Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2020 Isaiah 52:12.

Isaiah 52:12.    ​For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).

 

Then it was Wednesday… and everybody breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that they had survived, gotten through the most onerous part of the work week and the rest was just cool sailing until their big day of Friday came around again! It’s surprising how we are creatures of habit yes friends. We begin on Monday like a storm assailed vessel, writhing in the throes of agony, can’t make head nor tail of anything…then by Wednesday the storm has calmed and the ship has righted itself…then we look forward to clear and calm sailing as we round the bend of life and see heaven on Friday. (smile) 

But my people, there is no reason whatsoever to fear the storms of life and wait until Friday before we experience a slice of heaven, for the Lord our God made an ever-faithful promise to us long long ago through the prophet Isaiah, that He will deliver Zion (Jerusalem) from captivity by the hands of His suffering servant, the Messiah. ‘For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).’ 

Oh friends, if the Lord promised it, then you can rest assured that it will happen. Yuh see how He guarded and guided the Israelites when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt? ‘ And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex. 13:21-22) 

Wow mih breddren! What a mighty and faithful God we serve! He guided the Israelites through the wilderness, assuring them of His enduring and powerful presence, protecting them from their enemy back then. And He has not forgotten us, those who have come after. 

Listen to this immortal promise: ‘Behold, my suffering servant shall deal prudently (prosper), he shall be exalted and extolled (lifted up), and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage (appearance) was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle (startle) many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.’ (Is.52:13-15) 

That’s what you call prophecy! (smile) Now listen as the scholars explain: ‘52:13-15. These verses actually stand as the introduction to the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in chapter 53. The subject of both passages is the servant of the Lord individualized as the Messiah who suffers for our sins. He is the culmination of all of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies. He is the miraculously born Son of the Virgin – Immanuel, “God with Us” (7:14; cf. Matt. 1:23). He is the Branch (11:1) who springs up out of the stump of the Davidic line. 

He is the new David (9:7) who will bring in a new Exodus and a new redemption for the people of Israel. Further, He is the One who deserves to rule the world because He is the One who suffers redemptively for all humanity. The terms exalted and extolled, and be very high are used only in 33:10 and here, but nowhere else in the prophets. It refers to the ultimate and final exaltation of His spiritual glory. Thus He will not remain in the humiliation which is described here but will rise above it (cf. Phil. 2:9-11). 

There is a deliberate contrast between the many who are astonished and the kings who will shut their mouths at him. The idea is that both the common man and the potentate will stand speechless in awe of Him. His visage refers to His appearance (or face), which will become so marred (disfigured) by beatings and scourgings that He will be barely recognizable. The verb for shall he sprinkle is a technical term found in the Mosaic Law for the sprinkling of blood in order to cleanse or purify from sin. 

This reference has nothing to do with water baptism. Here the servant of the Lord is viewed as our High Priest who offers His own blood for our sins. Before this Suffering Servant, the nations of the world are rendered speechless as they observe this unbelievable demonstration of God’s LOVE.’  

All I can say is ‘Wow, friends, Wow!’ Yuh see how the coming of Jesus was prophesied right down to the nth degree! All that we talked about there has happened already, or will happen in the Lord’s time. So remember, Jesus Himself spoke of His coming again in glory: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) 

Please be careful then friends, for remember what was prophesied by Isaiah about Jesus came through, so it’s fairly certain that what Jesus says will also come through. So let’s not be found on the outside looking in when He comes again nuh. For the wise money is on Jesus: He’s the odds on favourite; the One who can’t lose! 

So let’s wisely align our lives with him nuh: The One whom ‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) 

Now that ought to seal the deal people! Jesus is officially the NAME above every other, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! And it’s ALL to the glory of the Father…as it ought to be, for He is the One who made the plan and carried it out, based on His undying, everlasting and unconditional LOVE for us! So let’s acknowledge Him with gratitude and reverence as we declare (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting everyone know our wonderful position in Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

All together now in strong voice, with 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!’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! And what a glorious future that will indeed be. Our puny minds can’t even picture how glorious it will really be! Much LOVE!

