Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2021 Proverbs 23:7a.

Proverbs 23:7a.     ​‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.

Well, it’s another bright and sunshiny day in the life friends! Please thank our heavenly Father for that! But because it’s also Saturday, we’re going to add a touch of lateness and laziness to it! (smile) That makes it a bright, sunshiny, late and lazy Saturday! Praise the Lord! 

So though we’re lazing through the day, that doesn’t mean we are allowed to forget our great and wonderful God. On the contrary, today is one where we should gravitate towards Him and His Word since we couldn’t spend as much time as we wanted with him during the busy workweek. And now that we have some more time on our hands today, it’s only appropriate, and right, that we spend more unhurried time with Him; talking, praying, reading and meditating on His wise and awesome Word, so that we can get our souls and spirits renewed. 

And a note of caution here, please don’t think that we’re doing this for God nuh, but for ourselves, so that we can truly enjoy the many benefits He offers. And as we are doing that today, let’s remember to send up prayers for the safety and protection of our unfortunate friends and families on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where the volcano La Soufriere (sulphur outlet) erupted yesterday after being dormant since 1979. People are being evacuated from the island, but like it’s doing everything else, the Corona virus is making it difficult to do efficiently and quickly. 

Let’s pray that the Lord will give my old university classmate, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his associates wisdom and guidance to handle this most serious situation, as it will not affect only St. Vincent, but also the neighbouring islands, with the resultant ash clogging up the atmosphere, causing breathing problems and restricting air traffic. 

Now, as we do every Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And the first quote tells us to ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ And I have no dispute with that because it makes very good sense. We must learn to let go of, to drop all the baggage from our past that is keeping us back from our destiny. However, when we get rid of the baggage, we must also know, as clearly as possible, where we want or intend to go; what’s our eventual destination. 

And why is that important? Because, if you don’t know where you’re going, you will get lost, get distracted, and go in a direction that’s leading you away from your God-given destiny, which can also be very detrimental to your health, physically, spiritually and emotionally. That’s why you need to know where you want to go before you set out on your life’s journey. And it does help to discover your destination, if you also know where you are coming from. As they say, you can’t truly know your future until you know and understand your past. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Owning our story and LOVING ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.’ And that’s no lie friends! Taking responsibility for our lives and LOVING ourselves in the process, takes immense courage, especially in this hate and strife-filled world, where everybody tries to blame somebody else for their problems and consequent lack of happiness. Now, it’s true that circumstances can come against us, over which we have no say or hold, but we’re still always responsible for our attitude towards them. 

But as faithful believers in Christ Jesus, that means we must come up over those circumstances with a good attitude, although that may be extremely difficult to do. Right now, the bane of our human existence is the sad lack of responsibility in our society! Nobody wants to accept it, but we all want to prosper and succeed…how? Riding on the backs of others. But God’s economy doesn’t work like that my brethren, for we only reap what we sow. And if we sow no seed, or only negative ones, we will get no harvest, or a negative one. Please, please, let’s remember that nuh, and begin taking responsibility for our actions. 

And this next quote segues very nicely into our conversation. ‘Self-LOVE is not selfish; you cannot truly LOVE another until you know how to LOVE yourself.’ And that’s gospel truth. Remember Jesus’ words on the two greatest commandments. ‘And the second is like unto the first, thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt. 22:39) 

Now, to keep that commandment, we obviously need to have a strong LOVE for ourselves, because as our quote says, we can’t LOVE anyone if we don’t know how to LOVE ourselves. But in that process, it’s of the utmost importance that LOVE for ourselves doesn’t turn into a selfish, arrogant, vain, inordinate fascination, unkind, ungodly, narcissistic attitude. That comes from the story of Narcissus in Greek Mythology, where he sees himself reflected in a pool of water and falls in LOVE with himself. But when he realizes that that LOVE can never be reciprocated, he tragically goes off and commits suicide. 

Not a nice story at all, but unfortunately many of us still fall to those low levels and make life difficult for ourselves and those around us. This last quote though, will open our eyes, if we’re serious about getting to our God-given destiny. It says: ‘You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.’ 

