Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2020 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

Well at last we have a somewhat sunshiny opening to a day, not the cloudy, overcast stuff we’ve been having recently! And it’s a big Saturday in the northern climes; Halloween Day! It’s the day the society dresses up in ugly, evil looking costumes – the uglier and more evil looking, the better- and have the children go out ‘trick or treating,’ begging at other people’s houses for candy, and the adults have costumed balls and riotous parties. Well let’s see what’s going to happen this year of Covid nuh. 

Halloween hasn’t been officially banned, and there have been all sorts of comments, for and against, but the Covid-19 numbers have not been coming down, although the more populous areas are still in Stage 2 Lockdown. So, in my humble opinion, it is pure folly to have children running around the streets in the dark in this pandemic time to beg for candy from people most of them don’t know, and for adults to be having parties with unprotected crowds without any physical distancing. 

Even in the good times there have been petitions to ban the process because of the evil stuff people were putting in the candy and fruit to harm the children. And worse of all, if it glorifies the evil spirits like witches and goblins and the like, why have such a day in a supposedly godly society eh? But what does the ole fella know eh friends? Obviously not a whole lot. (smile) So we’ll just leave that subject alone and see what transpires later on. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to more appropriate things, like the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he’s adopted a new style, prefacing each quote with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are….’ 

Now I think that statement contains elements of both good and bad. The bad part is that if we focus on it too much, it could lead us to believe that we’re so wonderful and awesome in our own strength and thus we develop proud and narcissistic thoughts and behaviour. However, on the good side, we are awesome and wonderful IN Christ! No doubt about that! So let’s put some wise and sensible reins on our thoughts about our awesomeness nuh. (smile) Anyway, I’m not going to reiterate the opening sentence in each quote, since we already know what it is. I’ll just give us the important last part. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘My life is a gift and I appreciate everything I have.’ The first part is indeed true: our lives are gifts from God Himself. For God Himself, with His own hands, moulded man from the dirt of the earth, in His own image, then breathed His precious breath into his body. (Gen. 1:27; 2:7) And furthermore, James tells us thus: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) 

It stands to reason then, that if our lives and all the good stuff we have are gifts from God, then we ought to appreciate everything we have. But do we truly appreciate them? Not really nuh, not in our current greedy and ‘gravelicious’ society. For we complain more about the few things we don’t have, than we are thankful for the plenty we do have. Consequently, many of us can’t truthfully declare the next quote. ‘I’m calm, happy, and content.’ And we will never be able to do so until we realize that ALL we have comes from Almighty God…and begin appreciating it. 

Yeh friends, calm and content only come with an attitude of appreciation. And also, until you show appreciation for all that God has done for you, and is still doing, you won’t be able to make this next statement either. ‘I’m more at ease every day.’ For ease, likewise, comes only with true appreciation of all our blessings. One can’t be cantankerous, miserable and unappreciative and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have. (John 10:10) 

Remember too that Jesus is the biggest and best gift that God gave us, through whom we achieve eternal life, despite our sinful, ungodly beginnings. Bruh Paul put it this way to the church at Rome. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 5:23) And if we have become wise and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then most likely we’ll be able to proclaim this next quote. ‘I’ll surround myself with positive people who will help bring out the best in me.’ 

Oh friends, that is indeed wisdom from above! Why? Because too many of us surround ourselves with those who bring out the worse and not the best in us. That’s why the Good Book tells us so specifically: ‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort (encourage, lift up) one another daily, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ (Heb. 3:12-13) 

Oh mih bredrin, it is ever so important to surround ourselves with wise, godly people, who will encourage us to do good, to do our best, for that’s what Jesus desires of His followers. Remember too that no man is an island, and we can’t live this life alone, or in too much seclusion, for the Lord made us to have fellowship one with another. As the old people would say; ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ And that’s the living truth, since our friends’ behaviour and attitude rub off on us. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘I approve of myself and LOVE myself deeply.’ Now if all the other quotes are true of us, then we can make that kind of statement, but not too strenuously, (smile) because like believing we’re so awesome, it can lead us away from God, to the heights of narcissism, and we know there’s nothing the Lord dislikes like a proud, supposedly independent, self-LOVING person. Oh yes, we do need to LOVE and approve ourselves, but with a very careful attitude, so that we don’t go overboard and fall victim to the evil inherent in such thinking. As Jeeves would probably say: ‘circumspection my dear man – much circumspection.’ (smile) 

And I can’t think of a better way to end today, than with these immortal words of Jesus as per our earthly duty. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people, straight from the Giver of the gospel! So let’s go out and action them nuh. It’s our bounden duty as believers in Christ Jesus! Much LOVE!

…from Genesis to Revelation…it’s all about LOVE…God’s LOVE for us…our LOVE for Him…and for each other…  

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