Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2019 Mark 2:22.

Mark 2:22.    ​And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe how dark it is still is in my area at eight o’clock on this early November morning! Not even a wisp of sunlight is showing on the eastern horizon. But the good thing is that it’s not raining…at least not yet. (smile) Nowadays, who knows what the weather will turn out to be on any given day, so it’s best not to worry about it. Just remember that Jesus is our Lord, Saviour and Guiding Light, and once He is in us, and we are in Him, then everything will work out for good eventually, as He faithfully promised! Glory to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

And since we said it’s Saturday, I guess it’s time to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘One small positive thought can change your whole day.’ And that’s the absolute truth my people! And we have the perfect example above, where we just think about Jesus, and our whole day gets brighter! There’s no more positive thought that that! So let’s wake up thinking on Jesus…and during the day think on Him…and go to bed at night…still thinking on Him! Wow! That way our whole day will be positive! (smile) 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘Every new day is another chance to change your life.’ I certainly can’t dispute that reasoning, for everyday that we’re given to breathe God’s air, is a new chance to improve our lives. God gives it to us because He knows that we need more time to come to Him, to grow more Christ-like and to complete the work He’s assigned us. So please, let’s not waste every new day that we’ve been so generously given nuh. Instead, as the old people would say, make hay while the sun shines, because you don’t know when the sun will stop shining, neither for how long, and if it isn’t shining, then you certainly can’t make hay. (smile) That means you can’t waste time; you must do whatever you have to do while there’s time – that means today – since there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see tomorrow. Were the ole people ever so wise my brethren! Wish we were even half as wise. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.’ Ah friends, that’s the only way to survive, for if you don’t get stronger as life gets harder, life will only beat you down. And this life is certainly getting harder, despite all our improvements and amenities. And don’t fool yuh fat either (don’t be deceived), for some reason I can’t fathom, life just enjoys beating us down. I’ve seen it happen often enough in my three score and ten. So you have to possess plenty belly and backbone to live what we call life. You also have to keep improving, keep adding to the strength of your backbone and belly everyday, because life doesn’t ever take a day off, so neither can you. And we all know the best way to do that is by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and let him lead and guide our mis-mash lives! 

And here’s another area where following Jesus will come in ever so handy. ‘Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.’ Oh my people, is that ever so true! Very few good opportunities are ever easy. I guess by definition they are innately difficult, and in this lazy, selfish, greedy society of ours, hard work is something we don’t relish. We don’t even want to work, much less work hard. That’s why so many glorious opportunities are passing us by in this prosperous society where good opportunities abound…if we’re only willing to work hard at them. Here again, with Jesus running our lives, we will see the opportunities, and we will work diligently and excellently to bring them to fruition. Glory be! 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘Old ways won’t open new doors.’ But we still try anyway. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.’ So we’ve got to stop trying to open new doors with old ways. That brings us to some very interesting  words of Jesus when asked by John’s disciples, why they and the Pharisees fasted, but His disciples did not? Apparently the Pharisees fasted twice weekly. He basically answered that fasting is done in times of grief, not of joy, and while He was with them, they were joyful, but when He went back to heaven, that would be the time for grief and fasting. (Mark 2:18-20) 

And furthermore, Jesus enlightened them: ‘No man also seweth a piece of new (unshrunk) cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh (pulls) away from the old, and the rent (tear) is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.’ (Mark2:21-22) Oh friends, how can you not be impressed by Jesus eh, no one else uses simple words and ideas like He does! 

And what does all of that mean? Listen to the scholars: ‘2:22. Bottles are wineskins, the old ones figuratively representing Judaism and the new ones Christianity. Old wineskins lose their elasticity and would be burst open by the fermentation of new wine put into them. The point: the old faith of Judaism and the new faith of Christianity cannot be mixed, nor can the practices or traditions (e.g., the time of fasting) of Judaism be forced on Christianity.’ Now that doesn’t mean we have to throw away all that is old, because it’s the old stuff that gives us the true and solid foundations, but if old ways aren’t working, then we do have to try new, but always godly ones. (smile) Much LOVE!

