Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2018 Psalm 144:9.

Psalm 144:9.   I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

To go or not to go? That is the question: whether, on this summer Sunday morning, I should stay in my warm, comfortable bed, roll over and go back to sleep, or make a determined effort to roll out, get dressed and go to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise and worship, give thanks and fellowship with other faithful believers? 

Hn! Oh friends, I daresay that many of us are facing that question, or have already faced it. Let’s hope that your reaction was, or will be the wise one; getting up and going to church. And while there you sincerely open your heart and soul to your heavenly Father, and you also take in all that He has to offer, so you can leave there stronger, more faithful and full of confidence. 

And today friends, in our li’l get together, we’re going to open the proceedings the way we always do, by softening up our hearts in song, making them more receptive to God’s word, by first giving Him thanks and praise. And we’re going to do exactly what our Bit tells us to do: ‘I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.’ 

Oh what a joy it is to sing unto the Lord my brethren, especially a new song, one that He hasn’t heard us sing before, because then He is eagerly looking forward to the praise we have to offer. Yuh know that’s one of the reasons He created us; to praise Him? So let’s not keep Him waiting any longer nuh, let’s belt out this new song with strong voices and sincere hearts. 

As one soulful choir now: ‘(Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) The Lord’s people dance for joy. O come before the Lord And play for Him on glad tambourines and let your trumpets sound. (Chorus) 

Rise, O children from your sleep your Saviour now has come. He has turned your sorrow to joy, and filled your soul with song. (Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) 

Yes my people, that’s the way it ought to be! The Lord is good and merciful and LOVING, so His people should show their appreciation and gratefulness by dancing before Him with joy! That reminds me of when Bruh David danced before the Lord with all his might when they brought up the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam.6:14) 

And the Lord just LOVES His music, so it’s a no-brainer that we should play happily and sweetly on our musical instruments and thus bring Him pleasure. So let those tambourines jangle, the harps sing and the trumpets sound out! An’ yuh see, even the song says we must rise up from our sleep, because our Saviour, Jesus has come! Glory be! 

And what’s even better, is that He has turned our sorrow to joy, and filled our souls with song! Mama Mia! How can we beat that eh friends? No way! And as I keep saying, with a Saviour like Jesus, and all that He’s done for us, we Christians should be the happiest people in the world! Joy should be our watchword; ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength,’ (Neh.8:10) And since we know that salvation has been granted and eternal life is waiting in heaven, our earthly life should be just one big sing along! (smile)  

Like the Good Book says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp; sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (a shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5) And there is no disputing any of that my people! 

And now hear Bruh David in Psalm 40 nuh –Praise for answered prayer. ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (my steps). And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps.40:1-4) 

Ah friends, that’s the power of trusting in the Lord: you cry out to Him in patient and sincere trust, and He raises you up, and puts a new song in your soul, so you can praise Him even more! Glory to our heavenly Father! 

And we’ll end with this wonderful advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

We couldn’t get any better advice than that nuh friends, so let’s take it to heart and put it into action today nuh! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing our God LOVES more…than us giving Him sincere thanks and praise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2017 Acts 1:5.

Acts 1:5.   For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Welcome friends to Pentecost Sunday; that great day in our faith, fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, when the Holy Spirit made its miraculous entry into the lives of each and every believer at the time, in Jerusalem, the city of God! 

Wow! What a momentous and memorable day that was my fellow believers! Before His ascension, Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem so that they could be baptized with the Holy Spirit. ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And as loyal followers they obeyed His command and stayed in Jerusalem, and were they ever amazed by the happenings on that fateful day. 

Hear how the Good Book puts it nuh. ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose of mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Can you imagine that scene on that fateful Sunday friends? It must have been literally and figuratively mind blowing with the sudden appearance of a mighty rushing wind, the cloven tongues of fire and all of a sudden their ability to speak in other languages! Glory to God for His omnipotence and His awesome generosity to His people! 

Now let’s clarify a couple of things. Jesus said in our Bit that the disciples would be ‘baptized’ with the Holy Ghost, but on Pentecost Day the Good Book says they were ‘filled’ with the Holy Ghost. I’ll try to paraphrase a long explanation that the scholars offer. ‘2:4. The filling and baptism are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. 

