Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2018 Proverbs 19:23.

Proverbs 19:23.    The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

Now if I didn’t already know it, I wouldn’t believe it! And what’s that, you ask with an inquisitive frown? If I didn’t know that it was Monday, I wouldn’t believe it, because everybody is so busy and diligently going about their first day of the workweek tasks in such good moods! Nobody’s sulking, miserable or seems depressed; no Monday blues whatsoever! No setta sick calls either! 

And then you’d tell me: Oh, they’re all following the example of that fringe group called Christians; the group that believes in what they call the Messiah, or Saviour, His name is Jesus Christ! Yes, they are very dependable, and do excellent work too! And all I’d be able to says, is ‘Glory be!’ (smile) 

What a great day that will be eh friends, when we have the whole world following our example of diligent and excellent work in Jesus name! Right now it’s still somewhat of a fairy tale, or massive future dream, but if we keep working away at it, in all diligence and excellence, and with Jesus’ help, that day will eventually come. So let’s not give up hope and stop trying, for once there is life, there is hope!  

However, for the many of us who still struggle with getting it together on a Monday morning, we have the perfect elixir to fix whatever ails you. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It’s simply prayer, but then again, please remember that prayer is the most powerful tool and/or weapon in God’s great universe! So let’s not waste any more time in putting it to work nuh. 

All together 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!’ 

Oh my people, it’s working already! I know you can feel it; feel the positive improvement in your attitude, and the excitement that’s being generated by the rush of adrenaline that’s suddenly flowing through your veins!

Wow! Prayer Power is fantastic! It works miracles! Now let’s be on our way about Jesus business, with bright countenances, joyful spirits, and a heart overflowing with LOVE, as He so dearly desires of us. 

But before we jump into the fray, let’s take a moment and set the thoughts engendered by these wise words of Cousin Sol firmly in our hearts and minds. ‘The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.’ 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers! When we reverence our Creator, it means that we do our best to exalt Him and do His will. And since He faithfully takes care of those who uphold His name and His commandments, then there’s no need to worry, He will ensure that we’re contented with our lot.  And Bruh Paul has also assured us: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

We do have to stand strong, steadfast and wise in the faith though for it to happen. And on writing to young Timothy, as per being a good minister of Jesus Christ, amongst other things, Bruh Paul warned: ‘For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.’ (1 Tim.4:8-9) 

And the scholars explain. ‘4:8: The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.” 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! ‘For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially (especially) of those that believe.’ (1 Tim.4:10) 

Yes friends, we definitely need to exercise spiritually, so that we live godly and thus attain the wonderful promise of many blessings and abundant life, down here on earth and through eternity.

Please note though, that although God has provided salvation for ALL men, only those who sincerely believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ WILL be saved. So, I implore us to live our lives in accordance with those principles, otherwise…crapaud smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…salvation is available to all…but you must make a conscious decision to accept it…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 

And then it was Friday…And I have to chuckle because yesterday, Thursday, I wanted to go and visit my mother’s grave site, but because it looked cloudy and rain was forecasted for the afternoon, and it’s a long drive, I didn’t do it. But lo and behold, while having an afternoon nap and going through some dream in my home, my mother suddenly appeared beside me. 

In astonishment, I looked at her and said, ‘Aye Mols, I didn’t know that you were here.’ She never replied, but just gave me a bad eye, or as the Jamaicans would say, cut her eyes at me, a look that spoke volumes, one that said something like: ‘Yes, I’m here. I’ve been here all the time. You’ve just been too busy to notice me!’ 

Ah friends, the mysterious ways in which the Lord rebukes us eh! And the interesting part is that though it was cloudy all day, not a drop of rain fell. Chuh! So it’s not cloudy today, and I don’t think they are calling for rain, so hopefully, after writing the Bit, I’ll get up off my fat fanny and make the long drive to look for the lady. That’s the least I can do for her under the prevailing circumstances. 

