Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 July 2022   1 Corinthains 13:11.

1 Corinthians 13:11.      When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

Well, it’s here at last…so let’s shout it out nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the long Caribana weekend has begun!’ And this evening I’m going to attend the only function on the calendar that I do nowadays, that’s the Steelband competition. Yes friends, that’s what it’s finally come down to. (smile) As they so truthfully say, after one time is two. But the fact of the matter is that the ole fella can no longer handle the long walking and the pushing and shoving of the young people. 

In my time, we knew how to party, but these days that wisdom seems to have gone by the bye. And the costumes and music are not as nice as before. Like life, and so many other things nowadays, the standards have fallen and it all seems watered down now… at least in my opinion. (smile) So, since I can’t handle it physically and emotionally, I just keep myself to myself, and only check out the pan competition which is always a blast; you see people you haven’t seen in ages, plus you make new friends, and don’t forget the numerous arguments and controversies, especially over the judges’ decisions at the end. 

If you’ve ever been to a Steelband competition, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. (smile) And strangely enough, I find that one occasion satisfies my Caribana weekend. Once upon a time, if I didn’t get down to the Saturday parade early, I’d be rather unmannerly to those who kept me back. My family could certainly tell you about that. (smile) But thankfully, along with age comes that very important thing called reason. That reminds me of the scripture in 1 Corinthians that says it so wisely. ‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ (1 Cor. 13:11) 

Ah friends, that’s exactly what a lot of us need to do in these uncertain, disastrous and turbulent times; give up our childish behaviour and act like the adults we’re supposed to be. We certainly don’t need all the resentment, strife, evil-doing, back-biting and scandalous behaviour that has become so much a part of our current society. And those ungodly actions are not only running rampant in the outside world but unfortunately also in the church of Christ! Obviously, that’s not welcome behaviour in the body of Christ, but who’s going to change it eh? 

Only we, the supposed believers in and followers of Christ can do that. The problem though, is do we really want to change our unchristian ways? Some of us do, but others don’t. So what’s going to happen eh? Christ’s church obviously cannot be allowed to continue being as sinful and ungodly as the world. And the sad part is that a lot of this behaviour comes from the leaders not from the basic congregations. In fact, some leaders consciously promote that behaviour. It’s obvious that they are not obeying the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: 

‘This is a true saying, If a man desire (aspires to) the office of a bishop (overseer), he desireth a good work (a noble task). A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant (temperate), sober (sober-minded), of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to (able to) teach. Not given to (addicted to) wine, no striker (not violent), not greedy of filthy lucre (for money); but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity (reverence); For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? (1 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Now that’s a very good question? If a man cannot run his own house in a godly manner, how then can he run Christ’s church properly eh? And the scholars tell us this about the Pastoral Office. ‘The pastor, who shepherds’ today’s church, also fulfills the New Testament role of elder and bishop (overseer), and is responsible to God for the spiritual welfare of the church (Acts 20:28). When Christ returns, He will judge and reward these pastors (elders) according to their faithfulness in leading the church to accomplish God’s will (1 Pet. 5:4).’ And I do hope that some of those leading Christ’s flock today would read that and understand it and change from their evil ways. 

But let’s look at some deeper explanations of the duties Bruh Paul associated with a godly leader. ‘Blameless means irreproachable, that is, impeccable in reputation. The husband of one wife, faithful to his wife. Vigilant means temperate. This speaks of spiritual sobriety; not intoxicated or controlled by fleshly passions and sensual appetites. To be sober is to be of sound mind; that is, not of frivolous disposition, but serious and possessing good judgement. Of good behaviour means orderly in life, habits, and work. One who is given to hospitality receives strangers warmly and treats guests generously. 

To be apt to teach is to be skillful in teaching Scripture. Not given to wine means not addicted to wine. No striker means not physically violent. Not greedy means not fond of dishonest gain. Patient means not quarrelsome, peaceable; that is does not argue over minor matters or always seeks to have his own way, but defers to the wishes of others when no cardinal doctrine or policy is sacrificed. Not covetous, literally, “not a lover of money.” His main priority is not the acquisition of money. Materialism ill befits one called above to care for the spiritual welfare of souls.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! However, unfortunately many of our current leaders do display too many of the ungodly traits described above. Now, it must be stated that a lot is expected of them, and since they are mere men like us, they do have human drawbacks and frailties, and will have occasional lapses in godly behaviour, but the unfortunate truth is that too many of our leaders have poor leadership qualities and are thus leading Christ’s church astray, that’s why it’s in such bad shape today. 

