Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2020 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.    For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would  (want to do), that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.
 
And would you believe it, snow has been forecasted for this weekend in certain areas, where spring should just be blooming along nicely? Let’s hope none falls in my area. But that just goes to show the temperamental kind of climate we have nowadays; snow in almost the middle of May, on Mother’s Day weekend to boot! But we’re already locked down so a li’l snow won’t make much of a difference. (smile) And what else is new eh? Life nowadays is just completely zig zag, contrary, up in the air, and confusion reigns! 

But there’s no confusion with our friend Anselm though, he’s still sent us a full slate of quotes as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like he was on a self-improvement kick this past week. Hn! And this first quote speaks directly to that situation. ‘Never neglect an opportunity for self-improvement.’ Now that’s a mighty truth and rather wise advice my people, especially in these oh so discombobulating times! Self -improvement ought to be an ongoing regime we all take very seriously, for if we don’t keep improving, we’ll die a slow and uninteresting death while we’re still alive. (smile) 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for.’ Now that’s also wise advice, and we should always endeavour to learn from others, but the way it’s put, it doesn’t sound too ethical, like you’re stealing what others worked so hard for. But it’s like I always told my children, the best way to learn is from other people’s mistakes. That will prevent you from making the same ones they made. 

However, we all have our own bag of mistakes to make, and learning from others won’t stop you from making your own personal bundle, but it will certainly cut down on the overall total of mistakes in your life. If you learn from others, you might just make fifty instead of a hundred and fifty! (smile) Then there’s this: ‘Work on yourself more than you do on your job.’ Well that one I really don’t know about nuh. It seems somewhat unethical as well as unchristian. (smile) Jesus tells us we ought to work very diligently at our jobs, but this tells us we must work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs. 

Now we certainly must work hard at improving ourselves, but it seems that if we work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs, we’re short-changing our employer, because we’re not giving of our best on the job. So what am I to say eh? Too much seemingly ethical stuff to deal with this morning. (smile) So let’s just say that we must work hard at improving ourselves and also give our best on our jobs! Matter fix! 

And now we come to this oh so important quote: ‘Be the type of person you want to meet.’ Yes friends, that’s the awesome truth in spades! If you want to have friends, then you must show yourself to be friendly! You can’t be constantly miserable and grouchy and expect others to befriend you. Likewise, if you want to be around interesting and learned folks, you have to also show some of those qualities. 

It’s true that you ought to try and associate with those of higher intellect and aspirations than yours, so that you can learn from them, but you also have to bring something to the table, you can’t just come and expect to grab everything and not contribute anything. Although that’s the way of the world nowadays; we’re all just grabby-grabby and greedy, selfish as the day is long! The first person pronoun ‘Me, myself and I’ seem to be the most important  words in our vocabulary these day. 

Then we come to this last quote. The kick-tail one: ‘There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.’ And anyone who has seriously tried to improve themselves will certainly know and readily agree with that. We all try to improve ourselves, but for one reason or another, most of the time we fall short. We lose our passion, get lazy, other more important things intrude, we get busy and run out of time, we make excuses when we find out how hard it is to truly improve, whatever. But self-improvement never comes easily or goes along without difficulties and interruptions. 

And I think a good scriptural example of that is Bruh Paul’s dilemma in his epistle to the Romans. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would  (want to do), that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) Don’t we all  occasionally find ourselves in that dilemma? Most certainly! Bruh Paul was trying to improve his spiritual life, but like us, he struggled with his two natures; the easy and extremely attractive law and lust of our flesh, and the much more difficult and less enticing path, that of walking in the Spirit of God. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:14. The law is spiritual: The law has the characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul was a man like us with struggles like us. As he further argues: ‘If then I do that which I would not (don’t want to do), I consent (agree) unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not  (don’t want to do), that I do.’ (Rom. 7:16-19) 

Oh my people, challenges will always come along when we try to improve ourselves, especially in the Christian faith. In fact, life itself is a challenge, and trying to live it successfully is possibly our biggest challenge. (smile) It lead Bruh Paul to frustratingly declare: ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ (Rom. 7:24) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘7:24. O wretched man: The reference here is to Paul’s tragic condition of defeat and frustration with sin. The body of this death is not the physical body, but the inherited sin nature received from Adam. It is that in him which is continually inclined toward thoughts and deeds that yield only (spiritual) death.’  

