Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2014 John 6:29

John 6:29.   Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

It is Monday Friends… and all over the world people are excited, joyful, enthusiastic and everlastingly grateful that they have jobs to go to on this fateful last day of June 2014!
 
But yuh know what, we can also say: It is Monday Friends… and all over the world lots of people are sad, in despair, fearful, crying, and even dying  because they don’t have jobs to go to on this fateful last day of June 2014!
 
And paradoxically, both statements would be true!  Unfortunately though, I do believe that in these very trying and challenging economic times the latter statement and/or situation contains the greater the number of people.
 
So my brethren, if you are one of those lucky ones in the minority, one with a job this Monday morning, then I’d strongly suggest you put some cheer in your heart, a smile on your face and get a move on, instead of pouting and childishly complaining, of being miserable and downcast because you have to go and do a little labouring, so that you can eat bread.
 
Chuh!  Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Thessalonians on the subject: ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ (2 Thess.3:10)
 
Oh Friends, it’s a good thing that we don’t rigidly enforce that command nuh, else many more people would be starving than currently are! However, since we are only mere mortals, and complaining is a part of our natural heritage, (smile) let’s get some much needed encouragement from our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s sing it with a zest and a zeal that will move the forces of heaven!
 
As one beautiful sounding, harmonious choir 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!’
 
Oh Friends, that was most excellent! Jesus was proud of us! Now let’s see if we can keep Him proud concerning the terms of our Bit. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.’
 
Remember yesterday we saw where the crowd was following Jesus looking for physical food, but He was more interested in giving them spiritual food, and told them so. After which they enquired what they had to do to perform the works of God, and Jesus replied with our Bit.
 
And still in a quandary, after receiving His answer, ‘They said therefore unto him, what sign showest thou (will you perform) then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
 
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
 
Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:30-35)
 
Oh my people, what beautiful words of encouragement, wisdom and truth! Only our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, could have uttered them so movingly, so touching to the heart!
 
Now I’m not sure if the people who heard Him live on that day, really understood what He was talking about, but we do. And since we are His representatives here on earth, it is our bounden duty, our responsibility to get out into the evil, ungodly world and let the unbelievers know what is what.
 
So today, as we venture out into the wide and wicked world, to begin a new week of work, let’s remember to give Jesus some air time; let people know by our words, who He is and what He’s done for us, and will also do for them if they accept Him. And then, by our actions, let them see how He expects us to behave.
 
Friends, that’s all Jesus really expects from us. And it’s not hard to do, if we truly believe and want to be His true disciples. So let’s get on with it nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…today I’m going to try and change the world…just one moment at a time…by letting Jesus work through me…

 Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2014 John 6:29

John 6:29.   Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Oh mih people, how we doing this bright and bountiful Sunday morning eh? I do hope that the Lord is in our thoughts, and that all those who celebrate the Sabbath on Sundays are getting ready to go and fellowship with others of like intentions.
 
Meanwhile, for those who celebrate the Sabbath on other days, I hope that you have already successfully fellowshipped with your peers. For we need to remember that fellowshipping is extremely important in the lives of Christ’s people.
 
It’s where we encourage and exhort and uplift each other. So please make it a habit of getting together with others of your denomination at least once a week to celebrate Christ’s victory, and to offer up praise and worship in thanksgiving for all that He’s so selflessly done for us.
 
And before I forget, here is a most useful prayer that we can all use when we come to share private time with our Maker. I’ve shared it sometime ago, but in light of yesterday’s Bit, where we talked about reading the Word, it seemed rather apropos to share it again. I found it at the back of my mother’s Bible after she went to be with the Lord, and since then, I’ve used it all the time.
 
It’s plain and simple and to the point. ‘Dear heavenly Father, as I open my Bible, I pray that you will let my heart find peace. As my mind is filled with new understanding, Grant that I may learn the things you want me to know from the words I read. Bless me to find the courage, the comfort, the joy, these pages can bring, as I read about Jesus our greatest teacher. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I don’t think we can getter a better opening prayer than that, for it covers all the bases! But it’s your choice to use it or not, though you can certainly use it as a guide to develop your own individual approach. Whatever you’re comfortable with, that’s what you ought to use.
 
