Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 7:12.

Ecclesiastes 7:12.    ​For wisdom is a defense (a protective shade, shadow), and money is a defense: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
 
Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! How goes it with you today eh, this last day of January? And can you believe that January is already done, one month of the new year is already over? Time sure is flying fast. At least I think so, but the duchess holds the opposite opinion; she thinks that January took a long time to finish, was just crawling along like a turtle in no particular hurry. (smile) But regardless of your opinion on the subject, one thing is certain sure; time is not waiting on us to do it’s thing. It never has, and it never will! 

That means we have to get our acts together and also do our thing, whatever God has called us to do, for when we come before him on the Big Day, and He asks why we didn’t complete our appointed task(s), we can’t tell Him that we didn’t have sufficient time, since He’s the Master Planner and gives us all enough time to do our duty. No friends, simplistic excuses like that won’t cut it on the judgement day! 

And yes it’s Friday, and yes, many of us are crowing like the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Hallelujah! The weekend is here; ripe for the taking, and believe me I’m going to take it! Take it and enjoy it whichever way I can. Forget about the slave master work until Monday morning, because this is my time now! Wow! And January done too, that means spring soon come! Yes, in another two months, the two coldest months of the year! (smile) 

But what’s a man to do eh? He has no choice but to enjoy his days to the best of his ability! And this year of 2020 is one I’m going to remember forever as one that I enjoyed to the fullest! Me and mih li’l family going to indeed have a bright and prosperous new year…well it mightn’t be all that prosperous in terms of money…but it certainly going to be a happy one, because we going to live and LOVE each other like there’s no tomorrow. 

Yuh see how Kobe Bryant with all his money and power and privilege just take off without a word of warning… with his big daughter to boot, the one who was supposed to carry on his legacy…Well I going to make sure that if that ever happen to me, my family going to know that I treasured them and LOVED them as best as I could! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And who says the ordinary workingman isn’t wise eh? He might not have a lot of education, but he does have plenty common sense, something that seems to generally be in short supply in these strife-filled and contentious days! We supposed believers (yeah!) would certainly be wise if we took a page from his book and began seriously enjoying life with our friends and families, letting them know in no uncertain terms that we truly LOVE and value them, because the breath of life can be taken away from any and all of us so unexpectedly. 

So let’s think seriously on that nuh, as we declare (yeah!) our Friday Chant in strong voice with sincere hearts. Remember friends, the sincerity, the rightness of the heart is what counts with the Lord. 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!’ 

And yes friends, as I keep saying, our God is indeed a great and faithful Deity, for just now, as I was perusing the Good Book, seeking words to justify our contentions above (smile), He eventually led me to these most appropriate words of Cousin Sol, speaking as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this. Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defense (a protective shade, shadow), and money is a defense: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.’  (Eccl.7:6-12) 

Oh friends, we cannot dispute the almighty value of wisdom over the other things of the world! Look at how many rich, unhappy fools there are, and how many money poor but spiritually prosperous wise men! Yes, it’s nice to have wisdom and money too, but too many of us opt for the money and not the wisdom, that’s why the saying, a fool and his money is soon parted is gospel truth! (smile) 

And Cousin Sol continues his awesome truth: ‘Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over the other (surely has appointed the one as well as the other), to the end that man should find nothing after him (nothing that will happen after him).’ (Eccl. 7:13-14) 

Ah mih people, as the scholars advise, ‘to talk about the former days (v.10), or the “good old days,” is not wise. Both good and bad days are the work of God and are used, apart from our ability to understand them, in God’s sovereign plan (vs. 13-14).’ Yeh, God said it all in Isaiah, that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so we can’t deign to understand His reasoning and plans. (Is. 55:8-9) 

So please, let’s stop trying to understand what God is all about nuh, because we simply don’t have the mental capacity to do so. Instead let’s just run with what He’s given us and be thankful for His ever-faithful LOVE, His magnificent and unbeatable offer of salvation, plus His enduring grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…it’s not ours to reason why… but both good and evil…serve the sovereign plan of God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2020 John 8:12.

John 9:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 
Well it’s begun as a somewhat grey and unappealing Thursday morning, but let’s hope that it will eventually turn into a bright sunshiny day like yesterday, although it was a tad on the chilly side. Yes friends, there’s something to be said for sunshine, even when it’s freezing cold! (smile) It just lifts the spirits…don’t know if it’s because of the light and our spirits were made to enjoy light, not darkness, but it certainly does help to see a nice, bright day filled with sunshine, especially when things are not going too well. 

