causing unaccustomed traffic congestion and the other niceties that snow brings, especially when you’re not accustomed to it. (smile) They were even pelting snowballs in Arizona instead of playing golf, because the courses were white and not green. Some places that have not fully recovered from previous snowfalls have again been inundated by the white stuff. But why are we seeing so much of it in such short periods eh? I’d like to put forward two theories. The first is climate change. We have screwed up the delicate balance of the planet with so much pollutants that it’s now coming back to haunt us in unstable, unusual weather patterns. Cut it whichever way you want, we can’t continue to put so much polluting stuff in our air, water and land and don’t expect some unusual reaction. And anyone who believes that, or eschews that position is a fool! Look at amount of known carcinogens we now have in our food, either to make it look pretty or stay fresh and last longer. Don’t you think that affects the delicate balance of our bodies too? I get angry when I hear about these cancer fundraisers and curing cancer. How can you cure something when you keep putting it in your food, water, land and atmosphere eh? But that’s a story for another day. But getting back to climate change. When last have we seen so much snow in North America eh? For the last five to ten years we’ve hardly had any, in comparison to what we used to have before. So much so that recently the ski resorts had to resort to snow making machines for longer periods than ever before. Now it seems as if it has turned around again, and they’re getting mucho snow. Oh Friends, our planet can stand a lot of pain, but like our human bodies it’s finely timed and tuned and continued abuse will eventually make it sick, just like it does to our human bodies. Our God didn’t make it to stand the kind of abuse we’re putting it through. That brings me to our second theory; that the unusual climate patterns and natural disasters we’re having in unusual places is partly the work of our God, in retribution for our very sinful state of ungodliness and disobedience to His Word. That dovetails very nicely with our Bit: ‘So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish.’ We’ve seen over the centuries that societies that have gotten too big for their ‘britches’ and become sinful and ungodly, have eventually been cut down to size one way or another. The sad part is that most of the times there have been warnings, but the proud, evildoers have not paid them any attention. And I believe that what’s happening right now is God’s way of warning us. But are we paying attention? Certainly not! But there’s no doubt that we’re a very evil, sinful society, which has successfully turfed the Lord from its schools and public places, a society where the evildoers have the upper hand and revel in their wicked works without a thought for the consequences. And believe me Friends, there will be serious consequences for the immoral, ungodly morass into which our society has plummeted. Now let’s look at a few scriptures that foretell retribution for proud, continual disobedience. Job says it in spades when he talks of the hypocrite’s hopelessness. ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ (Job 27:8-10) I’m afraid the answer to all those questions my brethren is a resounding ‘NO!’ And if we turn to Psalm 112; Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, we’ll find graphic descriptions of both the righteous and wicked in the last two verses. In talking about the righteous, the psalmist boldly declares: ‘He hath dispersed (distributed abroad), he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn (strength) shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with this teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.’ (Ps.112:9-10) Oh my fellow believers, please note carefully the great difference between the eventual outcomes of both sets of people. And we’ll go home with some extremely wise words of Cousin Sol, as he contrasts the doings of the wise and the foolish. ‘The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth (land). The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward (perverse, deceitful) tongue shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness (perversity, deceitfulness).’ (Prov.10:27-32) Oh Friends, please remember that the laws and words of our God don’t change, that means if they were true in Cousin’ Sol’s time, then they’re still true today. So please let’s allow wisdom to be our guide. Let’s start cleaning up the pollutants from our unfortunate planet, our evil societies and our individual lives, beginning today, RIGHT NOW! Because if we don’t, we’ll only force the Lord to do it for us, and I can guarantee we won’t like His methods. Much LOVE!…where wisdom prevails…societies prosper…but where evil fools rule the roost…the societies perish…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2013 Job 8:13

