Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2019 Luke 17:17.

Luke 17:17.    ​And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Well it’s Sunday once again, but this time we coming to you from the hot and hazy capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Now the ole fella is a li’l bit in doubt here, for it’s shortly after five in the evening, and I can’t make up my mind whether we should have church or not, because there’s a lot of stuff to share with you re my recent activities in this wonderful land. In any case, whatever I decide, I will have to leave you shortly, until whenever I come back from dinner with one of my sisters. 
Oh yes, I have plenty sisters here in J.A; not the biological kind, but the even more important, actual caring and LOVING kind, who enriched my stay in J.A fifty something years ago! And those kinds of people are ever so important in our lives, whether you see them constantly, or once in a blue moon; just knowing that they are there, and they care, adds a whole lot of satisfaction and glow to our souls. Sorry, got to go now, sis is here. (smile) See you soon. 
Back now mih people, shortly after nine my time, but ten, for many of you. Tried mih best to get back sooner, but just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t do mih sister a Spanish; eat and run. (smile) Then when I walked into the hotel lobby a group of medical people from the same graduating year were sitting there and they coerced me into joining them for about half an hour. And ah sorry, but the way it looks like we not having no church today. But don’t worry, the ole fella went to church this morning, up in the chapel on the university campus. 
To tell the truth, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in there. I knew about it, but in those days I suspect that I was not as God conscious as I am now. However the service was good, though somewhat long, with plenty praise and worship. The young lady who led us in that was truly excited about leading worship and I believe her enthusiasm flowed over into many of us. The University Chorale sang for us; a truly fine group of singers. 
The service was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.W.I Graduating Class of 1969 and the U.W.I Mona Library Open Week 2019, and the theme of the whole thing was ‘A HEART OF GRATITUDE!’ And as our preacher, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels so rightly said in his sermon, the graduates of that class who walked the campus some fifty years ago, looked good and were still healthy because of their heart of gratitude, exemplified by our return to celebrate and give thanks. Those were certainly true words. 
And the scripture was taken from Luke 17, where Jesus healed the ten lepers. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:11-13) They had to stay afar off because their illness was contagious. 
And as always, Jesus did show them mercy. ‘And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14) Back in those days, lepers were total outcasts and could only be integrated back into society, if they happened to get cleansed, by showing themselves to the priests and getting their permission. Thus Jesus’ directive for them to go to the priests. Now that’s the good part of the story, but what happens next is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about – a heart of gratitude. 
Hear the Good Book: ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.’ (Luke 17:15-16) Right there we see a major problem. Ten men were healed, apparently nine were Jews and one a Samaritan, the bitter enemies of the Jews. But as life would have it, only the Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus and the Father. 
As the minister said this morning, who knows, the Jews who didn’t return and give thanks might have believed that because they were the Chosen People, they were entitled to it. and that’s a major problem in our society today! Too many of us believe we’re entitled to too much, and are not grateful and thankful for what we have. We complain so much about what we don’t have, instead of giving thanks for what we do have. But hear the end of the story: ‘And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:17-18) That was a stinging rebuke to His Jewish people. 
According to the scholars: ‘17:18. Stranger literally means “of another race of people”; it therefore refers to a Gentile. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This non-Jew, Jesus points out is more spiritually minded than the nine leprous Jews. Yet “strangers” (to cite a use of the word from outside of the Scripture) were forbidden to enter the temple’s inner confines by prominent signs in the temple precincts.’ I guess that might have made it somewhat difficult for the Samaritan to show himself to the priests. (smile) But anyway, good manners and a grateful heart dictated that the other nine should have returned to Jesus and gave Him thanks. 
They were brave and bold enough to beg Him for mercy, but when He showed them that mercy, they couldn’t even come and say a simple ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Unfortunately, that’s the way too many of us also behave today, even supposed believers. Too many of us are not grateful for all the Lord has done, is doing, and has promised to do on our behalf! And that is totally wrong my brethren. Now hear how Jesus ends it. ‘And he said unto to him, (the Samaritan), Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19) 
And as the scholars say: ‘17:19. All were healed, but only one gives Jesus thanks. His salvation is complete.’ Ah friends, yuh see the great difference some thanks and gratitude made: The Samaritan was granted salvation, while the Jews were still adrift in their ungratefulness. Please, don’t allow that to happen to us nuh. It doesn’t take a whole lot to say, thank you and be grateful. It could certainly make a big difference in our lives, both here on earth, and in heaven too. Much LOVE!
 
