Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2019 John 13:15.

John 13:15.    ​For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
 

Oh my people, it’s a perfect beginning to what seems like a perfect day! The sun’s shining ever so brightly although it’s just eight o’clock in the morning, merrily reflecting off every possible surface. I was quite surprised at how bright it looked when I went outside a short while ago. And the temperature is nice and comfortable, so let’s hope it will continue like that all day. 

But the most important thing is that we’re alive to enjoy it! Yeahhh! Through God’s LOVING grace, mercy and forgiveness, we’re still around to enjoy another memorable day! Wow! Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow saints in Christ for being so wonderful to us when we don’t deserve any of it. 

But most of all, we have to give Him thanks for His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made right with the Father! Glory to God! That’s why the Daily Bread Devotionals could tell us: ‘In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.’ And furthermore: ‘We serve Christ when we serve people!’ 

Words of gospel truth my brethren! Jesus is the most worthwhile example of all that we should aspire to be! Yes, we can never be truly like Him, be perfect in every way, because of our inherent sinful nature and His accompanying deity, but we can certainly try to get as close as possible to perfection in our humanity. And serving others while having a heartfelt compassion for mankind are possibly the two most important ways we can model Him. 

Oh, we won’t forget spreading His gospel, but people are more receptive to that good news when we first assuage their physical wants. Meaning, if someone’s hungry, before we begin preaching, we should first feed them. And likewise, if they are naked, clothe them first before trying to shove the gospel down their throats. 

And unfortunately that’s a mistake we often make. We reach out to the impoverished, both in body and spirit, but we put the gospel first. But as Sparrow once said in a calypso, ‘Yuh can’t make LOVE on an empty belly!’ (smile) And that goes for almost every other situation. You’re not receptive to much of anything if you’re cold and hungry. So please, in our own li’l worlds or spheres of influence, let’s try and satisfy the physical needs of others before we begin preaching to them nuh. 

And sadly, there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in these supposedly prosperous times who are suffering severe and serious want, especially with all the natural disasters, like flood and famine and sickness, plus rampant greed and strife that’s occurring all over our world in these last troubled and trying days. 

And I just came upon a most interesting and ever so applicable statement of Bruh Paul’s to the Philippians, when he promised to send Timothy to help them in their faith walk. ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Christ’s.’ (Phil.2:21)  Yes friends, in this age of me, mine and my own, everyone is more concerned about seeking their own needs and wants than those of Christ. 

But remember He said that if we seek first His kingdom and the things that are important to Him, we would be granted all the other ancillary stuff. (Matt.6:33) Sadly though, very few of us really pay attention to those words and instead run off to do what we think is best for us. But I’m straying from the original topic; servanthood amongst the followers of Jesus. 

Friends, we ought not to be too proud to do whatever job is necessary, even if it’s the most menial of jobs, like sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. And again in Jesus, we have the best example possible, when He washed the feet of His disciples. That was possibly one of the most menial jobs in Israel in those days, reserved for slaves, since they wore sandals and their feet were always dusty and dirty. 

But Jesus stripped Himself at the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover, took a basin of water and washed every disciple’s feet. Why? Listen to His reasoning. ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master (Teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 

If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord (master); neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:12-17) 

Ah friends, as always, Jesus gives us some dynomite examples to follow! And is that one about doing menial jobs ever so applicable in these days, where we all are so proud and hoighty-toighty and only want to do the jobs that the world thinks are so uplifting and convey what it calls success. 

But please remember that though the C.E.O might make the most money and have the biggest say about how to do things, it’s the lowly factory workers who actually do the jobs, make whatever they sell. Without them, he wouldn’t be in His glorified position. Likewise we should never forget the poor and unfortunate around us and not be too big and proud to help them in whatever way they need it, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ was all about. 

And if we want to truly follow His example, then we have to do what He did! And having washed away some of our foolish pride, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole wide world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

All together now in strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

And if we believe it, then let’s follow Jesus’ example and go out and share His amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship! Much LOVE!

…no job…should ever be too menial…for a true believer in Christ…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Brother! Everybody was early this Wednesday morning but me. I opened my e-mail and saw all sorts of messages there from an early hour, meanwhile I am just beginning to write the Bit at 10 o’clock. Hn, hn! But as they say, better late than never! 

I just had a long day yesterday with a doctor’s appointment in the city and that usually takes up the whole day. Had to do much waiting to see her too. But she was happy with my recovery schedule. That made it all worthwhile! 

Then, on my way home, I went to a church meeting and barbeque, more barbeque than meeting (smile), so by the time I did get home I was all bushed out. And the old bod doesn’t seem to recover as quickly as it used to, because this morning I had to fight it to get up. 

Tell me though, why is the early morning sleep so much sweeter than that of the nighttime eh? Perhaps it’s because we know that we have to get up, but deep down we don’t want to. 

Anyway, it’s Wednesday, and many of us are breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that we’ve reached the hump, the midpoint of the weekly work cycle, and we can now see some daylight ahead, while still yearning for Friday and the weekend. 