That’s the truth right there in spades my brethren! The first thing we ought to learn to control is our mind, because that’s where all the battles in our life both begin and end. In Proverbs 23, Cousin Sol talks about not eating with a man that has an evil eye (is a miser), for though he tells you to enjoy the delicacies, he’s not sincere. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) 

And that’s more truth friends, for you can’t think evil and do good on a regular basis. What’s really inside of you will eventually come out. As Jesus said about the things that defile. ‘Not that which goes into the mouth that defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…For out of the heart (mind) proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15:11,19-20) 

Yes my fellow saints, we can’t deny it, evil begins in our minds. Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian philosopher, politician and peace maker, said it thus: ‘A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.’ Oh my people, thoughts are extremely important in shaping our personality and attitude. They can be good or bad, constructive or destructive, and eventually make us who we are. And we need to make our minds positive and productive if we intend to sincerely live for Jesus. 

And how do we do that? Let Bruh Paul tell us as he told the church at Corinth. ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Now that basically means taking control over your thoughts; over what you think about yourself and life. It’s not easy to do with all the evil stuff that’s coming against us, but God has provided us with a way to do it, through His word and will, through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. So let’s remember that our mind is a battlefield between good and evil nuh. And Christ wants us to ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:21) And there’s no better time to start practicing that than today; right now! Much LOVE!

…control what you think about…and what you think about will control you… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s okay. It’s Saturday. (smile) Much LOVE! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2020 2 Corinthians 10:5.

2 Corinthians 10:5.     ​Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.

And so, most of the excitement is over now…Chuh! I don’t know why as soon as Christmas day is over people seem to think that the Christmas season done nuh, and they stop playing Christmas music, because it isn’t. It lasts from the beginning of Advent, long before the actual day till into the New Year. Remember is a season. And nobody takes down their Christmas trees before January 7thor thereabouts. So if yuh Christmas tree still up then, that means is still the Christmas season, so you suppose to rejoice and give thanks and praise the Lord for the gift of Christ. (smile) 

Anyhow, today is Boxing Day, and the Province of Ontario lockdown tighter than ah don’t know what. For sure there’ll be none of the usual Boxing Day sales. Well if yuh can’t behave yuhself when the going is good, then you obviously going to suffer the undesirable consequences! 

And that’s exactly what’s been happening here in Ontario; people haven’t been obeying the Covid rules and the cases have been mushrooming, setting new records almost every day, so something had to give. Hope that now all the Christmas festivities sort of over, people will wake up and realize that unless we take serious precautions this virus will become increasingly virulent. But who knows what people will do eh? 

Anyway, it’s also Saturday, so let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. And the preface business still running. ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are.’ And as always, I’ll remind us to remind ourselves that we only awesome when we in Jesus, and He’s in us! 

And the first quote is this: ‘Negative thoughts only have the power I allow them.’ And that’s the gospel truth, for since Christ has conquered hell, death and the grave, NOTHING negative, even the devil, has any power over us, unless we allow it. And as per negative thoughts, Bruh Paul reminds us that we should be about ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Yes friends, we need to be careful what thoughts we allow to exist in our minds, because the mind is the battlefield of the spiritual war in which we’re engaged. And how do we keep control of our thoughts? One website puts it thus: ‘The word of Christ should dwell in you richly. This can be accomplished by regular study and meditation in the Bible, by memorizing Scriptures, by church attendance, and through committed obedience to Christ’s teachings. It also says to teach and admonish.’ 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) Those are some of the ways we can keep our thoughts and minds strong and reject the negative stuff that’s ever so quick to jump in there. 

And the next quote tells us: ‘To make small steps toward big goals is progress.’ Now that’s no lie, for life itself usually goes in small steps, and there aren’t many times when big things happen suddenly as big things, but they mostly grow from small things until they get big. As mih Jamaican people say, ‘one one cocoa full basket.’ 

And that’s the living truth. You can only put one cocoa in the basket at time, thus we ought to esteem the small things in our lives, because put together, they can grow to big things. Like the mighty oak tree that grows from a small acorn – but it takes a long time to become mighty, doing so in small steps. 

Then we come to this: ‘No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future.’ And isn’t that the indisputable truth. Yet we keep on allowing the guilt of our past to hamper our present and future and allow worry for the future to disrupt our present. That’s foolish my people! 

