Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2019 Proverbs 6:6.

Proverbs 6:6.    ​​Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
 

On Safari…On Safari mih people! Yes friends, the ole fella is not lost, but is on safari in the northern part of South Africa! Ah Lord eh! What an experience! But a rather interesting one! And the reason you have not heard from me in the last two days is because the River Lodge where I’m staying, in the back of nowhere, has lost its Wi-Fi and thus I could not connect to the internet. In fact, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, sitting out on my porch, overlooking a li’l slowly moving stream and listening to some bird call to its mate, I still cannot connect to the internet, but I can’t wait any longer to do my do, else I might just forget what happened.

 Now this is Saturday’s Bit, and since I have no Wi-Fi, I can’t get to our friend Anselm’s quotes to include them. So everything will just have to be about what happened on Saturday. Well it began about nine thirty on Saturday morning. After signing out of the hotel, the duchess, my young daughter and I headed for the Madikwe Game Reserve eve in a chartered van. And was it ever a long drive, but on good highways and secondary roads…that is except for the last 25 kilometers or so, when we encountered mostly unpaved roads. 

And was the ride ever bumpy…and did the van ever make a racket on those roads. But we persevered. (smile) And it’s a good thing that our driver was an old pro at getting us to our destination, because it was some five and a half hours after leaving Joburg, after many twists and turns, that we arrived at the River Lodge on the Madikwe Reserve. 

However, soon after we entered the reserve we were greeted by some animals: a couple of wildebeests standing under a shade tree down to the left, then closer to us, a group of elephants, their grey skin looking tough like leather, and also some zebras emblazoned with their beautiful black stripes, drinking at what looked like a man made waterhole. But they did not pay us much attention as they are quite accustomed to seeing vehicles going by. Along the way, we also saw some giraffe with their long necks and legs, munching leaves off the highest part of the trees. They look rather ungainly, but they can move just a quickly as you please! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was a hot day, with temps getting up into the low 30’s. But the cool breeze that wafted from the mountains made it bearable. And since South Africa is just coming out of their dry winter, the landscape is dry and desert-like, with not as much greenery as one would expect. The first highlight of the day though happened before we even got to the lodge. A little further on from where we spotted the first group of elephants, we saw another group, this time apparently playing in a natural mud hole. 

We stopped for a few moments to take them in, and just then this big old fella decided to leave the group and walk towards us, not menacingly, but nonetheless in our direction. Just before he got to the foot of a small incline that led up to the road, he stopped, raised his head and looked at us. Our driver Ian, a thirty-something white, male South African took this as a signal that he wanted to cross the road. So we just stood there. And when he realized that it was all coasts clear, he slowly ambled up the incline and casually crossed the road at his own slow speed and went about his business. It certainly would not have been wise to provoke the old gentleman, because he could have easily turned us over with a swipe of his trunk, or even worse if he caused the herd to stampede. 

By the time we arrived at the lodge it was minutes to three and were warmly greeted by the staff. Then we hustled off to our chalets, basically a small all in one rustic abode, but nonetheless quite comfortable with all the amenities of home. We were instructed to hustle back for lunch, and after lunch, we were told about coming back for high tea at four, and then we’d be on our first safari run at 4.30. Obviously none of us made it back for high tea, and just in time to get on the open Toyota Land Cruiser with a couple of other white males, in what turned out to be the more than capable hands of Fortune, a big, but cheerful black gentleman. 

