Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2019 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    ​And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 

Ay mih people, is Tuesday…and the ole fella is tired. Just finished having a nap after breakfast. Believe me, it was hard to get up, and I still can’t catch mihself, so if some strange things happen in the Bit, don’t be surprised eh. (smile) Today seems to be a rest day, as the people who were supposed to come from the country to visit won’t be coming, but some of the town folks will, so it won’t all be rest. 

Oh, yesterday was certainly a busy day, out and about in the hot sun, visiting a friend in the afternoon, stopping along the way for a couple of the famous Devon House patties – add a piece of a nice bread pudding to that – then getting home just in time to shower and change and go back to an Open Week Library function on the university campus, acknowledging and celebrating some of the educational books, some twenty of them, published in the last year by university people. 

That was a good time too, some singing by a young lady, Mrs. Alicia Taylor, I believe that was her name. Then we had some fine words from our guest speaker, Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, wine and scrumptious finger food and good mingling. Just for your info, they appreciated the ole fella’s lively spirit. And why wouldn’t they eh? (smile) Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to what the Lord put in my heart and soul to talk about today. 

And friends, today’s topic is oh so important; it’s possibly the most important element in a Christian’s life after acceptance of Jesus…and we talking about FORGIVENESS! Yeh fellow saints, it’s so important that Jesus included it in the prayer He taught His disciples, and consequently us, to offer up to the Father, each and every day: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ Oh precious people, those words are so important that we ignore them to our peril. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus again. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) Yes people, as always, Jesus spells it out loud and clear: forgive and you will be forgiven; do not forgive, and you will not be forgiven! It’s as simple as that. But you know that we selfish and sinful humans like to ask, even beg the Lord for forgiveness, but hesitate, no, bluntly refuse, to offer forgiveness to others. How can that ever stand us in good stead eh my fellow believers? It certainly won’t. 

But even putting aside Jesus’ warning, what we foolishly don’t seem to realize is that forgiveness is not really for the other person but for us. When we forgive, we are set free from whatever bitterness and anger and any other negative emotion that we’re holding on to by not forgiving. A Bruh Paulian sentence that! (smile) Ofttimes the other person, or persons, are not even aware of any wrong they’ve done you, or know and really don’t care, so it’s just you who’s holding and strangling your soul with all that ungodly emotion. 

And you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you forgive them either. You just make a conscious decision to do so, ask the Lord for His help, let it go, and move on with your life. Yeh, I know it’s seldom that easy, taking into consideration some of the awful wrongs that have been done, and are being done in these evil times, but like life itself, it is a process, and the sooner you make that decision to forgive  and actively work towards that forgiveness, the sooner it will happen, and the better off you will be. 

Now hear this rather informative exchange between Jesus and Peter on the subject. ‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times.’ (Matt.18:21) Peter must have figured that he was being very generous to forgive his brother seven times. But listen to Jesus’ answer. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:22) Mamacita! Can you imagine forgiving somebody 490 times – especially for the same wrong! Not many of us can, but it’s what we’re required to do if we want to be faithful believers and workers for Jesus. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, highlighting the Christian virtues, admirably guide us in this respect. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of (tender) mercies (heartfelt compassion). Kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

Friends, that means we need to be forbearing and forgiving until we die, or Jesus’ comes back, because NONE of us will ever arrive spiritually before those times! So for all of our sakes, let’s ponder the state of our hearts today, and see if there be any unforgiveness in them nuh, then ask the Lord to help us. As Bruh David requested of the Father: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) And you know the Lord will always answer that kind of prayer if it’s sincere.  

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with all sincerity: ‘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!’ So let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness benefits the forgiver…more than the forgiven…both emotionally and spiritually…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2019 Psalm 119:116.

Psalm 119:116.   Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

 

And yes friends, we’ve been granted life and breath to see another day on God’s great earth! What a joy and a pleasure, that’s why we ought to give great thanks and enjoy it! And we’re doing just that today in Canada on our official Thanksgiving Day; giving lots of thanks for the numerous blessings we enjoy up there in that wonderful country and enjoying the fruits of our labour as the Lord would have us do. Sorry I’m not up there to share it with you my Canadian Scrip-Bit family, but I’m down in J.A. giving plenty thanks too, especially for the sunshine and warm weather, (smile) although some rain fell earlier this morning.

