Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).
 

Hear me calling: ‘Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!’ That’s a heartfelt plea my brethren, because since I’ve come back from Jamaica, it’s been a steady diet of rain and more rain…and today looks like it might be more of the same. I guess the Lord’s reasoning is if we could have two weeks of brilliant sunshine, what’s wrong with a few days of rain eh? 

And as the duchess recently informed me, in her usual frank manner: ‘Stop complaining. You’ve been here for forty years. You should be accustomed to it by now!’ (smile) But who ever gets accustomed to the cold October and November rains eh? I know one person whom it doesn’t seem to bother though, that’s the ordinary workingman, once it’s Friday he’s happy regardless of the weather. His primary focus is having two days off from work to party. 

Hear him sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And though the rain falling, and the place cold and miserable, I don’t care, because I don’t have to go to the massa work and slave mih life away for a small pittance and all the grief he want to cause me! Glory be! It’s the start of the weekend, that means is party time; time to swing and sway, eat and drink and let the good times roll! No holding back, just full steam ahead! Party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, don’t you wish we could be as laid back and carefree as the ordinary workingman? We all surely do. However, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t afford that luxury because then the enemy, the evil Satan will joyfully infiltrate our souls and cause serious havoc therein. That’s why we need some boundaries in our everyday lives, points beyond which we won’t go, and that’s also why our weekend song, our Friday Chant is so different to his. 

Chant it with me now nuh: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my people, we need to be always on our p’s and q’s when dealing with this evil world we live in. We’re workers for Jesus and thus must show the character, qualities and attitude that’s becoming to His glorious name! And yes, it is difficult sometimes to stay on the straight and narrow path that Jesus recommends, but we do have the reassurance and wherewithal to stay the course. 

Listen to these fruitful and famous words of reassurance from Bruh Paul to Timothy when the youngster was going through a rough time in his ministry in Ephesus. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).’ 

Ah my people, each of us has been imbued with the Holy Spirit of Christ, which is supposed to lead and guide us in our daily lives; giving us that spirit of power, LOVE and a disciplined soul. However, it can only do its job if we listen to it and allow it to work its grace, mercy and forgiveness in our lives. So we do have what it takes to do Christ’s work, but most of us are not using those tools wisely. 

Remember, the Lord, through the Holy Spirit can’t work properly in our lives unless we give up ALL aspects of our lives to Him. Many of us hold back some areas and only give over those we think the Lord might be interested in. But that’s a sure fallacy friends, the Lord’s interested in EVERYTHING in our lives. He doesn’t want bits and pieces of it, He wants it ALL! 

Now listen, as Bruh Paul continues his reassurance to Timothy and to us. ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (time). 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day. 

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’ (2 Tim.1:8-14) 

Oh friends, just a couple of points before we close. If we truly believe, then we cannot be ashamed of the gospel as so many of us are. And remember, Christ has abolished death and given us salvation unto eternal life. And that is assured! No one can take it from us. But we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith and do whatever it takes to win souls to Jesus and keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. 

Let’s hope that these words of Bruh Paul will reassure us and remind us of all the power and LOVE and discipline that we do have through the Holy Ghost, from the work of Jesus Christ. Amen. Much LOVE!

…a true believer…should not be ashamed…of whatever he believes in…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Oh friends, the week finally finish! Glory to God! And for us Canadians, after the Caribana weekend, it was indeed a short week. So now we have a li’l time to rest and recuperate from all that exhilarating action. (smile) 

But for some really exuberant folks, the weekend will always be the time to totally celebrate the couple days off from work. Consequently they are now excitedly shouting: ‘TGIF! TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The Lord give us two days to party, so leh we party hearty nuh! 

We can’t afford to waste the li’l time we have for weself in foolish thinking about work and all the other nonsense. Just let it all hang out, free up yuhself and doh worry about nothing till Monday! That’s why we have the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

And I dare say that many of us believers would like to let it all hang out on the weekend, (smile) but we know that is not the Christian way; that is the way of the world. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the weekend, but just that we need to put some limits on the ‘carefreeness.’ 

We definitely don’t want to be dissolute and licentious and give Lucifer any opening whatsoever to come against us. We need to think more like our Friday Chant says: ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the Christian way; we enjoy the time off, get some rest, relaxation and fellowship, so that we can handle the upcoming week with new energy and enthusiasm. 

If we don’t apply some limits to our life with some resuscitation along the way, we’ll just keep going downhill until we burn out completely, and worst of all, won’t be able to do a good job on Christ’s behalf, which is our major calling. 

So though we may feel to let it all hang out on the weekend, let’s hang in there, persevere with some circumspection, remembering that we are disciples of Christ, ambassadors for His kingdom and we can’t afford to behave like the world does. 