And today, my fellow believers, we’re going to look at an interesting and most important teaching of Jesus. This happens the day after He feeds the five thousand with the five barley loaves and two small fishes, then gathers up twelve baskets with the remnants of that meal. That certainly opened their eyes and made them believe that Jesus was indeed a prophet. (John 6:1-14)
 
But Jesus fearing that they would take Him by force and try to make Him king, went off by Himself into the mountains. Then that evening, without Jesus, the disciples got into a boat to cross over the Sea of Galilee, but part way over a wicked storm hit them.
 
And like the gracious Saviour He is, who comes to our rescue time and time again, the disciples, now in great despair for their lives, eventually see Him walking on the water towards them, saying; ‘It is I; be not afraid.’ (John 6:20)
 
Now obviously after hearing about Jesus great miracle of feeding, the next day throngs gathered in expectation of more of the same. But unfortunately they couldn’t find Jesus, although they knew that He hadn’t gone over in the boat with the disciples. But nonetheless, they rushed over by boat to the other side, to Capernaum, looking for Him.
 
‘And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles (signs), but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.’ (John 6:25-26)
 
Jesus knew that they weren’t looking for Him for spiritual purposes, for spiritual fodder, but for physical food. And He therefore warns them: ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27)
 
Oh Friends, that warning is also of the utmost importance to us today, as we have sadly placed God in the background of our society with only sparse acknowledgment, and are daily lusting more and more after the unenduring things of the world.
 
And that is oh so wrong, so foolish my brethren, because it imperils our salvation, our eternal livelihood, setting us up for eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the very worst thing that could ever happen to a human being!
 
And the crowd back then, not fully understanding Jesus’ words, continued: ‘Then said they unto him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.’ (John 6:28-29)
 
Yes Friends, that is what God expects of us! Before we can do anything in His name, we must first believe in and on Jesus Christ; the One He sent to enlighten us, to selflessly sacrifice His sinless life on our behalf, and thus redeem and reconcile us to
Himself! That, my people, ought to be our first order of business! Not the last, as some of us consider it.
 
And that is quite ably backed up by Jesus’ statement to doubting Thomas, when he declared: ‘Lord, we know not wither 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 14:5-6)
 
Oh my brethren, no truer words have ever been spoken! So if you are truly concerned about your life in the hereafter, and you ought to be, then you’d better take those words to heart and put them into action in your life. For that my Friends, is indeed wisdom of the highest order possible. Much LOVE!
 
…to spend eternity on the inside with the Father looking out…one must first embrace the Son and all that He stands for…that’s the ONLY WAY to achieve that most worthwhile goal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2014 Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119:11.    Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Oh Friends, once more our gracious God has seen it fit to bless us with another day of life on planet earth. For such a wonderful blessing we ought to be most thankful, since a large number of our fellow earthlings, for whatever reason (s) have not been so gifted.
 
The breath of life is one of the most important blessings we have received from our Creator, and too many of us take it for granted, and are most surprised on that fateful day when we don’t open our eyes. (smile)
 
So please, every morning that you open your eyes to a new day, please remember to give the Lord genuine thanks for allowing you to witness another sunrise, or even another rainy, gloomy day, for every day, many who don’t arise, would have given all they possessed just to see another day, regardless of how it turned out. And you know that there’s nothing our God likes better than our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for His blessings.
 
That brings us to an interesting sentence hiding under the guise of a Danish Proverb. ‘The sky is not less blue because the blind man doesn’t see it.’
 
And really my people, we can’t find any fault with that statement because it is the truth. But Friends, the same thing can be said about our lives. The choices most of us make don’t change the reality of the world around us.
 
We can choose to be optimistic, caring, giving and joyful, or to be angry, resentful and despair of the world’s goodness. But none of that will truly change the world; it will still be whatever it is. However, our choice will either make us broken and sad, or optimistic and enthusiastic. It all depends on how we choose to view the world around us.
 
And I strongly advise that choosing the optimistic and enthusiastic route is the much better one for true believers, in fact for every single soul on planet earth, because it gives us hope, despite what is actually happening around us. Hope that God is with us, and that ALL His promises will be faithfully fulfilled in His time, if we are obedient to His will. Hope is also contagious and helps us to encourage others.  
 
But where can we find that hope that sustains us in all kinds of weather eh my brethren? In God’s Word of course! Listen to the psalmist as he asks that question, then wisely declares the answer. ‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.’ (Ps.119:9)
 
‘Elementary my dear Watson!’ as our renowned sleuth Sherlock Holmes would say. Unfortunately though, in this modern world, reading the Good Book and following its dictates has fallen into great disfavour. But then we wonder why our lives and the world around us are in such a terrible state. Hn!
 
