Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘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) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2020 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Now this weather scene is getting to be a bit much yes! Can you believe that after a wet, rainy and icy Sunday morning that by ten a.m. the sun had come out and it became clear and dry, though somewhat chilly, and stayed so for the remainder of the day? Wonder what kind of weather we will experience today eh? But I’m not bothering mihself over it nuh, because with it’s contrariness, if you take it on, it will just drive yuh crazy! You just have to be prepared for whatever comes and say, the Lord be praised! (smile) 

And can you also believe that we’re already into half of January? Time sure isn’t wasting time… like some of us! (smile) Wonder how many sure-fire resolutions have been broken already? No doubt many. But it’s Monday, and that tired, sickly, lazy and unenergized feeling is afflicting some of us, like it will always do, so let’s take our problems to the Lord in prayer as we ought to. Let’s humbly, but confidently declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and receive His awesome help to cure our ailments. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And as always, the positive heavenly reply is not long in coming. We soon feel our spirits lifting, our energy pumping up, and our desires for Jesus, His Word and His work burning like a righteous fire in our being! (smile) Like poor Jeremiah who was tired of declaring the Lord’s word because he was being mocked continually, and thus decided to give up speaking it. However he found that he could not. Why? ‘But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (of holding back) and I could not stay (endure it). (Jer. 20:9) 

Ah friends, many of us sometimes feel like Jeremiah; getting a lot of negative reactions when we try to speak God’s word, but we cannot give up, we have to endure, whatever it takes. It’s that spirit of NEVER GIVING UP, regardless of our circumstances, or who comes against us, that divides Christians from the rest of the human race. Once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit fills you with His awesome strength and courage so that you can keep keeping on with Christ as your Guide and Leader. 

He didn’t have it easy on this earth, and neither will we. But as He faithfully promised: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ And He certainly has friends, by dying on the cross to save our sinful souls, and then coming to life once again, thus defeating, hell, death and the grave for all time! And we’ll just quote a few scriptures to highlight the truth of what Jesus said in our Bit. 

As pertaining to His peace, hear Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus regarding the unity of ALL believers. ‘For He (Christ himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

Yes precious people, Christ broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, namely the Mosaic Law which was made to protect the Jews from pagan influences, but which they improperly used to make themselves feel superior to the Gentiles. But Jesus got rid of all of that by making us, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles, One new man, a unified Church. 

And as per having tribulation in this evil world, hear Bruh Paul to Timothy, re the coming days of apostasy (backsliding). ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-13) And we certainly are seeing it all in these strife-filled end times. 

And per overcoming the world, listen to these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) 

So friends, we have it all in Jesus, God Himself, all that we need to successfully navigate this fallen and sinful world. So there is absolutely no need to worry when things seem rough. Just call on Him and He will faithfully see you through. Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…Jesus is only a prayer away…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Now, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2019 Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38.    ​Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.
 

And so, having muddled through Monday, (smile) we’ve finally arrived at Tuesday! And to help us not muddle through Tuesday too, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that will wake us up to an all too common and ungodly situation that exists in our society today. It’s called ‘The “Someday” Syndrome!’ We all do it, but are often not even aware we’re doing it, since it now comes so naturally. 

Please pray with me: ‘The “Someday” Syndrome! How prevalent it has become in our “advanced” society. How thought-consuming, how time-consuming. “Someday” when we’ve bought a bigger house, when we’ve installed our swimming pool, when we’ve taken another trip or two… “Someday” we’ll be able to give more to the hungry, to the needy. But right now there are so many pressing demands, so many social events that consume both time and money. 

“Someday” the struggle will be less taxing. However, it doesn’t really work that way. “Someday” never seems to happen. It’s only when giving becomes primary and getting becomes secondary that we begin to see things from God’s point of view. When we obey God’s Word, His giving never stops. We need to be spiritually prepared to catch His gifts.’ 

And oh, how gospel true that is my supposedly believing brethren! Steups! We talk an exceptionally mighty talk, but our actual walk comes nowhere near our talk! And that’s very problematic for us who say we believe in Christ Jesus. Remember, He came to save and to give and to make whole, and the only way we can follow in his footsteps is by sincerely trying to do what He did. But the truth of the matter is that we can’t do any of those things until we first humble ourselves in our own eyes and look to the needs of others much more than we are currently doing. 

I’m sure that we all can see the great need that exists in our overall prosperous society, where foodbanks and shelters for the homeless are no longer a wartime necessity, but the peace time norm. And that’s because those who have, have too much, and are refusing to share with those who don’t. And believe me, a society that doesn’t have more equality of wealth and opportunity than ours now has, will always face revolution and chaos. History repeatedly tells of it down through the ages, and we’re seeing one of those chaotic and revolutionary periods right now, as our world is being torn apart by strife, due to severe poverty, homelessness, lack of economic opportunities, as well as rampant greed and power struggles! 

