Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.  ​ Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (confined or difficult) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 
Wow…and more Wow! What a lot of thanks and praise is floating up to heaven today because it’s Friday, and the impending weekend that will give our tired souls and bodies a break from the daily grind and common task, after the first full week of work in this new year of 2019! No more traffic jams and crowds of people for two whole, big days…that is unless we want it. Glory be! 

Ah friends, our bodies and minds are not as strong and able as they use to be even one generation ago. That’s because we’ve become accustomed to an easy style of living in our technologically advanced society that doesn’t require a whole lot of hard, physical work. Not like back in the days when agriculture was king and technology was just coming into its own. 

Now technology is indeed useful, if we use it to our advantage. But unfortunately these days we’re allowing technology to use us, run our lives, do almost everything besides discharge our bodily secretions. And soon it might even be able to do that too! (smile) 

Seriously though friends, technology is killing our society at the same time it is providing us with some interesting perks. We’re thinking less and doing less for ourselves, and if we continue this way, our minds and bodies will eventually atrophy, lose their effectiveness, shrivel up and become vegetative because of lack of use. 

Please notice that every great society in our history began to fail and fall the day they became overly prosperous. That’s because too much prosperity leads to laziness, and therefore lack of productivity and ingenuity, which keep a society growing. 

Now tell me, how did I get on this track eh? (smile) Some days I just don’t know nuh…although it makes sense. However, it’s Friday, and everybody is waiting to hear the workingman sing his song. And though he’s tired, he still finds the energy to belt it out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend looming large! Brother, what a week that was! Ah can’t remember when last ah work five full days in a row nuh. But that is surely slavery yes! 

Why should a man have to work five straight days out of seven eh, especially with we big technological society now eh? Whatever happen to the four-day workweek that they promise we eh? It nowhere in sight! Steups! Should have known that the capitalist slave master doh keep promises. But anyway, the weekend here and ah have time to rest some…but also to party some! Hn, hn! Can’t let the whole weekend go by and doh party…that is a sin before God! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’  

Ah mih people, even in the midst of tiredness, Bacchus, the god of bacchanal, still raises his ugly head. That’s how our society has been programmed. But thankfully not all of us though. We believers know the value of rest and of play, and when to indulge in either, that’s why our Friday Chant is not as extreme as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now with much verve and chutzpah nuh. (smile) 

As one: ‘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!’ 

We seriously give thanks and praise to God, not the flippant attitude that the workingman displays, and we stay on track most of the time, or at least try to, while the workingman goes running hither, thither and yon, without any sense of direction.

That’s why our august Leader, Jesus Christ warned: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (confined or difficult) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes friends, the way to hell and damnation is broad, wide and easy to find. But the path that leads to salvation and eternal life is narrow and hard to find. And why is that eh? Because it all goes through Jesus; both the gate and the way! As He so emphatically said unto his doubting disciple, Thomas: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Yeh mih people, there are only two options in this life, the wide destructive path that Satan offers, or the straight and narrow one that leads through Jesus to our heavenly Father. The billion-dollar question is, which path will each of us take? I implore us to take the latter that goes through Jesus! Yes it is the more difficult path, but ultimately it is indeed the more beneficial. Much LOVE!

…two paths to eternity…the one to heaven…and the one to hell…which one will you choose…hopefully…the former… 

P.S. Ah friends, the enemy is alive and well, and can come at us from any direction at any time. Would you believe that just as I was going to type in Jesus’ directive to Thomas, I paused to take a sip of water, and darkness suddenly filled the room? Just for a second though. So I had to reboot and wait for everything to come back. It’s a good thing that I’ve learned from earlier mistakes and save stuff as I go along. So please be on your p’s and q’s! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice now. ‘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 the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

So friends, it’s Tuesday! What’s new and exciting in our lives eh? And most of us say nothing really; just the same old, same old daily grind and common task. Hn! 

And that’s the way it’s always going to be my brethren, because we really couldn’t handle something new and exciting every day. We are just not made that way. 

And our U.S brethren are going back to work today after the Memorial Day Holiday – hope they’re not too tired and bedraggled after all the celebrations. 

But friends, it hurts the ole fella’s heart to see all the pomp and ceremony that both the U.S and Canada put on in respect to celebrating their fallen brethren, while the majority of the ones who participated in the conflicts and are still alive are suffering immensely from government abuse, mismanagement and simply being ignored. Steups! 