And since it’s Friday, yuh better believe the workingman is already singing his weekend song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Hurray for the weekend! We time! We time to do as we please, without any interference from any bosses. Steups! The boss and them so full of foolishness it ain’t funny. Deh so prejudice! The things they ask we to do, they’d never ask any of deh family or friends to do nuh! But because we work for them, they pay we a li’l pittance, they think they could pile all the nasty work on us. 

But they have another think coming yes! Because one day when we get really fed up of all the abuse and indignity, the persecution and inhumanity, we simply going to rebel! But until then, we just going to keep we cool and enjoy we weekends; letting out we frustrations then. So let the partying begin! As they say: ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes! Don’t know what we’d do without them!’ 

 Ah mih people, our world is getting rougher, more cruel and more inhumane everyday. Man’s inhumanity to man is certainly increasing as life plummets downwards. But as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been given the unenviable task of trying to stop it from falling further and raise it back up again to a godly level. 

Hn! I know some of you are sighing and saying that’s an impossible job, but please remember that NOTHING is impossible where our Lord and Saviour is involved. Yes, it might be difficult, but we have all the tools to fix it…and Jesus by our side to help, so we just have to get serious, buckle down and fight the good fight. 

And I know that many of us believers feel the way the workingman feels about our society, but as Christians we’re not allowed to go out on the limb like he does. We have boundaries in place to keep the enemy out, that’s why our weekend song is different from his. So let’s sing ours nuh, our Friday Chant, with the same verve and enthusiasm with which he sang his song. 

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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we need fun and fellowship and relaxation too, but we also need to control our natural sinful nature and not give Beelzebub any chance of invading our space. And yes, I know we recently had this passage of scripture as our Bit, but it’s one of those commands we need to hear over and over and over again, because with the constant demands and busy pace of the world we’re very liable to forget it. 

So here goes: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ And that is the indisputable truth my brethren! Lucifer and his evil henchmen are always on the prowl, seeking victims they can take advantage of. And we can’t let our guard down because they’ll jump in at even the least invitation. 

So Peter continues his warning. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh friends, we have to stand strong and resist the enemy and all his evil machinations. 

It’s not easy, and we all are afflicted in some manner or the other, but Peter guarantees us that if we stand strong: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! That’s why we can sincerely say like Peter did: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11)

So please hang in there my people, even though there seems to be no hope, for once you’re alive…and working with Jesus…there is always hope! Much LOVE!

…the Lord will make a way for us…where there seems to be no way…that’s His faithful promise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.      Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Well it’s cloudy, and the forecasters have promised rain for this afternoon, which the ground badly needs, but I also want to go and visit my mother out in the North East end, and it doesn’t make sense to go in the rain. Been putting it off for a couple weeks, finding one excuse after another.

 

Hn! Haven’t seen her for about a year now, if not more, and that’s not a good son’s behaviour. But I know she will forgive my lack of attention, because that’s the kind of person she was. 

Ah friends, forgiveness! One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. And the greatest words of forgiveness ever spoken are those of Jesus, as He hung, bruised and battered on the old wooden cross, about to breathe His last breath. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

Yeh friends, can you believe it? After the harsh and unjust punishment Jesus received at the hands of wicked and sinful men, He still could ask the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t know what we were doing! What magnanimity of soul and spirit He exuded there.

The same goes for us in these evil times. Only a person with a large heart and spirit can genuinely forgive another. It’s seldom easy, but yuh know what my people? Forgiveness is the very basis of our faith!  

Our most generous and magnanimous God forgave us our sins because it was in His heart to do so. He didn’t have to do it, but because of His LOVE for us, He chose to do it. And He requires us to do the same; to forgive others as He has forgiven us. And if you don’t, then you’re not a true child of His. 

And that principle of our faith was, and is so important that Jesus made it a part of the basic prayer He taught His disciples: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And the scholars explain the verse of our Bit as follows: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ 

And that’s a good thing, because so many of us have so many, even some we don’t know about, that it would take us till everlasting to name them all! (smile) As the li’l quote from the Daily Bread Devotional reminds us: ‘The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.’ And do we ever! 

