Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2020 Isaiah 40:1.

Isaiah 40:1.    ​Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
 
Well Friday’s rolled around again friends. What’s happening eh? I guess it’s the same old, same old. No work for most, too much for a few, and very little play for anybody. But for the foreseeable future, that seems to be the new state of affairs, so we’d better get accustomed to it. And since it’s Friday, let’s get straight to the workingman’s song, because he’s just dying to get a word in sideways. (smile)

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend here! But is not the same nuh, because there’s no work to go to, or come home from, and every day is just the same. So the weekend doh really mean nothing. Steups! It really playing havoc with mih mind yes. I can’t handle this every day is the same thing business. You can only do so much when yuh lockdown in a small house with small children and a tired wife. Never thought I’d miss going to the slave master work, but I do. 

At least it use to give me a sense of purpose, like I was doing something useful. But now, what ah doing eh…with this Corona virus thing that shut down almost everything? Not a blooming thing! Ah tired watching tv…and besides all yuh see on the so and so television is more bad news about the virus, so why watch that and drive mihself more crazy than I already am eh? Steups! And ah can’t drink mihself stupid every day either. The children tired too playing with the same ole toys and driving deh mother mard. 

And though the weather been nice this past week, you could only spend so much time outside because it still fairly cold, and yuh can’t go the park or anything so. Ah Lord eh! What we going to do? Ah guess we just have to grin and bear it and hope they find some cure for this bloody thing soon oui! Else we going to have a whole world of even madder people than before…for those who manage to survive it.’ 

And isn’t there a lot of truth in the workingman’s statements. Boredom and aggravation have begun setting in for many people. And being continuously locked up together is certainly going to cause problems in some families, especially the larger ones living in smaller homes. Being constantly underfoot is not something we humans handle very well. But we’d better learn to handle it, because this virus doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. 

And yuh know what? We believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ are the ones expected to be in the forefront of the battle, leading the way through our good and faithful example! Being fruitful examples of salt and light to a hopeless and disbelieving world! Yes friends, that’s what Jesus expects of us. And the first step in our battle is to talk to our great and merciful God, give Him thanks and ask for guidance and direction and divine relief from our misery. So let’s do so now by chanting our rejigged Friday Chant, in strong and confident, but humble voice. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s up to us Christians to stand up strong and steadfast, leading the way, so that the world can see what true faith looks like, and realize that it’s ONLY through Jehovah God that hope and life exist. And hear these words from our comforting Deity that speak to the bleak situation at hand: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably (comfort) to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished (ended), that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’ (Is.40:1-2) 

Oh friends, ONLY through sincere trust in the Lord can we receive true comfort. Remember Christ’s Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Oh precious people of God, who else has ever had the parts to make such an offer eh? NO ONE BUT JESUS! Because He is the ONLY ONE who can make that offer come true! And that offer is still open, and is even more relevant in these disastrous times than ever. So please be wise and accept it. 

And we’ll end with this interesting message I got through social media yesterday. A lot of it floating through the airways is nonsense, but I thought this was interesting enough to share. It reads: ‘I don’t know who wrote this, but it’s beautiful. We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another. Suddenly Disney is out of magic. Paris is no longer romantic, New York doesn’t stand up anymore, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty. 

Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of LOVE. Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for. The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message: “You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.” 

Yes friends, the world was fine until God made man and woman, and they in their stupidity chose to move away from their Creator. And it will be fine again if He removes us from it through this current pandemic. Throughout the ages, it’s always mankind who has been the fly in the ointment. Everything else unfurls as God planned it. And here’s how He’s planned it; thankfully with our benefit in mind: 

‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:10-11) 

Oh, how beautiful are all the promises of our wonderful God! So today, please, please, let’s be wise and take them sincerely and seriously to heart nuh, and thus move forward strong and steadfast, as He desires of us! Much LOVE!

…God is ALL we need…especially in the times of calamity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2020 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    ​Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 

And life goes on in this Covid-19 season. It has to…and it will…God willing of course! And despite all the bad news, as always, there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel, though somewhat far away. (smile) I’m talking about the start of human trials for a vaccine to stop the deadly disease that now holds our world in a tight stranglehold. Glory be! Apparently both in China and the U.S. approval has been given to begin clinical trials on human subjects, but who knows how and when that will prove successful. 