Now hear how the palmist continues: ‘With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.’ (Ps. 119:10-11)
 
Oh what words of wisdom my Friends! If only more of us would sincerely allow those desires to permeate our hearts and souls, we’d all be much better off. I particularly like the expressed intentions of our Bit: hiding God’s Word in our hearts, so that we don’t disobey Him. How resourceful my brethren!
 
But before we can hide His Word in the uttermost depths of our being, we first need to READ IT! 
 
That however is where the problem comes in. It’s awfully hard to get people, even sincere believers, to read the Good Book on a consistent basis these days. But that’s the only way we’ll ever know what it says, and be able to hide it in our hearts.
 
We have all sorts of excuses why we can’t read the Word regularly, like being so busy and otherwise. But Friends, that’s pure hogwash, pure heifer dust! We find time to do all sorts of other stuff of much less importance. Don’t tell me if the Lord was important enough in your life that you couldn’t find a fifteen minutes or half an hour each day to study His Word.
 
And note I said STUDY, not merely peruse, or give a cursory glance through. Like all the other stuff we need to study to enhance our careers, so too we need to STUDY GOD’S WORD, so that we can know what it says and be obedient to it!
 
I’m tired with all the business and busyness we claim to have. Something must be wrong with me then, because I don’t seem to have that much business or busyness, but I still have to consciously make the time to read the Word, or else my time will be taken up with much less important things.
 
Friends, we DON’T FIND TIME, we MAKE TIME, especially when it comes to God’s Word!
 
And most of us would be surprised to find that our lives would blossom ever so brightly, if we just made the time to spend a few minutes everyday poring over the Word. Yes my brethren, please remember that the Good Book is our guide to earthly living, and if we don’t pay serious attention to it, then we WILL go astray.
 
And I don’t have to tell us that that is the gospel truth, because it is highlighted right before our very eyes; the total disarray in which our world now finds itself, because it has ceased making the Word of God its guide.
 
Oh my people, I can only encourage us to read and follow God’s Word, every individual has to take the responsibility upon him or herself to do so or not. Remember though, that you will also have to bear the consequences of whatever path you follow. Much LOVE!
 
…to truly find our way on our earthly pilgrimage…to not get lost in the darkness of this evil world…it’s essential to read and follow our guide book…THE HOLY BIBLE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2014 Ephesians 5:21

Ephesians 5:21.   Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 
‘Friday, oh Friday! How I LOVE that day! Friday, oh Friday! The weekend’s coming my way! Oh thank God it’s Friday! And I’m feeling okay! Friday, oh Friday! How I LOVE that day…’
 
Ah Friends, the amount of little ditties we can make up to celebrate Fridays eh. And rightly so, because Friday is a day when we finally see some daylight at the end of the work-week tunnel and envision a wonderful weekend of pleasure.
 
But please remember that the weekend is not only for pleasure, but should also include rest and fellowship with other believers. So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a better perspective on how to handle the weekend.
 
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.’
 
Now that’s more like it! (smile) And today we’ll continue looking at our simple sounding, but oh so important Bit: ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’
 
And why is it so important? Because it deals with harmony, unity, like-mindedness, goals and values that please God, in His church. And right now there’s certainly not enough of that in the body of Christ.
 
Christianity is way too fractured, and thus dysfunctional to the serious work it’s called upon to do. In too many churches, regardless of religion or denomination, the congregations are divided in to cliques resentful of, and sometimes outright warring against each other.
 
Bruh Paul saw it happening even in the young churches he founded and strenuously pointed out the error to them. Here is what he said to the Galatians on the matter. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
 
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.’ (Gal.5:16-18)
 
Basically, he’s saying that the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who in turn attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires…. The Spirit-led person is not under the law. The Christian does not need the restraints of the law because his moral life is governed by the Spirit.’
 
And then Bruh Paul goes on to list the works of the flesh (Gal.5:19-21)…’and they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:21b-26)
 
Yes Friends, as true believers, the Holy Spirit ought to lead us to produce fruit that is harmonious, united and uplifting to God’s church. But unfortunately too many of us have not sufficiently crucified our flesh, and thus worldly lusts like vanity, envy, resentment and spitefulness still characterize Christ’s church today. What an awful shame!
 
