Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 

It’s a beautiful though cold morning, the sun’s shining, and the air is filled with all of God’s LOVE, mercies, compassions and His many other attributes! Glory be! And contrary to folklore and witch’s tales, no evil is in the ascendance today, just because it happens to be Friday the 13th! In fact I’m feeling more spiritually alive than I’ve been in a while, and am seriously rejoicing, because like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me…and furthermore…something good is going to happen through me today!’ All praise and glory to our great and wonderful, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God my faithful and believing brethren! 

And yes, there seems to be a somewhat higher level of joy in the ole fella’s spirit this morning. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know the reason for it, but coming down the stairs a short while ago, carrying my cup of java, a sudden spurt of joy just entered my soul. And it’s only the Lord to be thanked for that! Bless His holy name! And believe me, when the Lord suddenly cranks up the joy in your spirit…oh…it’s such a wonderful thing that words cannot truly convey. (smile) But enough about me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this ‘Black Friday’ morning nuh. 

‘Well TGIF! Thank God is Friday at long last! I do need a break from the slave master’s work! But then we have this foolishness about Black Friday again, because is Friday the 13th! Chuh! How much Black Fridays we going to have eh? We have one to thief we money after Thanksgiving, and another one to frighten we whenever the 13th of the month falls on a Friday. The powers of evil really trying to trap we into falling for their nonsense yes. But I have more sense than that…though I’m not going to walk under a ladder on purpose today, or just stand up and let a black cat cross mih path…Hn, hn hn! That’s because prevention better than cure! 

But seriously though, I just hope this weekend is sunny and bright, so that I can get out and do some things I want to do. Doh need no snow further fouling up the works, when it done cold already. But thank God for Fridays and weekends oui! Don’t know how I’d mange without them.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, what would we do without Fridays and weekends eh? So let’s be truly thankful and sincerely declare our Friday Chant, which gives our Christian take on the situation. Altogether 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 my people, even though we have the weekend to relax and be refreshed, we can’t afford to drop our guards because the enemy is always lurking around trying to catch us napping, so he can slip into our souls and create confusion. And yuh know what, that’ s always easiest to do in times of great celebration like this Christmas season, because we naturally let our hair and our guards down when we celebrate. And it certainly won’t do for us to be caught up in the devil’s net while we’re celebrating the oh so important and momentous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That’s why we have to be very cognizant of both Granny’s and Peter’s warnings this Christmas time. And the first one, we all know and LOVE: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Peter’s though is scarier and more religious in tone. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ Now that can strike fear into some of our hearts, but please remember that the devil cannot do us any real harm unless we allow him to. He’s been broken and relegated to the trash heap by Jesus’ wonderful victory over his dominion; hell, death and the grave, though he still likes to think he’s a hot number. 

And please don’t be fooled by his lies and deceptions, for he’s still the master of those, but he can’t truly hurt us unless WE give him the power to do so, like our forefathers, Adam and Eve did back in the Garden of Eden when they listened to his deception that the Lord wouldn’t really kill them if they ate of the forbidden fruit, but it would open their eyes and they would become like God. (Gen.3:1-24) And yes, it did open their eyes, but to the knowledge of sin, from which came the ‘sufferation’ that’s enveloped our world since that foolish and fateful day. 

And yes, they didn’t die suddenly, but suffered an even worse faith: separation from God’s goodness, spiritually cast out into eternal darkness to live with Satan for all time. And that’s the curse we’ve all borne until Jesus came and sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary to set us free! Glory to His wonderful name! The problem though, is that unless we turn to Jesus and receive Him as our Lord and Saviour, we’re still headed for Hades and eternal darkness with its master. That’s why we need to pay serious attention to Peter’s warning, as he continues: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9) 

Yes, I know the fact that all the brethren are suffering affliction and temptation doesn’t help some of us, but it does show that we’re not alone in our problems. However, if we do stand steadfast against the enemy, we can be assured of this most important fact. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (establish), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah my people, it is unfortunate that we can’t go through this sin-filled world trouble free, but we do have God’s faithful promise, that in His time, He will strengthen, settle and establish us. And when we take sincere hold of that promise, then we can truthfully declare: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet. 5:11) So let’s be on our p’s and q’s this Christmas season nuh. Much LOVE!

…sin can seem joyful for a season…but the grace of God lasts till eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2019 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.    ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 

‘Snow, snow, snow… Canadian snow!’ Yeah friends, yesterday it was just a mere veneer, (smile) and the day turned into a rather nice one. Today though it’s a full blown coat – white everywhere! (smile) And I guess it must have blindsided many commuters when they hit the road this morning, because I went to bed around 3, and there was none of that fresh stuff on the ground then. So please be very careful if you have to go out today. I know I’m not going anywhere! (smile) But since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yes, Friday has shown up at long last! It’s been a roughish week; what with the children harassing me to get into the Cyber Monday nonsense, some bad weather and the boss in a sour mood…even more sour and snarly than usual, and for some reason I can’t sleep properly when the night come, so all day ah more tired than anything else. Steups! Don’t even have no enthusiasm for Christmas when I am usually a Christmas man, it’s my favourite season of the year. And then the wife been nagging me to put up lights and Christmas tree and what not. 

