Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

It’s the mid-week rest period – Wednesday- when we catch our second wind to ready us for the homestretch. And someday, hopefully soon, the four-day workweek that people are now clamouring for will be a reality. Now, that would certainly make the workweek less ominous and frightening. (smile) It would also give us more free time. But please consider the other side of the coin; if you work less, you will also earn less, and that might not fit well with your financial situation. So please, let’s be careful of what we wish for, because ofttimes the reality of the situation is totally different to its theoretical side. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that offers blessed assurance from the vicissitudes, the vagaries of life. It’s titled ‘Romans 8…to Me.’ Please pray with me. ‘God I may fall flat on my face I may fall until I feel Old and beaten and done in Yet Your LOVE for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life My private world may shatter to dust Even so You will hold me In the palm of Your steady hand. 

No turn in the affairs Of my fractured life Can baffle You. Satan with all his braggadocio Cannot distract You. NOTHING can separate me from Your measureless LOVE. Pain can’t Disappointments can’t Anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest LOVE can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots war insanity unidentity Hunger neurosis disease – None of these things Nor all of them heaped together Can budge the fact That I am dearly LOVED. Completely forgiven And forever free Through Jesus Christ Your BELOVED Son.’ 

Oh friends, what a powerful and totally true statement! If we believe in Christ Jesus, NOTHING in this world can ever cause us to lose the LOVE of our heavenly Father! Wow! That ought to be ever so reassuring and encouraging to those of us who know Christ as Lord and Saviour. And where does all this reassurance and encouragement come from? From the Good Book obviously… from Romans Chapter 8, as our poem declares. Let’s read exactly what the passage about separation from God says nuh. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39)

Yes, precious people of God, those are all undeniable facts and divine truth that Bruh Paul is writing there to the church at Rome and subsequently to us. As believers in Christ, we are inseparable from the LOVE of God! Nothing this world can throw at us will ever do it. Now here the scholars tell it. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ 

And that’s the living truth! But unfortunately, too many of us believers don’t seem to believe that God is greater than any enemy the world can cause to rise up against us. That’s why we cringe and eventually bow down to the evil of this world. That’s why Jesus would sadly accuse us: ‘O thou of little faith!’ We talk a good talk, but when the chickens come home to roost, it’s an entirely different story; we falter, and then crumble under the reality of the situation. And no one’s saying that living a meaningful life for Christ is easy, but what’s the point, if as soon as the tough times come, we scatter and run like sheep eh? 

And very often, it doesn’t even take the real tough times to scatter us, but merely some simple recurring difficulty. Unfortunately, too many supposed believers today fall into the second and third categories of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seed. ‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.’ (Matt. 13:5-7) 

Obviously those two categories are not good my people, because the seed never grows to maturity, blossoms and bears fruit. Now listen to Jesus’ explanation of those two categories. ‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it. Yeh hath he no root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (immediately he stumbles). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars define those two categories thus: ‘13:20-23. The stony places are shallow-hearted individuals who anon (at once) receive (outwardly) the message with joy. This emotional convert is not truly born again, for hath he not root and withers away. The one who is among the thorns (cares of this world) is the carnal, worldly convert, who never really breaks with his past. Worldliness and materialism choke the word in his life, and he is finally unfruitful (unsaved).’ 

Ah mih people, what Christianity desperately needs today to conquer the power and territorial superiority of the enemy is a bushel of what Jesus described as: ‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) And He explained that part of the parable thus: ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt. 13:23) 

And the scholars follow up with this: ‘The one who received seed in the good ground is the one who both heard the word and understood it, which also beareth fruit (evidence of true conversion). While such evidence may vary in its amount, all true believers will produce some fruit.’ 

Oh friends, do we ever need more believers bearing fruit in these troubled times. It’s not so much a matter of how much fruit we bear, but that we do bear some good fruit! The world and its cares are robbing us of the good and abundant life Christ died for us to have, so please, let’s try and turn this thing around nuh. We can, if we sincerely try. And remember, with Christ in our lives, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘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 as we do that, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians make a great difference…when they bear good fruit…                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 
Welcome friends, to Thursday April 30 in the year of our Lord 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic! Unfortunately, some three months in, the deadly virus is still causing havoc and confusion amongst us. Nothing much has changed. We still don’t know anything much about it, but everybody has their opinions. Hn! What a bam bam! Now the panic is increasingly becoming not only about contracting the virus, but more about work, money and food, as a serious shortage is beginning to show up in those vital areas. 

