Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2020 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    ​and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

One more Monday…and one more day to dance around our turbulent and disaster ridden world! And though it would be easy to lose hope and give up, and get lost in the ungodly shuffle, that’s one avenue we cannot…must not go down, if we desire to successfully make it through to the end. And that applies especially to us believers in Christ Jesus, since He has placed an eternal moratorium, a total prohibition on giving up. Instead, He’s advised us to hold on to Him tightly – be the fruitful branch sturdily attached to His vine – and He will eventually fulfill all the promises He’s made – it’s simply a matter of time. 

So although dancing in these crazy times is indeed a difficult exercise, let’s remember how we felt when we first got saved nuh, when we first learned of all the sacrifices Jesus made for us and the promise we made to follow Him for the rest of our lives. Nothing has really changed, except we’re facing a few more trials, which He already warned us about. But please remember, He also told us not to worry about any of it, because He had already settled the matter in a victorious manner: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

But we do need to see out the trials in a strong, faithful and steadfast manner. Yes, that’s not an easy requirement, but with His omnipotent help, it’s very doable. As Bruh Paul declared in his prayer for the church at Philippi: ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making requests with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 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.’ (Phil. 1:3-6) 

Yes friends, there’s no doubt that the Lord will keep working in and on us until the day Christ returns. So let’s not be afraid or lose hope. But we also have a part to do in the whole partnership. And our part includes keeping hope alive, growing in faith, through reading His Word, prayer and fellowship. So let’s do some of that right now nuh by going to Him in prayer for comfort and sustenance through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

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 recently 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!’ 

And there’s no doubt that the Lord heard our plea and will respond favourably in His time. Until then though, we have to wait patiently on Him. As Bruh David says in Psalm 27: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) And we all know Bruh David practiced what he preached, and the Lord lifted him up, and He will do likewise for us, if we endure steadfastly to the end. 

Now here is another energizing and reassuring promise, this one from Christ Himself. ‘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) Oh my brethren, what a wonderful bit of scripture, known as the Great Invitation! It couldn’t get any better than that. But you have to accept it; it doesn’t just fall into your lap. 

However, here’s the piece de resistance, the most important part of the whole show; it’s found in what is known as the Great Commission: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: most and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) 

Yes friends, that just puts the icing on the cake! Jesus promises to be with us from the time we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour till eternity…whenever that might be! Reassurance from the most reassuring person in the universe! Again though, it’s up to you to accept and believe it. So let’s be wise and do just that in these calamitous times nuh, and thus quiet our hearts and minds. Much LOVE!

…what good is a gift…if one doesn’t accept it eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

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 18 October 2019 Proverbs 16:32.

Proverbs 16:32.   ​He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

 

Yeah, it’s Friday! And though the sun is struggling to get out from under the cloud cover, there is joy in the land, simply because it’s Friday and the workweek is ending! Thus, there are many ‘Praise the Lord’s!’ both sincere and insincere, (smile) ringing out from all parts of the world. And there’s none louder than that of the ordinary workingman, who never shies away from expressing his true feelings. 

And today, he shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! What a week it’s been! I ate and drank and partied so much this past Thanksgiving weekend, that I was truly sick come Tuesday and couldn’t go to the slave master’s work. Obviously he tried to give me a hard time when I showed up on Wednesday, but I just ignored him, because I have my sick time rights and this one was certainly legitimate. He feels that nobody should ever book off sick, because he loses money when they do. 

But when he books off sick is okay though, because he’s the boss… Chuh! Just forget the li’l greedy man yes! And yuh better believe this weekend is going to be strictly rest! I like mih food and drinks, but not to the extent that I want them to get me sick. I surely hope I learn mih lesson this time yes. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see what happen when we overdo it? Unwanted consequences usually come back to haunt us. As Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow; more than you sow, and later than you sow.’ And that’s the gospel truth! It holds in all situations in life! So let’s turn now to our Friday Chant nuh, which isn’t as verbose and in your face as the workingman’s song, but does do the trick for us believers. 

All together in true sincerity 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!’ 

Yes, we do need to be careful how we operate, because the enemy, like the roaring, toothless lion that he is, is always lurking around seeking ways to get into our lives and create havoc. And I have a very good testimony on that point to share. This morning as I was getting ready to write the Bit, my trusty desktop computer began playing the fool. It just would not access the Internet after booting up. 

And as the Lord would have it, I opened the Good Book and began flipping pages and just happened to stop in Proverbs 16…no I don’t think that just happened nuh, because the Word that I read plainly said: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’  

That was certainly more than mere coincidence, because every time I turned my computer off and on, and got no progress, I could feel the anger rising up in me and I wanted to give it a few good thumps. But with that scripture staring me straight in the face, and knowing that the Lord, or the enemy was testing my resolve, I managed to not thump it, and it did behave properly after the fifth or sixth time of turning it on and off. 

