Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Well mih people, hope you all are having a fine Saturday, sleeping in or lazing on the couch. Some of us can’t afford those luxuries though, we have to get up and labour away, just like any other day. (smile) But it’s all in the Lord’s name, so I guess it’s okay. And the confusion in the streets and in the medical community still reign. In some places it’s better, in some it’s worse, but be it known that this is indeed a monumental time in the history of mankind. 

And who knows what the outcome will be? For sure there will be changes, but what changes and to what extent? And are they going to make a difference, a substantial or meaningful difference in the way our world operates. Right now, ONLY the Lord alone knows, but let’s all hope and pray, that at the end of this pandemic and these protests that our world will wake up in a new and better place. And all God’s people said a loud and prayerful ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s get into our Saturday mode and look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one directly addresses one of our current problems. ‘It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.’ 

And I know that some of you, particularly the privileged ones, won’t agree with that statement, because you have never walked a day in a black man’s shoes, but I do, wholeheartedly. That’s because all over the world, the people of African heritage are treated differently than others. It’s so ridiculous that even if you have a white parent, and you look white, you are considered black, because dislike of black skin or heritage is so deeply entrenched in our white ruled society. Now that’s not to say that other minorities aren’t treated in a poor manner too, but nowhere near as badly as black people are treated. 

And the next quote informs to the first one: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And isn’t that the living truth! For some reason, possibly because we’re all so selfish and greedy, injustice travels faster and further than justice! The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, while those of injustice just seem to race along. Have you ever noticed how quickly injustice spreads amongst a hitherto reasonably just society, but how long it takes for justice to be restored when the injustice has been broken down? 

What can I say eh? I guess it’s just the nature of the human animal, that’s why there’s so much truth in the saying, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.’ No doubt our Creator made us to be LOVING, humane beings, but with our free will, we have evolved to be the exact opposite. And the next quote interestingly advises: ‘If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.’ 

Hn, Hn! I like it. It sounds saucy and somewhat rebellious! And why not eh? If people keep jawing in your ears about your inability to move up and on, then simply do so well, move on and up so far, that you can’t hear their negative caterwauling any longer. (smile) It’s so sad when you realize the vast amount of people who never reach their potential because of loudmouthed naysayers! And that’s exactly why our next and last quote is so awesomely true: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ And that’s the backbone of our Christian faith: ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ 

Yes my faithful believing friends, those words don’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary. His motto is ‘KEEP KEEPING ON!’ And anyone who chooses to seriously follow Him must also make that their number one goal. And Jesus said it ever so plainly: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It couldn’t be any clearer than that. And for good measure, He said it a second time when talking about the signs before the end. ‘And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:12-13) 

And we’re seeing that right now; lawlessness abounds and LOVE is a meaningless word. But as a true believer, you just have to tell your awesome pilot, Jesus: ‘Steady as she goes!’ (smile) We just have to keep on keeping on, enduring and persevering right down to the very end. We can’t be like the seed in the parable of the sower that are sown on stony ground, who hear the word and ‘immediately receive it with gladness. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17) 

No friends, true believers need to react in Bruh Paul’s words, like Charity, like LOVE: ‘Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (! Cor. 13:5-7) Yes mih people, true Christian behaviour is not an easy row to hoe, but with Jesus’ help we can certainly accomplish it, if we truly believe as we like to say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And it’s why He also told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) We believers are all supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and good soldiers endure hardship for their leader and their cause. What we must therefore endeavour to truthfully say at the end, are these momentous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now friends, if we would all make that our sincere goal, and work diligently towards it, then our world will be eventually turned right side up, and we’ll get our just rewards in heaven. Much LOVE!

…with strong faith and trust in Christ…we can persevere and endure…whatever comes our way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2018 Proverbs 30:11.

Proverbs 30:11.    There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

One more time friends, one more time, the trump of Jesus is calling us to come out and join the battle for the world in His name! This Monday morning is another precious and purposeful day in our earthly sojourn, where we put our blessings and gifts to work for Jesus. So let’s not grumble and complain because we have to get up and go out to labour nuh. 

Jesus didn’t grumble and complain when He went to the cross and laid down His sinless life for us. It was rough yes, and He pleaded with the Father to mitigate the situation, but to no avail, because that’s the ONLY way we useless sinners would ever be able to communicate with a most holy God. So though things might be rough with us, let’s remember Jesus’ sacrifices on our behalf, and do whatever we can to lift up His name on the earth, without feeling too put out or sorry for ourselves. 

And since we know that getting up on a Monday morning is difficult for many of us (smile) we have that wonderful, energizing prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to raise our spirits and get us going. Let’s sing it out as one voice 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!’ 

Yeh friends, that just gets the adrenaline flowing, which enables us to staunchly and confidently fight on for Jesus in this evil world. And today we have a rather interesting Bit from Proverbs, but not from Cousin Sol. These are the wise words of Agur, possibly one of the sages of Cousin Sol’s day. And he tells us that ‘There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.’ 