Oh, yes, today is also Monday, that means the start of a new work week for most people, except we Canadians, (smile) who mostly have the day off to give thanks and praise and celebrate. But just remember Granny’s warning: drunk or sober mind yuh business, and don’t give the devil an opportunity to get into yuh business, because yuh know how he destructive and deceitful, and just wants to muck up our lives and get us off the path of righteousness as set by Jesus.

Now I believe it’s just a holiday in Canada, which means lots of others still have to go to work, and many might just be jealous of us having the day off, so their spirits are low, (smile) but we’re here to assure them of our encouragement with that wonder-working prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which is designed to get us up and moving. So let’s declare it together now nuh, let’s call upon our mighty and magnanimous God for His awesome help, wonderful grace and mercy, which enable us to do His work.

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!’ 

Oh mih people, don’t you just LOVE how those sincere words of prayer automatically raises our spirits and strengthens our entrails, causing us to get the gumption to go out and do Jesus’ work! That’s the endearing work of the Holy Spirit that indwells us for that very purpose! Give our wonderful God some thanks for the way He looks after us, how He has provided for our every need! 

And that’s what some of us, the Graduating Class of 1969, have been doing for the last few days; giving thanks and praise, reminiscing, fellowshipping, partying, and making new memories to add to the old ones we made some fifty years ago on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, that august institution that spawned so many leaders in so many fields all around the world! 

Sadly, that good time is now over, it ended yesterday with a church service and a brunch in Mary Seacole Hall of Residence for some of us, but some of the medical fraternity continued it up in the hills above Kingston by one of their colleagues. The Saturday night events were good too. It reminded the Economic Students especially, of the wonderful days in the Students Union where the parties happened back then. And the old tunes brought back vivid memories of those fun-filled times. And I LOVED the D.J because whatever old tune you asked for, he just dialled it up, and the music never stopped…

Oh by the way, we had the famed Jamaican musician Boris Gardiner with us that evening, and he crooned a few of his old hits, which we also  danced to – especially the rent-a tile ones. (smile) And I’m reaping the consequences of so much partying because my ole hip is aching like crazy. (smile) But it was worth it! All in all it was a most entertaining and worthwhile time; the camaraderie and togetherness were exceptional…just hope we can do it another fifty years from now. (smile) 

That brings us to today’s scripture taken from the great Psalm 119. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) Ah friends, without the Lord’s mighty hands holding us up and looking after us, we’d be lost, adrift in this evil and ungodly world, merely playthings for the evil one! 

No wonder Bruh David, in Psalm 25, his prayer for guidance and protection, sincerely cried out: ‘O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies’ triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:3-5) 

Oh people, with sincere words like those reaching up to heaven, yuh think the Lord would ever turn them down? NEVER! Because that’s how He wants us to be; ever trusting and faithful to Him and His Word! And furthermore, no one who believes in the Most High God shall be ashamed of or disappointed in that trust and belief and hope. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:5-6) Oh friends, what more can we ask or expect eh? Nothing really, because everything has already been provided for us by our wonderful heavenly Father! Give Him much thanks and praise for His grace and mercy to the ungrateful children of men! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing in this world…as satisfying…as gratifying…as giving thanks and praise to our Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2019 Luke 17:17.

