Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2020 Proverbs 3:12.

Proverbs 3:12.    ​For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
 
Ah mih people, I know you’ll be proud to hear that the ole fella made that adventurous trip into the concrete jungle yesterday afternoon, although by then the roads were clean, wet but clean. The only place I encountered snow was in my own lane and driveway. (smile) I was a little miffed though, because thinking that the traffic and road conditions would be bad, I took an early bus, but neither was bad. So I got to my appointment half an hour early, then had to wait a further hour before they dealt with me. 

I left home around 1 pm, and did not get back until after six! No wonder going into the city is undesirable, because it eats up most of your day, and by the time you get home, you’re tired and miserable and don’t want to do anything constructive. And though we got another bout of the white stuff last night, I really don’t care because I’m not going out there today! (smile) 

Ah friends, who says life isn’t nice eh! We might have all sorts of troubles and problems, but let’s consider them surmountable with our Lord’s help nuh, and remember that many others around the world have it much worse than us. And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and bless your holy name for treating us as well as you do! Amen!’ 

And since it’s Friday, the ordinary workingman is waiting patiently and quietly in the wings to sing his weekend song. So let’s bring him on stage nuh. And as he enters, he enthusiastically belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! I don’t know what I’d do if I had to work another day nuh! Ah really work hard this week, for the same chouncy pay, and it doh look like the ole body could handle that much hard work again nuh. 

Hn, hn! Like we getting old…and the body telling us to slow down. But it don’t realize we can’t really slow down when we have a family to mind and bills to pay in this ever increasing expensive society. Now I understand why it could have so many homeless and destitute people in the world. We get paid a pittance of our real worth, and the greedy slave master always trying to cut back or take back something we work so hard for. 

And then they keep raising the prices on the basic things like food, clothing and shelter, so people must fall behind even though they working a lot. Steups! This capitalist society eh! Is just a setta robber barons yes! But let them know one thing for me: they never going to take away my weekend, my two days of freedom! I’ll fight to the death to preserve that! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yuh see friends, even the ordinary working man has stuff that he will fight to the death for, much less we blessed believers in Jesus Christ, for whom God provides all our needs! Shouldn’t there be stuff that we are also prepared to die for? Of course! But the problem is that most of us supposed Christians are a wimpy, shallow and frightened lot. We’ve gotten so accustomed to the good life, that we turn the slightest disappointment into a major happening. Anyway, we won’t get into that now nuh, (smile) let’s get to our weekend song, our Friday Chant, which is so different to the workingman’s offering. 

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

Ah friends, believers (steups!) do have to be more cognizant of their circumstances and surroundings so that we don’t allow the evil one unfettered access to our lives and souls, because all he wants to do is destroy our witness and LOVE for Christ! But I’m sure we won’t give him that opportunity! Now today I want to continue with some wise words of Cousin Sol that I never finished yesterday. And they are some hard words, but truly worthwhile to hear and remember. ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of (detest) his correction. For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:11-12) 

Yes precious people, those are such great words! We correct our children because we LOVE them, likewise the Lord corrects us because He LOVES us! That’s nothing new, cause it was said way back in Deuteronomy by Moses, on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Thou shalt also consider (know) in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God. To walk in his ways , and to fear him.’ (Deut. 8:5-6) 

Oh it’s so simple friends: we punish our children when they disobey us, the Lord punishes us when we disobey him. But for whatever reason we think that’s wrong, because we have free will and ought to do as we like. But please note friends, that free will doesn’t give us the right to sin without punishment, because sin will ALWAYS be punished by the Lord since it’s diabolical and against His very nature! Hear these wise words of Job on the subject. ‘Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.’ (Job 5:17-18) 

Yes my people, our God might punish us for disobedience, but He’ll never leave us to suffer unnecessarily, He will heal whatever wounds He causes. That’s the beauty of our God! Although He punishes, He never leaves nor forsakes the punished! How great is the God we worship eh? Mucho great! 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could wrap up his dissertation on God’s discipline thus: ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb.12:11) And that’s a fact my brethren; discipline never seems good to us in the present moment, but afterwards, if we’re wise, we’ll surely see its benefits. 

So today, let’s take a moment to contemplate our individual lives nuh, and see where the Lord might have disciplined us for disobedience, and how it affected our lives thereafter. That will help us to understand and appreciate the Lord’s doings. (smile) Much LOVE!

