Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2020 Ephesians 5:1.

Ephesians 5:1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 

Welcome to another beautiful day on God’s great earth my fellow saints in Christ! And grace and mercy and peace to you from our heavenly Father as we spend the day doing His wonderful work, redeemed, sanctified, justified and made righteous by the awesome blood of His Son Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! What a bountiful privilege! And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: “Praise the Lord our great and merciful God, who sends us new mercies and compassions every single day! Who looks after the undeserving children of men! Bless His holy name! Amen!’ 

And I know it’s Friday, the day so many of us look forward to, when our weekly tasks will end for two lousy days, but nonetheless it fills us with happiness. (smile) Look at it this way nuh, the Lord worked six days to create the universe, we’re only working five, which means we’re one up, that should lessen our antipathy to the work week. (smile) 

But let’s hear what the ordinary working man has to say for himself on this bright and sunshiny Friday. And he gushes today: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and that longed for weekend is here! It was the best week for a while now. It wasn’t so hot, and some rain fell and mih body getting used again to the hard, physical labour in the slave master fiery furnace so nicely called a machine shop, so it not hurting so much again! Thank God for that oui, because it not easy to do all the things we need to do, at the speed and consistency we need to do it when every move yuh make hurts like hell! 

I just hope to heaven though that the pandemic and strife business would get settled and be over with, because they still casting a dark cloud over mih life and the world. Yeh, is good to see that they easing the lockdown, but how many people going to pay serious attention to wearing masks and physical distancing when everything gets more open eh? That is the big question, especially since those seem to be the only options we currently have for holding the virus in some sorta check. 

Ah Lord eh! Some of us real dense and stupid yes! We still mouthing off about freedom and trampling of rights, but when we go out there not careful, what yuh think going to happen eh? The same blooming foolishness that happening in the U.S. now! But what do I know eh? I’m just a lowly, ordinary workingman, giving thanks to God for the li’l weekend rest ah going to get come this evening.’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman claims not to know a whole lot, but he does know more than a lot of the so-called upper class and educated people who are not taking our current situation as seriously as they ought to. But that’s where we, the saints of Christ come in; offering prayer and assurance that things will get better, we just don’t know when, and these things will pass, when our God decides it’s time. So let’s go to Him now nuh, corporately, through our Friday Chant, with sincere hearts and plead for His awesome help. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

And now that we’ve prayed with sincere hearts my people, what is our next move eh? To put into action what we said above, re God’s faithful people handling the situation with wisdom and compassion. And how do we do that? Like Bruh Paul told the church at Ephesus when he expounded on the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) 

And how do we do all of that? As Jesus said: ‘But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:35-36) 

And if Jesus words don’t appeal to you, then try these from Peter nuh, as he talks about the call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your mind fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober: (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Consequently, our behaviour should be: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16) 

And for our information, that scripture is found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; and 20:7. Not only one place, but several, which means the Lord was very serious about it. So please, let’s take holiness seriously too, as we go about doing God’s work each and every day! Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…the saints of God lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2016 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE  hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Well friends, it’s Friday, and many of us are singing our Friday jig: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! At last it’s our time to do as we please. No more massa looking over we shoulder to see what we doing. It’s our time to fly, as high as we want to; to touch the sky even. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

But as always, that jig is a little too expansive with room for things that ought not to be indulged in. And we have our Friday Chant that offers a much better, healthier and godlier perspective. 

So let’s chant it now nuh. ‘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.’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, that’s a much better way to use the weekend. Behaving like leggo beast, with all sorts of licentiousness and ungodliness isn’t appropriate behaviour for a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ. So as Jeeves would say, let’s moderate our behaviour with a modicum of circumspection nuh. (smile) 

Now this Friday is a special and somewhat melancholy one in man’s memory, as we celebrate Remembrance Day, in honour of all those brave people who died in the Great Wars, especially the First World War. We remember those who gave their most precious possession, their lives, so that we could have a basic freedom in our lives. 

Now unlike what some think, freedom isn’t just granted, more times than not it has to be fought for. And those brave men and women did just that for us. So it’s essential that we remember them and give many thanks for their Christ-like behaviour, as least one day in every year. 

And in their honour, I’d like to share the world’s most famous War Memorial Poem, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on the morning of May 3 1915, at the battlefront during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. 

Please read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Oh my people, the many wasted lives created by that war eh! Young people died by the thousands. We claimed there’d never be another war like that, yet some thirty years later we’re fighting another World War, and several smaller ones after that. 

Steups! Mankind just seems to like war yes; innately he is a warmonger, rather than a peacemaker. 

And on this Remembrance Day of 2016, I believe that our Bit serves as a most appropriate reminder of all those deaths. Listen to Jesus, as He talks to His disciples about LOVE and friendship. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ 

And that’s indisputable, irrefutable, gospel truth! Yes my precious people of God, those soldiers laid down their lives for us, so that we could have the opportunities we now have and to continue their efforts to have a free world. They have passed the torch to us. 

It’s just like Jesus laid down His life so that we could have salvation and eternal life and show others the way to Him. 

However, though we seem to appreciate to some extent the loss of lives back in the war, we don’t seem to particularly like or adopt Jesus’ words before our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) 

Now, if friends give up their lives for us, because they LOVED us, in keeping with Jesus’ commandment, we ought to LOVE and cherish those who remain. But unfortunately, in these times of worldwide anger and strife, the true meaning of the word LOVE is still eluding us. 

We tend to talk it a lot, but seldom do the acts required of it. How can we call ourselves true Christians then eh my brethren, when we are not following the commandment of Jesus? 

Now hear how John puts it in his first epistle. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him?’ (1 John 3:16-17) 

That’s a very good question, friends! And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘3:16-17. The standard for our LOVE is God’s LOVE in Christ, who died for us. LOVE that observes need, and does not act to minister to it, is NO LOVE at all. Bowels of compassion in modern English would be “heart,” proceeding from our inward core of awareness and action.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly that does not happen in our poverty-stricken and sickly world as much as it ought to. That means we are falling down as Christians. Anyway, let’s close with the words of Bruh Paul while explaining to the Ephesians, the ways of a believer. 

‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph.5:1-2) 

I couldn’t have said it any better, so please friends, let’s see if we can’t ramp up, improve the incidence of true LOVE in our lives and our societies nuh. It’s the ONLY thing that will stop our world from the current free-fall that it’s currently in. Much LOVE!

…true LOVE is the motor that should drive our lives…