…new brooms sweep clean…but old brooms know the corners…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2019 Isaiah 41:6.

Isaiah 41:6.    ​They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong).
 

It done, it done! Yes friends and family, the radiation business finally done! Thank the Lord! I went back yesterday for the final zap and it went off as smooth as oil, none of the problems of last Friday! Let’s just hope that it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, because I really don’t want to go back through the inconvenience and side effects again. 

So all I can say is, ‘Thank You yes Lord! Thank You for bringing me through it safely, and I’m leaving everything in your hands. But please give me a break from all the medical issues nuh. I know you are trying to lengthen my life, but by the same token, it does get a bit tiresome and discouraging. Anyway Lord, my life is in your hands, please do as you will with it. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, yuh think it easy? No, it not easy nuh! And remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either, and He said that we’d face trials and tribulations in this evil and ungodly world, but we were to have peace and be of good cheer, because He had overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

And we all know that that is much easier said than done, especially with all the distractions and enemy attacks that we are currently facing in this degenerate world. But if we are serious and truly turn to Almighty God for help, we WILL be able to handle the world like Jesus recommended. So let’s look at some encouraging stuff nuh. 

And first off is this footnote from a Daily Bread Devotional. It tells us that ‘Encouragement is water to the soul!’ And is it ever my people! For just like our physical bodies need water to survive, so does our souls need encouragement to stay hopeful and alive! Without positive encouragement, we all will sink to undesirable depths of hopelessness, something that Jesus doesn’t want us to ever do. That’s why we need to get together and encourage each other. 

But in these days of lightning quick communication, we can also encourage each other from afar. The important thing is to keep in contact with people of the faith. Now here is this prayer of encouragement, enshrined in plastic, (smile) that I found on my desk from the Anglican Church, Diocese of Toronto. Please pray with me: ‘Sustain us, O Lord, with Your Holy Spirit. Give us an enquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to LOVE You, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, a simple but ever so far-reaching prayer! And it asks for exactly the things we need to get us successfully through this trouble-filled world. And I do hope that it encouraged us, that it strengthened our backbone and belly some, (smile) caused us to stand up a li’l stronger and straighter, and to keep the faith in, and of Jesus, burning like a holy fire in our souls, bodies, hearts and minds! 

Wow! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical and encouraging this Tuesday morning in the wonderful summer of 2019! (smile) But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole purpose of the Bit; to keep us strong and encouraged in the faith! So if I’m not encouraging you, then I’m not doing what the Lord requires of me…And no way, do I want Him to ask me, come the judgement day, why I didn’t do what He asked. So let’s keep up with the encouragement nuh. (smile) 

Brother! Is it ever a smiley kind of day! But that’s how it ought to be anyway. (smile) And it’s no mistake that within a couple of chapters of the Good Book that the Lord commanded Moses to encourage Joshua. ‘But Joshua, the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go thither (into the promised land): encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.’ (Deut.1:38) 

And the Lord commanded Moses again when He took him up the mountain to see the Promised Land from afar. ‘But charge (command) Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.’ (Deut.3:28) That shows how big our God is on encouragement, and so should we be too. 

Now hear this wonderful and encouraging scripture from Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong). So the carpenter (craftsman) encouraged the goldsmith (refiner), and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote (struck) the anvil, saying, It is ready for sodering  (of the soldering, it is good): and he fastened it with the nails (pegs), that it should not be moved (totter).’ (Is.41:6-7) 

Ah mih people, if only the saints of Jesus would be as encouraging to each other eh! What a wonderful world this would be! But too often, those who should encourage us, discourage us instead, and then we need to take matters into our own hands, like Bruh David did when his men wanted to stone him, after the Amalekites burned down their city of Ziklag and took all their women and children captive. The Good Book tells us: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6b) 

Yes precious people of God, we can’t always depend on others to encourage us, but when the heifer dust hits the fan (smile) we need to also be able to encourage ourselves in Jehovah God. That’s when the true strength and maturity of our faith really shows out. So please be encouraged today…and everyday, for we serve an encouraging and faithful God! 

