Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 July 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

Come on friends, it’s time to gather for another Sunday session of praise, worship and thanksgiving! Glory be! Sometimes I just can’t wait for Sunday to come around so we can get together to celebrate the Lord’s Day in high fashion, or low style, (smile) which ever one is more appropriate to our circumstances. 

Yes, there is just something unique and wonderful about a bunch of people from different creeds, cultures and races gathering in one place to enjoy fellowship with each other in the holy presence of our great God Jehovah. And while we give Him thanks and praise, He blesses us, gives us the strength and confidence to go out and face the world like what we truly are – children of God! 

Now, the song to open today’s proceedings is a fairly new one, written in 1970 by Ron Miller and first performed by Stevie Wonder. We’re talking about that soulful number, ‘Heaven Help Us All’, which was very appropriate back then and sadly, is still relevant to our times today. So, let’s get soulful and sincere as we offer up our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony, in a mid-tempo version, a la Ray Charles and Gladys Knight. 

Singing: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys – monologue: “I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy!” 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep. Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small, Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all, Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call… Heaven help us all…’ 

And my faithful friends, do we ever need a lot of help from heaven in these very evil and calamitous times! Without help from heaven we certainly won’t make it through the dismal and disastrous days that our world is currently undergoing. What with the unprecedented amount of strife and warfare all over the globe, the immense poverty and starvation of billions of people, the poor economic outlook, made even worse by worldwide sickness and disease…

And that’s just some of the manmade stuff. When you add the natural disasters like serious drought and famine, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes that seem to be more prevalent than before, possibly because of climate change, it’s easy to see why we need heavenly help…and quickly too. 

However friends, I don’t believe we will get that heavenly help as quickly as we need it unless we quickly turn back to the God of our forefathers and give up the idols and foolishness that the world sees as valuable. Remember Jesus words, His memorable advice from the Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Yes my bredrin, the only way to get heaven’s help is by sincerely seeking God and His righteousness. We can’t go worshipping the things of the world and doing the ungodly things the world wants us to do, and expect godly help. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re only paying lip-service to God. It reminds me of what the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah re Israel’s blindness. ‘Wherefore the Lord said, For as much as this people draw me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear (reverence) toward me is taught by the precept of men.’ (Is. 29:13) 

Ah mih people, it’s the same thing we’re doing now that Israel did back then; simply honouring God with our mouth and lips but not our hearts. And our reverence is being ‘taught by the precept of men,’ meaning, as the scholars tell us, it’s ‘merely an intellectual accommodation. For true worship must begin with a proper reverence for God and His Word.’ 

And if we don’t do that, if we don’t wake up to the realities of life asap…then crapaud smoke we pipe. The Lord’s not going to put up with our dalliance with the devil for ever. He might be long-suffering and all that, but at some stage He’s going to say enough is enough, like He did with Israel when they became unfaithful and with so many other proud and foolish nations, who in their prosperity, turned away from Him unwisely believing that their prosperity was their own doing. 

That’s totally wrong my people. It’s the Lord’s goodness and mercy that causes a nation to prosper. And the psalmist tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ (Ps. 127:1) And I believe these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians when he talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night might just be a good wake up call for us. 

Listen closely please. ‘But ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Thess. 5:4-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, if we are the children of light, then we must behave as such; wake up and seriously and sincerely hold on to the trappings of our faith, and do our best to encourage others to do the same. We already have all we need to do the job, and if heaven sees that we’re serious, heaven will certainly help us. But we need to take the first step to help ourselves. Much LOVE!

…heaven won’t help us…until we start helping ourselves…that’s for sure…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2020 Daniel 6:16b.

Daniel 6:16b.     ​Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

Well it’s Tuesday already… And yes, all day, cause time’s not waiting on me, as the duchess likes to say when I complain about how the days going by so fast. (smile) But it will soon be Christmas; that idyllic time of year when we celebrate our Saviour’s birth. Wonder what it’s going to be like this year eh, with the pandemic and the many other problems our society is currently facing? 