There is no doubt that the rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer…if the latter is even possible! The stats tell us the richest 1 percent in our society own more than 90 percent of it, and their wealth is daily increasing. So what does that leave for the other 99 percent eh? Not a whole lot. That’s why dissatisfaction is so prevalent and rampant all over the world. Obviously the wealthy have not learned from the woeful tales of history, because they are doing exactly the same thing their fellow wealthy have done; seeking it all for themselves and not wisely sharing some of it. 

And the sad part is that they don’t have to share or give it all away. A small portion of genuine giving will quiet the masses. But people need to see that there is indeed hope for themselves and their offspring to make a better life, if they so desire. And when they don’t, that’s when they revolt. As the ole people would say, when yuh back up a dog against a wall, all he can do is come out fighting! And that’s what so many people in so many of our nations are currently experiencing. Take a look at Venezuela; at Hong Kong, at Bolivia…and so many nations around the world… all across the board, from the first world to the third and fourth world countries! 

And I just realized that we haven’t even mentioned that continual hotbed of dissatisfaction, the Middle East, where wealth and power reigns supreme in the hands of the privileged few, while the many scrounge for a living. But yuh know what friends, our world will only change if we, the supposed Christians take a major lead in changing it. If we truly follow the words and actions of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when He mouthed the promise from our “Someday” Story: ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ 

Oh my people, that’s just the normal law of nature, the economic principle of God’s economy: what you sow, you will eventually reap; how much you receive depends on how much you give! It’s something we know and talk about, but don’t do enough of. As James so wisely advises us: ‘So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth (triumphs) against judgement.’ (James 2:12-13) 

It’s not rocket science friends, especially for those of us who claim to believe! And therein lies the heart and soul of the problem; we only claim to believe. Unfortunately though, our lives don’t reflect it in a meaningful way. So please, I seriously implore us, for our children’s children sake, let’s try and right this badly listing ship called our world RIGHT NOW nuh, for tomorrow might just be too late. Much LOVE!

…contrary to popular opinion…our world…like the Titanic…is also sinkable…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2019 2 Chronicles 26:5.

2 Chronicles 26:5.    ​And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
 

So today looks like another rainy and cloudy day, but I guess that’s what fall weather is all about. But who knows, with the way things are going these days, by lunchtime it could be pouring down sunshine! (smile) Yeh, the weather patterns are so unpredictable these days that I feel sorry for the weather forecasters. But regardless of if the physical sun is shining or not, we need to remember that we have the One who created the sun dwelling inside of us, and therefore there should always be a bright light, the bright light of Jesus, shining in our souls and spirits. 

Glory to God for that eternal sunshine! That sunshine that keeps us joyful and fresh, and peaceful and righteous and leads us along the strait and narrow path that Almighty God has ordained for us to follow! Give Him much thanks for His unceasing goodness to us, the disobedient children of men. Without His amazing grace and mercy we’d surely be lost in the mire of sinfulness, headed straight for Hades and its ruler, the evil one. And I’ve just encountered an interesting scripture in the Old Testament that is still oh so relevant to our modern times. It deals with the sixteen year old Uzziah succeeding his father Amaziah as king of Judah. It says: ‘And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.’ 

What a wonderful scripture for us meditate on and consider this wet and cloudy morning my people, because it is still a happening fact in our time. When you seek God sincerely and constantly, He causes you to prosper. And prosper doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth, but also peace and joy in your life and your surroundings, and the lack of strife and other negative emotions and situations. But before we move on, here are a couple of notices from the scholars. The first is that Uzziah is called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21; 15:1-7. And the second is that the Zechariah named above is not the same prophet who wrote the prophecy of Zechariah. 

This brings us to another instance where the same basic ideas were floated to a Judean king. Listen to this warning from the prophet Azariah. ‘And the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet (before) Asa, (the king), and said unto him, hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) Yeh friends, that warning still applies to us today. And I like what Azariah said after reminding them that Israel had been in a rough state for a long time, without a prophet, disobedient to God, and thus suffering much adversity. However he advised: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

Yeh friends, it still works even to this day! Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) It’s like the author of Hebrews said: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) That’s sort of the reverse side of the coin; you can’t come to God sincerely unless you believe that He will reward your diligent seeking of Him. Oh I just went outside to check on a problem and it’s already sunny out there. Yuh see, just like we said earlier on! (smile) Glory to God! 

