Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2020 Philippians 3:7.

Philippians 3:7.    ​But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ.
 
Well here it is at last; the churches have been shut down! What’s next? The hospitals! Can you believe it? The scare of the Covid-19 virus, in conjunction with the Government’s directives has caused the Church Leaders to finally pull the plug on church worship. Hn! Did you ever think it possible that one day, most, if not all of the churches would be closed to public gathering? Certainly not! And though it’s not as good as actually gathering in the sanctuary,  there are enough other outlets; radio, t.v. and computer streaming for us to keep in touch with our corporate worship. 

But it’s interesting to see how one small, unknown, but apparently powerful virus has brought the world to its knees in just a couple of weeks. Personally, I think we’ve overreacted and caused unnecessary fear and panic. There’s no need to be buying out the stores and stocking up as though we’re going to war, or suffering from a nuclear fallout. But that’s the problem with too much easy and convenient communication and too many fearful and ungodly people in the world. And though it’s a serious matter I still have to chuckle. If we can’t handle a simple virus with all our modern technology and medical prowess, can you imagine the mess Egypt must have been in when the Lord brought those 8 plagues on them to force Pharaoh to set His people free.

 Can you imagine been pestered by lice and flies and blood and frogs and locusts and death and whatever? But before we move on, here’s something to ponder on, a li’l food for thought. Remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites: ‘If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Oh my people, can this be a warning from our God? We certainly are not keeping His commandments and doing as He desires, and all throughout the Good Book, He’s warned of serious penalties for willful sin and disobedience. And since this virus has now become pandemic in nature, all over the world, who knows if it’s the hand of our mighty God moving in one of His many mysterious ways to remind and warn us of our sinful ways? And in these last tumultuous days, that is something we should surely ponder on, but I doubt too many of us will. 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, 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. Hear this first one: ‘It’s the little things you do that make the big things happen.’ And that’s a fact my people! Unless we do the small things, and do them well, the big things won’t turn out right. That’s why we’re warned to pay particular attention to the small things in our lives, since God, or no man will ever give us big things if they see we can’t take care of the small ones. And remember the Jamaican saying: ‘One one cocoa full basket.’ But unfortunately, in this brave new, but very foolish world of ours we don’t treasure the small stuff, everybody just wants to be on the big stage! 

And the second quote says: ‘He who stops being better stops being good.’ And there is a lot of truth in that also. If we don’t keep getting better but insist on sitting on our laurels, then we’ll eventually rub out, use up, whatever good we have, because we need to keep replenishing our souls and spirits every day. That leads us quite nicely into this next quote. ‘Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still.’ Whoa! Is that ever the killing of the human soul! Standing still is definitely not an option, especially if you’re a child of the Most High God Jehovah! And you can’t get truly better overnight; it all takes time. It’s like learning a craft; only with continuous practice and time spent with it will you ever learn it. And that’s what life is really, the craft of living! (smile) 

Now the next quote is like the previous two: ‘Practice the philosophy of continuous improvement. Get a little bit better every single day.’ Now that is basic logic and common sense. But sadly those two very important things are almost nonexistent in our current society, where we value the need for speed, now for now, above all else. But in the words of some wise person, let’s remember ‘that speed kills!’ It certainly does. If you do anything too fast it most likely will end up in a mess. But it’s how our society views life nowadays; we desire and want to have everything right away. The number one technological aspiration these days is how to make everything work quicker and faster. But there are undoubtedly stumbling blocks in that approach, which we’ll discover as time goes by. (smile) 

And the last quote wisely advises: ‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ Now that is gospel truth. The only perfect being in our universe is our Creator, and He did not make us to be perfect, but He does expect us to do our best in that direction, being diligent towards it, and thus ending up excellent. Yuh know the two most important things in being ambassadors of Christ is being diligent and excellent in His service. We can’t be wishy-washy, irresponsible and lazy, for that’s not the lifestyle He wants us to portray to the unbelieving world. 