And yuh should see the ole fella sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, next to the driver, with his most appropriate safari hat on, with its chin strap and everything! (smile) I don’t like hats, but it was necessary since the sun was out in full force and there was only a slight overhang from the roof of the passenger compartment to the back where the others sat, high above us. Now there are some man made dirt tracks in the area, but other than that you have to make your way through the bush, the thickets of thorn bushes and otherwise. I don’t remember what animals we saw early on in our trek, but the second highlight of the day was when we came upon a dead impala in a thicket of bushes…Oh yeah, we saw some of those too! (smile) 

Fortune said it was a female, and that it’s killer was a cheetah, lying right close to it. But I just could not see it, until he moved the cruiser, because a small shrub hid it from me. And there he, or she, was in all their black and white spotted glory, lying quietly, gazing at the mouth-watering prey, that had already been tasted as the gaping bloody hole in the impala’s stomach indicated. After a few minutes, the cheetah quietly returned to its prey and continued feeding from it’s entrails, raising up its head and looking around every couple of bites to make sure no other predators were coming to deprive him or her of their meal. 

And all of this was happening while three land cruisers, two from other lodges and us, just sat there quietly and watched. That’s because, as I mentioned earlier, the animals are accustomed seeing the vehicles and know that they are not a threat. That’s also why you are advised not to stand up in the vehicles around the animals, or make any sort of provoking noises or actions. Oh, and I just remembered my favourite sight, the ant or termite hills. Brother, some of them are so large, three to four feet in height, and they seem to just take over the shrubs around which they set up shop. And according to Fortune, the above ground section is four times smaller than what’s below ground! And in our youth, we taught our li’l ant’s nest was so wonderful! (smile) 

And that’s why Cousin Sol chose the ant as an example of focused action and productivity. In his warning against idleness and falsehood, he wisely advises: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov.6:6-8) Now that is not totally true, because there apparently is a king and queen of each nest, but their respective jobs are just to reproduce, while the workers work; building and harvesting, and the soldiers protect the nest. 

However, what Cousin Sol is really trying to say, is found in the scholar’s explanation. ‘6:6-11. The sluggard is the habitually lazy person. He is admonished to learn two important lessons from the ant: (1) the ant has no guide, overseer or ruler (v.7), meaning that the ant does not have to have a taskmaster standing over it to make it work; it is a self-starter. (2) The ant is wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances (v.8).’ Oh my friends, how I wish that was truer of us, especially we believers! Because we can too often be a lazy, self-centred lot, not willing, able and active enough in spreading God’s Word and living a life that will attract others to him. 

Please, let’s try and do better nuh, it’s not only in Christ’s best interest, but also in ours, for, come that fateful day, when He asks us why we wasted our time and didn’t use the talents He so generously gave us, what’s going to be our answer eh? There’ll be no time for excuses nuh, so let’s be like the ant and do better nuh. But turning back to our safari, when the night fell, a beautiful full moon came out and graced the area. Fortune also took out a hand-held spotlight and shone it from side to side, while driving in and out of the thickets with one hand. I don’t remember what we saw then, if anything, but we did not get back to the Lodge until minutes to eight. 

Oh, one time we stopped in the bush for about fifteen minutes, had some drinks, dried fruit and biltong (like beef jerky). And the last highlight of the day was during dinner, which was served soon after we got back. The whole group of employees, about ten, came into the dining room dancing and stomping, while singing and chanting the ‘Happy Birthday Song’ in an African tongue. That was in honour of a one year old baby belonging to the other guests, and also to my young daughter. They put on quite show of singing and dancing…and we also had birthday cake for the birthday people. 

It’s after that I got the bad news that the Wi-Fi wasn’t working so I could not write the Bit. I just had come home and fall into bed, and was I ever glad deep down, because I was, as they say, ‘tired like hell!’ And I had to get up and be ready for five thirty to go out on safari again! And that’s how my Saturday was spent! (smile) Much LOVE!

…there is joy and adventure in life…but one has to diligently work at life…not be a sluggard…to reap those enjoyable benefits…  

P.S. Yeah, it long, and late, but it sweet nuh! (smile) And I still don’t know when I’m going to get it to you. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2019 Hebrews 13:5a.

Hebrews 13:5a.    ​I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Ah mih people, life is as changeable as the weather! Yuh remember yesterday I complained that it was going to be another ‘riney’ day? Well, lo and behold, by mid-day, it had turned into a perfectly beautiful warm and sunshiny day, lots of blue skies and cool breezes! Shorts and shirtsleeves weather! 

