Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2020 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) your mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for them thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Welcome to a bright and sunny Saturday morning friends! It’s somewhat on the chilly side though, and the banks are full of snow. But that’s to be expected since it’s winter in the northern climes. And I guess a lot of us are sleeping in this morning after a tiring week of labour…and some of us might say not of labour but of navigating the daily traffic problems, especially with the snowfall we’ve had this past week. 

Yes, there are just too many cars on the roads especially during the morning and afternoon commutes. But you wouldn’t like to see the amount of cars that are parked in the train station lots; several thousands. When I travel on the train and see them sitting in the parking lots, I can just imagine the chaos and traffic problems we’d have if they all hit the road morning and evening too. 

Phew! But today is Saturday, we don’t have to contend with work and traffic, so instead, let’s focus on the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’ And is that ever so true! Possibly because of our high level of intelligence, we seem to think that unless something is complicated it’s no good. Thus we introduce stuff into stuff that’s not necessary. 

Think about all the rules and regulations we have in life…I’m sure we could do without half of them if we were only better neighbours and friends, and could be depended upon to do the right thing at least 8 out of 10 times. But because we aren’t, provision has to be made for our ‘unneighbourly’ and unfriendly attitudes. (smile) So for each rule we introduce, there must be several provisos to explain and counteract it. Steups! 

This next quote is also of mucho importance: ‘What we really are matters more than what other people think of us.’  Now that’s gospel truth! But sadly too many of us don’t understand or believe it, and thus allow what others think of us to control and ofttimes spoil our lives. We give it names like social pressure or social stigma, doing what the supposedly higher ups, or our social betters want or expect us to do. Chuh! 

Oh friends, please have faith in yourselves and your God! He made you to be who you are, in His image, with His plan for your life, not for another human’s! And the usual corollary to situations like those is that the ones who are so critical of others, are worse than those they criticize, do worse than them in the same circumstances. In other words they are just a bunch of blooming hypocrites! 

Thank the Lord I learned that at a tender age from watching people criticize my mother, then discovering they were a whole lot worse than her! Friends, please don’t live your lives because of what others say or do. The Lord has a plan for you, find out what it is, and then live accordingly. 

Then there’s this interesting quote: ‘The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.’ Good for our friend Anselm if he’s referring to himself! (smile) But that’s basically true because leaders are the ones who take us usually where we’ve never gone before, and to do that they must have a special something, call it bravery, common sense, wisdom, a dream, a vision, or all of them. 

Now it could even include stupidity or mental incompetence, which means leading their followers astray. Think about all the sects that have populated our world because of such leaders. But what makes a leader -good or bad –  is that belief in themselves, that feeling of infallibility, which causes others to even give their lives in their service. And this next quote doesn’t only pertain to leaders but to all of us. ‘If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.’ 

Yes my people, the active ingredient in our mind and spirit is the one we usually bring forth. So if fear is the dominant attitude, then most likely we will bring forth failure. That’s not to say that we won’t or can’t fail if we think success. The difference though is the amount of energy and faith we put into our projects when we think positively and of success, as compared to the negative side of failure. 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.’ Glory be mih people! You won’t ever be successful unless you make the necessary preparations for it! That’s because success doesn’t come without certain preparations, like thinking positively about it and putting in the necessary hard work it calls for. And I guess the best advice I can give on the subject is found in the words of the Lord God Himself to his servant Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) your mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for them thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh my fellow believers it couldn’t get any more straightforward and plain than that! Meditating on the Lord’s Word and following it, is what brings true, real and lasting success. Supposed success gained by any other method is ephemeral and not lasting. And our God is such a wonderful Leader and encourager, I just LOVE His next words to Joshua. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

Yes friends, those same words of the Lord echo down to us today as we face the difficulties and calamities of this troubled world. That was the third time in four verses that He was reminding Joshua to be strong and courageous because his omnipotent, merciful, LOVING and gracious God would go with him wherever he went. Let’s accept that most encouraging and reassuring message to day like Joshua did back then nuh my brethren, and go out and do the work the Lord’s prescribed for us, the same way Joshua went forward with bravery and courage and did his duty. Much LOVE!