Luke 17:17.    ​And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Well it’s Sunday once again, but this time we coming to you from the hot and hazy capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Now the ole fella is a li’l bit in doubt here, for it’s shortly after five in the evening, and I can’t make up my mind whether we should have church or not, because there’s a lot of stuff to share with you re my recent activities in this wonderful land. In any case, whatever I decide, I will have to leave you shortly, until whenever I come back from dinner with one of my sisters. 
Oh yes, I have plenty sisters here in J.A; not the biological kind, but the even more important, actual caring and LOVING kind, who enriched my stay in J.A fifty something years ago! And those kinds of people are ever so important in our lives, whether you see them constantly, or once in a blue moon; just knowing that they are there, and they care, adds a whole lot of satisfaction and glow to our souls. Sorry, got to go now, sis is here. (smile) See you soon. 
Back now mih people, shortly after nine my time, but ten, for many of you. Tried mih best to get back sooner, but just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t do mih sister a Spanish; eat and run. (smile) Then when I walked into the hotel lobby a group of medical people from the same graduating year were sitting there and they coerced me into joining them for about half an hour. And ah sorry, but the way it looks like we not having no church today. But don’t worry, the ole fella went to church this morning, up in the chapel on the university campus. 
To tell the truth, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in there. I knew about it, but in those days I suspect that I was not as God conscious as I am now. However the service was good, though somewhat long, with plenty praise and worship. The young lady who led us in that was truly excited about leading worship and I believe her enthusiasm flowed over into many of us. The University Chorale sang for us; a truly fine group of singers. 
The service was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.W.I Graduating Class of 1969 and the U.W.I Mona Library Open Week 2019, and the theme of the whole thing was ‘A HEART OF GRATITUDE!’ And as our preacher, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels so rightly said in his sermon, the graduates of that class who walked the campus some fifty years ago, looked good and were still healthy because of their heart of gratitude, exemplified by our return to celebrate and give thanks. Those were certainly true words. 
And the scripture was taken from Luke 17, where Jesus healed the ten lepers. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:11-13) They had to stay afar off because their illness was contagious. 
And as always, Jesus did show them mercy. ‘And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14) Back in those days, lepers were total outcasts and could only be integrated back into society, if they happened to get cleansed, by showing themselves to the priests and getting their permission. Thus Jesus’ directive for them to go to the priests. Now that’s the good part of the story, but what happens next is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about – a heart of gratitude. 
Hear the Good Book: ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.’ (Luke 17:15-16) Right there we see a major problem. Ten men were healed, apparently nine were Jews and one a Samaritan, the bitter enemies of the Jews. But as life would have it, only the Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus and the Father. 
As the minister said this morning, who knows, the Jews who didn’t return and give thanks might have believed that because they were the Chosen People, they were entitled to it. and that’s a major problem in our society today! Too many of us believe we’re entitled to too much, and are not grateful and thankful for what we have. We complain so much about what we don’t have, instead of giving thanks for what we do have. But hear the end of the story: ‘And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:17-18) That was a stinging rebuke to His Jewish people. 
According to the scholars: ‘17:18. Stranger literally means “of another race of people”; it therefore refers to a Gentile. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This non-Jew, Jesus points out is more spiritually minded than the nine leprous Jews. Yet “strangers” (to cite a use of the word from outside of the Scripture) were forbidden to enter the temple’s inner confines by prominent signs in the temple precincts.’ I guess that might have made it somewhat difficult for the Samaritan to show himself to the priests. (smile) But anyway, good manners and a grateful heart dictated that the other nine should have returned to Jesus and gave Him thanks. 
They were brave and bold enough to beg Him for mercy, but when He showed them that mercy, they couldn’t even come and say a simple ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Unfortunately, that’s the way too many of us also behave today, even supposed believers. Too many of us are not grateful for all the Lord has done, is doing, and has promised to do on our behalf! And that is totally wrong my brethren. Now hear how Jesus ends it. ‘And he said unto to him, (the Samaritan), Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19) 
And as the scholars say: ‘17:19. All were healed, but only one gives Jesus thanks. His salvation is complete.’ Ah friends, yuh see the great difference some thanks and gratitude made: The Samaritan was granted salvation, while the Jews were still adrift in their ungratefulness. Please, don’t allow that to happen to us nuh. It doesn’t take a whole lot to say, thank you and be grateful. It could certainly make a big difference in our lives, both here on earth, and in heaven too. Much LOVE!
 
…it is our bounden duty…to give thanks and be grateful…for all the Lord’s blessings…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2019 Proverbs 31:26.