…you’ll reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

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 3 January 2016 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? 

 

Well my people, it’s the first Sunday in the New Year, and still the Christmas season, so I expect all the churches to be filled to capacity today with believers to give thanks and praise to our most wonderful God for causing us to see not only a new day, but also a brand new year charged with unlimited possibilities. 

And I included that reminder about the Christmas season for those who only go to church at Christmas and Easter.  (smile) Now, for the life of me, I just can’t figure out why supposed Christians do that. Church was meant to be a fairly regular occurrence, not once in a while, mostly at the high times of our faith. 

To my mind, if you can’t go more often than that, then why go at all eh? What does that do for you and the other people in the church eh? Nothing at all, as far as I can see! 

So you claim to your friends and family, you went to church at Christmas and Easter. Big deal! That doesn’t cut it my fellow believers. And I’m sure that’s not what Jesus expects. 

You’ll notice that wherever He was on the Sabbath, He always found Himself in the synagogue participating in the services. That’s what He also expects of us; not a wishy-washy, once in a blue moon, stick your face inside the doors of the church. Remember the church is supposed to be the body of Christ, and how can it be a properly functioning body when so many members only show up occasionally? 

Friends, no man is an island, especially a Christian in this evil and godless world. You cannot make it successfully on your lonesome; you need the help, encouragement, sentiments of praise and worship, of exhortation and teaching, and the steadfast faith from which a gathering of like believers emanates! 

That reminds me of an old adage, re those who seldom go to church.  Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact saying, but they are words to the effect that the church and its doors would crumble, would fall down when the occasional goers show up. 

Anyway my people, since we have designated and dedicated 2016 as the year of HOPE and the astronomical rise of Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, it’s therefore necessary that we sincerely come together under the umbrella of the church and decrease all the divisions and dissensions that are rife and rampant within that supposedly august body. 

Now here are some quotes from our friend Anselm, who is always trying to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one is very appropriate for this season. It says: ‘Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.’ And do we ever need those attributes in these stressful and dangerous times! 

The next quote from Anselm declares: ‘If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.’  

Now I don’t know if that is the greatest of all blessings, but it sure is an important, indispensable teaching which builds confidence and chutzpah in our offspring. 

And the last quote segues nicely into this final one. ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that is the gospel truth friends! If we don’t have the courage to take risks, sensible ones now, (smile) we will never accomplish anything worthwhile. 

And that’s exactly what is happening to Christ’s church in these modern times. Too many of us are afraid, or just too sedentary to step up and do what needs to be done to further God’s kingdom down here on earth. And yes, many of us talk a good talk, but we need to remember that Christianity is an ACTION movement, and without deeds to back up the talk, it’s all useless. 

That brings us to our Bit, where James talks about faith that works. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Now that is certainly an interesting question my people.  And James continues his theory with this explanation. ‘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. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:15-18)  

Ah friends, the scholars have some interesting but long explanations here, though time and space might not allow me to copy it verbatim, but I believe it’s important enough to try. 

‘2:14-17. Can faith save him? This statement and others in verses 14-26 persuade some critics that James is teaching salvation through faith and works. Luther called this epistle “strawy,” believing it emphasized works too much. Today, some regard it as a late writing in which the author is reacting to Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith alone. This is not the case. 

James’ teachings reflect neither a negative nor a positive response to Paul’s teachings. For Paul, 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. 

Before salvation, these Jews had believed in the efficacy of works. Now some were reacting at the opposite extreme, imagining that works play no part in the salvation experience. James retorts that the kind of faith that does not produce works is not saving faith. As Calvin said: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.”  

Thus James’ question is not simply “Can faith save?” but as the Greek text may suggest, “Can that faith save him?” Can merely professed but undemonstrated faith save?  (See vv.21-24 for further discussion.) The Greek grammar expects a negative answer to the question that ends verse 14. Hence it can be rendered, “That faith (i.e. the one mentioned in verse 14a which is without works) cannot save.’ 

Ah mih people some interesting stuff for us to ponder on this first Sunday in the New Year. And the Lord in favour, we’ll continue this discussion tomorrow. Till then, please let’s darken the doors of our churches and get our New Year’s resolution to follow Jesus more closely into full swing nuh. For that’s wisdom of everlasting and eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…faith and works…one saves…the other complements it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2015 Psalm 119:81

Psalm 119:81.My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

Oh Friends, another sun fest is expected in my area this Saturday morning! Glory to God! And on top of that I did not read my name in the obits this morning either. Wow! That means I am still alive on God’s great earth with work to do for Him. What a marvelous privilege to work for Jesus! 