And Jesus didn’t just leave it there in our Bit, but followed up with this most important corollary: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses (sins, debts), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus could not make it any simpler or clearer than that! If we don’t forgive our fellow man his trespass, then the Lord won’t forgive ours. It’s as simple as that! But we’re such hypocrites and deceivers in this current world that we don’t forgive others but keep on pleading to the Lord for His forgiveness on our behalf. Hn! It won’t work my people. 

The Lord forgave us once on the big stage, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but now He expects us, as individuals, to live up to our covenant and do unto others as we expect Him and others to do unto us. So we shouldn’t expect someone to give us something that we’re not prepared to give in the first place, or to give back, having received it. That’s not Christ-like. 

But unfortunately that’s not what our current world is all about. Instead, we’re mightily focused on getting something for nothing, not sharing, being greedy and hoarding, simply looking out for number one, me, myself and I! And even more unfortunately, too many of us Christians are falling into the selfish trap that the world is advocating. 

And it doesn’t help us either as individuals or as Christ’s body, the church. It just makes the unbeliever look at us askance and lose interest in God, because that behaviour does not gel with what we preach as believers. So we’re definitely doing ourselves and Christ’s church irreparable harm when we behave in that hypocritical and ungodly manner. 

Oh my people, I guess we’ll need to hear about forgiveness until the very day, or moment that we die, since it’s not always easy to do, and it goes against the very grain of our naturally sinful soul. But forgive we must, if we want to be forgiven!

And like with every other aspect in our walk of faith, God will help us with forgiveness if we come to Him in all humility and sincerity and ask for His help. He’s promised never to turn us away…and He won’t. 

So let’s wisely get on the forgiveness train nuh, because it’s the only one going to heaven. And simple logic dictates that if you’re not on it, then you’re not going to heaven! (smile) But our God is so magnanimous and wonderful, that for those who try to practice what they preach, He’s ordained numerous blessings, as found in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s go home now sincerely declaring them nuh. 

In unison: ‘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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Now let’s go out with a strong sense of purpose and share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…if you’re blessed…then you were meant to share the blessing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did 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) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2018 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

Ah mih breddren, I know you’re feeling it in your soul; the fact that you have to go out and labour this Monday morning! Hn, Hn! And yuh know what? Many of us will feel like that at the beginning of every week for most, if not all of our working lives. It’s just something about being away from work, for even a couple of days, that causes a disconnect, and it’s so difficult to reconnect. (smile) 

I think too that the human spirit has a built in aversion to very word ‘work’, as it brings to mind, toil, physical labour and all those things that run counter to our human nature. So please don’t beat yourself up if you’re one of those who have problems getting it together on Mondays, even though you’ve rested and fellowshipped and done all the right things. Just join with us as we take it to Jesus in prayer, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Believe me, it will do you a lot of good; lift your spirits and have you chomping at the bit to get out there and do excellent and diligent work for Jesus. I like to call it our antidote for all that ails us on a Monday morning. So let’s get busy and sing; sing with as much enthusiasm as you can muster, but make sure that your heart’s sincere. 

All together 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!’ 

Oh mih people, yuh see the ole fella wasn’t lying when he said that it would do you good; lift your spirits and get you enthused for Jesus! Glory be mih breddren! There’s nothing like sincere and humble prayer to lift our spirits and get us back on the tried and true narrow path where Jesus reigns secure! 

And today I just want to remind us, to bring to our attention, the wonderful God we serve and worship, the way Daniel did when he prayed for his sinful people. He said: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion (shame) of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.’ (Dan.9:8) And believe me people, we are living in the most sinful times ever. 

Daniel thought his time was bad, but today he would hold his head and bawl at the atrocities and shameful stuff that we’re doing, and even considering some of it normal and right. Steups! Our world’s leadership is petty, greedy, self-seeking and ever so hungry for wealth and power! And to that end, the latest trend is that they all want to be dictators, but they are the most inept and inefficient group of leaders I’ve seen in my life time. And yuh know what? 