Proverbs 31:26.    ​She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.

 

So we’ve finally come to Saturday! Wow! Can’t believe that a week’s already passed since I’ve been in J.A; a busy week to boot! But as they say, time waits on no one, especially in these fast and furious times, when life is often just a blur, unless you take the time to really step back and consider what’s happening in your own life. Well yesterday evening we had what they called the gala event…but it wasn’t a real gala as the word usually implies, I think tonight’s formal dinner might more suit that bill. 

But anyhow, at around seven thirty, about fifty something of us got together in the Mona Visitors Lodge, a nice venue on the campus for holding special occasions. After mixing and mingling for a while, we watched a video compilation of graduates, showing then and now pictures. That obviously brought forth hoots of laughter and comments as we saw the serious contrasts between the baby-faced students we were then, and the harder, older looks of the current times. Then there was a roll call of all those who had graduated in 1969, including the dear departed, and those who were at the function got up and acknowledged themselves. 

After that we went up to the back of the building to what they call the ruins; the ruins of some old stone building, never knew it was there, and had finger food and refreshing beverages, (smile) and mingled some more, all the while being feted by the beautiful strains of a steelband. I guess a lot of reminiscing, as well as catching up went on. But it was certainly good to see people you hadn’t seen for at least fifty years and talk about things that happened way back then and persons you wouldn’t see for even longer. All in all, it was an interesting evening, but today is the real party…Bring it on! 

And not forgetting that today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’ Yeh friends, curiosity is an interesting thing and does lead to all kinds of further interesting stuff, so it is of some importance to ask questions, if you want to get answers, though they say that ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ (smile) Yes, we can’t belabour the questioning just for questioning sake! And furthermore, in this day and age, where deceit and fraudulence are rampant, it is of exceeding importance to ask questions if you don’t want to be taken advantage of. 

And this next quote says: ‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.’ There can be no doubt of the truth in that statement, for it’s only when we step out some from our comfort zone that we make what’s call progress. The problem however is how much deviation do we want, or how much is sufficient to not upturn the whole applecart? 

That means to have a fairly stable society, progress ought to be orderly and sort of linear, moving from one point to another in an orderly fashion, otherwise all hell can break loose. Look at what happens in revolutions, be they armed and physical, or like what’s happening right now in our communication and technological sectors. The supposed progress is happening so quickly and disorderly that it’s throwing everything out of sync, and there’s no real control taking place, it’s become more like a free for all. 

Then there’s this: ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’ Another truism, you might say! We can all find happiness in the most trying times if we turn on the real and true light…His name is Jesus Christ! John said that he was sent to bear witness of ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:8-9) So friends, with Jesus as the mainstay of our lives, happiness is indeed possibly in any kind of situation. Please never forget that! 

Now hear this: ‘Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.’ That makes me chuckle, for as far as I’m concerned our sense of morals should naturally make us do right. I guess it’s all in the interpretation, for when we talk about having morals we usually mean the good aspect, not the immoral part. So here it seems the whole morality landscape is being considered. But sadly morality seems to be a forgotten word today, just like God and godliness are being turfed out of our society. 

Anyway, this last quote should help to fix all of that. ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ And is that last part ever true my brethren. These are indeed some rough and difficult days and we can’t truly handle them without some kindness on the part of everybody. Unfortunately though, kindness seems to be a word that is fast disappearing from our society, as we just said, in the wake of our strenuous endeavours to push God and godliness out. But friends, the truth of the matter is that kindness is next to godliness.

Hear how Proverbs puts it, when talking about a virtuous woman. ‘She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.’ You can’t ever beat that my people…and it doesn’t apply to virtuous women alone, but to all God’s children! Yuh see how Ruth, born into idolatry, a Gentile, became a descendant of Jesus, Bruh David’s great grandmother, because of her steadfast support and kindness to her mother-in -law Naomi. Simply read all of Ruth. It’s a short book. (smile) 

And there’s no better passage of scripture to end today’s Bit than this one from Ephesians. Hear Bruh Paul: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:29-32) 

Ah mih people, what wonderful words for us believers to live by! Please, let’s do our sincere best to put them into action nuh, for they will indeed be healing balm to all our sorrows! Much LOVE!