Meanwhile, Peter, who also recognizes the problem, puts it this way. ‘Likewise ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
 
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.
 
But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:5-11)
 
Oh Friends, I couldn’t say it any better! And my wish for all of us today, is that we walk carefully, recognizing that Beelzebub is constantly circling, like the vulture that he is, that we stand strong and steadfast, yet humble and reverent before Almighty God, living in harmony and unity, thus bringing untold glory to His Holy Name. Much LOVE!
 
…unity and harmony between God’s people…will not come simply by wishing it…but by diligently working together to make it happen…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2014 Ephesians 5:21

Ephesians 5:21.    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 
And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday – the day before the weekend. Wow Friends, the weekend’s almost here! Give thanks and praise! (smile) Yes my people, we ought to always give thanks and praise, not only for stuff like the weekend, but for ALL things, be they good or bad!
 
As Bruh Paul so wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) Yes mih breddren, thanks and praise are always in our best interest, no matter the situation!
 
And the word for today from my almanac (smile) is ‘REFLECT.’ The quote comes from Peter Drucker (1909-2005) He was the Austrian–born, American writer, professor and management consultant who set the management world afire in my days. He’s often referred to as ‘the Father of modern management.’ In my time, you couldn’t study management without reading Drucker. I must still have a book or two by him somewhere here on my shelf.
 
Anyway, the quote is: ‘From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.’
 
And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! For when we first sit and reflect on what’s happening in our lives and around us, instead of just jumping in willy-nilly to some situation, we do produce much more effective actions.
 
And today, I want us to consider our Bit in the spirit of reflection. ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’
 
Yes my people, let’s ponder its meaning, then consider our individual efforts in doing what it advocates. Are we truly submitting ourselves to each other in reverence to God?
 
Or as the scholars describe it: ‘There is mutual submission, that is, showing deference to the wishes of one another, as long as that to which the believer submits is in the fear of God, which is to say, in accord with what pleases Him.’
 
Oh Friends, as true Christians, that’s how we ought to be living our lives. But unfortunately I don’t think we are doing that to any great extent. Instead we are allowing the dictates, emotions, ungodly actions and motives of the world to permeate our relationships. That’s why there is so much animosity, resentment, and all the other negative things to be found today in the body of Christ; His supposedly august church.
 
And that unity of effort is one thing Bruh Paul harps on, knowing its great importance. To the Philippians, he writes: ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy),
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.1:1-4)
 
Yes that’s a mouthful, but here are some explanations from the scholars: ‘2:2-4. Fulfill ye my joy (or, “Make my joy complete”). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians (1:3), but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them.
 
The Greek equates what, to Paul, constitutes “complete joy” with the readers being like-minded. This means “living in harmony” with one another. That is, the Philippians can “fulfill” the writer’s “joy” by living in harmony among themselves. But what does such harmonious living entail?
 
Beginning in verse 2 and continuing through verse 4, six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to “live in harmony”: (1) having the same LOVE toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality; (2) being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit; (3) of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;
 
(4) let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; for selfish ambitions or conceit; (5) let each esteem other better than themselves; that is, each is to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and (6) look…every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.’
 
Yes my brethren, though Bruh Paul was generally happy with the Philippians, there was some disunity among them that displeased him. I hate to think what he would feel about the church today, for there is so much disunity and dissension, that it’s feeding on itself and every day creating more of the same.
 
Oh my fellow believers, Christians were meant to live in harmony, with Jesus Christ as our sounding board, as our most worthy example! Yuh see how the early Christians lived after the Holy Spirit was endowed on all believers! That’s how we ought to live!
 
Oh I know that we are only human and that the society is bigger and somewhat different, but even so, with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, we ought, and can definitely come up much higher than we’re currently doing.

Remember Jesus’ motto is ‘Excellence in all things!’ And we’re definitely not being excellent in church unity and harmony.
 