But in the end, he certainly knew where to find solace from his struggles: ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom. 7:25) Yes my faithful brethren, in Christ, we find the answer to ALL of our struggles! Much LOVE!

…come unto me…all you who labour…and are heavy burdened…and I will give you rest…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2020 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    ​He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 
Ah friends, this late night and early morning business will eventually kill me yes! (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast. Some of us are made to be early birds and others night owls. It just so happens that I fall amongst the latter, but still have to get up and write the Bit at a decent hour. And to make matters worse, the computer is slow, guess too many people are on the internet with so many things shut down. And rather unwisely (smile) just now I agreed to a restart for an update, when I had other options, but it simply stood there spinning its wheels, so I had to shut it down and reboot it. 

Ah Lord eh! The things the enemy talks us into doing! (smile) But not to worry, with the Lord’s awesome help, we will accomplish whatever He sends us out to do. And on this bright and sunshiny Saturday morning, it’s His pleasure to keep us all safe and sound from whatever our ever-lurking foe throws against us! So let’s remember to give Him much thanks and praise for being our wonderful guardian Shepherd, especially in these unusual and abnormal calamitous times, so suddenly precipitated by the Covid -19 virus. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord for His absolute kindness to the children of men! His mercies are new every day and endureth forever. Amen!’ 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one. ‘It’s not about money or connections, it’s the willingness to out work and out learn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting quote, and there’s lots of truth in it. However, I’m not so sure about the out working and out learning everybody else. 

We must be diligent and excellent in our endeavours, but I think it’s somewhat impractical to always be trying to out work and out learn everybody around us. I believe we’re wasting valuable time and energy in the competition aspect, which could be better used in other areas. But we must always try to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time around. 

Now hear this one: ‘There is always one more thing to learn.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. Whilst there is life, there are always things to be learned! And despite our age, the old folks say that we should try and learn at least one new thing each and every day. Why? Because learning is the basic foundation of life! If you don’t learn, you can’t live life successfully. 

And that’s the problem so many of us are having nowadays, believers included; for whatever reason, we’re not upgrading ourselves sufficiently in the things that matter most in life; the things of God. Please note Cousin Sol’s words in Proverbs. ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) 

That brings us to this next interesting quote: ‘When you can’t control what’s happening challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.’ Now that’s something for all we believers to hold on to very tightly. Yes my people, it’s all about attitude; our attitude towards prevailing circumstances. How we respond to those circumstances, especially those over which we have no control, is what’s going to make or break us. Responding to things like anger, rejection or abuse with the same attitude does us no good whatsoever. 

Forget the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth saying. Jesus said to LOVE your enemies, and forgive those who do us wrong. And that’s wisdom of everlasting proportions, for responding in kind is only going to prolong the negative circumstances and cause even more confusion and adversity. Remember Bruh Paul’s invaluable words to the church at Rome: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

Yes friends, it’s always better to come up over whatever is challenging us with a positive, godly attitude, than a negative, ungodly one. There is simply more good energy in the positive and godly attitude, and it will help us to better handle whatever is coming against us. And there’s no better time to apply it than RIGHT NOW with the serious problems that our world is facing! And this last quote, shows that our friend Anselm is on top of things. (smile) ‘As we deal with the Coronavirus, remember “To ride out your storm”.’ 

Oh friends, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to teach us these past tough days; we need to ride out these stormy times. And the ONLY WAY to do that successfully is through faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God! For He creates the storms, and He also calms them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these scriptures. Ethan, the Ezrahite, in his contemplative psalm – God’s sure promises to David, puts it thus: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Now hear the words of the psalmist from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘For he commandeth and rasieth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.’ (Ps.107:25) And when we in fear, reeling to and fro, cry out to Him. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps. 107:29) Mama Mia! What a most powerful and merciful Deity we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

And we all know or ought to know (smile) the famous story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee and the terrible tempest that arose and how the disciples were so scared and awoke Jesus who was sleeping comfortably in the stern. And His immortal words to them: ‘Why are ye so fearful, O Ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt. 8:26-27) 

Oh my people, that’s not rocket science, it’s simple logic: The Lord made the seas and the winds, and still controls them, so when He speaks to them, it’s obvious they respond the way He wants them to. What a pity that His greatest creation – mankind – doesn’t respond in the same obedient manner to His will and wishes! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus is your life pilot…then the inevitable storms…won’t be disastrous…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2020 Philippians 3:7.