…the most important name we can ever call…JESUS…!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2020 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.    ​Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.

 

And yuh see how life could turn back and bite yuh! Yes, for all of you in the G.T.A, who were crowing yesterday morning because you didn’t have to go to work, yuh see the dangerous and messy conditions you have to go out in today…the white enemy all over, after a heavy snowfall last night! Serve yuh right for lording it over those who had to go and labour yesterday! (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s just another winter’s day in the northern climes, and as you valiantly forge through it, you must have a good attitude, laugh and chuckle, hope for and think of the sunshine and good weather that soon come, otherwise it’s just going to drive you crazy, as you slip and slide through it. You might not like the snow, but the wise thing to do is to mentally embrace it, with Jesus’ help of course, so you’re not always flustered and bothered when you encounter it. 

Yes, that can be easier said than done, but like everything else in this world, we have been endowed with the parts to live a pleasant and abundant life, we just have to put our best foot forward in Jesus’ name. And all of that brings us to this ever so important principle of scripture and life in general. Hear these immortal, truthful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.’ 

And Jesus described it ever so well in the parable of the rich fool, who had so much wealth and not enough space to store it, that he decided to tear down all and build bigger and better… ‘and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits (crops) and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:18-19) Yes my brethren, that’s how too many of us behave, believers included. We live too much for the world’s wealth and pretty but worthless possessions. 

And Jesus continued His parable with these words of everlasting wisdom. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ Yeh friends, for the lawyers and other professionals involved in the tremendous and foolish litigation that will follow his death! We see that played out everyday in the lives of the rich and famous: somebody is never satisfied with their portion of the estate, or unhappy that they didn’t get any. 

And the warning is also in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 20, when Ben-hadad, king of Syria, threatened Ahab, king of Israel to destroy Samaria unless he gave up his wealth and power voluntarily, Ahab answered: ‘Tell him, let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.’ (1 Kin. 20:11) Yes my people, we never know what’s going to happen in between time. And Ben-hadad in his righteous anger was defeated by Israel, obviously with God’s help, when he finally came against them. 

But getting back to Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. Here is how He ended it. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) And the scholars explain: ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2 Cor.8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom.10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participation in a relationship in which God already provides what He wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

Oh my people, remember all that we have belongs to God, and we’re just stewards of His belongings, so it’s rather boldfaced of us to think that we’re giving Him our things. (smile) Anyway, we have space to highlight those two scriptures the scholars quote above. ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2 Cor. 8:9) Yes, when coming to sacrificial LOVE, Jesus is the poster child for that, the mightiest example to be ever found! 

And the next verse declares (yeah!): ‘For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom.10:11-12) I put in verse 11 so that the context could be better understood, that our God is rich in mercy, grace, forgiveness, what ever have you, towards all and any that call on Him, in sincerity of heart, be they Jew or Gentile! So it doesn’t make sense for us to become so attached to the things of the world, as so many of us are. 

Now hear James theorize on the subject: ‘Go to (come) now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boastings (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

And the scholars offer a couple of explanations. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ Now if all of that doesn’t grab our attention and teach us not leave God out of any of our business, then I don’t know what will. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 end goal is to now go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE with those who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…a man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way…but the Lord directeth his steps… (Prov.16:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2020 Matthew 10:36.

Matthew 10:36.    ​And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
 
So here we go again for the umpteenth time… and we still have umpteen more times to go! (smile) Yes friends, it’s that stalwart day we call Monday, the one that gets us moving, but which we all like to hate and unrealistically blame for so many of our woes. Unfortunately though, we can’t get away from it, especially the way our Western society is set up. 

