Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2019 John 1:14.

John 1:14.    ​And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
 

And since there are only seven days in a week, it is expected that we’d come back to the first one, Sunday, in a mere seven days time. (smile) Yeh, I know it seems to come around too quickly for our liking, but that’s the way our wise and wonderful God made it, so we had better learn to accept it with a good attitude. I think that the Lord, since He created us, also knew that our batteries would only stay charged for that long, so we’d not be of much use to Him unless we were recharged every week. And that’s why He chose Sunday as a day of rest, for us to come and fellowship and worship, and praise and give thanks and be refreshed and recharged so that we can go out in the following week with restored confidence and enthusiasm. 

Anyway, enough palaver, (smile) let’s get the show on the road. And today we’re going to open with one of our favourite Christmas hymns: ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing,’ that rousing number from the pen of the master hymnist, Charles Wesley (1707-1788). So what we waiting for eh? Let’s belt it out nuh, with strong harmonious voices and sincere hearts, as we think on Jesus’ First Coming at Christmas time. 

‘Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King: peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”) Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb: veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the ‘incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel. 

[Refrain] Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” 

Ah friends, that was indeed a rousing rendition of that ageless ditty! Now I’m going to strive to show Wesley’s mastery of the scriptures by pointing out some of the timeless and important verses he used to cobble the whole thing together. We’ll take it stanza by stanza. In stanza one he relies on the words of Luke and 2 Corinthians. ‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. ‘ (Luke 2:13-14) 

‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit (that is), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them (forgiving them): and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor.5:18-19)  And was that ever a wonderful day when Christ was born and the Lord removed all hostility caused by sin, between Himself and mankind and thus allowed a renewed and right relationship! 

And for the second stanza, he uses verses like this one: ‘Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under elements of the world (the rudimentary teachings of the law). But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.’ (Gal. 4:3-5) In God’s time, He sent His Son, born of a woman, under the law, to die for our sins. 

And the second verse also reflects this potent scripture in John. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14) Yes Friends, through Christ’s incarnation (miracle birth), the world saw the Father in all His glory, through the Son, who was both human and God at the same time! 

And we all know where the beginning of verse three hails from; the mighty prophecy of Isaiah: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’ (Is. 9:6) And Malachi is also in there: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ (Mal. 4:2) 

Then these words from Philippians also play a part in Wesley’s thinking. ‘Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:6-8) And this verse from 1 Peter also seems to have some bearing on the last stanza. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet. 1:3) 

So my Christian brethren, you see that a good knowledge of God’s word is an invaluable tool in our lives! If Wesley didn’t know the Good Book as well as he did, he’d never be able to write such a marvellous and all-embracing hymn. That’s why we have to strive diligently to learn the Word, for only when it’s safely ensconced in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, are we able to work wonders on God’s behalf. Much LOVE!

…Christmas is only the beginning…of our heavenly journey…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 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.
 

Oh friends it’s Cyber Monday… Yeah Cyber Monday! Another day the captains of commerce have dreamed up to steal your money and put you deeper in debt! Last Friday, Black Friday, they had you visiting the bricks and mortar, the actual physical stores, so you can rush and push each other and stir up mayhem. On Cyber Monday though, it’s a whole different ballgame; they rob you in cyber-space, virtual reality, where they fool you into thinking that something is out there, when it’s only a sleight of hand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just one word of warning; remember if you fall for their evil wiles and schemes, you will most likely have many murky and miserable Mondays in your future, where you struggle to get up and go to work so you can pay for the stuff you bought on Black Friday and Cyber-Monday, a lot of which you did not need, but unfortunately got caught up in the contrived scenes and thus made unwise, spur of  the moment decisions. End of lecture! 

And I guess today is as good a day as any to begin crying out for help, since I’m sure some of you have already visited the websites and purchased stuff, so now you need some assistance to get out there and work to pay for it. (smile) With all of that in mind then, let’s approach the throne of grace, humbly but confidently, and declare (steups!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, a poignant and powerful prayer for the help we so badly need. 

