Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2020 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew 8:27.    But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’
 
And on this first day of February, in the leap year of 2020, some snow did fall in my area, not a whole lot, but enough that we can say snow fell. (smile) Yeh, it looks bad if you’re in winter and there’s not even a touch of the white stuff on the ground. Hn, hn! And I didn’t even know that this was going to be a leap year until recently when I checked out the February calendar and saw 29 days. I had to look again to make sure that I was seeing right. 

Times surely have changed yes! Once upon a time a leap year was a big thing, all sorts of stuff was supposed to happen in one, you’d hear that news all over the place. But now, no one seems to pay much attention to it; nobody’s even mentioned it to me in passing. Don’t even know if the young people nowadays know what’s a leap year, or how it comes about. We have so much bloody information now that it’s hard to choose what to read or listen to, and more importantly, what to believe (yeah!). 

But anyhow it’s Saturday, so let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his sincere effort of aspiring to inspire us. And this first quote is ever so appropriate because it’s exactly what Anselm is trying to do with us. ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.’ Yeh friends, the Christian’s bounden duty is to try and lift up, encourage, and inspire those around us to come up higher in anything they choose to do. 

Remember the motto of Jesus’ people is ‘diligence and excellence.’ We have to work sincerely at stuff, and do it in an excellent manner, not wishy-washy, like is so common nowadays. Our jobs and lives might be difficult, even unfair, but Jesus still desires a solid and sincere effort from us. For in His dominion, ‘Failure is impossible.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Jesus doesn’t hold with failure at all. There’s absolutely no giving up in His kingdom! 

As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov.24:16) And according to the scholars: ‘24:16. The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ Yes friends, if you check out Jesus’ dictionary you won’t find the words ‘failure’ or ‘give up’ in it. Because He’s the Master of Everything; the possible as well as the impossible! 

And if you are a part of His dominion then you need to think like Him and behave like Him, and remember that through Him we can do ALL things, because He strengthens us! Then there’s this next quote; a dandy: ‘A good thing to remember is somebody’s got it a lot worse than you do.’ And is that ever gospel truth my people! We might think we have it rough, but believe me, a lot of other people are usually having it rougher, much rougher than us. 

I remember complaining to my mother when things were rough with us, and she’d tell me, yes, times were tough, but they were a lot of people even worse off than us. In my youthful naivety I couldn’t believe that was possible, but as I went around the neighbourhood with a greater awareness, I was surprised to see many families living  worse off than we were. And now, when you think of the rampant poverty, homelessness and sickness in our Western Society, we complain about how bad it is, but just check out the numerous societies and cultures on the other side of the globe who have it much worse than us, and tell me in which one you’d rather be. 

At least in ours there seems to be some smidgen of hope for better times and conditions, but in many of those others there’s not even a smidgen of hope for anything better. Many were born into abject poverty, sickness and homelessness and will live and die the same way. So when you think you’re having such a bad day, and times are so rough, just think about those other more unfortunate people, and gratefully say, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And this last quote succinctly informs us: ‘Anyone can take the wheel of the ship in calm water but it’s not so easy when it’s not calm water. You can’t just enjoy the good times, you have to be resilient in the tough times.’ And that word ‘resilient’ seems to have faded from our vocabulary and lifestyle in these modern days, for the words backbone and belly which make us resilient are non-existent. 

There’s never been as much complaining and whining in our world as there is now, even in the midst of great prosperity! Partly because we have allowed the young generation to grow up in an easy and non-sacrificial manner, no chores before or after school, always getting what they want, so now when real life hits them, they can’t cope with it. They think they are owed an easy life, have an inalienable right to it, because we the parents didn’t raise them right, and God is usually the furthest thing from their minds. 

But friends, it’s only in and through Jesus that we can acquire the parts to stand strong when life comes against us. And one of the best examples of that occurs when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee and a violent storm arose. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:24-27) 

Friends, Jesus is the man who made the winds and the seas, that’s why they obey Him! He is also the man who made us in His own image, that’s why we ought also to obey Him! Despite the free will He gave us, it behooves us, it’s the epitome of wisdom to believe and obey Him, because He is the ONLY one who can right the ship, or better yet calm the storms, the raging seas and gusting winds that inevitably confound our lives in this fallen world! Much LOVE!

…I’ll say it again…Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2019 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
 

Oh man, it seems like I’ve gotten up too early (smile) because it’s still dark outside, and therefore no indication of what the weather will be like. But at least it’s not wet. That’s a good start to this Friday morning. Yeh working people, it’s the day we all look forward to with such eagerness because it signals the end of our work week and the beginning of our weekend! Wow! And short though our weekend might be, we still value and look forward to it like a child does to toys at Christmas. (smile) And nobody looks forward to it like the ordinary workingman. 

Hear him joyfully declare: ‘Oh boy, oh boy, TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday yes! The weekend is here at long last! Time to party again… No, no, no! Hold down on that party scene yes! I still remember last week, at Thanksgiving, when I partied so much, I was sick like a dog the next day! Steups! Got to have a li’l more common sense and doh hit the food and drinks so hard nuh, because I definitely can’t handle another sick like that one.