And I believe that if Tuesday was the first day of the work week, we’d intensely dislike Tuesday just like we do Monday. The dissatisfaction merely stems from the fact that the first day means we have to get up off of our fat fannies after a lazy and self-indulgent weekend and go out to make a living, accompanied by all the other unpleasantness and headache that action brings with it. (smile) 

And since we’re prisoners of hope, we believe that every Monday morning there is one less person suffering from the Monday Blues of those who wisely associate with us. In other words, at least one person matures and grows spiritually each week, so that Mondays no longer affect them as negatively as before. Wow! That is what you’d call great hope! (smile) But since with our great God ALL THINGS are possible, that’s not too great a leap of faith. 

Luckily for some of us though in Ontario and five of the other Provinces, today we’re celebrating the provincial statutory holiday called  Family Day. That means many of us in those provinces won’t be going out to work today… And no it’s not a day to party hearty, but to spend in communion with one’s family, to get to know each other better and bring it closer together, (smile) because in these modern times, the main pillar, the  foundation of our society, the family, is sadly falling apart and becoming of less and less importance. 

So let’s see if we can’t get one more person over the hump nuh, by humbly and confidently going to the throne of grace and asking for leading and guidance. 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 though we said that the holiday was not for partying but for renewing the family, you could hear quite a bit of slurring and hoarseness in some of those voices, signifying that they were already into the mind numbing and tongue tying sauce. (smile) But for those who have to get out into the chilling cold, or burning heat, or anything in between, it was a most worthwhile exercise since they have felt their energy and enthusiasm suddenly grow, their thoughts become positive, and they now walk with a strong sense of purpose; that purpose being to go out and do good work for Jesus! And who says our great God isn’t able eh? Foolishness! 

But on a more serious note friends, since today is Family Day, I thought we’d look at the condition of that most marvellous and worthwhile institution in our current society. As we said earlier, for a number of reasons, over the last couple of decades, the family has become rather fragmented and not as strong, or as important as it was once. But you know it has been the backbone, the one stabilizing influence that we could count on during man’s rather scarred, torn and tattered history. 

It was the one thing we could always come back to. It was the rock, the foundation on which every society was built. Even the extended family was pretty strong and useful in its time. But sadly, right now, the pure, direct family is falling apart, and the extended isn’t even recognized again. Oh friends, our society is falling apart through moral turpitude, depravity and wickedness, just like back in Micah’s day when he bewailed Israel’s moral failure. 

‘The good (faithful, loyal) man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly (successfully), the prince asketh (asks for gifts), and the judge asketh for a reward (a bribe); and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up (scheme together).’ (Mic. 7:2-3) And isn’t that way it is today my brethren; greed, power struggles and corruption running blatantly and rampantly! 

And two verses later, Micah continues: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic. 7:5-6) Now how can a family like that ever stay together and make a positive impact on our society eh? No way! 

But Jesus also warned of the failure of this foundational institution in times of persecution: ‘And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.’ (Matt. 10:21) Now families have always fought, but these days it seems to be way out of line. And we seem to be making Jesus’ words a real reality: ‘And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.’ 

Oh friends, there’s simply too much infighting amongst families in these turbulent times, and it’s obvious that if the basic foundation of our society fails, our society won’t be far behind. So I implore us today, this Family Day, to spend some positive and productive time making our families strong nuh, so that our society will rebound with glowing promise. Much LOVE!

…families must be built on the solid rock that’s Jesus…not the shifting sand that’s Satan…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2020 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.    ​So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 
Yeah! It’s the first day… the first day of the week my brethren. It’s Sunday…all day! And you know what that means, the church doors are open ready to welcome whosoever wants to come, but hoping that everybody will come. Yeh friends, that’s the hope of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that all will come to salvation and thus become a member of His earthly organization called the church, and, on a regular basis, show their faces at the physical structures created for those blessed members to come and celebrate, give thanks and praise and receive heavenly succour, so that we can go about His business the upcoming week with vim and vigour, zest and godly energy! 

