Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2019 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.
 

Brother does it ever look glorious outside! Thank the Lord! And a li’l rain fell yesterday afternoon and in the middle of the night, but that was just to wash away the dirt and grime and cool the temperature down. So we open with a bright clean new day, with Jesus as the one constant in our lives, the ONLY One we need, leading and guiding us in His work! 

And I know that many of us won’t see the bright new day until it gets old because we’re sleeping in on this wonderful Canada Day weekend Saturday morning. But that’s okay, you’re allowed! (smile) Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like this week he was all caught up in the throes of happiness, (smile) because all the quotes deal with some aspect of happiness. 

And the first thing we need to realize is that ‘Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.’ Now there’s much truth to that because our life is basically built on our attitude towards it. Some of us can go through certain circumstances and be happy, while others go through the same things and be miserable as hell. That’s why as Christians, we’re taught that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) 

With that joy constantly running through us, it gives us a steady kind of happiness, regardless of our circumstances, because our mind is stayed on the Lord. As Isaiah says: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) And that’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy, get us away from concentrating on the Lord, because he knows that’s the source of our strength. 

Now hear these next two quotes, because they run together: ‘The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.’ And ‘Happiness depends upon us.’ They simply mean that we are responsible for our own happiness. We ought not to allow others to control our happiness by their selfish machinations. 

The sad truth is that no one can make us happy unless we want to be happy, and the opposite is also true; no one can make us unhappy unless we allow them to do so. Therefore, let’s remember that when we say so and so made us happy or unhappy, we’re allowing them to control our situations, and that is definitely not the best thing for our psyche, for our well-being. 

That brings us to this quote. ‘Every day is a new day, and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.’ Yes friends, we have to come to each day with the attitude that we will be happy, come what may; forget the problems of the past day and move on to the golden opportunities being provided by the new one. But unfortunately, too many of us drag the past with us to the present and thus spoil the future. 

And thus we come to the last quote that so wisely informs us: ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! (smile) It sounds simplistic, and it might very well be, but it is a fact of life. For however long we’re angry, we lose that much time which could have been spent in happiness. And I don’t know about you, but I like to spend as li’l time as possible being angry, and as much as possible being happy. 

But we all are different, and some souls just seem to thrive on anger, not realizing that it’s killing them both literally and figuratively. That’s because anger, like stress, manifests itself in so many different ways; emotionally, mentally and physically, and are often all tied together, indistinguishable each from the other, but all doing evil and dirty work in our lives. 

In any case, being constantly angry, or for long periods of time is not a good Christian characteristic, that’s why Bruh Paul gave this warning to the Ephesians. ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s okay to get angry every so often, but it should only be for a brief period, but definitely don’t take it to bed with you, because you’ll just sleep angrily, if you sleep at all, and wake up angry too, thus allowing the devil to steal your joy for much too long. Getting angry doesn’t mean you’re automatically being sinful, but the longer you hold that anger, the more liable you are to give the enemy the opportunity to creep into your soul. 

And it’s interesting some of the things Cousin Sol had to say about wrath and anger. For example: ‘A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.’ (Prov.19:19) And how true that is! You always have to deliver the angry man from some problem he’s caused by his anger. 

And: ‘A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous (a torrent); but who is able to stand before envy (jealousy)?’ (Prov.27:3-4) Wow! Does Cousin Sol ever lay it on thick, but true! 

And because of all that intrinsic evil in those negative emotions, we need to hear and accept Bruh Paul’s warning. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:30-32) 

Oh my people, that’s my solemn prayer for us this Saturday morning. So on this Canada day weekend, as we celebrate the birth of our nation, let’s do it with those sentiments front and centre in our minds and lives nuh. It is the definite desire of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s replace anger with LOVE…and evil with good…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2019 Lamentations 3:23.

Lamentations 3:23.   ​They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 

Looks like it’s another day in the deep freeze…but not to worry, it’s the end of January, so we’ve only got another couple months of winter to go through. (smile) Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about the weather in these parts nuh but grin and bear it. And as believers in Jesus Christ we have even more ammunition than most to handle it in our stride. Glory be! It’s not easy, no, it isn’t, but with Jesus beside and in us, we can do ALL things through Him who strengthens us! 

