Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2018 Proverbs 4:23.

Proverbs 4:23.    Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

May untold blessings befall you and your families this Friday morning my Scrip-Bit friends! May the Lord open the windows of heaven, as He has promised, and shower down his awesome blessings on us all as we walk in His wise and wonderful will for our lives! 

What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my brethren! Please don’t ever forget that. Even the workingman in his own way acknowledges that as he proclaims in his song.

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! This week was a rough week, what with all the Easter partying and carryings ons! We really had to come up strong, because massa was in a nasty mood…too much paid time off and all that nuh. 

But now that the weekend reach, we can feel the party spirit rise to the forefront once again. And believe you me, we going to party as hearty as we can for the next two days. Thank God for Fridays and weekends, because it was meant for partying!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman’s heart is in the right place, but he’s somewhat misguided; the weekend wasn’t just meant for licentiousness and flagrant worldly behaviour, but more so for rest and relaxation and renewing of our spirits, hence our Friday 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.’ 

Yes my people, it’s all about building, about furthering God’s kingdom here on earth; that’s our mission, and we can’t do it properly if we’re too taken up with the lustful ways of our flesh and the world.

So though, deep down we might want to party hearty like the workingman, we realize that that is not permissible in Jesus’ economy, we must have some boundaries to keep the enemy out of our lives, live them always with an ounce of circumspection. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit today: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ Words of awesome truth my people! And why is that you ask? 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘4:23. The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life.

The heart is the seat of the intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself. The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. 

Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defining them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12).

Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First Ref. Gen.6:5; Primary Ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15).’ 

Yeh friends, our hearts are figuratively the controlling device of our souls. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘O generations (brood, or offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things?

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth for evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s what inside of us that colours us, not what’s on the outside. It’s like whatever you put in a clear plastic bag, the colour of the contents will manifest itself though the plastic.

Likewise, we can look all clean and rosy on the outside but are truly dirty and evil on the inside, and it’s that dirty and evil stuff that will eventually come out into the open. You can only hide it for so long. 

Now hear Jesus as He admonishes the disciples, when they asked for an explanation of His remarks about the blind leading the blind. ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? 

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Oh friends, let’s seriously ponder those fateful words of our Lord and Saviour this Friday nuh, and truly see what’s in our hearts. Let’s look deeply and sincerely, and not fool ourselves, and then bring our problems to God for His awesome and always available help. That is indeed wisdom of untold proportions. Much LOVE!

…white-washing the outside…doesn’t mean the inside is clean…if it was dirty before…it’s still dirty afterwards…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2018 Isaiah 30:18.

Isaiah 30:18.   And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.

Well friends, I slept in my own bed last night, and it wasn’t half bad! At least the ole back isn’t aching nearly as much as that unforgettable night I spent in the hospital, and it was much easier to get up from too. Glory to God! So this morning we’re back to the daily task and common grind and I just have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind now. 

Over the past year I’ve been trying my best to get some closure on my major illnesses, but all to no avail. And for a moment there, I thought the Lord had finally decided it was time to do what seemed necessary, but obviously I was wrong. 

And as He is so famous for doing, He even led me to this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin simply titled ‘I Will Wait.’ Yuh get the message? (smile) 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord Today I must face it honestly with You By pursuing the persistent questions within me. God, is there any gain at all by my doubting? Do doubts make me stronger? Do they purify my heart? Fortify my will? Are my emotions firmly established by my doubts? Are my family and friends encouraged? 

On the other hand, God Even though I see no possible way out Of the catastrophe I now face Is there anything more pleasing to You Than my personal choice to trust You? I know it is true, Lord I must rely on Your promises in the end. Would You be glorified, dear God If I trusted You now at the early beginning? 

O God, forgive me For so limiting You. Surely you know exactly what you will do. You are God, so You will not alter Your Word. Your power is instantly operative In all the strange twisting of my life. You are God, so You are good. I will hope I will trust I will wait On the living God!’ 

Yeh mih people, that is a lesson we must all learn if we are to be faithful believers. And I’ve learned it a tad in a hard manner over the last couple days. What seems to be our truth, isn’t always God’s. And what seems to be our time, isn’t always His either. We just have to learn to wait expectantly and with a good attitude until He finally decides to allow whatever He thinks is necessary to happen. 

And that’s not always easy, especially when it’s to do with sickness. But from my experiences in this past year, I can definitely say that God is good! I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but there was always some mitigating factor to ease the downs. He never just left me alone to go through my problems by myself. I could always see His hand working in the background, possibly not as much or how I would have liked, but I could always sense His presence. 