Job 8:13.     So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday; the second Friday in Lent! But the joyous ‘TGIF’s’ and ‘Thank God is Friday,’ are not as plentiful or powerful as normal. I don’t know if that’s happening because it’s Lent, but as I recently said, though Lent should be a serious time of reflection, contemplation and communion with God, there’s no need to lose our joy, whatever season it is. And remember those joyous shouts on Fridays are for the ending of the week of labour, the traffic hassles and all the other worldly distractions. It also gives us more time to spend with God, which should make us even more joyous. So please let’s keep our joy going, don’t let Lucifer fool us into thinking that we have to be so pious and holy we can’t have mucho joy in our souls. Remember, it’s that joy we get from being in sync with God that gives us the strength to bear the burdens we all face on our earthly pilgrimage. And to help us with that, let’s chant our Friday Chant with plenty power and sweet harmony. As one 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.’ That was awesome my people! Let’s do it for real now. Oh, by the way, the ole fella aced the fasting test yesterday! I got to the lab around ten thirty-five, but was it ever crowded. I knew though that I wasn’t leaving, because I had no desire to go through the fasting situation again. So I sat down and patiently bided my time, reading a novel. Jesus was surely proud of me, because I didn’t whine and complain. (smile) I didn’t leave there until eleven thirty, which meant I fasted for over 13 hours. Mama Mia! Hopefully that’s it for the year. Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit: ‘So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish.’ That my Friends, is the living truth, as declared by our living God! Before we get into it though, let’s get some background info. Those words come from Job’s buddy Bildad, as he affirms God’s justice. And just before our Bit, he’s talking about the demise of certain herbs. ‘Can the rush (papyrus) grow up without mire (marsh)? Can the flag (reeds) grow without water? Whilst it is yet in its greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.’ (Job 8:11-12) Then he brings up our Bit, comparing those who forget God and lead hypocritical lives to the demise of those herbs. Bildad further declares after our Bit: ‘Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web (house). He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.’ (Job 8:14-15) That’s oh so true my brethren! Those who forget God and play the hypocrite, their hopes shall eventually be dashed to the ground. Though they build their houses, intricate, pretty and supposedly strong like a spider builds its web, they will not endure. Like a house of cards, they will be easily blown down and destroyed. Now let’s look at some scripture that corroborates our Bit, starting with words of Bruh David, from Psalm 9; Praise for God’s justice. ‘The heathen (nations or gentiles) are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken (caught). The Lord is known by the judgement which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.  Higgaion (meditation or song)  Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.’ (Ps.9:15-18) Yes Friends, that’s the sorry lot of all those who don’t revere and worship the ONE TRUE GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to that other great psalmist, Asaph, as he righteously proclaims in Psalm 50; God is the judge. ‘Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation (conduct) aright will I show the salvation of God.’ (Ps.50:22-23) Oh my people, we certainly don’t want to be torn in pieces, do we? So let’s not foolishly forget Almighty God, the ONE who created the universe and all therein. Instead, let’s wisely offer Him praise and thanks, so that He may be glorified, and walk steadfastly in obedience to His Word, so that we’ll see His salvation. That is the wisdom of the righteous! More on this tomorrow, God in favour. Till then, let’s remember our God and spend worthy time with Him, so that He’ll continue to LOVE, bless, forgive, protect and show us His wonderful grace and mercy. Much LOVE!…a fool in his folly…says there is no God…but what happens then…as the wise man believes…that there is a God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2013 Psalm 94:12

Psalm 94:12.       Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.
 
Oh Friends, our God is truly a great Deity, but sometimes He can be very sneaky and underhanded. Now I mentioned recently that I had to fast for 12 hours to go for some blood tests, but fasting is not one of my strong points, at least not for 12 hours. Well, it so happens that yesterday evening I went out to a Bible Study class, then ran a few errands, came home and had a late supper. I read for a while then went to bed shortly after midnight. Then lo and behold, I got up after three only to hear or feel this message in my spirit about fasting. Ah Lord eh! Our God certainly moves in mysterious ways, because I wasn’t planning on doing that 12-hour fast today. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do it on my terms, but the Lord slipped a spanner into my wheel and tripped me up. (smile) So now I’m fasting. Chuh! Just another 5 hours to go. Please pray for me that I don’t spoil it, because I certainly don’t want to start all over again. And as we turn to our Bit, I guess that story goes well with it. ‘Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.’ Yeh Friends, though I knew that I had to do the fasting, and the sooner the better, I wasn’t thrilled with the surprise the Lord sprung on me. But I guess He figured I was pussy-footing around too much, and so decided to take the bull by the horns. (smile) But as our Bit advises, I’m bearing up under the strain and pressure, accepting and bearing it like a man. Hn, hn, hn! And that’s the way we should all handle the corrections of our gracious and LOVING God! Granted, some of them, unlike my petty problem above, can be very hard to bear. But the whole point of the exercise is generally for us to consider the consequences before we do the sinful actions. That’s why from way back when, the Lord through Moses, warned the Israelites about their hardship in the wilderness caused by their disobedience. ‘And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee (did not wear out), neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider (know) in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.’ (Deut.8:3-6) Oh my brethren, it couldn’t be anymore explicit than that! The Lord brought them out of the wilderness eventually, but they paid a stiff price for their disobedience, lack of courage and lack of faith in the Word of the God of their fathers. Unfortunately, nothing much has changed over those many centuries. Our society is even more evil, disobedient, faithless and fearful than the Israelites were. Thus the Lord is chastening us, both by nations and individually. But then we get in a righteous snit because of it, completely forgetting the advice in His Word and the far-reaching consequences of continual wrongdoing. Hear how Job’s buddy, Eliphaz rebukes him. ‘Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.’ (Job 5:17-18) Oh Friends, that’s the beauty of our God; though He may chasten us with tough affliction, He also has the power and the mercy to heal and make us whole! Though we fall like Humpty Dumpty, our God can put us back together again, so we shouldn’t get overly upset when we’re chastened. And though that’s the unvarnished truth, like so many other truths, it’s not always easy to accept. But accepting it is the way of the wise. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 119: ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.’ (Ps.119:71) Oh I know we all think he’s crazy for considering afflictions to be good. But remember Friends, it’s only through afflictions and adversity that our faith is built and our Christian character truly formed. For it’s in those times of trouble that we really learn to depend on our God. If we never suffered afflictions or adversity, and everything always came up roses, then we’d have no need for faith or trust in God. Remember too, that before gold and iron can be processed from the impure ore, they must first be passed through a pretty hot fire. Likewise, that’s how our God teaches us His lessons and conforms us to the character of His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and living example. Now let’s listen to this wise and most appropriate scripture from Cousin Sol, which we all know, but don’t like and refuse to believe. ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of (detest) his correction: For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:11-12) And we’ll end with words from Hebrews that put Cousin Sol’s advice in the proper perspective. ‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not the thou the chastening (discipline)  of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb.12:5-7) That says it all my people! Whom the Lord LOVES, He corrects. So if you’re being corrected, say ‘Praise the Lord,’ cause He LOVES you. And remember that we all have our individual crosses to bear, so today, please let’s take a serious look at the state of our individual union with Almighty God and see how best we can improve it. That’s true wisdom, my fellow believers! Much LOVE!…actions always bring consequences…so it will serve us well…to consider the latter…before doing the former…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2013 Psalm 3:5

