Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

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

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Ahoy there mates! How are your sails holding up today eh? I do hope that they are full and billowing with a strong wind so that you can be pushed smoothly along life’s wide and plentiful waterways. 

And if Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour is breathing His powerful heavenly breath upon your sails, then you can be assured of a safe journey. It won’t always be smooth sailing, for life is never completely calm, but you will reach your destination safely. With Jesus as your guide and pilot, I can guarantee you that! 

And as most of us know, (smile) it’s Friday, so it’s no surprise to hear the workingman singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Massa slave work soon done, then my time is all mine! Glory to God! Ah going to party and sleep and laze about … then party and sleep and laze about some more…all weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from back-breaking labour for li’l pay!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary man’s life is getting harder though our society is prosperously reinventing itself at phenomenal speed. Why is that eh? In an age of so much, so many have so little… 

And it doesn’t seem to be getting better though millions of voices are crying out for help. In fact it seems to be getting worse, for the rich are indeed getting richer and greedier, while the poor are getting poorer and falling further behind, if that is at all possible. 

Ah Lord eh! When will mankind ever learn to share his bounty with others eh? I guess not until Jesus comes to set up His eternal kingdom and greed and such negative things are removed from His world. 

Anyway, for believers, we do have HOPE… lot’s of it, and we just need to hold tight to Jesus and we’ll be okay. Now let’s refute the workingman’s song with our own Friday Chant. ‘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.’ 

And that’s a more sensible prayer, one in keeping with Jesus’ philosophy. It doesn’t allow us to go overboard in any area of our lives, but does it’s best to keep us on the straight and narrow, where we can have rest, enjoyment and fellowship, while being rejuvenated in body and soul, so we can start out strong next week. 

Wise, faithful believers will tend towards that guideline, while the unwise will want to overdo the partying and lazing around aspect, then come Monday morning and time to go back to work, they are of no use to themselves or anybody else. 

Boundaries, friends, boundaries, limits, cut offs, are very necessary in a believer’s life, for if we go too far, we’ll simply allow the enemy to gain footholds, toeholds, etc, in our lives, a situation that is totally unacceptable. 

Hence our Bit for today: ‘Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:8-9) 

And that is the gospel truth my brethren! Lucifer and his evil henchmen are constantly on the lookout for ways to invade a believer’s spirit and thus get him or her off of Jesus’ program of salvation and eternal life. Even the teeny, ‘weeniest’ chink in our spiritual armour will have them salivating. 

And remember that Lucifer and his bandits are no respecter of persons, they attack everybody, especially believers. So please don’t think that you are alone in facing and experiencing temptation. It’s a worldwide game. 

Now here is some invaluable insight from James into keeping the enemy at bay. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you…’ (James 4:7-8a) 

Yeh friends, keeping the enemy at bay involves two basic actions; vigorously and continuously resisting him, while drawing ever closer to God. They are not always easy actions to perform, but if we’re serious about our walk with God, and sincerely ask for His help, we can do it. 

And why are we sure of that? Peter explains. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Oh friends, I know we’ve heard this message over and over again, but it’s one we need to repeatedly hear so that we can stay on the right path, to remember that the enemy is always lurking, trying to bring us down to his unholy level. 

So today, I implore us to pay serious attention to our faith walk, stay close to God, and not give the enemy any chance whatsoever to devalue it. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen! Much LOVE my brethren!

…be on the lookout…always…for the enemy’s wiles and lies…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2015 Psalm 133:1‏

Psalm 133:1.    Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Well Friends, once again it’s our favourite day, Monday…!  

‘Hn! Yuh must be joking yes man!’ is the quick response I receive from one disgruntled member. ‘How the devil could Monday ever be one of my favourite days eh, especially when I have to go back out and do more back breaking labour for that greedy and heartless slave master? Steups! No way Jose!’

‘Awright, awright mih breddren, cool yuhself nuh,’ I try to pacify. ‘It’s not all that bad yuh know’ But to no avail.

‘Doh tell me to cool mihself man! You don’t know how I feel when Monday morning rolls around nuh.  I feel like Sparrow sang in the song ‘Slave’ many years ago every time he thought about escaping. “But when ah think about the whip…and them dogs…oh Lord…mih body just start to tremble and shake.”  Now that is how I feel on a Monday morning, knowing what I have to go out there and face. What yuh have to say to that eh?’  

‘I have plenty to say about that mih friend!’ is my reply. ‘First you have to give your life to Jesus, and He will enable you to get over that morbid fear you have of going to work on a Monday.

And secondly, right now you can join us in singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which gets the adrenalin going, pumps you up, so that you go out in confidence and strength , knowing that you are LOVED and protected by the might and power of Jesus and His resurrection.  Now let’s sing with great gusto and gratefulness for all that Jesus has done, is doing, and has promised to do for us.

As one loud, harmonious and confident 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!’

Awright mih people, awright! That was wonderful! We even had the Father tapping His feet and keeping time with his hands on the sides of the throne. Mama Mia! And was Jesus ever proud of us. Glory Be! Now let’s go out and face the world with that same confidence and chutzpah and faith in Jesus, and really show the heathen what it means to be a follower of Christ.

And there’s no better way to do that than by living up to the gospel truth of our Bit. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!’