And I have to share these interesting and ever so true words from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. And it says: ‘Prayer is the place where burdens change shoulders.’ 

Wow people! What inescapable truth! That’s one of the reasons why we pray. But please note, it is not the only, or even the most important reason for prayer. However, when we do pray for help from Almighty God, oftimes we can feel those burdens just lifted off our shoulders. That’s why Jesus offered His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

Oh friends, I know we recently did that scripture as our Bit too, but that’s where the Lord led me this morning. It’s as though He was saying that we are a stubborn and hardheaded people, so we need to hear the truth, the real truth, over and over again before we accept it. 

But my people it’s such a wonderful truth! Why do we have to hear it over and over before we accept it eh? We don’t have to hear lesser invitations from our fellow man over and over again before we rush to accept them. So why this reticence in accepting the greatest invitation ever eh? 

And that’s not all: Jesus explained why we should come to Him in prayer with our burdens. ‘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.11:29-30) 

Oh friends NO ONE else has ever ventured to offer such an exceptional invitation because they just didn’t have the ability to keep it. But Jesus did, and still does have that ability to take our burdens and give rest to our souls. If He bore ALL of our sins on the cross, why can’t He bear our lesser burdens too eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And hear Him (Jesus) later on, reinforce those words to a crowd of unbelieving Jews nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out.’ (John 6:35-37) 

And why would He cast us out, if He first invited us to come to Him eh? That makes no sense whatsoever! But friends, we first have to believe in Jesus and the role He came to earth to play, and believe strongly, so that we are able to surrender our all to Him. 

He doesn’t want just the parts of our lives that we are prepared to give Him, but EVERYTHING; our whole lives! From the simplest aspect to the most important Jesus wants to be involved in, otherwise He can’t do justice to His invitation. 

That’s why Jesus highlighted in the Beatitudes, in His Sermon from the Mount that you cannot serve two masters at the same time: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly wealth).’ (Matt.6:25) ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

So friends, I don’t know what else to say to make us consider putting ALL our trust in Jesus Christ, the ONE who sacrificed His sinless life on the Cross at Calvary, took ALL of our sins on His shoulders, so that we could be set free from ALL of our sinful baggage, for ALL time. 

But here are the words of a sinful man just like us, Bruh David, who even before Jesus came to earth wisely advised. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps.55:22) And we do know how Bruh David lived up to that wisdom and was very successful in life. Maybe his staunch and faithful example might sway us this Wednesday morning. (smile) 

Now for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our position in Jesus Christ. Let’s wail mih breddren, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, that glorious future ahead, just boggles the human imagination! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t accept God’s invitation without worry…whose then will you accept…man’s…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2018 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

‘Sunny days are here again! Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh friends, it’s sunny and beautiful once again, although yesterday did turn out nicely, except that in the afternoon a mild thunderstorm swept through the area leaving a devastating windstorm in its wake. 

Ah Lord eh! The thunderstorm wasn’t bad, but the wind provoked the region all evening, late into the night, blowing down stuff and causing a fair amount of damage. Thankfully my property didn’t seem to suffer any damage this time, as the last windstorm we had blew down a part of my fence. 

And if that’s the extent of our disasters, then let us give God much thanks and plenty glory yes, because so many others are undergoing much worse disasters, like floods, volcanoes and wildfires, and the tornado and hurricane seasons will soon be upon us in full force, so we have a lot of negative stuff to look forward to. 

And I was just reading that a lot of people in Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys are still living in very trying conditions, without electricity, in rundown trailer parks etc, nine months after the last hurricane devastated their areas. How sad is that eh friends? Where is the government…and the church…and we, the supposed neighbours… and the many charitable organizations that are constantly collecting money from us eh? 

I don’t know the answers nuh friends, but I do know that in the LOVE of Christ, our fellow men and women should not be living in such trying conditions through no fault of their own. And to help alleviate our concerns, I have two seminal quotes from the Daily Bread Devotionals. The first says ‘No one understands like Jesus.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth my people! Nobody understands our trials and tribulations like Jesus because He experienced them too in His earthly sojourn. So in times when our small, finite understanding fails us, He is the One we need to go to and just lay all our burdens before Him. 

Remember what He said in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) And He was not joking my brethren, but being very serious. There’s no other Being in man’s history who has ever made such a declaration! That’s because no other has ever had the parts to fulfill it. But Jesus does my people. 

So whenever we’re down and out and don’t know what to do, please turn to Him, that’s the wisest thing to do, and He will give you succour. I can personally testify to that. He might not drive away the negative circumstances, but He will certainly give you the wherewithal to bear them in a positive manner. And sometimes that’s all we really need if we are true and faithful believers. 

And the second quote is: ‘Christ’s sacrifice of Himself, motivates us to sacrifice ourselves for others.’ Or at least it ought to. Unfortunately though in too many cases it does not. In fact, the word ‘sacrifice’ is not one that’s used much in our everyday lives. Some people don’t even know it, or know what it means. 