And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be a political leader in these times at all, because the virus has dropped them right between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, for now the decision has to be made between the medical and economic fronts; either save people and keep social distancing going, or save the economy and open back up the business, which at this crucial time could lead to a worsening of the medical situation. You’re damned if you do either, because there are strong sentiments in the populace for both actions. So friends, let’s pray that our leaders get it right yes, else we’re in for a long, extremely difficult time. 

But here’s something I heard a preacher recently talk about, something called the Stockdale Paradox, coined by the author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.’ And does it ever  seem rather appropriate to our current situation. Apparently Admiral Stockdale, a Navy Pilot spent seven years as a Vietnam prisoner of war and surprisingly he witnessed that those prisoners who were optimists were dying before the pessimists, because after several disappointing episodes of predicting freedom, they lost their hope and gave up. The pessimists, already without hope just went about their business in pessimistic fashion and died off as expected. (smile) 

When asked how he managed to keep his sanity and faith, despite several severe bouts of torture, the Admiral replied: ‘I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ Imagine thinking and doing that in a prisoner of war camp nuh!  And he added: ‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ 

What words of awesome wisdom my people! Words that I believe will certainly help us in these scary and confusing times. Faith will allow us to believe that we will eventually prevail, but we must also be wise and disciplined enough to recognize and confront the hard and unrelenting facts of what we’re currently going through. I think we saw that principle magnificently epitomized in Jesus, especially during His torment in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. 

Yes, as a human being, He was terrified of having to face the cross, so much so that three times He prayed ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke 22:42.) The Good Book further says: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Yeh friends, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations: ‘22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

But as the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus knew that was His major purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb for sin, and He really couldn’t escape it. He also knew though that He would win the battle eventually and be resurrected victoriously from the grave. So like Admiral Stockdale said, He didn’t lose faith, although things seemed rather dim, but also faced the reality of His crucifixion, knowing that He would win in the end. And that’s the exact kind of behaviour we believers need to exhibit in these trying times my brethren! 

We know that we will win in the end, Jesus has promised it: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ So we need now to hold on tightly to that promise, while wisely facing our current reality. Remember our motto for this Covid-19 season: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Let’s use them nuh. And in addition to those attributes, we also have our Thursday Blessings, such wonderful blessings that God has also given to us so we can perform His awesome work down here on planet earth. 

So let’s declare them now nuh, in strong voice, with truly 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and generously share those blessings as the Lord greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…strong faith…with wisdom…and endurance…win the crown every time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2017 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.   I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Alive and kicking, alive and kicking serious butt my friends! That’s the way we should be as Christians. But unfortunately, most Christians seem to be barely alive, just going through the motions. For whatever reason, we don’t have the necessary energy or desire to kick butt for Jesus! 

That’s wrong though my fellow believers. How then will Christ be known all over the world if we don’t get up and get moving eh? Remember, we are His body here on earth; His hands, His feet, His mouth. He depends on us to stir up the populace on His behalf. 

And I don’t know if it’s simply fear of the world, or just laziness and procrastination that’s holding us back, but it’s obvious that we’re not doing such a great job on Jesus’ behalf, while the unbeliever is luxuriating in his wicked and evil deeds. 

Anyway, here is something called ‘The Pain of Growth,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I think will shed some light on our problems. (smile) 

It says: ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord. I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. 

The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. 

Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache And anguish. And very often in my suffering When I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

What words of truth and wisdom my people! None of us like pain or suffering, but it is inevitable in the fallen nature of our lives. And that is simply how we grow in any and everything. As the ole mantra goes, ‘no pain, no gain.’ 

And that’s especially true in our Christian walk of faith, for God matures us through tests and trials which often involve some serious pain. Yuh see the pain and suffering Jesus had to bear to atone for and absolve our sins? 

Likewise we need to go through some tribulation, else we’ll never grow in our Christian walk. Unfortunately though, in these modern times, Christians are a soft, wimpy bunch of people who just want to enjoy the good life without any problems whatsoever. 

In fact our whole society has become soft and wimpy through all the ‘make life easy’ amenities that we now possess. But since the fall of our forefathers in the Garden of Eden, life has never been easy; the consequences of sin have made it tough and as Christians we are expected to weather whatever storm comes against us. 

However, the wonderful news is that we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to help us weather it! Glory Hallelujah! Unbelievers don’t have that luxury, so they have to weather it all on their own. 