Now let’s show that faith by declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Wonderful friends, wonderful! Now let’s go out and fulfill that promise by encouraging others, through sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the less fortunate. That’s His ultimate desire! Much LOVE!

…encouragement…one of the believer’s most important tools…in his or her ministry…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘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) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one 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!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2019 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 
Ah friends, what a shock it is to the system when one gets up and sees your whole area clothed in white! Hn! Especially after the warm weather of the past week has conditioned one’s mind – falsely it would seem – to believe that all that white stuff business was a thing of the past and the distant future of next winter! But obviously that’s not so! 

And though it’s not a great amount of snow, no amount of snow at all is welcome! (smile) But since we’re such sturdy people, especially we believers, with plenty backbone and belly, we’ll just grin and move along as normal, what with the Lord providing ALL our needs through His riches in glory, through Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord and Saviour! 

And all God’s children loudly, proudly and gratefully declared (right ho): ‘All praise to the name of Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God who was slaughtered to pay for our abominable sins! Bless His holy name and worship sincerely at His cross!’ 

Oh my people, what would we have done without Jesus eh? I shudder at the very thought of not having all the wonderful stuff He has made available to us, and greatly desire to be able to make others understand what it all means; how if they don’t have Him in their lives, they’re totally lost, headed for hell and eternal damnation with the fallen evil angel Satan, and what that would mean for their eternal livelihood. 

But since the Lord in His eternal wisdom gave us free will, free will to choose whatever kind of life we want to live, it is an uphill battle to convince others to accept Jesus and leave the flashy, but empty and hell bent things of the world alone. 

Oh, it’s not that Jesus doesn’t want us to have nice things and to be prosperous, otherwise He wouldn’t have made this telling statement: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, Jesus died so that we could have life, a full and prosperous one, wisely living it in full communion with Him. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of His dying eh? The problem though, is that with our natural sinful nature, we tend to gravitate to the sinful, lustful things and treasures of the world. 

But hear how Jesus classified that stuff nuh: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ 

Ah mih people, truer and more sensible words were never spoken! And it doesn’t take a genius mentality to see that. All the things of the earth that we treasure at some stage either rot or can be destroyed, or stolen, and to make matters worse, when we die we can’t carry any of them with us. So why spend our earthly lives foolishly trying to amass treasures of the world eh? 

Instead, as Jesus so wisely proclaims: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:’ (Matt.6:20) Glory be my people! The treasures we need to accumulate are the ones that will not rot or be destroyed by insects or stolen…and the only treasures of that kind are found in heavenly places! 

That means to be wise, we have to concentrate on accumulating the heavenly kind of treasure, for as Jesus also mentioned: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ Matt.6:21) And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! If we are concentrating on earthly treasures, then our hearts will be here on earth with them, but if heaven is our future destination, then out thoughts and efforts will be aligned with heavenly things. 

And it’s not like when we live for Jesus that we become poor and needy, but on the other hand all our needs are fulfilled. Listen to Jesus again: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, our wise and wonderful God knows that we need food, clothes, money and houses to live and He has faithfully promised that if we live for Him, keep Him first place in our lives, that all those things will be provided for us. As Bruh David so rightly says in Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps.27:13) 

Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of believing in the Lord if you don’t expect to see the things He’s promised eh? None whatsoever! And if you still don’t believe that you can get all things through Christ, then please remember who is still regarded as the richest and wisest man who ever lived… Cousin Sol! 

And why and how? Because he believed sincerely in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and asked for wisdom to rule his people, not wealth and long life, but our God is so wonderful and so magnanimous, that He also gave him those things in abundance, just like how Jesus died so that we can have life in abundance. 