Psalm 3:5.     I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
 
Oh Friends and neighbours, yesterday has flitted away to time eternally past, and tomorrow has not yet come in from the cold, or if you prefer, from the eternal future. But glory of glories, today’s here! So please let’s use it wisely nuh. It’s all we have, so let’s not waste it, for it will never come again. Yes, I know that when tomorrow comes we’ll call it today, but no two days are ever the same, regardless of what you call them. The opportunities and problems of today are all we’re sure of. Some may be better tomorrow, or they may be worse, but we can only work with what we have at hand. Consequently, I’m asking us to work positively, efficiently and in an excellent manner with what we have today, as Jesus desires of His followers. That’s why He encouraged us to: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought (worry) for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34). Now that doesn’t mean we should not make general plans and such for tomorrow, but it’s best to concentrate on the problems and opportunities of today. That brings us to the question; when you got up this morning, did you wonder how you achieved it? I’m sure many of us didn’t because we were too busy and anxious getting ready to face the day in the evil, ungodly world in which we live. But Friends, I’ll let you in on a li’l secret; (smile) let you know why and how you got up this morning. Our Bit says it all: ‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.’ And that’s the gospel truth people! The only reason you were able to lie down and sleep, then get up, most likely refreshed in body, soul and mind, is because the great God who created the universe and all therein made it happen. He granted you sleep, and sustained you through it all. It’s one of the blessings of obedience He promised the Israelites long ago, and by extension all who serve and worship Him thereafter. ‘If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do (perform) them; Then I will give…’ and He goes on to specify material prosperity, victory over enemies, the assurance of His presence, and personal freedom. (Lev.26:3-13) But the particular verse we’re interested in is verse 6, the first half: ‘And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid:’ No wonder our world is topsy turvy and confused, with a large portion of the population so anxious, worried and stressed out, needing man-made drugs and psychoanalysis to cope with everyday life and help them to sleep. Yes Friends, we don’t need a seer or prophet to tell us that we’re one of the most sinful generations ever, that’s why our society is going downhill so quickly. In any case, just like the Israelites of old, when the seer or prophet warns us of our iniquities and their consequences, we don’t pay them any attention, but rather try to hurt, humiliate, ruin and even run them out of town. Oh my brethren, without a doubt, the obedient nation or person will flourish under the Lord’s watchful and LOVING guidance! Hear how Zophar, Job’s buddy describes it, if Job gives us his sinful ways and walks in righteousness. ‘And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety. Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit with thee (court thy favour).’ (Job 11:18-19) And please note the superscript to Psalm 3 from which our Bit comes; A prayer of confidence in God, written by Bruh David when he fled from Absalom his son, who was trying to usurp his throne. In verse 3 He confidently acknowledges: ‘But thou, O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head.’ One can’t get any more confident than that my fellow believers.He also penned Psalm 4; An evening prayer of trust in God, where he boldly declares: ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:7-8) Oh Friends, it’s only through the Lord’s goodness and mercy that we rise up everyday and walk safely! And we’ll end with some further words of wisdom from Cousin Sol, exhorting us to obedience. ‘Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).’ (Prov.3:23-26) Never have truer words been spoken my brethren! So please let’s take them to heart today; read, mark and inwardly digest them, then try and bring our attitudes and behaviour into line with God’s Word, that we may rest in peace and awaken to walk safely, under His great protective umbrella of LOVE, peace, mercy and forgiveness. That Friends and fellow believers, is the wisdom of the wise. Much LOVE!…Oh Lord…when I lay me down to sleep…my soul I pray you’ll keep…and when I awaken to a brand new day…my feet, I pray you’ll guide in safety and peace…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2013 Proverbs 26:11

