Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2020 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.    ​Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 

One more time to the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yes my faithful brethren we’ve been given another day on God’s great earth to make some sort of difference, no mater how small or insignificant it might be. Please don’t only seek to do the big things which you believe will bring lots of glory, because ofttimes many small things put together bring more glory, may be more valuable than one big thing. 

And that’s the word for today; don’t disparage or underestimate small doings, for as my Jamaican people wisely say; one one cocoa full basket. (smile) And that’s the living truth! So today, let’s focus on the many small things we can do rather than search out the big thing that our lustful souls selfishly desire. Now, they tell me it’s Saturday, (smile) so that means we have to look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one hits the proverbial nail right on the head: ‘Don’t wait for opportunity, create it.’ That’s gospel friends! We can’t always wait for opportunity to come along before we get up and get going, for sometimes opportunity never comes. It’s often left up to us to create our own opportunity. Just look at many of the great inventors, they had an idea or ideas and didn’t wait for opportunity to present itself on a silver platter, but went ahead and created the opportunity they needed. I guess in these times of fancy words and phrases they might call it something like ‘self-motivation.’ 

And all we believers in Christ need to have lots of self-motivation seeing that we have lots of demanding work to do in His name. That leads to this next quote: ‘It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.’ Yeh mih people, very few worthwhile endeavours in this life come easily, so if you want to do anything worthwhile, especially for Jesus, you have to learn to bite the bullet and just keep going regardless of the problems and hardships you face. Remember Jesus’ words to the disciples re a rich man entering heaven? ‘With men this is impossible; but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

So if you’re working for Jesus, you don’t have to worry about impossibilities, because there are NONE! And that brings up this quote: ‘Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.’ Now isn’t that the living truth…especially if you’re in Jesus’ employ! (smile) Yes friends, our Lord tries us continually to see what we’re made of, how strong our faith is, to see if what’s in our hearts really lines up what we claim through our mouths. The Good Book mentions testing many times. 

Let’s check out a few. Look at King Hezekiah, who seems to have sincerely trusted the Almighty. The Good Book recounts: ‘Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try (test) him, that he might know all that was in his heart.’ (2 Chr. 32:31) And if you want to know more about that story please check it out in 2 Kings 20:12-19. 

And remember this promise in Zechariah, re the cleansing of Jerusalem? ‘And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try (test) them as gold is tried (tested): they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.’ (Zech. 13:9) 

But this is what we believers ought to be saying in our time of testing: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) Mama Mia! What words of awesome faith from Job even though he was going through hell here on earth! How many of us can make such a definitive statement eh? Not too many of us. But it’s what we ought to aspire to, if we truly want to be strong, faithful Christians. 

And this next quote gives us some wise direction. ‘The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.’ That’s for certain sure! We need to keep our minds focused on the goals we’re working towards, rather than the obstacles we encounter while working towards them. The obstacles will try to take away our focus, but we must not let them. We can’t ignore them, for sometimes they do present more and even better opportunities, but our minds ought to be stayed on our goals, assuming they are worthwhile ones. 

And this last quote says it all. ‘I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.’ It’s obviously comes from some sports figure. But he makes the very salient point all of us need to write deep in our hearts, failure is not failure until we stop trying. And in God’s economy there is no giving up, which means there’s no failure. 

We’re not going to win every round, but we MUST get back up each time we fall and continue keeping on. That’s the nature of the truly successful person in any walk of life! Get back up on your horse and ride again; that ought to be the believer’s motto. And we have this awesome promise of God to help us do all that we need to do. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, we can rest assured that whatever good work the Lord begins in us, He will keep on doing it, and complete it when Christ returns. So let’s hang in there and do the right things nuh. We all know what they are, but allow our sinful fleshly desires to thwart our righteous ones. Much LOVE!

…you can’t fail…if you never stop trying…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

And then it was Friday…the day we all look forward to! And everybody shouted a loud ‘Yeah, Friday at last!’ 

I don’t know if our society is arranged the best that it can be nuh friends, and there doesn’t seem to be any movement afoot to change it. So we go, go, go for 5 days from morning till night, then are suddenly catapulted into 2 days of supposed freedom, where we try to catch up with our own lives, then get right back into action again on Monday morning. 

No wonder it’s tiring and causes the workingman to loudly declare at the end of each week: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes mih brethren! One more day of work and I’d drop down dead! The slave master so unfair; killing me with work, but the paycheck as small as ever. The backbreaking work we do for the man…and all he does is heap more abuse on us. Steupssss! 

That’s why when Friday come, we just have to go out and party till we senseless! Is the only thing that makes us forget the toil and abuse we have to go back to on Monday! All I can say is Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes! Otherwise crapaud surely smoke we pipe!’ 

Ah mih people, the economic situation is surely deteriorating in a world that’s chock full of abundance. It’s just not properly, fairly divided. The rich are getting greedier and richer, while more people are being marginalized and falling into the poor category. That’s why sometimes you can’t get annoyed with the workingman’s behaviour. Christians on the other hand, are expected to bite the bullet to a certain extent and don’t allow our baser nature to flourish. (smile) 

That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s anthem. So let’s chant up a storm nuh, and release our frustrations, the way that Jesus would like and expect us to do. 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 fellow believers, it’s not an easy world we live in, nor an easy faith we follow, but be assured that whatever our God desires of us, He will give us the will and the wherewithal to accomplish it. That’s why we can adhere to the boundaries set out in our faith, the not going overboard, or doing stuff in excess, to the extremes. 