Philippians 3:7.    ​But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ.
 
Well here it is at last; the churches have been shut down! What’s next? The hospitals! Can you believe it? The scare of the Covid-19 virus, in conjunction with the Government’s directives has caused the Church Leaders to finally pull the plug on church worship. Hn! Did you ever think it possible that one day, most, if not all of the churches would be closed to public gathering? Certainly not! And though it’s not as good as actually gathering in the sanctuary,  there are enough other outlets; radio, t.v. and computer streaming for us to keep in touch with our corporate worship. 

But it’s interesting to see how one small, unknown, but apparently powerful virus has brought the world to its knees in just a couple of weeks. Personally, I think we’ve overreacted and caused unnecessary fear and panic. There’s no need to be buying out the stores and stocking up as though we’re going to war, or suffering from a nuclear fallout. But that’s the problem with too much easy and convenient communication and too many fearful and ungodly people in the world. And though it’s a serious matter I still have to chuckle. If we can’t handle a simple virus with all our modern technology and medical prowess, can you imagine the mess Egypt must have been in when the Lord brought those 8 plagues on them to force Pharaoh to set His people free.

 Can you imagine been pestered by lice and flies and blood and frogs and locusts and death and whatever? But before we move on, here’s something to ponder on, a li’l food for thought. Remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites: ‘If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Oh my people, can this be a warning from our God? We certainly are not keeping His commandments and doing as He desires, and all throughout the Good Book, He’s warned of serious penalties for willful sin and disobedience. And since this virus has now become pandemic in nature, all over the world, who knows if it’s the hand of our mighty God moving in one of His many mysterious ways to remind and warn us of our sinful ways? And in these last tumultuous days, that is something we should surely ponder on, but I doubt too many of us will. 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘It’s the little things you do that make the big things happen.’ And that’s a fact my people! Unless we do the small things, and do them well, the big things won’t turn out right. That’s why we’re warned to pay particular attention to the small things in our lives, since God, or no man will ever give us big things if they see we can’t take care of the small ones. And remember the Jamaican saying: ‘One one cocoa full basket.’ But unfortunately, in this brave new, but very foolish world of ours we don’t treasure the small stuff, everybody just wants to be on the big stage! 

And the second quote says: ‘He who stops being better stops being good.’ And there is a lot of truth in that also. If we don’t keep getting better but insist on sitting on our laurels, then we’ll eventually rub out, use up, whatever good we have, because we need to keep replenishing our souls and spirits every day. That leads us quite nicely into this next quote. ‘Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still.’ Whoa! Is that ever the killing of the human soul! Standing still is definitely not an option, especially if you’re a child of the Most High God Jehovah! And you can’t get truly better overnight; it all takes time. It’s like learning a craft; only with continuous practice and time spent with it will you ever learn it. And that’s what life is really, the craft of living! (smile) 

Now the next quote is like the previous two: ‘Practice the philosophy of continuous improvement. Get a little bit better every single day.’ Now that is basic logic and common sense. But sadly those two very important things are almost nonexistent in our current society, where we value the need for speed, now for now, above all else. But in the words of some wise person, let’s remember ‘that speed kills!’ It certainly does. If you do anything too fast it most likely will end up in a mess. But it’s how our society views life nowadays; we desire and want to have everything right away. The number one technological aspiration these days is how to make everything work quicker and faster. But there are undoubtedly stumbling blocks in that approach, which we’ll discover as time goes by. (smile) 

And the last quote wisely advises: ‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ Now that is gospel truth. The only perfect being in our universe is our Creator, and He did not make us to be perfect, but He does expect us to do our best in that direction, being diligent towards it, and thus ending up excellent. Yuh know the two most important things in being ambassadors of Christ is being diligent and excellent in His service. We can’t be wishy-washy, irresponsible and lazy, for that’s not the lifestyle He wants us to portray to the unbelieving world. 

And I think one of the best scriptures in that regard is Bruh Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where after listing all his earthly accomplishments, he sincerely declared. ‘But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish, refuse), that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) 

Oh friends, the most excellent thing we can ever seek in this world is the knowledge of Christ! All of our earthly accomplishments, wealth and power, mean absolutely nothing until we have Jesus securely embedded in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies! That’s the only true and sure way to live this earthly life! So on this controversial Saturday, where the whole world is in an uproar, please let us, the truly faithful, place all of our cares in the Lord’s hands, and just relax our souls and spirits and minds. Incessantly worrying about Covid-19 won’t make it go away, but with God’s Spirit working in us, we can be relaxed and rest in His promise that He is indeed Jehovah Rapha…the God who heals! Much LOVE!