…it is our bounden duty…to give thanks and be grateful…for all the Lord’s blessings…
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2019 Isaiah 55:11.

Isaiah 55:11.    ​So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

Well it’s started out wet and cloudy again in my neck of the woods. But who knows what’s going to happen later – only the great God who created it all and still controls it! So let’s give Him some thanks and praise for our joyful awakening to another faithful and fruitful day in our earthly lives, as we commit to seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. 

So let’s sincerely acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! And consequently: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’  Now it’s up to us, as true believers to keep those two promises…just like the Lord keeps His. And the promise of God that I want to look at today is that found in His free mercy to all, as prophesied by Isaiah. 

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’(Is.55:8-11) 

Oh friends, the Lord has spelt it out in His usual forthright manner. His thoughts and ways are indeed higher than ours, and His Word will not return empty, but fulfill its purpose! Glory Be! And we all know that He keeps ALLof his promises! And having made that unbreakable promise, the Lord further promises through the mouth of His prophet Isaiah: 

‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is.55:12-13) 

What wonderful promises my fellow saints in Christ! That’s the kind of stuff we have to look forward to, since the Lord has sincerely promised it! And the scholars explain: ‘55:8-13. God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e., purposes or intentions) and ways (‘derakim’, or directions) are higher than ours. 

While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (in vain). The Word of God, therefore, accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

And are we ever delighted by that announcement my people! For it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to mankind since the great Creation itself! Wow! Without that promise, and the keeping of that promise, through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, we’d all be goners! All praise and glory to God the Father, Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One who works it all out in us! 

And it’s not the first time He’d promise salvation. Listen to Him from an earlier chapter in Isaiah; re salvation will come only by the Lord. ‘For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it not in vain (empty or a waste), he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. 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. 

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are (have) escaped of (from) the nations: they have no knowledge that set up (carry about) the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 

Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, and all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (take an oath).’ (Is.45:18-23) 

Ah friends, just like the Lord there was calling His people Israel to assemble from out of the nations of the Gentiles and come to Him for salvation, the same way He is calling us today, we Gentiles, to come to Him through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for salvation, because it’s ONLY through Him, that salvation is possible and available! Shall we not answer that call my people? It would be wisdom extraordinaire to do so, for the only other option we have, eternal death and hellfire, is not even thinkable! 

And our Lord is so great and generous that He even gave us a multitude of blessings, which we call our Thursday Blessings, to go out and use them to bring others to Him, so they too can receive those awesome things called salvation and eternal life. Let’s declare them now in strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘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, with a true sense of purpose, let’s go out and put them to use nuh, for that’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…listen to Jesus…heaven and earth…shall pass away…but my words…shall not pass away… (Matt.24:35)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2019 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.    ​Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
 

Well another week has passed my people, and we’re right back at Sunday! Imagine that nuh! And we still alive and going strong, thanks to our wonderful God! And it means that one more time we have to gather in fellowship to give Him thanks and praise for His outstanding mercy and grace this past week, as well as for Him to strengthen our faith, renew our confidence and raise the levels of our joy, so we can do the important work of His salvation ministry in the upcoming week. And all of that is just to say, that today is Sunday, and we ought to find ourselves in church sometime today to celebrate the Lord’s Day with other believers. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get our proceedings underway nuh, as usual with a song of praise and worship, exalting the Lord in the highest, just like all the heavenly host constantly do. And today we’re going to sing a contemporary Christian tune by Mat Redman (Matthew James Redman (1974 -) an English Christian worship leader, singer-songwriter and author. And today’s song is his best-known composition, the two-time Grammy Award-winning single, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”. It’s a wonderful song, with great lyrics and melody, so let’s raise our voices in prayerful, sincere song and let our great God know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In rich, sweet and perfect harmony now: 

‘(Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name.) The sun comes up It’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass And whatever lies before me Let me be singing When the evening comes (Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul……I’ll worship your holy name) You’re rich in love And You’re slow to anger Your name is great And Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons For my heart to find. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul…I’ll worship your holy name) 

And on that day When my strength is failing The end draws near And my time has come Still my soul will sing your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forevermore… forevermore. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul Worship His Holy name Sing like never before Oh my soul, Jesus, I’ll worship Your Holy name, worship your holy name…worship your holy name.’ 