And yuh know what? I don’t think it’s going to be much different nuh, because people are still running helter-skelter to do Christmas shopping and what not. You’d never believe that we’re under a lockdown. No wonder the Covid-19 is not getting better and we’re setting new records every day. And with the upcoming promise of a vaccine on the horizon, people seem to be taking advantage of that news and disobeying the medical authorities even more. 

One more thing, don’t think that a vaccine is going to solve our problems nuh. I tend to believe it’s going to cause even more problems, what with all the negative info that’s floating around about it being Satan’s way of marking and controlling us, and the hordes of people who already are refusing to take it! It’s going to be a big bam-bam! And those who take it will rail against those who haven’t, and vice-versa, with all kinds of name calling and possible violence involved. 

But friends, please, let’s recall these momentous words of the pagan king Darius to Daniel when he threw him in the lion’s den. ‘Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.’ (Dan. 6:16b) Ah friends, if a pagan king could be so encouraging under those dire circumstances, why can’t we be likewise encouraging to each other eh, and faithfully keep serving the Lord God Jehovah eh? 

We know, or at least ought to know of His might, majesty, and power! Notwithstanding His most generous and compassionate grace and mercy to those who LOVE and faithfully serve Him. So why are we in such a negative state, if we claim to know that ‘all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose?’ (Rom. 8:28) 

It’s all about testing us and maturing our faith my people. Just like He tested Israel’s faith and wanting to mature them when they left Egypt by leading them the long way around, instead of the eleven-day journey it would normally take through the Philistine land: ‘for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent (change their minds) when they see war, and they return to Egypt.’ (Ex. 13:17) 

And we see how they behaved so disobediently in the wilderness despite all of God’s goodness, because they were by nature a stubborn, stiff-necked, hard-ears people. That’s why it took them forty long years to reach the Promised Land. The Lord just led them round in circles until all those who had come out of Egypt had died, except Caleb and Joshua. How many times did they threaten Moses to go back to Egypt eh, in spite of the harsh life of slavery they had lived there? 

Oh friends, the Lord has given us such a wonderful life nowadays, why aren’t we thankful and obedient to Him eh? Why can’t we say faithfully, and sincerely claim like Bruh David did eh? ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) 

Yes mih people, life is so good when yuh worshipping and praising the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So why the great disobedience, the turning away in droves, the mocking and blasphemy and lack of LOVE amongst us eh? Why the rampant evil, resentment, greed, and godlessness in our society eh? Why are we allowing the prince of darkness to cover our eyes so that we cannot see the light that radiates the goodness and LOVING-kindness of the Lord our God in the earth eh? 

Why are we worshipping so many different idols and gods who have absolutely no power eh, who are dead like doorknobs, and refuse to worship the One and ONLY living God Jehovah eh? I recently saw a commentary where the commentator says that we have turned away from God, and being the gentleman He is, He has stepped back and allowed us to be ruled by Satan, as we so greatly seem to desire, and what we are now witnessing and experiencing is simply the evil one’s authority and hegemony over our world. 

And if that’s true, then I don’t like it one bit, and you shouldn’t either! But either way my brethren, we ought to know that our God won’t leave nor forsake us, for He’s so promised, and He’s faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So for those of us who consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus, then we need to stand up strong and steadfast and adamantly resist the devil and his evil ministrations. 

We ought to be mature enough in our faith to know that whatever is happening in our world right now is not the end, for God is still in control despite how it looks, and He’s promised us victory through Christ Jesus. That means we have to put on His spiritual armour and with prayer and thanksgiving, fight the good fight, show the world that we are indeed mighty conquerors through Christ who died for us, that we are the head and not the tail, and we know for certain that the Lord will provide all our needs according to his riches in glory by our Lord and Saviour. 

That’s why these words of Peter ring so true in these turbulent and troubled times: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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. 5:6-11) That’s the basic answer to this life my brethren. 

So now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live it, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with 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!’ 

So let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…life is all about LOVE…through Christ Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2020 Ephesians 5:1.

Ephesians 5:1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 

Welcome to another beautiful day on God’s great earth my fellow saints in Christ! And grace and mercy and peace to you from our heavenly Father as we spend the day doing His wonderful work, redeemed, sanctified, justified and made righteous by the awesome blood of His Son Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! What a bountiful privilege! And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: “Praise the Lord our great and merciful God, who sends us new mercies and compassions every single day! Who looks after the undeserving children of men! Bless His holy name! Amen!’ 