…the Word of the Lord…it’s the guidebook to….successful earthly living…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.    

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

And then it was Friday, the beginning of the March break, so I can imagine that all the airports are full and running over with the amount of people just dying to get away from the lengthy spell of cold weather that’s recently held us in its iron grip! 

Yeh, wish I was one of those crowding the airport terminals too, but my day will come, so I’m not worried, and I know too that whatever the Lord allows to come against me, He will give me the grace and strength to face it victoriously! Glory to our great and wonderful and generous and merciful, forgiving and magnanimous God my people! 

Now we have lots to cover today, so let’s get on with it; let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself today! And as always, he’s very vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui; March break Friday and the children and them don’t have no school for a whole week. Steups! That means they underfoot all blooming week. Got to see if I can’t send them by their uncle up in the North Country for at least a few days. 

It would be good if I could take some time off and go somewhere with them, but the slave driver only give we holidays in the summer when he place shut down to retool…plus I don’t have enough money to carry all of us overseas to the warm climates right now anyway! So we’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation right here in cold Toronto…Hn, hn, hn! 

And ah talking as if that ever stop we before! We still going to eat and drink and party hearty this weekend. So bring it on! Let the fun and games begin, as we get into another free from work weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes! Don’t know what I would have done without them to break up the monotony and harsh reality of work nuh!’ 

Yeh friends, plenty of us believers also fall into the same category as the workingman, can’t get time off and don’t have enough money to take the family on a holiday to a warm place, but we too will manage, because we have the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indwelling us, and He gives us the wherewithal to withstand anything that comes against us! Glory to God!

So let’s chant our weekend song, our Friday Chant, with the same, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song, since we have plenty more to be thankful for. 

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

That was good friends! We could feel that deep down in our souls and our God was happy to hear us rejoice and be thankful in our relationship with Him. (smile) Now let’s turn to our Bit, those stirring words that foreshadowed some of the awful stuff that our Saviour Christ Jesus suffered on our behalf. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t think that any of us would have made it successfully through forty days and nights of fasting then serious temptation by the evil one himself. But Jesus did. Give Him the glory! And today we’ll look at the third major temptation. 

The Good Book says: ‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence (away with you), Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt.4:8-11) 

Oh friends, the devil is very persistent, and we have to be very strong in our reproach and rebuke too. In this last temptation Jesus rebuked Satan with a combination of words from Deut.6:13, 10:20 and Josh.24:14.

We also need to know the proper scripture to rebuke the enemy when he comes a calling, which means we have to read and study and meditate on God’s Word. I can’t overstate the importance of knowing the Word to help us in ALL aspects of our lives! 

Now here is some pertinent info on the last temptation from the scholars. ‘4:8. The third temptation takes place on an exceeding high mountain. The mountain is clearly real in the text, though its exact location is unidentified. Despite the grandeur of the temptation, nothing in the passage itself indicates that these temptations were only in the mind of Christ.

Clearly, they are depicted as real experiences that actually occurred in the human life of the Messiah. That Satan, the usurper, would attempt to give the kingdoms of the world to Jesus, the Messiah, the rightful King, is the height of absurdity!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how boldface Satan is, offering us stuff that already belongs to us! How boldface can some people get eh! And then this other offering from the scholars. ‘4:9-11. For Christ to fall down and worship Satan would have been to acknowledge the Devil’s lordship over Him. 

In His direct rebuke Get thee hence, Satan, Jesus clearly asserts His lordship over the old serpent whose head He will soon crush. Matthew’s statement that Satan leaveth him shows that his order of temptations is the chronological one. (cf. Luke 4:1-13).’ (Luke has the mountain temptation second and the temple pinnacle last). 