That was possibly the worse hangover and overeating scene that I’ve ever experienced. Ah Lord eh! I guess that’s why the ole people say to take a little and live long. I certainly wouldn’t be living long if I continue imbibing food and waters like that nuh. Yeh, this weekend go be a quiet one oui. Leave out all that unnecessary stuff…spend some quiet time with the wife and children…that is if they have time for me. (smile) Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’

 Oh friends, I’m chuckling here because there’s nothing to bring us to our senses like an unpleasant experience! Yeh, I’ve had a few of them in my time, like many of us have, but I eventually learned my lesson, and I don’t over imbibe or over eat anymore because it’s a terribly uncomfortable feeling, one that has you feeling so lousy, sometimes you even want to die.

And that’s why our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted borders in our lives. Unlike what the evil one says, about them being there to cut short our fun, they’re there to keep us safe, to ensure that we don’t go overboard and hurt or destroy ourselves. And that’s why our Friday Chant is not as permissive and loose as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, sombrely remembering the workingman’s predicament. (smile) 

As one, in true sincerity: ‘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.’ Ah mih Christian breddren, that is not meant to curtail our fun, but to ensure that it’s clean, safe and godly, consequently not giving the devil a chance to get into our business and stir up strife and trouble as is his won’t. 

That brings us to our Bit for today, some immortal words of Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ Now isn’t that an everlasting truth? It certainly is! And Cousin Sol breaks it down for our small minds to understand. (smile) ‘A time to be born (to bear children), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (come together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl.3:2-8) 

Yes friends, there is a time for everything in this life. And I like how the scholars put it. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses in a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v 5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v 8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’ It all goes to show that our great and wonderful God didn’t create the world in a reckless or foolish manner, but gave serious thought to it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could say with such confidence: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) If there wasn’t a time and purpose for everything, we would not be able to say that. And we’ll end with Cousin Sol’s take on life itself. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

And if you’re a true believer, there’s no way you can refute that conclusion, because that’s what the Good Book says. So now let’s go out and live that kind of life nuh; reverence God, and keep His commandments, for that’s wisdom of the highest level. Much LOVE!

…all things have their time…be they good or bad…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2019 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    ​And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 

Ay mih people, is Tuesday…and the ole fella is tired. Just finished having a nap after breakfast. Believe me, it was hard to get up, and I still can’t catch mihself, so if some strange things happen in the Bit, don’t be surprised eh. (smile) Today seems to be a rest day, as the people who were supposed to come from the country to visit won’t be coming, but some of the town folks will, so it won’t all be rest. 

Oh, yesterday was certainly a busy day, out and about in the hot sun, visiting a friend in the afternoon, stopping along the way for a couple of the famous Devon House patties – add a piece of a nice bread pudding to that – then getting home just in time to shower and change and go back to an Open Week Library function on the university campus, acknowledging and celebrating some of the educational books, some twenty of them, published in the last year by university people. 

That was a good time too, some singing by a young lady, Mrs. Alicia Taylor, I believe that was her name. Then we had some fine words from our guest speaker, Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, wine and scrumptious finger food and good mingling. Just for your info, they appreciated the ole fella’s lively spirit. And why wouldn’t they eh? (smile) Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to what the Lord put in my heart and soul to talk about today. 

And friends, today’s topic is oh so important; it’s possibly the most important element in a Christian’s life after acceptance of Jesus…and we talking about FORGIVENESS! Yeh fellow saints, it’s so important that Jesus included it in the prayer He taught His disciples, and consequently us, to offer up to the Father, each and every day: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ Oh precious people, those words are so important that we ignore them to our peril. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus again. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) Yes people, as always, Jesus spells it out loud and clear: forgive and you will be forgiven; do not forgive, and you will not be forgiven! It’s as simple as that. But you know that we selfish and sinful humans like to ask, even beg the Lord for forgiveness, but hesitate, no, bluntly refuse, to offer forgiveness to others. How can that ever stand us in good stead eh my fellow believers? It certainly won’t. 

But even putting aside Jesus’ warning, what we foolishly don’t seem to realize is that forgiveness is not really for the other person but for us. When we forgive, we are set free from whatever bitterness and anger and any other negative emotion that we’re holding on to by not forgiving. A Bruh Paulian sentence that! (smile) Ofttimes the other person, or persons, are not even aware of any wrong they’ve done you, or know and really don’t care, so it’s just you who’s holding and strangling your soul with all that ungodly emotion. 

And you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you forgive them either. You just make a conscious decision to do so, ask the Lord for His help, let it go, and move on with your life. Yeh, I know it’s seldom that easy, taking into consideration some of the awful wrongs that have been done, and are being done in these evil times, but like life itself, it is a process, and the sooner you make that decision to forgive  and actively work towards that forgiveness, the sooner it will happen, and the better off you will be. 