Note their contrasts: (1) Following Pentecost every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:13), hence the New Testament never commands the Christian to receive it. But the filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers, and so is commanded (Eph.5:18). 

(2) The baptism is permanent, happening but once for all. The filling is ongoing, occurring continuously as seen in the present tense imperative of Ephesians 5:18, that is, “Keep on being filled.” The verse commands: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (riotousness), but be filled with the Spirit.” 

Since Paul compares the influences of wine and the filling of the Spirit, the word ‘control’ can aptly express the idea of either. The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. Such control is neither universal nor unending, thus it must be commanded and does recur within the believers… 

The baptism is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit, at conversion brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer a part of God’s people, the church. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christian whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.’

Phew! Hope you all understand that friends. I guess we can compare it somewhat to God breathing life into us ONE time, but then we have to keep on refilling our lungs with air, if we want to stay alive. 

Yes my brethren, Jesus’ words certainly came true, as just before He ascended to heaven, He told them: ‘But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

And they certainly made mas (smile) in Jerusalem that day, (read the rest of Acts 2) and around the country later on, and we are now spreading the gospel of Jesus to all parts of the world with the aid of technology! Glory Hallelujah! 

Oh friends, I know it’s our custom to begin each Sunday with some praise and worship, but today I was filled with, controlled by the Holy Spirit to do it differently. (smile) I was so enthused by the Spirit’s working in me, that I had to get to the heart of the matter right away. (smile) 

And Oh, our church held a wonderful Pentecost Prayer Breakfast yesterday morning, with plenty good food, music, and fellowship from several other churches and denominations, plus a couple of Muslim leaders. And it was all rounded out by a moving address on ‘Prayer,’ by our new Bishop, Jennifer Anderson. As usual, a fine time was had by all. And I’m sure Jesus was delighted by that little bit of unity shown by His church, instead of the disunity we are so prone to show. 

Now let’s go home singing one of the songs we sang yesterday. And how appropriate it is eh on this Pentecost Day! So let’s raise out voices in song, and pour forth, the peace, joy, and LOVE that fills our Spirit. 

‘I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul. I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul, I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean, I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul. I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul, I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain, I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul.’ 

And that’s the way it ought to be my people! So let’s go out now and faithfully spread that peace, LOVE and joy the way Jesus desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…when the Spirit moves you…you’re helpless to resist…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2015 1 John 1:9‏‏‏

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ah Friends, the ole fella is somewhat slow and doddering this chilly Tuesday morning in Holy Week. So please cut him some slack, have a heart, show him a li’l LOVE nuh. (smile) But the caffeine is hot and strong and sweet, and our great God is still in control, which means that all is well. Praise the Lord!

And when I say that our God is something else it’s true, for He just provided me with a lead in to what I want to preamble about today; laughter; laughter in times of trouble. I was just outside putting out the garbage and chuckling at my slow doddering steps. Hn, Hn!
 
Ah mih people, it’s not easy, but please remember that our GOD IS GOOD; He will provide for us in each and every circumstance. He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, and He faithfully keeps all of His promises.
 
Now listen to this quote attributed to Ed Howe, and though I found several Ed Howes in my research, I do believe the one we’re looking for is Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937), an American novelist, magazine and newspaper editor. Howe is quoted as saying ‘That if you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old.’
 
Ah mih breddren, that is so true that it’s not funny. If we don’t learn to laugh at some of our problems, especially when we encounter a chronic illness, we will be continually miserable and have nothing to laugh at in our winter years.
 
Thankfully, I learned that truth at a fairly early age, possibly because of the early onset of some back and knee problems, and over the years have developed that attitude. So when the aches and pains set in, though they can be very trying, I still manage to chuckle at them, while asking the Lord what’s next?
 
I don’t usually get an answer, but I know that He empathizes with my condition, and He is definitely the One who has kept me going all these years, and will keep me going for as long as it takes to fulfill His plan for my life. Glory to God!
 
So my brethren, I’d advise us to develop that attribute of laughter, for it’s often the best remedy for whatever ails us, and it’s certainly free and readily available at all times.
 