Give Him some thanks and praise for that awesome promise my people! For without that beautiful scripture strengthening us, many more would have already fallen prey to the enemy and his deceitful wiles and ways. And I’m laughing here because I don’t know how to continue after that wonderful and encouraging opening? I know that I asked Him to ‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. (Ps.141:3) But I only wanted Him to hinder my talking, not my writing too. (smile) 

Yeh friends, as strange as it might seem, the ole fella is at a loss for words, but I’m not worried because I know the Lord will pick up the slack and eventually have me writing even more than I anticipated. That’s how much I value His faithfulness! Over the last what…twelve years now that I’ve been writing the Bit, He hasn’t failed me one time, so why would He now eh? Especially since it’s His Word I’m trying to propagate. 

Now that’s a place where many of us either have a hard time or just simply fail! I’m talking about remembering God’s earlier faithfulness in our lives and holding on to His promises of I’ll never leave you nor forsake you in times of trials and tribulations. That’s exactly what killed the Israelites when they came out of Egypt: they forgot the wonderful works that God had worked on their behalf when trials struck them in the wilderness. 

Look at some of those things nuh. He had Moses part the Red Sea so they could cross on dry land, then drowned the Egyptian army behind them. He had Moses strike a tree in Marah when all they could find was bitter water, making it sweet and drinkable, even getting Moses angry and disobeying God, so that he never entered the Promised Land, only saw it from afar. 

Who led them by a cloud during the day and a burst of fire during the night eh? It was the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But they forgot His goodness and mercy, even to the point of making a golden image when Moses was up the mountain getting the Ten Commandments. And then they got tired of the manna the Lord was feeding them and even contemplated a return to slavery in Egypt so they could get their old food. 

That’s why they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years, until all the people who came out of Egypt beside Joshua and Caleb died. And they didn’t even notice that in those forty years their clothes didn’t get old or their sandals worn out. Why eh? Because even in their disobedience and lack of faithfulness the Lord their God was still looking after them! Glory be to the Most High God Jehovah! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us in these trying times are forgetting the good and merciful works of God earlier on in our lives and thus suffering more than is necessary. But Jeremiah says it very clearly in his Lamentations when the Lord seemed to have come up against him. 

He opens Chapter 3 by declaring (wrong): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath…I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me (beat me down) with ashes). 

And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3: 1,14-20) 

Ah friends, though most of what Jeremiah is lamenting refers to the trials of the disobedient Israelites, he himself suffered much on the Lord’s behalf. But then he continues: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:21-23) 

Yes my people, we desperately need to remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God, especially in times of trial. We can never truly deserve whatever He offers, and it’s only because of His LOVING-kindness that we’re not utterly destroyed. So for those of us who have seen and personally felt that LOVING-kindness, please let’s not forget it at a future date nuh, when it seems that the Lord is dragging His feet or just not answering our pleas. Who knows, He might just be testing our faithfulness. 

Friends, please, please, let’s not fall into the category where Jesus rebuked the disciples for their unbelief when they couldn’t heal a mentally disturbed man. ‘O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither to me.’ (Matt.17:17) 

Neither let us have to be rebuked like Jesus did to Thomas for his doubting. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

Yes friends, Jesus was there talking about people like us, who never saw Him in person, yet have believed in Him. Please, I implore us not to stop believing even though circumstances might be driving us to do so. Remember, His compassions, His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is everlastingly great! Now let us go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, restoring our unstoppable faith, by letting the world know our remarkable position in Christ Jesus! 

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!’ 

And it will indeed be a most glorious future in Christ’s heavenly realm! Much LOVE!

…Job’s motto of faithfulness…though he slay me…yet will I trust in him… (Job 13:15a)  

P.S. Yuh see friends, I wasn’t lying about the Lord’s faithfulness. He certainly led me to write more than I intended! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2018 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.   ​And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
 
And so it’s Tuesday, the day before the next Big Day. Steups! Let’s hope it happens as planned now yes, and no more silly postponements! That means friends, many prayers bombarding heaven for the ole fella’s safe and productive surgery tomorrow. Glory be! That is if you want him to be around for a long time writing these interesting and provocative Bits! (smile) 

And I sincerely thank you for all the support I’ve gotten so far, and I know that the effective and fervent prayers of you righteous people will be heard and positively answered in heaven. So I’m not worried, just a li’l skeptical that something might happen to put it off again. Let’s hope that this is now the Lord’s time! Amen! 