So please let’s stop complaining as much as we do, and instead plead the wise and truthful words of our Bit: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.’ 

Yes friends, whatever our ever-faithful and righteous God allows to come against us has a perfect reason behind it. He is the great I AM, who knows the beginning from the end and has everything in His universe under control. 

And we should rightly be saying like the psalmist does after our Bit: ‘Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.’ (Ps.119:76-77) 

Oh my people, our God has promised that though He chastens us, He will not do it out of spite or anger, but out of LOVE. Now listen to these words of Cousin Sol which seal the deal. 

‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of (detest) his correction. For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:11-12) 

There it is in black and white friends! So please not get too antsy about the pain and suffering that comes against us, because it will all work out for our good eventually. Our faithful God has promised that. With all of that in mind then, let’s go home declaring our wonderful blessings, knowing that they will wash away whatever pain we have now, or are yet to face. 

In strong and sincere voice 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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my believing brethren! Much Much LOVE!

…whatever comes from God…comes in LOVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2017 Matthew 26:38.

Matthew 26:38.   Then said he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (wait) here, and watch with me.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ (smile) Well not exactly everything on this Holy Thursday morn, but sufficient stuff to keep me rather grateful. Glory to God! 

Some of you ole fogies might remember that song from way back when, but it’s still very applicable in these trying times, for everyday that we open our eyes and greet the world, it’s a beautiful day and things are going our way! 

And today I want to especially give thanks and praise to our ever-faithful heavenly Father for getting me out of the quandary that I was in yesterday; meaning having my friend Jackie’s funeral and an important doctor’s appointment the same time to day. 

But in His wonderful mysterious workings I called the doctor’s office and was able to get my appointment time pushed back to later. Thank You Lord! 

I would have been very disappointed if I couldn’t go to Jackie’s memorial service, because over the last year or so we had gotten fairly close, and would take interest in each other’s medical affairs, boosting each other to hang in and hope for the best. 

Right now she indeed has the best, while I am still here doing my pilgrim’s thing, (smile) but with her memory forever etched on my heart. 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so good and wise and wonderful, that the very night before Jackie died, I was watching a programme ‘At the Cross’; a call in religious show for prayer and godly help, and the topic of the night just happened to be, ‘Are you grieving a loss?’ 

And that loss could be anything at all, a house, a dear one, a job, finances, etc. Once the loss touched you severely, there was room for grief. And the host of that night’s programme identified two types of grieving; one he called demonic grief and the other cleansing grief. 

The demonic one was obviously the type of grief that just throws you down and keeps you down for a long time, where you can’t function at all, can’t go on with your life, and there is a lot of bitterness and anger and negative emotions in your soul. 

Meanwhile the cleansing grief is the grief that helps you get over your loss. It may take a long while, but in the meantime you will be able to function, because you have given your grief and sorrow to Christ and He has kept His promise of Matthew 11:29: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the only way that makes sense; take it all to Jesus, admit that you can’t handle it and ask for his saving grace and LOVING-kindness. Then and only then will you be able to handle your grief in a wholesome manner. 

And that is one testimony that I can most definitely attest to; a moment in time I’ll never forget. I’m talking about when my mother unexpectedly went to be with the Lord some years ago while I was in California, an unexpected aura of peace just floated over me. 

I was most surprised by it, and though deep down I was devastated by the loss, I was able to hold up quite well. Some people were skeptical bout my calm attitude, but I never took offense, because I knew that the Spirit of the Lord had imbued me with the peace to set things in order. 

And yuh know what friends? Even Jesus had grieving and sorrowful moments, the main one being His rough moments in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Holy Thursday night before he was crucified. 

Listen to our Bit. ‘Then said he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (wait) here, and watch with me.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus agonized over stuff too, that’s why He can understand our human frailties and emotions. Thus the Good Book tells us: ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Then He went back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and admonished Peter, ‘What could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:40-41) 

Extremely good advice for us to take to heart my brethren! Then Jesus went away and prayed a second time, ‘Saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ (Matt.26:42-44) 

Yes my people, three times Jesus prayed for the cup to pass away. Meanwhile Luke tells us that during His first prayer session: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) 

And the scholars explain thus: 22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. 

Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’  

Now hopefully friends, we’ll truly appreciate the great weight, the severe burden that Jesus had to bear on our behalf, and in future give Him much more thanks and praise. So let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which, despite our sinfulness, the Lord still doles out so generously to us. 

‘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!’ 

Now remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared over someone, so let’s go out now and declare blessings over plenty some ones. Much LOVE!