So many of them suffer from mental and physical problems and either can’t get any help, or find it extremely difficult to get help for the wounds suffered for the freedom of our countries. 

Financially, they and their families are also suffering great need, but our governments only make feeble, if any attempts to help them. Yet on those days, those days of remembrance, they can find money to honour the dead, while the living suffer so seriously. 

Steups! What a hypocritical society we are! But that’s all a story for another day. Today though, I want to share some words of wisdom attributed to John Maxwell (1947), the celebrated American author, speaker and pastor. 

And here John talks about dreams. ‘A dream without a positive attitude produces a daydreamer. A positive attitude without a dream produces a pleasant person who never makes any progress. A dream together with a positive attitude produces a person with unlimited possibility and potential. ‘ 

Mama Mia! How true is that eh my friends? How many of us dream big but do nothing about it eh? And how many of us have positive attitudes but no dreams to be positive about? Too many of us I declare! 

It’s just like Christianity that calls for both faith and works. One without the other is of no use. And I guess that’s why a lot of us aren’t growing in Christ either; because we have either faith or works and not both. 

But friends, to be good, solid and true Christians we need to believe sincerely, and then work that belief to the glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Otherwise we’re just empty vessels without any real use. And all of that leads us to our Bit. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Ah mih people, that’s a passage of scripture that has caused controversy down though the ages. Now according to the scholars, Bruh Paul’s doctrine teaches of ‘salvation by faith alone.’ 

For him ‘faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5). For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post conversion works.’ 

Oh friends, what unnecessary confusion! It’s obvious that we can only be saved by faith, but that faith ought to lead us to work the works of Jesus which He so clearly commanded us to do; teaching and making disciples of others, helping the sick and needy, etc. etc. 

And as the scholars quote the famous Protestant Pastor, John Calvin: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! 

Therefore as James continues: ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them. Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 2:15-17) 

The sad truth of the matter friends is that our faith these days is sadly lacking works. Oh we will go to heaven with our faith, but where will be our rewards? When the Lord asks us ‘what have you done with the talents and blessings I gave you,’ what will we reply? 

Will our reply be like the fella with one talent who buried it? Or will we declare like the one who had five talents: ‘Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.’ (Matt.25:20) 

Now that’s what we ought to be saying on that judgement day my people! So that the Lord can say to us: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

Yes friends, the quintessential aim of all Christians should not just be going to heaven, but receiving a joyful welcome to eternal life by our heavenly Father! 

And with all of that in mind, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere belief and enthusiastic enthusiasm! (smile) ‘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 having said that, let’s now go out and put it into action, as Jesus desires nuh. Much LOVE!

…true faith…ought to make us want to do…plenty good works…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2017 Psalm 97:10.

Psalm 97:10.   Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Ah mih friends, once more it’s back to the common task and daily grind…and no short workweek either, but a full five days of labouring! And I hear some moaning and groaning and expletives I must delete, as we realize that it’s our favourite day, Monday. 

Hn, hn! But my working brethren, it is what it is, and we can’t do much about it, for even the very rich need to labour some to keep their wealth. So we just need to grin and bear it and thank the Lord that we’re alive and kicking on another glorious day on planet earth. And once we get up and get moving, we’ll forget all the puny and pitiful details of waking up on a Monday morning to go to work, cause by then we’ll be full of vim and vigour. 

And I hear some of you sourly declare: ‘Don’t bet on that nuh!’ But I’m betting on it, because I know the awesome power of our antidote for the Monday Blues, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out now nuh, like there was no tomorrow. 

‘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!’ 

Good going friends, good going! Jesus was pleased, as the affirmative nod of His head and bright smile attest to. And I know you are now feeling the strong ripple of adrenaline just moving and grooving through your system, and with your spiritual battle armour on, you can’t wait to get out on the battlefield called work to do serious battle in Jesus’ name. See, I told you about the power of our antidote! (smile) 

And all of that finally brings us to our Bit; those immortal words of wisdom from the psalmist:  ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ 

And some of you are muttering: ‘But we just did that a couple of days ago?’ Yes, we did. But I wasn’t quite finished with it, because there are three parts to it, and yesterday’s Bit was just more suited to the Sabbath Day. (smile) 

Now we’ve already covered the first part in our earlier messages, ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil:’, so let’s turn to some scriptures that deal with the second aspect: ‘he preserveth the souls of his saints;’ Listen up to these scintillating words of advice and wisdom and indisputable truth from Bruh David out of Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. 

‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps.145:17-21) 

And if that doesn’t touch your very heart and soul, then hear Cousin Sol from Proverbs, as he talks about seeking wisdom. ‘If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up (stores up) sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgement (guards the paths of justice) and preserveth the way of his saints.’ (Prov.2:4-8) 

So friends, if you are one of the Lord’s saints, then you know that true wisdom is yours for the asking, and divine protection is guaranteed! 

And we’ll close with some more powerful and wise advice from Bruh David out of Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:23-24) 

Words of gospel truth my brethren, and if we’re wise we’ll diligently heed them. Much LOVE!

…one can’t be a saint of God…and not be securely tuned in to Him and His Word…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2016 2 Peter 3:18

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever Amen.

Well friends, the music has ended, and the D.J is packing up his equipment, that means the party’s over! Steups! So sad, but oh so true. 

The simple fact of the matter is that we can’t party for ever, we also have to have periods of work if we want to live balanced lives as the Lord, our Maker intended. 

And all of that is just to say that the ole fella’s vacation in paradise, on sweet Tobago is over. Chuh! But them’s the breaks! Sadly, it’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind in the cold North country. 

No longer will I be waking up to the sweet singing of the birds, coming out the front door and inhaling the fresh salt air from the sea as the waves rush foam-filled over the reef and crash against the rocky shore. No more sitting out on the patio in the early morning hours communing with the Father, watching the sun rise and feeling it’s heat permeate my very being. 

No more watching the birds and insects play amongst the bunch of young date palms on the small tree as they go about their business, God’s business of pollinating the flowers so that life can go on. 

And I have to stop and say what a wonderful and ingenious God we serve, the ingenious way He designed for nature’s reproduction. Please give Him all the glory! 

Then no more walks along the rocky coastline after devotions… Hn! No more dips in my waterhole either. No more sitting on the patio with the duchess taking in the sights and sounds of nature, as she says, enjoying the ambiance. (smile) And she certainly won’t be able to see, or hear her boats, the ferries speed back and forth along the horizon. 

And she won’t be able to have me drive miles down the road to get some of Rosie’s rock cake! Hn! Three times this past week I drove all the way down to this local bakery, in the hot sun to boot, only to discover that she was closed, or she had no drops. I wasn’t very thrilled. 

But you know what friends; the vacation might all be over in reality, but the wonderful time we had on Crusoe’s Isle will never be forgotten, will never be erased from our memories. For as Johnny Bristol says in his old song: ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad, They’re always something that you have.’ 

And that is gospel truth my people! And believe me, we made many many good memories over the last few weeks. As I sit in my rocking chair during the cold days and nights, I will recall many of them, chuckle and give thanks to the Almighty for having allowed me to make them. 

And to all of you in T&T who made our stay so memorable, the duchess and I give you thanks from the very bottom of our hearts. We sincerely appreciated your warmth and kindness, and hope that we can savour some more of it next year, the Lord in favour. Can’t wait to come back! (smile) 

Anyway, today is Tuesday, so let’s get on with our Tuesday Mantra nuh. Altogether now: ‘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.’ 

Glory to God my people for those true and wonderful sentiments! Please, let’s remember that what the world says or thinks about us is of no importance, once we are sincerely trying to do the Father’s bidding. We are indeed children of God and friends of Jesus! That’s our designation; nothing else! 

And today I want to share a rather important message from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly titled, ‘Worth the Waiting.’ 

Listen closely: ‘Growing spiritually is such a long, slow process! It’s painful too. Every day at the turn of the road I become acquainted with new pitfalls and heartaches. Sometimes the pain backs me into a corner. For example: There is a woman I know who is so sarcastic, so curt and unkind. Am I ever excused? Is forgiveness always a part of my growth? 

So often I feel like a spiritual midget while my husband and friends appear to be spiritual giants. I seem to shrink in my own home. Another thing: I confess that I am a coward about pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain. The pain of loneliness, the pain of grief. 

Yet, again and again it is true. What I must learn in my pain is that it is leading to something positive, something beyond what I can see in the present darkness. I do want to grow! I want to become more and more like Jesus. Even though it takes so long, surely it is worth the waiting.’ 

And friends, that is the immutable truth! Becoming more like Jesus, is indeed a long and ofttimes painful process, but believe me, it is worth the wait! 

