Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.     Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
 

Friday, Friday Friday! Welcome! We welcome you Friday with open arms and thankful hearts, as you are the harbinger of the end of the work week! Only wish we would greet Monday so enthusiastically, instead of the constant dislike and resentment we display for it. But them’s the breaks, and however we make up our bed, that’s how we have to lie down on it. (smile) That’s just pure ole time wisdom, which, like our great God, never changes. 

So what’s new today eh? Nothing really. Our world is still in a crazy uproar with sickness and racial protests, and the sickness lockdown is being increasingly opened, and people are not being responsible enough, so we should possibly expect another rise in the Covid-19 situation. Ah Lord eh… Mankind is really something else yes! The only creation of God, that has no innate respect for itself, and kills itself willy-nilly, ofttimes just for the fun of it. But enough of my philosophizing, the workingman’s opinion will be much more interesting than that. (smile) 

And as always, he opens with the declaration: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Mama Yo! The weekend is upon we! No more slave labour for two whole, big days! Glory be! But unfortunately we have to mellow down that enthusiasm because of all the crazy stuff that’s currently happening in our world. The pandemic sickness and the pandemic unrest is just too much to bear for this long oui, and if something good, something positive don’t happen soon, the whole thing just going to blow up in we face yes! The whole thing is just so confusing…and yuh can’t find no truth, or what seems like truth anyway, no consistency in either situation. 

Steups! Everybody spouting some different story which only leading to more panic and dissatisfaction! The leaders and them either not telling we the truth about either situation, or just spinning it for their advantage. But I guess that’s what leaders do to protect their turf. This is one time though, I think that if leaders doh come out with a unified message, plenty ah dem soon won’t have no turf to protect. But what I know eh – a poor, lowly, workingman, still slaving for a living, still trying to make two ends meet in his middle age eh? All I can say is thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, when I can rest mih spirit and mih soul!’ 

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be the brightest bulb in the room, but he certainly does have common sense, something that’s seems to be exceedingly rare these days, if not totally extinct! But these monumental and awesome and truthful words of Cousin Sol, found in the Good Book are right now staring me in the face. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Prov. 4:7) 

Now why should we do that eh? Cousin Sol gives us these reasons. ‘Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov. 7:8-9) Oh friends, who doesn’t want promotion and honour and grace and a crown of glory eh? All of us do! But the only way to get them and have them last is by seeking and finding wisdom! 

And furthermore, Cousin Sol tells us: ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: for the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her (holds her fast).’ (Prov. 3:13-8) 

And now, blessedly, many of us are dying to find wisdom because of all the good things it brings, and are clamouring about where to find it? (smile) Don’t worry friends, listen to James, Jesus’ brother. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.’ (James 1:5) Yes friends true wisdom comes from Almighty God and nowhere else! But as James also says, we must ask in faith, not wavering, not doubtful and wishy-washy, for God doesn’t give it to that kind of people. ‘For a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8) 

And just to show how important wisdom and understanding are, let us go back to Cousin Sol, as he declares (steups!) this awesome truth: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) So you see friends that wisdom and understanding are ever so important that God Himself used them to create the world, and still uses them to keep it together! 

That brings us to our Friday Chant, our prayer for mercy and grace, wisdom and understanding.  As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, we now need to show that we are indeed true believers! That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…sincerely seek God…and you’ll find…wisdom and understanding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2016 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

One more day friends, one more day! Glory Hallelujah! Yes, we’ve been granted, blessed with life to enjoy another day on God’s great earth! It’s a generous present from our heavenly Father, so we ought to be grateful and use it wisely, following whatever plan He has designed for our lives. 

It’s not to be used in riotous living or perpetrating dark, evil deeds, but for good and godly purposes, whereby our Father can be glorified. Remember, glorifying God is one of our most important jobs down here one earth. In fact, everything we do or say should in some way add to His glorification. 

And having gotten that straight, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week, Anselm seems to have been rather preoccupied with lies and lying, for all the quotes dealt with some aspect of untruth.  

Here is the first one: ‘A person who says they will never lie to you is probably lying already.’ And does that ever ring true! For if anyone has to convince us that they are telling the truth, then it adds a sort of false ring to their words and quickly raises our suspicions.  

The second quote says: ‘Never lie to someone who trusts you. Never trust someone who lies to you.’ Now that is excellent advice, for trust is very hard to come by, but can very easily be lost! 

But here is my favourite quote of Anselm’s for this week. ‘Never lie to a woman’s question. Sometimes she already knows the answer. That’s why she is asking.’ 

Ah mih male breddren, that is something for us to truly sit and ponder, since women can be so devious when they are ready. And you women reading this, please don’t get all up in arms, because that is the gospel truth! (smile) They’ll often ask an incriminating question, to which they already know the answer, just to see our response, to see if they can catch us lying. 

Ah Lord eh! The wiles that we use against each other! Seriously though my people, lies cause so many problems that we must all try to avoid them as much as possible, rather DON’T LIE AT ALL! That’s what our Saviour and our faith teaches us. 

Once upon a time I used to lie, and I think I was pretty good at it, (smile) but eventually I realized that lying caused more problems than it solved, because for every lie you told, you had to make up another one to cover the one before it, and the lies just keep multiplying until you forget whom you’ve told what, and in the long run you get caught out anyway. 