Wow! I just hope all this makes a difference to somebody today! (smile) But for those of us who already sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice and deep sense of purpose: 

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share it all with those who don’t believe for that’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…when you live for Jesus…you live for eternity in heaven with Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2019 Psalm 23:4.

Psalm 23:4.   Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art (always) with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

Oh friends, it certainly warmed the cockles of my heart – and God’s too – when you all shared with me your sentiments, your heartfelt desires to go to the Lord’s sanctuary on this Sabbath day to worship and praise Him, receive His healing Word, glorify His holy name and rejoice in His LOVING-kindness! It just brought these immortal words of Bruh David rushing into my mind: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1)  

Oh, what very appropriate words for those very appropriate sentiments! Yes, there’s nothing else in this world like a joyful gathering of the saints in sincere fellowship! There’s nothing like when we sing and praise our Maker and offer up heartfelt thanks for His wonderful blessings and mercies. All heaven joins in with us and the Lord’s praises just overwhelm His universe. 

And that’s exactly what I want us to do today as we sing this gospel song written by Tracy Dart, titled ‘God of the Mountain!’ Many of you might not know it, but it’s a slow, soulful song, not a dirge (smile) and once you read the words, if you’re a true believer, the absolute truth contained in them will have your hearts and voices soaring to the sky with thanksgiving. So nuff talk; let’s sing our soulful anthem to the Most High God Jehovah. 

‘Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But things change, when you’re down in the valley. Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night 

We talk of faith way up on the mountain But talk comes easy, when life’s at its best Now it’s down in the valleys, trials and temptations That’s where your faith is really put to the test For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley, When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night.’ 

Oh my people, truer words were never spoken! Life is certainly wonderful on the mountain top; everything moving nice and easy. But down in the valley, it’s a completely different story. But yuh` know what, the same God that’s next to you on the mountain top, is the same one that you have in the valley, and He’ll make things right for you down there too. 

It’s like Bruh David said in that awesome psalm, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art (always) with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ That sends the message loud and clear my believing brethren: Wherever you are, on the mountaintop or the shadowy and fearful valley, you are NEVER ALONE, so there’s no need to lose faith and trust in Almighty God. 

Remember He is the God of both the good and bad times, as well as the God of the day and night, in fact the very God of EVERYTHING! So whatever the circumstances, it’s the same magnanimous and ever-LOVING God we’ll always be dealing with! So that ought to set our hearts at peace. 

But the eternal problem is that when life is good, talk is cheap and easy, and we all talk a good talk in the good times. But when those rough times down in the valley hit us, and our talk is tested, we suddenly lose our gumption and whine and cry, become so discombobulated that we can’t walk the big talk we had on top of the mountain. 

Yes friends, we see that happening amongst Christ’s saints every day. When the struggles of life hit us we’re quick to fear and faint, when we should be standing oh so strong and courageous in faith! Remember the parable Jesus spoke to the crowd: ‘that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) ‘Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ 

But unfortunately that happens to too many of us. The easy, sedentary life we live today has robbed us of our belly and backbone. But please remember my brethren, that the Lord will not allow anything to come against any of His people and not give them the wherewithal to handle it! 

So please let’s stand valiant and strong in Jesus’ name nuh, whether we’re in the dark valley, or the bright mountain top, cause it will all be smooth sailing when we get to heaven! Much LOVE!

…heaven will more than make up…for all the sorrows and hardships on earth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2019 Luke 4:24.

Luke 4:24.   ​And he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
 

And it continues, seemingly unabated…Yes friends, I’m talking about the iron grip that the soul, body, spirit and mind numbing cold spell currently has on most of North America! Brother! It’s something like minus 23 degrees Celsius in my area. In one part of Minnesota yesterday they said it was minus forty, not Celsius, but Fahrenheit. 