…and to godliness…(add) brotherly kindness…and to brotherly kindness…LOVE… (1Pet.1:7)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2019 Hebrews 12:14.

Hebrews 12:14.    ​Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

 

Welcome to another hot and hazy day in Kingston, Jamaica my dear people! I don’t know if it’s just cloud cover, dust from factory outputs, or a combination of both, but the haze they generate keep preventing me from seeing the nearby harbour and the distant mountains properly! But yuh know what? I’ll take it over the cold weather every time! (smile) And I hear that you all might be having snow, lots of it, for Thanksgiving next week. Hn! Just make sure it’s all gone by the time I get back oui! (smile) 

But it’s Friday all over the world, and what happens on a Friday? Working people sing their weekend song of short freedom. So let’s hear what the workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he’s quite vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend! Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! From tonight, right back to Monday night! Might’n be even able to go to the slave driver work on Tuesday nuh, cause ah all partied out… 

And so it should be, because is Thanksgiving weekend, so we have to give plenty thanks for all we have…and giving plenty thanks involves having plenty parties. So we can all shout: ‘Party! Party! Party!’ Yeh it’s going to be a hot time in the land this weekend, what with all the gobble gobble (turkey) on the table, the pumpkin pie and what have you! And the drinks going to flow like water too! Yuh better believe that! Brother, the Lord surely not going to be able to say we not thankful nuh! Give Him thanks for Fridays and weekends that we have a li’l freedom to do we own thing!’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all meet and right to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings, but as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t be like the ordinary workingman and go way out on the limb, we have to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And yuh better believe if we don’t mind our p’s and q’s the devil going to mind them for us, getting into our business and screwing them up even more than we already doing. That’s why our Friday Chant is not as ebullient and effusive as the workingman’s song. We take a somewhat more serious look at the situation. 

So please chant with me now nuh in all sincerity: ‘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, let us enjoy ourselves, but with a modicum of circumspection, as butler Jeeves would say. 

And following on from that, we come to where we left off in the scriptures yesterday, re Hebrews warning against disobedience. The author wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail (fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited (wanted to inherit) the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.’ (Heb.12:14-17) 

And what does all of that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘12:15. Root of bitterness accurately portrays the nature of bitterness. First it is hidden, but when it is discovered its noxious roots have spread and it springs up as something much bigger and more destructive (cf. Deut.29:18).’ That’s gospel truth friends; the roots of bitterness spread far and wide and fast like a cancer! ‘12:16-17.Profane person: This profanity (Gr. bebelos) involves far more than one’s speech; it is a quality of one’s life. The author sees this quality exemplified in Esau, even though Esau was not a vile man. In fact, he was less of a crook than his brother Jacob. 

The author accurately focuses on the one area that revealed Esau as profane – the selling of his birthright. To “profane” is to regard something as unhallowed, to treat something sacred as common. Being totally concerned with his temporary and material needs, Esau gave them priority over his rights as the firstborn son and his responsibilities as the heir to the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant. (Gen.25:29-34). The result in Esau’s life was that afterward, when he wanted the blessing, he was rejected. He repented with tears, but the situation was irrevocable.’ 

Ah mih people, many of us like to take the easy way out, then regret it, and try to turn it around, but unsuccessfully. It’s like burning a bridge behind you, then wanting to go back the same way you came. That’s ofttimes impossible. So please let’s think before we act nuh, and thus not get ourselves in those untenable and often irreversible situations. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation). Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:16c-18, 21) 

And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then listen to Bruh David from way back when: ‘What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.’ (Ps.34:12-15) 

What more can I say eh mih people? Not a whole lot. Bruh David and Bruh Paul said it, so who am I to say them nay eh? So let’s be wise and sensible and godly and do like they advise us nuh, because anything else will just bring disaster. Much LOVE!

