Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 September 2022 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.        The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.

Yes friends, at long last it’s Friday. And we all exclaim with enthusiasm to burn: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Oh boy, the weekend is finally upon us, with no work and plenty of time to just party!’ And how the Lord and our employers do wish that we could have even a modicum of that enthusiasm for their faith and work. 

Ah my people, sadly our enthusiasm for work and God pales in comparison to the joy we feel for the coming of the weekend, because leisure and pleasure are our current idols. There’s little room for steadfastness and dedication, no work ethic or sense of purpose. No wonder our society is fast going to hell in a handbasket. We don’t realize that it’s a sincere work ethic and true belief in God that gives us the ability to get wealth and thus be able to afford leisure and pleasure. And that’s why all the great societies of this world have eventually failed and fallen from their great heights. 

It seems to be man’s nature that once we reach a certain stage of prosperity, we tend to slacken off and merely enjoy the fruits of our labour, without thinking or considering either the past or the future, simply the present. Meaning that we forget what brought us to our current level of prosperity; hard work and steadfastness in God, and likewise it will be those same things that will ensure our future prosperity. But no, we get bigheaded and full of ourselves, foolishly thinking that we can rest on our laurels and enjoy life. 

We conveniently forget the basic law of God’s universe; you reap what you sow. Thus, if you stop sowing good seed for any length of time, you will obviously not reap a good harvest. And unfortunately, leisure and pleasure don’t sow good seed, they just eat up, consume the harvest until there’s no more left to be consumed. So, wisdom dictates that if you want to keep on having some future leisure and pleasure you have to continue sowing good seed in the present, which will bring a harvest that will supply more leisure and pleasure. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in Proverbs: ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! If we are not wise in this life, our legacy will be foolishness, simply because those are the only two options we have. Consequently, Cousin Sol further advises us to get wisdom, for ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour; when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov. 4:7-9) 

Yes my brethren, wisdom is so important that even God used it in creating the universe and all therein. Cousin Sol gladly informs us that, ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) Therefore friends, if wisdom and understanding were so important in God’s creation of the universe, imagine how important it is to us nuh, especially in these turbulent and explosive times of today, with all kinds of lies, deceits and evil doings rampant in the world. 

And some of us are wondering what are these things called wisdom and understanding that are supposedly so important in living good lives. Well, wisdom is basically ‘skill in living, or wise behaviour.’ Meanwhile ‘understanding is the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ And for the best results, wisdom and understanding work in tandem. 

But it’s even more important to note that when we speak of wisdom, we’re not referring to what the world considers wisdom, since that varies and changes so much that you can’t base anything worthwhile on it. We’re talking about true wisdom, foundational wisdom; the kind that only comes from Almighty God, the Creator of the universe and doesn’t change or vary, for whatever reason. 

And James, the brother of Jesus tells us quite plainly. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) Now that last sentence is an indisputable fact. So, when we go to God, seeking wisdom, or really anything at all, it is important that we don’t doubt that God can provide it, or will provide it, if it falls within His will for our lives. 

And here’s an interesting note from the scholars re verse 5 above. ‘This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of the believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’ But this doesn’t mean that there’s anywhere better to go for wisdom in any situation at all than to God Himself. And one of the best examples of that is when Cousin Sol was made king of Israel after the death of His Father, Bruh David, and in a vision, the Lord asked him what he wanted. 

After acknowledging God’s goodness and mercy, (1 Kin. 9:5-8) he said: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.’ (I Kin. 3:9) And that’s not rocket science friends, but simple common sense, if you believe in Almighty God! When you don’t know what to do, going to God in all sincerity and truth is always the best avenue. 

And I like how the Good Book records the results of Cousin Sol’s petition. ‘And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.’ (1 Kin. 3:10) Now, because Cousin Sol didn’t ask for wealth or the life of his enemies, but for wisdom and understanding, the Lord most graciously and generously gave him what he asked for, as well as what he hadn’t asked for, wealth and power. That’s how our great God operates my people! When we acknowledge Him with all honesty and truth, He blesses us more than we can imagine. 

And now it’s time to practice what we’ve been preaching; going to God for wisdom and understanding. Let’s do it as one strong voice, through our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the viruses and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the viruses and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And as always, when we ask for heavenly help, it’s necessary for us to do our part in the partnership, by keeping our promises and having good motives. Much LOVE!

…a life wisely lived…is one that keeps God first place in it… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 March 2022 ​Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.      The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.

Oh friends, like so many other things in this crazy world, the bright spring-like weather was too good to last! We had it for three consecutive days. Let’s be thankful for it and show our endurance and faithfulness by embracing the cold, wet scene out there in our neighborhood, that’s even got some white precipitation, actually ice, speckling the ground. (smile) It’s not much mind you, but at this time of year, we don’t want to see any white on the ground at all. Matter fixed! 

And that’s why, this Wednesday morning in late March of this confusing and oh so uncertain year of 2022, we are going to listen to the amazing wisdom that flowed from the pen of Cousin Sol so long ago, when he declared at the beginning of Proverbs: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain (acquire) unto wise counsels.’ (Prov. 1:5) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my faithful brethren in Christ! If one is wise, one will always pursue learning, and seek out the counsel, the wisdom and understanding of other wise persons. And that’s even truer, if possible, (smile) for believers in Christ Jesus, because He desires us to keep on learning all through our earthly lives, since we can never know enough about the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and the more we know, the better off we will be. 