So it’s always better to tell the truth, even though it may get you in hot water. And I can certainly remember getting in plenty hot water for telling the truth, (smile) but then your conscience is clear and you don’t have to worry about what you’ve said to whom. Now I never set out to preach a sermon on lying, but we never know where the Holy Spirit will lead us. 

And likewise, it lead me unawares to today’s Bit. As I was flipping through the Good Book, looking for something I could get my head around, I suddenly came upon it, and realized right away that that was my Eureka moment. So what does it say? ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ Ah friends, Cousin Sol never spoke truer words! 

But before we get into any scriptures that corroborate it, let’s hear from the scholars. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. 

The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Yes friends, before one can acquire wisdom, one has to have a reverential awe of the Lord because it is through Him that wisdom is dispensed. What did James say on the subject? ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach), and it shall be given him. 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Yuh see mih people; wisdom comes from God, but we must have the right awe and respect for Him, and when we ask for it, there must be no doubting in our spirit, else He won’t grant it to us. And we’ll end with some precious words from Job, in chapter 28, re wisdom being the gift of God. 

The scholars tell us: ’28:1-28. This chapter is one of the most beautiful poems on wisdom found in the Scriptures. After describing how laboriously man works to extract the ores and precious metals from the earth (vv. 1-11), Job raises the ultimate question of the sufferer. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?’ (v.12). 

It cannot be purchased with earthly wealth (vv.13-19) but is conveyed only through the controlling factor of the fear of the Lord. ‘And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (v.28). The concept of the fear of the Lord unites all the wisdom books (cf. Prov.1:7; Eccl.12:13).’ 

Yes friends, without a healthy respect for the Lord God Jehovah, wisdom will never be ours. So if we’re smart, (smile) we’ll begin developing that healthy respect and awe right now! Much LOVE!

…the first aspect of wisdom…is fearing God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2016 Proverbs 8:17.

Proverbs 8:17.   I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.

Well friends, it’s that day we all clamour for; Friday, because it means the end of the workweek and the start of the weekend. And for those of us living in this beautiful country of Canada it was a short week because of our Thanksgiving celebrations. 

But yuh know what, whether we work five, four, or even three days a week, we’ll still cry out on a Friday: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! No more slave driver looking over mih shoulder. I can do as I please. Eat and drink what I want, when I want. 

Don’t have to ask permission to go to the loo, or have anybody looking to see how often I go and how long I stay, as though I’m some little short pants schoolboy. Chuh! 

The weekend is MINE! Mine to do as I please! And the wicked and greedy slave master and them be damned! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend! Let’s go and party now!’ 

And believe me friends, in this modern day and age, sadly, there are still work places that will cause that kind of cry to be echoed by the employees. But that still doesn’t give us the right to just dissipate and waste the weekend in riotous, ungodly living. 

We need balance in our lives if we are to live them successfully. And that’s what our Friday Chant seeks to help us do. So let’s chant it with sincerity and truth now nuh.

All together: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih people, that is a much better perspective, because if we keep on abusing the weekends, then have to go to work tired and grumpy, we’ll soon burn out and get sick and won’t be able to enjoy the weekends again. We’ll end up cutting off our nose to spite our face. 

That’s what happens when we overdo anything. Anyway, all I can do is give advice, we all have to make our own decisions as to how we live our lives, and remember we each have to bear the consequences too. 

And our Bit gives us some of the best advice possible in this fallen world. ‘I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.’  

Cousin Sol is here talking about seeking wisdom, and we’ve seen in the past couple days the earthly benefits of seeking her, and also how God used her from the very beginning to create the universe. 

And we all know the scripture where James declares: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). 

For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s important that when we come to God we’re not doubting, or sitting on the fence, ‘for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6b) 

Now here’s an interesting note from the scholars on verse 5 above, James’ declaration about going to God for wisdom. ‘1.5: This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of a believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’ 

So I guess we can’t use this verse as the basis for general but rather particular wisdom. However, there’s also another side to wisdom; the wisdom of seeking Almighty God! 

When Jesus promised His disciples the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, He told them in no uncertain words. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest, (reveal, show) myself to him.’ (John 14:15,21) 

Yeh friends, it’s all about LOVE! And LOVE means being obedient and steadfast. Hear how John puts it in his first epistle. 

‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.’(1 John 2:3-6)  John spells it out loud and clear my people! 

And the scholars offer these comments. ‘2:3. John writes so that his readers may not sin (v.1). Now he sets forth a characteristic of genuine knowledge of God: obedience to His commandments. This is a major teaching of Jesus.’ 

‘2:5. Perfected is in the perfect tense. John refers to the decisive and enduring effect of the indwelling LOVE of God. But the test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ 

Therefore friends, it all comes down to one word ‘OBEDIENCE!’ We can talk all we want about LOVING God, etc. etc, but it means absolutely nothing, unless we are walking in obedience to His commandments. 

So let’s seriously ponder all we’ve said today nuh, let’s search our hearts and see if we are truly walking in obedience to God’s Word. Obviously we won’t be perfect, but we can know if we’re on the right track. And if we’re not, then we certainly can ask the Lord for the strength and wisdom to get on the right track. Much LOVE!

…to be Christ-like…obedient as He was…should be each believer’s sincere goal…