And for our information, here is how the dictionary defines it. ‘Sacrifice: Giving up of thing for the sake of another that is higher or more urgent, thing thus given up, loss thus entailed.’ Yeh friends, it means giving up something, losing something for somebody else’s sake, because their need is more urgent than ours. 

And what’s the greatest sacrifice ever made on the face of this earth? That of Jesus giving up His sinless, holy life for our sinful, disgusting one, so that atonement could be made for our sorrowful, sinful state. The Good Book declares: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how Jesus died on our behalf; without a word of murmur or complaint. So why is it so difficult for us to give up much simpler stuff for others eh? Why are we so greedy and like to hoard stuff for ourselves, even when we sometimes have no use for them? 

I guess that’s the natural nature of man, especially in today’s selfish and greedy world, and the LOVE and sacrifice of Jesus have not yet truly infiltrated our hearts and souls so that we can become more like Him, generous to a fault. But we LOVE to get, to receive. Oh brother do we ever! 

But please remember these immortal words of Jesus: ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that you mete (use to give) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ (Luke 6:38) 

Yeh friends, that means if you give stingily, you will be given back stingily. However if you give generously, you will receive generously. That’s just the law of God’s economics. So please let us start giving generously nuh, of our time, talents and money, so that we can receive generously from God and man too. It’s only wisdom friends. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us, although we don’t deserve many of them. But that’s the kind of God He is! So all together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now please note that the Lord didn’t give us all of that to hoard for ourselves, but to go out and share with the less fortunate. So let’s do His will on that nuh, so that He can bless us even more. Much LOVE!

…it is so much better…to give than to receive…but we must also learn how to receive…in humility…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

And then it was Thursday, two days away from the great celebration of New Year’s Eve, with a smattering of fresh snow on the ground. It’s not a great deal, but sufficient to cause problems if we’re not careful. So please be careful on the roads this morning. 

And despite problems and otherwise, everybody is getting their dan-dan, (smile) their finery ready to go out and party and ring in the New Year with much pomp and ceremony. 

But here again, please, let’s just be careful while we’re having fun, because the slightest mistake whatever it may be, can cause disaster. And we certainly don’t want to ring in the New Year amidst a disastrous scene. 

Now here is a simple but interesting prayer I got from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. Please pray with me: ‘Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished within me.’ 

Yeh friends, there’s nothing like trusting our heavenly Father and waiting with eager anticipation for His promises and purposes to be done in us, for spiritually we’re still a work in progress, and He’s continually molding and shaping us into reflections of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

No wonder Bruh Paul could declare in our Bit: ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yes, he was still in that molding process. In spite of all his successes and achievements, Bruh Paul still felt he hadn’t attained that level of maturity and ‘knowing Christ,’ the way he wanted to. 

Consequently he stopped concentrating on what had gone before, accounting it all loss and dung to the wonderful privilege of advancing his knowledge in Christ in the foreseeable future. 

And to continue his noble search, he further declares after our Bit. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:14) 

That verse the scholars explain thus: ‘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, there can be no higher calling than that of God, which exists through Jesus Christ, bringing the wonderful gifts of grace called salvation and eternal life! 

Now the smart or wise thing for us all to do is to simply keep pressing on, reaching out for the prize, racking up rewards in heaven for the things we’ve done here on earth. 

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.’ (Phil3:15) 

And the scholars explain: 3:15. Be thus minded literally means “let us think this” or “let us hold this opinion.” Mature Christians must realize that they are not ethically perfect, but they tirelessly press onward for higher spiritual attainments (vv.13-14). 

There is present, then, a bit of irony: perfect (mature) believers are those who admit they are not perfect in any absolute sense. The apostle urges all mature Philippian Christians to hold his attitude; conceding that none has yet “spiritually arrived” but ever pressing on toward further development. 

If…ye be otherwise minded: The writer realizes that not all of the Philippian readers agree with this conviction of verses 12-15. But he is confident that God shall reveal their erroneous thinking to them.’ 

Likewise my faithful brethren, in these modern times we believers must also press on, seeking spiritual maturity in our earthly sojourn. And just like the Philippians, some of us might not agree with that path, but God will undoubtedly show us the error of our ways, if we don’t hold fast to that commitment. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us: ‘Nevertheless, whereto (to the degree that) we have already attained (arrived, reached), let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (be of the same mind).’ (Phil.3:16) And that is simple common sense my people. 

But hear the scholars’ comments. ‘3:16. Whereto we have already obtained refers to whatever level of Christian knowledge and maturity the Philippians have attained since conversion. 

They are to walk by the same rule, that is, live in accord with the same level of knowledge and maturity, if God is going to give them further light. Fidelity to the truth possessed is a condition for receiving more.’ 

Yes friends, at whatever our level of spiritual maturity, that is the standard to which we must walk, if we want to eventually move up higher. 

So let’s go home with that in our minds and our Thursday Blessings being proclaimed by our tongues. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

Now in full voice and strong belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, we are so blessed by our wonderful God, let’s go out and bless others nuh and thus glorify His Holy Name! Much LOVE!

…God won’t give us more…until He sees we can handle what we already have…