So today my people, I’m pleading with us to try and do better, to come up higher, not only for our sakes and for those of our children, but more so for Jesus, since we are His representatives, His ambassadors here on earth, and we’re not doing such a great job in His name. Let’s sincerely seek to improve nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…oh…if there was even a tad more unity in Christ’s church…His LOVE Revolution would be much further along to completion…

 

 
 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2014 Luke 13:24

Luke 13:24.   Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
 

Greetings and salutations my wonderful Scrip-Bit family! May we all enjoy a blessed day as we walk proudly and faithfully in the joy and strength of our omnipotent God, while He showers us with His goodness and LOVE, His abundant mercies and forgiveness, all prepared new and special for this Wednesday morning.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!’ And furthermore Friends, let’s proclaim and acclaim our faithful intentions: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’
 
Oh my people, of that there is no doubt, because we’ll strive valiantly to accomplish that goal. And speaking of striving, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. (smile)
 
Seriously though Friends, I have an almanac from my Insurance Agent tacked up on the wall on the right side of my desk, a fairly large one too, and if I turn my head to the right, I ought to see it. But it seems like I haven’t turned my head to the right for almost six months…that is until last night. Would you believe it’s still on January? Hn, hn!
 
Now there are other smaller almanacs on my desk that I use most of the time. But that is certainly ridiculous, especially since I always have a calendar in that position. Now I’ve been known to miss a couple of months, but this is surely the worst. Can you imagine that – not seeing a calendar, a big enough one too, that’s right beside you, for almost six months?
 
And coming to think of it, the whole plethora of stuff on that wall; acclamations, pictures, etc, I pass by them everyday and don’t even notice them! Chuh! And yet that was my studied purpose for putting them there… that I would notice them whenever I passed by. Oh the irony of it all!
 
But anyway, when I went to change the calendar last night, to my great surprise, I discovered that it contained a whole lot of quotes on different subjects from different people; a virtual treasury of goodies. Ah Lord eh! But I’m sure that such situations happen to all of us. We go searching for stuff far and wide, when there’s a treasure trove of valuable stuff right in front of us.
 
Sorry about that Leo (my Insurance Agent), but the Lord does move in mysterious ways. He knew that come June, I’d need some words of wisdom to share. (smile)
 
Anyway, the first item is titled ‘STRIVE!’ And the quote is attributed to Rowland Hill. Now I can’t say much about him, because there were several people by that name – a preacher, a viscount and a postmaster – when I looked it up. But the quote wisely advises us to: ‘Strive to live your life to the fullest and don’t let one day go by without trying to live it the best way you can!’
 
And that surely is gospel truth my Friends! Everyday we ought to try and live our lives the best way we can. Some days we will mess up and make a whole lot of mistakes, but the important thing is that we at least get an ‘A’ for effort. And that’s sadly where a whole lot of us Christians fall down. We don’t put in the required effort, and then we wonder why we can’t get ahead.
 
Oh my brethren, I’m here to tell us that living a truly Christian life takes mucho, mucho effort! And even then, there will be bumps and bruises along the way. Not because we’ve entered into a special relationship with Jesus means that our lives will be easy. His definitely was not easy.
 
On the contrary, when you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, life tends to get rockier, because of the tests, the trials and tribulations the Lord allows or puts us through in order to refine us into a more Christ-like individual. That’s why, when we’re living for Jesus, we have to pay greater attention to how we walk, talk and behave, so that it conforms to His modus operandi.
 
No Friends, the truly Christian life is not an easy one, especially in this evil and ungodly world that now holds sway. But I can assure you, from personal experience, that it is indeed and interesting and exciting one! Oh my brethren, there’s no life like the one you experience when you truly surrender to God and allow Him to lead and guide you!
 
That’s why Jesus cautions us in our Bit: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ If Jesus says so my people, then it must be so!
 
Meanwhile, Matthew’s gospel relates it this way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14)
 
Now hear are some explanations from the scholars: ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vv.13-14); two trees (vv.15-20); two professions (vv.21-23); and two foundations (vv.24-29).
 
This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life.
 
Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (cf. John 6:44).’
 
And that my Friends, is what this life is all about; striving to find the narrow pathway that leads to Christ, to salvation and eternal life! Please, I implore us, let’s be wise and seek it nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…the highways are straight and wide…easy to find…but not so the narrow and winding byways…those we must diligently seek to find…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2014 Proverbs 3:6

 Proverbs 3:6.   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths.

Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday, and the living is a tad difficult! (smile) Yes, on this wet summer’s morn, the ole back’s a aching, because I lay in bed too long. I refused to get up when the Lord first called.
 