And even when He was not alleviating my sickness, I could still feel His hand of LOVE moving as He gave me some of my heart’s desires. They certainly made up for some of the disappointment with the illness. That’s why today, I can testify that we serve such a wonderful God! He doesn’t always do what we want or when we want it, but He ALWAYS comes through in the end! 

And though I’ve had this setback with the heart problem, I know that eventually, when He is good and ready, He will make all things right. Give Him thanks and praise, my people, exalt His holy name for He is certainly good to us, sinful and undeserving children of men! 

And I have to chuckle here, because I never really intended to testify, but the Lord seems to have drawn it out of me unconsciously. And not only that, but the Lord has just shown me our doubting Thomas’ way, because from the very beginning I’ve been praying for a miracle, where I’d have to go through no invasive surgery, but now that it might have happened, I can’t truly believe or accept it. 

And that’s how we are friends; we pray for big things but when they do happen, we find it difficult to accept them. But just remember that our God is a Big God and He can do ANYTHING. So if we pray big prayers, let’s not be surprised when they happen. 

And the scripture promise for our poem today is also our Bit; wise and wonderful words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ 

Yes friends, if God can wait for us, so can we wait for Him. And remember it’s all for our benefit, not for His. The scholars offer this wise explanation. ’30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God.’ And so it is my brethren. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose, letting the world know that we are truly and seriously involved with our God and Friend, Jesus. Altogether now: ‘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 it will indeed be a glorious future, more mind boggling than we can ever think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Wait (in faith)…on the Lord…and he shall strengthen thine heart…wait (in faith)…I say…on the Lord. (Ps.27:14)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2017 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And then the rains fell – soft and gentle upon the thirsty land. Oh friends, what a joy it is to see and hear the rain falling gently, especially when you’re lying in bed with your special someone beside you! (smile) 

Oh yes, the rain fell in my neighbourhood most of yesterday afternoon and last night. And thankfully it wasn’t a great flood-like outpouring of water, but a constant, steady drizzle that resembled a gentle caress rather than a fierce bear hug. 

And I believe both the land and its inhabitants benefit more from that type of rainfall than big, gushing streams of water all at once. 

Now here is a quote attributed to Jürgen Moltmann (April 8, 1926 -) a Reformed German theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. 

He is most noted as a proponent of his “theology of hope” and for his incorporation of insights from liberation theology and ecology into mainstream Trinitarian theology. Whatever that means. (smile) 

But he is obviously a man of some learning and some importance in the church, and thus we should pay some attention to what he writes. ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And that my people is gospel truth! The more we LOVE life, and throw ourselves into it, the greater joy we receive from it. It’s all about the passion we bring to whatever we do, especially the living of life itself! We can’t always hide from life, for that’s unhealthy. 

But as the devotion from our One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us. It’s better to ‘live the drama, LOVE it, cry with it, and at times even hate it. Choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. 

Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks. Although hiding from reality can sometimes insulate us from the pain, it also blinds us to the joys and wonderment of living fully.’ 

Now we all know that the basic philosophy of our Christian faith is to live life to the full, as Jesus our leader declares in our Bit. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

And the only way to have a truly abundant life is by getting passionately involved with it, whether it be for good or for evil. 

Obviously it’s much better to live a passionate life entrenched in goodness, by being fully yoked to the aims and desires of Jesus Christ, so that we can enjoy all the good things, the wonderful rewards He has in store for those who sincerely believe in and work for Him. 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that passion for Christ that we’re talking about seems to be sadly lacking in His church these days. 

A handful of us might be showing such passion, but most of us are simply just plodding along, taking life as it comes, which we sometimes need to do, but generally speaking, not responding with the energy and enthusiasm we need to overcome it. 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just give us abundant life, He had to painfully earn if for us, by sacrificing His sinless self on the cross. So who are we now to just expect to go through life without any problems eh? 

Remember what Job said to his wife in the middle of his calamity? She said to him: ‘Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s not easy to accept calamity with a smile, but when we look at the overall picture, sometimes we need to do it. We just cannot afford to let life dig us into a hole in both our circumstances and our emotions, because that’s a hole from which it is often very difficult to get out of. 

Now here’s an interesting explanation from the scholars on those two verses from Job. ‘2:9. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it is no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. 

But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen.50:19-20). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear in the book again.’ 