Unfortunately their behaviour sets the tone for our society’s lifestyle and behaviour. And it’s sad how we adopt their bad habits, including turning away from God. Ah friends, it’s a good thing we have the God we do have yes, otherwise crapaud surely smoke we pipe! For as Daniel rightly says in our Bit:‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord for not giving us our just desserts, but instead showering us with your LOVING-kindness and forgiveness!’ And so should we be ever grateful and thankful! Oh friends, I don’t know what it’s going to take for us to realize the seriousness of our world situation nuh, with all the negative, ungodly stuff we’re so blithely and blatantly affirming. 

And as the psalmist rightly asks in Psalm 130: ‘If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps.130:3) And the overwhelming answer to that is ‘NOBODY!’ Why? ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) Yes friends, we have all gone astray, overstepped our boundaries, transgressed God’s law! Put it any way you want it, we’re simply not good enough to stand before a holy and almighty God in our own right. 

However, as the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (reverenced with awe). I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning’ (Ps.130:4-6) That’s how strong the psalmist faith was!  

And in closing, I’d like to strongly advise us all to do as he suggests; wait and watch for the Lord and faithfully and patiently hope in His word, ‘for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption.’ (Ps.130:7b) Much LOVE!

…only by embracing God’s mercy and forgiveness…will we escape eternal damnation…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2018 Ephesians 6:11.

And once again it’s Sunday friends: our day of rest from mortal toil. A day where we are expected to spend time in worship and fellowship with other believers in the house of God, so that our souls and spirits can be renewed and refreshed and our Creator praised and exalted. 

And as always, each Sunday we begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, because there’s nothing the Lord likes more than hearing His praises sung, and it also softens our hearts, enabling them to be more receptive to His Word. And the song we’re going to sing is an ole favourite, the American Christian Hymn, ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.’ 

But before we get into it, let’s look at its supposed history, a rather interesting one. Apparently it was written by a Presbyterian Minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858, who at that time was an associate of one Dudley Atkins Tyng; a Pastor recently ‘removed from his local Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery. Duffield assisted Tyng in supporting an evangelical revival in Pennsylvania. 

In March 1858, Tyng gave a sermon at a YMCA meeting of over 5,000 men on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord”, converting over 1,000 men listening in the crowd. The following month, Tyng was maimed in a farming accident. Before he died a few days after the accident he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

Duffield then wrote the hymn based on those words. At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield gave a sermon based on Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and ended it by reciting the new hymn he had written as a tribute. After first publication, the hymn was popular and was sung by both the Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. 

The hymn also became popular among British revivalists and within public schools in England. As a result of the images of Christian militarism in the hymn, some people object to the hymn, and some people do not stand to sing it’  With such a colourful and controversial history, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. 

And furthermore, ‘Several melodies have been written for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”. The one used most often now was written by George James Webb, who had originally composed it in 1837 for “Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”, a song in a secular musical show performed on a ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean it. ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Yeah friends, that’s exactly what is required of us as followers of Jesus. We’re in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil and we must acquit ourselves as brave, courageous and loyal soldiers of Jesus. And the best words in the Good Book to describe our situation comes from the pen of Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re putting on the whole armour of God. So let’s read and inwardly digest those fighting words nuh. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:10-12) 

Oh my people, you might not see our enemy, but believe me, he and his cohorts are real, and they reside in many who hold high office in this realm. And as loyal Christians, we need to battle them to the death, or until Jesus returns. But like any soldier going into battle, we have to take serious precautions: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on), the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

Fellow believers, only when we’re wearing God’s armour are we able to withstand the powerful foe that will keep on coming against us with evil schemes and demonic attacks. But we need to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, (the knowledge of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character and moral conduct). And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (a sense of eagerness or willingness to advance against the devil and take the fight to him). 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, (trusting God and believing His promises), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of (dispel all doubts induced by) the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation (the assurance of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (rhema; selected verses of Scripture): Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18)  

Yes my brethren, we need to have all the accoutrements of war, but without prayer, it’s all in vain. Prayer is indispensable to our cause, and we must be vigilant in praying for all our fellow believers. ‘Spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ There you have it friends, a quick discourse, or hopefully, to some of us, a jolting reminder on Spiritual Warfare 101.  Now let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ…be well armed…stand strong…and pray always…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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