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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In strong voice and plenty faith, let’s declare (right ho) them: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to go out and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

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

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

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2,    When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

 

Awright my faithful brethren, let’s walk one more time, one more time to the Lord’s sanctuary! It’s Sunday and our presence is required in the house of our great God, to worship and give Him awesome praise, exalt His holy name with other believers, hear His Word and receive His confidence and assurance that He will always be with us, never leave nor forsake us. 

No other Deity has ever made the promises our God has, because they’re not really interested in their followers, and in any case they don’t have the omnipotence to keep such promises. But our heavenly Father sincerely cares about and LOVES us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us. Glory to God! And all He expects from us in return is obeisance and obedience. 

And as always, to soften up our hard hearts, we’ll begin with a song of praise. Today’s song is one written by Don Moen, once the music director for the Hour of Power television ministry, but now retired. I believe the story behind this song is one late night in the mid 1980’s Don was awakened by the incessant ringing of the phone. On answering it, he was shocked to hear the news that His brother in-law and his sister had met in an accident with their four children, and one of the boys had died. 

In his grief and sorrow, Don cried out to God for help, and these are the words he found solace in, as he put them to music in the song, ‘God will make a way.’ So let’s raise our voices in all sincerity and truth, declaring the words of Don’s song with heartfelt thanks. 

In soulful unison now: (‘God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me. He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way.) (Repeat) 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will remain And He will do something new today. Oh, God will make a way where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my brethren as all of us sincere believers can testify, because at some stage in our walk with Almighty God, He has made a way for each of us, when there absolutely seemed to be no way! Praise his holy name my people! Give Him enormous thanks for being the wonderful Deity He is! 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to this mind boggling promise of our Bit nuh. ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

And there are instances where He kept all those promises: When the Israelites fled bondage in Egypt and came to the Red Sea, with Pharaoh and his army hot on their heels, it seemed like they were destined to either drown or be slaughtered by their enemy. But their omnipotent God made a way for them by simply parting the Red Sea and giving them dry land to cross over upon. And it was the mighty Egyptians who drowned that day. (Ex.14:21-31) 

Likewise, when they crossed the Jordan River to go into the Promised Land, the Lord parted the river for them to walk across on dry land once more. (Josh. 4) And if yuh think His talk about the fire scene was just idle talk, then read Daniel 3: 8-30, where the story of the three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is told. 

 They refused to bow to a golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and were thrown into a furnace of fire heated seven times hotter than normal. Hn! It consumed the men who threw them in, but those faithful young men came out without a scorch, not even smelling of smoke! 

Wow mih breddren! As I rave every day: what a wonderful and powerful God we serve and worship! Give Him the praise and thanks He so rightfully deserves nuh! And the hordes of foolish people, believing Lucifer’s lies that we ought to get rid of God from our society? Deh mad yes! We ought to be begging Him to come back, not go away! 

And if yuh think all of that was in the now irrelevant Old Testament, then listen to Bruh Paul writing to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Yes friends, even when the tempter comes with His best shot, our ever-faithful God will find a way for us to escape the temptation entirely, or walk through it with us, helping us to endure it. But He will NEVER allow us to handle more than we can bear! That’s His promise! 

And even more compelling are these words of assurance from Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)

Oh my people, our wonderful God is working out ALL things for good, but we who LOVE Him appreciate that fact more than others because we LOVE Him no matter what! Like Shadrach and them told King Neb, we know the Lord can save us from the fire, but whether He chooses to save us or not, we not bowing to yuh foolish lifeless golden idol! And that is that! You could do whatever yuh want now! 

Oh my fellow followers of Jesus, that is the kind of salt and belly and backbone that we need to have in these oh so evil and ungodly times!  For Jesus’ sake, let’s get our act together and be solid nuh. We way too wishy-washy and compromising with the world! Much LOVE!

…remember…we must be in the world…but showing Jesus’ glowing colours…not be of the world…in the dark and evil likeness of Beelzebub…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2018 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Well, well, well! If it isn’t Saturday; the sleep in day! No, I did not sleep in. I was just puttering around doing a few necessary things around the house before coming down to write. (smile) 

And do you really realize friends, that out of seven days, we only have one in which we can do some sleeping in; five days most of us work, and on Sunday we go to church, and most church services are fairly early. But even then, some unfortunate ones also have to get up early on Saturday to do household chores and groceries and other things that could not be done during the workweek. 

So where are all those supposed benefits from our so advanced society eh? We seem to be working more, and harder too, simply to make ends meet, and also seeing fewer benefits. 

But don’t worry my faithful brethren, if you have Jesus as your spiritual guide, Lord and Saviour, then you have all the necessary assets at your fingertips to make this life work in your favour. More on that later. 

And since it’s Saturday, we ought to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first quote is certainly interesting. It advises: ‘Whatever you do, wherever you go, there will always be someone who will be unhappy with you. They might have a valid reason for it or might not, but it’s not something that you should care about.’ 