And I think one of the best scriptures in that regard is Bruh Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where after listing all his earthly accomplishments, he sincerely declared. ‘But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish, refuse), that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) 

Oh friends, the most excellent thing we can ever seek in this world is the knowledge of Christ! All of our earthly accomplishments, wealth and power, mean absolutely nothing until we have Jesus securely embedded in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies! That’s the only true and sure way to live this earthly life! So on this controversial Saturday, where the whole world is in an uproar, please let us, the truly faithful, place all of our cares in the Lord’s hands, and just relax our souls and spirits and minds. Incessantly worrying about Covid-19 won’t make it go away, but with God’s Spirit working in us, we can be relaxed and rest in His promise that He is indeed Jehovah Rapha…the God who heals! Much LOVE!

…what’s the purpose of faith…if you don’t use it in times of crisis eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2020 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 
Well the party’s over my friends. It sure was nice while it lasted. But unfortunately I had to call it a day! Yes I’m back in my ordinary surroundings called HOME! The best place in the world! Wow! Yuh know, whether it’s a palace or a hovel, home is where you feel most comfortable because home is where your heart and soul truly are. Yes, Jamaica was nice, but there’s something about home that get’s the heartstrings playing ever so sweetly. (smile) And now it’s back to the daily grind and common task – or which ever way they say it – back to the cold and snow and bleak vegetation. 

And since it’s Friday – didn’t even realize that until just now, people must be clamouring for the workingman’s song. Well never let it be said that I kept you all from hearing what you want to hear. (smile) So here he is, in all his riotous colour and workingman’s common sense. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and time for that much needed break from slave labour, called the weekend! Don’t know what I would do without it nuh. Gosh! It hard enough working five days straight, and I’m really sorry for those who have to work six and seven days straight without a break. 

Steups! Mankind really is something else yes. Like greed and abuse of his fellow man seem to be his middle name! No wonder the sad truth found in the saying: ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!’ Chuh! What a crying shame! And we now have to change that to countless millions…and soon to countless billions, since mankind is getting ever more greedy and oppressive as the rich get ever richer and the poor get ever poorer. What a sad world we live in eh Dr. Jack! 

And the sad part is that there’s enough in the world for everybody to get sufficient to fill their needs, but the few with plenty, more preoccupied with greedily hoarding rather than generously sharing it. That’s why there’s so much poverty and homelessness and all the other ailments that the disenfranchised suffer. But yuh know this saying is also true…One day, one day congotay … Yes the longest rope have an end…And one day all ah we, have to meet we maker and answer for we wrongs. Till then, all I can say is thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Brother, the workingman was sure on a roll today! But what he says makes sense yes! Mankind getting more heartless, oppressive and abusive, even as we seem to be getting more enlightened. But that seems to be only in the mind, not in the heart, where it really matters. Anyway, as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to try and change that disgusting image of mankind. And no, it’s not easy, but with the help of our Leader we can do it, if we are willing to put in the required amount of time, energy, belief and faith it requires. 

And that’s the billion dollar question – are we willing to do what it takes to bring Jesus’ dream for the world to fruition? Apparently not, because right now we’re allowing Beelzebub and his evil cohorts to run away with the race while we sit and mourn and murmur pitiful platitudes. Oh friends, the attitude of those involved in Christ’s organization has got to improve tremendously if we expect to see any real change in our world and leave our descendants a safe and reasonable place to live and sincerely worship Jehovah God. 