Now hear this rather informative exchange between Jesus and Peter on the subject. ‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times.’ (Matt.18:21) Peter must have figured that he was being very generous to forgive his brother seven times. But listen to Jesus’ answer. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:22) Mamacita! Can you imagine forgiving somebody 490 times – especially for the same wrong! Not many of us can, but it’s what we’re required to do if we want to be faithful believers and workers for Jesus. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, highlighting the Christian virtues, admirably guide us in this respect. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of (tender) mercies (heartfelt compassion). Kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

Friends, that means we need to be forbearing and forgiving until we die, or Jesus’ comes back, because NONE of us will ever arrive spiritually before those times! So for all of our sakes, let’s ponder the state of our hearts today, and see if there be any unforgiveness in them nuh, then ask the Lord to help us. As Bruh David requested of the Father: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) And you know the Lord will always answer that kind of prayer if it’s sincere.  

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with all sincerity: ‘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!’ So let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness benefits the forgiver…more than the forgiven…both emotionally and spiritually…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ 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) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘17:21. They…may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity. (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yehhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong and sincere voice now:  ‘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!’ 

So please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   ​And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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 mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    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.

 

Oh friends, I’ve been led to begin today’s Bit with these immortal words of William Penn (1644-1718) devout Quaker and advocate for religious freedom, the founder of Philadelphia, and whom the State of Pennsylvania is named after. He reputedly gave us these awesome words of wisdom: ‘I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now.’ 

And that’s basically Christianity 101! That’s all that Jesus desires of us. But obviously we don’t do it enough, don’t truly live it, else our world would not be in such a sad and sorry state of evil and ungodliness! But yuh know what? We all have to live with the consequences of our actions, or lack thereof, from the rich to the poor, the weak to the strong, the godly and ungodly. 

But the problem is that we’re so deeply intertwined in society, through so many different kinds of relationships, that the actions of some will definitely affect others. And the only way to assuage the negative effects is by having many more good things happen in our world, much more kindness and LOVE being spread than evil and ungodliness. 

And I’m not telling us anything new nuh, we just like to do as we please, then complain about the negative consequences. The only way to conquer that is as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says: ‘Obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him!’ Otherwise, our unwise, ungodly actions are liable to bring serious consequences we can’t handle, that make us hold our heads and bawl! (smile) 

Anyway, enough sermonizing, let’s hear what the workingman has to say this bright and sunny Friday morning. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weather seems to be holding up so far. At least it going to be fairly warm this weekend. Hopefully the start of a long awaited summer…and summer holidays…take a few days off from the slave master work and go out in the country with the family…provided we don’t get a wet, short and miserable summer, because that’s the way it shaping up. 

But imagine that nuh; the end of May, and the place still chilly when the night come! This climate change business eh! And people saying that it doh have nothing like that! Steups! Pure foolishness yes! The weather certainly change and become more unpredictable than ever in the last ten years or so. 

But what yuh going to do eh? The people who have the power to improve it, doh want to, so ordinary people like me and you, just have to grin and bear it. But God is good, so we going to handle it, however it come up. And we going to continue thanking God for Fridays and weekends when we could do we own thing, however we want to!’ 

Ah friends, the times they are a changing…and not seemingly for the better. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a much better perspective on it all. We don’t need to worry because Christ has our back, and once we walk in obedience to Him, we’ll be okay. That’s why our Friday Chant is much different from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now with true sincerity and a strong sense of purpose nuh. 

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!’ 

Yeh mih people, we’re on a different wavelength to the unbeliever, but we are indeed charged with bringing them to the awesome wavelength of Jesus, so that they too can enjoy the grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life found under His leadership and guidance! 

That’s why the last thing He told the disciples was to: ‘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) 

Those words are what we conveniently call the Great Commission, but unfortunately not enough of us are out there teaching the world about Jesus and His wonderful attributes! We are either afraid, or just lazy and doh care. But there’s no excuse for either attitude, if we consider ourselves true believers, true disciples and ambassadors of Christ. 

Yuh know Jesus could have relaxed on His laurels in heaven and leave us down here to face the Father’s music, but no, He chose to come down to earth to suffer on our behalf and save our sinful souls. So the least we can do in return is to do the simple stuff He asks of us: tell others about Him, and live the kind of life that glorifies Him, and not be wishy-washy and ashamed of being His follower. 

Please remember His fateful promise: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that friends. You can’t be a disciple of Jesus in secret. You must have the parts to shout it out from the housetops to all and sundry! Otherwise you’re not worthy of being called a Christian! So let’s ponder today, how we’re doing in that respect nuh: are we proud to be called a Christian, do we tell people about Christ, do we live the kind of life that glorifies Him? 

Oh, some of us are doing better than some, but all of us are open to improvement. So please, let’s ask the Father to help us so that we can be better witnesses for his wonderful Son nuh, in the ungodly and evil society in which we live. That’s our Christian purpose and bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is not easy…but it’s what we signed up for…

 

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