Oh mih people, such sweet exaltation to Almighty God, that the four beasts that surround the heavenly throne joined us in worship, as well as the elders up there; they fell down before the Lord on His throne, cast their crowns before the throne and lustily sang along with us. (Rev.4:8-10) Wow! Who says that there isn’t spontaneous joy in heaven when the Lord is sincerely praised down here on earth eh? And yuh know the Lord just swallowed up all the praise, because there’s nothing He likes more than praise. And He very well deserves every bit of it too. 

And nobody knew that better than Bruh David and the other psalmists, that’s why they could write praiseful words like: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations…Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted.  For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:1,15-18) That’s Ethan the Ezrahite expounding there on God’s sure promises to Bruh David. 

Then you have Bruh David himself declaring, (steups!) in thanksgiving for God’s mercy: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

And if all that isn’t reason enough to thank the Lord and praise and exalt His glorious name, then I really don’t know what is nuh! That’s why we ought to keep doing what the writer of Psalm 33 so wisely advises: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.’ And is it ever my people! And that’s one of the reasons the Lord created us, to sing His praise and glory! 

As the psalmist continues: ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery(lute) and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.’ (Ps.33:2-4) Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Except to quote some more of Bruh David’s words for you. (smile) 

‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what we did this morning friends, magnified the Lord, exalted his name together…and there is joy in heaven…as well as down here on earth! Let’s keep that awesome joy going nuh people, as we continually praise and magnify God’s holy name. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…rejoice in the Lord always…and again I say…rejoice… (Phil.4:4)

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.’

 Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE You. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. I know that I build hard muscles in my heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. 

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same way we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide 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!’ 

Now mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2019 John 13:34-35.

John 13:34-35.    ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.
 

Oh friends, please forgive me for the lateness of the Bit, but the last two days have been pretty hectic, and I’m no longer a spring chicken…not yet old though. (smile) I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends, going to bed late, getting up early to write the Bit, then getting out and about for the whole day. Well it’s finally caught up to me. 

Thursday was a cricket match in the neighbouring city of Brampton, and then yesterday, Friday, was a funeral in the eastern city of Ajax, on the other side of Toronto. The turnout was so overwhelming that the big chapel was packed to overflowing and we had to sit in a holding area downstairs and watch the proceedings on close circuit t.v. 

The overlong glowing tributes of our friend made him sound like the perfect man. (smile) But I guess that’s how it is when we bid our friends a final adieu. We don’t recall their faults, just their strong points, like the Lord does in His wonderful forgiveness, casting away our wrongs as far as the east is from the west. 

After the hour and half ceremony we spent another hour in the cemetery, this time in the hot sun. Then we went south to another part of the city for the repast. That was a wonderful time, with good Jamaican fare; curry goat, rice and peas and jerk chicken. But the best part was the renewal of several friendships, with people whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

We were all a part of the young, well-educated West Indian Diaspora who migrated to Canada in the early seventies and changed the face of Toronto, adding vibrancy and colour, both literally and figuratively to a staid, old white town. (smile) People with whom we worked and partied in those long ago, cold, long winter days, but with whom we’d lost touch as the area expanded and we all became immersed in our building our new lives. That’s just the way it is with the big city. 

Unfortunately though, the duchess and I had to eat and run, because there were people back in our town waiting for us to come and pick them up to go to the Pan Competition in the heart of Toronto. So we left there around four, got on the toll road and hustled back home, changed, then hit the road again. Luckily though, for some unknown reason, on a Caribana Friday evening, the traffic into T.O. wasn’t bad, and we made it in time for the seven o’clock start of the pan event. 

That was good too, and better organized than in earlier years, though I don’t understand why they allowed some bands to play two songs and others only one. But the music was excellent. However, it finished around midnight and the duchess and my friends were tired, so we didn’t stick around to hear the results, which I’m sure, caused much dissent, as it usually does. 

But that’s the nature of pan competitions, everybody rooting for their own side, though knowing deep down that they weren’t good enough to win. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time I dropped everybody home, I didn’t get home till after one. And it was close to two before I finally went to bed. So it’s obvious I was late getting up. So that’s my story…and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now let’s see if we can get in some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.’ That’s certainly interesting and true, because the day you were born and the day you died, don’t really matter. What matters most is what you did in the time period between those two days. And I guess a good example of that are the glowing tributes my friend Linton had at his last celebration yesterday. 

