Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2019 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.    ​For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by any means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 

Oh, how I wish it wouldn’t rain…how I wish it wouldn’t rain…! An unfulfilled wish most likely, since they’ve forecasted lots of rain for this Halloween day. I believe they even considered postponing it until tomorrow due to the deluge expected. But in my opinion, they should just abolish the whole stupid, ungodly ritual because it’s just a celebration of evil and greed! When you have the ugliest, scariest and most inappropriate costumes for children; things like witches, ghouls, hobgoblins and the like being a big deal in the society, what does it teach them eh? And now there are also a whole lot of restrictions on what you can wear, what is culturally or religiously acceptable, that it makes a mockery of the whole thing. 

But what amazes me is we teach them that candy is bad for their health and well being, then we have a big celebration where they go out in the dangerous dark night to see who can collect the most candy! Who do you think eats it eh? The very same children who are taught that it’s bad for them. But I doubt it will be abolished anytime soon, even with it’s inherent dangers, since it strengthens the bottom line of the costume people, the candy makers and the dentists, politically powerful and monied groups in our society. 

That brings us to our Bit for this Halloween Thursday, very poignant and important words of Jesus to His listeners on the law, from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by any means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ Now that was a heavy blow to those religious leaders for they were considered the creme de la creme of righteousness in their day. And the scholars obligingly explain. 

‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of the Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.’ 

And sadly, nothing much has changed to this day; there are still a lot of religious leaders; modern-day scribes and Pharisees who only offer lip service and outward show to the true tenets of Christianity. Meanwhile, their inner man is more attuned to the things of the law, of the world, than those of God. Here’s a list of the contrasts between living under the Law and living by the Spirit as provided by the scholars. ‘The Law says No murder, the Spirit, No anger. No Adultery…. No Lust. No Divorce… Commitment. No oath-taking… Speak the truth. No retaliation… Forgiveness. Hatred for your enemy (tradition allowed it) … LOVE for your enemy (commanded).’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, the Law isn’t basically wrong, but the demands of the Spirit carry us to a higher level of spirituality and righteousness. And it’s that high level we need to enter the kingdom of heaven. I didn’t say so, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it long ago, and nothing has happened since to change it. And after expounding our Bit to His listeners, Jesus then went on to individualize the stuff that we just wrote. He then taught on Anger, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths and LOVE for enemies. (Matt.5:21-48) 

Ah friends, it’s sad and rather unfortunate that we’re living in such a sinful and unrighteous society these days. No wonder we’re at such a low ebb, in ALL aspects of life. There’s absolutely no situation in which we can say we’re winning! Even the fools who are trying to throw God out of our society will eventually lose, though they seem to have the upper hand now. Please pay attention though to these momentous words of Cousin Sol: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame or disgrace) to any people.’ (Prov.14:34) And the scholars explain: ‘14:34. National righteousness and national sin have opposite effects: exaltation versus reproach.’ No wonder we have national reproach, because our society is as sinful as eternity is long. 

And Bruh Paul made it clear to the church at Rome when he talked about zeal but no righteousness. ‘For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Rom.10:3-4) And the scholars explain: ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law: Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law. The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’ 

And that’s still happening on too large a scale today my people. It’s true that faith without works is dead, (James 2:17) but works alone will get us nowhere either! Let’s remember that nuh and proceed to build up both our faith and works through righteousness in Christ Jesus. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our enabling Thursday Blessings. As one, in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose. ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ And let’s also remember that they are for generous sharing, not selfish hoarding. (smile) Much LOVE!

…without true righteousness…we shall never see God…

​Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2019 Nehemiah 1:7.

Nehemiah 1:7.  We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Greetings my people! It’s somewhat late, but the sun is shining brightly and the temp is somewhere up in the high twenties! Wow! It’s a bit cloudy though, so it’s obscuring the downtown and harbour scene somewhat… Ah friends, the ole fella’s in sunny Jamaica! Yeh, the land of wood and water! And ah know some of you jealous too, (smile) wondering how he could be travelling so much. But friends, no one was sorry for me when I never left good ole Canada for three sickly years, from March 2016-October 2018. No one was there when I lay in the lonely bed looking out at the planes flying by and wondering when, if ever, I’d be able to travel in one again! 

No one heard my sobs and cries to Almighty God asking what’s going on? Neither did they hear His rely of ‘Keep your peace my son! All in good time! Just trust me!’ And I did. Now He’s keeping the promise He made, enabling me to fly all over the world! So how can I not LOVE Him eh? He’s always done as He says…though not necessarily on my timetable! (smile) All praise and glory to our wonderful and faithful God my fellow saints in Christ, for He is indeed a keeper of His Word! 