And you know what? When we work for Jesus we enjoy the time, even though some of the tasks might be difficult, painful and inconvenient. Mama Mia! What a great Master He is to work for because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matt.11:30) Yes my people, Jesus is the only employer that calls the toiling and heavy laden unto Him, so that He can teach them and give them rest for their weary souls. (Matt.11:28-29) 

Now why wouldn’t you want to work for such a caring and compassionate employer eh? I really don’t know and can’t find a good explanation for the reticence, especially since the majority of our earthly employers are greedy, selfish, power hungry, slave masters. That puts me in mind of the quote I got today from our friend Anselm, who is always aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the quote says: ‘Some people are just plain old negative so stop trying to convert them. When they are ready to graduate to the next level you’ll see the change in them the way they saw your light shining. Until then, live in your bubble of happiness and stop sharing your dreams with dream killers.’ 

Now there is a lot of truth there, because some of us are so ignorant, stubborn and negative that it doesn’t make sense to try and show them a better way, to tell them about the good news of Jesus, and continuing to spend time with them only frustrates us. Once we have shared the Word with them and see their negative response, it’s truly better to leave them to God and just enjoy our own journey with Christ, let them see from our lifestyle how joyful we are in Jesus; being the salt of the earth and shining like the light of the world.  

As James says, faith without works is useless, is dead. (James 2:17-18)  And unfortunately today our Christian walk truly lacks Christian works. That’s why so many people laugh and jeer at us and don’t have time for Jesus. And why should they if we’re not performing as we should? This world could be such a beautiful place if believers in Jesus behaved just a tad more Christ-like. 

And that doesn’t mean holier than thou, but simply by doing good as Jesus did; sharing and caring for the poor, downtrodden and destitute, of which there are far too many in our world. Enough preaching though, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit from Psalm 119, under the section CAPH – All thy commandments are faithful. 

And they definitely are my brethren, that’s why the psalmist confidently declares: ‘My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.’ What trust and confidence the psalmist has in the word of the God of his forefathers! 

Oh Friends, do we possess that high level of trust and confidence to day in Jehovah God? I sincerely doubt it. Otherwise we would not be behaving as wishy-washy, resentful and contentious as we are, while trying to run Him out of our society. 

Listen as the psalmist continues his plea. ‘Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle (wineskin) in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. How many are the days of thy servant? When wilt thou execute judgement on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits (dug pits, laid traps) for me, which are not after (according to) thy law. 

All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me (made and end of me) upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after (revive me according to) thy LOVING-kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.’ (Ps.119:82-88) 

Yes my brethren, though life seemed to be pretty rough with the psalmist, nonetheless throughout all his pleading, he never once doubted or gave up on the Lord and His Word…’yet do not I forget thy statutes…but I forsook not thy precepts…’ 

Oh my people, if only our faith in the Most High God today was so strong and incorruptible! But sadly it isn’t, for our generation doesn’t  seem to have the parts, the belly and backbone to stand up to the enemy the way we ought to. No wonder every day they are taking away more of our godly and Christian rights, rites and ways. Meanwhile we just mutter and complain and do nothing about it. 

I’m sure Jesus must be sorely disappointed to see how we are simply lying down before the pagan onslaught and not putting up a more serious fight. Please remember Friends, the battle has already been won, victory is ours, for Christ has conquered hell, death, Lucifer and the grave! 

We just have to stand strong now and see the war through until Jesus returns in all His glory, power and splendour. But for whatever reason, we seem incapable of doing that. We don’t seem to have the longing for God that the older folks did. 

And we’ll close with some most appropriate words from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, that’s how we ought to be longing for the Lord our God; so much that we can’t wait to come before Him. Now let’s see if we can’t sit down today and begin that process nuh, that soulful longing for our Creator, by seriously and sincerely inspecting our souls, see where we may be found wanting and ask the Father to help us change our somewhat negative, less than stellar approach. You know He will always help us, so please don’t be afraid to ask for it, since it is the wisdom of the ages. Much LOVE!

…ask, and it shall be given you…seek, and ye shall find…knock, and it shall be opened unto you…  (Matt.7:7)