Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Ah friends, it’s a sad day when bodily aches and pains contrive and conspire to drive you out of your bed! But that’s what came against me this morning. I got up around 5.30 to go to the bathroom and found I could barely walk the few feet to it. And that’s after going to bed around two thirty in fairly good shape. Every joint was crying out in resistance. Then when I went back to bed I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get back to sleep. 

But with the Lord’s help I weathered it and did get some more spasmodic rest. However, the aches and pains in my back, both knees, both hips and both shoulders refused to go quietly into the sunrise, (smile) and I eventually got up somewhat earlier than I had planned. 

But brother, what an ordeal! And I’ve been taking the pain pills fairly regularly. So why this painful episode now eh? Steups! But yuh know what? The aches and pains won’t keep the ole fella down for long. He’ll rally and fight back. And with the Lord’s help we’ll win, because the Lord has promised that nothing that comes against us will conquer us. Glory be! 

And it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, Toronto’s big day in the worldwide spotlight, so you know the workingman will be out and about blaring his song to all and sundry! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Caribana Friday! A long weekend…and official time to play true leggo beast! 

Yuh going to see we out on the boulevard tomorrow in we pretty costume…with the music blasting…and we doing we thing, getting down and wining, showing off we bumbulum and having a rollicking good time! Oh people, oh people, is Caribana weekend, the summer soon done, time to get out and have some fun, and thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends, especially the long ones!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, we must give thanks for our days off from labour, but we don’t need to go that far out on the limb like the workingman, where the evil one can easily get a foothold in our affairs. But like Jeeves says, a modicum of circumspection is necessary. 

And it’s strange how life changes as one gets older. At one time Caribana was a big deal for me. Now I don’t even remember that it exists. That’s because I can’t handle all the walking and jammings again, as well as it has lost its flavour. It’s not as nice and authentic as it was before. 

I’m not even enthusiastic this year to go to the Steelband Competition, the only aspect I support these days. I haven’t even heard from my buddy Bas, who usually goes with me. But who knows what will happen. It’s still early times. And don’t tell me that I’m getting old and cold, because I’m not. (smile) 

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. As one 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!’ 

Yes my people, in Jesus organization, we don’t behave like the world, that’s ruled by the prince of darkness behaves. As Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘I have manifested (revealed) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…

And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:6, 9, 11-17) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important Jesus thought we were? He spent the whole of chapter 17, 26 verses praying for us. Even for the believers who’d come down through the ages (vs.20). He asked the Father not to take us out of the world, but to keep us filled with His joy and to set us apart from the world, so we don’t get too contaminated by it. 

Now we do have to be in the world, otherwise how would we bring the lost and suffering to Him eh? But we don’t have to be a part of the world, meaning doing the things the world does, or living the way it does. We’re special friends. And we need to know it and behave accordingly! 

As we said yesterday, we’re ambassadors of Christ, therefore we have to behave in a special way, a way that glorifies and exalts His Holy Name. And we definitely can’t do that by behaving the way the world behaves. So let’s up the ante nuh, let’s raise our level of excellence in doing Jesus’ work, otherwise we won’t be His fruitful and efficient ambassadors, like we’re supposed to be. Much LOVE!

…serving Jesus in this evil world… is not easy…but it sure is worthwhile…