…what’s the purpose of faith…if you don’t use it in times of crisis eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2020 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
 
And the planes have begun arriving already! Yes, and you must be wondering how the Bit is so early? Well there’s a simple explanation; today is the wedding day, so I have to be up and about and get myself together earlier than normal. And nothing much happened yesterday; the duchess went about her business, I went to the beach, had a short soak, because the water was chilly and I was a tad under the weather, had some jerk pork and chicken washed down with a yellow bird at the beach hut, then came home and rested. 

When the duchess came home, we went down for dinner in the outdoor area, listened to some Mento and a live band, New Image, for a while then came back to our room and did whatever. (smile) So let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.’ Now all of us, especially believers ought to have that written in spades in our souls. If we can’t be true to ourselves, then whom can be true to eh? And sadly, that’s what a lot of us do nowadays, live to please others and thus frustrate ourselves. As the quote indicates, abhorrence with yourself is much worse than being ridiculed by others; you don’t have to live with them, but you have to be in your own company continually. 

And this next quote aligns nicely with the first one: ‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.’ Oh friends, so often we hear different drums than those of the people we associate with and it ofttimes causes resentment, confusion and other negative vibes. 

But everybody can’t march to the beat of the same drum, that’s not how God made us. He designed us to march to our own drumbeat, that’s why a lot of people pass through our lives only for a season and not forever. It means that their drum beat no longer matches ours. And though it may be hard to lose some particular friendships, we must always choose our drumbeat and go the way the Lord directs us. Don’t be afraid, whatever the Lord takes away, He will replace with something better! Glory be! 

Therefore when we suffer such loss and disappointment we have to stand strong and refocus. Or as the next quote tells us: ‘It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.’ Now that should be obvious. But unfortunately when the darkness hits, too many of us wallow and squirm and complain instead of trying to find the nearest and/or best light source. Thus we use up whatever energy we have in a negative manner and it takes us even longer to get out of the frightening darkness than it ought to. 

And that leads us to this next quote which brings the matter to a wiser and larger scale. ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ And that’s the exact kind of society in which we’re currently living. Greed, corruption, racism, poverty, injustice, ignorance; they are all running rampant in our midst right now. 

And nowhere has that been more eloquently stated than in Bob Marley’s song ‘War,’ where he recounts the words of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I in a speech in California in 1968. ‘…Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior, is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned. That until there are no longer first and second-class citizens of any nation. Until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. 

That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race, That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued, but never attained… And everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ And that’s exactly what our world is currently involved in; wars and rumours of war! 

Strife is our number one marker! But listen to this last quote which reads as a partial antidote to out current situation. ‘Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.’ And if that isn’t gospel truth, then I don’t know what is! Oh yes, we acknowledge that Jesus and all He stands for is the greatest gift to mankind, but on a more basic level, health, contentment and faithfulness give us the practical values we need to survive as a strong and true community. 

Yes my people there’s nothing as important as faithfulness in whatever we believe, say or promise to do. And there’s nobody as faithful as our wonderful God! Hear these words that Ethan the Ezrahite wrote nuh, as concerning God’s sure promises to Bruh David. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’  Ethan was sure that the Lord would keep His promises to Bruh David, so he could confidently place his trust in Him. 

And yes friends, all the way down through the ages the Lord has been faithful to His promises, from Adam right down to us! When He’s promised good, He’s delivered, and when He’s promised adversity, He’s also delivered. So there’s no questioning His faithfulness whatsoever. His promises might take a while to come true, like Jesus’ first coming took many centuries, and His second is also taking a long while. (smile) 

And re the faithfulness of our most wonderful God, Jeremiah says it best: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Yuh see mih people, even in Jeremiah’s darkest days, he still knew where the light lay and had the wisdom and positive attitude to seek it. May we be as wise and positive as Jeremiah this Saturday morning and seek Almighty God, above everything else! Much LOVE!

…faithfulness…the foundation on which trust is built…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘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) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2019 Luke 24:49.