The first part is definitely true. Wherever you go, someone will always be unhappy with you over something. However, I don’t know if you should always dismiss their concerns out of hand, because some of those concerns might actually be beneficial to you. Neither should you allow each concern to overly trouble or overwhelm you. 

The wisest path seems to be to look at each situation as it arises, and judge each one on its own merit. Just note though, that nowadays people are so selfish and self-centred that they get their knickers all tied up in a knot very easily over simple nonsense. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Faking is something that causes a lot of mental pain, so avoid it as much as you can.’ And I’m here to tell you that faking causes not only mental pain but can cause great physical anguish too. And it always catches up to you. It’s like your sin; it will always find you out. So please avoid it at all costs. 

Now here is the last quote, some true words of wisdom. ‘No matter how hard you try, you can’t change the past. So its better to move on in life with the lessons learned from the past instead of wasting time and energy on past.’ 

Ah friends unfortunately too many of us still dwell in the past. We let what happened before consume our lives and thus prevent us from moving on successfully to new things and people. 

However, the past, like someone once said, should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries; keep the good ones and throw away the bad ones. In other words the past is best used to enjoy the good memories and learn life lessons from the bad ones. 

And that brings us to our Bit, some rather tough, but true words from the apostle Peter. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Yes my people, I know that is a rather difficult pill to swallow, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we are expected to grin and bear the fiery trial, handle it with all the belly and backbone that Jesus displayed in His fiery time. And we’ll just let Peter explain why that should be so. 

‘But rejoice, inasmuch (to the extent that) as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified. 

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody (meddler) in other men’s affairs. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (matter). For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?’ (1 Pet.4:13-17) 

And that’s a very pertinent question friends! Judgement Day is a must, and it includes those of us who have suffered for Christ’s sake in faithfulness to His word. Now can you imagine what will be the faith of those who have refuted Him and His gospel?  

Ah mih people, being a true believer is not for the faint of heart, but as we persevere, we become stronger and stronger, we grow from glory to glory. So please don’t get all upset and scared and quit as you read Peter’s words. 

The Lord has promised to give us the wherewithal to bear every trial, and if we do so in good faith, not being ashamed of Him and His word, then we will be welcomed into heaven by none other than the Father Himself, with words like these: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ And believe me friends, heaven is the place to spend eternity! Much LOVE!

…if you suffer with and for Christ on earth…you will surely rejoice with Him in heaven…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2018 Psalm 37:7.

Psalm 37:7.    Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.

Well friends, the rain continues to sprinkle down in my neighbourhood this Tuesday morning, marking a somewhat dark and dismal start to the day. But please remember that despite the physical darkness that might surround you, the brilliant spiritual light of Jesus is always shining forth in the lives of true believers. Glory to God! 

What would we do without Jesus eh friends? I really don’t know nuh! For He is our Be ALL and End ALL – Our Alpha and Omega! In fact, He’s EVERYTHING to us! Without Him, our lives would simply be fodder for the evil Lucifer. Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And here’s a li’l insight into the situation through a Daily Bread Devotion Thought for the day. ‘The Father gave us the Spirit to make us like the Son.’ Glory be mih people! That’s our inevitable end, our very purpose for being; to become like our big brother, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! It’s God’s eternal hope for us. 

Oh, He knows that we will never be completely like Jesus, because we just don’t have all His parts, but we can certainly become more Christ-like than we currently are. And that’s something we ought to work towards, both individually and as the body of Christ, the church. 

But growing in faith and maturity in Christ, also means enduring trials and tribulations, adversity and calamity. For one does not grow that much in good times, but it’s in the rough times that we see our faith working wonders, our belly and backbone being strengthened, as we trust in and rely on God more than ever. 

And the wonderful thing about our amazing God is that He helps us in doing whatever He asks us to do. He doesn’t ask us to do something, then leave us to fend for ourselves. Absolutely not! He gives us the wherewithal to do His bidding and comes to our aid when we ask for it. 

No other supposed Deity does anything like that. Give Him much thanks and praise my people, for being such a wonderful God to us, woeful sinners that we are!  

And the problems we encounter in walking with Christ are mostly brought on by our lack of trust in God and our impatience, our failure to wait on His timing. God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, and we know that He NEVER reneges on a promise, so why are we so distrustful and impatient eh? 

Because we tend to live by the carnal and fleshly laws of the world, more than the spiritual laws of God. The world touts now for now happenings, but the Lord says wait on me. 

And nowhere is it said better than in Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked- those immortal words of Bruh David that make up our Bit for today. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.’ 

Yes we all know that passage, but we don’t practice it as much as we should.  Oh, I know that the world is always bombarding us with it’s unholy messages, but there’s no real excuse for us not following Bruh David’s wise advice more faithfully, especially as we see God’s handiwork in our lives and we grow in His grace. 