But the real reason I’m in J.A. right now is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Graduating Class of the University of the West Indies, of which I am a member. That means I’m going to see some people I haven’t seen for fifty odd years! Can you believe it? I saw some of them when I was down here a year ago, and will most likely see them again, but there are many others I haven’t seen since 1969. That just brings back the good memories…and a few of the rough ones…that I experienced back then, when J.A. didn’t have as many problems as it now has, was a comparative paradise!  

And talking about problems, I’m having one here with my hitherto trustworthy mouse. Steups! The bloody thing not working. I thought it might have been the battery, went and bought two new ones at some exorbitant price, only to find out that the battery is not the problem. And since I’m not the fingers guy on the computer, I’m having a hard time doing some of the stuff I want to do, like highlighting stuff. Don’t laugh mih young daughter. But the ole fella’s plodding along nonetheless. And I know the Lord will help us to do a good job anyway…because that’s just the kind of helpful Deity He is! Bless His holy name! 

So what we writing about today eh? Let me open the Good Book and see what the Lord has in mind nuh. Soon come. And I’m back in less than a minute, chuckling too, for the Good Book opened at this rather appropriate verse of Nehemiah’s prayer: ‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.’ Now I believe we might have used that for a Bit just recently, I’m not sure, but even if we have, it’s still the Lord’s prerogative to tell us again, because it is still a most appropriate scripture for these evil and ungodly times! 

Oh friends, our world is so evil and ungodly nowadays that it just boggles the imagination! I don’t know if there’s ever been a generation that’s as bad as this one. Maybe it’s just that we have easier and faster communication these days, so we know about more stuff. But the same quick communication is itself causing all sorts of evil and ungodliness in our world! Without the social media and all the platforms that facilitate it, many of those who are pursuing evil now would not have been able to pursue it, especially so blatantly, recklessly and anonymously! 

Sometimes when I hear about some of the stuff that’s pervading social media, as well as the atrocities committed in many of our societies, by our own supposed leaders, especially those against women and innocent children, it just makes me want to hold mih head and bawl! How can we be so cruel and evil to our own people eh? I guess I must be just naïve yes. But I like me the way I am. And the sad part is that many who are committing these atrocities are calling themselves Christians too. What a crying shame! And even declaring that some of those awful deeds are being done in the name of Jesus! Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! It’s a good thing the Lord is still on His throne oui, looking down at things and taking notes until He’s ready to act. The old people say, ‘time longer than twine,’ and is true, but ‘even the longest rope does have an end.’ And I wouldn’t want to be around when the Lord reaches the end of His rope nuh because it will be hellfire and damnation for the wicked! And it’s very instructive to listen to the voice of Daniel in his prayer from so long ago, because the content of his words still resonate very loudly today. 

‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (And in our time, that includes Jesus.) ‘Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.’ (Dan.9:9-11) Oh my people, our sin profile today is much like the Israelites’ back then, way too high, and if we continue along the same sinful path, we will also pay the price for our ungodliness. 

And as Daniel writes: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.’ (Dan.9:13) Yes my people, the Lord has given us an out from the calamity stored up for the wicked, but we have not, and apparently are not going to repent of our sinful ways and go back to obeying His commandments. But please, please remember these fateful words of Daniel: ‘Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:14) 

Friends, God cannot, and will not tolerate sin, and if we continue to blatantly disobey God’s commandments, as we are currently doing, you think we’re going to get away Scot free? Not on your life! Remember what Samuel said to Saul: ‘Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (listen) than the fat of rams.’ (1 Sam.15:22) Saul didn’t do what the Lord commanded him to do, so he lost the kingship. And remember too, what the Lord promoted Jesus to the highest name there is besides His…for OBEDIENCE! Nuff said! Much LOVE!

…sin can be forgiven…but only through repentance…belief in Jesus…and righteous living…

P.S. Certainly hopes this turns out good yes, cause I had a hell of a time writing it! (no smile)  Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2019 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 

Ah mih people, it looks like the ole fella’s been in lost mode this past week yes! First, I lost my I-pad in the Paris Airport, then I came home and got sick, then apparently on Monday when I went into the concrete jungle called Toronto to see the medic, I lost my cell phone. Brother! So now I am without cell phone or I-pad, and have a lousy cough that’s just irritating my asthma. 

I can do without the cell phone and the cough, but I miss my I-pad, because now I can’t play any games before I get my daily naps. (smile) Life’s certainly strange yes, for at first I didn’t want an I-pad, complained that it was too much technology, but they made me take it so I could stay in the electronic loop. And now I miss it. Chuh! I put in a Lost and Found Report on it, cost me money, and I’m still waiting to hear from them. 