…grief and sorrow are natural human emotions…but through Jesus …we can bear them successfully…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Welcome, welcome, my fellow believers to another glorious day in the annals of History! There are brand new strands of grace, mercies and lots of other good things to enjoy, courtesy of our wonderful God Jehovah! 

So let’s gratefully acknowledge and accept them like the psalmist did nuh, by declaring: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

And that’s the way it should be my people, because that’s how our magnanimous and omnipotent God planned it. Any believer that does not rejoice and be glad in God’s day is not worth his salt, or the name of believer. 

Now here is a li’l something from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster to titillate our senses. (smile) It says: ‘When fate shuts a door, come in through the window.’  The problem with that though, is suppose God shuts the door, then going in through the window might cause serious problems. 

But generally speaking, I believe they mean don’t give up, to keep on trying, for one never knows when your number will play, it’s always the darkest before the dawn, and that sort of thing. 

And we’ll get to our Bit right away. ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus’ soul was in agony, just like ours would be if we knew the horrific kind of death that was waiting for us in another few hours. It’s sad, that after praying our Bit, Jesus came back to His disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter: ‘What could ye not watch with me one hour? 

Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done. 

And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ (Matt.26:40-44) 

So friends, we can see that Jesus prayed three times that the cup of death, that His horrific crucifixion could be nixed, although deep down He knew it could not be set aside, because that was the Father’s will. Nonetheless, he still experienced agonizing moments. 

The gospel of Luke reports it thus: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) 

Yes precious people, Jesus shook it real rough that night in the Garden of Gethsemane, so much so that the Lord sent an angel to strengthen Him. 

The scholars explain those two verses thus: ’22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. 

Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

So yuh see mih people, the anguish and agony Jesus bore for us, so that we could be set free from the slavish hold that sin had on us. Now how can we not be eternally grateful to Him eh? 

I really don’t know nuh, but too many people write Him off as a fake, as a fraud, and foolishly look to the evil Lucifer for pleasure. However they don’t realize that the pleasures of this world only last for a short time, then comes the judgement. 

And we’ll close with one more instance of how Jesus shows the great importance of doing the Father’s will. This came on an occasion where He was teaching, surrounded by a crowd of people, when His brothers and mother came to talk to Him. 

‘And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek (are outside seeking) for thee. And He looked round about at them which sat (in a circle) about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.’ (Mark 3:32-35) 

Now that might sound a bit harsh to some, but to Jesus, the Father’s will overruled everything else, regardless of who was involved. May we also feel the same way, as we go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with mucho passion and heartfelt truth. 

‘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!’ 

Oh friends, that’s the ultimate in life! Let’s not allow it to slip away from us, for worthless earthly pleasures. Much LOVE!

…the pleasures of earth are short-lived…but those of heaven are eternal…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2016 Proverbs 1:22

Proverbs 1:22.   How long ye simple (naive) ones, will ye LOVE simplicity (naivete)? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 

And then it was a wet, windy, snowy, slushy, icy, miserable Monday morning! Ah Lord eh! When is this nonsense going to end eh? I guess a certain amount of bad weather is allotted for every year, and since we didn’t get it when we were supposed to, while I was away, we’re getting it now that I’m back. Chuh! That’s exactly why I went away when I did. 

Hn, hn! The Lord and His mysterious ways eh! But them’s the breaks friends, we just have to grin and bear it, because we don’t any other choice. We’ve got to work, and thus we have to get out on the roads in the nasty weather. So let’s leave home a little earlier than normal, and please, let’s take our time and drive even more carefully than usual, because in this kind of weather it doesn’t take much to cause fatal accidents. 

And to help us on our faithful and fateful journey this morning, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much gusto and enthusiasm as we can manage. 

As one heavenly choir now. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, if that was how a heavenly choir sounds, then I surely don’t want to hear an earthly one! (smile)  Now it wasn’t terrible terrible, but it surely did not come up to our usual standards. And you could see the disappointment on Jesus’ face as He tried His level best to get us to perform better. Let’s hope we do a whole lot better with His work out in the world. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, but first the verses that precede it, so we can put it into its proper context. ‘Wisdom crieth without (calls aloud in the street); she uttereth (raises) her voice in the streets (plazas). She crieth in the chief place of concourse (concourses), in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long ye simple (naive) ones, will ye LOVE simplicity (naiveté)? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?’  (Prov.1:20-22) 

Ah my people, those are very good questions. Why you ask? Because wisdom is the number one attribute we all should seek, and not the world’s wisdom, but that of Almighty God. And what is wisdom, you further ask? Technically speaking it’s simply “skill in living.” 