I believe the Lord saved me though, because I’m pretty sure that I would have thumped it if I had had to go through the annoying rigmarole one more time. (smile) So I passed the test…but just barely. And that’s the way this earthly life is my faithful brethren. Life just likes to test us, to muddy our waters and see how we react. 

Sometimes it’s the Lord, other times it’s the enemy. But whoever or whatever causes us to find ourselves between a rock and hard place, we need to be able to bring up scripture written indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, to help us handle them in a godly and sensible manner. And today we just going to check out a few of those scriptures that we need to have as our bedrock, our fortification against unnecessary anger. 

Hear Cousin Sol earlier on: ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit (impulsive) exalteth folly.’ (Prov.14:29) And that’s certainly no lie, as many of us have found out over the years. And just recently we featured these immortal verses from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:31-32) Words of eternal wisdom my brethren! 

Meanwhile James adds his two-cents worth thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And if you’re a true believer, you ought to know that. But listen to the scholars’ explanation anyway. 

‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ I hope we all hear that friends: anger distracts us from listening to God, and when we don’t listen to God, we go astray and end up suffering severe consequences. 

And here are some final words on the subject from Cousin Sol once again. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) Awright mih people, there’s the ammunition to fight the battle against anger, let’s go out and put it to good use now nuh! It’s Jesus’ desire for all His followers. Much LOVE!

…be ye angry…and sin not…let not the sun…go down upon your wrath… (Eph.4:26)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2019 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.
 

Brother does it ever look glorious outside! Thank the Lord! And a li’l rain fell yesterday afternoon and in the middle of the night, but that was just to wash away the dirt and grime and cool the temperature down. So we open with a bright clean new day, with Jesus as the one constant in our lives, the ONLY One we need, leading and guiding us in His work! 

And I know that many of us won’t see the bright new day until it gets old because we’re sleeping in on this wonderful Canada Day weekend Saturday morning. But that’s okay, you’re allowed! (smile) Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like this week he was all caught up in the throes of happiness, (smile) because all the quotes deal with some aspect of happiness. 

And the first thing we need to realize is that ‘Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.’ Now there’s much truth to that because our life is basically built on our attitude towards it. Some of us can go through certain circumstances and be happy, while others go through the same things and be miserable as hell. That’s why as Christians, we’re taught that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) 

With that joy constantly running through us, it gives us a steady kind of happiness, regardless of our circumstances, because our mind is stayed on the Lord. As Isaiah says: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is.26:3) And that’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy, get us away from concentrating on the Lord, because he knows that’s the source of our strength. 

Now hear these next two quotes, because they run together: ‘The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.’ And ‘Happiness depends upon us.’ They simply mean that we are responsible for our own happiness. We ought not to allow others to control our happiness by their selfish machinations. 

The sad truth is that no one can make us happy unless we want to be happy, and the opposite is also true; no one can make us unhappy unless we allow them to do so. Therefore, let’s remember that when we say so and so made us happy or unhappy, we’re allowing them to control our situations, and that is definitely not the best thing for our psyche, for our well-being. 

That brings us to this quote. ‘Every day is a new day, and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.’ Yes friends, we have to come to each day with the attitude that we will be happy, come what may; forget the problems of the past day and move on to the golden opportunities being provided by the new one. But unfortunately, too many of us drag the past with us to the present and thus spoil the future. 

And thus we come to the last quote that so wisely informs us: ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! (smile) It sounds simplistic, and it might very well be, but it is a fact of life. For however long we’re angry, we lose that much time which could have been spent in happiness. And I don’t know about you, but I like to spend as li’l time as possible being angry, and as much as possible being happy. 

But we all are different, and some souls just seem to thrive on anger, not realizing that it’s killing them both literally and figuratively. That’s because anger, like stress, manifests itself in so many different ways; emotionally, mentally and physically, and are often all tied together, indistinguishable each from the other, but all doing evil and dirty work in our lives. 

In any case, being constantly angry, or for long periods of time is not a good Christian characteristic, that’s why Bruh Paul gave this warning to the Ephesians. ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s okay to get angry every so often, but it should only be for a brief period, but definitely don’t take it to bed with you, because you’ll just sleep angrily, if you sleep at all, and wake up angry too, thus allowing the devil to steal your joy for much too long. Getting angry doesn’t mean you’re automatically being sinful, but the longer you hold that anger, the more liable you are to give the enemy the opportunity to creep into your soul. 

And it’s interesting some of the things Cousin Sol had to say about wrath and anger. For example: ‘A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.’ (Prov.19:19) And how true that is! You always have to deliver the angry man from some problem he’s caused by his anger. 

