Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2020 Genesis 2:17.

Genesis 2:17.    ​But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

‘Monday, Monday…Oh how I hate that day!…Come Monday morning, I’d wake up crying…Monday Monday!’ Ah friends, many of us older folks, please note I said older, not old folks, (smile) will remember those words, or some facsimile thereof (smile) from the hit song by the Mamas and Papas released in 1966, and which has become something of an institution over the years to denigrate Mondays. Thus to this day, some six decades later, Monday is looked upon as an outcast, as the poor relation, the devil day of the week, simply because it heralds the start of our work week, cuts into the good times we’ve been having over the weekend. 

But if we want to eat, some of us have to work. It’s as simple as that. And in these uncertain and turbulent times, when life is so fragile, we need a lot of help just to make it through each day. But the good news is that we have powerful help, reassuring help, our omnipotent God! So let’s communicate with Him nuh, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting Him know that we desperately need His divine favour and succour. 

As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Our anxieties have even deepened in the last few days because some restrictions have been lifted, and more of us have to go to work now. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now all of that sounds good and proper, but yuh know what friends, we are our own worst enemy. And why do I say that? Because of the gross irresponsibility a lot of us are showing in these dangerous and unpredictable times. Good example; yesterday, Sunday, with the recent lifting of some park restrictions, and with the wonderful weather and temperature conditions, the small Trinity Bellwoods Park in the south western part of the city of Toronto saw several thousands of people picnicking and partying there, with no regard whatsoever to the terrible backlash  their irresponsible behaviour could provoke, as we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus that’s holding us to ransom. 

The only way we can control it right now is by physical distancing, which obviously wasn’t being practiced in that park yesterday. And in the U.S. on their Memorial Day weekend, there have already been numerous incidents of crowds on beaches and in parties in parks and elsewhere causing controversies with the authorities. And no doubt there’ll be more on the holiday today. 

So what’s a body to say to that kind of irresponsible behaviour eh? Yes, it’s hard been locked down for a long while, but which do we prefer, to be safe and somewhat stir crazy, or free and easy and dead eh? And it’s not like people aren’t dying in large numbers from the Covid-19 disease. So why this crazy reaction? We really shouldn’t be surprised nuh, because flouting rules and regulations seems to be the natural nature of man. Look at how our forefather’s Adam and Eve screwed it up in the Garden of Eden when they had it so good. 

Yuh know is one, ONE simple rule the Lord gave them: ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (Gen. 2:16-17) Oh friends, according to the scholars, ‘2:16. The Hebrew words expressly emphasize, ‘you may eat to your heart’s content, of every other tree but that one in the middle.’ 

But as they say further: ‘Note Satan’s subtle assertion in 3:1. As he focused on the “one” tree they could not eat from. In so doing, he excluded the abundance in this verse.’ Yuh see how the ole serpent smart; he teased them with the one thing they couldn’t have, ignoring the abundance of all the other things they could have. And that’s the exact way we are still behaving to this day. We ‘re never satisfied with what we do have, but are always in search of what we don’t have, but think we ought to. 

It’s simply a combination of greed and stupidity. But when we suffer the necessary consequences, then we hold our heads and bawl; ‘If I’d only known eh…’ But you did know because it was spelt out in spades, but you chose to disobey it. And with Adam and Eve, death was a sure thing if they disobeyed. But Satan again weaved his deceitful web around them by blatantly denying God’s promise and saying to Eve: ‘Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (God), knowing good and evil.’ (Gen. 3:4-5) 

And yes technically speaking, their eyes were opened. ‘But the problem was that their eyes were opened to behold all things in the light of their own sinfulness. They would have a fixed moral nature like God; but it was fixed in sin, not righteousness. They knew good, but were unable to do it; and they knew evil, but were unable to resist it. There has always been the temptation to be like God. Here it suggests that God is holding something back from Adam and Eve.’ 

Yuh see how Satan could tie us up with unsaid suggestions or intimations. And today, unfortunately, we still falling for his deceitfulness, just like Adam and Eve. Nothing’s really changed nuh friends, we’re still disobedient to the rules and regulations of both our heavenly Father and our earthly leaders. And yuh know what? The same thing, certain death is forecasted for many of us if we insist on being disobedient! Much LOVE!

 …for dust thou art…and unto dust shalt thou return… (Gen. 3:19b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2020 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.    ​ It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
As the tumbling tumbleweed tumbles; as the cycle of life cycles; so do we saints in Christ live in concert with our omnipotent Creator! Wow! What magnificent imagery! That’s why they say B.S. baffles brains! (smile) It’s Monday morning friends, and we’re alive and kicking, so regardless of what tragedies are happening in our world, let’s give much thanks and praise to the Almighty that we’re not too badly off, and most of us are fairly safe, have a roof over our heads, and are well-fed! 