And for those of us who have accepted that glorious invitation, let’s begin the proceedings as we always do, with a song, a song of worship and thanksgiving, praise and gratitude. And today’s song is a popular hymn with lyrics by Judson Van De Venter and music by Winfield Weeden, published in 1896, and appropriately titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ And do we ever need to do that…totally and completely, if we want to enjoy the good and abundant life He has planned for us. So let’s tell Him so now nuh, with sincere hearts and voices raised in praiseful sacrifice. 

As one soulful and harmonious choir: ‘All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His Name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all… I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all…’ 

Ah friends, I do hope we were all sincere in that sacrifice of praise because the Lord is going to look at our hearts and check our motives, and if we weren’t sincere then we’ll have to answer why and not be blessed as we desired. And the whole thing is simply about surrender my people, surrender to the one who gave His sinless life to atone for our sins and made us right with God, gave us the wonderful option of eternal salvation by His resurrection, and is still advocating for us with the Father. It’s a normal requirement my brethren, if we want to enjoy the fruits of His efforts. 

Look at how we give our allegiance to earthly organizations, many of whom don’t do a blooming thing for us! Why then should it be so difficult to give our all to Jesus, who gave His all for us eh? We’re just being selfish and greedy and carnal. But Jesus made it quite clear when He spoke about counting the cost of discipleship. The Good Book says: ‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned and said to them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-27) 

Wow friends, it sure looks like being a disciple of Jesus is not for the sorrowful or fainthearted! (smile) And Jesus certainly doesn’t want us to hate out families, because He is all about LOVE. He’s just saying that Him and His business must come first. Hear the scholars with some explanations. ‘14:25. Jesus had gained a wide hearing. Here was the temptation to water down the demands that discipleship entail. Yet in the following verses Jesus clearly does just the opposite.’ 

‘14:26. In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either/or that this verse sets up.’ Then Jesus in His inimitable style goes on to talk about building a tower and contemplating war, where the costs of both have to be considered before any serious commitments are made. (Luke 14:28-32)  

And the scholars say those verses are only found in Luke. And Jesus pinpoints the major lesson of the two stories in verse 33, which states: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ Yeh friends, to truly follow Jesus, one ought to count the cost. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but with His awesome help we can all handle it if we seriously commit our lives to Him. We have to be ready to give up a lot of stuff on His behalf. 

Remember the rich young ruler that came and wanted to be His disciple? (Matt.19:16-22) Jesus told him to first go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor and thus store up treasure in heaven then come back and follow Him. The young man went away sorrowful, because he had a lot of possession. Jesus didn’t really mean for Him to literally sell everything, but was merely testing His resolve. 

According to the scholars, His outward righteousness seemed fine, but he hadn’t really kept the commandments because his wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness; he LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour, the poor. And he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God. This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be Christian. 

So don’t worry my rich and well off friends, you don’t have to go and sell your possessions to be a disciple of Christ. (smile) But you do have to pick up your cross daily and follow Him, as He says early on in Luke. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now that’s the crux of the message my people: everyday we have to be willing to stand strong in His name and do whatever it takes to further His kingdom. Are we doing that in a satisfactory manner? I don’t think so, otherwise Christianity would be much stronger and much further ahead. So please, let’s spend some time today pondering our individual situations nuh, and ask the Lord to help us do better, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…discipleship…means to be willing to forsake one’s self…every day… for Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2020 Proverbs 4:23.

Proverbs 4:23.    ​Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are (flow) the issues of life.
 
Well friends, here’s hoping you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and you did the LOVE thing with excellence! The duchess and I had a grand old time, making some more memories to add to the box-load we’ve already made. Oh, it wasn’t anything special, but simple and fun-filled. We went out for brunch, then drove around the city running some errands and while doing that we happened to put in a random CD into the juke box. And oh, did it ever have some glorious old tunes that also brought back memories of when we were young and in LOVE and ardent party-goers. 