Now here are James’ words on the subject. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) Oh my people, in these evil times, times of so much selfishness and greed, many of us, even Christians, need to humble ourselves before Almighty God, so that He can lift us up. 

Yes, it’s a fact; if we don’t humble ourselves before Him, there will be no lifting up! And once we do that, He will bless us so abundantly, that we won’t know what to do with the blessings. Listen to some of them. We call them our Thursday Blessings. They need to be spoken out loud for them to take effect, so please declare them with me in loud and sincere voices. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! But one important reminder: those blessings are for us to generously share with others, as the Lord has generously shared them with us, not for us to selfishly hoard. Much LOVE!

…you can only find God…if you diligently look for Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2019 Proverbs 1:33.

Proverbs 1:33.    ​But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (safe, secure) from fear of evil.
 

Well a good Friday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family! And so it should be, because it’s as glorious a day as the Lord has ever made! This morning when He took out His brush, palette and paints to produce it, He didn’t miss a stroke! 

He got it all right; the brightly shining sun, a cool, invigorating breeze, leaves as green as ever on the trees, singing birds and insects, a myriad of flowers in a myriad of beautiful colours, and most of all, we His faithful followers and obedient believers with His Holy Spirit dwelling in us to lead and guide us along straight paths! 

Oh glory to our great God! Give Him much thanks and praise my people! And that thanks should not be only through word of mouth, but also be shown by our actions, by the way we live our lives, so that others will want to come to Him and enjoy His salvation, LOVE, forgiveness and mercy! But enough of me. (smile) 

Hear the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Brother! The week’s been somewhat rough after all that Labour Day partying! Good thing we didn’t have to work five days nuh, else I never would have made it nuh. And with the children bouncing around excitedly with the new school year, there wasn’t a moment’s peace in the house this week! 

But I guess now that the summer’s done, I have the whole winter to rest. Let’s hope it’s not a rough one nuh because I’m not as young as I was and thus can’t handle those harsh winters with as much enthusiasm and patience and physical strength as I used to. Might just be time to move to somewhere where it’s always summer! 

Oh, I know right now that’s just a pipe dream, but it’s surely something to think on for later days. For the time being though, I just have to put up with the slave master and his slavish work, so that I can support the family, and enjoy the two short days off on the weekends. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes friends, even the ordinary workingman has to wake up some time to his mortality! We all need to realize that what we might have been able to do in our youth, we simply can’t do in our later years. However, with the help of our amazing God and Creator we can do infinitely more than we think or imagine. And we bring that to remembrance through our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant up a sincere storm 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!’ 

Yeh friends, like the ordinary workingman, many of us believers extended ourselves over the Labour Day weekend, and had it somewhat rough this past week, but we know the Lord our God, know that we can go to Him for rest and recuperation at any time of the day or night, because He has promised it in His Word. 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it nuh, when he talks about those who refuse to seek the wisdom of the Lord God Almighty. ‘For the turning away (waywardness) of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity (complacency) of fools shall destroy them.’ (Prov.1:32) And oh my people, if there’s one word that describes too many believers in this day and age it’s that utterly inappropriate word ‘complacency!’ 

Now technically that means something like a ‘feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.’ However as it pertains to us Christians in this evil and ungodly world it’s more a case of not doing what we ought to do; that’s the work, the purpose, the plan Jesus has for us, the job of spreading His good news to those around us. It’s more like ‘self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.’ 

Yes friends, too many of us are just sitting on our laurels doing nothing to truly further God’s kingdom, just enjoying the good earthly life, totally unaware of the dangers and deficiencies of our behaviour! Merely sitting on the fence, waiting for life to produce whatever we hope it produces is totally unacceptable to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and eventually we’ll only drown in, or choke on our own vomit, as the saying goes. 

Cousin Sol though wisely informs us: ‘But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (safe, secure) from fear of evil.’ What a wonderful promise my people, but it comes with conditions! We need to listen to the Lord, obey His Word, and do what he tells us to do, when He tells us to do it; not just sit around lazily, complacently, and call ourselves Christians. Christians are action-oriented people, not just lay-abouts! 

And Cousin Sol expands on all of that later, saying when we seek the wisdom of God and also obey it: ‘Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).’ (Prov.3:23-26) 

Oh friends, I couldn’t put it any better or clearer! It’s up to us now to accept God’s promises or not. But please remember there are serious consequences to each option, so please be wise and choose the Lord and His way! Much LOVE!

…I have set before you…life and death…blessing and cursing…therefore choose life…that both thou and thy seed may live… (Deut.30:19)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘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) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

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