Oh yes, we will defeat the virus eventually, we have to believe that, otherwise all our other efforts will be in vain. The problem though is when will that happen, and how many lives would have been lost and irreparable damage done to our society and economy by then? Ah my fellow believers, this is the time for us to truly show up as salt and light to our unbelieving brethren. This is the time when we have to use our incredible faith to help the world get through this evil pandemic. 

It’s one of those times when the church has got to step forward and be amongst the leading lights, especially in terms of faith. This is a significant occasion for Christians to not only talk, but more importantly walk their talk of faith. Remember Jesus’ alluding at almost all of his healings and miracles to the faith of the receivers, and how He kept accusing those who should have known better: ‘O ye of little faith.’  It wasn’t only His powers that caused the miracles but also the participants faith. 

Remember too when He healed the two blind men. He first asked them: ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this (heal you)? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged (strictly warned) them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country (land).’ (Matt. 9:28-31) 

Oh precious people of God, there are so many lessons for us in that passage of scripture in these trying times. The first being that we have to truly believe without a shred of doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. That’s where our faith and trust and surrender comes in. Remember, it’s according to the amount of those things we have that our lives can move from good to bad and vice-versa. Remember too, the time Jesus was teaching the disciples about forgiveness, and it was such a hard lesson – just keep on forgiving? (Luke 17:1-4) 

What happened then eh? The Good Book tells us: ‘And the disciples said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) Wow! That’s the awesome power of true and strong faith. 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation. ‘17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ And I would go even further and say, that that’s the ONLY WAY our faith ever increases! We need to step out in obedience, with whatever faith we then have, and then see God work wonderfully in our lives. And every time we do that, our faith grows! 

Right now, in these trying times friends, we faithful believers need to activate our faithfulness in whatever manner we can to keep the hope of others alive. That’s our bounden duty! We were put here in this time to do that! And that is highlighted by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter when He foretold Peter’s betrayal. ‘And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (you have turned again), strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, but also his transformation back to his former strong faith. And then, he was to help others boost their faith. And I guess that’s what I am now trying to do; keep our faith alive and strong…and even growing too, for remember it’s in the hard and difficult times that our faith grows! 

Now I don’t want to make this as long as yesterday, (smile) so I’ll just remind us of that wonderful chapter 11 in Hebrews; aptly called the Heroes of Faith, that tells us about many great men and women of faith. They all had problems to surmount, but they all surmounted them by FAITH in the God their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I think it will be only fitting for ALL of us to read that awesome chapter as often as we need to keep our faith strong in this time of worldwide calamity. 

And please remember that FAITH is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is all about the good things we’re hoping for, in the Lord’s Will, that we don’t see, but are eagerly expecting them and waiting for them with patience and perseverance. And our greatest hope right now…a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. So let’s believe that we will eventually get one, and consequently, wait patiently, earnestly, eagerly and with perseverance for it. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, as we let this primarily unbelieving world know of our enviable position in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts and plenty, plenty faith: ‘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!’ 

Oh yes friends, if we fight the good fight and remain steadfast in our faith to the end, then that future will indeed be glorious; more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…as well as molehills…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2020 Matthew 23:28.

Matthew 23:28.    ​Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).
 
Well Saturday has dawned dry and sunshiny… Thank the Lord yes! Unlike yesterday, which had a constant drizzling of snow in all it’s various shapes and sizes; wet, dry, light, heavy. Thankfully though, none of it stayed on the ground and we’re now looking forward to a warm weekend. Glory be! I’m not accustomed to this cold and snow business nuh! (smile) Somebody was against me yesterday, or trying to send me some kind of message, because on my first day back from ‘paradisiacal’ Jamaica, every time I looked out the window all I saw was this white stuff floating down from the heavens. Chuh man! It’s enough to depress a body! (smile) 

But now it’s Saturday, a new and different day; one filled with the many new mercies and compassions of our magnificent and magnanimous God! Bless His holy name! So let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one says: ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ And it’s strange how all of us can look at the same thing and see something different. A good example of that is a ghetto or a sorrowful person. 