That’s our calling; this is our time to further the gospel and all that it entails. They say we were born for a time such as this, but the reality is that we were born for this particular time. If the Lord wanted us in any other time, He would have put us there. But since He put us in the here and now, that means this is when and where He expects us to make our mark, to obediently and diligently do His will. Jesus said it as clearly and plainly as possible. ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what means) shall it be salted? it  is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (Matt. 5:13) 

Oh my people, we all know the great benefits that salt provides to our lives, and without it, everything is bland and tasteless and often rendered useless. And sadly too many of us believers have become that way… good for nothing, because we’ve lost our passion, our sense of purpose and are just content to rest on our laurels. But that’s not what Jesus desires of us. Hear Him again nuh: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s what Jesus expects of us; to be bright and shining and good direction lights in this dark and evil world! But we definitely are not being bright and shining and encouraging enough, since the darkness seems to be growing stronger and wider. Oh my people, my people, come on nuh, let’s do as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Remember we are His ears, eyes and hands, His ambassadors on this dark and evil earth. So let’s take His words to heart and sincerely, diligently and excellently do as He asks nuh. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Oh friends, that is definitely not too much for Jesus to ask of us, after all that He’s done for us. So let’s get shipshape and become both the salt and light of the world as He desires nuh, so that we can reclaim the world from it’s dark covering with the wonderful and awesome light of Jesus! And no, I did not forget our Friday Chant, the other stuff just seemed to flow and follow more smoothly. (smile) So let’s chant our chant, in strong voice with sincere hearts, like we’re truly salt and light. 

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!’ 

Let’s do it nuh friends, let’s do it for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…you can’t be a true believer…unless and until…you do what your Leader asks of you…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 7:12.

Ecclesiastes 7:12.    ​For wisdom is a defense (a protective shade, shadow), and money is a defense: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
 
Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! How goes it with you today eh, this last day of January? And can you believe that January is already done, one month of the new year is already over? Time sure is flying fast. At least I think so, but the duchess holds the opposite opinion; she thinks that January took a long time to finish, was just crawling along like a turtle in no particular hurry. (smile) But regardless of your opinion on the subject, one thing is certain sure; time is not waiting on us to do it’s thing. It never has, and it never will! 

That means we have to get our acts together and also do our thing, whatever God has called us to do, for when we come before him on the Big Day, and He asks why we didn’t complete our appointed task(s), we can’t tell Him that we didn’t have sufficient time, since He’s the Master Planner and gives us all enough time to do our duty. No friends, simplistic excuses like that won’t cut it on the judgement day! 

And yes it’s Friday, and yes, many of us are crowing like the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Hallelujah! The weekend is here; ripe for the taking, and believe me I’m going to take it! Take it and enjoy it whichever way I can. Forget about the slave master work until Monday morning, because this is my time now! Wow! And January done too, that means spring soon come! Yes, in another two months, the two coldest months of the year! (smile) 

But what’s a man to do eh? He has no choice but to enjoy his days to the best of his ability! And this year of 2020 is one I’m going to remember forever as one that I enjoyed to the fullest! Me and mih li’l family going to indeed have a bright and prosperous new year…well it mightn’t be all that prosperous in terms of money…but it certainly going to be a happy one, because we going to live and LOVE each other like there’s no tomorrow. 

Yuh see how Kobe Bryant with all his money and power and privilege just take off without a word of warning… with his big daughter to boot, the one who was supposed to carry on his legacy…Well I going to make sure that if that ever happen to me, my family going to know that I treasured them and LOVED them as best as I could! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And who says the ordinary workingman isn’t wise eh? He might not have a lot of education, but he does have plenty common sense, something that seems to generally be in short supply in these strife-filled and contentious days! We supposed believers (yeah!) would certainly be wise if we took a page from his book and began seriously enjoying life with our friends and families, letting them know in no uncertain terms that we truly LOVE and value them, because the breath of life can be taken away from any and all of us so unexpectedly. 

So let’s think seriously on that nuh, as we declare (yeah!) our Friday Chant in strong voice with sincere hearts. Remember friends, the sincerity, the rightness of the heart is what counts with the Lord. 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!’ 