Many others around our world are having it much rougher than us and they’re not complaining, so we shouldn’t either, although, unfortunately, that has recently become the prevalent nature of our privileged, entitled and irresponsible society. And the best way to live in concert with out Creator is by communing with Him through the medium of prayer. So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, recently reworked for this pandemic time. As one, strong, humble, but confident voice, let’s come before His heavenly throne in sincere prayer. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Yes, precious people, I’m sure the Lord heard our prayer because I know that our hearts were quite sincere, for we are awfully anxious and scared of the somewhat unrelenting stranglehold that the Coronavirus currently has on our world. But please, let’s remember what we said above in our prayer, about repentant hearts. We need to show that in our behaviour, keep our promise, if we expect the Lord to keep His and heal our world. Remember Cousin Sol told us yesterday not to make promises, especially to God, and not keep them. (Eccl. 5:4-5) So let’s work sincerely and diligently on that repentance nuh. 

And to help us do that, hear are some encouraging words from the prophet Jeremiah when he was lamenting the sins of his people Israel, who were then going through a rough time for their sinful disobedience. It seems like everything and everybody was against them. And at one stage Jeremiah declared (steups!): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into (made me walk in) darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day…’ (Lam. 3:1-3) Then he goes on to tell of the many things Israel had suffered at the Lord’s hands. (Lam. 3: 4 13) 

And furthermore: ‘I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering (remember) mine affliction and my misery; the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled within me (is bowed down).’ (Lam. 3:14-19) 

Ah friends, Israel was in real bad shape, like we are today, and I know a lot of us are lamenting over our many problems, many of which have befallen us because of our sinful and disobedient attitude towards God. But if we continue listening to Jeremiah we’ll discover that things are not as bad as they seem or can get. 

‘This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 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 wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Oh my people, please, let’s do like Jeremiah and remember that our God is a great God nuh, compassionate and merciful as no one else. It is because of that compassion and mercy that we are not destroyed, as we deserve to be. And moreover, each new day, He brings new mercies and compassion to the table because of His overwhelming and unconditional LOVE for us. He is indeed a faithful God, and we need to be faithful too if we really want to see all the good things He has in store for us. 

And the scholars tell us that ‘real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (cf. 1 Sam. 26:23; Ps. 37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Yes friends, faithfulness in this sinful word is not an easy row to hoe, but with the Lord’s help and our determination, we can certainly do much better than we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…blessed is the nation…whose God is the Lord… (Ps. 33:12)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2019 Mark 2:22.

Mark 2:22.    ​And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe how dark it is still is in my area at eight o’clock on this early November morning! Not even a wisp of sunlight is showing on the eastern horizon. But the good thing is that it’s not raining…at least not yet. (smile) Nowadays, who knows what the weather will turn out to be on any given day, so it’s best not to worry about it. Just remember that Jesus is our Lord, Saviour and Guiding Light, and once He is in us, and we are in Him, then everything will work out for good eventually, as He faithfully promised! Glory to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

And since we said it’s Saturday, I guess it’s time to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘One small positive thought can change your whole day.’ And that’s the absolute truth my people! And we have the perfect example above, where we just think about Jesus, and our whole day gets brighter! There’s no more positive thought that that! So let’s wake up thinking on Jesus…and during the day think on Him…and go to bed at night…still thinking on Him! Wow! That way our whole day will be positive! (smile) 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘Every new day is another chance to change your life.’ I certainly can’t dispute that reasoning, for everyday that we’re given to breathe God’s air, is a new chance to improve our lives. God gives it to us because He knows that we need more time to come to Him, to grow more Christ-like and to complete the work He’s assigned us. So please, let’s not waste every new day that we’ve been so generously given nuh. Instead, as the old people would say, make hay while the sun shines, because you don’t know when the sun will stop shining, neither for how long, and if it isn’t shining, then you certainly can’t make hay. (smile) That means you can’t waste time; you must do whatever you have to do while there’s time – that means today – since there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see tomorrow. Were the ole people ever so wise my brethren! Wish we were even half as wise. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.’ Ah friends, that’s the only way to survive, for if you don’t get stronger as life gets harder, life will only beat you down. And this life is certainly getting harder, despite all our improvements and amenities. And don’t fool yuh fat either (don’t be deceived), for some reason I can’t fathom, life just enjoys beating us down. I’ve seen it happen often enough in my three score and ten. So you have to possess plenty belly and backbone to live what we call life. You also have to keep improving, keep adding to the strength of your backbone and belly everyday, because life doesn’t ever take a day off, so neither can you. And we all know the best way to do that is by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and let him lead and guide our mis-mash lives! 