Now here’s another remedy that’s also readily available, this time for our biggest problems, our sins. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Wow! What a promise my people! And it’s the gospel truth, since our God does not lie, and has put the necessary systems in motion by sacrificing His Son Jesus as atonement for our abominable transgressions.
 
What more can we ask eh? Nothing really my fellow believers! Everything’s set in place, we just have to come to the throne of grace and ask for mercy and forgiveness and it will be granted. But foolishly, too many of us refuse to do that, that’s why we’re still tied up, mired in the quicksand that’s life.
 
Oh Friends, the only way out of that mire is by accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of your life, both physically and spiritually. With that acceptance comes a brand new life, you’re become a new creation in Christ; (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15) with new values, new ways of thinking, accomplished by putting Christ first and foremost in all your doings.
 
Anyway, I want to close off these messages on the confession of our sins with a dramatic rendering of Jesus on the subject. This occurs when He talks about a house divided cannot stand.
 
‘He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
 
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world (age), neither in the world to come.’ (Matt.12:30-32)
 
Oh Friends, strong words indeed from our Saviour!
 
And we’ll let the scholars explain that for us. ‘12:31-38. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is deliberate rejection of Christ, His Spirit wrought miracles and His salvation. It is the ultimate sin that by its very nature puts a man beyond the opportunity of salvation.
 
The Holy Spirit brings the offer of salvation to the heart of man. To reject Him is to act “presumptuously” and thus to “blaspheme” God. Those who reject His offer of salvation are in reality blaspheming the very nature of God Himself and the genuineness of His grace.’
 
Heavy stuff Friends!
 
And the scholars continue further with some basic Sins against the Holy Spirit. ’12:31-32. All sin is serious, and to some degree challenges and attacks the character and authority of God. But six sins are specifically identified as sins against the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is a person, He may be sinned against. Since He is also God, it is an extremely serious matter to be guilty of sinning against Him.
 
These six sins are blaspheming (vv.31-32; Luke 12:10), lying or tempting (Acts 5:4,9), despising (Heb.10:29), resisting or striving with (Gen.6:3; Acts 7:51), vexing or grieving (Is,63:10; Eph.4:30), and quenching (1 Thess.5:19) the Holy Spirit.
 
Illustration: Because of the severity with which Jesus describes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, some people unnecessarily fear that they may have committed the unpardonable sin. One of the characteristics of such sin is that the Holy Spirit ceases to convict of sin in one’s life – so the fact that someone may be concerned about a particular sin indicates he is not beyond grace. He should immediately repent of that sin to restore fellowship with God.
 
Application: The keys to not sinning against the Holy Spirit are to: (1) be led by the Spirit, (2) be filled with the Spirit, and (3) be illuminated by the Spirit. (First Reference, Gen.6:3; Primary Reference, John 16:13).’
 
Oh Friends, that is wonderful information, please accept it and follow it up by reading those Bible references, I just did, and they’re very enlightening and encouraging. That’s your homework for today. (smile)
 
Seriously though my people, if you want to truly understand the Lord’s Word you have to spend time in it; reading, pondering, questioning, and inwardly digesting it, so that it can become a natural way of life for you. A lot of us just pay minimal attention to the Word, but expect to be illuminated and enlightened, but that only comes with serious study.
 
So let’s decide to do that due diligence nuh my people, so that the Word can guide us through the Holy Spirit to the land of the truly living and LOVING and serving God. That is the wisdom of heaven for all ages! Much LOVE!
 
…Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people…thou hast covered all their sin…Selah… (Ps.85:2)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2014 Romans 13:12

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  

Well Friends, it’s another beautiful morning in Paradise! Wow! Since I’ve been here that’s been a recurring occurrence. (smile) And would you believe that I’ve already been here for almost a week? I left T.O. last Wednesday night.

Mama! Time sure is moving fast! A little too fast for my liking though. I need it to slow down some, to just an easy walk, so that I can properly enjoy my time on God’s Little Acre, rather than the hustling pace it seems all geared up for.
 
