Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2018 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Once again it’s Friday, and the children of men are suddenly enthused and invigorated because a spot of freedom looms large on the horizon before them. (smile) And there’s none more enthused and invigorated than the ordinary workingman as he proudly proclaims: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday… And all the stars are aligned in my favour! The weekend is finally here…seems like it’s been taking forever…but now the party can begin. Wine, woman and song is the motto for this weekend. And who doh like it, tough tits, they know what they can do. Hn, hn! 

I slave whole week for a brutal, greedy man, and now yuh want to tell me I can’t enjoy mihself however I want to…Steups! Foolishness yes man! Just be thankful to God that we have a li’l break from new-fangled slavery come Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh friends! The working world can certainly be rough, and I know that some of us believers would certainly like to join in the workingman’s party (smile) but out Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has a different idea for our supposed freedom. 

He doesn’t support the leggo beast theory, but prefers to keep it orderly with the boundaries philosophy. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, so that we can uplift ourselves and also be reminded of what’s expected of us on the weekend. 

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.’ 

Yeh friends, we have to rest and rejuvenate ourselves, so that come Monday we can get back out there and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name, otherwise the enemy will just keep making inroads into our ranks, which we simply can’t afford to let happen. 

That’s why we need to be ever cautious about how we behave and talk, for negative words and inappropriate behaviour can turn people away from Christ, and what we so desperately desire to do is bring them to Him, not turn them away. 

That’s why Jesus commanded us in the Sermon from the Mount in today’s Bit: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we ought to be a shining beacon for Christ in this world of almost total darkness, like the lighthouses of old, guided ships away from rocks and shoals, to safe harbours. 

As Jesus prefaced our Bit: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. 

A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (a lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:13-15) 

That means we are to be essential to the world, like salt is, and allow the light of Jesus that dwells within us, to shine brightly forth, not hide it. Now listen to the scholars. ‘5:13. Jesus describes the basic character of the Christian’s life as salt and light. 

“Ye are” indicates that only the genuinely born-again person is salt and can help meet the needs of the world. Salt adds flavouring, acts as a preservative, melts coldness, and heals wounds. Thus it is a very appropriate description of the believer in his relationship to the world in which he lives.’ 

‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. 

He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is, a basket. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

There you have it friends; our condition; to help alleviate the world’s problems, and our mission; to shine our lights brightly forth in the overwhelming darkness that envelops it. The question now is, are we doing that to the best of our ability? And if we’re truthful, we will all say that we’re not. That’s why Lucifer and his dark, evil empire still has such a prominent hold on the world. 

Please my fellow believers, I’m imploring us today to put some much need flavour back into our salt, or just get some new salt, (smile) and let’s take the coverings off of our lights so that the light of Jesus that indwells us can shine forth and make a major difference in this dark and evil world. With the Lord’s help we can certainly do it. Much LOVE!

…oh…how the world is dying…to taste the Christian’s salt…and to see his bright light shining forth into its darkness…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2018 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.    So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom.)

Oh what a beautiful day this Monday will be in most of North America friends! Yes, that’s because it’s a public holiday. In the U.S. it’s the Presidents Day, honouring its Presidents. And in most of Canada it’s being celebrated as Family Day, although a few provinces call it by a different name. 

So that means it’s been a long weekend, with NO WORK today for many of us, but ample time to party and/or rest, whichever catches our fancy. (smile) Thank the Lord that we don’t have to get up and join the rat race today! 

But you know that our society has become such that it never really shuts down, it can’t afford to if we want to live our current lifestyle, so on public  holidays some people always have to go to work while others enjoy a pleasurable day off. Yeh, life’s not fair, but God is good! 

Consequently, or rather, especially on a day like this, we need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to quell any jealousy and resentment that might arise in the spirits of our fellow believers who have to go out and labour today, while we remain at home and enjoy the good life. So let’s belt it out now in our strongest and most harmonious voice. 

‘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!’ 

Hn, hn! Ah friends, the voices might have been strong, but rather hoarse and definitely not harmonious. But Jesus understands, He knows the state of our hearts…and our livers. (smile) And as always, it’s the ones who are not going to work who are the loudest and most disharmonious. I wonder why eh?

I just hope that our unfortunate brethren who have to work today have been well fortified by our singing and that the adrenaline is flowing through their bodies, making them eager to go out and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name.  

And as for those of us who are staying at home, please be responsible, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ That’s because we don’t want to give the enemy a chance to get into our spirits, and we will have to go out to work tomorrow, and if we’re all tired out and mashed up from too much celebration today, we’ll be of not much use to Jesus then. So remember, exhibit a modicum of circumspection, for it will serve you in good stead in the long run. End of sermon!  

And as I was looking for an appropriate Bit, this verse from Moses’ Psalm caught my eye. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom.)’ Now here I’m taking Moses’ words literally, wanting to know how long our lives will be. 

