Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​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.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘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.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘Life in the Spirit.’ ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And then it was a spring- like Saturday: with even more spring like temps forecasted into the upcoming week, except for a few short-lived pockets of winter weather in between. Ah friends, I’ll take that weather any time yes, especially since in my less than perfect state, I’ve been grounded, can’t go anywhere to get away from the winter season. 

By rights, I should now be in warm, sunny Tobago, but the good Lord in His mysterious and merciful manner, after causing me to be grounded, as promised, has made a way for me to handle the situation by making the place not as cold and snowy as it usually is. All thanks and praise to Him! I have to believe that otherwise I would just go crazy. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s check out a couple of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he endeavours to inspire us. The first one states: ‘Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.’ 

And we all know about that my believing brethren; it simply means no giving up, because while there is life there is hope, and with Christ, anything is possible. So we just have to play with the hands that we’re dealt. The Lord has a reason for dealing them to us. We just have to go to Him and find out how to play them. 

And the second quote is even more interesting. It tells us: ‘The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.’ 

Some of you might have heard that quote before, but it is gospel truth! And why is that? Because a lot of those people gave up, they refused to plod on with the talent that God gave them, and therefore so many unfilled dreams and actions died with them. What a waste! As they say: Talent will not, education will not, wealth will not; only patience, perseverance and hard work will. 

Yeh mih people, we need to get down and dirty, put our noses to the grind stone and our hands securely to the plough, without looking back, if we want to be successful in this world. 

Now it’s time to bring in our Bit; that awesome fulfillment of one of Almighty God’s promises in Isaiah 9:6 – a Saviour for the world! ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And it was all based on the magnificent and magnanimous emotion termed ‘LOVE! Wow! How wonderful is that eh friends? There are no words to suitably describe the emotion or God’s action. And today I won’t get into any ‘sermonizing,’ (smile) I’m just going to share some scripture passages that highlight the word LOVE and it’s association with Jehovah God. 

Listen closely my fellow believers to the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness (LOVE) toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ (Eph.2: 4-8) 

That ought to be self-explanatory to believers. Now hear John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us.’ (1 John 4:7-12) 

I don’t think there is a better treatise on the topic of LOVE, my brethren. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:15-17) 

And that’s my sincere hope and wish and desire for all of us today my brethren. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏

Philippians 2:5.     Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Oh friends, the big day is here at last! Yes, it’s Carnival Tuesday, when all the pretty mas is supposed to come out in the streets, with the music blaring and the participants jumping and wining in their fancy costumes! It’s the height of the bacchanal!

Around the Savannah (Queen’s Park Savannah) the bands will be gathering to go across the stage for competition. And as far as I was concerned that was the best place to see the mas and hear the music, because everything was centered around that spot, and you could move from one band to the other as they lined up to go across the stage.


Fortunately, or otherwise, I can no longer endure that situation, (smile) so I might watch a little of the Trinidad mas on the tube, then go down to Scarborough and watch the mini mas down there. That will satisfy me.


And since Today is Tuesday, that means we need to declare our Tuesday Mantra. So with a strong sense of purpose and sincerity let’s proclaim: ‘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.’


Yes my people, the only thing that truly matters in this world is that we are children of God, greatly LOVED by Him, and also a true friend of Jesus. Glory Hallelujah! Nothing can be more important than those two things! But we need to sincerely believe them and work accordingly to them in our lives.


We can’t allow what others think and say about us to have more sway over us than what Christ says. And that is one of the problems in our current world; we consider what the people in power, or the rich and famous say and do, more than we consider God’s Word and works. That’s totally unacceptable my fellow believers in Jesus! God and His Word should be our big focus, not what mankind says or does.


And I read a piece in my One More Day Devotional for people with Chronic illness, that I’m going to change to suit our purpose today. It says: ‘Chronic illness means pushing back the “front tears” in our mind so that we can expand the frontiers of our days.’


Now friends, I believe that is also apropos to our situation, where we need to push back our tears, our problems and concentrate on our great and wonderful God, so that we can expand the frontiers of our days. Without truly focusing on God, our frontiers will never expand to their fullest.


And one way to do that is to follow the words of our Bit. ‘
Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ Yeh mih people, we can’t act like Jesus until we think and believe like Him!

And yesterday we saw what Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind.’ (Phil.2:1-2)


Yes friends, all Bruh Paul is talking about there is harmonious living between believers, as he continues through verses 3 and 4 to push unselfishness and brother looking out for brother. The same attitude applies to us today, though unfortunately we’re not living as harmoniously as we ought to.