And by the way, I  finally experienced my first rainfall since I arrived. Sometime last evening, while we were inside, we suddenly heard an unexpected loud, drumming kind of noise on the roof, and wondered if it was rain, so I went outside to investigate the matter. And behold it was indeed heavenly blessing!
 
However, after a minute or so, it stopped just as suddenly as it had begun. It wasn’t all that surprising, because over the past week, there have been numerous dark rain clouds in the sky, but nothing has ever happened. Apparently the strong breezes simply blow them away. Even when I went outside earlier this morning, there were dark clouds hovering overhead, but soon thereafter, the sun rose in all its earthly morning splendour.
 
Ah mih people, as the Duchess and I keep on saying: ‘We could handle this, yuh know – on a long term basis.’ (smile) And hopefully, one day we will, provided it falls into line with God’s plan for our lives.
 
But enough of my frivolity, let’s get serious with Jesus’ work. And this morning I found this note amongst my papers, which I’m being guided to share with you. It looks like something I scribbled down from one of Uncle Charles’ (Charles Stanley) sermons. It talks about the 7 Priorities of Jesus’ Daily Decisions.
 
And they are: (1) He sought the Father. (2) He embraced the outcasts of society. (3) He restored broken lives. (4) He confronted hypocrites. And did He ever! (5) He taught God’s Word. (6) He served others in humility of spirit. (7) He equipped leaders – providing training in obedience and a desire to do God’s will.
 
So Friends, if we want to be more like Jesus, bring our character into greater conformity with His, then we too have to make those things our priorities. They’re not onerous goals, but they do take time, perseverance and patience to build, obviously with God’s help. And who knows how much time we have left on this earth eh – either in terms of our personal lives, or Jesus’ 2nd Coming?
 
For as our Bit so wisely and rightly reminds us. ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’
 
And as we saw yesterday, the night refers to Jesus’ absence from the world, when the evil power of Lucifer rules, while the day hails His joyous coming again. And without a doubt my fellow believer, from all the signs He’s given us, that day isn’t as far away as many of us believe.
 
And having heard Jesus’ serious pronouncement on the subject of His Second Coming yesterday, today we’re going to investigate some scriptures which encourage us to give up the foolish darkness of this world and wisely move into the blessed light of Jesus’ heavenly abode. 
 
Let’s begin with some powerful admonishing and ‘exhortatious’ words (smile – poetic licence- it just sounded better) from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, re the ways of a believer.
 
‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
 
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest (known) by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
 
See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit;
 
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear (reverence) of God.’ (Eph.5:6-21)
 
Oh Friends, I have to chuckle here because I never intended to use all of that scripture, but after reading it, I couldn’t find anywhere to break off and not lose the sense of the passage, since it all speaks so earnestly and appropriately to our Bit; being ready for Christ’s return, and the behaviour that’s necessary to achieve such a wonderful and important goal.
 
So please, let’s ponder all the stuff we’ve heard today, write them indelibly in our hearts, mind and souls, and walk accordingly, thereby bringing more righteousness to our lives and also improving our readiness for Jesus’ Second Coming. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to be truly ready for Jesus…we must daily walk like He walked…humbly doing good…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2013 Proverbs 20:1

Proverbs 20:1.    Wine is a mocker, strong (intoxicating) drink is raging (arouses brawling): and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
 
 Oh Friends, oh Friends I really don’t know where my head was this morning nuh; somewhere up in the clouds, I guess. But I can assure you it wasn’t clouded with fire water, though I probably need a shot to set me straight now. (smile) Thanks Cher for setting me straight.
 
Please ignore the first version of Today’s Bit, and I humbly and sincerely apologize for putting the wrong date. And would you believe that I usually check the day and date box at the bottom right hand corner of the computer before I start writing the Bit. Sometimes I even laugh at myself for doing it. Obviously I didn’t do it this morning, when I most needed it.
 
And today is Thursday, the first day of August 2013…and it’s raining. So what, you ask? Well let’s hope that it’s simply showers of blessing and cleansing, and by the time the dawn breaks, the rain will disappear and a big, bright, brilliant sun will appear above the horizon.
 