Can you imagine what walking around in that weather is like? Give you a li’l example; yesterday evening I took my fresh self and went across the street to get the mail from the communal mail boxes, and would you believe that by the time I got back from the say twenty yards walk, two minutes exposure, I was coughing and hacking like nobody’s business. And the message for all you people down in the southland, where it’s always nice and warm, is please stay there! 

I know that plenty of you want to come a foreign because you believe that it’s so wonderful, but it’s not really as wonderful as you believe and your friends and family don’t just go out and pick up money from the street or the trees so that they can afford to send you all the setta money and expensive foolishness that you all ask for. If you don’t have a work down there, you can at least plant something and stay alive. Up here, if you don’t have a job, nobody gives you much of anything. 

And believe me, you have it real good down there yes. For when it rains you can call and tell the boss it raining, so you not coming to work. Up here though, in all the ice and snow yuh can’t call and tell them it snowing or too icy for you to come in, else most likely that’s the last phone call you’ll make to that number. You get my drift? (smile) 

And I recently saw a video that hit the nail on the head. This Jamaican fella, dressed to the hilt in his snow clothes pleading to his people back home not to send and ask for anything before March, and not the beginning of March, but the end, because it so and so cold, and he has to go out and work in it, and it not easy… so please doh send and beg for anything before the end of March! 

And I think that’s a very good idea for us to adopt because it really hard and unfair to the people up here working their tail of in the cold to send back money and stuff for their people lazing and lounging in the sunshine waiting for the big barrel to roll in or the call to go to Western Union! Steups! I guess by now you know my take on the situation; it’s totally ridiculous! I’m blessed I don’t have any family or friends who behave that way. Thank you yes Lord! 

And now that I’ve finished my rant, what’s next eh? (smile) And I think we’re going to talk a li’l about criticism today. Now Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power Programme) says that ‘Criticism is training: a temporary opportunity for a permanent gift.’ And so it is, if you are wise enough to accept the criticism for whatever it’s worth. 

You’ll never get anywhere, be successful at anything without coming under some form of criticism, whether it be good or bad, and you need to develop a sense of resilience to it, if you want to truly succeed. Like someone else said: ‘To avoid criticism: Say nothing, do nothing, be nothing…’ So there you have the two options available; be damned if you do, and also be damned if you don’t! So what’s it going to be eh? 

As believers in Christ we’re expected to do and be damned! In other words roll with the punches, but get the job done. I don’t believe any of us will ever be criticized as much as Jesus was, and yet He persevered. Even His own family rejected His claim of being the Messiah. Look at how they treated Him in His hometown of Nazareth nuh. 

This Sabbath day He got up to read the scriptures in the synagogue there and read Isaiah 49:8-9 where he wrote: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4:18-19) Then He told them: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).’ (Luke 4:21) 

And they were all filled with wonder at his wisdom, but then they reasoned: ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ (Luke 4:22b) And it all went downhill from there, especially when Jesus declared: ‘Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.’ And isn’t that the living truth! People of fame and success are much less appreciated in their own homes and hometowns than elsewhere in the world. 

And Jesus made it even worse by telling them about the three years and six months of famine in Israel in Elijah’s time, that though there were many widows in Israel at the time, he was sent to a widow in Sarepta (Zarephath) a city in Sidon, outside of Israel. He also told them about the many lepers in Israel at the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian was healed. (Luke 4:25-27) 

And the response to Jesus words? The Good Book says: And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.’ (Luke 4:28-30) Can you imagine it my brethren, Jesus’ own people in His hometown of Nazareth, so enraged by His words, trying to cast Him over the nearby cliffs! 