But we cannot put all the blame and responsibility on our leaders, we the congregation also need to take some of it, for both allowing the leaders to do some of the ungodly stuff they do, and also for following them when we full well know that their actions are wrong and totally ungodly. And the only way for the church to get cleaned up is by both congregation and leaders deciding to clean it up. That’s seriously looking at themselves and doing the things they know that ought to be done. This will have to be an internal cleansing, coming to terms with our misdeeds and deciding to change our ways, with God’s help obviously. 

And there’s no better time to start than right now. So, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant, laying our cards sincerely before Him. As one voice: ‘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 Covid-19 virus 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 virus 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 now that we’ve pleaded for divine help and made promises, let’s go out and keep those promises, otherwise we won’t receive that divine help. It’s as simple as that. Much LOVE!

…promises are not made to be broken…but to be kept with a sincere and honourable heart… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 March 2022 Psalm 100:1.

Psalm 100:1.       Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). 

One more day people, one more day! Yes, through God’s overflowing grace and mercy, we’ve been granted one more day to enjoy the fruits of His great earth, in addition to His unconditional and everlasting LOVE! What a marvellous Deity we worship; One who has such care and compassion for us. That’s why scriptures like Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord – should continually be in our hearts and mouths. So please declare it with me this bright, sunshiny spring Thursday morning, the last day of March in this contrary year of 2022. 

Let’s ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:1-5) 

Oh my fellow saints that is the indisputable truth, and if we could just keep those sentiments in our minds and spirits and live by them, what beautiful, God-filled lives we would share! You know, a lot of us believe we must know the Bible backwards and forwards to live righteously, but that’s a big fallacy. In reality, we only need to know a few strong scriptures that embody the word of God, that speak of praise and worship, of forgiveness, of wisdom, of LOVE, and live by them. 

Scriptures like this Psalm 100, like the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt. 6:9-13) That’s the Christian life in a nutshell my brethren! 

Likewise, are those verses Prov. 3:5-10; all about trusting in God and not ourselves and sharing our first fruits with Him. The same thing goes for Psalm 23, that magnificent treatise of Bruh David’s on God’s goodness, that we affectionately refer to as ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ And there are several other scriptures that fall into that category, which we don’t have the time nor space to get into. 

But each of us should personally search the Good Book and find scriptures that apply to our own situations and hold on to them tightly to serve us in time of need. And believe me, we will each have times when we desperately need strong scriptures to lean on and hold on to. So, yes, we do need to have a good grounding in the Good Book so that we can fight the many challenges that come against us, but for basic living, we only need a few verses that encompass the basics of Christian living. 

When we have the sentiments and guidance of scriptures like mentioned above, written deep and indelibly in our souls, hearts, spirits and minds, then we don’t have to fight to live the Christian life, it just comes naturally from that wellspring of God’s word buried in us. But until we have solid scriptures living within us, scriptures that automatically rise up to boost our faith, living for Christ will always be an inconvenient struggle. 

Now, regardless of the great faith we feel we possess, there will always be times when doubt will rear its awkward head and seriously challenge our beliefs, but generally speaking, when we are filled with mother-lode scriptures we will have comparatively smooth sailing. (smile) Remember too, that the higher we go in God’s kingdom, the greater our faith needs to become, because temptations become bigger and more plentiful as the cream rises to the top. For Satan doesn’t bother those who don’t do good and important work for Christ. 

Why would he eh? That’s because if you’re not working for Christ, then you are obviously working for him. (smile) It reminds us of how the Pharisees said of Jesus casting out demons: ‘This fellow doth not cast out devils (demons), but by Beelzebub, the prince (ruler) of the devils (demons)… Then Jesus replied: ‘And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?’ (Matt. 12:24, 26) 

That brings us to the question of the day; if Christians fight against Christians, like we are constantly doing, how then will the kingdom of Christ stand, and even more importantly move forward and grow? It won’t be able to do either, because standing strong and moving forth depends on unity and togetherness. 

And sadly, I don’t think we can genuinely say that these days Christians are united and working together for the good of Christ’s kingdom, since there is so much infighting, resentment, strife and evil-doing currently existing in the body of Christ. And it’s only when we give up those negative vibes and start living as Jesus truly desires of us, in unity and harmony, despite our many differences and disagreements, that the kingdom of God will draw unbelievers to its fold and move forward in true righteousness! 

And it’s not like we don’t have the tools and the wherewithal to do Christ’s work properly, because we do, it’s just that we are not putting our noses to the grindstone. We’re talking about tools we call our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has generously bestowed on us to do his earthly work. Now, those tools aren’t operational until we declare them, so let’s do that right now nuh. 

Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve declared those blessings and thus made them operational, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share them with others just as generously as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…there’s such joy in living for Christ…when we’ve mastered the basic principles… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2014 1 Peter 3:13

1 Peter 3:13.    And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday…! And by gosh, I hear a group of people loudly declaring; ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! Yeahhh! Time to go back to work! I can’t wait to get back out there and do my thing!’ 
 
Mama Mia! Am I hearing right I wondered in great concern. Yes Friends, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And I gladly thought; they must be believers in Jesus Christ, because only such devoted followers would be so happy to go back out to work after a weekend of rest and good fellowship with other believers!
 
Okay, so I was dreaming, since most of Jesus’ people are still grouchy and complaining on a Monday morning. And the people thanking God for Monday was a group of partying Irishmen, dressed in green, from head to toe, already deep into their figurative cups, while literally holding up their green containers with green beverages, getting an early start on the St. Paddy’s Day celebrations.
 
Happy St. Patrick’s Day my people! So don’t forget to be attired in green today, having your green cup filled with your green beverage, as well as your green, three-leafed shamrock, and your personal leprechaun (Irish fairy) as you celebrate the Irish culture. That’s the legend of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who supposedly drove all the snakes out of the country, while converting the pagan hordes there to Catholicism.
 
One interesting part of the legend is that St. Paddy used the three-leafed shamrock to teach the people about the Holy Trinity; the Three in One aspect. Now that sounds like an excellent idea, as it’s always more beneficial to use stuff that people are accustomed to, to help them understand other stuff, like Jesus used the sheep and shepherd analogy to teach the Jews, since they were a sheep-herding nation.
 
However Friends, though you don’t like to hear it, on all such days of much celebration, it’s very advisable to keep Granny’s advice right up front: drunk or sober, mind your business, because those green beverages can pack a mighty wallop and cause us to open a space for the roaring lion Beelzebub to enter and disrupt our lives.
 
And now, after all that whatever you want to call it, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn the same way those Irishmen were singing in my dream – in a loud voice, but with much better harmony. (smile)
 
As one harmonious choir now, let’s sing: ‘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!’
 
Yes mih people, let’s burst out now on an unsuspecting and non expectant world, showering them with LOVE and kindness, the hallmarks of Jesus!
 
For as Peter so rightly asks in our Bit: ‘And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?’ Nobody should my brethren! But in these very evil, selfish and ungodly times, anything is possible.
 
That’s why Peter, in talking about suffering and reward continues thus: ‘But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy (blessed) are ye: and be not afraid of their terror (threats), neither be troubled; But sanctify (set apart) the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer (a defence) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (reverential awe):
 
Having a good (clear, void of offence) conscience that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation (conduct) in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing than for evil doing.’ (1 Pet.3:14-17)
 
Yes Friends, it’s not always easy serving Jesus, but we have to stand strong and do what He desires of us, not considering the suffering we might endure down here on earth, but casting our eyes heavenward, with expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that the rewards there will be worth all the suffering down here. And in that respect too, it’s always better to suffer for good rather than bad stuff, although it just doesn’t seem right. But that’s the way Jesus operates. 
 
And on that point, here is a note from the scholars’. ‘3:17. In the will of God we are sometimes called on to suffer for well-doing as a testimony to others.’
 
For as we said the other day, examples that people can see, always work better than words that they can only hear. Now with all of that firmly planted and entrenched in our hearts, souls and minds, let’s go out into the crazy, troubled, calamitous, disaster laden world and show them what Jesus’ people are really all about; that we are made of much sterner stuff than they think! 
 
And may the Lord bless and keep us, give us His wisdom, peace and strength to fight the good fight in His Holy Name! Much LOVE, my fellow believers!
 
…when a man’s ways please the Lord…he maketh even his enemies…to be at peace with him…  (Prov.16:7) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2013 Matthew 5:10

Matthew 5:10.    Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 
Oh Friends, it’s the last day of October, can you imagine…  But that also makes it Halloween Day. Steups! Just look at how the pagan rites have been inculcated into our Christian calendar nuh!
 
And it’s only been used as another money-making day by the merchants; candies, costumes and pumpkins. And the uglier and more evil looking your costume, the better dressed you’re considered!
 
Yes Friends, it’s Halloween; time for goblins, witches, et all! Ah Lord eh!
 
We start our children from small with the nonsense. And just to show how evil our world has become, nowadays you can no longer send your children trick or treating by themselves, even in your own neighbourhood, since recently so many evil things have been happening to them. 
 