Well it’s the same way our lives can change rather abruptly, with no warnings at all. One moment you might be going through a perfect period of peace and calm, then all of a sudden calamity and adversity strike and you feel lost and out of your element. Or the opposite can happen; you’ll be going through a real rough time, and then for no apparent reason, the storm, the winds and the seas just suddenly become calm and you find yourself sailing along in perfect peace! 

Wow! That’s what we call life! Unpredictable, unreliable and unforeseeable! (smile) Consequently, too many of us struggle to maintain our equilibrium in the sudden and scary ups and down of life. But there is a most positive antidote, a positive and productive way to handle life…His name is Jesus! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can help us successfully handle and navigate through the vicissitudes of life! Without Him, we are at the very mercy of life’s ever-changing circumstances. And that’s the gospel truth! But more on that later, because the workingman is just dying to bellow out his song this bright and sunshiny morning. (smile) So let’s give him a listen nuh. 

‘Woyoyo! At long last I can shout TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend, the weekend, it’s here, alive and in blazing sunshine too! Let’s just hope it stays so yes. We’ve been disappointed too often in the last few weeks. And I’m all ready to get out there in mih short shots and tank top and grill a few steaks, dogs and burgers, while sipping some cold brewskis! It’s June now, a week into it, so is high time we could go out there and do that sorta thing without any worries about cold weather! 

Steups! Wuh happen, we living in the North Pole or something, that the weather so blooming cold and miserable? And if yuh check it out, up there right now they must be having long, hot bright days, enjoying a good summer already, while we down here having this expletive deleted kinda weather! 

But is not much we could really do about it nuh, so let me stop complaining and just have a positive mindset and get mih self ready to get out there this evening when ah get home and do mih own thing. Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, at long last, ah chance to get away from the slave driver and them work…and party hearty too! I’ll be in mih essence then!  

Yeh friends, the workingman surely tells it like he sees it. And generally speaking, nothing’s wrong with that, it’s just sometimes he goes overboard, or crosses over the line that we believers in Christ Jesus can’t afford to cross over, for fear of having the enemy infiltrate our already less than strong and mature souls. (smile) 

And there’s no shame in that, it’s just common sense to shy away from danger before it hits you…and believe me the enemy we’re fighting is pretty dangerous when we give him a chance. On his own, he’s harmless, a toothless tiger, but once we open the door, brother, he’s all over us with his evil self like white on rice! (smile) That’s why our Friday Chant is not as expansive and expressive as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice and strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 brothers and sisters in Christ, ours is a dedicated life that requires some borders and fences so that we don’t cross over into enemy territory. But that’s the beauty of living for Jesus…He gives us the wherewithal to handle ALL that comes against us, as well as constantly being by our side. And furthermore, He’s made an everlasting and ever faithful promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Wow! What an awesome promise! And we know He’ll keep it, because that’s the kind of Lord and Saviour He is. And it’s not like it’s something He just said the other day; He’s been saying it for ages now! Listen to how He said it to Joshua when He assigned him leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

And we know that the Lord kept that promise to Joshua in spades! But even before that, the Lord had made the same promise to the Israelites through Moses, when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, leading them towards the Promised Land. Hear this encouraging and reassuring part of Moses’ last speech to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) 

So friends, that’s definitely not a new promise, and every time the Lord made it, He kept it, so why should it be any different now with us eh? No reason whatsoever! The Lord our God never changes, so His promises last for a lifetime. That’s why we need to embrace His Son, Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW, and gratefully and humbly accept all that’s He’s already done, as well as all He’s promised to do for us. 