Chuh! Usually, she don’t have to badger or bully me to do that. But this year ah just not in the mood for all the Christmas stuff. Don’t know if I’m just getting old and tired, or I need a long vacation in a hot climate, with sea, salt, sand and rum! Now there’s an interesting idea! It’s really sparked my interest. How wonderful it would be to get away from this cold, snowy weather for a while eh! But right now that’s just a pipe dream because I can’t afford to take the whole family away, and I can’t just go by mihself. So I’ll just have to come back down to earth and say, Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, hoping that I can get some proper sleep during the weekend, and that my normal enthusiasm for Christmas will return after that!’ 

Ah friends, the vagaries of life and the weather eh! We never know when whatever will hit us and just change our mood and attitude, but once we hold on tightly to Jesus, no mater what we go through, we know we will come out of it okay; no burning in the fire, or drowning in the flood. None of us are immune from such situations, but we at least have a more positive song to sing come the weekend, what we call our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh with sincere thanks and strong sense of purpose. 

As one 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!’ At least when we’re down in the dumps, we have a great God, Helper and Comforter to cry out to. 

And I think it’s necessary for us to continue with Mary’s story to see just how the Lord administers His faithfulness to those who faithfully do His work. Remember yesterday we saw where Mary accepted the Lord’s will without a hassle. But then the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, what a great dramatist is our God! Knowing that Mary would need human help and confidence and support in the unenviable task He had given her, He sent her to her cousin Elisabeth, who, in her own lesser way, was tasked with God’s holy will. For, hitherto barren, she was then carrying John the Baptist, the forerunner of Mary’s child, Jesus. And the Master Dramatist set it up so skillfully through the Holy Ghost, that when Mary greeted Elisabeth, her eyes were opened to God’s proposed doing, and the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb, cause he also felt the godly connection. 

And who says our wonderful God doesn’t move in strange, mysterious and awesome ways eh! But they always have a useful purpose. Now hear these interesting words that God also put into Elisabeth’s mouth for Mary’s encouragement. ‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is our God eh! From Mary’s acceptance of her task, He began encouraging her and building her faith even more. Thus after hearing Elisabeth’s prophecy, she was able to declare the awesome words of faith we know as ‘The Magnificat!’ 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed…’ (Luke 1:46-48) Unfortunately friends, we don’t have space or time to record all of Mary’s words on that most auspicious occasion, but you can read them in Luke 1:46-55. Then the Good Book adds this important info: ‘And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

So the Lord allowed Mary to spend a good while with Elisabeth so that she could be further encouraged. And He does that with all who work sincerely for Him my brethren. I can tell you that from personal experience. Without His awesome help and encouragement I could not write this Bit everyday. So whatever God has given you to do, please don’t despair, call out to Him for help, if needs be, and He will faithfully offer it. You can better your bottom dollar on it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…working for the Lord…might be hard…but it’s certainly adventurous and awe-inspiring…

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 22 November 2019 2 Corinthians 3:18.

2 Corinthians 3:18.    ​But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
 

Ah friends, you just don’t who or what to believe in these days of fake news nuh. I’m talking about the weather forecasters who promised a bright and sunshiny day yesterday, yet it drizzled with rain all day. And today, that was supposed to be rainy, seems like it might have some sunshine. Chuh! I guess that’s why weather forecasting is called an ‘in exact science.’ (smile) 

It’s a good thing though that we believers can sing confidently like Angie Stone: ‘My sunshine has come. There’s no more rain…’ Yes my believing brethren, our sunshine came two thousand years ago…and He ‘s still here, shining as bright as ever in our lives! Praise the Lord for Jesus Christ, who brightens up our lives, even when they seem to be in a terribly dark and cloudy place! 

And that’s the advantage we have over the ordinary workingman who’s complaining today. ‘Yes, I know I should declare ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ But ah fed up with all the rainy weather, with the cold and damp and the consequent chill it causing in mih bones! Oh I know it coming on to winter and all that, but does it have to be so wet and dark and dreary so often? What happen to a li’l dryness and sunshine every so often nuh man? 

Brother! It just seems to suck the very life out of a body; going out and coming in in that constant dark, dismal and wet weather. And though it’s the weekend, and I’m glad to see it, the dirty weather just steals the real joy from it, because you still can’t go anywhere without getting wet from head to toe. Steups! So I guess I’ll just stay home then this weekend and watch the rain fall… But ah still thankful though for Fridays and weekends!’ 