Sadly, it doesn’t even have to be Halloween for our children to go missing, as I received an e-mail last night that a sixteen year old young lady who lives on my street has been missing since last Friday.
 
And with this Halloween stuff you have to be very careful with the stuff your children collect, because evil people have been putting needles and other dangerous stuff in them. Chuh blast!
 
Oh Friends, I seriously believe it’s time we do away with this Halloween day and all the evil that it’s come to represent. I know that most likely I’m in the minority on that subject, and some of you might see me as a killjoy, but that’s okay, I can live with that stigma, people have been saying stuff about me since I began showing in mother’s womb. (smile)
 
But I guess we won’t get rid of Halloween anytime soon because the parents have been brainwashed into it, and the merchants won’t quietly give up such an opportunity to make easy money.
 
And from all that rambling, I guess it’s easy to figure out that I won’t be participating in the nonsense. Yuh know, on one hand we tell the children that too much candy and sugar is bad for them, but in the next breath we take them out in their evil looking costumes to collect as much candy as they can.
 
And then we wonder why the children are the way they are! Steups! Let’s just hope the Lord blesses them with the wisdom and common sense – which their parents seem to lack – to go easy on the stuff. 
 
Anyway, I want to apologize for a typo in Yesterday’s Bit, where instead of saying before we ‘can’ enjoy God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness, I said ‘can’t.’ But I know that all you true believers knew what I meant, because you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile)
 
Just like I said sometime last week about putting our money where ‘out’ mouth is, instead of ‘our’ mouth. That just shows though that the ole fella is very human, and thus liable to err, but hopefully not too often. But enough of this preamble rambling, we have a Bit to deal with.
 
A Bit which says: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
 
Yeh Friends, we now getting down to the nitty gritty of the Beatitudes! It’s no longer just about being nice and godly, but actually about enduring suffering; physical, mental and emotional, all for Christ’s sake! How do we like them beans now eh?
 
Most of us won’t like them too much because we just like to have everything nice and easy, no ‘sufferation’ whatsoever. But my people, we need to remember these most memorable and encouraging words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)
 
That means we WILL suffer trials and tribulations, in this predominantly evil and troubled world. But we’ve got to bear up under them with a good attitude because Jesus has already overcome the world and all its evil machinations.
 
That brings us to the scholar’s take on the subject: ‘5:10. As Jesus develops His message, He clearly teaches that such a life cause His people to be in direct contrast to the world in which they live. Therefore He reminds us, ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake.’
 
The plural use of “ye” in verse 11 indicates that He foresaw this persecution as touching ALL His followers. Notice 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 
 
Oh Friends, it’s rough, but true! The kingdom of heaven is not for wishy washy or ‘fraidy, fraidy’ people. And many of us out here in the free Western world are just that. Meanwhile, other Christians in more restrictive parts of the world, are being persecuted left, right and centre for simply believing in Jesus and wanting to serve and worship Him.
 
Many of us would cave in if we ever felt that kind of pressure. We’re doing it now without any pressure at all. But millions of believers around the globe are still standing steadfast and strong for Jesus, despite the serious persecution they’re facing! Glory Hallelujah! 
 
And it sure makes me feel bad to see that we out here, who have it so good, are complaining and whining about so many petty and unimportant things, merely talking the talk without walking the attendant walk. 
 
Oh my people, it’s imperative that we at least send up some real heartfelt prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being so terribly persecuted. So today I’m asking us all, during our time of daily prayer, or at any time at all, to pray for our persecuted brethren all around the world.
 
Remember. prayer is the most powerful tool in God’s great universe!
 
And we’ll close with an encouraging word from Peter, re the subject of suffering and reward. ‘And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy (blessed) are ye:
 
And be not afraid of their terror (threats), neither be troubled… For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit.’ (1 Pet.3:13-14, 17-18)
 
Oh my fellow believers, I know it’s difficult to live a good life for Jesus, but He did it for us, and as the scholars say: ‘In the will of God we are sometimes called to suffer for well-doing as a testimony to others.’
 
And we can certainly do it if we hold close to Jesus and let His Spirit lead and guide us, while raising up all the things we need to truly serve Him, from our spirit, where it’s ALL been already planted.
 
We only need the power of the Holy Spirit now to bring them to the fore. And that my Friends, is a true mark of divine wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…our earthly duty is to…LOVE our God…LIVE our Faith…and SPREAD His Word…let’s start doing that in all seriousness nuh… 
 
P.S.  Oh Friends, it’s long, but worthwhile. As Jesus said, we can’t always have it short and easy. (smile) Much LOVE!