That’s because there’s no one, or nothing else that can give us that kind of reliable, steady and steadfast life, through each and any situation, through calm and storm, through adversity and peace, like Jesus can! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE friends! So please, let’s be wise and come to Him in all sincerity nuh, and then hold on to Him for dear life, because He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life…as well as the Light! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and LIVE for Jesus…Wow!…it’s the most wonderful thing…in God’s great universe…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   ​​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 

And then it was Friday…another gloomy winter’s day? Most likely! But who knows…and who cares eh? Not us believing Christians! We have Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour constantly looking over us, so we don’t let li’l things like the weather bother us, or keep us from doing His will! We get up and decide, whatever the weather or our circumstances: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Wow! What confidence we have in our Saviour! 

And if that doesn’t do the trick, then we continue: ‘The Lord will provide all my needs through His riches in glory!’ And furthermore: ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ Not a single soul! And since we are overcomers, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, through Christ who gives us the strength to do all that He calls us to do, then we can be steadfast and strong, and conclude that ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’ 

Oh friends, if you all didn’t need that li’l pick me up this morning, good for you, but the ole fella certainly needed it! But with the Lord’s help, we back on track now…praise His holy name! 

So let’s hear what the workingman has to say this gloomy Friday morning. And I just LOVE his undaunted enthusiasm! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…La la la la la la! It might be winter…and cold and miserable, but why should that make me miserable too eh? Especially when is Friday and the weekend upon me…when is my time to do as I please. I’d be real chupid to let a li’l bad weather stop me from enjoying the couple days off I have from the slave driver’s work yes! 

So who want to let that bother them or stop them from eating and drinking and partying, that is their business, but it not going to stop me, because I just live for the weekend and the li’l chance to karay mih body to some sweet music, and full mih belly with good food and drink, especially in them kinda cold weather here! I need strength, energy and enthusiasm to handle them oui! So thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is certainly off and running today. And I know that plenty of us supposed Christians think like him, and would like to behave leggo beast like him, but Jesus doesn’t like that kinda behaviour in His organization, so we cool it down, and instead chant we Friday Chant, a somewhat more controlled song, with narrower boundaries. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh! 

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

Ah mih breddren, a li’l restraint never hurt nobody yet nuh, but when you let it all hang out, yuh liable to get bite, as the long time calypso did say. (smile) And that’s all Jesus is trying to do yes with His narrow way; preventing us from getting bite! It’s all for our benefit, because yuh know how the enemy always lurking in the background ready to snap and bite at any chance we give him, so he could get a foothold in we souls and just spoil everything. 

Remember, it does only take one bad apple to spoil the whole basket! And Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us, that’s why He advocates the narrow, less travelled way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But we don’t even need Jesus us to tell us that, because logically speaking, the wider or broader your field of vision or your endeavours, the more problems you’re liable to have, just because so much more is involved. 

But getting back to Jesus, who wants to suffer destruction by being eternally separated from Him eh? Nobody in their right minds! So if we’re wise and sensible, although I know common sense isn’t in vogue these days (smile) we will choose the strait and narrow way which is through Jesus as He so sweetly and graciously enlightens us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) End of story friends! 

If you want to get to the Father, then you have to go through His Son Jesus! That’s all there is to it! It’s just like our earthly set up; to get to the boss, you have to go through His secretary. (smile) So just consider Jesus the Father’s Administrative Assistant, and if you don’t deal with Him, you won’t get a chance to deal with the Father! Clear as noonday my brethren! 

So let’s take a few moments today and ponder which road we’re currently travelling on nuh, because it’s so easy to get sidetracked in this evil, ungodly world, that we need to constantly be on our p’s and q’s so we stay on the straight and narrow with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…only two options available…the strait and narrow with Jesus…and enjoy eternal life…or the broad and busy highway…and end up on the outside looking in…dead to Jesus…be wise…choose life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2018 Revelation 1:3.

Revelation 1:3.   ​Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
 
Well friends, it’s another day, and hopefully another dollar …(smile) but unfortunately it’ll be more like twenty-five cents, since the value of the dollar has fallen so much. Anyway, we’re alive and thankful for that glorious fact, regardless of our circumstances. 