Brother! You should have seen the duchess when some tunes came on and her memory flooded back to those youthful days in the Student’s Union back on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. At one stage I had to tell her; ‘Hold down duchess, hold down! The way yuh carrying on somebody might see you and think I have a mad woman driving out in mih car. As Jeeves would say; just a modicum of circumspection nuh.’ (smile) And that’s our memory for this Valentine’s Day! 

But look at how life changes eh? Now we don’t even know what party is! But that is why I keep saying you have to make the memories when you’re young, because you don’t know what will happen when you get into the autumn and winter of your days. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first says: ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world.’ I’m not sure I understand what he means nuh. Is it that it is best to only shake the world gently, or that we only have the power to shake it gently? If it’s the latter, then that’s definitely not true because there have been so many people down through the ages who have violently shaken the world; like all those famous army commanders including Alexander the Great who conquered the world at a young age, and Napoleon who rose to such great military heights and power from a humble beginning. 

There are also the many dictators down the through the ages, like Hitler and the Russian boys. And even today we have our own group of dictators making stormy waves in the world. And nobody has shaken up the world more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! So I guess he’s saying that we ought to shake it up gently, not as violently and conspicuously as we’ve done down through the years because it doesn’t do much good anyway. A gentle shake is all we need to get it properly realigned. (smile) I wouldn’t count on that nuh! A little nudge has never done anything to correct mankind’s path! 

Anyway, the next quote sort of complements the first one. ‘There is nothing permanent except change.’ And I guess we can say that’s true because everything and everyone seems to go through changes at some time or other, no one or nothing stays stagnant forever…with one great exception, our magnificent God and His Word. Yes friends, neither our God or His Word ever change, they are steadfast and steady from beginning to the end, whenever that might be, that’s why we can put our total faith and trust in them both and expect to gain victory in this life and the one to come! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Meanwhile the next quote declares (steups!): ‘Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! We learn from the hard knocks of life. The more hard knocks we encounter, the greater bank of information we have from which to learn from. That’s why it’s ever so important to learn from our mistakes, so that we don’t keep making the same ones over and over. But unfortunately we’re all human, made from a frail and fickle, sinful mould, so we often don’t do the wise things and learn from our mistakes, so we end up having to pay the price for not learning. I can personally testify to that! (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ And at no other time in the history of man do we need to be reminded of that as much as today, my people! Oh yes, today we talk a whole lot, but we don’t walk much of that talk. In fact it’s just aimless talk. We seem to talk because we can talk, and we talk much about things of which we know very little, or even nothing! And the Good Book has a whole lot to say about it, but we don’t have the time nor space to get into it today. Read it for yourself. (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.’ I don’t know if I would use the qualification, very little, but basically, happiness is definitely within our grasp. And it all begins with how we see and approach it, our attitude and desire for it. And it all does begin with our thinking, because that’s where all of our thoughts, attitudes and behaviour begin. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) calls it, ‘The Battlefield of the Mind.’ And that’s where the enemy centres His attacks, because he knows that if he can disrupt our minds, our thinking, he can have us do his evil, dirty deeds. 

No wonder Cousin Sol in his awesome wisdom declares (yes!): ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are (flow) the issues of life.’ And the scholars explain: ‘4:23. Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.’ I couldn’t put it any better than that nuh friends: your very life depends on your mind; the greatest piece of machinery the Lord’s ever made! That’s why mankind can still not find out precisely how it works, because he doesn’t have the mental capacity. 

And Jesus, in explaining a parable to the disciples said: ‘For out of the heart (mind) proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:19-20) 

Consequently, Bruh Paul later on emphasized to the Philippians: ‘’Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil.4:8) 

And that’s our homework for this long weekend in Ontario, where we celebrate Family Day on Monday. Let’s get together with our families and think on the good and noble things of life as Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…as a man thinks…so is he…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2020 John 10:10.