My people there is too much disharmony amongst believers today…and that’s an indisputable fact. How can the body of Christ be successful if the parts don’t dwell together in unity eh? That’s impossible to accomplish under those circumstances, but it’s exactly what Jesus desires and expects us to achieve.


Anyhow, enough of my preaching, which too often falls on deaf ears. Let’s hear some of what the scholars have to say on those verses. ‘2:1. Therefore resumes the thought begun in 1:27-28, namely, that the Philippians are to be “worthy” and steadfast in unity, striving together for the gospel’s progress. The word if, occurring four times in this verse, denotes fact, not doubt; it might then be translated “since.”

Paul is thus affirming that in Christ there exists consolation (encouragement); comfort of LOVE (solace furnished by LOVE); fellowship of the Spirit (partaking of the Holy Spirit’s life and sharing in His gifts, ministry, help, values etc.); bowels (affection); and mercies (sympathy).


This verse forms the basis for Paul’s appeal in verse 2: “Fulfill ye my joy.” His thinking is this: Since these five benefits or virtues exist in Christ, and since you are Christians, then exercise these virtues toward one another as you contend for the gospel and face opposition.’


Oh my fellow believers in Christ, what more can I say eh? Not much really, because the same situation faces us today, and probably on an even larger scale. Jesus thought in terms of harmony and unselfishness, and so should we, if we want to be truly his followers.


Why do you think Bruh Paul talked about ‘The service of LOVE to all,’ in Romans 12 eh? Because that’s the only thing that would keep Christ’s church together!


Listen to him: ‘For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another.’ (Rom.12:3-5)


Yes friends, the long and short of the story is that we are all Christians, believers in Christ, and we all have individual functions to perform, but we need to perform them in harmony, so that the body of Christ, His church, the great organization that He envisaged and founded will be able to go forth and prosper.


That’s enough for today. So my people, please remember that though we are many, we are still one! Much LOVE!


…no organization can grow and prosper…unless there is harmony within it… 


P.S.  Going to have breakfast now, finish some buss-up shirt and curry that I bought yesterday, (smile) then get ready to go down to the mas in Scarborough. Much LOVE!


Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2016 Philippians 2:5

Philippians 2:5.  Let  this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.
 

Well mih people, it’s Monday; Carnival Monday, and the craziness has begun!

 
J’ouvert (the opening) must have been something else, but I did not go to the stuff down at Crown Point here in Tobago, or watch that in Trinidad on the tube. The duchess didn’t want to go and I was somewhat concerned about my left knee, which isn’t as bad as it was a few days ago, but still not as good as it should be.
 
And to tell the truth, what I saw down at Crown Point last year didn’t thrill me; it was just noise and people walking about. The mas wasn’t impressive at all. So I don’t believe I’ve missed anything at all. Hopefully though, by tomorrow my knee will be feeling good enough for me to go into Scarborough and watch some of the Tuesday mas. Obviously it’s not as good or as big as that in Trinidad, but it will do. (smile)
 
Yesterday after writing the Bit, I went up to the Hotel Magdalena for Brunch. They serve a good West Indian brunch on a Sunday. The food was good, but like all the stuff I’ve been eating since I’m here it did not thrill me. For some unknown reason, although they taste good, the victuals just haven’t been turning me on. Most of the time I’m just eating
for eat sake.
Anyway, after that I came back home, bloated and tired, (smile) rested, then watched the 50th Super Bowl. As usual it was more hype than substance. A real ugly game too; too many penalties, turn overs and simply a defensive match up. It might have been good to some, but I like to see offense.
 
Then I watched some under 19 World Cup Cricket, where the West Indies were playing Pakistan in Bangladesh. Now that was more interesting, because the West Indies have a couple of fast bowlers who do look promising for the future. Let’s hope they do live up to that promise, as the West Indies have been at the bottom of the table for far too long.
 
I don’t know how it ended because after falling asleep on myself a couple times, (smile) I went to bed, but the West Indies were in a superior position at the time, so I hope they prevailed and got into the semi-finals.
 
However my people, I know that not all of us have the blessing of no work today, so let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto. And those of you who don’t have to go to work, please lend a healthy enthusiasm to the singing, so that our brothers and sisters who have to go and labour will be truly encouraged.
 
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!’  
 
That was good my people. Our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t thrilled, but satisfied. So those of you who have to work, please go with the Lord and do his bidding with strength and wisdom.
 