 And as the old people would say, what ain’t meet you ain’t pass you nuh…but something interesting met me yesterday. I was already unhappy that I had to go into the city for a second day straight, and some anger coursed through my system as I saw Toronto’s concrete jungle skyline for the second day in a row.

But I reasoned that it was all for my benefit and went along quietly. I got to the hospital shortly after two, for a two thirty appointment, but didn’t leave there until minutes to six. 

But thankfully the Lord’s Spirit was with me and I didn’t get angry or frustrated by the wait. I just read quietly until the dragon lady ophthalmologist was ready to see me. She can be a bit abrasive at times, that’s why I call her that, but she’s really a sweet ole soul, takes a great interest in her work and she LOVES the ole fella everlasting. What’s not to LOVE eh? (smile) 

So I leave the hospital, get down to the train station, get on the six twenty-five, heading west, and everything goes well until three stations out, at Cooksville. Around seven o’clock, as the train is about to enter the station, it suddenly stops short of it. 

Nobody pays much attention to that because most of them are too wrapped up in their I-pads, laptops and smart-phones, with headphones in their ears – not the ole fella though because I don’t have any of those things – I just gaze out at the passing landscape. 

A minute later though, the conductor comes over the p.a. letting us know that a fatality has occurred on the train and we’ll be stopped there for at least two hours, until the coroner and the police have conducted their investigations. 

Well you can imagine the stir that announcement caused, because most of those people were on their way home from work, ostensibly to make the journey back to work the next day, and stealing two hours of their valuable time was like stealing their gold.

But as always, our good Canadian behaviour rose to the occasion! Yayyy! We all settled down and did whatever we could do and waited patiently. 

I’m sure if that had happened in some other countries there would have been a big uproar and possibly people pushing and shoving, trying to get off the train. But here they couldn’t even open the doors because we were on a live track, and who wanted to get off when wet snow was pouring down anyway. Eventually, we got moving some two and a half hours later, and the rest of the trip proceeded uneventfully – at least to my stop. 

And the moral of the story? If you have to ask that, then you’re certainly in bad shape. But I’ll tell you anyhow: It’s that the Grim Reaper can show up suddenly and unexpectedly, at any time, any place, for anyone of us! Therefore, it behooves us to be wise and have our houses in a state of continual readiness so that he won’t’ catch us by surprise and we end up in the wrong place. 

That’s why we have to pay special attention to the words of John in Revelation. ‘Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ (Rev.1:2-3) 

Ah friends, we simply refuse to believe that our time is near, nearer than we think. I sure hope that person whose time expired on the train yesterday evening was ready, else they’ll be in for a rude awakening when they end up in the lair of the prince of darkness instead of the light of heaven. 

Now hear the scholars, re those two verses: ‘1:2-3. Bare record: John was a witness of what he wrote. He saw the revelation and wrote what he saw. The blessing of verse 3 has a threefold condition: (1) read the book, (2) hear (understand it), and (3) keep (obey) it.

The essential nature of prophecy was the communication of new truth (divine revelation). God has given it to be obeyed, not simply to be discussed and debated. The time is at hand in the sense that nothing else now has to occur before the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation Period.’ 

Oh my people, please, please understand that anything can happen at anytime. And believe me, you’d much rather be amongst those that are Raptured, taken up in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds, (1 Cor.15:52) than those that are left behind to endure the time of serious tribulation! 

That means we have to accept Jesus NOW! For who knows when the Grim Reaper or the Rapture will show up? Nobody but our heavenly Father! And why Jesus? Because He said quite emphatically: ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: NO MAN cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Friends, it’s your decision to believe Him or not. But I can assure you of ONE thing; you’ll never darken heaven’s door, unless you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! End of story! Now for those of us who have already wisely done that, let’s go home telling the world of our position in Christ nuh! In full voice and true sincerity of heart: 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my, my…just think about it nuh – the gloriousness of heaven…And it will be even more glorious than that! Much LOVE!