And yes friends, as I keep saying, our God is indeed a great and faithful Deity, for just now, as I was perusing the Good Book, seeking words to justify our contentions above (smile), He eventually led me to these most appropriate words of Cousin Sol, speaking as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this. Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defense (a protective shade, shadow), and money is a defense: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.’  (Eccl.7:6-12) 

Oh friends, we cannot dispute the almighty value of wisdom over the other things of the world! Look at how many rich, unhappy fools there are, and how many money poor but spiritually prosperous wise men! Yes, it’s nice to have wisdom and money too, but too many of us opt for the money and not the wisdom, that’s why the saying, a fool and his money is soon parted is gospel truth! (smile) 

And Cousin Sol continues his awesome truth: ‘Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over the other (surely has appointed the one as well as the other), to the end that man should find nothing after him (nothing that will happen after him).’ (Eccl. 7:13-14) 

Ah mih people, as the scholars advise, ‘to talk about the former days (v.10), or the “good old days,” is not wise. Both good and bad days are the work of God and are used, apart from our ability to understand them, in God’s sovereign plan (vs. 13-14).’ Yeh, God said it all in Isaiah, that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so we can’t deign to understand His reasoning and plans. (Is. 55:8-9) 

So please, let’s stop trying to understand what God is all about nuh, because we simply don’t have the mental capacity to do so. Instead let’s just run with what He’s given us and be thankful for His ever-faithful LOVE, His magnificent and unbeatable offer of salvation, plus His enduring grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…it’s not ours to reason why… but both good and evil…serve the sovereign plan of God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2019 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.    ​How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
 

It’s Monday morning friends! That means the workweek is upon us once again. And sadly, that heralds the time for us to get up and get a move on, to get out into the evil world and labour for a living. Yeh, I know it’s an annoying and frustrating ever-revolving cycle, but what to do eh; life as we know it, depends on work. But let’s look at it as going out to work for Jesus nuh. That should make it a little less onerous. (smile) Remember the Good Book says that whatever we do, we ought to do it as unto God, meaning faithfully, diligently and with excellence. So though, to all intents and purposes we’re working for man, God is the end recipient of all that we do. 

And I also know that all of that is easier said than done, that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help get us in the mood. Therefore, without further ado, let’s sincerely declare it, so that it can get the adrenaline flowing in our souls, bodies, minds and spirits. As one 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!’ 

Ah friends, that prayer is so heartwarming and spirit changing! I’m sure we’re all starting to feel somewhat more enthused about getting into the workweek fray. That’s because the Lord answered our prayer by having the Holy Spirit work His blessedness in us, fill us with mercy and grace, thus enabling and empowering us with a different and better attitude to the day that before was looming so dreadfully ahead of us. What a wonderful God we serve my people! It never fails to thrill and amaze me when I get into certain situations that I’m not prepared for, and a mere few sincere, heartfelt words to Him – sometimes just ‘Help me Lord!’ are enough to have Him enable me. 

And that’s why Bruh David could confidently declare in Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God. ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ And is that ever wisdom of enormous proportions my people! Why, you ask? Hear Bruh David’s reasoning. ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh friends, oh friends, which other supposed God has ever promised or made available such amazing stuff to their followers eh, and had the power to make them come true? None other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we’d be very foolish to turn to any other god, for they are all false and powerless, especially when the One we now have is showering us with abundant satisfaction in the fullness of His house, and having us drink from His river of pleasures. And the thing is that the Lord’s stuff not only tastes better than the worldly stuff that Beelzebub tries to inveigle us with, but they are also long lasting, for they are of heaven. (smile) 

But the most important thing though friends is the gospel fact that our great God is the fountain of life! Yes people, ALL life emanates from Him! Remember He spoke the world and all therein into existence, then He moulded mankind from the dirt of the earth and breathed His spirit of life into him. And by the same token, He can also remove the breath of His spirit from us. No wonder Jesus warned us: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) Yes precious people, only our heavenly Father can kill both body and soul, ‘and who can bring both to eternal condemnation in hell.’ 

Therefore, there is no need for a rocket science education to figure out how one can best live – both this current earthly life, and the heavenly one to come. All it takes is a li’l common sense, once you’ve heard the Word. (smile) So this Monday morning, since we know the Word, let’s get out there and use our common sense nuh! Much LOVE!