But how can a body be expected to get up so early in the morning with the very mellow, soothing sounds of a gentle rain, a veritable lullaby (smile) falling outside one’s open window eh?
 
Chuh! It’s just not fair! No, it truly is not. But whoever said that life was fair eh? There is a price to pay for all our selfish indulgences. However, please remember that despite the unfairness of life, our great God is GOOD!
 
All praise and thanks be to Him, who willingly sacrificed His ONLY Son, Jesus Christ to pay for our heinous sins! That’s how much He LOVED us back then, and still does to this very day!
 
Sadly though, we don’t return that LOVE near as much as we should. And that, my brethren, is something we ought to work hard on correcting. Why? Because not LOVING our wonderful God, as we should, is only causing us unnecessary stress and strain, and even great harm.
 
That’s why I want to continue with our Bit from yesterday; the everlasting wise words of Cousin Sol: ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths.’ What awesome wisdom Friends!
 
And there was no one who understood those words better than Cousin Sol, because those wise sentiments were first instilled in him by his father Bruh David, when he passed on the throne of Israel. Bruh David was able to do that because he himself had experienced the goodness and faithfulness of God throughout his own life.
 
Now hear Bruh David’s words to Cousin Sol, as he encourages him to build the temple of God. And please note that this was in front of all the people of Israel.
 
‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect (loyal) heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now, for the Lord hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.’ (1 Chr.28:9-10)
 
Oh Friends, are we instructing our children and grand children in like manner? I certainly hope so. Although it doesn’t seem so, since this young generation appears to have no reverence or time for the things of God, but are truly fascinated and deeply involved in the harmful things of the world.
 
And if that’s so, then we the parents are the ones to blame. I heard somebody say recently that our generation is trying so hard to provide the things we didn’t have for our children, that we have no time to teach or provide them with the things that we did and still do have.
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! We put so much effort into getting them the unimportant things of this world, that we have no time left, and apparently inclination too, to instruct then in the things of God. How sad my brethren…
 
Now here is an interesting note from the scholars re Bruh David’s encouragement to Cousin Sol. ’28:9-10. Although David’s charge to Solomon that he serve…the Lord with a perfect heart (cf. Matt.5:48) and a willing mind (cf. Ex.35:21,29) was directed primarily at his son, his point was doubtless not lost on the assembled congregation (cf.29:9).’
 
And that’s very true, for 29:9 says: ‘Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect (loyal) heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.’ (1 Chr.29:9)
 
Yes my fellow believers, the people gave willingly towards building God’s sanctuary. I wish we could day that about today’s believers, because getting anything from too many of us to do the Lord’s work is like pulling teeth without anesthetic.
 
But those are the same ones who expect to see the Lord’s work done with the necessary pomp and ceremony and honour and glory. Ah Lord eh! But that’s another sermon for another day. (smile)
 
And now we’ll close with the wisdom and reverence that Cousin Sol showed after Bruh David so wisely instructed him in the ways of God. ‘In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead (be king in his place).
 
Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like dust of the earth in multitude (as numerous as the dust of the earth). Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
 
And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:
 
Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.’ (2 Chr. 1:7-12)
 
Oh Friends, neighbours, fellow believers, unbelievers, of whatever faith or non-faith you are, yuh see how our great God deals with those who come to him with humility and reverence, knowing that they can do nothing of any great magnitude without Him, but in and through His great mercy, LOVE and power, ALL things are possible!
 
And all God’s people gave a joyous shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Praise His awesome and glorious Name!’
 
Now my brethren, since we’re still alive, it means we still have hope. So please, for our children’s sake, let’s all try to undo the wrong we’ve so foolishly done them nuh, and instead imbue them with the wisdom of reverence and faithfulness due to Almighty God. It’s still possible with the Lord’s help. Much LOVE!
 
…for without me…ye can do nothing… (John 15:5)…with men this is impossible…but with God…ALL things are possible… (Matt.19:26)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2014 Proverbs 3:6

Proverbs 3:6.     In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths.

 Oh Friends and neighbours, the second day of summer was even better than the first yes! Glory Hallelujah!
 
It was also the Lord’s Day, and quite appropriately, His people, those of the parish of St. Francis were celebrating with praise, worship and thanksgiving at our annual outdoor service and picnic.
 
