Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 September 2022   Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.        This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek, with many of us anxiously, hopefully looking forward to that last day tomorrow. But please remember Jesus’ wise advice: ‘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 evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34). 

Now that’s the overwhelming truth my people! We need to look after, to concentrate on today, which is all we have right now. Tomorrow will look after itself. We don’t know if we’ll even be around to see tomorrow, so why spend so much time concentrating on it eh? Instead, let’s do as the psalmist so wisely proclaimed: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) 

And that’s wisdom in spades. Today is what we have, so let’s enjoy it, otherwise we’re wasting God’s precious time and blessings, especially the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new for us this special day. Yes mih bredrin, every day we spend on this planet earth is a special day which the Lord made so that we can enjoy it and do His will. That’s why He blesses us anew every day. 

Jesus said it very clearly: ‘I am come that they (His flock, His followers) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Now how can we enjoy a more abundant life if we’re always thinking of tomorrow and not focusing on today, as we ought to eh? That’s defeating Jesus’ very plan for our lives. And I like how James admonishes his readers, and consequently us on the subject of tomorrow. 

Describing unchristian conduct, he writes: ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings (boast in your arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ ((James 4:13-17) 

Oh my people, James covers a whole lot in those few verses. So let’s see what the scholars have to say on them. Re 13-14: ‘This one is a fool, for he thinks he knows something that he doesn’t. He presumes he has the resources to control his destiny. (cf. Prov. 27:1; Luke 12:13-21).’ And those scriptures are excellent references of our unfortunate concentration on tomorrow. In the verse from Proverbs, Cousin Sol does declare very forcefully. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov. 27:1) 

Meanwhile the passage from Luke is where Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, who had so much that he had no room to store it. So, in his wisdom, decides to tear down everything and build anew, that he might have space to store all his wealth, and then take things easy: ‘eat, drink and be merry.’  But in his frail and finite wisdom he missed one important thing, he did not factor in God’s will. 

Consequently, when God came along, He said to him. ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:20-21) Yes friends, we are in a partnership with Almighty God and partners are supposed to talk with and cooperate with each other. That means we cannot make plans without including God. 

And going back to the verses from James, the scholars tell us in vs.15: Re ‘This or that. This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James only condemns elaborate planning that omits God. (cf. Prov. 16:9)’ Now, since I delight in spoon feeding us, (smile) here is that verse from Proverbs. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes my people, our God is indeed sovereign over our scheming and planning. So it’s His will that usually wins out. 

And moving back once more to James, we discover that in vs. 17: ‘To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ And that’s not rocket science, but simple common sense. If you know what is right to do, and don’t do it, then you’re wrong, and it can therefore be construed as sin. And Jesus, in His telling of the parable of the unfaithful servant, (Luke 12:41-48) says as much. 

‘And that servant, which knew his lord’s (master’s) will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ (Luke 12:47-48) 

Oh friends, right there, Jesus is indirectly talking about us. Servants bear a great responsibility to their masters, and if Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, we as His followers, or His servants, also bear a huge responsibility to Him and His will. We need to remember that at all times. Yes, life is good, is better with Jesus than with anybody else, but that good life doesn’t come gratis or free. There is indeed a price to pay, a responsibility to be shouldered, and if we don’t shoulder our responsibilities, then there are consequences to be suffered for our irresponsibility. 

But our God is so good that He doesn’t just send us out to do His bidding without the necessary tools to accomplish it. That’s why we’ve been endowed with what we call our Thursday Blessings, tools to perform His awesome will. So, let’s activate them right now by declaring (steups!!!) them nuh. 

Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice. ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those marvellous blessings, let’s go out now and put them to use in Jesus’ name, as is our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…can you imagine the mountain of sins…we believers pile up each day…by knowing the good and right things to do…and not doing them… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 October 2021 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.     Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the work week, and some of us are getting excited as the work week winds down, eagerly looking forward to the weekend and all the frivolity it plans to bring. Yes sir, from the beginning of the week, all some of us look forward to is the weekend and what goodies it has in store for us. But I want to pull us up short with some wise advice from Cousin Sol on the matter of thinking too far ahead, without the Lord’s will reckoned in. He says: ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov. 27:1) 

And that’s wise advice we all should heed my brethren, for none of us knows what lies ahead in each day for us, but we still make golden plans for them. Just check the obits to see how many of us who went to bed last night, presumable hale and hearty, but did not arise this morning. Or how many of us leave to go to work on a morning and don’t ever arrive back home in the evenings. Life is unpredictable and we should not be overly presumptuous and make sumptuous plans for our days. (smile) Now that doesn’t mean we can’t make plans, but plans that consider the will of God in them. 

Here’s how James, Jesus’ brother puts it, referring to it as unchristian conduct. ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boasting (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

Yes friends, there’s a lot we can learn from those scriptures; like when we are being foolish and plan as though we control our destiny, or presume we have the resources to control it, when we don’t. Remember all the earth and what’s therein, including us, belongs to the Lord, and He doles it out to whom He wishes in what amount He desires. So, in making plans we must consider Him, at least consult Him and see what He has to say. 