But yuh know what? We believers don’t really need to depend so much on the physical sunlight because we have the one who made that sunlight, who is also that sunlight, dwelling deep down inside of us! And consequently, when the physical sunlight is not apparent, we can faithfully call on the spiritual light of Jesus to brighten up our days…and also our nights! Wow! That’s why He could make this awesome, but oh so true statement: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ 

Ah friends, what a blessing it is to have the Light of the world in our lives; dwelling securely and faithfully in the souls and spirits of each believer! (chuh!) Give Him much thanks and praise for He is certainly deserving of them! Now hear how John characterizes Him nuh: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ (John 1:1-4) 

Yes my people, Jesus was there from the very beginning: He was the Word; the awesome Word that God spoke to create the universe! ‘Let there be light…and there was light.’ (Gen. 1:3) He was also ‘the life’, which was the light of men, meaning when we have Jesus, we have both life and light! Glory be! And as the scholars explain: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

That’s why it’s so sad and unfortunate when John continues: ‘And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:5) Yes, Jesus came to shine light into a darkened world, but the world did not cotton to His light. Why, you wonder? Because as Jesus said in His famous discourse to Nicodemus: ‘And this is the condemnation of the world, that light (the light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

No wonder we refused the life and light that was, is, and will always be Jesus! It’s hard for evil man to give up his evil deeds because it’s just an inherent part of his nature. But friends, that evil nature will not get us anywhere except hellfire and damnation, eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul and spirit! That’s why the Father sent Jesus to earth to redeem us and to reconcile us to Him, otherwise come the big judgement day, we’d be left on the outside looking in. And believe me friends, whatever that might entail in reality, it certainly will not be a good thing! 

Now listen to Jesus again on the subject of ‘the light of the world,’ when He was about to heal a man born blind and the disciples asked Him who had sinned that he was born blind? ‘Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (be revealed) in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the  light of the world.’ 

Yes precious people of God, certain things are made to happen in this evil word so that our God can cause them to be rectified and thus glorify His most blessed and holy name! But the most important part of those statements is the fact that while Jesus was in the world, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He left the world, the duty of being light to a darkened world fell on us, His believers. Like He said back on the Sermon on the Mount after the Beatitudes: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Ah my fellow believers (yeah!), we are now the reflection of Jesus’ shining light to this evil world, so let’s go out and shine nuh… Oh and don’t forget we’re also the salt of the earth, so we have to be tasty too, otherwise we’ll just be cast out and ground underfoot. (smile)  And the great thing about Jesus is that He never gives us a task to perform unless He gives us the wherewithal, the tools to perform it. And He’s certainly given us the tools to be the salt and light of the earth in our Thursday Blessings, so let’s declare (yeah!) them now nuh, so we can invoke them in our daily routine. 

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

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

And if we truly believe and are truly sincere, then we’ll go out now and generously share those blessings with others as Jesus desires of us, and don’t selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…oh…what a joy and pleasure it is…to be the salt and light of this evil world…in Jesus’ name…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Well it’s Wednesday; the middle of the work week, the hump day, where we feel like we’ve finally gotten hold of, gotten over that invisible hump, where work takes up most of our time. But work certainly takes up most of our time in this life yes! Most of us work five days a week for an average of forty years, then we retire, thankful that there’s no work on the horizon, the early mornings and late nights are finally done! 

But yuh know what? After doing something for forty years it’s hard to get accustomed to not doing anything, to not have to get up and go to work every day, although we complained most days about having to get up and go to work! Hn! And if we just loll about in retirement and don’t keep busy, then our bodies give up and we head back to the dust from which we’ve come, sooner than expected. We’re creatures of habit. That’s the contrariness of the human animal! (smile) 

And I finally finished watching the second half of the movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it is indeed an epic story. But if the truth be told, nothing has really changed in our world since then nuh; that civil  war didn’t solve a whole lot, possibly besides the end of slavery, because there have been several bigger and more brutal wars since then, there’s still too much racism, overt and covert, still too much avarice and greed and jealously and strife, too much poverty and sickness and advantage, too much injustice and discrimination, be it by race, colour, class or creed, despite all the supposed advances we’ve made! 