And I know it’s Friday, the day so many of us look forward to, when our weekly tasks will end for two lousy days, but nonetheless it fills us with happiness. (smile) Look at it this way nuh, the Lord worked six days to create the universe, we’re only working five, which means we’re one up, that should lessen our antipathy to the work week. (smile) 

But let’s hear what the ordinary working man has to say for himself on this bright and sunshiny Friday. And he gushes today: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and that longed for weekend is here! It was the best week for a while now. It wasn’t so hot, and some rain fell and mih body getting used again to the hard, physical labour in the slave master fiery furnace so nicely called a machine shop, so it not hurting so much again! Thank God for that oui, because it not easy to do all the things we need to do, at the speed and consistency we need to do it when every move yuh make hurts like hell! 

I just hope to heaven though that the pandemic and strife business would get settled and be over with, because they still casting a dark cloud over mih life and the world. Yeh, is good to see that they easing the lockdown, but how many people going to pay serious attention to wearing masks and physical distancing when everything gets more open eh? That is the big question, especially since those seem to be the only options we currently have for holding the virus in some sorta check. 

Ah Lord eh! Some of us real dense and stupid yes! We still mouthing off about freedom and trampling of rights, but when we go out there not careful, what yuh think going to happen eh? The same blooming foolishness that happening in the U.S. now! But what do I know eh? I’m just a lowly, ordinary workingman, giving thanks to God for the li’l weekend rest ah going to get come this evening.’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman claims not to know a whole lot, but he does know more than a lot of the so-called upper class and educated people who are not taking our current situation as seriously as they ought to. But that’s where we, the saints of Christ come in; offering prayer and assurance that things will get better, we just don’t know when, and these things will pass, when our God decides it’s time. So let’s go to Him now nuh, corporately, through our Friday Chant, with sincere hearts and plead for His awesome help. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve prayed with sincere hearts my people, what is our next move eh? To put into action what we said above, re God’s faithful people handling the situation with wisdom and compassion. And how do we do that? Like Bruh Paul told the church at Ephesus when he expounded on the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) 

And how do we do all of that? As Jesus said: ‘But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:35-36) 

And if Jesus words don’t appeal to you, then try these from Peter nuh, as he talks about the call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your mind fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober: (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Consequently, our behaviour should be: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16) 

And for our information, that scripture is found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; and 20:7. Not only one place, but several, which means the Lord was very serious about it. So please, let’s take holiness seriously too, as we go about doing God’s work each and every day! Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…the saints of God lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2020 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
 
And then it was Friday…and there was lots of shouting and jumping for joy! Hn! More of us were happy to see Friday, and the end of the work week, than to celebrate being alive and kicking in God’s great universe and being a BELOVED and saved child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Now what’s wrong with that picture eh? Does it mean we’re putting the world before God? Maybe! And if so, then it’s a very unwise move, because when we celebrate God, with His awesome help, we are able to handle whatever the world throws at us. But following the dictates of the world, only makes life harder, for there is no help but our own, and we all know that there isn’t a lot we can do on our own. 

Remember, Jesus said that we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all the worldly things will be added to us, we won’t have to sweat and strain and break our backs to acquire them, because the Father knows we need them. (Matt. 6:32-33) So please, let’s check out our lives today nuh, and see what’s our priority; God’s kingdom and His righteousness, or the things of the world, because it’s ever so important to get our priorities right! 

And as you’d expect, the ordinary workingman is hovering in the background, eagerly and expectantly waiting to sing his song, so let’s bring him on stage nuh. (smile) And as always, he crows: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the chains of the slave master will be unshackled for a couple of days! 