And here’s another area where following Jesus will come in ever so handy. ‘Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.’ Oh my people, is that ever so true! Very few good opportunities are ever easy. I guess by definition they are innately difficult, and in this lazy, selfish, greedy society of ours, hard work is something we don’t relish. We don’t even want to work, much less work hard. That’s why so many glorious opportunities are passing us by in this prosperous society where good opportunities abound…if we’re only willing to work hard at them. Here again, with Jesus running our lives, we will see the opportunities, and we will work diligently and excellently to bring them to fruition. Glory be! 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘Old ways won’t open new doors.’ But we still try anyway. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.’ So we’ve got to stop trying to open new doors with old ways. That brings us to some very interesting  words of Jesus when asked by John’s disciples, why they and the Pharisees fasted, but His disciples did not? Apparently the Pharisees fasted twice weekly. He basically answered that fasting is done in times of grief, not of joy, and while He was with them, they were joyful, but when He went back to heaven, that would be the time for grief and fasting. (Mark 2:18-20) 

And furthermore, Jesus enlightened them: ‘No man also seweth a piece of new (unshrunk) cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh (pulls) away from the old, and the rent (tear) is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.’ (Mark2:21-22) Oh friends, how can you not be impressed by Jesus eh, no one else uses simple words and ideas like He does! 

And what does all of that mean? Listen to the scholars: ‘2:22. Bottles are wineskins, the old ones figuratively representing Judaism and the new ones Christianity. Old wineskins lose their elasticity and would be burst open by the fermentation of new wine put into them. The point: the old faith of Judaism and the new faith of Christianity cannot be mixed, nor can the practices or traditions (e.g., the time of fasting) of Judaism be forced on Christianity.’ Now that doesn’t mean we have to throw away all that is old, because it’s the old stuff that gives us the true and solid foundations, but if old ways aren’t working, then we do have to try new, but always godly ones. (smile) Much LOVE!

…new brooms sweep clean…but old brooms know the corners…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2019 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.   ​Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 
‘It’s spring! It’s spring! Springtime is here! Thank God it’s spring!’ Hn, hn, hn! Yeh friends, the Spring Equinox has finally reached the North Country, but please don’t be deceived by the ebullient nature of that statement because that’s just man’s calendar. Mother Nature however, doesn’t hold to man’s demarcation of time, she does her own thing, so the temps will not always be above freezing, and some of that white stuff is possible in the next month or so.  

And having set the record straight on that topic, let’s move on to this interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘What is Your Schedule, God?’ The first time I read it, I had to laugh because it applies so appropriately to my present position and no doubt to some of you readers also. 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord Many years ago Martin Luther King said “It is God’s nature To make something out of nothing. That is why God cannot make anything Out of him who is not yet nothing.” In ways I had never anticipated, Lord Slowly but persistently You continue Your hammering and crushing In every hidden crevice of my life. 

You seem determined To reduce me to nothing In order to make something. I wonder… What is Your schedule, God? As You creatively continue To reshape and remake me How long will it last? Lord, could You hurry a little’ 

My sentiments exactly my people! It’s taking a rather long time for Him to complete His renovations in me! Oh I know that I will be a much better person, both physically and spiritually when He’s done, but did I need so much work, that it’s taking so long? (smile) I guess He seems to think so. And He’s the Boss, the Renovator, so there’s not much I can do but grin and bear it, knowing that He’s faithfully promised that He eventually will work out all things for our good. 

Even the bad stuff, He’ll make eventually work in our favour. And there’s also this other important and incomparable promise found in the Bible verse for today’s poem, which is also our Bit for today. In the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, our God is not a wishy-washy deity, who just does things vikey-vie, but an outstanding and upstanding Father figure who has an airtight plan and completes what He begins! That means that though I’ve been going through some rough times as He renovates me, and it seems to be taking a rather long time, I can yet be assured that he will finish those renovations in His own timing. 

We all know that His timing and ours very seldom coincide; (smile) we want it done now for now, but He’s in no rush whatsoever. That’s why He gives us His powerful grace to bear up under such tough and unwanted conditions. 