No doubt many of us believers feel like the ordinary workingman, but thankfully we have Jesus Christ in our lives, and He mitigates the sad and downbeat effect dreary weather causes by His uplifting Word and Will for each and every one of His followers! Glory to God! That’s why we can chant our Friday Chant with such sincerity and sense of purpose: 

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

Oh my precious people of God, I don’t know what we’d do without Jesus nuh! What a wonderful day it was when He came into our lives! Glory Hallelujah! Yes friends, when Jesus died on the cross He tore down the veil that guarded the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could enter once a year, bur now each of us has the marvellous opportunity to come before the throne of grace personally when we accept Jesus. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:15-18) 

And what does all of that mean eh? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:15. Veil is upon their heart: Unfortunately, as far as the Jews are concerned, Christ is still a stumbling block they cannot see (cf. 1 Cor. 1:23). For the apostle this is no light matter and a concern that caused him great anxiety (cf. Rom. 9:1-4). But now the veil is not so much on the revelation of the glory as on their own hearts. (cf. Luke 24:25; Acts 13:27-29).’ The glory of Christ has eventually been revealed my people, we have been set free from the bondage of sin! But the onus of receiving that liberty is now on us; as individuals, as supposed believers, we now have to accept and keep Jesus treasured in our own hearts, minds, bodies and soul! 

And per 3:18, the scholars say: ‘Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself ‘reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the face of the Lord. For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

What wonderful news my brethren! The Lord’s plan is to have ALL of His children transformed into the glorious image of His Son, Jesus Christ! And when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and is responsible for transforming our lives, making us new creations! 

But please, let’s remember that this transformation doesn’t take place over night, it’s a lifelong process, and the onus is on us to follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He will not force us to do anything. That means we have to continually read the Word and listen carefully, so we can understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and be obedient to Him, if we truly want to come up higher…be changed from glory…to glory… to glory… Much LOVE!

…know the truth…the Word of God…and the truth…shall set you free…

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)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2019 Psalm 138:7.

Psalm 138:7.    ​Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Well my wish has finally been granted…the rain’s stopped! And the sun is even trying to push out against the darkness in the eastern horizon. But the wind is still causing a ruckus as it’s done since I don’t remember how long. And in spite of the seriously inclement weather, can you believe that children were still out there trick or treating last evening! But who am I to say anything eh, it’s not in my generational makeup? (smile) But the workingman might have something to say about it. Let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend is finally here…and the rain stop! Brother, is almost two days of straight wind and rain! And it definitely kill Halloween for me. The children were disappointed, but no way was I going out in that foul weather to collect a few pieces of candy! Steups! And the children still too young to go out by themselves. And even if they were older I still wasn’t allowing them to go out there in that kinda weather. Chuh shoot! Can you imagine it still had children come knocking on my door, by themselves to boot! 

What is wrong with parents nowadays eh? Have they lost their minds? Many of them were probably home eating and drinking and partying, while deh children out on the street facing what kinda danger, nobody knows. And they like to talk about safety and child protection and all that stuff, but they still sending them out in such bad weather to get a few candy and expose them to the serious predators out there. And yuh know what? My children not going to be hard up for candy, because they have all the candy that I’d bought to give out and nobody came around to collect. So we have a win win situation! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman might step out far on the fragile limb sometimes, but he still does have his wits about him when it comes to the safety of his children. Now how many of us supposed believers either went out with our children in that bad weather last night, or sent them by themselves eh, all for the sake of a foolish, evil and ungodly tradition? That’s between you and God. (smile) Anyway, let’s raise our Friday Chant to heaven nuh, invoking our wonderful God’s care and concern. 

Altogether 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 my people, ours is a more structured environment, because our Lord and Saviour doesn’t encourage us to go way out on the fragile part of the branch for fear that the slender branch will break, and we fall off into the waiting arms of the enemy. Yuh know he’s constantly lurking and looking around for believers to make a mistake, so he can jump in and create havoc. 

Oh friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! For although He has set boundaries and borders for us, when we foolishly step out of them and endanger ourselves, or life just comes against us, as it ofttimes will, He will still step in and look after us, because we are His beloved children! That’s why Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 138: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ 

Glory be, my faithful saints in Christ! That’s exactly what our great and faithful God will do. And very few of us will have a difficult and dangerous life like Bruh David did, but the Lord saved him from his enemies, despite his many mistakes, because he never gave up on the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And the Lord will do exactly the same for us, despite our many mistakes, if we just have true faith in Him and surrender our souls, our lives to His everlasting wisdom, grace and LOVING-kindness! 

And even if we don’t know, or are unfamiliar with the words of our Bit, we do know the immortal and momentous words of Bruh David from Psalm 23, that convey the same sentiments. ‘He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:3-4)

Ah friends, just like the shepherd David protected his sheep with his rod and staff, likewise the Lord, our shepherd, will protect us with His invincible rod and staff! O praise his mighty and glorious name my fellow believers! 

And our God is so great and wonderful and brazen, (smile) here’s the staggering, the awesome limit to which He will take our divine replenishment. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest me head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) Wow people! That’s the power and the boldness of our God!  He can feed and anoint us in the presence of our enemies!

And since we are the sheep of His pasture, it’s His duty to look after us as best He can. And we can be very sure that He will NEVER renege on His promise or duty, that’s why like Bruh David, we can profoundly believe and proudly and confidently say: ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

All praise and glory to our great God! So let’s rejoice and be glad in all the wonderful things we have going for us today in Jesus Christ my fellow saints! Much LOVE!

…if God be for us…who can be against us eh…NOBODY…not a single soul…

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