Wow! What freedom! And yuh better believe I’m going to use that freedom to the hilt; do whatever I want, whenever I want…providing the other snake in the grass, the weather allows me to! Chuh! The weather’s been so contrary these days that you can’t make any serious plans, because it changes from one minute to the next! And yet they tell me that climate change ain’t real! Pure heifer dust yes! But if I can’t go out and do whatever I want to, then I’ll certainly do it in mih own yard, where I’m king of the castle…

Hn, hn, hn! King of which castle eh? When the wife and children protest my behaviour, then I have to modify it. So even in mih own yard, ah not really the boss nuh! But what yuh going to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it, because nobody ever send or call me to have wife and children, is I with mih fresh self, went and look for them, so now I have to put up with whatever they bring. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them dearly, and wouldn’t want to be without them, but yuh know, sometimes…sometimes they just cramp yuh style! (smile) And the truth of the matter is that I’m still ever so thankful for Fridays and weekends, regardless of the drawbacks!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see even when God is not your first priority, you still have barriers and boundaries to your behaviour. And as a serious and practicing child of God, we have more boundaries than most since we don’t want the enemy to compromise our lives and our living for Jesus. Consequently, our Friday Chant is somewhat different to the ordinary workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice with sincere hearts – yes our hearts must always be right when we come to the Father, otherwise He won’t acknowledge us. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Now, though we have some boundaries as believers, it doesn’t mean we have to be constantly looking over our shoulder for the devil and his evil cohorts, but we do have to be careful that we don’t go too far out on the thin limbs of life. That’s why we have to constantly remember these poignant words of Peter. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, the enemy is always on the prowl, always looking for some way to compromise us. And not because he’s a toothless lion with more bark than bite (smile) since Jesus defeated him and now has the keys to hell death and the grave, he still can cause immense trouble in our lives if we give him the slightest opening. It’s up to us to keep our doors and windows and crevices closed so he can’t get in. 

And continuing with Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in your world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9). Oh, I know when the devil comes a calling, it doesn’t help all that much to know that other believers are suffering temptations too, but nonetheless, we must resist him through our faith in Jesus, because he’s a liar and cheat and deceiver and only wants to turn us away from God. 

Yuh see how smoothly and efficiently he made our forefathers Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit? He hasn’t changed, possibly gotten smarter and has more tools at his behest. So it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong against him. And Peter ends with this assurance. ‘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.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah friends, some temptation and affliction is necessary in the lives of all believers, because that’s how we get strong, how our faith grows. But be aware that the Lord will never give you more than you can bear, and with every temptation, He will either carry you through it, or make a way for you to go through it. That’s his ever faithful promise! So let’s stand strong and steadfast in the faith! Much LOVE!

…though Jesus rules…the devil still exists…with his evil ways…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

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

It’s a beautiful though cold morning, the sun’s shining, and the air is filled with all of God’s LOVE, mercies, compassions and His many other attributes! Glory be! And contrary to folklore and witch’s tales, no evil is in the ascendance today, just because it happens to be Friday the 13th! In fact I’m feeling more spiritually alive than I’ve been in a while, and am seriously rejoicing, because like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me…and furthermore…something good is going to happen through me today!’ All praise and glory to our great and wonderful, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God my faithful and believing brethren! 

And yes, there seems to be a somewhat higher level of joy in the ole fella’s spirit this morning. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know the reason for it, but coming down the stairs a short while ago, carrying my cup of java, a sudden spurt of joy just entered my soul. And it’s only the Lord to be thanked for that! Bless His holy name! And believe me, when the Lord suddenly cranks up the joy in your spirit…oh…it’s such a wonderful thing that words cannot truly convey. (smile) But enough about me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this ‘Black Friday’ morning nuh. 

‘Well TGIF! Thank God is Friday at long last! I do need a break from the slave master’s work! But then we have this foolishness about Black Friday again, because is Friday the 13th! Chuh! How much Black Fridays we going to have eh? We have one to thief we money after Thanksgiving, and another one to frighten we whenever the 13th of the month falls on a Friday. The powers of evil really trying to trap we into falling for their nonsense yes. But I have more sense than that…though I’m not going to walk under a ladder on purpose today, or just stand up and let a black cat cross mih path…Hn, hn hn! That’s because prevention better than cure! 