Remember Friends, it’s Emancipation Day in T&T, and Independence Day in J.A, as well as Caribana Weekend, the biggest weekend in T.O! Sorry, it’s Scotia Bank Carnival Weekend in T.O! The rights to the name Caribana have been in litigation for a few years now, and I guess the old administration has prevented the new one from using the title of Caribana. 
 
Anyway, the major part of the festivities begins tonight with the King and Queen of Carnival Show in Lamport Stadium. And since Lamport is an open air stadium, with no roof, we need good weather so that the festivities can go off properly. And the ole fella is looking forward to the Pan Contest on Friday, so the rain cannot be falling during the day time. 
 
Now let’s offer up this prayer for a good and clean Caribana. ‘Oh Father in heaven, we sincerely pray that you will allow the Caribana celebrations to go off without any serious problems. That everybody will have a good time, and their will be no aftermath of violence and recrimination. We pray this on the power of the spilled blood of Jesus at Calvary. Amen.’ 
 
And after writing that preamble, I opened the Good Book to seek a Bit, and lo and behold Friends, it opened amidst the proverbial wisdom of Cousin Sol, and the first words my eyes fell on were: ‘Wine is a mocker, strong (intoxicating) drink is raging (arouses brawling): and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’
 
And I just had to laugh, because God was obviously moving in one of His many mysterious ways, letting me know He wanted that verse of scripture to be Today’s Bit, to serve as a warning in these celebratory times against imbibing too much fire water, which causes us to become undisciplined and fall easy prey to Lucifer. The scholars suggest that ‘Wine is personified as a mocker because it deceives those who partake of it. It is contrary to wise living.’
 
But before we get into the Bit, let me share and interesting Jewish Proverb, which says: ‘From happiness to suffering is a step; from suffering to happiness is an eternity.’
 
And isn’t that the awful truth my people! We move from happiness to suffering so easily and so quickly that it boggles our minds. But moving from suffering back to happiness… Hn! That’s a completely different story. It indeed seems to take a lifetime.
 
And here’s a good example that ties in with our Bit, of how suffering can crop up out of the blue and spoil our lives. It comes from Noah’s story. ‘And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent’ (Gen. 9:20-21)
 
And we all know the results of that indiscretion. Ham, one of Noah’s sons, saw him naked, then went out and told his two brothers, Shem and Japheth, who took a robe, backed into their father’s tent and covered him without looking at his nakedness. Now when Noah recovered from his drunken spell and heard what had happened, he cursed Ham and his Canaanite descendants, cursing them to be forever servants of the other two brothers. (Gen. 9:22-29)
 
Now I find that somewhat unfair, because if Noah had not imbibed too much vino and blacked up, his nakedness would not have been exposed.
 
And the scholars have this note on vs.21: ‘Noah had been so faithful to God that it is unlikely that he did this deliberately. His drunken condition may have been a totally unexpected result of the changed environment after the Flood.’
 
I don’t buy that excuse. I’m sure Noah must have drunk wine before the flood and knew its grave potential. But who knows eh? His drunkenness did cause strife and enmity within his family. And unfortunately my brethren, drunkenness is still destroying families up to this day, possibly more so than in Noah’s time. 
 
Meanwhile, listen to Bruh Paul’s warning to the church at Ephesus on the subject. ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph.5:15-18)
 
And we’ll end with some wise words from the scholars. ‘5:18. The words, ‘be filled’ here mean ‘be continually filled,’ emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk, and sight are controlled by alcohol. God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God.
 
Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.
 
Illustration: As we establish our fellowship with God through confession of sins (1 John 1:9) and yield to Him, (Rom.6:13), we can be filled with the Spirit if that is our desire (Matt.5:6) and prayer (Luke 11:13).
 
Application: Every Christian should be filled with the Spirit in order that he may have God’s power to serve Him. (Acts 1:8). First Ref, Ex.35:31; Primary Ref, Eph. 5:18; cf. 1 John 2:27.)
 
Friends, please check out those scriptures for they are very interesting and revealing. Now let’s go out and be filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and not the fire water that Lucifer offers. That surely is wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!
 
…instead of turning to drink to drown his sorrows…man should turn to the Holy Spirit of God…for wise guidance…in every circumstance…