How sad that is my people, because one of God’s Ten Commandments is: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex.20:12) And the Good Book goes on to say: ‘And he that curseth his father and mother, shall surely be put to death.’ (Ex.21:17) 

That means a lot of this current generation ought to be put to death, because I believe this generation perfectly fits the bill described in our Bit. Some of the things I’ve personally heard children telling their parents just drives me bonkers. Hn! In my time I’d never dream of being rude to my parents, much less cursing them real curse words; words of the expletive deleted variety. And the sad part is that they get away with it. But that’s we, the parents fault. For whatever reason, we allow them to talk to us how they want, with little or no respect. 

And Cousin Sol’s contribution to the subject is this: ‘Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure (deep) darkness.’ (Prov.20:20) And so it should be! Now hear these words of Agur after our Bit. ‘There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up (in arrogance). There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.’ (Prov.30:12-14) 

Now those are certainly serious and incriminating charges and unfortunately I believe they can all be laid at the feet of this current generation. They are indeed selfish, arrogant, greedy and ruthless. Other generations have been bad, but I don’t think they can touch this one for their blatant disregard for the niceties of society. 

But again, my contention is that we the parents reared them that way. In trying to make life easy for them, we did them a great disservice, because now they feel the world owes them a living, they are entitled, and they don’t appreciate all that they’ve been so sweetly and easily handed on a golden platter. And the human animal in general only seems to appreciate stuff when he/she personally has to work or suffer to acquire it.

However my faithful brethren, all is not lost. As we say, while there is life there is indeed hope, and that ALL things are possible with Jesus. That means we can still bring about some changes, if not in our children, certainly in our grandchildren. But we need to get serious and begin doing it NOW! So please, for Jesus’ sake, let’s get a move on with it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only through hard labour…or ‘sufferation’…do we truly appreciate our rewards…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2015 Luke 6:47

Luke 6:47.   Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

Well Friends, a good Saturday morning to all of you fine believers! It looks like it’s going to be another fine day in my area, and there’s a sense of pent up anticipation all ready to burst forth with the approach of the good weather. And how can you blame us after being cloistered up in clammy houses all winter long eh? All the pent up frustrations and anxieties are now being obviously let loose like a horse that’s been held on a tight rein for a long time.

That leads me to a comparison of good weather to faith. In particular this quote by Robert Venniga from my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness, which I shared with you some time aback. It says: ‘Faith has a powerful effect in helping people recover a sense of balance, tranquility and hope.’

And isn’t that the absolute truth Friends! Just like good weather has a positive and uplifting and liberating effect on our spirits, so does faith bring peace, steadfastness and hope to our fractured souls.

You know we tend to lose faith in rough economic times, when we’re sick, or troubled about some problem we just can’t seem to solve. But the good news Friends, is that after a while, when the dust settles, we usually tend to bounce back with a renewed strength in our spiritual beliefs.  

As the Daily Meditations say: ‘My belief in my Higher Power may have diminished for a while, but I take comfort in knowing that belief is always there.’  More glorious truth my people!

Once we believe, once we have that strong foundation in Jesus Christ, it’s very difficult to lose it. It might dim for a while, but it will never go out, because it has a regenerating quality built into it. And Jesus explains the quality we’re talking about, after prefacing it with our Bit. ‘Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.’

Ah mih people, what a great day in our life, possibly the greatest, when we come to faith in Jesus, and truly acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour.  I don’t think there is any other feeling that compares to it, because it just stirs up, rearranges, changes everything for the better in our lives.

Now hear Jesus describe the person that believes in Him. ‘He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock.’ (Luke 6:48)

Oh my people, my people, yuh see what faith in Jesus does for us. Though the forces of evil and darkness come against us, and though they threaten to kill our faith, they cannot, because our faith in Jesus is an unquenchable fire! Once it’s lit, it cannot go out. And that’s what happens when we build the foundation of our lives on the solid rock that’s Jesus!

Bruh David joyfully declared: ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ (Ps.18:2) Now Friends, that is exactly what Jesus is to those who sincerely follow Him. And when you join those glorious ranks, you show your wisdom and common sense.

Unlike the other character Jesus talks about ‘But he that heareth , and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.’ (Luke 6:49)

Ah mih breddren, it’s so sad that so many people in today’s evil and ungodly world choose to build their lives on a foundation of mere earth and not on the impregnable rock that’s Jesus! That’s as the Good Book says, a fool’s wisdom! How can we build any substantial structure without a strong foundation eh? It must fall sooner or later when the forces of nature come against it in torrential mode.

And that’s all the material things of the world have to offer; a foundationless life. And yuh know mih people, it’s not like Jesus doesn’t provide the material things of the world that we need, because He clearly says in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)

So why do we refuse to listen to Him eh? And it’s not like there aren’t many wealthy Christians in the world. So I don’t know why we find it so difficult to put our trust and faith in the One who died on the Cross at Calvary to redeem our sinful souls. Steups! Ah Lord eh!