…blessed are the peacemakers…for they shall be called…the children of God… 

P.S. The first of the big parties, the Gala, is tonight. So as the man said…Party fuh so! But with Granny’s warning in mind. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2019 Hebrews 12:12-13.

Hebrews 12:12-13.    ​Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.
 

 

I know it’s late and all that, but please remember that the ole fella is on vacation and sometimes I have places to go and people to meet during the day and cannot get to the Bit until late. (smile) Today was one such day. But before we get to that, let me apologize for the error date on yesterday’s Bit. I put the 10th, when it was only the 9th. I guess when you’re out and about on vacation having fun, the days and dates get mixed up. (smile) Don’t know how many of you even noticed that, because I only noticed it just now when I came to write today’s Bit and saw the computer telling me that it was the tenth. 

Anyway, I was out and about early this morning, up to the campus for a bus tour. And brother, has the place ever grown! Not in actual space, but in the amount of new buildings, including faculties and halls of residences that weren’t there in my time. The green space has been sadly lessened…in the name of what some will call progress. And progress is fine if you do it properly, but in my opinion there wasn’t any proper planning, and it just seems like a hodge-podge of buildings painted in a variety of non-matching colours., with the same roads, not in the best of conditions. 

And wonder of wonders, there are all the famous food places on the campus now…from KFC to Burger King, to Juici Patties, plus pizza and who knows what else. Hn! In my time there was only a small snackette we called the ‘Soda Fountain.’ However the University does seem to be growing, with a lot of day and part time students, as well as on-line participants. But it’s lost one of the most important aspects of a university, the togetherness and cumulative expression of the students as a body, like belonging to one of the halls of residence and getting that strong team vibe, team spirit. 

Just for instance, the group that came out today was a mixture from different residences, but all felt that their hall was the best in their day. I don’t think there’s that kind of hall spirit any longer, because the university has become so large and more concerned with individuality than a more come together scene. Ten years from now, when the recent graduates get together, if they do, they won’t have the camaraderie that we, the older ones had, because they won’t have shared or built the same kinds of close and lasting relationships that we have.  

Anyhow, after the bus tour we assembled on the grass in front of the Alumni Building where two tents were set up and we had lunch, to the accompaniment of the Energy Band – I think that’s the name, a group of older fellows with a banjo and guitar and bass playing some old folk tunes as well as some reggae songs in their own special style. It sounded good, there was even some dancing at the end. It was only spoiled by too much speechification in between. (smile) Didn’t get back home till sometime after four. So it was a good day. Tomorrow, is the gala. That’s in the evening, so I will have time to write the Bit during the day…that’s provided no other social activities get in the way. (smile) 

And that brings us to an interesting section of scripture from Hebrews 12, where we’re first told to run our race with strength and sincerity of purpose, but then warned of God’s discipline and the consequences of disobedience. ‘Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.’ 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘12:12-13. Some of the runners of verse 1 have grown so weary that they have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. They must be given help, yet they themselves also must straighten their paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip them up.’ Oh friends, that’s all so true; too many of us have become tired and weary in this race of life, and it’s easy to do in these difficult times, but as children of God, we have the necessary wherewithal to strengthen ourselves and each other through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. 

But it’s worth noting one comment by the scholars, we must stay away from situations that will trip us up spiritually, as much as possible. As the ole people would say ‘prevention better than cure.’ Simply meaning that it’s much better to prevent something, than to allow it to happen, then try to fix it. Meanwhile, Isaiah say it thus: ‘Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:3-4). 

What a wonderful promise my people! And yuh know what? He’s kept His awesome promise, and blessed us tremendously, so we can go and carry out Isaiah’s directions. Therefore, let’s go home sincerely declaring (steups!) what we call our Thursday blessings nuh. In loud voice and sincere hearts. As one posse of saints: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s sharing time! Much LOVE!

…to share generously…is to be like God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2019 Psalm 51:3.