Some of us will be disgusted by either sight and simply walk away as quickly as possible. On the other hand, some will see the sad plight of the place and person and be filled with compassion, and feel a burning desire to help.’ It’s all in our attitudes friends, the state of our hearts. And as believers in Christ, we ought to display the latter attitude. Our hearts ought to be filled with compassion for the lost, the sick and lonely, like Jesus’ heart was, and still is filled with compassion for us. 

And then there’s this: ‘A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.’ I guess the basic premise there is greed. How many things do we need to feel materially wealthy, as opposed to how many things we don’t need, because we’re spiritually rich? Now that’s a good question. And the best answer I can give is Jesus’ warning: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) The things of the world ought not to have us in such a deadly grip that we don’t put the Lord first place in our lives. 

And the next quote says: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ Now that should be obvious, since it’s basic common sense. But it also implies that we will be growing in the meanwhile. However, unfortunately, a lot of us are not growing, or in the way we should, and that includes believers. So how can we do better eh? That means we have to try our best to grow in the right way, in godliness, because we can only do better when we grow, and grow in the right way. 

We certainly waxing philosophical this morning oui! (smile) And we’ll also get scriptural too. (smile) For as James warns us: ‘Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:17) So if we know that we should improve in a godly way, so we can do good, and don’t do it, then it just might be imputed to us as sin. Now that ought to stir us up to some godly movement. (smile) 

That leads us to this last quote, a relative to the previous one. ‘Persistence, perseverance, and continuous improvement are the ingredients for forming a successful person.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! Regardless of how rich and educated you are, even if you are filled with Bible knowledge, you will not be successful unless you put some blood, sweat and tears into your endeavour, whatever it may be. Yes friends, even when you know and practice the Word of God, persistence and perseverance are still necessary to be successful. 

And these well known words of Calvin Coolidge, (1872-1933) the 30th President of the U.S. puts it all in the proper perspective. ‘Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.’ And that’s no lie, since you can’t solve a problem unless you keep pressing on to solve it. Philosophy 101! 

Unfortunately though, we as true believers in Christ Jesus need those words more than any other set of people in our current world, because we drastically need to step up our fight against the evil and darkness that’s shrouding our world like a blanket. We’re definitely not as persistent and determined as we need to be. There is too much disunity and dissension in Christ’s body, the church, and then it’s members are also  too laid back, lazy and compromising. That’s why evil is currently ruling the roost. 

And if you didn’t know it before, let me enlighten you now. We, the supposed true believers in Christ, are the ones who are expected to fight the good fight of faith, to run a glorious and powerful race in Jesus name! Remember, Christ expects us to be the salt and light of the earth. But we’ve apparently lost our saltiness, and talk about lacking in light – we don’t seem to be shining at all. You have to look hard to find a decent Christian these days. Remember we are to be known by our works… 

Well, not enough of us are doing enough sincere works with the right motives, so that we can be noticeable and have others come to want Jesus. Instead, the main word you’ll hear re Christians is ‘hypocrite!’ And sadly that’s the truth, because we’ve become so much like the Pharisees that Jesus condemned in Matt. 23, like whitewashed  tombs, who appear beautiful on the outside but on the inside it’s another story. ‘Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness.)’ 

And unfortunately that can be said of too many supposed believers today, and it’s a convenient excuse for many who refuse to go to church because there are too many hypocrites within its walls. But the truth of the matter friends, is that we are ALL hypocritical in some respect and to some degree, thus going to church will only add one more to the group. (smile) Seriously though my brethren, it’s time we stop being so clean and righteous on the outside and so sinful and nasty on the inside because it doesn’t draw others to Christ, just turns them away. 

So please, let’s ask the Lord, starting right now, to clean us up inside nuh, so that both sides of us will truly be the same and we can then be good and sincere ambassadors of Christ. Much LOVE!

…it’s what comes out of the mouth…that defiles a man…not what goes in… (Matt.15:11)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2020 2 Timothy 3:12.