And: ‘A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous (a torrent); but who is able to stand before envy (jealousy)?’ (Prov.27:3-4) Wow! Does Cousin Sol ever lay it on thick, but true! 

And because of all that intrinsic evil in those negative emotions, we need to hear and accept Bruh Paul’s warning. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:30-32) 

Oh my people, that’s my solemn prayer for us this Saturday morning. So on this Canada day weekend, as we celebrate the birth of our nation, let’s do it with those sentiments front and centre in our minds and lives nuh. It is the definite desire of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s replace anger with LOVE…and evil with good…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2019 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    ​Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
 

After the rain comes the sun, so since yesterday was another very ‘riney’ day, today ought to be blessed with loads of sunshine! And it does seem to have begun that way. But what’s with the rain this season eh? I think the Lord’s trying to tell us something. What? I really don’t know. Perhaps a warning of some sort. But obviously we’re not paying attention, so we keep having more rain than sunshine. 

And the workingman is totally perplexed and annoyed at the situation. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The slave master drive we hard this week and ah real tired now. Just hoping for a nice warm sunshiny weekend, to just lay out on the deck in mih hammock, catch some rays, sip a few, and just relax. But it seems like it going to be a blooming rainy weekend! What it is with this rain thing this year eh? 

Brother! We having more rainy days than sunny ones, and the weather not even getting real warm yet, the middle of June and we still have heat coming on in the house because the children cold! Steups! I don’t know what it is nuh – if the Lord trying to tell we something. But since is the weekend, and the only time I have to do my own thing, I’m going to enjoy it as best as I can – eat, drink and be merry, even if I have to do it inside! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes…even when it cold and rainy!’  

Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of the workingman; he accepts his circumstances, even though he dislikes them, and works around them to keep himself contented. But we sophisticated Christians simply gripe and complain and thus don’t enjoy what the Lord’s granted us. Remember we’re supposed to be happy and contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. But we can’t do that unless and until we actually take the bull by the horns and become contented – with God’s help of course! 

And we’ll begin doing that by chanting our Friday Chant which is different to the workingman’s song because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ desires that we have some boundaries and borders to keep us safe from enemy attacks. So let’s chant it now, like we really mean it nuh. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 my fellow believers, we need to be a tad more careful about our doings, our goings and our comings, because we have a heavenly purpose to fulfill, and we can’t do that properly if we’re wishy-washy, and doh-care, else the enemy will just destroy us and our witness for Christ. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen, so let’s tighten up, and strengthen up our lives in appropriate fashion nuh. 

And one of the ways we all need to do that is by being contented with what we have at any particular time in life. Yes, I know that’s not always easy to do, especially when in our circumstances there is much less than the optimal amount of whatever we need. But the fact is that we need to cry out to and hold on to God for help to become like Bruh Paul said, in regards to the gift he received from the church at Philippi. 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Oh friends, is that ever something we believers need to learn and quickly too in this world that now lives by the motto of always wanting more and wanting it quicker than the last time. We’re definitely not a contented society in spite of the abundance we possess. But remember we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of it, so we’re not supposed to follow it’s selfish and greedy and discontented mores. 

And please note that contentment in whatever situation is a LEARNED behaviour. It doesn’t just come about like magic or a miracle; it’s something we have to earn and learn, not in a classroom, but by experiencing hard times as well as good times, by facing life like Portia. (smile) But unfortunately our current society is famous for wanting to be great without putting in the necessary effort that it takes to be great. 

Everybody nowadays is a superstar! That’s why our standards have fallen so low, and what used to be an ‘F’ is now a ‘C’, or even a ‘B’. But friends, please note that falling standards in a society only means one thing, that society is on its way down, and if its standards continue to fall, then it will soon become a lesser society, or even an extinct one. 

History bears out that contention. Just look at all the great societies we’ve had, how they prospered when their standards were high, they worked hard, made the necessary sacrifices to grow. But when they reached the top, they got fat and lazy and just wallowed in their prosperity until everything toppled down, and some other nation who was hungry and productive took over their crown. 

And sadly that is what seems to be happening in our current Western society; we’re on the way down because we’ve become fat and lazy and want everything now for now and for nothing, or next to nothing! But as believers my brethren, we are expected to always take the high road, have high standards within this world of low standards, and be contented with whatever we have, knowing that our great and generous, merciful and forgiving God is on our side and will not let us suffer more than we can bear. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could declare his ability to be contented in any situation. And he sums it up thus: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’  (Phil.4:13) Yes friends, we can only live contentedly if we are living for Christ, who is the enabler of the brethren. He is the one that gives us the wherewithal to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. Please, let us never forget that, provided we want to be successful and contented in this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…the joy of contentment…experiencing both good and bad times…with Christ always by our side…enabling us…

 

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