Yeh Friends, unlike the unfortunate Jews held captive in Babylon, who couldn’t sing the Lord’s songs in a strange land, we were singing the Lord’s songs on the banks of the winding Credit River, in a free and prosperous land.
 
Yes my brethren, on the banks of the living waters of the winding Credit River, the people of St. Francis were singing the Lord’s songs with joy and gladness, praising and thanking Him for all His goodness and mercy to us, the undeserving children of men!
 
And yuh know Friends, being in a physical structure worshipping Almighty God is fine, but it is somewhat restricting, in that it sort of keeps God within the walls of the edifice. However, worshipping Him outdoors is surely something special to behold and participate in!
 
Just imagine being present in the natural beauty of His creation, being one, under the open blue skies filled with brilliant sunshine, in the shade of the green trees, leaves dancing in concert to the riddim of the cool, gentle breeze that’s blowing, with the birds and other creatures singing their own songs of praise, and the river meandering slowly by, with nature proclaiming God’s majesty and beauty!
 
How could anything be better than that eh?  
 
The praise and worship led by our own cool pastor, Fr. Jeff, were excellent. And don’t talk about the food! That too was most excellent; rich, diverse and spicy, just like the people who prepared it. The fellowship was both enticing and exciting, (smile) with fun and games for all to enjoy.
 
And the Lord looked down from His high heaven and saw that it was good. And He smiled and said, ‘Amen! It is good! So let it be!’
 
But Friends that was yesterday, and hopefully some of the joy and gladness has spilled over to today, Monday, when we have to get up and go to work….
 
Unfortunately though, I still heard some moans and groan when I mentioned the word Monday. (smile) So let’s join together and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get those adrenalin juices flowing nuh.
 
As one 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 my brethren, that was a worthy enough rendition, so let’s go out and do the things we have to do with the Spirit of Jesus leading and guiding us. That brings us to these wise and faithful words of Cousin Sol, before, after and including our Bit
 
‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8)
 
What wisdom my people, what awesome wisdom!
 
Now here are some notes on those verses from the scholars. ‘3:5-6. Three commands are given: trust, meaning “rely on, depend on”; lean not, meaning do not depend on your own native instincts; and acknowledge him, meaning have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life. The result of such devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.’
 
Oh Friends, please, I implore us to take those wise and sincere words to heart as we walk our journey of faith, today and every day, so that our paths will be directed by our Creator along smooth and straight lines. That is the wisdom of a true believer. Much LOVE!
 
…walk good…talk good…do good…live good…just like Jesus did…and your efforts will be richly rewarded…both here on earth…and in heaven on high…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2014 Psalm 107:1

Psalm 107:1.   O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

Oh Friends, the first day of summer 2014 wasn’t bad at all nuh! It got up to about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius, with bright sunshine and a nice, cool breeze. Only hope that will be the norm for the rest of the season yes.
 
Hn, hn! That’s what they call wishful thinking. But if we don’t have hope, what’s the point of living eh?
 
And this Sunday morning my people, we have a wonderful Bit from Psalm 107, God’s wonderful works to the children of men, which does exactly that; give us lots and lots of hope.
 
The psalmist opens his prayer of praise with a powerful and indisputably true statement: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’
 
With that fact my brethren, there can be no argument whatsoever! And why is that? Listen to the psalmist proclaim his reasons: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
 
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:2-7)
 
Yes Friends, those are indeed the actions of a most LOVING and merciful God!
 
Thus the psalmist logically declares: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps.107:8-9)
 
Likewise, in Psalm 106, Israel sins against God’s LOVE, a psalm of national lament, the writer wisely advises in his opening verses: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter (express) the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgement (justice), and he that doeth righteousness at all times.’ (Ps.106:1-3)
 
And that my Friends, is all gospel truth! So let’s remember it, and put it into practice nuh, for it will only benefit us greatly.
 
The prophet Jeremiah also, in talking about the reviving of Judah, LOVINGLY proclaims: ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives of the land to return), as at the first, saith, the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11)
 
How can we not LOVE and revere such a magnanimous, forgiving and merciful God eh my people? We’d be extremely foolish not to!
 
And we’ll close with some similar words and sentiments from Bruh David’s song of thanksgiving after the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
 
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.17:34-36)
 
Yes Friends, let’s praise the Lord God, our Creator, Provider, Shield and Strong Fortress, today and everyday nuh, for He is the ONE, who causes us to draw breath and to live lives of comfort, prosperity and security. Much LOVE!
 
