Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2018 Proverbs 26:12.

Proverbs 26:12.    Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
 

Ah mih breddren, unfortunately at 8 o’clock on this Wednesday morning, the last day of October 2018, my neighbourhood is dark, dismal and cold…it’s also raining. To tell the truth, I don’t even remember what rain looks or feels like, for the past two weeks that I spent in Jamaica, I never experienced a drop of heavenly blessing. Yes, a few times the sky darkened, but nary a drop of water fell wherever I happened to be. Hn! 

But I’d better get accustomed to this new state of affairs…and quickly too, because that’s going to be the new norm now. Oh to be in Jamdown once again, experiencing sea, sand, surf and salt, with the occasional bit of rum! (smile) Yes friends, that’s what dream are made of! But here is a taste of reality from the Swedish U.N Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961). 

He piloted the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, when his plane, under mysterious circumstances, crashed in Africa, on his way to try and quell a dispute over there. These are some of the words he left us: ‘Maturity: among other things – not to hide one’s strength out of fear and consequently live below one’s best.’ Words of great wisdom my people! 

And as Christians we have to stop living in fear and proclaim our strengths, strengths which we all have. As they say: ‘healthy thinking requires us to develop and use our many strengths.’

That’s never been truer of Christ’s church than right now, because instead of exhibiting strength, too many of us are embracing weakness and compromising our Christian beliefs and situations. We can’t afford to hide our strengths my people, because that’s when we enjoy our best life. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me: ‘Thank you, Lord, for bringing me to the place where LOVE can knock at the door of my heart. O Father, do not let me be afraid. I shall not resist your affectionate touch. Let me, O Lord, have the spirit of a little child and dare to respond and run with open arms to your call of LOVE. Amen.’  

Oh friends, it amazes me that we can even contemplate resisting the Lord’s affectionate touch, much less do it! We must be mad, crazy, or stupid… or all three! But unfortunately a lot of believers do it every day.

No wonder their lives are so confused, strife-filled and unfulfilling. This action reminds me of Cousin Sol’s words in our Bit: ‘Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ 

Yes friends, when we are so conceited that we turn away from God’s affectionate touch, there is more hope for even a fool, than for us. And in chapter 29, Cousin Sol says the same thing though somewhat differently: ‘Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ (Prov.29:20) 

And he reiterates his point in Ecclesiastes as the Preacher: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Oh friends, I doubt there have been ever been more fools than in this present age! Why? Simply because of the rampant technology that allows us to connect so easily to each other, which unfortunately we are using to talk a whole lot of nonsense, drivel and petty stuff, instead of real and serious matters. 

We’ve become a low standards, low level society in all aspects. That new, but oh so foolish phenomenon called ‘Selfies’ are driving us even further into narcissism and ungodliness, because we’re so focused on ourselves, not on God and others.

Everybody’s walking around with their smart phone – except me- thank the Lord –  (smile) paying more attention to it than what’s happening around them. Sometimes I just have to shake my head and steups at how technology has invaded and taken over our lives. 

But here is the ultimate word on our foolish and selfish, conceited behaviour. This from Jesus two thousand years ago, as he spoke to his disciples about the differences between the praying publican (sinner) and the supposedly devout Pharisee.

‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican (tax collector), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon (beat) his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 18:11-14) 

Oh my people, in these end times there are too many of us like the Pharisee and not like the publican. Please, let’s try and turn it around nuh, for our sake, as well as our children’s.

Remember the Lord doesn’t need anything from us, but we need a whole lot from Him, and we’ll only get it by being obedient to His word. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sincere and secure positions in Jesus. 

All together now…lets wail! ‘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 will that future ever be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…turning away from God…that’s the most foolish thing man can ever do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.      Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Well it’s cloudy, and the forecasters have promised rain for this afternoon, which the ground badly needs, but I also want to go and visit my mother out in the North East end, and it doesn’t make sense to go in the rain. Been putting it off for a couple weeks, finding one excuse after another.

 

Hn! Haven’t seen her for about a year now, if not more, and that’s not a good son’s behaviour. But I know she will forgive my lack of attention, because that’s the kind of person she was. 

Ah friends, forgiveness! One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. And the greatest words of forgiveness ever spoken are those of Jesus, as He hung, bruised and battered on the old wooden cross, about to breathe His last breath. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

Yeh friends, can you believe it? After the harsh and unjust punishment Jesus received at the hands of wicked and sinful men, He still could ask the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t know what we were doing! What magnanimity of soul and spirit He exuded there.

The same goes for us in these evil times. Only a person with a large heart and spirit can genuinely forgive another. It’s seldom easy, but yuh know what my people? Forgiveness is the very basis of our faith!  

Our most generous and magnanimous God forgave us our sins because it was in His heart to do so. He didn’t have to do it, but because of His LOVE for us, He chose to do it. And He requires us to do the same; to forgive others as He has forgiven us. And if you don’t, then you’re not a true child of His. 

And that principle of our faith was, and is so important that Jesus made it a part of the basic prayer He taught His disciples: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And the scholars explain the verse of our Bit as follows: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ 

And that’s a good thing, because so many of us have so many, even some we don’t know about, that it would take us till everlasting to name them all! (smile) As the li’l quote from the Daily Bread Devotional reminds us: ‘The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.’ And do we ever! 

And Jesus didn’t just leave it there in our Bit, but followed up with this most important corollary: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses (sins, debts), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus could not make it any simpler or clearer than that! If we don’t forgive our fellow man his trespass, then the Lord won’t forgive ours. It’s as simple as that! But we’re such hypocrites and deceivers in this current world that we don’t forgive others but keep on pleading to the Lord for His forgiveness on our behalf. Hn! It won’t work my people. 

The Lord forgave us once on the big stage, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but now He expects us, as individuals, to live up to our covenant and do unto others as we expect Him and others to do unto us. So we shouldn’t expect someone to give us something that we’re not prepared to give in the first place, or to give back, having received it. That’s not Christ-like. 

But unfortunately that’s not what our current world is all about. Instead, we’re mightily focused on getting something for nothing, not sharing, being greedy and hoarding, simply looking out for number one, me, myself and I! And even more unfortunately, too many of us Christians are falling into the selfish trap that the world is advocating. 

And it doesn’t help us either as individuals or as Christ’s body, the church. It just makes the unbeliever look at us askance and lose interest in God, because that behaviour does not gel with what we preach as believers. So we’re definitely doing ourselves and Christ’s church irreparable harm when we behave in that hypocritical and ungodly manner. 

Oh my people, I guess we’ll need to hear about forgiveness until the very day, or moment that we die, since it’s not always easy to do, and it goes against the very grain of our naturally sinful soul. But forgive we must, if we want to be forgiven!

And like with every other aspect in our walk of faith, God will help us with forgiveness if we come to Him in all humility and sincerity and ask for His help. He’s promised never to turn us away…and He won’t. 

So let’s wisely get on the forgiveness train nuh, because it’s the only one going to heaven. And simple logic dictates that if you’re not on it, then you’re not going to heaven! (smile) But our God is so magnanimous and wonderful, that for those who try to practice what they preach, He’s ordained numerous blessings, as found in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s go home now sincerely declaring them nuh. 

In unison: ‘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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Now let’s go out with a strong sense of purpose and share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…if you’re blessed…then you were meant to share the blessing…