Now listen to this one: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ That should be a no- brainer my people, because it’s exactly what Jesus came to help us do; right wrongs, stamp out inequality and injustice, help the weak and fight the strong. So as a believer those things are expected of us. 

Then this quote speaks for itself: ‘When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.’ Ah mih people, I won’t call not giving thanks for all that we have, the good life we’re living, a fault nuh, but utter stupidity! You didn’t give yourself the ability to rise and see a new day, or the breath that’s still flowing through you. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) And to the Thessalonians: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) Yes friends, even though our circumstances may be difficult or unpleasant, it’s our bounden duty to give thanks at ALL times! 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE.’ Oh mih people, LOVE is the transcendent power of the universe! John said it thus: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

And Jesus not only gave us a living example of our quote, but also clearly made it known that He expects the same of His followers. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any clearer or plainer than that! And I’ll leave it there; just let those words speak to our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict us as it will, in regards to our LOVE Walk! That’s what it’s there for! Much LOVE!

…hatred stirreth up strifes…but LOVE covereth ALL sins… (Prov.10:12)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2019 Mark 16:15.

Mark 16:15.    ​And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 

And so we come once more to Friday, the day that we all long and wish for, especially in the summer time, when we get to go out and do all those fun things outside. (smile) And believe me the hot days are upon us right now, with temps of 30 and 30 something degrees predominating. And if we don’t get some rain soon, we’ll be complaining about how it too hot! That’s just the nature of the human animal, we just LOVE our comfort and are never satisfied even when we get what we ask for. 

And the 4th of July party is still in full swing down in the U.S. of A. And the workingman feels as though he’s died and gone to heaven. Hear him nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is finally here! What would we do without the weekend eh? The slave master and them would gladly work out we soul case if we give them the chance, and for next to nothing too, because they so blooming greedy! They preach a good preach about sharing, but is only talk oui. 

But enough about them evil people yes. Is the summer time now and the weekend, we time to get out there and party, party like there was no tomorrow! And who knows whether there will be any tomorrow eh? What they say? You live today and tomorrow you die? Well then lemme live it up today eh? For who knows if I’ll wake up tomorrow? And the weather is fine, the beer’s cold, the grill’s waiting …and the winter soon come back! So lemme enjoy the fruits of mih labour eh, as Solomon says, that’s mih God-given right! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh friends, we do have to thank the Lord, but not only for Fridays and weekends, but for all that we have, because it all comes from Him! Remember how Bruh David put it: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Oh my people, what words of marvellous truth! Our wonderful God does it all for us! Without Him, we’d be absolutely nothing! Jesus said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) So please let’s remember that as we chant our Friday Chant this beautiful summer’s day with a strong sense of purpose and reverence. 

As one 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!’ 

And that’s what it’s all about yes my faithful brethren, furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth, bringing forth fruit in His name! That was His last command to the disciples; what we call the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

So that’s our bounden duty: to teach and preach and baptize and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, bringing unbelievers to the realization that they badly need His free healing and saving grace, so that they can enjoy salvation and eternal life in the beautiful halls of heaven! 

Now here is something that I’ve never noticed before, Mark’s version of the Great Commission, because everyone seems to be fixated on Matthew’s take on the subject. But though Mark’s is somewhat different, it’s just as interesting. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned). 

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:15-18) 

What magnificent promises my people! But we have to believe and get out there and do the work Jesus commanded us to do before we see them coming to pass. And the last verse of Mark’s gospel tells us what happened after Jesus left them and ascended into heaven. ‘And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following (accompanying signs). Amen.’ (Mark 16:20) 

Yuh see that mih people, when they did as Jesus asked, He did as He promised; being with them as they did His work! And it’s the very same way He will be with us in these evil and ungodly times when we step out in faith to spread His word, whether it be as preachers, evangelists, teachers, etc. or just by being good, ordinary Christian folks, letting our Christ-like lives speak for us. It’s all about staying securely attached to the vine! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe in Jesus…then you need to work His work…and show good fruit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2019 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.    ​Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.
 