And one doesn’t obtain that by just being one of the boys. But one must apply oneself to its study and its practice.  You can’t acquire any skill without study and practice. Why then do we think we can acquire that of living without going through the necessary training process eh? 

And Cousin Sol is declaring that wisdom is out there, everywhere, shouting her head off for people to come and learn from her. Apparently back then not too many people were answering wisdom’s call, and unfortunately, not too many of us seem to be seeking it today either. 

And the scholars have this to say about the whole dilemma. ‘1:20-33. Wisdom is personified as a prophetess calling in public places to everyone to come to her and learn. Three groups are especially singled out in the appeal: the simple ones, or untaught; the scorners, or scoffers; and the fools, or morally dull (v.22). The consequences of rejecting wisdom are immense (vs.26-28).’  

And that is indisputable truth my brethren!  But wisdom, like our God, is so caring and faithful that she continues to call out to the unwise ones in our midst…and there indeed a lot of us. 

‘Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded: But ye have set at nought (disdained) all my counsel, and would (have) none of my reproof.’ (Prov.1:23-25) 

Ah friends, we see it every day; the many scorners, simpletons and fools who refuse to acknowledge and accept wisdom as an enhancement for their lives. But as the old people would say, if you don’t hear, you’re going to feel. So when we don’t heed wisdom’s call, then we will pay the price. \

For wisdom has declared: ‘I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear (terror) cometh; When your fear (terror) cometh as desolation (a storm), and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early (diligently), but they shall not find me: 

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would (have) none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away (waywardness) of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity (complacency) of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.’ (Prov.1:26-33) 

And that my people is indisputable truth! So please, as we go about Jesus’ business today, let’s all seek the elusive, but ever so necessary and important attribute called wisdom nuh, for it’s the mark of a true and mature believer. Much LOVE!

…wisdom, oh wisdom…thou art sweet like honey…how I LOVE thee and diligently seek thee…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

BLESSED  GOOD  FRIDAY!

And then it was Friday – Good Friday. Yes my brethren, it is one of the most historic and commemorative days in the Christian calendar, because this is the day that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life for us upon that old rugged cross at Calvary… 

And all God’s people gave a grateful shout of ‘All praise and glory be to the Lamb who was slain for us! May His name be revered for ever and ever!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s a sad day, but also a glad day. It’s sad because of the outrageous shame and punishment Jesus went through for our sake. But by the same token, there was gladness because that sacrificial death heralded our cleansing, our reconciliation to Almighty God! 

And all God’s people sang ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Without it we would have been all slated for death and hell, forever separated from the Father. How awful that would have been eh? But with Christ’s sacrifice, a way was prepared for us to come to Him in repentance and confession and be adopted into His household. 

Glory to God for LOVING us so much that He would give His only begotten Son to die for our disgusting sins, to bring us once again into fellowship with Him and calling us His children! 

Nothing can be sweeter and nicer and better and whatever word(s) you choose, than being a part of the family of Jehovah God, the omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present ONE who created the universe and still rules it from His throne on high! 

Now to many of the world’s population, this day is no different from any other. They still sing out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here; a long weekend to boot! No more slaving for a few days, but plenty partying time. Thank God is Friday yes!’ 

And that’s okay to a certain extent, it’s good to be off for the weekend, but the weekend is not just to party, especially this one. It’s a time to seriously and sincerely ponder the basis of our Christian faith and our individual allegiance to it. But since the heathen has no knowledge or interest in the things of God, they just continue along their merry way rejoicing in the lust of the flesh and human senses. 

In time though, we Christians will also be celebrating, but today is a day for mourning, a time for grief and sadness, while remembering that that only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the bright light of the morning. 

And does it ever, with Jesus’ resurrection! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s stay on Good Friday, first by chanting our Friday Chant, which is still appropriate, since we’ve had a hard week of work and now have a few days off which we must use wisely. 

So please let’s chant together: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to use the weekend, rather than just senseless partying and fleshly lusting. And our Bit is also ever so appropriate for today. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the part we don’t like; the suffering for Jesus’ sake. It was okay for Him to suffer for us, but we should just have life clear and easy now. Unfortunately that’s not how it works precious people. As Christians, followers of Christ, we will also be called on to face physical, mental and emotional pain. It’s all part and parcel of His offer of salvation. 