That’s why Bruh Paul was so emphatic to the church at Rome as our Bit declares: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

That’s only basic common sense friends, for the world does not recognize the things of God nor His kingdom. So if we want to be true followers of Christ we need to abstain from a lot of things which the world thinks is right, but which our heavenly Father totally abhors and detests. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’ 

And since most of us won’t go and read that verse, I will spoon-feed us. (smile) Peter in his call to Christian dedication, says: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.’ Meaning we should not go back to being the old kind of persons we were before we found Christ and put on the ‘new man.’ 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures which also admonish us to stay away from the evil, ungodly world. Listen to James: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of  (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) 

It’s that simple friends. As Jesus said: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (the world, material possessions).’ (Mat. 6:24) So you obviously can’t serve the One True God and also worship, or idolize, or run behind the material possessions of the world. 

And we’ll conclude with some of the most authoritative words on the subject from 1 John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’(1 John 4:15-17) 

Oh my fellow believers, it couldn’t be put any simpler and plainer than that. As Christians we ought to LOVE God and do His will first and foremost. 

Remember Jesus’ words to the hypocrite Pharisee who asked Him. ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus saith unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38). 

So friends, let’s go and do just that nuh, for it is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…that’s the Christian’s mandate…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2014 Isaiah 9:16

Isaiah 9:16.   For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
 
Ah Friends, it was a shock; physical, emotional and mental shock, at having to get dressed in several layers of clothing last evening to go out in the minus 12 Celsius temperature, get in a cold car and drive around salt encrusted streets bordered by high snow banks, with my windows tightly closed to keep out the bone-chilling cold.
 
And just consider that some 24 or 30 hours before, I was running around half-naked, in the bright and hot sunshine, getting into cars that were steaming hot, hurrying to open the windows to let some cool air in. Hn! No wonder I was in a state of shock! (smile)
 
But that’s the reality of life, and we just have to hope and pray in faith that the Lord will enable us to bear anything that comes against us, as He has so faithfully promised. And that doesn’t pertain to just the weather, but to all walks and aspects of our earthly lives. Yes my people, we have to be very careful and cognisant of all that’s happening around us these days, for life’s not as innocent and carefree as it used to be.
 
As our Bit so wisely draws to our attention: ‘ For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.’ And many of us will recognize that as indisputable truth in these rough, evil and trying times.
 
Ah mih people, our leaders are failing us terribly; catering to the rich and powerful, as well as lining their own pockets, while oppressing the poor and needy, and above all, taking God out of our societies. That’s why our world is so fragile and in so much turmoil.
 
But as Isaiah continues after our Bit: ‘Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly (foolishness). For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (in judgement).’ (Is.9:17)
 
Yeh Friends, the Lord’s wrath is still in place, still stretched out to punish us. And it will remain there until we repent of our evil ways and turn back to truly serving and worshipping Him.
 
As the scholars say of that last verse. ‘The leaders are specifically condemned for misleading the people. Isaiah’s words here are reminiscent of his message in chapter 3.
 
And this is what he says there, re the judgement of Judah. ‘For Jerusalem is ruined (has stumbled), and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of (rebel against) his glory. The show of their countenance (look on their faces) doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded (brought) evil unto themselves.’ (Is.3:8-9)
 
Oh Friends, doesn’t that sound just like our current society? It surely does!
 
But Isaiah continues to give the Lord’s message. ‘Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given (done to him).’ (Is.3:11-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, per God’s faithful promise, the righteous will be saved, but the wicked shall receive their just reward of destruction, for our God is a God of absolute and perfect justice!
 
And we’ll end with the verse following those above. ‘As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err (lead thee astray), and destroy the way of thy paths.’ (Is.3:12) And those words are living truth my brethren!
 
For as the scholars explain it: ‘Children are their oppressors, and women rule over them indicates the utter failure of male leadership in their society.’
 
Oh Friends, the failure of male run societies has been an ongoing tragedy from the beginning of time, and ours today is certainly no different! But as serious believers in Jesus Christ, we have to stand steadfast and strong and try to improve the wrong that’s constantly and cruelly being done. That’s the task Jesus allotted to His followers.
 
It’s not easy, but if we persist and persevere, and resist the advances of the evildoers around us, while standing steadfastly on God’s promises to always help us and never leave or forsake us, we will be able to successfully battle the disgraceful leaders of today. That includes voting in all elections, and even more importantly, putting righteous people in office.
 
But my brethren, in order to do all that, we also have to be unified under the banner of Christ’s church. For until we begin coming together, instead of drifting further apart, nothing much will change for the better, but just get worse. I guess to a certain extent our problem is fear of human repercussions. But which do you think is worse, or which do you fear most; the wrath of man, or the wrath of God?
 
I’ll leave us to ponder that question. And when you’ve come to a conclusion, please act seriously on it. And a good guide is to remember that from day one, the Lord has built His universe on the irrefutable and wise principle of whatever you sow, that’s exactly what you will reap. So please be careful of the seeds you sow, for they will either come back to harm or help you. Much LOVE!
 
…you can’t sow corn and reap peas…or sow destruction and reap prosperity…neither war and reap peace…or hate and harvest LOVE…