So for all of us who have problems like those above, and we all do at some time or other, the important thing is never to give up, just keep holding on tightly to Jesus, because in due time, in His time, He will bring us through the fire transformed, more like Him. 

And the Bible Promise for that passage is also our Bit for today. ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the only way to handle the wickedness and the temptations of this evil world is by growing in the grace and knowledge of our great and wonderful God. Without the bulwark that His favour and word provide, we’re easy pickings for the enemy. 

And remember God’s basic plan for each of us is that we grow more like the Saviour each and every day, by studying His Word, praying and fellowshipping with other believers. Those things need to be constants in our lives, if we are to mature successfully. 

And we have a very relevant scripture to quote from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. As pertaining to the new life in Christ, he tells them. ‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 

But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted (knit together) by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual (effective) working in the measure of every part (of each part doing its share), maketh increase (causes growth) of the body unto the edifying of itself in LOVE.’ (Eph.4:14-16) 

Yes my brethren, the church of Christ is like the human body, to grow successfully, it needs proper food and all the parts working together in harmony. And the best way to do that is to come up over our problems with LOVE; the LOVE of Christ! Much LOVE!

…in all things…the LOVE of Christ suffices…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2016 John 15:12‏

John 15:12.   This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

And then it was Monday friends; time for laboring again; time to continue the daily grind and common task. And I know that some of you are ‘chuhing’ and ‘steupsing’ and complaining because you have to go to work, but by now we should all realize that it’s a part of life, and the sooner we get accustomed to it and accept it, the better off we will be. End of sermon. 

So to help us all, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great enthusiasm, in perfect harmony, as our conductor Jesus leads us in song. 

As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Oh my people, that was only a mediocre rendition! Jesus wasn’t really displeased, but He certainly expected more from us. 

Anyway, having boosted our spirits, let’s go out this first Monday in Lent and do our bounden duty nuh as specified by our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s all about LOVE! If we live in LOVE, then all will be well! 

Listen to what the Good Book says on the subject. ‘Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not itself (doesn’t boast), is not puffed up (arrogant), Does not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); 

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (LOVE) never faileth….’ (1 Cor.13:4-8a) 

Oh my fellow believers, I must admit that according to Bruh Paul’s words, real LOVE is indeed a hard row to hoe, but hoe it we must, as true followers of Christ. Christ did it for us, and we are expected to do it for each other, as our Bit directs. 

Now something here amazes me; yesterday we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day supposedly of LOVE, now why can’t we just continue that attitude eh? Why do we have to revert to our less than LOVING selves eh? 

It certainly defies my understanding…unless what we show on Valentine’s Day is not real LOVE, just an outward show of gifts per the world, who treats it like just another big shopping day, a day to make money, to boost the economy. 

Oh I’m not that naïve to believe that we all share true LOVE on days like those, but even then why stop the generous giving afterwards? 

As Bruh Paul encourages us in Romans 12, when speaking about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another.’ (Rom.12:9-10) 

And as the scholars tell us: ‘12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others, LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

I certainly can’t argue with that friends! And as John tells us in his first epistle: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God, whom he hath not seen?’ (1 John 4:20) 

Now friends, that is the million-dollar question. We all claim to LOVE God, whom we’ve never seen, but yet hate our brethren, whom we have seen. It just doesn’t sound logical, but it’s a problem that we will all have to deal with, individually and as the church of Christ, as soon as possible, if we want to remain right with God. 

Now enough preaching for the day, (smile) you all will do whatever you want anyway. On a practical note, the duchess and I went to the Goat races yesterday in Buccoo. Yes you read right, ‘goat races!’ 

Usually it’s only held during the Easter weekend, but what with a new, good-looking facility, just built for goat racing, they need to have them more often, both to encourage the locals and to provide entertainment for the visitors. 

And believe you me, it’s organized just as a horse race; an approximately hundred yard running lane, with starting gates and jockeys, who don’t ride, but run behind the goats to guide them. 

The goats are equipped with numbers, the jockeys with whips, and they are divided into classes, with owners and trainers, and a commentator on the race, and no doubt betting on the sly. The only thing they lack is a camera at the finish line. Only in sweet Tobago! 

After watching about four races, we came home and rested, then later in the evening I took the duchess out for dinner to an exquisite, expensive restaurant she had been wanting to go to all along. I must say though that the food was good and the service excellent, so it was not a waste of time or money. 