According to my young daughter, the loss of the cell phone though was God’s mysterious movement because it’s time I got into the 21st century with a smart phone so I can stay connected. But I think it might just be His desire for me not to have a phone at all, (smile) because most of the time it’s turned off anyway. But who knows eh? We’ll just wait and see how it all plays out. Anyway, those are my present woes. 

However, when I opened the Good Book earlier on, it opened at these wise words of Cousin Sol, acting as the Preacher. ‘The preacher sought to find out acceptable (delightful) words: and that which was written was upright, even the words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads (to stimulate to action), and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies (collections), which are given by one shepherd. 

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:10-14) 

Mama Yo! That says it all friends! Our main duty on this earth is to reverence God and obey His commandments, and be very careful of our deeds, because He will eventually expose them all in the time of judgement, so we’d better make sure that they are mostly good deeds, whether they are done in secret or in public. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘12:12-14. God has not answered every problem of life, but He has commanded man to live joyfully, responsibly, and wisely. Finally, the controlling factor of all of life should be the fear of God, that is submission to God and His revelation (cf.Prov.1:7) The certainty of divine judgement demands it.’ 

And who in his right senses wouldn’t want to live joyfully, responsibly and wisely eh? Only a fool who has no knowledge of God! And since most of you won’t go and look up the above recommendation, I’ll spoon-feed us, as usual. (smile) Proverbs 1:7 declares (Steups! Yuh know I couldn’t even spell that right! What’s it with me and that word eh?) 

Anyway, Proverbs 1:7 declares (spelled it wrong again!) this most important warning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ Yes my people, as I said earlier on, only a fool will turn away from worshipping, adoring, obeying and exalting Almighty God, because that’s where it’s all begins in this life, and also ends in the eternity of time! 

And the scholars make an interesting point here: ‘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 “the fear of the Lord” should always be before us if we sincerely desire to search for wisdom, since we can’t acquire it without that reverential awe of the Most High God Jehovah. 

Now just a couple more scriptures to reiterate what Cousin Sol has said. Hear Moses, as he tells the Israelites about the Great Commandment. ‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.’ (Deut.6:2) That doesn’t require any rocket science to understand it. 

Now listen to the prophet Micah. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic.6:8.) That doesn’t require any rocket science degree to understand it either! 

And finally listen to Jesus in reply to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:36-40) 

Now if you didn’t believe Moses, or Cousin Sol, or Micah, Jesus says the very same thing! So we have no excuses now not follow His directives. And our God is so wonderful that for those of us who sincerely desire to serve Him, He gives oodles of blessings to enable us to do it! Wow! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! So let’s declare (right ho!) what we call our Thursday Blessings with loud voice and strong conviction: 

All together now: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And lest we forget and get too caught up with foolish pride, (smile) those blessings are to be shared, not hoarded! Much LOVE! 

…let’s hope…that all we’ve said today…will goad us…into truly serving the Lord…(smile)

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long, and a tad late, but I likes it… (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2019 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    ​To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
 

Here we go again friends, the work week is upon us! Please let’s greet it with a positive reaction nuh since there is nothing we can really do about it. I learned that lesson a long time ago, after I quit a job to do my own thing, then had to go back to it when my business went under. I never intended to go back to that job, but then it was the easiest and best job I could get at the time and I certainly needed the money. 

So I just told myself, if you’ve got to go, then you might as well go with a good attitude, stop making yourself miserable everyday you have to go to it. And it worked for me. I eventually got to appreciate the job more then, than in my initial go round. So if it could work for me, it certainly ought to work for you too. But you need to make a conscious decision to do it, then follow through with that decision. 

However, until you get to that stage, (smile) you can join us on a Monday morning as we go to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking Him to grant us strength, wisdom and confidence to face the evil world for another week. Let’s do that now nuh; declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong conviction and belief, because when we ask in sincere faith, according to the Father’s will, we will receive His blessing and largesse. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Ah friends, yuh feel it working? It surely is! Just check out your new energy level; your state of understanding and awareness, your level of excitement to get out and do Jesus’ work. They are all now higher and more intense than they were before we prayed, before we invoked the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! (smile) And talking about prayer, today we’ll check out Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel, because back then Israel was in captivity in Babylon because of their total disobedience to God’s Word, much like our world is right now. 

Listen to Daniel: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee…Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (Dan.9:8,10) Now friends, if we’re truthful, we will have to admit that the same shameful state exists in our society today, the only difference being that too many of us either don’t know the seriousness of the situation, or we choose to just ignore it. But our attitude towards our God and Creator right now is nothing less than atrocious, very foolish and unwise, and if we don’t smarten up soon, there will be a helluva price to pay. 