But seriously though, I just hope this weekend is sunny and bright, so that I can get out and do some things I want to do. Doh need no snow further fouling up the works, when it done cold already. But thank God for Fridays and weekends oui! Don’t know how I’d mange without them.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, what would we do without Fridays and weekends eh? So let’s be truly thankful and sincerely declare our Friday Chant, which gives our Christian take on the situation. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my people, even though we have the weekend to relax and be refreshed, we can’t afford to drop our guards because the enemy is always lurking around trying to catch us napping, so he can slip into our souls and create confusion. And yuh know what, that’ s always easiest to do in times of great celebration like this Christmas season, because we naturally let our hair and our guards down when we celebrate. And it certainly won’t do for us to be caught up in the devil’s net while we’re celebrating the oh so important and momentous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That’s why we have to be very cognizant of both Granny’s and Peter’s warnings this Christmas time. And the first one, we all know and LOVE: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Peter’s though is scarier and more religious in tone. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ Now that can strike fear into some of our hearts, but please remember that the devil cannot do us any real harm unless we allow him to. He’s been broken and relegated to the trash heap by Jesus’ wonderful victory over his dominion; hell, death and the grave, though he still likes to think he’s a hot number. 

And please don’t be fooled by his lies and deceptions, for he’s still the master of those, but he can’t truly hurt us unless WE give him the power to do so, like our forefathers, Adam and Eve did back in the Garden of Eden when they listened to his deception that the Lord wouldn’t really kill them if they ate of the forbidden fruit, but it would open their eyes and they would become like God. (Gen.3:1-24) And yes, it did open their eyes, but to the knowledge of sin, from which came the ‘sufferation’ that’s enveloped our world since that foolish and fateful day. 

And yes, they didn’t die suddenly, but suffered an even worse faith: separation from God’s goodness, spiritually cast out into eternal darkness to live with Satan for all time. And that’s the curse we’ve all borne until Jesus came and sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary to set us free! Glory to His wonderful name! The problem though, is that unless we turn to Jesus and receive Him as our Lord and Saviour, we’re still headed for Hades and eternal darkness with its master. That’s why we need to pay serious attention to Peter’s warning, as he continues: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9) 

Yes, I know the fact that all the brethren are suffering affliction and temptation doesn’t help some of us, but it does show that we’re not alone in our problems. However, if we do stand steadfast against the enemy, we can be assured of this most important fact. “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 (establish), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah my people, it is unfortunate that we can’t go through this sin-filled world trouble free, but we do have God’s faithful promise, that in His time, He will strengthen, settle and establish us. And when we take sincere hold of that promise, then we can truthfully declare: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet. 5:11) So let’s be on our p’s and q’s this Christmas season nuh. Much LOVE!

…sin can seem joyful for a season…but the grace of God lasts till eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2019 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

‘Monday…LOVE it or LEAVE it!’ That’s the advice from a recent panel of the comic strip ‘Mutts.’ And I would say that it’s very good advice, because what other sensible choices do we have eh? None that I can think of. I definitely won’t call the choice that too many of us make, being miserable and frustrated and tired on a Monday as being sensible, especially if you’re a true believer in, and a sincere follower of Christ Jesus, because He definitely gives us the parts, the wherewithal to LOVE Monday when we go to church on Sunday and praise and worship and glorify Him! 

Hn! I like that sentence. It sounds Bruh Paulian. (smile) Why yuh think He says to come to His house every first day of the week eh? It’s because He wants to rejuvenate and refresh us, so that we can go out and brazenly and confidently do His will starting bright and early on Monday, the second day! Ah, but since He created us, nobody knows better than Him how frail and weak we really are. That’s why He gave us the powerful communicating tool called prayer, so we can cry out to Him for help in times of need. And I know that many of us need help this Monday morning to get up and get out to labour. 

So let’s use that most useful and powerful tool named prayer, to inform the Lord of our desperate need for His help this morning nuh. Therefore, with one fervent and sincere voice, let’s float our Monday Morning Battle Hymn up to heaven in confident humility. 

‘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!’ 

And as always, before we’re even finished crying out for help, the Holy Spirit begins moving in our bodies and souls, strengthening and encouraging us, so that we can go out and fight valiantly for Jesus. And that all hinges on these motivating words of Jesus to His disciples. ‘Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Yes friends, it’s all about LOVING Jesus and doing works in His name so that our heavenly Father can be glorified. 