And above all it kept the duchess happy. For remember, a happy wife, usually leads to a happy life. (smile) And on that note of wisdom, we’ll end for today. 

So friends, let’s try and boost the LOVE quotient in our lives nuh, for it is indeed the desire of Jesus, and the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…only genuine and consistent LOVE on our part…will boost Jesus’ LOVE Revolution…and eventually bring it to fruition…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2014 Isaiah 2:8

 Isaiah 2:8.   Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday… And the cheering section cuts in: ‘Whoopee Dee! It’s Friday! Another short work week! Shout TGIF, brothers and sisters! Thank the Lord it’s Friday! For He’s looking down on us poor workers today!’

 
Ah mih people, the Lord is definitely looking down on us today, and everyday. And we have indeed been lucky to get two short work weeks in a row, because both Christmas and New Year’s Days fell in the middle of the week.
 
But please note that all across the goodly country of Canada, this Friday will be a frigid one, with whipping winds making it feel even colder. In my area the high is slated to be minus 12 Celsius. Imagine that nuh! Please dress very warm then, if you have to go out.
 
And all that good fortune of short work weeks, is over now. From henceforth we’ll have to work the full week for a while, before it’s bisected by a holiday. Hopefully, you haven’t become too accustomed to that holiday frame of mind, because this weekend is the last of the celebration period, then it’s back to the daily grind and common task.
 
So let’s wind down the celebratory mood by taking the weekend seriously, by getting back to basics, like chanting our Friday Chant in a serious and functional manner, rather than the carefree style that the Christmas season put in us. Therefore my fellow believers, in all seriousness, let’s chant. 
 
‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I do hope that brought us back down to earth. (smile) Because right from the start of this new year of 2014, we need to hit the ground running, running that serious race of life Bruh Paul talked about. (1 Cor.9:24-27) That means we have to get closer to and more intimate with Jesus, if we sincerely and seriously want to improve our walk of faith.
 
However my people, a significant blockade to that action exists in many of our lives, and it’s well put by our Bit. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.’
 
And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Because we do seem to be more interested in the perishable things of the world, than the imperishable ones of God. Look at all the stuff we kill ourselves, through stress, overwork and financial debt to acquire, especially in this just past Christmas season. Hn!
 
We fall for all the ads, the sales, the cheap stuff, even to the point of running over and fighting with our fellow humans over unimportant materialistic stuff. Yes my brethren, our world has definitely become too materialistic, and unfortunately a lot of believers get caught up in it.
 
Then they claim they don’t have the time to spend with God. Chuh! Just consider the great amount of weeping, moaning and gnashing of teeth that will occur at the end of the month when the Christmas bills come due. It’s like a sickness my people, we know it, but yet still we do it every year.
 
And I’m here to tell us that the ONLY WAY to recover from, to wipe out that dreaded ailment of wanting everything that’s touted by the merchants and the advertising people, things we certainly don’t need, and in many cases can’t afford, is by spending more time concentrating on the things of God, rather than those of man.
 
Remember too, the definition of an idol; ANYTHING that keeps us away from Almighty God. And the things of the world that we’re killing ourselves over, are definitely doing that!
 
Now here’s an interesting question. If each of us was asked what we’d prefer, the perishable things of man, or the immortal things of God, the majority of us would consider the question a no-brainer and choose the latter. However my people, our actual actions don’t correlate to that answer. So we’re obviously not practicing what we preach.
 
Anyway, let’s end by looking at some supportive scripture from Isaiah, as he talks of the majesty of the Lord. ‘Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counselor hath taught him?… All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity (worthless).
 
To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth (moulds) a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and (the silversmith) casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation (no such offering) chooseth a tree that will rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning (skilful) workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not  be moved (totter).
 
Have ye not known? have not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon (above) the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in….
 
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth (is missing).’ (Is. 40:13, 17-22, 25-26)
 
Yes my people, our omnipotent God created the entire universe without any help, and there is none that can match Him, in anything at all. Not the gold and silver images, the dead trees, all the material stuff we hunger and thirst after, for they are merely things, dead things to boot, created by a human hand.
 
How can you bow down to something  that you’ve made eh? That’s stupidity in the height!
 
And the sooner we learn and understand that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONLY REAL DEITY in this world, ONE WHO IS ALIVE AND KICKING, the better off we’ll all be! Much LOVE!
 
…wherefore my dearly beloved…flee from idolatry…  (1 Cor.10:14)