Yeh, the Lord is patient and long suffering and as Daniel says: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ But tell me friends, how long do you think He’s going to put up with our arrogant disobedience and efforts to remove Him from our society eh? For all those who think that we’re going to be allowed to do as we sinfully and disobediently please for as long as we like, please think again. 

If it’s one thing the Lord is very protective and proud of is His power and glory, and He will not allow no creation of His to take it away from Him. Just check out the foolish Lucifer nuh! He wanted to rise, to promote himself above his Creator, but where is he now eh, residing in the depths of hell as Satan! And so will we too, if we keeping on going in the evil and ungodly direction in which we’re currently headed. 

Hear Daniel explain it nuh: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster in store), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:13-14) 

That says it all my brethren! If the Lord punished Israel so severely for their disobedience, do you think He’ll allow us to get away with ours, which seems so much worse? I very much doubt it friends. Please note Daniel’s words back there: ‘for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth…’ That means, though He is LOVING, and forgiving and full of grace and mercy, He is also a God of justice and righteousness, and those things are very important to His character and nature. 

Why yuh think He went through the heart-wrenching scene of sending Jesus to die for us? Because righteousness and justice had to be done in whatever He undertook to save us. Please, please, let all of that be a serious and sincere warning to us nuh. We will not get away with continual sinfulness and disobedience. For certain sure, if we don’t repent and return to God, our number will play one day! Much LOVE!

…sinfulness and righteousness…cannot exist in the same place…

 

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2019 Isaiah 41:6.

Isaiah 41:6.    ​They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong).
 

It done, it done! Yes friends and family, the radiation business finally done! Thank the Lord! I went back yesterday for the final zap and it went off as smooth as oil, none of the problems of last Friday! Let’s just hope that it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, because I really don’t want to go back through the inconvenience and side effects again. 

So all I can say is, ‘Thank You yes Lord! Thank You for bringing me through it safely, and I’m leaving everything in your hands. But please give me a break from all the medical issues nuh. I know you are trying to lengthen my life, but by the same token, it does get a bit tiresome and discouraging. Anyway Lord, my life is in your hands, please do as you will with it. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, yuh think it easy? No, it not easy nuh! And remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either, and He said that we’d face trials and tribulations in this evil and ungodly world, but we were to have peace and be of good cheer, because He had overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

And we all know that that is much easier said than done, especially with all the distractions and enemy attacks that we are currently facing in this degenerate world. But if we are serious and truly turn to Almighty God for help, we WILL be able to handle the world like Jesus recommended. So let’s look at some encouraging stuff nuh. 

And first off is this footnote from a Daily Bread Devotional. It tells us that ‘Encouragement is water to the soul!’ And is it ever my people! For just like our physical bodies need water to survive, so does our souls need encouragement to stay hopeful and alive! Without positive encouragement, we all will sink to undesirable depths of hopelessness, something that Jesus doesn’t want us to ever do. That’s why we need to get together and encourage each other. 

But in these days of lightning quick communication, we can also encourage each other from afar. The important thing is to keep in contact with people of the faith. Now here is this prayer of encouragement, enshrined in plastic, (smile) that I found on my desk from the Anglican Church, Diocese of Toronto. Please pray with me: ‘Sustain us, O Lord, with Your Holy Spirit. Give us an enquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to LOVE You, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, a simple but ever so far-reaching prayer! And it asks for exactly the things we need to get us successfully through this trouble-filled world. And I do hope that it encouraged us, that it strengthened our backbone and belly some, (smile) caused us to stand up a li’l stronger and straighter, and to keep the faith in, and of Jesus, burning like a holy fire in our souls, bodies, hearts and minds! 

Wow! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical and encouraging this Tuesday morning in the wonderful summer of 2019! (smile) But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole purpose of the Bit; to keep us strong and encouraged in the faith! So if I’m not encouraging you, then I’m not doing what the Lord requires of me…And no way, do I want Him to ask me, come the judgement day, why I didn’t do what He asked. So let’s keep up with the encouragement nuh. (smile) 

Brother! Is it ever a smiley kind of day! But that’s how it ought to be anyway. (smile) And it’s no mistake that within a couple of chapters of the Good Book that the Lord commanded Moses to encourage Joshua. ‘But Joshua, the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go thither (into the promised land): encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.’ (Deut.1:38) 

And the Lord commanded Moses again when He took him up the mountain to see the Promised Land from afar. ‘But charge (command) Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.’ (Deut.3:28) That shows how big our God is on encouragement, and so should we be too. 