That was also Jesus’ purpose here on earth. Having foretold His betrayal at the Last Supper, and seen Judas go out to do his evil deed, Jesus declared to the other disciples: ‘Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.’ (John 13:31). He was referring there to His death, burial and resurrection, the plan the Father had sent Him to earth to accomplish. But let’s check out some advice from one of those who was there with Christ when He uttered those faithful words nuh. We talking about the stubborn and recalcitrant, hard to handle Peter, who later became such a tower of strength in the early church. 

Listen as he talks about living as servants of God. ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.’ (1 Pet. 2:11-12) Oh friends, are the Gentiles seeing our good works in Jesus’ name and thus glorifying God? Not as much as they ought to. But let’s see if we can’t be encouraged to do better by listening to Peter again. 

Hear him talk about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the 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. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in ALL THINGS may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 4:7-11) 

Oh my people, the last days are truly upon us, and our world is still in a terrible mess, so let’s use those wise words to  galvanize us to victory in Jesus today nuh! Much LOVE!

…God created the universe…for the express purpose …of His glory…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2019 1 Peter 5:10.

1 Peter 5:10.    ​But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye had suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.
 

Welcome to Friday my people; the day we all LOVE to LOVE!  Don’t know if I’m LOVING it all that much nuh, because I’m tired like a dog from all that whirlwind world traveller travelling. (smile) I guess jet lag has finally set in, but I do have to go out the street and do some blood work for a visit to the medic next week. I do hope that it will show that my PSA – prostate cancer level is ZERO, because I really don’t want to go back and do anymore radiation treatments nuh. It’s not hard or painful, but it certainly is inconvenient and disruptive to one’s schedule, and the side effects can be rather invasive and annoying. 

Enough on my problem though, and since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! My time to shout and party. But brother, are we having some good summer weather this far into September! Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I LOVE it! And I think I’m going to bring out the barbecue every day that it stays hot, give the wife a break from the kitchen and indulge the children somewhat with dogs and burgers. And I’m not forgetting myself or any friends that might come over; we will indeed be having our brews out there on the deck to cool us down in this summer weather. What else can a man ask for eh? Not a whole lot. When friends and family get together it is the best! As they say, the family that plays together, stays together! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes!’ 

Ah mih breddren those are certainly words of wisdom from the ordinary workingman! The family that plays together, does stay together! And that’s what’s lacking a lot in this modern day and age; families no longer seem to be the important part of our social setup. And what a pity that is because when families behave like families ought, our whole society benefits. But with the plenty infighting that is currently going on in modern families, it’s just helping to drive us further apart and reduce the already small amount of familial LOVE that we now have. 

And sadly this lack of familial LOVE isn’t only happening amongst unbelievers, but also amongst believers. That surely is sad, for if believers can’t live in unity with their families, how can we live in unity with others eh…and that’s something to which we are seriously called to do by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! No wonder there’s such little unity and so much division amongst His church. But it’s Friday, and the weekend is upon us, so let’s chant our Friday Chant, though not as colourful as the workingman’s song, but nonetheless it meets our needs as believers admirably. 

So, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s 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.’ Yes my people, for our sake, it does keep us on out toes. However that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t have fun and good times, but just a li’l more cautiously than the ordinary workingman, who tends to let his hair down without any concern for the possible consequences. 

But we believers need to be aware of the enemy and his great desire to get a foothold, or even a toehold into our souls and thus mess up and cause confusion in our lives. That’s his admitted purpose, and he goes after it with zeal, therefore we also have to be careful not to give him even one li’l opening, because he’s quick to jump into any space we allow him. That’s why, as Peter says, we have to: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ (1 Pet.5:8) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren, ole Satan just roams the earth, hungry and angry, looking for those whom he can lead into temptation. But please remember he’s a toothless, defanged lion, made so by the death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and he has no real power over us unless we allow him to. But as the ole people would say, he has a sweet mouth, could talk nice and be very deceiving; yuh see how he deceived Eve long ago, and still deceiving us today? And Peter again gives us some advice re dealing with the prince of darkness: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Ah mih people, we’re not alone in our temptations, for the evil one tempts all believers, as it’s his most precious and desired goal to turn believers away from God to his evil way of thinking and life. But we all need to use our faith to steadfastly resist him. That’s the only way we can be successful against the tyranny of darkness. It’s not always easy as some of his temptations are strong and seem very desirable, but before we fall for them, we must always consider the consequences, unlike what Adam and Eve did. That’s because there are always consequences for falling into sin, into temptation, and we can pay a very hefty price, sometimes for our entire life by making one sinful mistake. 