Well that brings us to the end of today’s Bit, but please, please remember my people, that though Jesus rebuked Satan and crushed him, the ole devil is still out there roaring a toothless roar; (smile) he’s all bark and no bite, and has no power to overcome us, unless we fall for his deception and allow him into our lives!

So this Lenten season, let’s get serious in our decision to get closer to God nuh, study His awesome Word and put it into practice in our lives! That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…God gave us His Word… as a guidebook for our earthly lives…let’s be wise and use it nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2018 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.   The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek, and consequently all thoughts are turning to the weekend; considering the summer frolic it will bring. And nothing’s wrong with that, it’s all a basic part of life, but friends, I have an even more important announcement to share this morning; one that will bring enormous positive changes to your life if you embrace it in the spirit it was meant to be taken. 

Please remember this: ‘The Bible is God’s Word to us, still fresh through ALL the ages! And if we read it, we WILL find God’s wisdom on its pages!’ That’s indisputable truth my brethren! So please let’s do the sensible thing and read God’s word so that we can find His wisdom and apply it to our lives nuh. That’s why He spent so much time inspiring the prophets and them to write it; so that we could have a Guidebook for successful earthly living. 

And if you don’t believe me, just look at the messy, disgusting, evil and foolish lives we are currently living nuh. If we were truly reading and studying God’s word and putting it into practice our world would never be in such a state of anger, hatred, strife, power hunger, greed, poverty, economic deprivation and sickness. 

But unfortunately, too many of us, including supposed believers are heeding the wicked and lustful ways of the world and not seeking God and His righteousness first in our lives. Remember Jesus said that if we sought God and His righteousness FIRST, all the things of the world that we NEED would be given to us. (Matt.6:33) 

But our actions prove that we don’t believe it. We still attempt to work for them in our own strength and that’s never going to work properly my people! That brings us to our Bit, immortal words of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ 

And that’s gospel truth my fellow believers! The problem though is that once you go down that foolish road and discover what will be your end, it will be too late to turn back then. That’s why you need to embrace the wisdom of the Good Book and the wonderful things it offers NOW! 

Let’s take a look at a few scriptures to prove our point. We’ll begin with Job’s question as he acknowledges God’s justice. I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God (can a man be righteous before God)? If he will contend (if one wished to argue) with him, he cannot answer him one (one time out) of a thousand. He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?’ (Job 9:2-4) 

And the sure answer to that is ‘NOBODY has done it, and NOBODY ever will!’ Glory be my brethren! For an infinite God, our Maker and Controller, who’s ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, is the epitome of wisdom and justice! And there’s no better passage in the Bible that speaks to the importance of the acquisition of wisdom than the situation between God and Cousin Sol in his early days as Israel’s king. 

One day Cousin Sol went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord, and the Lord appeared to him in a dream by night: ‘and God said. Ask what I shall give thee.’ (1Kin.3:5) And we all know Sol’s response. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?’ (1 Kin.3:9) 

Oh my people, my people, is that the kind of thing we ask for when God asks what we desire of Him? Very seldom! Most of the time we ask for things of the world. 

And I like how the Good Book puts it: ‘And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon has asked this thing. And God said unto him. Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgement (justice); 

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days.’ (1 Kin.3:10-13) 

Yes friends, that’s how magnanimous and generous our God can be when we ask for the right things; not stuff in pursuit of greed or selfishness. And let’s note the corollary to God’s goodness to Cousin Sol. ‘And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin.3:14) 

What more can I say eh friends? Nothing but to implore us to seek the face of God and His wisdom; to read His word and apply it to our lives, so that we may dwell in the peace and joy that accompany His promises. Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has generously bestowed on us. 

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

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

And the next step is to go out and share it all with the less fortunate. God blessed us so that we could bless others. Much LOVE!

…wisdom is the principal thing…therefore get wisdom…and with all thy getting…get understanding… (Prov.4:7)