Oh friends, I wonder if we have ever sat down and contemplated exactly the ‘sufferation’ Jesus went through for us? Have you ever considered the flogging, with whips embedded with flesh cutting particles? Or what about the crown of thorns pressed down unto His head? Or the psychological and verbal abuse, the cruel taunting and mocking He endured between Pilate and Herod’s yards? 

Remember Jesus was human too and felt all that we feel. Then having been flogged and tormented, He was made to carry His own cross up to Calvary Hill. Thank God for Simon the Cyrene yes! I think the sight of Jesus struggling along with His cross was just too much for the Father and He introduced Simon into the mix of things. 

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Jesus was then nailed hand and foot to the cross and left in the hot noonday sun, approximately three hours, for the life blood to slowly but ever so painfully ebb out of His abused and banged up body. And don’t forget the javelin in His side. And when He cried out for thirst they ignominiously gave Him sour wine. 

Oh my fellow believers, ordinary crucifixion is one of the most cruel and painful ways man has ever invented for human suffering, but Jesus’ crucifixion was extraordinary, so you can imagine the pain and anguish, because both the Romans and Jewish people went to great lengths to make a sorrowful spectacle and example of Him, between two ordinary criminals, naked as a jaybird. 

But yuh know what, throughout it all, Jesus stood His bounce, He took it all like a man, ‘despising the shame,’ for the joy that was to come, and He knew that that was the main purpose for which He had come to earth. 

The only thing that seemed to truly bother Him was the purposed and painful first and last separation ever from the Father, as all our sins were placed on Him, and He cried out ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” which is, being interpreted (translated), My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34) 

So friends, please, let’s not make a big fuss for the comparable little suffering we sometimes have to undergo on Jesus’ behalf. We all know that suffering is painful and we’d like to avoid it, but that’s just not possible in this world. It will be in the next one, when Jesus returns as a mighty conqueror. 

So having considered the extent of Jesus’ ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, let’s just hunker down and do what we need to do, without too much complaining nuh. Remember the Lord will enable us to bear whatever He allows to come our way, just like He enabled Jesus to bear His pain on that long ago Good Friday. 

And I’d like to end with one of my favourite childhood hymns that tells of Jesus’ demise upon the cross, titled ‘There Is A Green Hill Far Away.’ Please sing it with me, as we consider and ponder this day on Calvary. 

‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. (Refrain) (O dearly, dearly, has He LOVED, And we must LOVE Him, too, and trust in His redeeming blood, And try His works to do.) 

We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. (Refrain) He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Heav’n, Saved by His precious blood. (Refrain) 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s what we, as followers of Christ need to do! Have a blessed Good Friday! Much LOVE!

…what’s a little Christian suffering…compared to Christ’s ‘sufferation’ eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

And then it was Wednesday! Yes friends, the day before Old Year’s, before New Year’s Eve, when we make such a big hoopla about things changing for the New Year, when in fact they mostly remain the same. (smile) 

For the first few days we might try to keep our resolutions, but invariably we end up back at the same spot we were at, at year’s end. 

Now it’s good to make sincere and productive resolutions and all that, but the trouble is that most of just talk for talk sake, without any serious intention of making the changes we talk about. Or if we’re serious, when the enormity of the situation truly hits us, we just give up and revert back to our former state. 

Anyway, I’m not going to bad talk New Year’s resolutions anymore. (smile) Instead, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail with sincerity and a true sense of purpose. ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, that’s all the New Year’s resolution we need right there; looking ahead to a glorious future with Jesus! 

And I’d like to plead guilty to not checking with us during the year, as I used to, and ought to, as to whether we are keeping up with our New Year’s resolutions, especially the only one I claim that we need, forging a prosperous relationship with Jesus. 

However, I do hope that all of us did improve our relationship with Christ during this past year; that we grew and matured in Him, even if it was just a li’l bit. 

Yes my fellow believers, I sincerely hope that all of us came up a little higher in living for Christ this year, and that we’ll keep on pursuing that beautiful dream in the coming year, because it’s simply the BEST option that exists. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ And how could they not eh mih breddren when every time they turned around, somebody had some glorious insight into Jesus’ future? 

And we’ll go back to that day in the temple when they brought Jesus to be circumcised, how the old prophet Simeon was so ecstatic at seeing the Messiah, and the Good Book invokes our Bit. But the old man wasn’t finished. 