…why worship anyone else…than the One who gave us life eh…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As one, in true sincerity: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Ah mih Christian breddren, that is not meant to curtail our fun, but to ensure that it’s clean, safe and godly, consequently not giving the devil a chance to get into our business and stir up strife and trouble as is his won’t. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2019 Isaiah 55:1.

Isaiah 55:1.    ​Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be one of those days; all the joints are aching and the ole fella’s dragging like an old man! Chuh! I hate when that happens, especially when I’m on a nice, fairly long, pain free run…well not completely pain free, because it’s never that nowadays. (smile) 

Yuh know what I mean though; not having to take no setta pain pills and moving along smooth and easy, the way the duchess likes to see her husband move. (smile) But as you also know, prayer is the panacea, the cure-all for ALL the ills of the soul, so let’s get into a nice li’l uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional nuh. It’s simply titled: ‘Fill Me!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain springs; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you Lord! Amen.’  

Yes my people, if we were sincere and humble in that prayer, but also confident that God would grant our desire, then right now we’re being filled with the LOVE and truth of our heavenly father by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Glory be, precious saints of Christ! What a great and wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! 

A God who desires us to come to Him whenever we’re tired and thirsty, famished and broken down for rest, comfort and succour. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wisely advised his people, the Israelites, to ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) 

Yes friends, that’s simply common sense imbued with heavenly wisdom! (smile) He’s our Creator and Provider, so who else we going to call on eh? Surely not Ghostbusters, nor the evil one! And in keeping with the thirsty theme, I just want to look at some of the scriptures that powerfully illustrate our message, beginning with this wonderful, unimaginable invitation from God Himself, through Isaiah, to His people Israel, and consequently to us. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Wow! What an invitation mih breddren! Nobody else can ever match that! Buying spiritual milk and water and food for free! Only in the realm of our magnificent and magnanimous God is that possible! 

Hear what the scholars say about that nuh. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And here now are a few scriptures where men hungry and thirsty for God did just that, beginning with this favourite from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, are we that hungry and thirsty for our great God? I would certainly like to think so, but unfortunately the reality of our actions in these evil times doesn’t show it. It’s more like we’ve forgotten that God exists, and more like we’re trying to get rid of Him from our broken down and evil society. 

But just a word of caution; that’s impossible to do. He might allow us to carry on with our nonsense for a time, but in the end, He will have the last word and the last laugh. So please let’s wake up and realize that our world is on the brink of destruction and only real and strong faith in Christ Jesus can ever help us to fix it. Enough preaching though. (smile) 

Hear Bruh David now from Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps.63:1) 

And in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men, the psalmist declares thus: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps.107:8-9) Oh that men nowadays would really take those words of wisdom to heart and action them! Our world would be a much better place! 

And one more time from Bruh David from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. ‘ I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps.143:5-6) Ah mih people, again we see Bruh David in anguish of spirit and soul, possibly beset by enemies thirstily crying out for God to fill him with grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness! So who are we not to do the same eh? 

Anyway, here is the definitive word on a spiritually hungry and thirsty soul…from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And isn’t that the gospel truth! Those of us who are poor and hungry in spirit and realize the depth of our need and faithfully seek God, will indeed be filled with the Lord’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness! 

And having imbued our soul and spirit with those uplifting, assuring and comforting words, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the world who and whose we are! In strong voice, as one: ‘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!’ 

Oh glory be mih people! What joy it brings to the soul when we are beloved of Jesus and can sincerely count Him as our friend! So please let’s go out and share that good news now nuh! It’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…oh, words cannot describe…how wonderful it feels…to have Jesus…living right here within me…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2019 Hebrews 13:5a.

Hebrews 13:5a.    ​I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Ah mih people, life is as changeable as the weather! Yuh remember yesterday I complained that it was going to be another ‘riney’ day? Well, lo and behold, by mid-day, it had turned into a perfectly beautiful warm and sunshiny day, lots of blue skies and cool breezes! Shorts and shirtsleeves weather! 