Good riddance! So friends, in general, what we bring to life, is what life gives to us. But at times, life can be quite contrary, so as believers, we need to stand strong and with the help of Jesus, fight life on our terms, not on his. And we can only do that when we bring a strong and passionate LOVE for Christ to the table. 

Now let’s go home declaring that passion we have for Jesus in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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 let’s go out and action that LOVE…with passion. Much LOVE, my faithful brethren in Christ!

…from today…I will be enthusiastic about life…regardless of what it brings…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes on) Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well friends, as they say, all good things must end! And it looks like this delightful, unexpected party of summer weather is over as of today! Chuh! But we’ve certainly enjoyed it while it lasted. 

As of tomorrow, we’re supposed to go to highs of around 19 Celsius, which is more like the normal temp for this time of year. So enjoy today’s twenty something high, cause it’s the last time we’ll see it for a long, long while. (smile)  

And today, I have an interesting excerpt to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared it before, but it certainly applies to a lot of us believers. It’s simply titled ‘Excuses.’ 

Please read with me. ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That you can see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreachable goals. I need your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what you know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure all of us, at some time or other have made various excuses to God why we didn’t or couldn’t do something He desired of us, but deep down we knew that those excuses were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold up to the Lord’s scrutiny. 

I don’t know why we insist on doing that foolishness nuh, when we very well know that the Lord can see right into our heart and detect the truth, including our nefarious motives. We all know that being a pilgrim here on earth is not easy, but we do have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. 

And if we truly feel unable or afraid to do something, it’s better to go to God with the truth, than with a flimsy, selfish excuse. Remember, we can’t ever run, nor hide from God! But some of us still insist on trying. (smile) 

And the Bible verse for that poem, as well as today’s Bit, is one we all know. ‘Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes) on Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, in rough and uncertain times we need to keep our gaze fixed completely on Jesus, seeing how He handled His hard times and trying to do likewise. Our Bit talks about the joy that was set before Jesus. Yuh think His physical ‘sufferation’ and unholy crucifixion were joyful? 

Surely not! But the joy was the knowledge that His sacrificial death would set us free, pay our sin debt in full, and then elevate Him to the right hand of the Father, where He could still advocate on our behalf. That was the joy which Jesus beheld friends! 

And the scholars tell us: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus has already done it all, we don’t need to carve out a new trail, just follow the one He has blazed. 

And I like the two verses after our Bit. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

For sure friends, the majority of us have not, and will never come up against anything close to what Jesus endured on our behalf. So just remember when things get rough and tough, that Jesus is the supreme example of endurance, both physical and spiritual, andHe is the One we must always look to, as a mighty example, and for help in our own endurance. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which shows that we are truly on the right path, the straight and narrow one. In strong voice, with true sincerity: ‘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!’ 

How could it be anything other than that eh mih breddren? Much LOVE!

…what a glorious example we have in Jesus…in how to live a pilgrim’s life…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t another Sunday, another Sabbath Day! That means it’s also time for praise, worship, fellowship, thanksgiving, rejuvenation of spirit and encouragement in the Lord’s house! So without any preamble, let’s get into some worship, raising our voices and our hearts in sincere song to heaven with this 19th century hymn by Sarah F. Adams. 

‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.  (Refrain) Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! – Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain 2).’ 

What a song of hope and faith my brethren! Regardless of our circumstances, our most prominent thought is to draw close to our wonderful God. And that’s really wisdom of the highest order, for He is the ONLY One who can make everything right from every and anything wrong. 

Oh, and before I forget, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I gave the scripture passage for my favourite phrase, ‘prisoners of hope’ as Zechariah 12:2, when it should have been 9:12.  Don’t know where my mind was nuh. It must have been lost in the prison of hope. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit now, the same one as yesterday: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And we all know that there’s plenty truth in that statement, because all of us have experienced situations where our hope was non-existent, or at a pretty low level, and consequently, our emotional state became very negative. However, once our hope returned, our emotions became positive again. 

Now it’s time to get into some scriptures which show the importance of hope in our lives. But before we do that here is an interesting parochial, or patois quote on the subject from my Trini friend. 

Trini Quote Of De Day. ‘De longest rope have ah end.’ Generally said to someone who is going through rough times, letting them know that bad conditions must come to an end.’ 

In other words, have hope, this too will pass, things will get better. And they say our old people weren’t wise… Chuh! Foolishness that! (smile)  

And my Trini friend concludes his message by saying: ‘Have a GREAT day, every DAY!!!! Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ 

Gospel truth my fellow believers! We need to watch those things very closely, beginning with our thoughts, for as a man thinks, so is he. 