As one voice 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 thankfully we have a LOVING, forgiving, merciful and gracious God oui! One who listens to our sincere prayers and answers them all, though not necessarily the way we want them answered, but always in our best interest. And one prayer He will always answer in the affirmative is one for help to go out and do His will, to share His Word with others, to tell the world about His most wonderful Son, Jesus! That’s why we are now experiencing a sudden lifting of our spirits and a burgeoning desire, backed by loads of enthusiasm, to get out into the world and give them heck in Jesus name! (smile) 

Yes my faithful brethren, in answer to our sincere prayer, the Holy Spirit of God is moving within us so that we can go out and accomplish God’s plan and purpose for our lives. And He does have individual plans for each of His children, as well as a general plan that we should all grow to be like Jesus, moving from glory to glory. And one of the great truths about our God is that stated by Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) 

And if there’s one thing I can personally testify to friends, it’s God’s overwhelming faithfulness! He asked me to write the Bit, and without fail, for the last 13 years, He’s helped me write it everyday! You couldn’t get anymore faithful than that. Meanwhile, the scholars offer this explanation of the verse: ‘1:9. Unto the fellowship of his son: The term ‘fellowship’ includes both union and communion. The Corinthian believers had been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this great truth implies that they had been brought into communion with one another. Here in a nutshell is the theme of this epistle.’ 

That means, all those who accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, are a part of one big, united family, which we called the body of Christ, or His church. And Bruh Paul also exuded supreme confidence in God, when he told 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.’ What a wonderful and faithful God we serve and worship my people! He will never stop whatever good work He’s begun in us until Jesus returns. Glory be! 

Now hear the scholars: ‘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 or unrealized.’ 

And all God’s people gratefully shouted: ‘Glory to our great God! Give Him thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness!’ So let’s go out today and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of His ever-LOVING heart! Much LOVE!

…the best way to show gratitude for God’s faithfulness…is through our own faithfulness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2019 Proverbs 1:7.

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

Well thank the Lord for eyes that opened again this Friday morning unto another new day in God’s great universe! Although I don’t think that many of us found the time to do it for real, since we were, and are still too occupied with the man-made commercial day called Black Friday! Ah Lord eh, another day to spend our money, or rather get into debt foolishly for things we don’t need, another snare of supposed sales to get you into the stores and spend what you don’t have. And it’s become so big over the last few years that even in Canada now it’s taken over, ostensibly to stop the northerners from going south to spend their hard earned cash and credit. 

And sadly, it just shows up man’s wild beast behaviour, as we rush and push and fight, and even kill to be the first into the stores, for the storekeepers are smart enough to only advertise a few items at a true sale price, so that mayhem can erupt at their doors. I don’t know how many Thanksgiving Day parties ended early so the participants could go and line up early for Black Friday Door Crashers! 

But let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say about all of that nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again oui! That means the weekend is here, and there’s no more work! And please doh tell me no nonsense about Black Friday eh! I work hard enough for my money, ah not going to go and throw it away now and buy stuff I don’t really need. And on top of that, to get out early and rush and push to get the few items on sale. 

No way Jose! Too much violence does go on in that Black Friday business nowadays yes! It just have we behaving like wild animals…even worse than wild animals, the way we fight each other to get in the stores and them. Steups! Let them do their do yes! I not going nowhere no stores today! I’m just going home after work, as usual, and just enjoy mih weekend, making my preparations for the real big and worthwhile celebration…Christmas! Would you believe Christmas just round the corner! Mamacita! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui people!’ 

And who says the workingman isn’t wise in his own simple way eh? There’s nothing that says you need a lot of education to be wise. In fact, in these foolish and tremulous times, more education seems to equal less wisdom. But thankfully there’s a group that specializes in wisdom, (smile) true believers in Christ Jesus. Although I’m sure many supposed believers are involved in the Black Friday crush. (smile) Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can show the world that we’re somewhat different. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s wisdom personified! If you are sincerely and diligently trying to do the will of Almighty God, then you are certainly numbered among the wise by those in heaven, though not necessarily by those on earth. But heaven is where it truly matters, since this earth will eventually pass away, but heaven, God’s Word and His Will, will not. That’s why Cousin Sol in his Book of Proverbs specified these awesome words of wisdom right at the very beginning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ 

Oh my people, that is indeed gospel truth! If you believe that the Lord made the universe and all therein it, then to know what the universe is all about, you must first know what’s Creator is all about. I think that’s simple logic. But hear how the scholars explain that verse. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Oh friends, how I wish that a much larger portion of this fractious world’s population truly feared, showed a reverential awe of the Lord! Then most of the nonsense that’s now happening would not even exist. And Job said it thus in his discourse on the subject. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price (value) thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.’ (Job 28:12-13) 

Then after evaluating the pros and cons of the matter (vs. 14-25) Job finally saw the light and announced: ‘When he (God) made a decree (set a limit) for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder (thunderbolt); Then did he see it (wisdom), and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) How much clearer can it get eh people? Not a whole lot! 