‘And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ (Luke 2:34-35) 

Ah friends, as if Mary needed to hear any more contentious talk re the life of her first born. Remember she was still just a teenager without a whole lot of life experience. And who knows what dire thoughts fled through her young, inexperienced mind when Simeon spoke about a sword piercing her soul? 

The scholars though explain those verses thus: ‘2:34-35. Jesus’ coming will bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. Both redemption and judgement are bound up in His advent.’ And His coming certainly did bring all those things. 

And if listening to all the stuff that Simeon said wasn’t unnerving enough, as soon as he was done, and old prophetess by the name of Anna came on the scene. 

The Good Book tells it like this. ‘And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:37-38) 

Ah Lord eh! As though the poor parents didn’t already have enough to put up with. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:36-37. Like Simeon, Anna was of unusual commitment, and had been blessed, being a prophetess, with special spiritual insight.’ 

Now how would you like to be the parent of such a child eh? Many of us would have been tearing out our hair, and wondering what kind of child we had given birth to. But Mary and Joseph didn’t, because they knew that Jesus was special, though just not how special. 

And the Good book ends this period of anxiety and surprise by simply saying: ‘And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew and waxed (became) strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:39-40) 

Yes friends, they certainly needed a break from all the attention. But don’t think that through those years of Jesus’ growth that their minds weren’t filled with wonder and worry. 

And can you even imagine Mary’s thoughts as she watched Him feeding at her breasts, drawing the life enhancing milk from her body? They must have run the whole gamut of imagination; from good to bad and back again. 

No doubt over those early years, she kept pondering all the unlikely things that had happened. But we do know that her faith was strong, and she would not give up though her trials and tribulations were plentiful. Hopefully the same can be said of us my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s reaction to trials…should not be giving up…but a turning to… and crying out to God in faith…for help and mercy…as He has decreed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2015 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And then my beautiful Friends and neighbours, it was Friday! The day that so many of us around the world can’t wait to come around, because it signifies the end of our labour for two, big, whole days. (smile) That’s why the joyful cry of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend’s here at last!’ rings out all over the land every Friday.

 
However Friends and neighbours, just to see Friday come around should not be the uppermost fact or factor in our lives. It does have its importance, but that’s certainly not at the head of the list.
 
Our main priority should always be our focus on the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One who created the universe and all therein. The One who LOVED us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us on a wooden cross at Calvary’s Hill, so that we could be reconciled to Him.
 
Now that’s a more worthwhile focus, especially in this upcoming last week of the Lenten season, Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, where we recreate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem. Then during the week, we feel with Him the anguish of waiting for His betrayal, crucifixion, and burial.
 
And finally, the greatest moment of all in man’s history, when we celebrate His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday morning! For that’s what entitles us to promise of eternal life! If Christ had not arisen from the grave, having defeated death, then there’d be no after life for us to celebrate today, two thousand years later.
 
Now that’s where the Christian mind should be focused in these difficult and trying times. And to help us get into that frame of mind, rather than the ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ one, let’s chant our Friday Chant with much conviction.
 
As one powerful chanter 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.’
 
Yeh mih people, we need to concentrate on rejuvenating ourselves, so that we can continue our pilgrim’s journey with zest and panache next week. (smile) And an important part of all that is doing what our Bit advises. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Unfortunately though my brethren, a lot of us don’t seem to believe that and we just go on constantly toting the heavy load that is sin on our frail human shoulders. That’s not wisdom nor common sense my people, for long long ago the Lord promised to forgive our sins if we turned to Him in repentance.
 
Listen to these beautiful, uplifting and encouraging words of the prophet Jeremiah nuh. ‘And they shall teach no more every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer.31:34)
 
Oh Friends, we all know the faithfulness of our God, so why is it so difficult to embrace that promise eh? Why do we insist on letting our sins weigh us down, when it’s not necessary?
 
Bruh David is a great example of not letting his sins weigh him down too much. He did his thing, but when times got rough, he wasn’t afraid to cry out to the God of his fathers for mercy and forgiveness. Hear this cry of his from Psalm 27 – A prayer for guidance and protection.
 
‘Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy LOVING-kindness; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
 
The meek (humble) will he guide in judgement (justice): and the meek (humble) will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity; for it is great.’ (Ps.25:6-12)
 
Ah mih people, we don’t have to wax as poetic and philosophical as Bruh David, but we do have to bring our sins to Almighty God for forgiveness as often as possible, so that we can shed the heavy load that they bring to bear on us. Please remember Jesus’ great invitation to all and sundry.
 