And I know that I quoted these verses from Psalm 37 not too long ago, but I’ll quote them again, because we only learn stuff through repetition; hearing or doing them again and again. And we definitely need to hear them again, if we’re ever going to stop living by the carnal laws of the world, and live by the spiritual ones of Christ instead. 

So here goes: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). 

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday.’ (Ps.37.1-6) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s what our faith is all about: trusting in the Lord and waiting patiently and eagerly for Him to do His will in our lives! Only then will righteousness and justice show forth in our lives. 

Now listen to these two verses after our Bit. ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:8-9) 

And there we have the whole believer’s life story in a nutshell: trust in God, forsake jealousy and anger, do good, wait patiently on Him, and He will cause your life to be truly blessed. And that’s gospel truth my brethren! So let’s live up to it, as we should nuh. 

Now let’s go home faithfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In unison now: ‘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!’ 

And having faithfully declared it, let’s now go out and put it into action as Jesus so badly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…wait…hope…trust…do good…look to the Lord…are not mere words to a true believer…but a steadfast way of life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Oh boy, it’s another bright, sunshiny day in the neighbourhood! Thank You Lord! If we have to put up with the snow and cold, then we should at least have some sunshine to brighten up the gloom those things produce in our spirits. (smile) 

And I’m in a quandary here; don’t know what to write on; Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, as both of them fall on the same day. Hn! The former begins the season of Lent for believers; a serious time of introspection, fasting and prayer. 

On the other hand, the latter is a time of joy and celebration and the time of the biggest display of LOVE in our hate-filled, angry and resentful society. And even though it smacks of a lot of insincerity and commercialism, how can you write off any kind of LOVE at all eh, when we so badly need it? 

I guess in one sense you can say that the bacchanal of Carnival is over now, and we begin the season of Lent with a fiery burst of LOVE! Oh how wonderful that would be if the LOVE went a li’l deeper and was more sincere and lasting! But beggars can’t be choosers, so if we get even a small amount of LOVE in this LOVELESS world we have to be grateful and say, ‘Thank You Lord!! 

Meanwhile, on the Lenten side of the ledger, we need to get serious about our walk with God and delve into what it truly means to be walking in sincere tandem with Him. We need to empty our spirits, as Jesus did when He was led into the wilderness to suffer forty days of temptation at the hands of the evil Lucifer. 

He spent His days in prayer and contemplation with fasting, a way of building His belly and backbone to withstand the rigours of His upcoming ministry. He knew that His ministry would not be easy, and that was the Lord’s way of strengthening Him. 

And in this season of Lent we ought to try and be strengthened in like manner my faithful and believing brethren. If we want to be like Jesus, to grow in Christ-likeness, then we have to do some of the things He did, follow in His footsteps as much as possible. And tuning out more of the world than usual, in these next forty days, is something we can do, and ought to embark on. 

I guess you can call it the yearly cleansing of our spirits. But however we do it, the important thing is to get closer to God, by putting aside some of the worldly things that usually occupy our time, and giving Him more of our time, studying His word more closely and meditating on it, so we can discover its true meaning for our lives. 

And yuh know what friends? As we spend more time in serious reflection, we will understand God better, and His most wonderful attribute, that of LOVE, will seep into our hearts and souls even more. Wow! How amazing that would be if we could get the majority of the world to reflect on God’s Word and discover His awesome and unconditional LOVE! 

And on this Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, I believe the most appropriate Bit for today, is the same one we had yesterday. ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 

Yeh mih people, please, please, I implore us to bring out true LOVE in our daily lives, show it to our fellow man in living colour, in sincere actions, because that’s the only way we will truly make this world a better place. Not to mention that it’s only true, sincere actions of LOVE, that anyone will truly want to come to Christ. If we keep preaching that Christ is LOVE, and don’t show true LOVE, then we’re making a mockery of Christ and all that He stands for. 

As John says earlier on: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother (Abel). And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last verse. ‘3:12. See Genesis 4:8. Of that wicked one refers to a child of the Devil (v.10). Cain killed Abel because their conflicting allegiances (Cain’s to Satan, Abel’s to God) were plain to see by their respective actions. 

John seems to be saying: “If even wicked Cain could see that a man’s character is revealed ultimately, not in what he says he believes, but in what he does, should not Christians be able to see this as well?” 

Of course we should my brethren! As we said yesterday, LOVE is an action word, and only through our actions can we outwardly manifest it. But sadly, so many of us lack LOVE in our souls, that we obviously can’t show it. We can’t give what we don’t have. 

However, if we’re serious about giving LOVE, then all we have to do is go to God and sincerely ask Him to fill us with it. But then that means spending time with Him, something that so many of us unfortunately shy away from. 

Anyway friends, this Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day is the right time for us to come to the trough and drink of God’s grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness. Remember, it did not just happen by chance, but God programmed it that way, to accomplish His purpose. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our blessed position in Christ. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now that’s truth and wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if one is consistently hanging with Jesus…then one’s future can only get brighter and brighter…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘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, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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