John 10:10.    ​The thief (Satan) cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Happy  Valentine’s Day, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s the Day of LOVE, or LOVE Day as celebrated by the world for consumerism purposes, to further enrich the coffers of the already wealthy! And yes, we know that a lot of it is not true LOVE, but once it has to do with treating people better, offering gifts and tender, compassionate feelings, then we ought to embrace it, especially since this is the ONLY day in the year truly dedicated to showing LOVING feelings. (smile) 

The flowers and the cards and the chocolates and other gifts will be rushing out of the stores today – I’ve got mine already – and the smiles on the owners faces will be huge as they hear those cash registers ring and ring – chhhring …chhhring…! But although it’s so commercialized, we still have to hold on to it, because it is a form of spreading LOVE…God’s most important character trait! 

And what better day for it to fall on than a Friday, when people are normally overjoyed to see their work week wind down and their time become their own for a couple of days. And no one is as enthused as the ordinary workingman, so let’s hear what he has to say nuh. And we can always depend on him for an interesting word, as he declares (yeah!): 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The week wasn’t too bad, as I’m learning my limitations, and not stressing out mihself on the work like before. Yeah! And is also Valentine’s Day to boot. A good weekend that! Going to get a baby-sitter for the children and take the wife out to dinner and a movie! I’ve already lavished her with flowers and chocolates! 

Valentine’s Day is one of our special times because that’s the day we had our first kiss, oh so long ago, behind the barn on her father’s farm out in the country! I could remember it like it was yesterday…one of the most tender moments we’ve ever shared. And I know she’s looking forward to this weekend, just like I am! Brother! We going to make some more good memories to add to those we already have! Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Valentine’s Day yes!’  

Now don’t you just adore the workingman’s simple joy and enthusiasm? I certainly do! Perhaps that’s because I’m merely a simple workingman my self. (smile) But that’s what life is about friends, making good, godly memories with those we LOVE and care for. 

Remember Jesus’ immortal words regarding the sheep of His pasture, His followers: ‘The thief (Satan) cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ Glory be mih people! 

That means that Jesus didn’t come to earth to die, to sacrifice his sinless self so that we could live, miserable, unhappy lives. No way Jose! He came that we could enjoy life while doing His bidding! What’s the point of Him atoning for our sins and giving us His righteousness, and reconciling us to the Father and making us One with Him, if we had to be miserable and downtrodden doing it eh? We were already doing that before He came, so why come for us to do the same thing eh? 

And as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says, that’s why she calls her television programme ‘Enjoying Everyday Life,’ because that’s why Christ came to earth, so that He could release us from the bondage of sin and have down here on earth, a good, healthy and happy relationship with each other and ultimately the Father! 

Yuh see how all yuh get me carried away there! (smile) That’s because I hate to see miserable, slobbering, poe (poor) me one, like they on their last breath, no belly and backbone people calling themselves Christians! We have ALL the best blessings of God, like we declared in our Thursday Blessings yesterday, so why should we go around tired looking, fearful and miserable eh? 

We’re supposed to be the happiest, most joyful and most powerful people on the planet, because our heavenly father is the Creator of the Universe and the most important and powerful person therein! So please my fellow believers, let’s cut out this struggling appearance that we portray to the world nuh. Tell me, if Jesus had come to you with our poor me one attitude and a life of constant struggle and poverty, would you have embraced it and or Him? Definitely not! 

Likewise if we bring that kind of attitude to our fellow man as that which Jesus desires of His followers, you expect them to accept it? Not on yuh life! So it’s time we not only stand up strong in Christ, but also LOOK STRONG, for remember the world judges so much on outward appearance and we won’t ever entice them to have a look at Jesus if we look poor and downtrodden. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley ) likes to say: When you go out to represent Jesus, you must look your best, be your best and do your best! It couldn’t be any clearer or wiser than that friends! (smile) 

And no, I haven’t forgotten our Friday Chant, it’s just that you all threw me a curved ball about our less than appropriate way of living everyday life that led me into the unavoidable spiel… (smile) But that’s okay. I guess it needed to be said, to remind us of the privileged people we are, and that we ought to show it in our lifestyle. 