And what makes it even more difficult is that all around us we encounter the worldly lures, invitations and eye-pleasing temptations that are such a big part of our evil world. They are supposedly anathema to godly people, but yet we are expected to live amongst them and not be too affected by them. 

No, it’s definitely not easy, when almost every minute of every day in this increasingly evil society, we are badgered by some ungodly temptation, and to top it all, then face the increasing prosperity of those who fall for, or bow to the world order. 

Our faith quite plainly warns us: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ And if we want to live a godly life and eventually see the face of God in heaven throughout eternity, then we have to live up to the warning. Because, here is what happens to those who follow the wicked world order. 

Bruh David explains it to us in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. ‘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.’ (Ps.37:1-2) 

Yes friends, that’s what is going to happen to those who don’t follow Jehovah God. And all the worldly prosperity and power won’t be able to help you when that time comes. So if you want to be cut down like the grass, then go right ahead and do what the world considers acceptable. 

However, if you are wise and acknowledge the Lord’s authority, you will do like Bruh David recommends. ‘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 they 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. 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. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise (way) to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:1-9) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s Christianity course 101! (smile) And I guess the Lord thought we needed a refresher course this morning, that’s why He led me to that particular scripture. 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, we all know it’s not easy to live IN the world and not be a part OF it, but if we sincerely seek the Lord, He will definitely give us the tools to do just that. Remember He is faithful that promised. So let’s rise up and be strong nuh, fight the good fight and run the good race in Jesus name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…Jesus gave His life for us…the least we can do…is live our lives for Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2015 2 Chronicles 7:14.‏

2 Chronicles 7:14.     If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

Well another beautiful Sunday is in the offing Friends! And how are we going to spend it eh? That’s the question of the day. Hopefully we’ll do so in rest, relaxation, family time, and above all, time in God’s sanctuary with other believers, worshipping God and giving Him all the glory He so richly deserves.

That should always be our mission on a Sunday, for then we get the necessary wherewithal to go out on Monday filled and brimming over with peace, wisdom, faith, trust, discipline, courage and LOVE, all the things we need to have a successful work week.

Oh my people please don’t ignore gathering with other believers as often as humanly possible, for it is in the community of Christian fellowship that we find the strength and perseverance to keep on keeping on in this evil, ungodly and calamitous world. Note the communal living and sharing of the early Christians. (Acts 2:41-47)

Now here is a prayer I shared with you a long time back, but I think it’s time has come again. (smile) It comes from a Devotional called ‘A Journey of LOVE – Walking with St. Therese of Lisieux’ – Patron Saint of the Society of the Little Flower.

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, help me to live always in the light of your presence. Should any darkness challenge my belief and LOVE for you, dispel that darkness so that I might witness to your merciful and gracious LOVE. Grant me the wisdom to confront a secular and egocentric world with your message of care and compassion for all people. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Oh my brethren, I do hope that we all sincerely prayed that prayer, for we do need God’s wisdom and strength to face the wicked and deceitful world that surrounds us. And remember that it’s not the words of our mouths that are important to the Lord, but the motives of our hearts.

Now enough preaching… oops sorry, teaching for today (smile), let’s move on to our Bit. And it is the same one as the last few days; don’t know when it’s going to end either. So all you who like a new Bit every day, you’ve just go to hunker down and bite the bullet with this one, because it is a very important one, one that can decide your eternal fate.

‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’

Oh Friends, that’s a call, an open invitation for repentance by our wonderful, marvellous and merciful God. But please don’t wait too long to accept it nuh, because once Jesus comes again, that invitation will cease to exist, and Jesus can come back at any time, so you have to be ever ready if you want to spend eternity with Him.

Now let’s continue to look at some scriptures that have to do with ‘seek my face,’ in our Bit. And we’ll begin with the warning of the prophet Azariah to Asa, king of Judah.  ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: and he went out to meet (before) Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; 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.15:1-2) Oh my people, it surely couldn’t be any simpler and clearer than that!

And what are friends for if not to correct us, even when they don’t know all the facts of the situation. Hn, hn! Listen as Job’s buddy Eliphaz, continues to rebuke him. ‘I (But as for me I) would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number.’ (Job.5:8-9)

Now here are a few from Bruh David. From Psalm 9 – Praise for God’s justice, he declares: ‘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)  Then from Psalm 10 – A prayer for the overthrow of the wicked, he adds. ‘The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (All his thoughts are, There is no God). (Ps.10:4)  

And finally, from Psalm 14 – The foolishness of men, he tells us: ‘The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy (corrupt); there is not one that doeth good, no not one.’ (Ps.14:2-3) Now isn’t that a most fitting description of the majority of our society? It surely is!

Then Isaiah, in talking about everlasting salvation for Israel, proclaims on the Lord’s behalf. ‘I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right… Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.’ (Is.45: 19, 22) And our God is right on all counts my people!

Meanwhile, the psalmist Asaph entreats the Lord: ‘Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord.’ (Ps.83:16) 

And we’ll end with these wise words of Jeremiah, taken from his Lamentations. ‘The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:25-26)

Oh my people, we can get no better advice this morning, so please let’s read, mark and inwardly digest it, then put it into action nuh, so that we can reap the wonderful benefits thereof. Have a most blessed and fruitful day my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

Let’s make these words of Bruh David come true nuh…this is the generation of them that seek him…that seek thy face, O Jacob…Selah… (Ps.24:6)