2 Timothy 3:12.    Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
 
Wow! Just look at the smiles and all the high fives nuh…It must be Friday…and month end too, when some people also get paid! And I can imagine the amount of people who are dying for today, and thus the work week to end, so they can run to the watering holes and drown their tiredness and sorrows in man-made fire-water, before they listlessly journey home to a sad existence. 

But friends, please remember that we are in the Lenten season and we need to cut down on some of our indulgences. Instead of going to the watering hole to expensively drown one’s sorrows, why not go to the church, or to anywhere quiet and have them expunged for free by the mighty psychiatrist Jehovah Rapha – Healer Extraordinaire! 

And the good thing about Dr. Rapha is that besides being free and good, He is ALWAYS available, just a prayer away! And many of us believers are right now caught between a rock and a hard place, so let’s hie us hither to that goodly doctor nuh, who’s record for healing is exemplary. The only condition is that you want to be truly healed! 

Like any other doctor He can’t heal you until you come and seek Him out and ask for His magnificent and magnanimous help. And yuh know I just LOVE those two words – magnificent and magnanimous – because they so admirably fit out wonderful God! He’s big and bright and bold and beautiful! He’s also wealthy and generous to a fault! There’s no one as wealthy and as generous as Him! How can we not LOVE, adore, worship and reverence Him eh? 

That’s because too many of us are looking for handouts and for freebies, we don’t want to work for what we want, and never expect anything to go wrong in our lives because He’s such a good God! But friends, God never promised us that life will be all wine, song and roses. He just promised to be there to help in time of need. And He ALWAYS IS! 

Remember too that Jesus said we’d find tribulation in this world, but we ought to cheer up because He had overcome the ungodly world. (John 16:33) And Bruh Paul puts it thus to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ So believers ought not to expect a quiet and easy life, though most of us won’t suffer the trials and tribulation of Jesus, Bruh Paul and a lot of the early Christians. 

Look also at Bruh David’s life and listen to his words: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:19)  So things aren’t that bad, and with the Lord’s help we will come through with flying colours.  

And I finally got off the hotel compound yesterday. Went up into the country to visit the area where the duchess grew up and the grave sites of her family. Passed places like Bluefields, Brompton, Fyffes Pen. Stopped at a cousin in Black River, then went on to Negril, where I had a dip in the salt, an exotic cocktail and a jerk-burger. It seems I also lost my watch somewhere on the grounds. 

Ah Lord eh! I seem to be losing a lot of things lately. Is that what maturity brings? (smile) Left here around twelve, didn’t return until almost nine at night, tired like a dog. (smile) I’m supposed to be out on the road again today, but heading in the opposite direction… And yes, I hear you all clamouring for the workingman’s monologue. (smile) 

So here he is in all his glory. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend draws nigh! It’s party time! Oh no, I forgot is Lent and the wife going to be on mih case to not only stop drinking but to go to church too! Steups! But why should I stop drinking just because is Lent eh? I might be Christian in belief, but ah doh practice it, so why be a bleeding hypocrite and stop drink and go to church and hob nob with all them big bleeding hypocrites in there eh? 

Ah not going to fool people and make them feel that I’m something I’m not. I might not be great in many of thems eyes, but I know who I am, and I like mihself and am proud of who I am. So let them keep deh church yes and carry on with all deh hypocrisy, I not going to help them condone it nuh. I have my own way to talk to God, don’t need them strait laced nonsense! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And yes friends, a lot of people use that excuse for not going to church. And yes, Christ’s church is full of hypocrites and hypocrisy. But yuh know what, we are all hypocrites to some extent, so staying away from church doesn’t make you any better than those who go to church. But that’s another argument for another time. 

Let’s sincerely declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant. ‘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!’ 

Now my fellow church going hypocrites, (smile) that’s what we ought to be about on the weekend; rest and rejuvenation so we can continue to fight for the cause of Christ in the upcoming week with a strong sense of purpose buoyed by enormous confidence and the rightness of His LOVE Revolution! 