Once we have come to Christ and asked for forgiveness for our past wrongs, they were forgiven, so there’s no need to keep letting that guilt attack our souls and spirits. The problem there is that we find it hard to forgive ourselves, and that’s possibly a sense of pride. For if Almighty God has forgiven us, who are we not forgive ourselves eh? We’re just saying there that we don’t really believe and trust God’s forgiveness. 

And as per worrying about the future, Jesus said it loud and clear in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Ah friends, every day has its own problems, more than enough, so there’s no need to take any from one and put it on the other. We just need to try and live ONE DAY at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves, for life takes pleasure in gumming up the works if we try to be too smart. (smile) 

And our last quote says: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ Now that certainly rings true! Our attitude controls our thoughts and actions. If we have a good attitude, then invariably we have good thoughts and actions. The opposite is also true. If our attitude is bad, then most likely bad thoughts and actions will predominate. And where do we get those polar opposite attitudes from eh? From the two options available to us in this world. 

As Jesus said: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) And there’s no disputing that! You can’t serve God and the devil at the same time. You have to make a choice. And depending on that choice, you will adopt a certain attitude. 

If you choose Jesus, then your attitude will be predominantly good. But if you choose to serve Beelzebub, then your attitude will be predominantly evil! So it’s up to each of us to choose to whom we will bow, but bow to somebody, we must. Let’s hope that most, no, ALL of us choose to serve the One and Only Saviour of our fallen world; JESUS CHRIST! Then, good attitudes will predominate in our world. Much LOVE!

…oh…why is it so hard to get suffering sinners…to come to Christ’s comforting arms eh… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.     But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 
 

‘Come leh we go, come leh we go!’ Yeh friends, is Monday morning, and that means is time for many of us to get up and go off to work, as safely and carefully as we can. Some of us have the benefit of being able to work from home, but many of us are not so blessed. And even worse, many of us don’t have a job to go to, and don’t know where and when the next penny or mouthful of food is going to come from, or when they are going to be evicted from their homes and businesses through non-payment of rent or mortgage. 

Ah mih people, these are indeed trying and uncertain times. Times like we’ve never had to deal with before, so there’s no example for us to follow, that’s why we’re making it up as we go and are stumbling at times, making mistakes like we will when the path is not clearly defined or lit. But the important thing is for us to realize that we’re ALL in this together, although we’re not ALL being affected in the same way. Thus it behooves us to work together as much as possible, and help the worse off ones when and where we can, because it’s only with a common goal and destination, and everyone taking our responsibilities seriously, that we’ll ever conquer our problems. That’s my penny’s worth! (smile) 

Let’s move on to a higher power, the Lord God Jehovah, let’s take our concerns to Him through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one strong voice now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, Jehovah God is the ONLY ONE who can truly help us with the many problems we are currently facing. But that will mean a complete turnaround in our attitude towards Him and His Word. And the billion-dollar question is are we ready to sincerely do so? We must be very serious about the matter, not just playing games like we so often do. We will have to give up our evil ways, our worldly lusts, the seeking of worldly treasure, wealth and pleasure. 

That means, as Jesus so wisely advised in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:33-34) That should be clear and self-explanatory my people. True believers in Jesus, those who truly accept Him as their King, their Lord and Saviour, who have pledged their allegiance to Him, need to continually seek His kingdom, and its righteousness. Yes, it’s a continual seeking. 

As the scholars explain. ‘6:33-34. The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

I don’t know what else to say nuh friends, except to quote Jesus again from earlier on the topic of worrying. ‘Which of you by taking thought (by worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt. 6:27) And the answer to that friends, is NONE of us! So why do we keep on allowing the enemy to get into our heads and cause us to worry eh? For worrying is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, rocking in a rocking chair all day, but not moving anywhere. Worry helps nothing, only cause more problems, by draining away the li’l positive energy we have and turning it into a negative stumbling block. 

So when worry assails us, let’s do like Bruh Paul advises nuh: ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments) and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5). In other words, ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought and make it obedient to Christ.’ (NIV). 

‘Taking your thoughts captive simply means gaining control over what you think about yourself and your life. What you put in your mind has an effect on what you think. God has provided a way to overcome unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and gain the self-control you seek. It’s a matter of taking charge of your life – His way.’ (crosswalk.com) 

So, in a nutshell, we need to stop listening to the devil, control our thoughts and seek God and His righteousness first in our lives. Much LOVE!

…if God is not our number one priority…then our lives are not right…