Meanwhile, those of us who intend to party, please do so with a modicum of circumspection, heeding Granny’s wise and timely advice: ‘Drunk or sober, please mind your business,’ because this is a time when the ole scoundrel Lucifer is in his element, for he knows that come carnival time, we’re not as careful as we usually are and are more liable to do things we shouldn’t do, and open up a spot for him to invade our souls.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit which will help us with all those things. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’
 
And what does that mean. Listen to the scholars: ‘2:5. Let this mind be in you means literally “keep thinking this,” that is, constantly maintain this attitude within yourselves. The “mind” or attitude the Philippians are to maintain is spelled out in verses 2c-4, which constitutes harmonious living. Paul informs his readers that the same attitude of verses 2c-4, which they are to retain within themselves, was also in Christ Jesus.’
 
Ah my brethren, this chapter deals with the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, so before we get to the particular attitude Bruh Paul is asking us to have, let’s put it all in context, so we can better understand it. He begins the chapter thus. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.2:1-4)
 
Yes friends, those are the basic things Bruh Paul’s talking about when he writes our Bit: Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ And it is also expected that we will do likewise.
 
Now I don’t want to make the Bit too long, knowing your penchant for sound bites, (smile) so we’ll stop there for today. Tomorrow we’ll get into the meanings of the various words and phrases, so we can better understand what it’s all about. Till then, please walk safely with God, and enjoy your day to the full. Much LOVE!
 
…to become Christ-like…we first have to think like Christ thinks…it all begins in the mind…
 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.    For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh Friends, just as day follows night, so does Sunday follow Saturday, and yesterday was Saturday, which means that today is Sunday. Oh what excellent reasoning my brethren, worthy of our favourite fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes! (smile) 

And since it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, then we should be preparing to go to church and worship, give thanks and praise with other believers to our wonderful Creator because that is His desire. 

So let’s not dilly-dally in performing our duty nuh, raising up all kinds of feeble excuses, which we full well know don’t hold water, but merely reflects our laziness and lack of godliness. 

Now friends, going to church is not merely our duty, it is also a means of upliftment for us, of encouragement, of strengthening our faith and keeping us steadfast and true and on the right track, the straight and narrow one. 

And let me remind us that whatever God desires of us, it’s not for His benefit, but for ours. He doesn’t really need anything that we have, but we do need a lot of what He possesses. 

Consequently, I shouldn’t have to badger us to go to church. And I’ll stop it right now. (smile) But if you don’t go, you’ll never know the beautiful soulful experience that comes from worshipping God as a body of believers.  End of sermon. 

Instead, here is some wisdom from our friend Anselm who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. This quote wisely declares that ‘Someone who is worthy of your LOVE will never put you in a situation where you feel you must sacrifice your dignity, your integrity, or your self-worth to be with them.’ 

And that’s oh so true my people. Anyone who wants, or expects you to compromise your truthful and godly character is definitely not worthy of your LOVE! They definitely are not friends or LOVED ones, just users, only interested in their own selves and/or desires. So anytime that kind comes around you, just ignore them and move on. 

And if they put up a fuss, just let them know that you already have truer and more important personages who sincerely care about you, as so passionately and powerfully declared in our Bit. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, once you have the Holy Triumvirate in your corner, you don’t need anyone else, especially selfish, uncaring human beings. Please remember that in whatever situation you might find yourself, you and the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit always constitutes a majority, and that there is NO circumstance that you all can’t successfully handle together! 

Now let’s continue looking at some scripture that confirms and upholds our Bit.  And we’ll begin with Bruh Paul’s second message to the Thessalonians. ‘Wherefore he (God) called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle. 

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:14-17) 

Oh friends, what uplifting and edifying words! Words for us to hold on to, to write indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls! 

And here are a couple of scholarly explanations. ‘2:14. By our gospel (see Rom.10:17): “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ He is here referring to the oral communication of the gospel; what we hear brings about faith. ‘2:15. Traditions…taught refers to more than customs. In view here is the totality of the apostolic doctrine as it was given to them.’ 

Now I’d be rather amiss and falling down in my duty if I didn’t share this most interesting explanation of ‘Tradition’ by the scholars. 2:15. The word tradition literally means “a giving over by word of mouth or writing.” It refers to teachings handed down from one person to another. Tradition is not in and of itself wrong; it is only wrong when opposed to the Word of God. 

In the early church, good tradition was the principal means of Christian instruction (Luke 1:2). Paul used this word to describe his teachings, especially at Corinth and Thessalonica (v.15; 3:6). False tradition ends up as heresy or apostasy (renunciation of a religious faith). 