Yes Friends, that’s how it ought to be! But sadly it just isn’t as good as it ought to be. We all know about the infighting amongst blood relatives and the church families which breaks the Father’s heart, but even more so Jesus’ since He put His very life on the line, sacrificed it so that we could have unity amongst believers and ordinary families.

Yuh know Friends, once there is disunity within the most important unit in society, the family, and also within church, the LOVE Revolution of Jesus will not prosper, will not win the battle over evil and wickedness. Now how can we afford to let that happen eh? We simply can’t. 

Now here is how Bruh Paul put it to the Corinthians, re Christians and the civil law in his first missive. ‘I speak to your shame. Is it so that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to the law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Now therefore there is utterly a fault (an utter failure) among you, because ye go to the law with one another. Why do ye not rather take (accept) wrong? Why do ye not suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that (to) your brethren.’ (1 Cor.6:5-8)

Ah Friends, there is still a lot of truth today in those words written so long ago. Shamefully, we still defraud our brethren and treat them in an unchristian like manner, and we end up in the courts and wash our dirty laundry before the unbelievers. Obviously this does not set a good example for the people we are trying to bring to Christ.

And we’ll end with these wise words of Peter, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover a multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.’ (1 Pet.4:8-10)

Oh Friends, all I can add to that is to encourage us to seriously and diligently take Peter’s wise advice and put it into effect in our own lives in these modern times, where it’s so badly needed. Much LOVE!

…the only way to beat the evildoers mantra of divide and conquer…is to live in harmony and unity with each other…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2013 Psalm 21:13

Psalm 21:13.     Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength, so will we sing and praise thy power.
 
Oh Friends, I thought rest and sleep were supposed to be so good for the body and soul, to be refreshing and renewing. So how come I went to bed early last night, but got up this morning sneezing and sniffling, with my back aching, as though I’d done some back-breaking labour to bring on those woes? Ah Lord eh! Who knows the way their days and nights will go? Sadly, none of us. Only the great God who created us, and whom we serve and worship, who controls our going out and coming in. But the good thing about that Friends, is that once we surrender our lives to Him, we don’t need to worry about anything, just take everything to Him in prayer. And that’s exactly what I did this morning. I didn’t bother asking why, because I knew that most likely I wouldn’t get an answer. So I just asked for help and relief, then put on my back brace and took a tablet for the allergies. (smile) And now I’m ready to rumble! Who says our God isn’t a good God eh! Consequently, He led me to this most appropriate Bit: ‘Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength, so will we sing and praise thy power.’ Yes my brethren, our Lord is so mighty in power, strength and LOVING-kindness, that it’s only appropriate for us to sing and praise His awesome majesty! Bruh David apparently wrote this psalm after a victory over his enemies, as it’s subtitled – Praise for victory. And I like how he begins it: ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden (withheld) the request of his lips.  Selah.’ (Ps.21:1-2) Oh my people, that first verse, or something like it, should be on our lips every day – rejoicing in the strength, power and faithfulness of our omnipotent God, and the LOVING-kindness and mercy of His blessed salvation! And all God’s servants gave a joyful shout of, ‘Praise the Lord! Thank You Father for Your strength and glory in Jesus! Amen!’ And in Psalm 59 – A Prayer for deliverance – when Saul sent his henchmen to watch Bruh David’s house for an opportunity to kill him, he fervently declares: ‘Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth.  Selah. And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. Let them wander up and down for meat (food), and grudge (howl) if they be not satisfied. But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy.’ (Ps.59:13-17) Oh my people, do we have that solid faith and trust in the promises and faithfulness of our God? I surely hope so, because it’s only with that kind of unshakeable faith will we be able to handle the evil powers and people of this evil world. And that’s why Bruh David, despite all his problems and wrongdoings found such favour with God. He always looked to Him for support and guidance, revelled in His strength and LOVING-kindness. Listen to him as he continues in glorious adoration. ‘For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful with gladness) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps.21:3-7) Ah Friends, there’s no feeling in this world that compares to praising our most wonderful and adorable God! Now listen to how the psalmist Asaph follows in like manner, as he opens in Psalm 81 – God’s goodness and Israel’s waywardness. ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise (shout) unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm (raise a song), and bring hither (strike) the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery (lute or lyre). Blow up the trumpet in (at the time of) the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.’ (Ps.81:1-4) Now, though according to the scholars, ‘The background of the psalm appears to be the Feast of the Tabernacles (Lev.23:34-44) which reminded the people of God’s law and also constituted the feast of ingathering (Ex.23:16)’ that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t sing and praise our most worthy God in full voice with instruments, each and every day, or whenever we feel like it. So my fellow believers, on this Wednesday morning, in the penultimate week of April, in the year 2013, I’m asking, or rather imploring us all to get ourselves together and shower the world with praise and glory, exaltation and joyfulness in the power and LOVE, mercy and forgiveness of our most amazing God! Please allow our joy to sing out over the land, let the heathen hear it, and see the wonders that He works in our lives, so that they too may come to learn about Him, then believe, LOVE, honour and glorify Him the way we do. That is my sincere prayer for all believers this chilly spring morning. In Jesus name. Amen. Much LOVE!…how can the unbeliever learn about God…unless the believer sings, shouts and lives a life…filled with His goodness, grace and mercy…