Now I don’t think that many of us who want to work for Jesus will face such craziness, but we will face serious criticism from all around, even our friends and families, but like Jesus, please don’t let it stop us. Just imagine our position now nuh, if Jesus had succumbed to the overwhelming criticism that He faced in His three years of ministry! Now we’d be like crapaud done smoke we pipe! So let’s be strong and hang in there and do His work, so that we can be ultimately blessed with our Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice and plenty faith, let’s declare (right ho) them: ‘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 it’s time to go out and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…to successfully work for Jesus…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

 

And then it was Wednesday, the middle of the work week…and we did get some of the promised snow, not in the afternoon though, but sometime during the early morning hours, and not as much as expected. However, if you have to venture out there, please be careful, because snow is snow; slippery and dangerous, be it plentiful or li’l bit. (smile) But as always, with Jesus riding shotgun with us, there’s not much to worry about! Praise His holy name! 

And looking through the many bits of paper I have next to the computer for something to write about, I came upon this acronym; ‘PUSH!’ And what dies it mean? Simply, PRAY until something happens!’ Yeh friends, we ought to just keep on praying, until we see some results of our prayers, because God doesn’t always say, NO, but sometimes, GO SLOW, or NOT RIGHT NOW! 

So it’s always best to keep on keeping on until you get a definitive answer…and believe me, when the Lord is ready, He will give you one. (smile) And unfortunately, for whatever reason, in these wicked and sinful times, even true and strong believers don’t pray as much as they ought. 

But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ And that parable was about the persistent widow who refused to go unjustified by the wicked judge. So too should we pursue justice and pray with all our hearts, minds and souls! 

As the scholars explain, re our Bit: ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.”  Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And sadly, in this mish mash, judgemental, condemning society, it’s oh so easy to lose heart. But we have to be strong friends, and just pursue our dreams and hopes through prayer. 

And there are so many scriptures that advise and encourage and admonish us to keep on praying, especially since it’s God’s way of communicating with us, and it’s the most powerful element on earth! So let’s look at a few of them nuh, and use them to help us strengthen our resolve to keep on praying. 

And what better verse to begin with than one of my favourites, this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Mama Mia! 

Oh friends, that scripture is talking about Jesus’ rising early every day to go out and pray. What a wonderful example He is! He doesn’t just tell us to do things, but leads the way Himself. Before Jesus did anything, He always sought the Father’s wisdom through prayer. And as I keep saying, if the Son of God needed to pray while down here on earth, why should we miserable sinners be any different eh? 

And then we have this wonderful statement from Bruh David: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Psalm 109:4) Yeh friends, it’s often best to pray when our enemies come against us, and remember Jesus said we ought also to pray for them. Meanwhile Cousin Sol gets right to the point, no beating around the bush: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) 

No joking friends! As the scholars say: ‘24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of endurance.’ And one of the reasons why our world is in such sad shape is simply because we supposed believers don’t have enough belly and backbone to stand up to the evil forces of the world! It’s sad but true! We’re too scared of what others might say or do, therefore we just fade off into the sunset and let the wicked do as they please. 

I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart every time one of His supposed followers behaves thus. And if we’re believers, then in the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (lose heart).’ (2 Cor.4:1) Oh my people, we have received the same mercy that Bruh Paul did, therefore, we ought also not to faint, not to lose heart! Friends, the worst thing we can ever do as a believer is to give up, to faint, to lose heart! Why? Because that attitude doesn’t exist in Jesus’ playbook! 

And as believers, it should not exist in ours either! And one of the ways we can keep it at bay is by listening and following this solid and oh so wise advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) And though Bruh Paul was there speaking about males only, expecting females to pray silently, in these modern times, it is extremely necessary that both men and women pray, every where; be it loudly or silently! 

And this last scripture is one we all know and quote, but don’t put it into proper action. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) Please remember that my people; we don’t only go to God to ask and ask for what we want, but we must also give thanks for what we already have, and whatever we’re asking for, believing and receiving it by faith, and not by sight. 

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) What more can I say eh friends? I can only present the evidence, you have to make the individual decisions! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong 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!’ 

And if you truly believe, then you know that that future will be even brighter and more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…when one truly knows Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…with all your heart, mind, body and soul…

 

 

 

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