Proverbs 26:11.     As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s another beautiful day in the life! Wow! Praise the Lord! Yes, praise our wonderful God for it, because regardless of the suffering, the hardship, the heartache, the pain and illness we may be experiencing, we still know for sure that our God is good and fair and just, and He will not allow us to handle more than we can bear. And furthermore, whatever He brings us to, He’s faithfully promised to bring us through. And all God’s people declared a loud and joyful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! For the Lord He is indeed good to the undeserving children of men!’ Oh my brethren, that’s the basic beauty of the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Deity we serve and worship! And now, here’s one of those inspiring, positive, uplifting prayers from Dr. Robert H. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, to get us started on the right foot for the day. It’s a prayer of joy, optimism and great expectations that today we’ll do well in the service of our Leader and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Pray with me: ‘Thank you, Father, for the beautiful surprises you are planning for me today. So often in my life, when it looked like the day would be dismal, depressing, and dark, an unexpected burst of golden sunshine exploded through a black cloud sending inspiring shafts of warm, beautiful sunshine into my life. Father, it is happening now! I can already feel the power of your LOVE, through Christ my Lord. Amen.’ Yuh know Friends, it truly amazes me, that I’ve been reading that Devotional for a few years now, but every time I come to one of those uplifting prayers that I share with you, it just seems like I’ve never see them before. It’s the same thing with the Good Book; every time you read it, you discover something new. That happened to me recently while reading Job. I discovered that his friends had actually come and sat down seven days and nights with him in the dust and ashes of his grief, without saying a word. It’s only after that, they began to rag on him about his supposed sins. (Job 2:13) That brings us to our Bit: ‘As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to (repeats) his folly.’ Ah Friends, that’s so true of so many of us today, it’s not funny! Just like a dog goes back and plays in its vomit, it seems very difficult for too many of us to learn from our mistakes, and thus we keep repeating the same ones over and over. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, you can’t keep on doing the same thing and expect different results. Now listen to Peter, as he talks about false teachers and those who once knew God, but fell from grace and again became entangled in the shoddy, disgusting affairs of the world. ‘For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned (returns) to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.’ (2 Pet.2:21-22) Oh mih breddren, is that ever so true! I guess it’s where the saying, ‘you can take the mud from the pig, but you can’t take the pig from the mud,’ comes from. And we do it all the time. Jesus washes and cleanses us of our sins, but we then let the wily Lucifer tantalize us with his glitzy but empty and useless worldly things, and we fall right back into the mire of sin again. And a good example of that from way back when is Pharaoh, when Moses comes and asks him to let the Jewish people go, but Pharaoh refuses. It took something like (10) ten disasters upon his land and people, before Pharaoh agreed to set God’s people free. And my people, the worse thing that can happen to us when we’re undergoing tribulation or making serious mistakes is a break in the action, where we get a little relief from our misery. That unfortunately often gives us the wrong message, and causes us to continue our folly. That happened to Pharaoh after the plague of frogs, when Moses cried out to the Lord about it. (Ex.8:12-13)  The Good Book declares: ‘But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite (relief), he hardened his heart, and hearkened not (did not listen) unto them; as the Lord had said.’ (Ex.8:15) Likewise do we my fellow believers, usually to our subsequent hurt. Pharaoh foolishly suffered through another five plagues after that, before he finally saw the light. And we’ll end with an interesting scripture from the hymn of praise in the day of salvation per Isaiah, re the foolishness of the wicked. ‘Let favour (grace) be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.’ (Is.26:10) Yes Friends, such is the deceitfulness and stupidity of the wicked, that even though Almighty God shows them favour, pours out His grace on them, they will not learn righteousness but continue their wicked ways. Please my people, let us not be numbered amongst that sorry, unfortunate lot. It’s a fool’s folly! And followers of Jesus are anything but fools; wisdom is our middle name. Much LOVE!…a wise man learns from his mistakes…but a fool continues in his foolish ways…
 

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