Luke 24:49.    And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
 
Well it’s Christmas Saturday…Thank the Lord! We down to four days now before the Big Day! And plenty people still shopping and baking and cooking and preparing the treats for the festivities, not the ole fella though. (smile) Yes, I’m just taking it easy, going along my normal slow, practical way. Oh I might lend a hand here or there, but the frustrations and busyness of the season won’t affect your humble servant. Thankfully, I’ve left all of that behind. What did Bruh Paul say about not looking back at the past, but looking forward to the future where we don’t have all the hustle and bustle! Yeh friends, that’s become my style now. I don’t get involved in all the confusion. I just relax and try to enjoy Christ in His season. (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ And that’s oh so true friends! We don’t necessarily need to see the ending of a thing, just the beginning. And there’s the inherent physical problem that if you don’t start out, you will never get to the end. Like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

Yeh. You do have to step out, hopefully in faith to make any journey, be it long or short. And if you’re a true and faithful believer, then you have the wonderful promise that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13) Mama Yo! How can you ever beat being a true believer with promises such as those eh? That’s why Christians ought to be the happiest and most effective people in the universe! We don’t have to be afraid of the future, but can embrace it with joy, because of all that our Lord and Saviour Jesus has done for us, beginning with His awesome incarnate birth at this Christmas season! 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.’ And that should be the motto of ALL believers: be true to oneself and to one’s faith! We can certainly notice the ridicule and disdain that the world holds many of us believers in, simply because we believe and profess a lifestyle different to theirs. But if you truly believe, then you ought to stand up for your beliefs. But sadly too many of us supposed believers are scared and afraid to stand up to the world bullies for their faith in Jesus. 

That’s obviously not right my brethren, because all that does is tarnish Jesus’ name even more than it’s already tarnished. The world already considers Christians to be compromising and cowardly. It’s time we stand up strong for Jesus, and there’s no better time to do it than right now in this time of celebration, when His name is on the tongue of so many people, and they might be most receptive to Him. Remember friends, if you don’t stand strong for something, you can fall oh so easily for anything! 

Then there’s this: ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ Now I don’t agree with the semantics of that statement, because God has destined all of us to be some kind of body, but that’s not necessarily the person we become, since so many of us don’t follow God’s will. But generally speaking, we become the person we decide to become. And if it’s within God’s will, then so much the better. But if it is outside His will,  then your life won’t ever be right. 

And I can use my own life as a testimony. Now writing the Bit never appeared in even my wildest dreams. But obviously it featured in God’s. (smile) And if I had utterly refused to do His bidding and write it, then I’m sure my life would never have been as blessed as it is now. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the dreams He’s placed in my heart. No, absolutely not! I still hold on to them and sincerely believe that He will bring them to pass…just in His own time and fashion. (smile) Otherwise, what’s the point in having dreams at all eh? 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Some people have power but are powerless.’ And that is so true, especially of supposed believers in Jesus Christ! Friends, we have so much power through Christ that it’s astounding, to say the least. We can do so much because of our faith and trust in Him, but yet we remain powerless and allow the foolish Beelzebub to steal our power. Remember the quote we heard Jesus say yesterday? ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) Those were the words He spoke to the disciples just before He gave them the Great Commission to go out and proselytize the world, then He ascended back into heaven. 

And Mark wrote it down thus: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).’ (Mark 16:15-16) And I’ll pause here to interject the scholars’ note. ‘16:16. Only faith, not baptism, is essential for salvation, as the omission of baptism from the last clause above.’ And sadly, that is indeed a rather contentious point amongst believers today, and one that unfortunately keeps the church from truly being one body in Christ. Different denominations hold different views, and it seems that never the two shall meet. But that’s a discussion for another day, just thought I’d point it out. (smile) 

Mark continues: ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:17-18) Oh friends, we have so much power in us that we don’t use! Hear Jesus: ‘And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ 

And the scholars’ importantly note: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of the necessary preparation for reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’ Yes my people, that’s all so true! And it all began when the Holy Ghost came at the time of Pentecost and filled all believers with the Spirit of Christ! (Acts 2) And that all leads to the facts that there is power in the Word of God, there is power in the name and blood of Christ! 