…I’m believing that there’s life after death…and putting my money…my hope,,,and my faith on Jesus…oh glory, glory…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2018 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Oh mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies and blessings, so let’s be wise and enjoy it and give the Lord thanks for allowing us to see it nuh! 

And I’d certainly like to know what it is between me and lighting yes! Remember a couple of days ago I told you about going out on my front porch to see the rain and how two flashes of lightning immediately drove me back inside? 

Well yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my porch reading, waiting for my young daughter to come and pick me up and take me out. The rain was merely drizzling, when out of the blue, a fiery bolt of Zeus’ lightning suddenly lit up the dark and dreary-looking sky. Then soon thereafter, Thor unleashed a thunderous thunderclap of thundering thunder! (smile) Hn! Yuh know where I ended up? Back inside, of course! 

Ah Lord eh! A body can’t even sit down quietly on his porch without being threatened eh, without fearing for his life! (smile) And quite appropriately, today we’re going to talk about fear, starting with some wise insights on the subject from Uncle John (John Hagee). 

And the first thing he says is ‘Don’t let fear destroy you.’ But sadly we live in such fearful times, when both the physical world and mankind seem to be in serious upheaval that fear is rampant, even among Christians. However, according to Uncle John, the two words that Jesus used most were ‘Fear not!’ And He did indeed tell us quite often not to be afraid, but so many of us lack spiritual maturity that we let fear rule our lives. 

Now hear are some things Uncle John said we should not be afraid of in particular and good reasons why not. The first is: ‘Don’t fear death – For Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Don’t fear the past – Because it’s forgotten and forgiven. Do not fear the unknown – Because God is the revealer of every secret. Do not fear powers and principalities  – Because you have the power of the cross. 

You have the power of Jesus’ Name. You have the power of His Word. You have the power of His blood. You have more firepower than the U.S President… (smile) And it comes to you just with the mention of the name of Jesus!’ 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see all the reasons why we should not be afraid. Jesus is the omnipotent ruler of this world, and if we’re supposed to be living under His umbrella, His jurisdiction, then we should have little or no cause to be afraid of anything! 

And we’ll continue by highlighting a few scriptures where Jesus told His people not to be afraid, beginning with our Bit. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the indisputable truth! Why else would He have sent his most precious possession, His Son, to die for a bunch of ingrates like us eh? But we can’t just sit on our fannies and do nothing. We have to genuinely seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as watch and wait for Jesus’ return. 

And earlier on, while telling them whom to fear and whom not to fear, Jesus declared. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Oh my, my! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life. 12:5. God is the One with this power (to cast into hell) (James 4:12).’ And since I LOVE you all so much, and want you to know the scriptures, and know you won’t look it up for yourselves, I’ll spoon-feed you with that verse. (smile)  

It occurs when James is talking about us having consideration for our brother. ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:12) And that’s a very good question with all the unsubstantiated judgemental behaviour that’s going on these days. 

But turning back to Jesus. Listen to Him on Easter morning, having triumphantly risen from the dead. To those who first saw Him, He said: ‘Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.’ (Matt.28:10) What an occasion was Jesus’ resurrection eh friends! The most momentous occasion the world has seen so far! 

And we have time for just one more of Jesus’ ‘be not afraid.’ This one to His disciples on the boat on the stormy sea, and He comes walking towards them on the water. When they saw Him, were they ever afraid and cried out in fear that it was a spirit. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) Ah mih breddren, what else can I say eh? You heard it all from Jesus Himself! 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, a mark of Jesus’ bountiful benediction to His followers. All together 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!’ 

The next step is to go out now and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate, because that’s why Jesus so generously endowed us with them. Much LOVE!

…the only fear mankind should have…is that of displeasing Almighty God…

 

 

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