Yes friends, our world is still a hotbed of dissension and disagreement! And yuh know what? It’s getting worse! Just look around at all the discontent between friends and families, between neighbours and nations…we’ve come closer together in terms of distance and communication, but we’ve gotten further apart in terms of true fellowship. There are more lonely people around now even with the advent of cell phones and social media, because that communication is basically impersonal; half the time you don’t even know who you’re really dealing with. 

Oh my people, the ONLY true solution to what ails our world is JESUS! He is the ONLY ONE who can truly bring us all together and give us the peace, LOVE and joy that we all seem to clamour for, but are far from experiencing! But strangely enough, Jesus is also one of the biggest factors of contention in our world; you either LOVE Him or hate Him with a passion! 

But let me ask you a few questions? Who is the ONLY ONE that came down from heaven, was made man, made in our image and lived amongst us like us eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died on a cross to take away our sins, to give us another option besides hellfire and damnation with Satan eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died and rose from the grave and ascended back into heaven with the promise to come back for us when we have made disciples of all the nations so that nobody will be lost to Beelzebub eh? JESUS CHRIST! 

Oh precious people, who said these momentous words with this awesome promise? ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh friends, Jesus had no cause to lie. They saw Him do numerous miracles. They saw Him crucified on the cross at Calvary, then rise up again. Yuh think if the early believers didn’t see Christ after He rose from the dead, they would have believed him and done what He asked and waited for Him? No way Jose! 

Hear the scholars: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ And a great shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ echoes far and wide across the land in anticipation of that most wonderful promise! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who desires to build a group of people, His church, on the basis of LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control). And if you didn’t recognize them, they are the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of which are planted in our own spirit when we do the wise thing and receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It’s then left up to us to water and nurture them and let them grow in and through us, by reading His Word and sincerely living it. 

That’s why Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them,’ speaking of false prophets and evil deceivers. (Matt.7:20) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. And we need to also remember these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13). 

Yes brothers and sisters, LOVE is indeed the greatest, because God is LOVE, and LOVE does no harm, but covers a multitude of sins, neither is there any fear in LOVE! And if  God first LOVED us, then we should also LOVE Him, and LOVE one another too: those are His two greatest desires! And now that all of that is indelibly written in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, let’s go home celebrating our position in Christ by declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether now, in strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And in light of all Jesus has promised, friends, it will certainly be a glorious future indeed! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the answer to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2020 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.    ​Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)
 

There you have it friends – we’ve begun the beginning! In fact we’ve sailed through the first day of the week with flying colours! Glory Be! That means the remainder of it will be like child’s play! Glory Hallelujah! Give our great God thanks and praise for helping us to do all of that nuh, for without His help we can do nothing! Jesus said it right out loud: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now He couldn’t get any clearer than that! 

And in keeping with all of that, here is a li’l piece from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that solidifies it. It’s titled ‘Accept – Expect.’ Please pray with me: ‘My Father Empower me to accept All You have promised And to expect Every promised fulfilled. May I never forget How completely I am in your hands.’ Now that is something we’ll never forget if we’re wise and faithful to Almighty God! Remember, it’s He who gives us the opportunity to live the abundant life. 

That’s why the Good Book and the Bible Promise for that poem warns us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)’  Yes my people, if you believe in God at all, the most important thing for you to believe is that He is faithful; keeps all of His promises; from Genesis to Revelation, there’s not one promise He’s made that He’s not kept! It’s strange how we can believe men, supposed experts, but the One who gives those experts the knowledge, we find it difficult to believe. 

And though I’m not an expert, you can believe me, (smile) because if there’s one thing I know about it’s the Lord’s faithfulness! Yuh think yuh read this Bit everyday through my own power? Not on yuh life! I couldn’t be writing it for some thirteen years now, every day, only missing a couple of days during that time, without His awesome faithfulness! He brought the idea to me, and like Sarah, I laughed, because back then I was totally incapable of doing it. And it’s only through my eventual surrender and His faithfulness, that we’ve reached this point. 

And if you don’t believe me, there are a whole lot of scriptures in the Lord’s Word that continually verify His awesome faithfulness. Let’s look at some of them nuh, so we can build our own faithfulness in Him. (smile) Hear Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) And friends, if anybody ought to know about God’s faithfulness is Bruh Paul after all the ‘sufferation’ he went through on God’s behalf and the immense good he achieved nonetheless. 

