Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2015 Ecclesiastes 5:7

Ecclesiastes 5:7.   For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.

Well Friends, the Caribana weekend is wrapping up today. Sadly though, it seems to be on a wet and watery note. Yesterday evening around six o’clock a powerful thunder storm hit the area, unleashing a fair amount of rain. It caught me on the highway, and the rain fell so hard that it sounded like pellets hitting the car. Eventually I had to turn up the music to hear it over the sound of the pelting rain. (smile)

And it’s still wet out there, don’t know if it will last all day though. I’m sure a lot of Caribana festivities suffered because of it, and more will suffer today if the weather continues on the negative side.

But look at it this way, here in the Province of Ontario many of us don’t have to go to work today, because it’s a local, civic holiday. Interestingly enough, different regions around the province call it by different names. So we can just curl up in bed with a good book or just go back to sleep if the weather stays foul. (smile)

However, many of our fellow believers around the country and the world have to get up and face the Monday morning music; getting out on the traffic clogged roads, regardless of the weather, and fighting their way to work. Ah Lord eh! You’d think that by now with all our brilliance and technological advancement we’d have designed a better system for getting to and from work.

Unfortunately traffic jams are still a way of life in most countries, and the developing ones are getting just as bad, for as the standard of life goes up, so do the number of polluting vehicles on the sub-standard roads. Billions of dollars are lost in productivity every year because of this unsightly and very inefficient way of getting to and from work.

But until some bright light comes along and improves it, we just have to grin and bear it and leave home a couple hours earlier than necessary to get to work on time. Steups! Anyway, to help those folks who have to get out to labour today, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle hymn with great gusto and plenty confidence nuh.

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

That wasn’t bad at all Friends. Hn! But I notice that every time we have a Monday where one group has a holiday and the others don’t , it’s always those with the holiday that sing the loudest, with the most gusto and verve! Can it be they are more enthused because they don’t have to go out and labour? Now that’s a very observant observation! (smile)

That brings us to our Bit, an interesting statement from Cousin Sol as the Preacher. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’  Ah mih people, both statements there are indisputably true! In this chapter of Ecclesiastes the Preacher is cautioning us against hasty vows.

Earlier on, he wisely advises: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3)

Gospel truth Friends, gospel truth! When we get so busy with life we dream up all sorts of stuff, and oftimes talk too much, especially in this modern-day talkative society, where talk shows abound and social media is running rampant 24/7.

And Cousin Sol further cautions us; this time re vows in particular with God. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5)

Oh my brethren, I am sure that resounds with all of us, because at some time in our lives, in the heat of trials, tribulations or temptations, we have cried out to God: ‘O God, if you will only get me out of this situation, then I will do such and such!’ We make grand promises, many of which we are not able to keep in our own strength, and promptly forget about them anyway, when the Lord bails us out. But that is not the way to get into God’s good graces my people. As the Preacher advises, it would be better if we didn’t make any promises at all.

Now that whole thing about promises and vows is again a sad matter in our current society. Vows and promises no longer mean what they used to even thirty years ago. We make them now fully intending not to keep them. But you know what Friends? Broken promises usually turn right around and bite us when we least expect them.

Like a boomerang they come back to haunt us, and then we get all peeved, disappointed and angry at the perpetrators, conveniently forgetting the vows that we had insincerely made, and/or inconsiderately broken.

So Friends, it’s all up to us. We can bring less pain and disappointment on ourselves by thinking a little more before we talk, and not making promises that we can’t or don’t intend to pay, for our words are powerful and can create good or bad situations, which can greatly affect us. Much LOVE!

…for by thy words…thou shalt be justified…and by thy words…thou shalt be condemned…  (Matt.12:37)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2015 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 Friends the Canada Day celebrations are over now. Time to get back to the common task and daily grind. And it’s a glorious Thursday morning to do so; though it’s still a tad cool, both the sun and the Son are shining brightly across God’s wonderful universe!

As you can no doubt surmise from the lateness of the Bit, my celebrations lasted way into the early hours of the morning. (smile) Well it wasn’t really celebrations, just me doing my usual night time thing, I just happened to begin a tad later than normal.

Anyway, today I have for us a rather interesting and important poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s simply titled ‘LISTENING LOVE.’

‘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 defenses. 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 over confidence and trite “spiritual” answers.

Listening LOVE is powerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’

Yes Friends, those are the things that ought to go into all our conversations, how they ought all to be conducted! Not in the negative manner that so many of them are in these tremulous times.

It basically describes the attributes of LOVE, as found in the LOVE Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, where LOVE is described as being, kind, charitable, not envious, long suffering, not boastful or arrogant, doesn’t behave rudely, selfishly or keeps records of evil. (1 Cor.13:4-8)

Well all these things ought to also govern our conversations my people, for it’s mostly with words that we communicate with each other. Thus the scripture promise for that poem, which is also our Bit, is the popular ending of Bruh David’s Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God.

‘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.’

Yeh mih breddren, all of us know that scripture verse, but do we really practice it? No! Certainly not as much as we ought to, especially in this rather talkative society, where we talk a lot, but say very little, and are too taken up with the concerns of others through the social media, than with our own miserable and mish-mash lives.

Ah Friends, when are we going to learn that generally speaking, the less we say, the better off we will be eh, especially in terms of gossip and stuff we don’t really know the truth about. Unfortunately though, in this age of virtual reality, everyone has an opinion on everything and also chooses to voice it.

But we ought not to utter any words at all, until we have considered their worthiness in honouring Almighty God. That’s why so many of us get ourselves in so much trouble; we just shoot loosely from our lips without giving any real thought to the possible reactions and consequences of our words.

And sometimes too, it’s not so much the words that we use, but the tone of voice, the manner in which we utter them which causes negative reactions. I am sure if we all thought a tad more before we spoke, then there’d be a whole lot less arguments, contentious conversations and negative reactions. End of sermon. (smile)

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that support our concerns. This first one comes from Psalm 51; Bruh David’s prayer for cleansing after his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan called him out on it. He sorrowfully cries out: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ (Ps.51:15)

Yes Friends, we would be so much better off if we’d ask the Lord to guide us in every word that we utter. Then there’d be far less confusion and misunderstanding in our lives, and consequently our world.

And the psalmist in Psalm 71 – a prayer for help in old age – puts it like this. ‘I will also praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul which thou hast redeemed.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps.71:22-24)

Oh mih people, would that we’d take that sound advice and let our tongues speak righteousness all day long!

And James says it this way. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20)

Oh my beloved brethren, never were truer words spoken! Especially when we put it into context with these all-important words of Jesus, when He spoke about good and corrupt fruit.

‘But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’ (Matt.12:36-37)

It couldn’t be put any clearer and simpler than that Friends! So please, let’s ponder all the important stuff that we’ve read this morning and take all the wonderful advice we’ve been given to heart and try our best, with God’s help of course, to become good listeners and slow talkers, so that we don’t have too much negative speech to answer for, come the judgement day. That is the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…one must always think before one talks…because oftimes the old adage… that silence is golden… is ever so true…

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