Now hear what the scholars say about our Bit. ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

Give our great God some thanks and praise my brethren, because He also has a purpose in saving us, and that purpose will neither be ‘abandoned nor unrealized!’ Wow! You can bet your bottom dollar on that! The Lord will continue working in and on each of us until Jesus comes back to claim His birthright! Isn’t that good news? Yes, it sure is wonderful news, to know that our heavenly Father is on the ball, even though we may not like what His work entails in our earthly days. 

But we’ve just got to hang on to those promises of His, the many promises found in His awesome Word, like those above and like He’ll never leave nor forsake us, will always comfort us, give us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, keep us safe under His mighty wings from the always lurking enemy and life’s inevitable storms, just like a mother hen protects her chicks! And the list goes on and on my faithful followers of Christ! 

Remember, we are partners in this life with our Maker; that means He has a part to do, and we also have our part to do. And as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘God will not do our part, and we can’t do His part, though we often try to!’ And that’s gospel truth friends! So our part of the covenant is to hold on tightly to the promises of the Almighty, and walk obediently to His will, regardless of the circumstances, and just let Him get on with His renovation and renewal of our lives. 

Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours and a thousand days in His sight is like one in ours, so we will very seldom see eye to eye. (smile) But all will turn out well if we just believe and hold steadfast to His Word! It’s not always easy to do, but He’s also given us the grace and the help of His Holy Spirit do it. So let’s stop complaining and just get with the programme nuh! Jesus didn’t have it easy, so why should we have it so eh? No reason whatsoever! 

So let’s smarten up, and with the Lord’s strength and joy in our hearts, let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, telling the whole world our wonderful and enviable position in the Lord Jesus Christ, our most wonderful Leader and Saviour! 

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 please remember, that future will be even more glorious than we can think or imagine! Way to go mih people! Much LOVE!

…a house built on sand will not stand…but one built on the rock that’s Jesus…will surely last forever…

P.S. Yuh see what happens when you all get the ole fella excited…he just keeps on writing…(smile)  Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2018 Psalm 119:80.

Psalm 119:80.    Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

 

Oh mih people, would somebody please explain it to me, because I obviously have not been granted the heavenly wisdom to understand the ramifications of this mind-boggling situation! And I’m talking about how a body can go to bed feeling perfectly fine – well not perfect perfect, but fairly decent – then some five or six hours later wake up racked with pain in body and soul, reduced to moving around like a doddering old man? 

Oh, I know some of you will say than I am old, so that’s no surprise… But please, I beg to differ. I’ll grant that I’m somewhat aged, (smile) but nowhere enough yet to be doddering! And to make matters worse, while lying there contemplating the pain and getting up, I was seduced to stay in bed for another forty five minutes by a couple showers of seductive rain. Yes, it looks like it’s going to be a ‘riney’ day. But how fickle is the soul of man eh! (smile) 

And though I’ve asked the Lord a couple of times about this abnormal situation, I’ve gotten no answer, which leads me to thinking that He’s intimating to me, the same thing that He said to Bruh Paul, when he asked for relief from the thorn in his side. ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor.12:9a) 

And though I know that, and gratefully acknowledge it, it still doesn’t ease the pain. (smile) I guess the Lord’s waiting for me to say like Bruh Paul did after receiving that Bit of info. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor.12:9b-10)  

Oh my brethren, I’m trying, but I’m nowhere close to Bruh Paul’s maturity nuh, and the Lord knows it. So I’m not going to fool myself by saying all those things that he says above. I’m just going to move around as best as I can, grin and bear the pain, and/or cry out for mercy, (smile) and have faith for the Lord to make ALL things right as He’s faithfully promised. 

Now let’s hope that I have enough space to write what I really intended to write, before the Holy Spirit led me to write what I’ve actually written. (smile) And it’s a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘Three Unalterable Truths.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, through the years Of walking hand-in-hand with You I have learned three unalterable truths: First, what you command me to do You consistently expect me to do. Never do you say, “Give the command a fair try.” Nor do You say, “Consider and then decide.” My natural weakness is never An acceptable excuse. Nor is my inability To reach unreachable standards. Rather, You tell me to seek And then to keep your commands. 

Second, all of Your commands Are always for my ultimate good. “Obey me,” Your Word says “So that I can do for you All the wonderful things I promised…” “In the keeping of My Word There is great reward.” Third, whatever You command me to do You fully enable me to do. As You give light to reveal a command So you give grace to fulfill it. Your divine energy is always at my disposal. The choice to obey is always mine. The power to obey is always Yours.’ 

And the sad, humorous and glorious fact friends, is ALL of that is indisputably true! When the Lord gives us a command, He expects us to obey without a lot of hemming and hawing, as we so often tend to do. And that’s simply because He never asks us to do something without giving us His powerful grace to enable us to do it. 