Oh friends, it’s ever so important to give of our best in Jesus’ work, so that when our time is at hand, we can truthfully say like Bruh Paul did: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith;’ (2 Tim. 4:7) 

And that being true, this will also be true: ‘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. 4:8) 

So my fellow believers, let’s keep on trying to do our best for Jesus nuh, so that at the latter day we can receive the crown of righteousness He has to offer. I can’t think of anything better to work towards in this evil and ungodly world. Much LOVE!

…Jesus desires good work from His ambassadors…so He can reward them abundantly…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2020 1 Peter 2:2.

1 Peter 2:2.    ​As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
 

Another Monday friends… Yes, one more in the long line of Mondays lined up for us to go through in our work experience! And hopefully some of us might eventually wise up and realize that it doesn’t make sense to go through the Monday morning blues every week, and thus find ways to minimize the weekly frustrations and consequently decrease our stress levels and add a modicum of happiness to our lives. (smile) That’s the basic hope of our Monday offering. 

But sadly, for whatever reason(s), not all of us will be able to do that, which means we will always have need for our Monday Morning Battle hymn to help us get our Monday fix of spiritual adrenaline from heaven on high, through the Holy Spirit. Now that’s not a bad thing, but with age and experience, we’re expected to achieve spiritual maturity, meaning our food types ought to improve too, move from soft, baby food, to adult stuff, like meat and spuds. (smile) 

But my people, what the Lord desires more than anything else is that we come to Him, in whatever state we’re in, humbly and sincerely when we need help, regardless of whether we’re still eating baby food when by age and Christian experience, we should be eating solid stuff. (smile) So let’s come before Him now nuh, humbly and sincerely crying out for help, but confidently expecting Him to help, because that’s His awesome promise, and He keeps His promises. 

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 our God is so wonderful, that the answer is on the way before we’ve even finished our supplication! Wow! Give Him some thanks and praise my fellow believers (steups!) for being such and awesome and compassionate Deity! Just look at how we’re all energized and smiling, how our attitudes have suddenly changed, and now we’re excited to go out and work for Jesus! That’s the power of the Holy Spirit friends doing the Father’s timely bidding! 

And today friends, we want to talk about spiritual immaturity, the fact that we ought to grow in our Christian faith and move on from Christianity 101 to higher grades and not have to keep repeating the elementary aspects of our faith. There are several scriptures in the Good Book that deal with the subject, a few of which we want to share, beginning with Peter’s admonishment: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ (1 Pet. 2:1-2) 

Yuh see that friends, young Christians, like babies need milk to grow, they too need to learn the elementary aspects of God’s Word. But unfortunately, many of us don’t grow spiritually, we remain carnal, doing the things that Peter advises against. Thus Bruh Paul also had to admonish the Corinthians. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food); for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor.3:1-4) 

Of course they are, since spiritually minded believers (steups!) don’t fight about who converted or baptized them, because it’s team work. As Bruh Paul says two verses later: ‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:6) Yeh friends, whatever work we do for God, in the long run, it’s He who causes our work to bear fruit. Let’s remember that and stop arguing amongst ourselves as to who’s doing better than the other, because that only causes strife and disunity and destroys our witness. 

Unfortunately, the continual warfare between the flesh and the spirit is a human trait that still exists, and is still causing disunity and division in Christ’s church today. As it was embarrassing to Bruh Paul with the Corinthians, so it is embarrassing today to see people who should know better, because of their long walk as Christians, still fighting and envying over petty stuff. And the scholars tell us that the flesh and spirit warfare was a big part of Bruh Paul’s writings, (cf.  Rom.7:14-8:13; Gal.5:17). Please check out those scriptures, for they are very important and enlightening. (smile) 

And the author of Hebrews didn’t pull any punches, but put it all in a direct manner. In his appeal to believe, he writes: ‘Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered (explained), seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time (by this time) ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (sayings) of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (solid food). 

For every one that useth (partakes of) milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat (solid food) belongeth to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised  (trained) to discern both good and evil.’ (Heb. 5:11-14) 

Ah mih people, too many of us are still drinking milk when we should be eating solid food, and it’s only causing serious problems in our church and our world. Please, for Christ’s sake, and with the Lord’s help, let’s try and do better nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is too much warfare…between too many immature believers (yeah!)…in Christ’s church…  
 

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…

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