And the first scripture we are going to check out on hope is Bruh Paul’s famous words to the church at Rome. At the end of his lecture on Life in the Spirit, he tells them: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Yeh friends, what’s the use in hoping for something we can see eh? Hope is only alive and involved when we can’t see what we want. And then, we ought to wait patiently and eagerly for it. 

Now listen to Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. neophontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

And Jeremiah puts it beautifully in his Lamentations. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Those are indeed words to live by my fellow believers! 

And the scholars say this about that verse. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul (Hab.2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’  

Oh friends, there’s an interesting exercise for you all; checking out those scriptures!  It will only take a few minutes, and will be to your benefit. You’ll discover that some of them you already know. I checked them all, and they are indeed very valuable, a veritable treasure trove to a believer. 

Now let’s end with this simple but wonderful exhortation of Bruh Paul’s to the Romans, as he tells them about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Rejoicing in hope…’ (Rom.12:12a) Simple, but to the point precious people of God. So let’s go out today and see if we can’t put that into action nuh. Rejoicing in hope will surely boost and brighten our day. Much LOVE!

…it’s only hope… that allows us to contemplate a better day…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Ah friends, after much unseasonable temperatures and many bright, sun shiny days, we might finally be getting our first taste of Mother Winter this weekend. The temperature is supposed to dip to just above zero on Sunday, and possibly provide flurries on that day and Monday. I sure am not looking forward to it. Wish I could be in sweet Tobago, going up Calder Hall to get some of Brother Kirby’s fine tasting and nutritious soup this Saturday morning. (smile) 

But you know the human animal is a strange being; we know that the winter weather will soon be here, and we’re supposed to be preparing for it, but when it does come, it seems to take us by surprise and throw us off guard, especially after such beautiful fall weather. Anyway there’s not much we can do, but just grin and bear it as best we can. 

But with that in mind let’s turn to our friend Anselm’s quotes, aimed at inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And today we have three, because they are all short. The first says: ‘A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.’ And that’s glorious advice!  

It reminds us of a quote from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the U.S, which declares: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

Yes friends, persistence is the number one attribute that will help us when all else fails. Then Anselm tells us: ‘Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.’ More wonderful advice! Because we need to be active, to hold something dear and have something to look forward to that will make it all worthwhile. Those are the things that make us come alive and cause us to keep on keeping on. 

My favourite quote today though, is this last one: ‘Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For with hope one can imagine anything and do anything. With it, we can be giants in a fallen world, but without it, we become wimps and wallow in self-pity. 

Consequently, our Bit for today deals with hope; Cousin Sol’s wise words on the subject. ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ 

Ah mih people, hope is the emotion that galvanizes us into action! All the other emotions are wonderful, but if they are not accompanied by hope, then they will most likely not be acted upon. For without hope, we become listless and without a sense of purpose, just sort of drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweed, wherever the wind might blow it. 

However my brethren, it’s also very important where and in what direction we focus our hope. And we have a good example of what Cousin Sol is talking about in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. The sons of Korah write: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) 

Yes friends, when there is no hope in our souls, our fire goes out, and the best place to channel our hope is in Almighty God! There is no doubt about that! 

Listen to Jeremiah. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8) 

Aye mih breddren, yuh see what happens when we channel our hope in the Lord God Jehovah? No fear, no anxiety, just prosperity regardless of the circumstances! Now why would I want to place my hope in anything or anyone else eh? No way, Jose! 

And I just LOVE this verse of scripture from Zechariah. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12) That phrase ‘prisoners of hope,’ just raises my spiritual temperature! (smile) Oh friends, how I wish that we could all be ‘prisoners of hope,’ so that we could be more active and successful in Christ’s work. 

This verse from Psalm 119 is also a moving scripture. The psalmist petitions the Lord: ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.’ (Ps.119:116) Oh precious people, our wonderful God will NEVER let us be ashamed of the hope we place in Him! Please, let’s write that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls. 

And we’ll end with these brave and wise words of Bruh David from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.  He solemnly and confidently declares: ‘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) 

So my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, I implore us to take that wonderful advice of Bruh David to heart today and put it into immediate action, so that our faith in the Lord God Jehovah will flourish and blossom like the bees make honey with the flowers. (smile) 

And let’s remember to keep our friend Scotty in our prayers, be prisoners of hope, that the Lord will restore him to full health, that he can continue doing good work in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…hope is the catalyst that drives all other emotions…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

 Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

As one strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

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