And the best part of it all my brethren is when we obey with alacrity and faith, there are innumerable rewards to be reaped from His magnanimity and outrageous generosity! Give Him His much deserved glory my people! And the Bible Promise associated with that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.’ 

Yes my brethren, being blameless in keeping the Lord’s principles is something we should all aspire to. And don’t worry, He knows that we’re not perfect, because He didn’t make us perfect, but He does expect us to try and get as close to perfection as is humanly possible. It’s all in the state of our hearts friends. As Cousin Sol warns: ‘Keep (look after) thy heart (and mind) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:23. Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.’ Gospel truth that my fellow believers! 

And remember the Lord doesn’t go by our outward actions, He searches our hearts and minds to discover our true motives. That’s why we have to cry out like Bruh David did in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 

And having taken all of that to heart (smile), let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE with the rest of the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is still waiting for us to show our true colours…to be the salt…and the light of the world…as He asked us to be…

P.S. It’s certainly been a smiley day! But why not eh? That’s why the Lord gave us the wonderful ability of smiling…to smile! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2018 Psalm 20:7.

Psalm 20:7.   Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
And it all looks so beautiful; the pristine white powder spread all over the land, unsullied by humans, virginal, you’d say! And when the sun shines against it, it gives off a brilliant light…like a million diamonds! 
But all that beauty is deceptive friends, for the snow, like our number one enemy, Lucifer is a great deceiver. It takes you in with its beauty, and when you succumb to the temptation, it snakes out its octopus arms and ties you up ten ways from Sunday! (smile) 
Yeh friends, we’ve been hit with another snowstorm, but that’s what winter is all about. But all jokes aside, please be careful if you have to go out in it, because though it looks beautiful, it can be very dangerous for both pedestrians and motorists. 
Now here is a li’l something from someone and somewhere that I can’t remember, but it ought to be the gospel truth if you are a believer. It says: ‘I believe in the sun, even when I don’t see it. I believe in LOVE, even when I don’t see it. I believe in God, even when He is silent.’ 
Yeh mih people, God is often silent in our lives, but that doesn’t mean He is not around us and we should give up on Him. It just means that He is working on stuff in the background, and when He is ready, we will hear from Him, loud and clear. 
So my brethren, if you are going through a particularly rough time and you don’t seem to be seeing or hearing from God in your situation, please don’t fear and give up hope. For He has faithfully promised to never leave nor forsake us, and He NEVER will. He’s probably just testing your faith. 
And remember He has also promised to work all things out for the good of those who LOVE Him and are called to His purpose. So just hang in there, trust completely and faithfully in the One who sacrificed His life for us on the cross of Calvary. As I keep asking, if Christ could do make a sacrifice of such magnitude on our behalf, then why wouldn’t He help us in our trying times eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 
Therefore, as Bruh David says so eloquently and faithfully in our Bit: ‘Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.’ And that’s exactly how it ought to be! 
And why is that? Because as Bruh David says before our Bit: ‘Now I know that the Lord saveth his anointed (Messiah, commissioned one); he will hear (answer) him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.’ (Ps.20:6) And that’s no lie friends! Our God will save those who depend and rely on Him, because He has promised to do just that. 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit, beginning way back when Moses was teaching the people how to live under God’s law. ‘When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified of them; for the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ (Deut.20:1-4) 
Oh precious people of God, it couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that! When we come up against our enemies, we must remember that it is our God who is there to fight for us and save us. That part of the equation is entirely in our hands; we must have the faith to believe it, before it comes to pass. 
Now hear Cousin Sol: ‘There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety (deliverance) is of the Lord.’ (Prov.21:30-31) Glory be, my fellow believers!  
As the scholars explain: ’21:31. Military preparedness is useless apart from the Lord, who really gives the victory.’ And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Amen! So let it be!’ 
Mean while Isaiah declares: ‘Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help: and stay (rely) on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!’ (Is.31:1) Yeh friends, Isaiah is decrying the ones who would seek Egypt for help, when God, not Egypt is the One who will defend Judah. 
And finally these truthful words of the psalmist: ‘There is no king saved by a multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing (false hope) for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy, 
To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’  (Ps.33:16-22) 
Ahh, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra to the world and all therein, proudly letting them know who and whose we are. 
In loud voice and sincere belief: ‘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!’
Wow! What a blessed life we lead my brethren! Now let’s go out and share Jesus and His extraordinary LOVE with the rest of the world. Much LOVE!
 
…without hope, faith and trust…LOVE is impossible…

 

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