Illustration: The religious leaders of Jesus’ day erred in placing the traditions of men above the Word of God (Matt.15:1-9).  In contrast, Luke sifted through existing records and apparently interviewed witnesses in writing an inspired record to instruct Theophilus  in the faith (Luke 1:1-4). 

Application: Christians need to sit under the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, but when the content conflicts with the Scriptures, the teaching of men should be disregarded for the certain truth of the Bible. (First Ref. Matt.15:2; Primary Ref. 2 Thess. 2:15; cf. 2 Tim. 2:15).’  

Oh friends, we on a roll! (smile) And I do hope that you appreciate the lengths the ole fella is going to, to give us all a better understanding of God’s Word, for if we don’t understand it, then how can we obey it eh? And for your benefit, I suggest that you look up the references mentioned, to make sure they make sense. (smile) I did before I wrote them down. 

And now, may the Lord God bless and safely keep us all, grant us His unmatchable wisdom and unsurpassable peace, as we go about today to do His bidding! Much LOVE!

…when circumstances go against God’s Word…we ought to obey God…rather than men…and be ready to suffer the consequences… (Acts 5:29)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2014 Ephesians 5:21

Ephesians 5:21.    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 
And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday – the day before the weekend. Wow Friends, the weekend’s almost here! Give thanks and praise! (smile) Yes my people, we ought to always give thanks and praise, not only for stuff like the weekend, but for ALL things, be they good or bad!
 
As Bruh Paul so wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) Yes mih breddren, thanks and praise are always in our best interest, no matter the situation!
 
And the word for today from my almanac (smile) is ‘REFLECT.’ The quote comes from Peter Drucker (1909-2005) He was the Austrian–born, American writer, professor and management consultant who set the management world afire in my days. He’s often referred to as ‘the Father of modern management.’ In my time, you couldn’t study management without reading Drucker. I must still have a book or two by him somewhere here on my shelf.
 
Anyway, the quote is: ‘From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.’
 
And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! For when we first sit and reflect on what’s happening in our lives and around us, instead of just jumping in willy-nilly to some situation, we do produce much more effective actions.
 
And today, I want us to consider our Bit in the spirit of reflection. ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’
 
Yes my people, let’s ponder its meaning, then consider our individual efforts in doing what it advocates. Are we truly submitting ourselves to each other in reverence to God?
 
Or as the scholars describe it: ‘There is mutual submission, that is, showing deference to the wishes of one another, as long as that to which the believer submits is in the fear of God, which is to say, in accord with what pleases Him.’
 
Oh Friends, as true Christians, that’s how we ought to be living our lives. But unfortunately I don’t think we are doing that to any great extent. Instead we are allowing the dictates, emotions, ungodly actions and motives of the world to permeate our relationships. That’s why there is so much animosity, resentment, and all the other negative things to be found today in the body of Christ; His supposedly august church.
 
And that unity of effort is one thing Bruh Paul harps on, knowing its great importance. To the Philippians, he writes: ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy),
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.1:1-4)
 
Yes that’s a mouthful, but here are some explanations from the scholars: ‘2:2-4. Fulfill ye my joy (or, “Make my joy complete”). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians (1:3), but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them.
 
The Greek equates what, to Paul, constitutes “complete joy” with the readers being like-minded. This means “living in harmony” with one another. That is, the Philippians can “fulfill” the writer’s “joy” by living in harmony among themselves. But what does such harmonious living entail?
 
Beginning in verse 2 and continuing through verse 4, six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to “live in harmony”: (1) having the same LOVE toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality; (2) being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit; (3) of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;
 
(4) let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; for selfish ambitions or conceit; (5) let each esteem other better than themselves; that is, each is to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and (6) look…every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.’
 
Yes my brethren, though Bruh Paul was generally happy with the Philippians, there was some disunity among them that displeased him. I hate to think what he would feel about the church today, for there is so much disunity and dissension, that it’s feeding on itself and every day creating more of the same.
 
Oh my fellow believers, Christians were meant to live in harmony, with Jesus Christ as our sounding board, as our most worthy example! Yuh see how the early Christians lived after the Holy Spirit was endowed on all believers! That’s how we ought to live!
 
Oh I know that we are only human and that the society is bigger and somewhat different, but even so, with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, we ought, and can definitely come up much higher than we’re currently doing.

Remember Jesus’ motto is ‘Excellence in all things!’ And we’re definitely not being excellent in church unity and harmony.
 