Psalm 51:3.    ​For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

 

Ah mih people, who says that life isn’t something else eh? Remember yesterday I couldn’t get the mouse for my computer to work, bought new batteries, but still no dice? Today I had intended to go and buy a new mouse. But lo and behold, half an hour ago I decided to turn on the computer and try my best with the Bit…and who says that the mouse not working like a superstar now eh! Chuh! I don’t know if God or the enemy sent that to test mih spirit nuh, but it surely did a small number on me. Now though, I’m certainly giving much thanks as I can get the Bit done before I go out the street later. Glory be! 

So what’s happening out here in J.A? Well nothing much so far nuh. Had a quiet day yesterday resting and fighting up with the mouse scene, then in the evening a few people came over to help celebrate the duchess’ birthday. Ate some food…good J.A. food, reminisced some, partied a li’l – at least I partied to the sweet live strains of the small local band and the female singer, especially when she got into some old reggae music from my time. So we made some new memories to chuckle over when we sit in our rocking chairs somewhere down the line, unable to do much of anything for ourselves. (smile) 

Today we’re going up to the campus to register and get some memorabilia, then it’s free time to do whatever I like! Who knows what the duchess and I will get up to eh? We’re in J.A, so any number can play! But we still have to be cognizant of Auntie’s warning; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business, for one can get into all sorts of no no’s while on vacation, falsely thinking that one wrong thing won’t lead to another. But we all know that’s not true, for sin looks so enticing when it’s sweetly beckoning to you to partake of its delights. But hidden underneath all of that are the serious, often life changing and lifetime consequences. 

And there’s no better example of that than Bruh David’s illegal liaison with Bathsheba and his consequent problems and troubles. As he says in Psalm 51, when Nathan drapes him over the hidden sin: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, only have I sinned, and done evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified (found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest.’ (Ps.51:1-4) 

Yeh friends, the Lord forgave him, but he paid a high price for his sin through numerous family and kingdom problems afterwards. And as the scholars explain: ‘Ps.51: The psalm gives expression to why David was “a man after God’s own heart”: he was not perfect, but he had a sensitivity to sin that few know about.’ Ah my precious people, we will sin, and we will ofttimes pray a price for it, but like Bruh David, once we sincerely repent, we will be forgiven. 

And as Bruh David says in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remebereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:10-14) 

And all God’s children shouted out in sincere gratitude: ‘Praise the Lord! Give Him thanks for His wonderful grace and mercy towards the sinful children of men!’ Yeh friends, so we ought to be giving the Lord continual thanks and praise, for there is no other supposed god who treats his people like our magnanimous and merciful God treats us! As Isaiah also reminds us, although we have not done right by the Lord, just like Israel did not do back then, nonetheless, the Lord says: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ (Is.43:25) Glory Hallelujah! 

And in keeping with that promise, listen to John as he writes: ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) That’s why Bruh Paul could later write to the Corinthians: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor.5:21) Mama Mia! How our heavenly Father must have LOVED us, and still does, to break His own heart and give His only Son to be a blood sacrifice for us poor, disgusting sinners! 

And having said all of that, we now have to look at the other side of the coin. Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, re freedom from sin’s power. ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid (certainly not). How shall we that are dead (who died) to sin, live any longer therein?’ (Rom.6:1-2) That’s true my saintly brethren, if we died with Jesus to sin, (vs.3) and thus are resurrected with Him (vs.5), then we can’t serve sin any longer. 

Hear the scholars. ‘6:1. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? If sin generates grace, should we encourage sin in order to cause more grace to be granted?.’ ‘6:2. God forbid. Perish the thought, may it never be, don’t even think that way. This expression of unthinkable horror occurs in Paul’s epistles more than 60 times. He uses it whenever the thought suggested is too repugnant to entertain. Sin is singular in this verse and throughout this chapter. It refers to the sin nature.’ 

Yes friends, we will sin…occasionally…because we are a part of this fallen world. However, once we have received Christ as our Lord and Saviour, that sin nature ought to be repressed through the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Godliness should then be our continued outlook. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our serious and wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now, in strong voice and sincere sincerity (smile) 

‘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 we all though that’s exactly how it will be! Much LOVE!

…we can’t be overly sinful…and yet serve God…

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