And we’ll end with some spirited words on the subject from James. ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) It’s all plain and straightforward my brethren, no rocket science involved. Just hear the word and faithfully do it.

And the scholars have this to say about that last verse. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4). It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1, 13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’

And it would do us all good to check out those references, since they will increase our understanding of the scriptures. I just did, and they do verify the scholars’ contentions. Well Friends, until tomorrow, God willing, please walk in peace and LOVE with Almighty God. Much LOVE!

…to be a true follower of Jesus…one must first hear His Word…then put it into action…for  above all else…Jesus is indeed a man of action…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2014 Isaiah 48:18

Isaiah 48:18. O that thou hadst hearkened to (heeded) my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.

Well a good Wednesday morning Friends and Neighbours! How’s it going eh? Well in my neck of the woods it’s a bit on the rough side with the bone chilling cold still in effect out there. Oh Friends, it’s been a long time since I remember experiencing such a bitterly cold and strong November wind as we had yesterday.
 
Hn! It was just a howling all day long! The only good thing is that there was no precipitation, but lots of sunlight. Somehow that just doesn’t seem right though; such bright sunlight with such cold weather, and we’re still officially a month away from winter (Dec.21).
 
But this is Canada and come the wintertime, anything is possible, especially with the unpredictable climate changes and weather patterns that are now in vogue.
 
Anyway, we believers are required to stand strong and steadfast in whatever weather and personal situations we may encounter, by holding on to the promises of Jesus and allowing Him to lead and guide us through the troubled valleys back to the verdant mountain tops.
 
That brings us to this quote from Everett M. Dirkson (1896-1969) a Republican American Politician, who reminds us that ‘Life is not static.’
 
And that’s the living truth my people. For if there’s one thing we can be sure of is constant change in our lives. We might not like it, or them, but be assured our lives will be full of changes.
 
Sometimes they might be small and slow, and thus barely noticeable; those we can easily handle. But when the big ones come, we shiver and shake and don’t handle those as well, because we all like some kind of continuity and sameness in our lives. We don’t do upheavals, especially the sudden, unexpected ones, very well.
 
But my brethren we have to realize that that’s all life, what it’s all about, and try and keep an open mind and do our best, believing that our wonderful and omnipotent God is still in control and will see us through those difficult times, as He’s promised.
 
We often need to invoke the Serenity Prayer too. ‘Oh God, please grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference!’
 
Yes Friends, it’s Almighty God who gives us the wherewithal to bear our earthly burdens. That’s why prayer, constant prayer to boot, is ever so important in a believer’s life. It’s through that continual communication with our heavenly Father that our earthly paths are made smooth and calm.
 
And what’s so wonderful about our God is that though He’s testing us with adversity, He still gives us the peace and calmness of spirit during those times. So that though the storms of life are raging all around us, within our souls, His peace and calm reigns.
 
And it is indeed sad to see that words used to rebuke Israel’s unfaithfulness so long ago, are ever so appropriate to us in these modern times; times of evil, idol worship and exceeding unfaithfulness.
 
Listen to Isaiah declare God’s words, including our Bit. ‘Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
 
O that thou hadst hearkened to (heeded) my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
 
Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels (body, loins) like the gravel (grains of sand) thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.’ (Is. 48:17-19)
 
Oh my brethren, please look around and see, God’s punishment is being meted out to us for our unfaithfulness. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out why there’s so much calamity and dissension in our technologically advanced world right now.
 
It’s true that our God is patient, kind and long suffering, but even His patience runs out in the face of continual disobedience and mockery of His way and words. He’s given us lots of rope to hang ourselves, and now He’s simply pulling the noose tight.
 
And what amazes me is that we have all these wonderful Bible passages that promote peace through association with and obedience to God, which we totally ignore. Let’s hear some of them nuh.
 
And we can begin with the part of the priestly benediction that deals with peace, with which God told Moses to have Aaron and his sons bless the Israelites. ‘’The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee (look on you with favour), and give thee peace.’ (Num.6:26)
 
And in psalm 81 – God’s goodness to and Israel’s waywardness – the psalmist Asaph laments: ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should have soon subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.’ Ps. 81:13-14) 
 
Then in that longest of Psalms, 119, the psalmist truthfully declares: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble).’ (Ps.119:165) 
 
Jesus also held forth on the subject of peace, as He told the disciples when the time of His passion was nigh. ‘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.’ (John 16:33)
 
What greater promise than that can we expect eh Friends! None really. However, time and space are against us, so we’ll end here for today. Tomorrow we’ll continue in this same vein.
 
So until then, the Lord willing, let’s hang on tightly to those promises and go out into the crazy and wicked world that surrounds us, with the everlasting peace of Jesus. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…when my soul exalts in Jesus Christ…my Lord and Saviour…then peace like a river flows…