And with that, let me share a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Slow Growth!’ Please pray with me: ‘In my fretful patience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is he always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from their past mistakes?” 

And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. I see Your stretched-our patience. I remember how long you’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, not one of us can truly say we don’t see ourselves in that picture, because impatience and intolerance with the attendant hypocrisy are big parts of our society today. We all show some of those negative traits at some time or the other because we are human and live in a fallen society. But as sincere Christians, true believers in Christ, we ought to show those negative characteristics on as few occasions as possible. 

Instead my faithful brethren, we ought to let these momentous words of Bruh Paul sink into our consciousness and lead us on a more Christ-like path. Hear him to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ: ‘And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32) 

Oh my people, what a treasure trove of practical ideas for godly and righteous living! If we’d only adopt a few of them, our lives would be oh so much better. And it’s not like they are so difficult to put into practice. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us and seals us forever. Consequently our behaviour ought to change, granted, not all at once, but there must be some newness in our behaviour otherwise Jesus is not truly dwelling within us. 

And hear these oh so practical options nuh: No more lying, but truth speaking to everybody, because we are all members of Christ’s body, His church. No keeping of anger after sundown, because it destroys our sleep and we wake up angry the next day. As best we can, don’t give the enemy any opportunities to invade our souls. Like no more stealing, but productive work, so that we can share with the unfortunate. 

No cursing and corrupt communication, but words that can edify and uplift those who hear them. And put away all the negativity of vs. 31, which tend to be Satanic in nature. But instead, we ought to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, showing grace and mercy to others, just like our heavenly Father has showered down all that stuff on us. 

Remember these immortal words of Jesus, the basic foundation upon which our faith has been founded and still rests: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6: 14-15) 

Friends, it couldn’t be any simpler or plainer than that! So please, let’s seriously get ourselves together and begin treating each other the way we ought to nuh. Remember, it’s all for our benefit, not God’s! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

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

And if we truly believe it, then let’s go out and action it! Much LOVE!

…true Christianity places much more emphasis…on action…than on talk…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2018 Lamentations 3:21.

Lamentations 3:21.   This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.

Aye friends, yuh ever wake up in the morning and just feel tired, exasperated and frustrated with mankind? Well that’s the way I feel this morning. Before I begin writing the Bit, I usually take a gander at the news headlines to get some idea of what’s happening around the world…

And…oh Lord…it’s only strife, anger, war, resentment and hatred! Nothing uplifting! Unless the newsmongers don’t consider anything uplifting to be news! But it’s just so much confusion and ‘cantankerousness’ that it leaves the spirit longing for the day the Lord shuts it all down. 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and it’s the big-wigs who are causing all the heartache, but the workingman does have something to say that will bring a chuckle to the soul and lift the spirit some. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And though the summer finish and school start back, and the long holiday weekends done for now, we still going to have a good time on the weekends! 

Why? Because that’s the only time we have to have a good time! The rest of the week we labouring for massa for piddling, can’t make ends meet wages. So when we get the chance, come hell or high water, we certainly going to party for so, and say, ‘In yuh face massa! Stop we now nuh! But he can’t! That’s why we have to say Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, there’s a certain kind of earthiness in the workingman that you can’t beat. He just lays it out there bare, fair and square. Meanwhile we, the supposed intelligentsia, make such a fuss, have so many unnecessary hang-ups, that we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be. 

Yes, the workingman does tend to go too far out on the limb, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Hopefully, we believers are a li’l more cautious, but still capable of real and true emotion, and show it when it’s necessary. And right now is one of those times, as we declare our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song. 