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
Oh Friends, there we have it in living colour, straight from Jesus Himself! What shall we do about it eh? Shall we foolishly reject such a wonderful invitation? Or shall we embrace it with joy and gratefulness?
 
I beg to advice that the latter option is the only wise and sensible one. So today, let’s ponder our true relationship with Jesus nuh, and hopefully come to the conclusion, that He is indeed the Truth, the Light, and the Way in this dark world of evil and sin. Much LOVE!
 
…the greatest wisdom mankind can embrace…is that of truly and faithfully following Jesus…

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2014 James 1:14

James 1:14.   But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire), and enticed.
 

And at last it was Friday…! And all the people joyfully shouted: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday; Black Friday!’

‘But wait nuh mih breddren, what Friday is this eh, Black Friday?’ you ask with a confused frown. ‘But it’s not the 13th…’

‘Oh no, not the old mythical Friday the 13th, but the new Black Friday; the excessive shopping day after the U.S Thanksgiving celebrations.’

‘Ah Lord eh!’ you shake your head in disbelief.

Yes my people, it’s another day of supposed sales and bargains that only breeds greed, anguish, resentment and all sorts of ungodly attitudes and actions, where we line up in the cold and dark, hours before stores open, then rush like spooked deer through the doors to buy stuff that we don’t really need, and very often cannot afford.

But the evil and greedy business people have found, or rather created, another day to lure us into their businesses to spend money we don’t have. And now, unfortunately, it’s a trend that’s going worldwide. In Canada businesses are doing their own thing too to try and stop the enormous amount of cross border shopping.

One business even had something it called ‘Red Thursday.’ Steups! And next Monday is now being called cyber Monday, where on-line shopping is the name of the game. And then they will put on the Christmas blitz. We are being constantly bombarded with advertising for all sorts of bargains, which are usually fraudulent.

Oh Friends, why don’t we rush down to God’s house like that eh, where everything is free? And instead of giving away, wasting our hard earned or non-existent money on physical stuff that rots and is easily destroyed, we receive LOVE, joy, peace, mercy, grace, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life; things that cannot be bought with money!

And sadly, even if they advertised church services like they do these supposed sales, very few of us would show up, and even fewer would have the enthusiasm, drive and patience to wait for hours in discomfort until the doors opened.

But we can only try to avoid people falling prisoner to the lure of sales and cheap bargains. And one of the tools we use is our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it nuh, with the same enthusiasm and energy we have for the sales we’ll head out to later in the day. (smile)

As one voice 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.’

Ah mih people, I can only hope and pray that we use a little common sense and wisdom and don’t get in foolishly over our heads in whatever we do today. No doubt many of us will hold our heads and bawl when we realize the mistakes we’ve made. But that’s the price we have to pay when we don’t think before we act, neither do we take everything to God in prayer and wisely ask for His divine guidance and help.

That brings us to these most appropriate words of James. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (have been proved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (James 1:12-13)

And all of that is gospel truth Friends, as are the words of our Bit which follows them. ‘But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire), and enticed.’

And that is exactly what’s happening to us with these sales! The business people are pandering to our natural fleshly lust for material things, and through psychological ploys are enticing us to come and buy what we don’t need or can afford.

And as James continues: ‘Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:15) Indisputable truth my brethren!

And James ends with a solemn warning, as well as words of consolation and encouragement. ‘Do not err (be deceived) my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firtsfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:16-18)

And the scholars offer these words of explanation: ‘1:17. Three great principles are presented: (1) God is the Father, or Creator, of the heavenly bodies. (2) As their Creator, He is certainly more stable than they. With God there is not even the slightest change; He is immutable. (3) God is only good – and always good.

This third principle relates verse 17 to the preceding context. It answers the implication of verse 13 that God may sometimes tempt man to evil. Though God tries the saints (John 6:6; Heb.11:17), He never tries with evil intent so as to tempt them.’

‘1:18. All the redeemed are God’s firstfruits in that they are the first step in God’s redemption of all creation (Rom.8:18-23).’

So Friends. Let’s go out this Black Friday morning filled with the Spirit of God that will lead us to make wise decisions, even in the midst of plenty psychological bombardment and enticement. That’s the mark of a true believer! Much LOVE!

…though God doesn’t tempt us…He does allow us to undergo trials to test our mettle…but in His LOVING-kindness, He also helps us to handle them…O what a wonderful God we serve and worship…

 

 

 

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