Oh precious people of Christ, we have so much inherent power, that we ought to be walking and talking and believing powerhouses! And it all stems from Jesus! And the Good Book is filled with scriptures about power and healing and all the other stuff we’ve been granted in Jesus’ name. However, we don’t have time or space to get into them. But please, let’s spend sometime this Christmas season checking them out for ourselves nuh, so that we can use that abundant God-given power to do God’s will powerfully and abundantly in the coming year. That’s our homework for this week! (smile) Much LOVE!

…sing it out…oh there is power in the blood…power in the word…power in the name of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​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.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a wet and woolly Saturday in my part of paradise, with the distinct possibility of ice pellets later on! (smile) But the sad fact of the matter is that all over the world, the weather is in a state of flux; fluctuating like we’ve never seen or experienced it before. We’re either not getting what we’re supposed to get at this time of the year, or too much or too little of it, and that’s creating a lot of havoc in our lives. Now the reason for this state of affairs, or who’s fault it is, that’s another story, (smile) which we won’t get into this morning. 

Instead, we’ll check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And speaking of Anselm, miraculously, just this morning I received an e-mail from one of our Scrip-Bit friends saying that her curiosity had been piqued by Anselm and his quotes. Consequently, she wanted to know if he was a real person and where he gets his quotes from. My answer was yes, he is a real person, but I don’t know where he gets his quotes from. And for those of you whose curiosity has also been piqued by our friend Anselm’s identity and otherwise, please remember the ole people’s saying that curiosity killed the cat, so be careful it doesn’t kill you too. (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s good to have a li’l fun sometimes, life is too short to be serious all the time. And here is Anselm’s first quote: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ And isn’t that the living truth! So many things we need or try to do seem so hard that they teeter towards the impossible side of the ledger. But having completed the seemingly impossible task, it then seems as though it was a piece of cake, and we wonder why we thought it was impossible in the first place. But that’s just the way life is friends; tasks always seem more difficult than they really are, before we tackle them. And since we know that nothing is impossible with Jesus as the Master of our lives, let’s think in terms of possibilities rather than impossibilities nuh, our lives will improve ever so much. 

And the next quote tells us that, ‘An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.’ Now that’s surely an interesting way to put it. And the optimistic attitude is obviously the better way, since it makes us look forward to better times in the coming year than we’ve had in the one just past. Chuh! Can you imagine if I had not been optimistic in the past three years when I was so sick, even unto death, as some people thought, but definitely not me, (smile) I certainly would not be around today! 

That does say something for optimism, for looking on the bright side, even when there seems to be no reason whatsoever for doing so. That leads us to this next interesting quote: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ More optimism, more faith and hope and belief in the good and faithful promises of Jesus my people! That’s the only way to live this life with a modicum of success; optimistic, and strong and steadfast in our Christian faith; the only faith that has all the magnificent benefits like mercy and grace, salvation and forgiveness, and that’s only a few, where we don’t get what we deserve, but the good things we don’t deserve. 

Ah my people, I can’t begin to tell us how good and great and merciful and gracious is the God that we serve nuh! The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator and omnipotent ruler of this magnificent universe! So here ‘s the last quote. (smile) And we keep the best for last. ‘I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.’ And do I ever, for as far as I’m concerned my best days are still ahead of me! Glory be my brethren! And so should ALL believers think and believe, because with Jesus running our lives we’re on the gravy train. (smile) 

Remember He said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means He doesn’t desire us to be living struggling lives all the time, but enjoying the kingdom of heaven down here on earth too. And the talk about the gravy train was a bit facetious, because life will not always be wine, song and laughter, but as Jesus also warned us: ‘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.’ 

What a marvellous and encouraging verse of scripture that is friends, from our Lord and Saviour Himself! But until we truly believe and live them, our lives will not improve. And in strong support of Christ’s words, here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul. The first one, written to Timothy, after outlining his own suffering, he confirms our earthly ‘sufferation’ ‘Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra: what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly for Christ shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim. 3:11-12) 

So though trials and persecutions may – no, will come, if we hang in there, the Lord will eventually deliver us from them all. And as Bruh Paul defiantly proclaimed to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:35 & 37) Glory Hallelujah my brethren! What words of positive and encouraging faith! 

That means, as true believers, there is a lot of good stuff for us to look forward to, including heaven and eternity with Jesus eventually. There’s nothing better than that available friends, so please, let’s keep a good attitude and believe that even better times than these are in our future. Much LOVE!

…what’s the point of faith eh…if it doesn’t give one true hope…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​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.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘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) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2019 Proverbs 31:26.