Well it’s the same way our lives can change rather abruptly, with no warnings at all. One moment you might be going through a perfect period of peace and calm, then all of a sudden calamity and adversity strike and you feel lost and out of your element. Or the opposite can happen; you’ll be going through a real rough time, and then for no apparent reason, the storm, the winds and the seas just suddenly become calm and you find yourself sailing along in perfect peace! 

Wow! That’s what we call life! Unpredictable, unreliable and unforeseeable! (smile) Consequently, too many of us struggle to maintain our equilibrium in the sudden and scary ups and down of life. But there is a most positive antidote, a positive and productive way to handle life…His name is Jesus! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can help us successfully handle and navigate through the vicissitudes of life! Without Him, we are at the very mercy of life’s ever-changing circumstances. And that’s the gospel truth! But more on that later, because the workingman is just dying to bellow out his song this bright and sunshiny morning. (smile) So let’s give him a listen nuh. 

‘Woyoyo! At long last I can shout TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend, the weekend, it’s here, alive and in blazing sunshine too! Let’s just hope it stays so yes. We’ve been disappointed too often in the last few weeks. And I’m all ready to get out there in mih short shots and tank top and grill a few steaks, dogs and burgers, while sipping some cold brewskis! It’s June now, a week into it, so is high time we could go out there and do that sorta thing without any worries about cold weather! 

Steups! Wuh happen, we living in the North Pole or something, that the weather so blooming cold and miserable? And if yuh check it out, up there right now they must be having long, hot bright days, enjoying a good summer already, while we down here having this expletive deleted kinda weather! 

But is not much we could really do about it nuh, so let me stop complaining and just have a positive mindset and get mih self ready to get out there this evening when ah get home and do mih own thing. Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, at long last, ah chance to get away from the slave driver and them work…and party hearty too! I’ll be in mih essence then!  

Yeh friends, the workingman surely tells it like he sees it. And generally speaking, nothing’s wrong with that, it’s just sometimes he goes overboard, or crosses over the line that we believers in Christ Jesus can’t afford to cross over, for fear of having the enemy infiltrate our already less than strong and mature souls. (smile) 

And there’s no shame in that, it’s just common sense to shy away from danger before it hits you…and believe me the enemy we’re fighting is pretty dangerous when we give him a chance. On his own, he’s harmless, a toothless tiger, but once we open the door, brother, he’s all over us with his evil self like white on rice! (smile) That’s why our Friday Chant is not as expansive and expressive as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice and strong sense of purpose. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes brothers and sisters in Christ, ours is a dedicated life that requires some borders and fences so that we don’t cross over into enemy territory. But that’s the beauty of living for Jesus…He gives us the wherewithal to handle ALL that comes against us, as well as constantly being by our side. And furthermore, He’s made an everlasting and ever faithful promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Wow! What an awesome promise! And we know He’ll keep it, because that’s the kind of Lord and Saviour He is. And it’s not like it’s something He just said the other day; He’s been saying it for ages now! Listen to how He said it to Joshua when He assigned him leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

And we know that the Lord kept that promise to Joshua in spades! But even before that, the Lord had made the same promise to the Israelites through Moses, when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, leading them towards the Promised Land. Hear this encouraging and reassuring part of Moses’ last speech to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) 

So friends, that’s definitely not a new promise, and every time the Lord made it, He kept it, so why should it be any different now with us eh? No reason whatsoever! The Lord our God never changes, so His promises last for a lifetime. That’s why we need to embrace His Son, Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW, and gratefully and humbly accept all that’s He’s already done, as well as all He’s promised to do for us. 

That’s because there’s no one, or nothing else that can give us that kind of reliable, steady and steadfast life, through each and any situation, through calm and storm, through adversity and peace, like Jesus can! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE friends! So please, let’s be wise and come to Him in all sincerity nuh, and then hold on to Him for dear life, because He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life…as well as the Light! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and LIVE for Jesus…Wow!…it’s the most wonderful thing…in God’s great universe…

 

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