Well an end to all good things must be, so the Canada Day party is over now, with some rain in the early morning hours and some cloudy skies. But thankfully no showers of blessings spoiled the party! (smile) Now it’s time to return to the daily grind and common task. 

Yeh, the radiation treatments are upon me again… the ole bod must have breathed a relieved sigh at the lack of treatment for three whole days. (smile) Only another couple of weeks to go though. And since the Lord promised to see me through whatever He chooses to put me through, then I’m not worried about the outcome, just dying for the very inconvenient everyday visit to the hospital to end. But patience…and a stiff upper lip friends! (smile)  

Anyhow, let’s check out this important gift from our One Year Book of Bible verses with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin nuh. It’s titled ‘LISTENING LOVE!’ Please read with me: ‘Listening LOVE is one of the greatest gifts we can give our mates, our families, and our friends. Too often we settle for surface talk or icy silences, for monologues or cutoffs, for defences. What a difference when we follow the principles of listening LOVE! 

Listening LOVE is courteous. It says… I will strive not to interrupt or outguess you. I will not finish your sentences or break into your thoughts. Listening LOVE is attentive. It says… I will give you my undivided attention. I will not turn you off or leave you isolated. Listening LOVE is patient. It says… I will not rush you or insist on a right-now conclusion. Listening LOVE is kind. It says… I will not shame you with sarcastic retorts. I will not belittle you. 

Listening LOVE is objective. It says… I will try to be informative rather than opinionated. I will not attempt to think for you. Listening LOVE is unselfish. It says… I will guard against overconfidence and trite “spiritual” answers. Listening LOVE is prayerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’ 

Oh my people, how wonderful our world would be if we would all show just a li’l more Listening LOVE! If we’re truthful, we’d all acknowledge that too often we interrupt, belittle, are impatient, unkind and otherwise in our conversations, and thus they do not go as well as we want them to, or as they ought to go. Half the time we don’t even truly listen, but while the other person is talking, we are considering our response, and thus miss half of what they are saying. 

And we can’t blame it all on this fast, now for now society in which we now live, but must cast some of the blame on our impatient, know it all selves. I know I’m guilty of some of that ‘unlistening’ LOVE, and sometimes when I catch myself doing it, I berate myself for it, but it’s not easy to change our accustomed behaviour. 

However, there is help for us in the power of the Lord our God, beginning with the Bible verse that’s allocated to our poem today. Yeh friends, the immortal words of Bruh David is our Bit for today: ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, it’s ever so important that our thoughts and words be pleasing to our heavenly Father. But as with so much of life, we can’t do it on our own, that’s why everyday we ought to ask Him for the power to think and speak wisely…in other words, with listening LOVE. 

And there’s no doubt that a lot of the strife and anger that currently exists in our world are caused by thoughtless and selfish words. No wonder Cousin Sol could warn us that ‘He that keepeth (guards) his mouth keepeth (guards) his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.’ (Prov.13:3) And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘13:3. The reward of cautious speech is fuller life and the avoidance of unnecessary trouble.’ 

Truer words were never spoken friends! Many of us would have so many fewer problems if we’d only watch what we say! That’s why Bruh David seriously asked the Lord in Psalm 141 – Prayer for help in trouble. ‘Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep (watch over) the door of my lips.’ (Ps.141:3) And if a man of Bruh David’s faith and religious stature could make such a plea, who are we, living in a much more evil, contentious and cantankerous world, not to do the same eh? 

And listen to some more of Cousin Sol’s wise words on the mouth. ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.’ (Prov.21:13) Gospel truth that my brethren! 

And we don’t have time or space to write all that James says about the tongue, but hear these few words. ‘Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter (forest) a little fire kindleth (sets on fire)! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.’ (James 3:5-) And we all know that’s gospel truth! 

The tongue is impossible to tame without God’s help, and it is the cause of many of the world’s most serious problems. What we seriously need in today’s world is Bruh David’s plea: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ (Ps.51:15) What a wonderful world this would be, if we were using our tongues to praise God rather than curse our fellow man! 

And having read and digested all of that, let’s go home declaring (wrong again!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘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’re truly sincere, then let’s go out now and share that friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. That’s our bounden duty as faithful believers! Much LOVE!

…it’s not right…to curse man…and then bless God…with the same tongue…

 

 

 

 

 

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