Proverbs 31:26.    ​She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.

 

So we’ve finally come to Saturday! Wow! Can’t believe that a week’s already passed since I’ve been in J.A; a busy week to boot! But as they say, time waits on no one, especially in these fast and furious times, when life is often just a blur, unless you take the time to really step back and consider what’s happening in your own life. Well yesterday evening we had what they called the gala event…but it wasn’t a real gala as the word usually implies, I think tonight’s formal dinner might more suit that bill. 

But anyhow, at around seven thirty, about fifty something of us got together in the Mona Visitors Lodge, a nice venue on the campus for holding special occasions. After mixing and mingling for a while, we watched a video compilation of graduates, showing then and now pictures. That obviously brought forth hoots of laughter and comments as we saw the serious contrasts between the baby-faced students we were then, and the harder, older looks of the current times. Then there was a roll call of all those who had graduated in 1969, including the dear departed, and those who were at the function got up and acknowledged themselves. 

After that we went up to the back of the building to what they call the ruins; the ruins of some old stone building, never knew it was there, and had finger food and refreshing beverages, (smile) and mingled some more, all the while being feted by the beautiful strains of a steelband. I guess a lot of reminiscing, as well as catching up went on. But it was certainly good to see people you hadn’t seen for at least fifty years and talk about things that happened way back then and persons you wouldn’t see for even longer. All in all, it was an interesting evening, but today is the real party…Bring it on! 

And not forgetting that today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’ Yeh friends, curiosity is an interesting thing and does lead to all kinds of further interesting stuff, so it is of some importance to ask questions, if you want to get answers, though they say that ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ (smile) Yes, we can’t belabour the questioning just for questioning sake! And furthermore, in this day and age, where deceit and fraudulence are rampant, it is of exceeding importance to ask questions if you don’t want to be taken advantage of. 

And this next quote says: ‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.’ There can be no doubt of the truth in that statement, for it’s only when we step out some from our comfort zone that we make what’s call progress. The problem however is how much deviation do we want, or how much is sufficient to not upturn the whole applecart? 

That means to have a fairly stable society, progress ought to be orderly and sort of linear, moving from one point to another in an orderly fashion, otherwise all hell can break loose. Look at what happens in revolutions, be they armed and physical, or like what’s happening right now in our communication and technological sectors. The supposed progress is happening so quickly and disorderly that it’s throwing everything out of sync, and there’s no real control taking place, it’s become more like a free for all. 

Then there’s this: ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’ Another truism, you might say! We can all find happiness in the most trying times if we turn on the real and true light…His name is Jesus Christ! John said that he was sent to bear witness of ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:8-9) So friends, with Jesus as the mainstay of our lives, happiness is indeed possibly in any kind of situation. Please never forget that! 

Now hear this: ‘Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.’ That makes me chuckle, for as far as I’m concerned our sense of morals should naturally make us do right. I guess it’s all in the interpretation, for when we talk about having morals we usually mean the good aspect, not the immoral part. So here it seems the whole morality landscape is being considered. But sadly morality seems to be a forgotten word today, just like God and godliness are being turfed out of our society. 

Anyway, this last quote should help to fix all of that. ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ And is that last part ever true my brethren. These are indeed some rough and difficult days and we can’t truly handle them without some kindness on the part of everybody. Unfortunately though, kindness seems to be a word that is fast disappearing from our society, as we just said, in the wake of our strenuous endeavours to push God and godliness out. But friends, the truth of the matter is that kindness is next to godliness.

Hear how Proverbs puts it, when talking about a virtuous woman. ‘She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.’ You can’t ever beat that my people…and it doesn’t apply to virtuous women alone, but to all God’s children! Yuh see how Ruth, born into idolatry, a Gentile, became a descendant of Jesus, Bruh David’s great grandmother, because of her steadfast support and kindness to her mother-in -law Naomi. Simply read all of Ruth. It’s a short book. (smile) 

And there’s no better passage of scripture to end today’s Bit than this one from Ephesians. Hear Bruh Paul: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:29-32) 

Ah mih people, what wonderful words for us believers to live by! Please, let’s do our sincere best to put them into action nuh, for they will indeed be healing balm to all our sorrows! Much LOVE!

…and to godliness…(add) brotherly kindness…and to brotherly kindness…LOVE… (1Pet.1:7)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

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