But please know this, our great God won’t allow us to suffer temptation on our own. As Peter says: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye had suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ Yes friends, the Lord will on occasion allow us to go through some rough times, to test us and build our faith, because it’s only in rough times that faith is built and /or strengthened, but be assured that He will eventually make a way for us to handle the temptation. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11) 

Oh, my fellow believers, do we ever need to praise and exalt His holy name for being so kind and generous to the undeserving children of men! Much LOVE!

…the consequences of sin…is death…but belief in Christ Jesus…brings everlasting life…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

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

Ah mih people, is it a curse or a blessing? I’m talking about the immense amount of rain that’s been falling recently, and in concert with melting snow is causing a lot of flooding all over the land! Today’s another rainy day, with more flood warnings being issued by the Weather Advisory Dept. 

Now the rain is generally supposed to be a blessing, helping to nourish the land for spring planting and such, but sometimes I believe the Lord is giving us more than we need to sort of wake us up from our evil and ungodly ways. But how many of us are paying attention to that possibility eh? Not too many. And yes, I know that He promised Noah not to ever destroy the earth by water again, (Gen.9:11,15) but He never said anything about giving warnings by that method. (smile) 

And friends, we’ve become such a wicked and ungodly people that anything is possible right now. I know that the Lord’s heart is breaking because of the rampant evil and rebellion that’s taking place amongst His most treasured and blessed creation. But who’s listening eh, who really cares about the Lord’s heart breaking? Too few of us! 

And to make matters worse, it’s the big day of Friday, so everybody is anxious to hear what the workingman has to say in his song and get on with their weekend activities, as the world dictates. And he opens with his usual semi-godly: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is finally upon us! 

It was a short workweek, but a tough one, what with all the prior Easter celebrations! But we can’t afford to rest too much, because as soon as you turn around the lousy two days off seem to just evaporate and yuh back labouring for massa again! But the trouble is we might’n have much choice because of the blooming rain that’s threatening to spoil the weekend! 

Chuh! Doesn’t the rain know that the weekend is the only time we working people have to do stuff for ourselves, and to get in a li’l partying? Let’s hope that it’s not as bad as the weather people forecast, and that they wrong one more time, as they so often are! Hn, Hn, Hn! But we still thanking God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, the workingman tells it as he sees it, no beating round the bush, but his boundaries and borders are just too wide and lax for us believers, so our Friday Chant is not as expansive and self-serving as his song. Now let’s chant our song of thanks for the weekend in sincere enthusiasm and strong voice. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we need to be somewhat more circumspect and aware of the evil and ungodly stuff that’s happening around us, so that we don’t fall into any of the many traps that the enemy sets for us. For as Peter so wisely and vividly proclaims: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And I know some of you might be tired hearing that scripture, but it’s no joke friends, it’s the reality of this evil world that we live in. And unless we are careful, that roaring, noisy lion, who is really toothless and thus can’t bite, will nab us in some ungodly and/or evil undertaking. He is powerless after Jesus’ victory over Him at Easter time, that’s why he has to resort to lies and deceit to get us into his traps. He can only get to us if we allow him. 

But the attractions of the world are so numerous and so glitzy and compelling that we have to pay serious attention to what we do, if we seriously want to live for Christ. That’s why Peter continues, re the devil: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Yeh, I hear some of you muttering: ‘So what good is that doing me eh, if others are also being afflicted? I’m solely interested in my affliction, how to fix my business!’ Now that’s not very neighbourly or brotherly my people, for we are all of ONE body in Christ, and therefore we must be all for one and one for all! 

Oh friends, Jesus said that we’d all suffer some in this evil world, especially if we believe in Him, but He also said that we should be joyful and of good cheer because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) And we saw that in full splendour this past weekend when He rose triumphantly from the grave! 