Now hear the psalmist: ‘He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’ (Ps.111:9-10) 

There’s nothing left for me to say nuh friends, since great men of God have already declared the truth of the matter. All I can do now is to implore us to diligently seek the Lord, seek His face, seek His amazing wisdom though a sincere and reverential awe, so that wisdom can be ours, this day…and forever more! Much LOVE!

…you can’t know the created…until you know the Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).
 

Come Sunday morning, we’re going to the house of the Lord, to have sweet fellowship with other believers. And there we will encourage each other, as we sing and dance and praise His holy name, while giving thanks for His faithful mercies and compassions that are new each and every day. And by the hearing of His life-giving Word, our minds will be renewed, our faith will grow stronger, and we shall be uplifted in soul, body and spirit! Glory be my people! There’s no one place beside the Lord’s sanctuary that we can go and leave so strong and refreshed. That’s because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh. 8:10) And in His house, His joy resonates like nowhere else. (smile) 

And this morning, to get us going, we’re going to sing a rather poignant and soul-searching hymn written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006). It’s titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if you’re a true believer, you know that’s the gospel truth! But before we get into the song, here is a li’l background on its composition. Apparently, in his early days of ministry, Mr. Peterson held a fairly high post  at a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position became available, and he was led to believe that it would be given to him. But as so often happens, someone from outside was eventually brought in to fill it. 

Obviously he was broken-hearted and struggled to keep a good attitude. To make matters even worse, he happened to spend an evening with that new man, and though he seemed to be a decent sort, for some reason that night he made some caustic, unfeeling remarks that obviously hurt Mr. Peterson. And as he sat at home, later that evening, contemplating all the recent hurting and negative experiences, a terrible feeling of being alone and forsaken overcame him. 

But then suddenly, in his own words: “I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation – in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as He did. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write.” 

Only with Jesus, yes friends, only with Jesus, can that kind of experience be experienced! Now let’s sing what he wrote, in a sincere, soulful and heartfelt manner. Altogether now, let’s raise our earthly voices to heaven and acknowledge Jesus’ Kingship and Lordship over the earth and all therein! 

‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. (Chorus) 

No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

Oh my people, what words of indisputable truth! No one cares like Jesus! When the hard, dark times come, as they do for all of us, the best source of comfort, care and healing is certainly the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For He is the Great Healer, the Great Comforter, the Great Carer…in fact He is the Great I AM, the Great EVERYTHING! Glory to God! Just like the Lord’s sanctuary is a one stop-shop, likewise Jesus is a one stop healing and caring and comforting station. In your deepest sorrow, He is the best one to run to, for He will NEVER turn you away, but will instead welcome you with wide opened arms. 

And there are no better words to describe His compassion and care than His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Ah people, if you don’t take advantage of that glorious invitation, then, as the old people would say, yuh not righted, yuh mental! Yeh! Is only crazy people who wouldn’t accept such a wonderful, life-giving, life-saving invitation! 

And yuh know what, long before Jesus ever came to earth, Bruh David’s been saying the same thing. Listen to him in Psalm 55; his plaintive cry against deceitful friends. ‘The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken). But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody (bloodthirsty) and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.’ (Ps. 55:21-23) And friends, we all know how Bruh David overcame his many enemies through that sincere trust in Almighty God. 

And after Jesus, Peter, with his own problems of denying Jesus, received healing, comfort and forgiveness, thus he could later on declare: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And if you can’t believe the words of Bruh David, Peter and Jesus, then all that’s left for me to say is… Much LOVE!

…like mothers care greatly for their children…so does our heavenly Father care greatly for His children…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2019 Mark 7:9.