For, as we’ve been told throughout the Good Book and have seen for ourselves, our lives are like a vapour, a column of steam or smoke that appears on earth for a short while, then quickly vanishes without a trace. And since we don’t know when our column of vapour will disappear, we have to take the Creator’s will into our planning as best we can. And the scholars offer these interesting explanations on those verses. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ 

And I’ll be charitable here and quote that verse for us. (smile) Cousin Sol says there: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) That’s because the Lord is sovereign over everything a man does, including his ungodly scheming and planning. As the ole people would say; man plans, but God laughs. And that’s the awesome truth as so many of us have found out to our detriment, when we don’t include God in our earthly plans. 

But let’s get back to the scholars and the last verse of James that we read. ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is a sin.’  Now that’s a tough row to hoe, but it does make sense. If you are a Christian, a believer in God, and you know how to do good, but don’t do it, then that should automatically put a black mark against your name. And unfortunately, that happens a lot in our Christian circles today. Too many of us know the good we ought to do, but blatantly and stubbornly refuse to do it. No wonder our world is in such a mess and the unbelievers don’t take us seriously. 

And just in case you don’t believe what James says above there, then listen to this parable about the rich fool from his brother, Jesus. Having said to His listeners: ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.’ (Luke 12:15) He then proceeded to tell them about the rich man whose land brought forth a plentiful crop, and he had nowhere to store it, so he decided to pull down all the old barns and build a bigger one so he could store all his harvest. 

‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided (stored up)? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:19-21) Oh my people, it’s only common sense to be rich to our Creator, who owns everything and gives us everything, including the breath of life that keeps us going. 

And I like the explanation the scholars offer as per ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2. Cor. 8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom. 10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participating in a relationship in which God already provides what he wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

And I would not be a good teacher if I did not quote those verses the scholars referenced above there. (smile) It’s going to make the Bit longer, but all of us wiser. So here goes. 2 Cor. 8:9 says: ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’  In other words, Jesus was, is, and always will be the supreme example of sacrificial LOVE! Meanwhile, Rom. 10:12 tells us: ‘For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ 

Yes my people, whomsoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved, regardless of race, creed, colour or class! So, having read, understood and digested all that scripture, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Thursday Blessings; blessings that the Lord has so benevolently bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

It’s now our duty to go out and share those blessings with others just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom entails…including God in EVERYTHING we do…                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8               

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2020 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.    ​Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.

 

And yuh see how life could turn back and bite yuh! Yes, for all of you in the G.T.A, who were crowing yesterday morning because you didn’t have to go to work, yuh see the dangerous and messy conditions you have to go out in today…the white enemy all over, after a heavy snowfall last night! Serve yuh right for lording it over those who had to go and labour yesterday! (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s just another winter’s day in the northern climes, and as you valiantly forge through it, you must have a good attitude, laugh and chuckle, hope for and think of the sunshine and good weather that soon come, otherwise it’s just going to drive you crazy, as you slip and slide through it. You might not like the snow, but the wise thing to do is to mentally embrace it, with Jesus’ help of course, so you’re not always flustered and bothered when you encounter it. 

Yes, that can be easier said than done, but like everything else in this world, we have been endowed with the parts to live a pleasant and abundant life, we just have to put our best foot forward in Jesus’ name. And all of that brings us to this ever so important principle of scripture and life in general. Hear these immortal, truthful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.’ 

And Jesus described it ever so well in the parable of the rich fool, who had so much wealth and not enough space to store it, that he decided to tear down all and build bigger and better… ‘and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits (crops) and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:18-19) Yes my brethren, that’s how too many of us behave, believers included. We live too much for the world’s wealth and pretty but worthless possessions. 

And Jesus continued His parable with these words of everlasting wisdom. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ Yeh friends, for the lawyers and other professionals involved in the tremendous and foolish litigation that will follow his death! We see that played out everyday in the lives of the rich and famous: somebody is never satisfied with their portion of the estate, or unhappy that they didn’t get any. 

And the warning is also in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 20, when Ben-hadad, king of Syria, threatened Ahab, king of Israel to destroy Samaria unless he gave up his wealth and power voluntarily, Ahab answered: ‘Tell him, let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.’ (1 Kin. 20:11) Yes my people, we never know what’s going to happen in between time. And Ben-hadad in his righteous anger was defeated by Israel, obviously with God’s help, when he finally came against them. 

But getting back to Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. Here is how He ended it. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) And the scholars explain: ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2 Cor.8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom.10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participation in a relationship in which God already provides what He wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

Oh my people, remember all that we have belongs to God, and we’re just stewards of His belongings, so it’s rather boldfaced of us to think that we’re giving Him our things. (smile) Anyway, we have space to highlight those two scriptures the scholars quote above. ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2 Cor. 8:9) Yes, when coming to sacrificial LOVE, Jesus is the poster child for that, the mightiest example to be ever found! 

And the next verse declares (yeah!): ‘For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom.10:11-12) I put in verse 11 so that the context could be better understood, that our God is rich in mercy, grace, forgiveness, what ever have you, towards all and any that call on Him, in sincerity of heart, be they Jew or Gentile! So it doesn’t make sense for us to become so attached to the things of the world, as so many of us are. 

Now hear James theorize on the subject: ‘Go to (come) now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boastings (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

And the scholars offer a couple of explanations. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ Now if all of that doesn’t grab our attention and teach us not leave God out of any of our business, then I don’t know what will. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the end goal is to now go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE with those who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…a man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way…but the Lord directeth his steps… (Prov.16:9)