And listen to him one more time from that same letter to the Corinthians. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able (to bear), but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) Oh my people, how much more faithful can our God get than that eh? And the answer is MUCH MORE! How, you ask? Because He’s an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God who can do any and everything; a surpassing Deity to whom NOTHING is impossible! 

Now listen up again to this awesome faithfulness of the ONE we so sincerely serve and worship from Chapter 11 of Hebrews, which recounts the heroes of faith: ‘Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of (bore) a child when she was past age; because she judged him faithful who had promised.’ (Heb. 11:11) Mama Mia! Sarah wasn’t just past childbearing age, by our standards nowadays she’d most likely be dead and gone! But through God’s faithfulness to His promise, at the age of ninety she bore Isaac, the heir to Abraham’s legacy promised some twenty years before. 

Yeh friends, the promise took a long time to be fulfilled, but it was fulfilled! God doesn’t necessarily tell us when a promise will be fulfilled, and ofttimes He keeps us waiting to test and to build our faith. Look how long the Jews waited for the Messiah in Jesus Christ- hundreds of years. But He did show up – in God’s time. And that’s the cut-tail part that we believers (steups!) need to understand – God’s promises don’t happen in our time, except in cases of emergency, but in His. Please remember that He is the BOSS, and the BOSS decides what will happen, and when it will happen! Matter fix! (smile) 

Now here is this magnificent, reassuring and enlightening bit of scripture that we all know but don’t truly put into action in our lives. Hear the Lord, through the auspices of the prophet Isaiah: ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? 

There is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40: 28:31) Oh my, my, my! How can we not sincerely and faithfully serve such an amazing, and wonderful God eh? 

And now, with all those most excellent promises of faithfulness and reassurance filling our souls, minds and bodies, let’s go home telling the whole world who and whose we are! With much gusto and sincerity, let’s tell them to whom we truly belong! As one voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the corollary to that, is we must now go out and share that beautiful LOVE and amazing friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know Him. That’s His heartfelt desire! Much LOVE!

…faithful is he that calleth you…who also will do it… (1 Thess. 5:24)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2020 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.   ​and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
 
Life’s realities: ‘Ugh! AnOtHer MoNdAy?’ Didn’t we JuSt have one LasT WeEk!?’- or – ‘Today I will celebrate MoNDay! I will embrace the potentiality of the new week…tinged by the after shocks of the old week…’ Yes friends, those are the realities of life as found in the funnies! And it sure is strange how we find so much real life in the comic section of our newspapers…actually one of the few places that we find real life nowadays, as everything else is now about virtual reality, for real reality no longer seems to exist. (smile) 

And the first comment comes from the Mutts Comic strip, appropriately under the heading of Sourpuss’s Dear Diary, and the second from Between Friends, but they all reflect the truth of our Mondays in this crazy, evil, strife-filled and divided world! Whichever camp you fall in though, we have the real and true antidote to relive your pain. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; it’s a sincere prayer that does yeoman work on our behalf. So let’s go to the throne of grace in all humility, but confidently expecting a positive answer to our heartfelt supplication. 

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!’ 

And what I like about this prayer, is that on a Monday morning when we cry out to heaven for help, before we’re even finished, our great and wonderful God has already instructed His Holy Spirit to begin moving in the spirits and souls of His children, to energize and strengthen them, so they can confidently and bravely go out into the great unknown and do Christ’s work with diligence and excellence. Wow! And who says our God isn’t a magnanimous and magnificent Deity eh? 

On a point of interest: The ONE and ONLY! There could never be more than one of Him, cause there’s just not enough space for two such Beings to exist in the same universe! (smile) And I like it when I get carried away talking about God’s magnanimity and greatness…the words just flow unbidden… it just comes naturally with the territory. 

But seriously speaking my fellow believers, (steups!) the main reason we can go out and do Jesus’ work without any fear is because of the awesome promise He made at the end of the Great Commission: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Now we need to believe that in spades, if we are ever going to make any headway against the enemy. 