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

Yeh friends, we need to have our wits about us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves, once we stay within certain boundaries as outlined by Jesus. And contrary to popular opinion, there’s a lot of leeway in His rules and regulations, (smile) we just like to overdo it. We’re not happy unless we’re overdoing it. I guess that’s our natural sinful nature showing up there. Anyway, please have a Happy Valentine’s Day, spread the LOVE, the true LOVE, AGAPE LOVE, like Jesus wants and all will be fine! Much LOVE!

…what’s a day of LOVE…without joyful feelings ruling the roost…and the author of LOVE being celebrated…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2020 Psalm 119:103.

Psalm 119:103.    ​How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
 
And the snow flew during the night…and the snow is flying again now…making it all a pretty white picture! (smile) Ah friends, we have a mid-winter tradition about certain ground hogs, or woodchucks coming out of their lair on a certain day, and if they see their shadow or not, spring will either be here shortly, or it will take a while to come. 

Now I’m not sure which situation means what, (smile) but whatever the recent reaction was, meant that spring would soon be a coming. However, they didn’t say what kind of weather we’d have in between. Now that’s the cut-tail question. (smile) Spring might soon come, but we can have all sorts of bad weather before it comes. So the promise of an early spring doesn’t mean a blooming thing!  

But here’s what we ought to be more interested in…the Word of our wonderful God which helps us to successfully handle whatever situations or circumstances that come against us! As the psalmist so poignantly and truthfully says: ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.’ 

Wow mih people! Isn’t that something? Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Not many people. But it certainly is true. And why is that? The psalmist explains: ‘Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:104-105) 

Mama Mia! The rules and guidelines of God give us understanding and wisdom in living this earthly life, so clearly, that His Word appears to be like a lamp and a light guiding us on our everyday journey. What more can we ask for eh friends? Not a whole lot. 

But the problem is to get that wisdom and understanding we have to read, study and meditate on the Lord’s Word, so that we can have it indelibly instilled in our souls and spirits, and thus available to give us the guidance we need to go gratefully and confidently through this evil and ungodly world. 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 34, after escaping from Saul and running to the Philistines for succour. ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that (reverence) fear him.’ (Ps. 34:8-9) 

And Bruh David ought to know about trusting and reverencing God, since that’s what kept him alive for so long, both from Saul’s murdering intentions and the many other enemies he had. So why do we doubt, or not pay serious attention to his words eh? Because we in this supposed modern age think we know more than the sages of olden times.

Yes,these are the modern times, so we must embrace modern things. Steups! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. The Lord our God doesn’t change, neither does his Word. So if it was good three thousand years or however far back, that means it’s still good today! 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey comb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps. 19:7-11) 

Oh my people, precious people of God…what more will it take for us to get to LOVE and sincerely practice the Word of God eh? Look at what it does for us nuh: restores our souls, makes the simple wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, endures for ever, it’s true and righteous, it’s even more desirous than the best quality gold to be found, it’s sweeter than the honey from the honeycomb, plus it warns us, and oh boy, oh boy, we get great rewards when we keep it! 

Now tell me, is there anything else in this great wide, modern, technological and far reaching world of social media that can do ALL of those things? Not on your life! Only the Word of God has that awesome power because that’s why it was specifically created; to give us guidance and understanding and teach us how to handle each and every situation that we encounter on our earthly pilgrimage! 

So friends, let’s do what we know to be right nuh, and stop embracing and following the foolishness of this world. Remember, Satan was once the high angel Lucifer, so he knows more about heaven and how it works than we do, that’s why He expends so much energy in keeping us away from the Good Book and all that it entails. But thankfully we know his deceitful ways and won’t fall for his lies and evil schemes. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, wherein the Lord has generously blessed us with all that we need to do His work successfully down here on His great earth. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now don’t allow Satan to throw us off and not go out and generously share those many blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why we were granted them. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more powerful…and more beneficial…on God’s earth…than God’s Word…

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