So today my people, I’m pleading with us to try and do better, to come up higher, not only for our sakes and for those of our children, but more so for Jesus, since we are His representatives, His ambassadors here on earth, and we’re not doing such a great job in His name. Let’s sincerely seek to improve nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…oh…if there was even a tad more unity in Christ’s church…His LOVE Revolution would be much further along to completion…

 

 
 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2013 Job 16:1-2

Job 16:1-2.      Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
 
Oh Friends, another today is here! The question is how will we use it? Will we use it wisely, or unwisely? For all our sakes, I certainly hope we use it wisely, otherwise we’d be placing our selves, both our earthly and eternal lives, in serious jeopardy. And what does using today wisely mean, or entail eh? It simply means giving our hearts, minds, bodies and souls to God! Turning to Him for guidance and direction, each and every day of our lives, while attempting to walk the straight and narrow path that comply with His guidelines and dictates. So basically, using the day wisely, means allowing God to direct our footsteps. And the best way to do that is by seeking Him early in the morning, as soon as we get up, possibly before we even open our eyes, just be conscious that we’re awake. That gives the evil fool Lucifer less time to gang up on us and cause us to deviate from the straight and narrow before we’ve even begun the day. As the ole people would say, ‘take in front, before in front takes you.’ And you know it’s always best to read the directions on a package before using its contents, as well as know where you’re going before setting out on your journey. The same applies to starting our day. So Friends, let’s try and make it a habit of starting our day with God, as soon as possible after arising nuh. I guarantee that our days will turn out much better that way. Now turning to our Bit: ‘Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable (troublesome) comforters are ye all.’ Oh my brethren, what a story is Job’s later life! He’s living as righteous and faithful as he can, then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, he loses everything; his family, his health and his wealth. Unknown to Job, the Lord’s using him as a righteous example to Lucifer. And Job stays the course fairly well, obviously unhappy and confused, but not blaming or cursing God. But then, some days later, three of his buddies, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, who heard of his ‘sufferation’, show up together ‘to mourn with him and to comfort him.’ (Job 2:11) From what the Good Book says, Job must have been a real mess, because when his friends first saw him, they didn’t recognize him; ‘they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle (each tore off his robe), and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.’ (Job 2:12-13) Now that was real brotherly of them, and maybe they should just have kept their silence throughout their stay, because after that each one of them lambastes Job about why such a terrible disaster had befallen him. They all figure he’s committed some horrible sin, for which God has punished him. But Job knows that there’s no such horrible sin in his life. No wonder he’s astounded at the way his supposed friends lash out at him. Early on, he reproaches them by saying. ‘To him that is afflicted (despairing) pity (kindness) should be showed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away.’ (Job 6:14-15) Not only did Job’s friends berate him unfairly, his close relations had also forsaken him in his time of dire need. But that’s how it usually goes, although it’s not supposed to. Those who are suffering should be shown compassion and empathy, not dragged roughly across the coals, even though they may done something to bring the disaster on themselves. All that does is add to their afflictions and their sorrows. Then after our Bit, before complaining about God’s dealings with him, Job again rebukes his friends. ‘Shall vain (empty) words have an end? Or what emboldeneth (provokes) thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead. I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of (comfort from) my lips should assuage (relieve) your grief.’ (Job 16:3-5) Now that’s the way it should be my brethren! Whatever we do, or say, should have a positive effect on those who are sorrowful, not increase their sorrow, as Job’s friends did to him with their harsh, unfeeling words. That’s like the unfair snap judgements many of us make in this unfair and judgemental world. We’re quick to jump down the throats of others and criticize them from mere outward appearances, without having any knowledge of the true situation. Remember Jesus said; ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged. 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) That means we should not be condemning others, judging their inner motives, especially on prejudiced information, neither use ourselves as a standard for the judgement, because it’s by that same standard we’ll be judged. Obviously Job’s friends didn’t follow those rules. Anyway my fellow believers, I believe we’ve got the general picture here, and since time and space are running out on us, let’s end with some wise words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, on the topic of comfort that we all know, or should know, but don’t practice sufficiently. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor.1:3-4) Bruh Paul is talking about his afflictions, and how God comforts him, so that he can comfort others. Now that’s how it also ought to be with us, my people! So as of today, let’s try to show a truer Christian side to our criticism and judgement nuh. Don’t condemn, and if we need to correct, let’s do it with gentleness and kindness, in LOVE, as Jesus does, and would have us do. Much LOVE!…the beauty of correcting or comforting with LOVING-KINDNESS…is that it greatly reduces the possibility of anger, strife and resentment…and greatly increases the chances of true comfort and consolation…