All together 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 friends, our intentions are different from the workingman, but our enthusiasm for the things of Jesus should be just as great, if not greater! And I’m chuckling here mih people, because I don’t know where all of this is leading to, but the Lord must have a purpose for it all. Let’s see if we can find it…

Glory to God, I found it! I just opened the Good Book and it opened right to the page with these immortal words of Jeremiah in his soulful Lamentations. ‘He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: 

I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3:15-20) 

Ah mih breddren, Jeremiah did have a pretty rough time in trying to bring his people to the Lord. But yuh know what? In his reminiscence, he rightly and sagely concludes. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 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. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.’ (Lam.3:21-28) 

And Jeremiah did bear the Lord’s yoke in his youth, as did many of us believers. So friends, even though we might be going through a pretty difficult time, there’s no reason to get discouraged and give up, because as Jerry says, the Lord is good to those who seek Him and wait on Him. 

And later on he further declares: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men.’ (Lam.3:31-33) Yeh, friends, though our God is a God of justice, He is also a God of great mercy; He does not take delight in afflicting us. He will punish us for our sins, but nowhere near what we deserve. 

So please, I implore us this Friday morning, to not give up, even though you may not see a way out of your troubles. Remember that our God is the Creator of the universe and He ALWAYS finds a way. So put your trust and hope in Him, hang in there, and eventually, in His time and manner, He will lift the burdens from your soul. He has done it for countless other saints. He will do it for you too…just have faith and hang in there. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord gave His Son’s sinless life for our sinful souls…why would he withhold anything else from us eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 May 2018 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

‘Sleeping in, sleeping in, sleeping in late on a somewhat cloudy Saturday morning!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella slept in this morning. But what’s the point of being alive if you can’t participate once in a while in some naughty antics eh? (smile) It really wasn’t planned though. I just happened to get up around six, as hungry as ever, and came down and had something to eat. Obviously, after that I had to go back and lie down. And the rest is history. (smile) 

Oh friends, there is so much strife and confusion and bitterness and anger going on all over our world that I don’t know what to comment on. So I’ll just stay with the volcano in Hawaii. At least that’s not a man made disaster. But it does seem to be getting worse rather than better. So let’s keep on praying for them and helping as best we can nuh. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s take a look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who truly aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.’ 

And that’s quite true people. The Lord has prepared a plan for each of our lives, with the wherewithal to be successful at it. So there is something out there for each of us to successfully accomplish. But it means we have to seek God’s plan for our individual life and proceed to put it into operation. 

And the second one says: ‘The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.’ Another particle of truth friends! It’s just the way life works. When we celebrate life, life celebrates us back in return, by giving us more stuff to celebrate. It’s just the positive attitude versus the negative one. 

And I believe that not enough of us celebrate the things we do, especially the small ones, falsely thinking that only big, momentous happenings are worthy of being celebrated. But if that’s true, then we’ll very seldom celebrate, because most of us don’t have many big happenings in our lives. Amen! 

Then there is: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ Yes my brethren, life is like a roller coaster ride; up one side, then down the other. But the trick to living it successfully is to stay as even as possible. 

And remember when we are basking on the mountaintop, not to get too full of ourselves, because at some point in the future we WILL be heading for the valley. And when we hit the valley, just remember Bruh David’s immortal words; ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s ever so important for us to remember and put into practice, because in the valleys we will experience some very rough times, and it’s only our strong faith and God’s faithful help that will bring us back up to the mountain top. 

And the last quote declares: ‘The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.’ 

Now I want to question that somewhat. Happiness does matter but is that the main reason for us being on earth. I doubt it. It’s true that Jesus said he came that we might have abundant life and enjoy it to the full. (John 10:10) But more importantly, He also said we shouldn’t be overly concerned with the needs of our lives, because we can’t serve two masters at once. (Matt.6:24-32) 

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

There you have it my fellow believers; our most important action on this fragile and confusing earth. Seeking and searching, and knocking and finding God’s kingdom here on earth is our first and major priority. And the beauty of it all, is when we do that sincerely, everything else will fall into place. That’s Jesus’ faithful promise! 

That’s why Jesus continues: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:33-34. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is summarized by seek ye first the kingdom of God. The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. 

The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom, and then all these things (material thing) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. 

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

Oh my people, I don’t know how it could be stated any simpler nuh. But regardless of how many times we hear it, too many of us still seek the things of the world before the things of God. Remember though friends, there is always a price to pay for disobedience, and sometimes it can be quite high. So to him who has an ear to hear, let him hear. Much LOVE!

…in the immortal words of Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley)…our wisest action is to…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether 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!’ 

And oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

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