Now, before we go further, let’s talk about a couple of definitions, namely that of ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding.’ The former basically means ‘wise behaviour or living, or good sense.’ On the other hand, understanding ‘means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

So, hopefully, when we have wisdom and understanding, we can live a full and meaningful life. However, two verses later, Cousin Sol injects one more important principle by warning that ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.’ (Prov. 1:7) 

Wow! Now that’s the key to the whole matter of wisdom and understanding; having a reverential awe of Jehovah God! Yes friends, without that awesome reverence of God we can never acquire true wisdom and understanding because they come from Him, for He is the original fountain of wisdom and understanding.

 And Cousin Sol corroborates that when he says in Proverbs 3: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) There you have it friends! As the scholars explain: ‘Wisdom is so important that God himself used it in creating the world.’ 

The patriarch Job, also had something to say about wisdom and understanding. While undergoing his trials and tribulation, he asked this most material question: ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding. (Job 28:12) Then, after setting out many different scenarios, he ends with this magnificent answer. ‘And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) 

Mama Mia! What an awesome scripture! Yes friends, wisdom is God’s gift to mankind…but we must diligently seek it throughout our lives. And now, having gained some insight into the origin of wisdom and how to acquire it, let’s go back to that most important verse which talks about ‘the fear of the Lord.’ 

And the scholars give us a good explanation on it. They say that ‘The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that ‘the fear of the Lord’ is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

And so it is my people! To keep on acquiring wisdom throughout our lives, like Jesus desires of us, we must always have the reverence of God blossoming in our souls, bodies and spirits, for without it, true wisdom is not obtainable, no matter how hard we try. And please remember that we’re not talking about wisdom as the world defines it, but as God, the original source of ALL wisdom does!  

So, now that we have some understanding of true wisdom and understanding, (smile) I think we’ll end for today, because it’s already late and continuing with the second part of our Bit will make it even later and too long. And for those of us who have chosen the path of true wisdom by reverencing Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘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 we all know that if we endure to the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So please let’s concentrate on, plan on enduring to the end nuh, so that we can enjoy it. Much LOVE!

…with God’s gift of free will…we can either be wise or foolish…but each choice has consequences…for good…or for bad…  

P.S. Please accept my humble apologies for the lateness of the bit, but I had an important matter to go out and attend to. But as they say…Better late than never! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.    ​Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 
 

Yes, it’s Tuesday, the penultimate one in this contrary and unpredictable month of April, in this disastrous year of 2020! And weather-wise, today looks like it’s going to be rather unpredictable too. The sun’s shining but there are some dark clouds hanging around, and the ground’s still wet from rain that obviously fell earlier on. However, the crazy wind that’s been causing an unholy ruckus during most of the night appears to have now settled down. So like everything else, who knows what will happen to day eh? 

Only the Lord God Jehovah! Thus it is imperative that we stay close to Him; in fact cling to Him for dear life! Jesus said it so well: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

That’s telling it like it is friends! Jesus laid it all on the table right there; without Him we can do nothing, we’re helpless to bear any good fruit! So why are we so reluctant to get close and stick to Him like stick-to-itis, like white on rice eh? Because we’re either foolish, high-minded and stubborn, or severely led astray, or even all of those things! And that’s why our world is in the mess that it’s currently in. 

But what we ought to be doing is listening to, and putting into action these wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. 

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver thee.’ (Prov. 4:1-9) 

Oh my people that’s more exceedingly wise advice from the Good Book – the Book of Life! What don’t we understand about ‘keep my commandments and live’ eh? Likewise, what don’t we understand about wisdom being the principal thing eh? If we don’t have wisdom we can’t live this ofttimes cruel and deceitful life wisely. But we have to seek it, and get it, and then hold on to it tightly for goodness sake! 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘4:3-4. Three generations are linked together in the transmission of wisdom: (the one that’s going out, the one that’s currently in ascendance, and the one that’s coming up). Note too that it is (wisdom) transmitted by personal influence, especially in the home.’ 

And that’s where we’re falling down badly my people. The Word of the Lord is no longer taught in our schools or written in public places, and neither are we teaching or practising it sufficiently in our homes, so how can the young people learn wisdom eh? And yuh see the good things wisdom and understanding will do in our lives when we adhere to their wise ways and commands? They’ll promote us, bring us honour, give us a bundle of grace, and a crown of glory! Now who wouldn’t want those things in this crazy and confusing life eh? All of us obviously. But it doesn’t just happen by osmosis my brethren, we have to make it happen. 

And how do we make it happen? Cousin Sol also gives us that info: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) And isn’t that the awesome truth! Wisdom comes from the Lord, and it’s oh so important in our world and life, because it’s the same wisdom the Lord used to create our universe. Hear Cousin Sol again: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) 

So friends, if the Lord God Almighty used wisdom to create our world, why wouldn’t we, in heaven’s name, need it to live in that self-same universe eh? No reason whatsoever! Except that we’re stubborn and hard-headed and like to do what we want to do, figuring that with our puny minds and free will, we know best. And perhaps to disavow that false thinking, is why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs Here is it’s stated purpose: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding (understand or discern); To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; to give subtilty (prudence) to the simple. To the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov. 1:2-4) 

But unfortunately too many of us shy away or simply refuse to accept those provisions for earthly living, and therefore we fail badly at it. Now let’s look at some explanations the scholars provide on the words used. ‘1:2. Wisdom is the key word of the book (of Proverbs), and basically means “skill in living.” It refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to the moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

‘1:3. Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same word as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealing with others.’ ‘1:4. The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge mean the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So there we have it friends, some basic descriptions on the basics of living this earthly life in a Christian manner! (smile) 

Let’s hope that these disastrous times will help draw us closer to those precepts and principles from which we have too long and too far gone astray. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Now we need to go out, or stay in social distance (smile) and action those sentiments! Much LOVE!

…simple common sense dictates…the created must reverence the Creator…