Mark 7:9.    ​Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
 

Oh friends, looks like it’s going to be another cold, dreary, sunless, cloudy day in my neighbourhood! But the good news is that the harbinger of the weekend, Friday, is here! Glory be! And we do have Jesus Christ dwelling within us, so that makes it doubly good! (smile) Yes, whatever the weather might be, we can, and we will handle it with great aplomb. That’s because, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we have the self assurance and confidence to handle whatever comes against us. He’s faithfully promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, which means we have no need to worry or be overly anxious about anything! And all God’s children gave a grateful and sincere shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!’ 

Now that’s something believers should always do. Anyway, since it’s Friday, we know the workingman is just dying to sing his song, so let’s listen to him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend has come around just in time, cause the foolish winter weather’s been getting me down. Wasn’t prepared for the snow and ice and bundling up in plenty warm clothes just yet. Oh, I know it was coming, but thought I had more time to get acclimatized. But with temperature change and all the other idiosyncrasies happening in the world today, one never knows where one stands, or what’s going to happen. 

It’s certainly not like long time when everything was lined up properly and you didn’t have as many surprises as nowadays. But the long and short of the story is that this is the weekend, and if I let the weather, or anybody spoil it, then that’s my problem. So I’m just going to eat up and drink up and have a good time… Hn, hn, hn! Not like Thanksgiving weekend though, because I still remember that tragic feeling of dying from excessive partying. And the weather can do whatever it wants, just as long as it settles down on Monday, so I can go back to the slave master work without any hassles. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh mih people, too much of anything is no good! I’m glad to hear though that the workingman has learned his lesson. (smile) Yuh know, we never learn from the mistakes of others as quickly as we do from our own mistakes. And he would have kept on overdoing it until one day he actually dropped down from excessive partying. Now that’s why our Leader, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries in our lives. He doesn’t want us to go out to the thin end of the branch and have it break with us. 

Then we tumble down like Humpty Dumpty and they can’t put us back together again. It’s not to spoil our fun, like so many of us think, but merely a precaution to save us from the devil’s deceitful enticements. Remember the old but oh so true adage: ‘prevention better than cure.’ Now let’s sing our Friday Chant, which shows that we don’t need to go overboard to have fun. 

In full voice…let’s chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Oh precious people, all that is for our benefit, so that enemy doesn’t get a foothold in our lives and thus be able to run roughshod over them. But as I said earlier on, too many of us think that Jesus’ rules are just another way to clip our wings and prevent us from having fun. But why would He do that when He explicitly came to save us from our sinful deeds and lives eh? It’s the extra-curricular activities that afflict us. (smile) 

That’s why Christ rebuked the Pharisees an’ them by saying: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’ They were putting their traditions before God’s commandments, just like we’re doing today. So many of our traditions run counter to God’s commands, but yet we follow them without blinking an eye. 

And Jesus pointed out one particular case: ‘For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whoso curseth Father or mother, let him die the death (be put to death): But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift (dedicated to the temple), by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer (allow) him no more to do aught (anything) for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none (no) effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered (handed down): and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:10-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘7:11-12. Jews could evade responsibility to parents by declaring (steups!) their substance Corban, “devoted to God.” Religious leaders evidently condoned this clear circumvention of both the letter and intent of the Old Testament.’ How sad and evil was that friends! But don’t go quickly condemning the religious leaders of old, because we today are doing the same blooming thing! How many parents are left nowadays in the lurch by their children…for whatever they consider good reason…too many! It’s just more convenient for us to ignore them; economically, physically and emotionally. But yet we expect to reap God’s promises of long life. 

Ah mih people, paying for them in a nursing home but not going to visit them is not honouring them in God’s eyes. As the scholars explain verse 13; ‘Jesus quarrel was not with God’s word, but with human misuse of it.’ And there are many examples today where we do the very same thing; misuse God’s Word to serve our selfish purposes. But as they say, you can only lead a horse to water – like I’m trying to do here – but you can’t make it drink. Let’s hope the Word of God will do that. Much LOVE!

…unless you sow…what’s in God’s Word…you won’t reap His promises…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

All together now: ‘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.’ 

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Previous Older Entries