Now hear this wonderful and encouraging scripture from Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong). So the carpenter (craftsman) encouraged the goldsmith (refiner), and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote (struck) the anvil, saying, It is ready for sodering  (of the soldering, it is good): and he fastened it with the nails (pegs), that it should not be moved (totter).’ (Is.41:6-7) 

Ah mih people, if only the saints of Jesus would be as encouraging to each other eh! What a wonderful world this would be! But too often, those who should encourage us, discourage us instead, and then we need to take matters into our own hands, like Bruh David did when his men wanted to stone him, after the Amalekites burned down their city of Ziklag and took all their women and children captive. The Good Book tells us: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6b) 

Yes precious people of God, we can’t always depend on others to encourage us, but when the heifer dust hits the fan (smile) we need to also be able to encourage ourselves in Jehovah God. That’s when the true strength and maturity of our faith really shows out. So please be encouraged today…and everyday, for we serve an encouraging and faithful God! 

Now let’s show that faith by declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and 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!’ 

Wonderful friends, wonderful! Now let’s go out and fulfill that promise by encouraging others, through sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the less fortunate. That’s His ultimate desire! Much LOVE!

…encouragement…one of the believer’s most important tools…in his or her ministry…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

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

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

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

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

And as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2019 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.    ​And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 

Rise and shine fellow warriors in Christ’s army! The trump has sounded! It’s time to gird ourselves in our protective armour and head for the frontlines, where our General, Jesus, the most highly named and exalted Commander in the universe is already there waiting for us. And like His snow-white steed that’s pawing the ground in great anticipation, He’s also eager to join the battle this good-looking summer morn, which just happens to be Monday, the first day of the new workweek (smile). 

And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the merry go round of work after a couple days off, especially with summer in the air and weekend trips to the cottage up north getting into full gear. But work we must if we want to survive, so we have this fail-safe pick-me-up we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s declare (yeh!) it all together now nuh, so that we can rise to the occasion.  

‘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!’ 

And brother, yuh see how quickly we start feeling better; our eyes light up with a new gleam, our souls suddenly feel refreshed and we feel like we could fight an army or move a mountain single handedly! Wow! That’s because the Holy Spirit is working in us to give the Lord’s answer to our humble, sincere, but ever-confident prayer! And why yuh think that is eh? 

That’s because Jesus says that whenever we pray, whatever we pray for, if we believe, we will get it. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) And He also says that if we ask for anything in His name, He will do it. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

What great promises friends! But we also know that there are certain provisos to those promises, they all depend on them being in the Father’s will, timing and purpose for our lives and coming from sincere motives of the heart; they just can’t be wishy-washy, selfish, self-aggrandizing prayers. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘14:13-14. In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf.16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” (vs.12) The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

But what is Jesus really talking about here eh? It’s basically about faith; the level of our faith in Him and the Father. In the passage in Mark above, He had just cursed the fruitless fig tree and caused it to suddenly wither up. That gave Him ‘the occasion to expound concerning faith, prayer and forgiveness.’ And He began thus: ‘Have faith in God.’  And that’s the whole sermon right there in a nutshell my people! 

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

Some important points to notice there; even a li’l faith is a powerful thing, and some jobs call for not faith alone, but also for fasting and intense prayer. And please note that in almost every occasion on which He healed someone, Jesus made it a point to invoke his or her faith into the healing. 

Note the occasion when the Roman centurion approached Him for his servant’s healing, then said that Jesus did not need to come to his house to do it, He had the power to do it right there. Jesus replied in astonishment: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Matt.8:10) Yes friends, a heathen Roman centurion showed more faith in Jesus’ awesome power than any of His own people! 

And what a wonderful example of great faith is the woman with the twelve year issue of blood who fought through the throng believing if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. And when she did, she was healed instantly. But Jesus also noticed that something was wrong, because He felt some of His power go out of Him, and asked: ‘Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?’ (Mark 5:25-33). 

But Jesus persisted in looking around to find the culprit, (smile) and eventually the woman fell down before Him and admitted the truth. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And there are many more instances of Jesus calling on people to show faith, which we have no time or space to get into today. But I’ll leave us with one of Jesus favourite jibes to those who reused to belief Him. ‘O ye of li’l faith.’ 

And sadly, in these ungodly and evil times, He’s saying that about a lot of us supposed Christians. Please friends and fellow believers, let’s rise up today and begin giving Him serious occasion to change it nuh to ‘How great is thy faith!’ That would surely warm the cockles of His holy and oh so LOVING heart! It’s about time we did something to cause that, don’t you think? Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s somewhat late…and somewhat long, but good, (smile) but I had some pressing problems that I had to deal with first. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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