…praise, gratefulness and thanks to Almighty God…should be an integral part of the believer’s lifestyle… 
 
P.S. Wow! Is it ever short today! (smile) So please don’t complain if it’s long tomorrow. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2014 Acts 5:39

Acts 5:39.      But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
 
Oh Friends, please give this glorious Saturday morning a resounding welcome, as it heralds the first day of summer in the memorable year of 2014! And let’s hope and pray that it treats us much better than the last winter season did. But please don’t hold your breath, because I believe that once the summer truly gets going, it will be a scorcher. (smile)
 
But as I keep reminding us, once we’re hanging out with Jesus, we will be able to handle the crazy summer and whatever else comes against us. And all God’s people mouthed a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Jesus!’
 
Yes Friends, we do indeed have a lot to be thankful to Jesus for; things like redemption, reconciliation, salvation and eternal life. ! Now how could we not be eternally grateful for all that wonderful stuff eh? Oh… and please don’t forget that most practical gift of His Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer and gives us the wherewithal to come up over all our problems, be they large or small.
 
And Friends, today just might be your lucky day, for we might just be finished with the messages on the Holy Spirit today. And I can hear some sighs of relief in the background. But don’t jump for joy too soon, because there’s no guarantee of that, (smile) for we have to go and move as the Spirit dictates. Just like how we saw the apostles’ move yesterday, through the Spirit’s leading, telling the Jewish council to their hypocritical faces where to get off. (Acts 5:29-32)  
 
Today we’ll look at what happened after that dressing down by the fired up apostles. ‘When they (the council) heard that, they were cut to the heart (furious), and took council to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor (teacher) of the law, had in reputation among (held in respect by) all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space (for a little while);
 
And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching (regarding) these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed (followed) him, were scattered, and brought to nought (nothing).
 
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing (census), and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.’ (Acts 5:33-39)
 
Oh Friends, what wise advice from Gamaliel! Now here are some notes from the scholars: ‘5:34. Gamaliel was a respected Pharisee, a prominent teacher at Jerusalem, a member of the Jewish high council (the Sanhedrin), and the teacher of Paul.
 
Jewish tradition states that Gamaliel’s grandfather was Hillel, the prominent rabbi who represented the liberal wing of the Pharisees in opposition to the more rigid, and conservative wing led by Shammai. When the lives of the apostles were in jeopardy before the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel quieted them with his persuasive and pragmatic speech. Gamaliel is mentioned only twice in Scripture: Acts 5:34 and 22:3.’
 
Yeh mih people, Bruh Paul was a student of Gamaliel, so you can see where he got some of his persuasiveness, some of his lawyer’s skills from. And some more notes from the scholars: ‘5:36-39. Many false messiahs have arisen through the ages, as Christ Himself predicted (Matt.24:5). These have all died and have amounted to nothing. Gamaliel cites two such cases from his lifetime to discourage any rash actions against the Twelve.
 
God in His providence uses this to protect His servants. Gamaliel’s advice must not be regarded however, as biblical precept. False teachers do not inherently cease with the passing of time. Paul, one of Gamaliel’s own students (22:3), did not follow or teach this principle. We are to note, rebuke, and oppose false teachings (cf. Rom.16:17; 2 Thess.3:6; Jude 3).’
 
Now there’s no doubt about that Friends! We ought to expose and clarify false teachings as soon as we become aware of them.
 
And how did the rest of the Jewish council respond to Gamaliel’s suggestion eh? ‘And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.’ (Acts 5:40-41)
 
Oh my brethren, are we willing to suffer such pain and shame for Jesus’ sake? We ought to, although that’s easier said than done.
 
But listen to this last verse: ‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus (as the) Christ.’ (Acts 5:42)
 
Oh praise the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit! Why?  Because it was the mighty power of God’s Spirit that enabled the apostles to withstand the brutal physical punishment, then go right back out and do what they were commanded not to do.
 
Ah mih people, how I wish that many, many more of us would thumb our noses at the evil, ungodly leaders of today, and just keep on doing God’s work, whenever the law of the world contradicts God’s Word. So please, let’s all try and do better in that aspect of our faith walk nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…remember, it is always better to obey God rather than man…and He will help us to stand the consequences…

 

 

Previous Older Entries