And yes, it’s not easy to be always on your p’s and q’s, however, as Peter concludes: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Glory be my people! Our great God will not allow us to undergo continual suffering or more than we can handle! Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) It’s all gospel truth friends, so let’s hunker down this rainy Friday morning and do our best, with God’s help obviously, to stay out of the devil’s evil clutches! That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…you can’t want all the idols of the world…as well as the God of heaven…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

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

Oh friends, please give God the glory! Yes, give him much thanks and praise for bringing the ole fella home to sweet Tobago…the land of salt water and sunshine…togetherness and LOVE! Yeh, the ole fella is in Paradise, God’s li’l acre! 

Don’t blame me! I was quite prepared to spend the whole winter in the cold climes, but the duchess got fed up with the crazy weather and a sickly, whining husband and decided to bring me here to see if I could get better some! (smile) 

As she said to me this morning when she got up and looked out on her idyllic scene: beautiful tropical flora, blowing in cool breezes flowing off the gently undulating sea as it washes up on the rocky shore – she knew it would make my heart glad…and hers too…and does it ever! And you know I’ll never refuse a trip to sweet Tobago! 

Sorry to leave you all back up there in the cold, but I myself am sick and tired of being sick and tired – never happened to me before – (smile) and I do believe my old bod will do good with the constant sunshine and salt water…just wish it could be for at least six months…but as my wise mama always taught me: ‘Son be thankful for small mercies!’ And yuh better believe I am! 

Anyway, it’s Friday and the workingman is just dying to trill out his weekend song. So let’s allow him to have his say nuh. “TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Wow! Another weekend already! This one really caught me by surprise! I was so busy working I didn’t even notice the days just flying by! 

But yuh better believe that now is my time! I put in mih required time in the slave master work, now is time for me to enjoy mihself and party and eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of my labour as the wisest man ever, King Solomon said, cause that’s the benefit from our great and generous God! 

And since spring is in the air, although it still chilly when the day come with the cold wind blowing, is now time to get ready for all the stuff that’s going to be soon happening. Mama Yo! Everybody will be sure glad to see the end of this crazy winter! But in the meantime we going to give God thanks for Fridays and weekends, otherwise life woulda been real rough with we yes! Thank you Lord, thank you!’ 

Yes friends, we do have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for looking after us the way He does…even the ordinary working man realizes and appreciates that, so how much more should we true believers recognize and appreciate it eh? Much much more! And really the basic difference between our Friday Chant and the workingman’s song is that we recognize tighter, narrow boundaries than He does. 

Our Redeemer, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ doesn’t want us hanging off the edge of the limbs, because they might just break and send us plunging headlong into the chasm of hell with the powers of darkness and that would be very unfortunate for us. So to celebrate His ultimate wisdom, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, with the enthusiasm and sense of purpose that the workingman showed in his song. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, as believers we always need to be cognizant of what’s happening around us because the enemy is always lurking around trying to bring us down to his disreputable level, then laugh cowardly at how we have fallen. We must try our best however not to give him that pleasure as Peter advises, by casting all of our care upon God, because He cares very much for us. And then, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying! The devil is always trying to get some toehold or foothold in our business so he can drag us down then cackle at our fall from grace. But as Peter continues, he’s a monster, ‘Whom (we need to) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished (are experienced) in your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Yeh mih people, all of us experience afflictions and trials in this earthly life, but our Redeemer has said that He’s overcome the world and we ought not to let the trials of this world bother us too much, instead we should be more cheerful than fearful, because He has already given us the victory! Praise His Holy Name! 

And Peter, in his reassuring message, puts it this way: ‘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.’ (1Pet.5:10) Yes my fellow believers, we have to believe that, otherwise our faith is useless. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar that I am believing it yes; believing that all the sickness and other unfortunate stuff that’s come against me in the last couple of years will be improved with this trip to Tobago, and thus grow my faith, glory by glory! (smile) 

Anyhow, enough for today, lemme go outside and enjoy some of the nice sunshine and hot weather and beautiful surroundings, because that’s what I came here for. (smile) Don’t be jealous – be glad for me, because it will make me a better person! Much LOVE!

… if you claim to be a believer…then you have to truly believe…and let it show in your life…otherwise you’re nothing but a Pharisee…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

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