And I like two instances of Christ’s reassurance to Bruh Paul when things seemed to be getting out of hand. The first is down in Corinth. The Good Book tells us: ‘And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit (compelled by the Spirit) and  testified to the Jews that Jesus was (is the) Christ. And when they opposed themselves (disagreed with him), and blasphemed, he shook his raiment (garments), and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.’ (Acts 18:5-6) 

But nonetheless, several prominent Jews and their families believed (yeah!) and were baptized. And notice too, that the Holy Spirit never pressed Paul to talk to the Jews until he had back-up with Silas and Timothy. And furthermore: ‘Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace (don’t keep silent): For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee (attack you): for I have much people in this city.’ (Acts 18:9-10) 

Mama Yo! Yuh see how our God keeps His promises! Bruh Paul had no idea that there was plenty of help to be found in the city. It just goes to show friends, that our Lord and Saviour can indeed be trusted to look after our welfare; spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. That’s why Bruh Paul could afford to tell the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

The next event I want to point out is when Bruh Paul appeared before the council in Jerusalem and dissension broke out between the Sadducees and Pharisees over the question of the resurrection of the dead, which the latter believed in, but not the former. The situation got nasty, bedlam broke out, and the captain of the army, fearing that they were going to tear Bruh Paul to pieces, sent his soldiers to take him out by force to their barracks. (Acts 23:1-10) 

But the Good Book says: ‘And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.’ (Acts 23:11) Yuh think we God don’t know what He doing? Bruh Paul was His main man, especially to us Gentiles, He wouldn’t let him get hurt before he finished His work. 

Likewise friends, our God won’t let anything untoward happen to us while we still have work to do. Life might get a tad rough and troublesome, but no one will stop us from doing His will. Please remember that and let’s go out into the world today, and everyday, with that attitude of victory percolating deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Much LOVE!

…if yuh working for Jesus…then yuh know yuh safe from all harm…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 
And Sunday, the great day of wonderful fellowship has arrived! Not that fellowship can’t happen at other times, but Sunday has been set aside by the Lord as the day He wants as many believers as possible to gather together in His sanctuary to sing and praise and exalt His holy name, to hear His amazing Word, then leave there with batteries thoroughly recharged, filled with LOVE, joy, grace, peace, mercy, spiritual strength and confidence to face the evil world in which we dwell! 

So let’s make a special effort to gather in the Lord’s house today nuh my people, so that we can have joyful communion with our great God and with fellow believers! Steups! Like I can’t spell believers either! Ah Lord eh! And in a most appropriate manner, let’s open the proceedings with a favourite song of praise that tells of the true greatness of our magnificent God, one aptly titled ‘How Great Thou Art!’ Oh, some people leave out the second verse, but I think that’s wrong, because like the first it describes God’s great work in nature. So we won’t leave out anything that glorifies our God! (smile) 

In full voice, like one harmonious whole, let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise, sincerely believing the words we sing: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder Consider all The works Thy Hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy pow’r throughout The universe displayed, (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods And forest glades I wander I hear the birds Sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down From lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook And feel the gentle breeze, (Chorus:) And when I think, that God His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died, to take away my sin. (Chorus: ) 

When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!” (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!’ 

Oh friends what a joyful and grateful song! The Lord was most pleased with our praise. How could He not eh, when the words were oh so true and the sentiments sincere? For throughout the scriptures there are acknowledgments of all that we have sung above. And it’s said nowhere better than in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. 

Please declare with me: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah) from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ Ps. 148:1-6) 

Yes friends, it’s all been the Lord’s doing! As another psalmist gave voice: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth (deep) in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’ (Ps.33. 6-9) What an omnipotent God we serve and worship my people! 

But yuh know what, the second half of our song is even greater than the first half, because it shows God’s true greatness through His mercy, grace, compassion and LOVE for us sinful children of men. Only a truly great, and in total control Deity could have espoused a scheme so magnanimous as sending His only Son to pay for our sins as a sacrificial lamb on the cross of Calvary. The old song says that ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart,’ but our God was no fool nuh when He broke His own to save us from eternal separation from Him. That just showed the immense LOVE He had for His creation, though that creation had turned against Him. 

Here these poignant words of Bruh Paul nuh: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 8) And Jesus Himself made it very clear with these awesome words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ It couldn’t get any better than that nuh friends! The Creator giving up His Son, His sinless wonderful Son to save a bunch of reprobates like us…

Chuh! I don’t see how we could not sincerely LOVE, worship, reverence, exalt and be obedient to Him nuh, after all that He’s done and has faithfully promised to do for us. But since we have free will, freedom to choose whom or what we serve, we getting stubborn and rebellious. Remember though friends, our God might be a compassionate Deity, but He’s also a God of justice and righteousness, and one day we all will have to answer to him for our earthly behaviour. Hebrews warns us quite clearly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb.9:27) Please put that in yuh pipe and smoke it. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

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