But that is something we’ll never know until the fateful day arrives. That means we have to be smart and live wisely every day! If we knew when our time would be up, many of us would choose to live carnal and worldly lives until just before we leave, then come running to God for forgiveness. But that’s not possible, so if we want to end up in heaven with Jesus, we have to live right, RIGHT NOW, since He can call us home at any moment in time. 

Bruh David also sought to know his end, in Psalm 39 – A prayer for self-understanding. ‘Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.’ (Ps. 39:4) Yeh friends, in terms of the big picture of the universe, we are indeed frail. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘Behold thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best is altogether vanity (vapour).    Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain show (as a shadow); surely they are disquieted in vain (make an uproar for nothing): he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.’ (Ps.39:5-7) 

And isn’t all of that the living truth my people? It surely is! Our lives are vapour- like, here today and gone tomorrow. We pile up riches not knowing  who is going to waste them away. And like Moses declares of God: ‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.’ (Ps.90:4) A thousand years to God is like one day to us. Hn! That just goes to show how flimsy our lives are, especially in comparison to God. 

So having noted all of that, what’s our next move eh? Like Bruh David says: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’ (Ps.39:7)  Oh friends, that’s wisdom at its zenith, so please, let’s be wise and do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…hope in God…should be the bedrock…the very foundation of our lives…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2017 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.   I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s here; Friday, the great leveller! For no matter what your persuasion or position, Friday plays an important part in all our lives. 

Whether you’re rich or poor, black, white, or any shade in between, we all have this affinity for Friday because it marks the start of the weekend, and the Jewish brethren consider it the start of their Sabbath. So Fridays are special in some form or the other. 

That’s why the workingman, with a couple of days off from work, makes a big to-do about it, crying out to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! That means the weekend is here! Yes mih breddren, the weekend, the weekend! 

That is we time to party and do what we want, with no massa constantly watching over we shoulder to see if we doing his hard, dirty, menial work for li’l pay. Party time people! Party time is here at last! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’ 

And you really can’t blame the ordinary working person for feeling that way, because life is indeed getting rougher and more impersonal, but that response is definitely overdoing it. 

As believers in Christ, we can’t just let go like leggo-beast, although it’s very appealing. (smile) We must observe some sort of decorum, with definite boundaries to our behaviour. That’s why our Friday Chant is a much more fitting declaration for believers. 

Please declare it with me 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 fellow believers, the weekend is indeed a time for some fun and frolic, but it also means resting, renewing and refreshing ourselves, with some praise and worship included, so that we can positively handle the upcoming week. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Ah mih people, that’s the glory and wisdom of believing in Almighty God! When we truly seek Him, He can do such wonderful and marvellous things in our lives. 

Bruh David proudly and positively proclaims in the psalm: ‘The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 

O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:7-10) 

Oh friends, how good and how pleasant it is to seek the Lord and to trust totally in Him! There is no want or lack or fear to those who sincerely reverence Him! So why aren’t more people seeking and reverencing our Creator, Controller and heavenly Father eh? 

It’s certainly mind-boggling to see us all trying to go our own way and do our own thing, following the foolish and unwise wisdom of the world and suffering defeat and rejection, sorrow and pain every time. 

That unsuccessful, do-it-yourself, or as the world does attitude and belief is very heart-breaking, especially when we have true and faithful affirmations from God’s Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, who sacrificed His life for us on the cross at Calvary. 

Listen to these true and encouraging words from the Master nuh, as He teaches about prayer. ‘And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall opened. 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father, which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt.7:7-11) 

Ah mih people, since Jesus is incapable of lying, why don’t more people believe and live for Him eh? That’s a billion dollar question which I can’t answer, but I know that me and mine are certainly going to do so. 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. 

Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

And that’s exactly how it should be with a Deity of such power and magnitude! Yeh friends, as Jesus so powerfully reasons; if we, with our natural sinful nature can give good gifts to our children, why wouldn’t our holy and sinless and magnanimous heavenly Father give us good gifts if we genuinely seek and reverence Him eh? No reason whatsoever! 

So let’s ponder it all today nuh, and see the wisdom in Jesus’ words and put them into practice, for it is to OUR great benefit, no one else’s. Much LOVE!

…following Jesus…and sincerely seeking the Father…is a no-brainer for the wise  amongst us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Oh friends, the week finally finish! Glory to God! And for us Canadians, after the Caribana weekend, it was indeed a short week. So now we have a li’l time to rest and recuperate from all that exhilarating action. (smile) 

But for some really exuberant folks, the weekend will always be the time to totally celebrate the couple days off from work. Consequently they are now excitedly shouting: ‘TGIF! TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The Lord give us two days to party, so leh we party hearty nuh! 

We can’t afford to waste the li’l time we have for weself in foolish thinking about work and all the other nonsense. Just let it all hang out, free up yuhself and doh worry about nothing till Monday! That’s why we have the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

And I dare say that many of us believers would like to let it all hang out on the weekend, (smile) but we know that is not the Christian way; that is the way of the world. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the weekend, but just that we need to put some limits on the ‘carefreeness.’ 

We definitely don’t want to be dissolute and licentious and give Lucifer any opening whatsoever to come against us. We need to think more like our Friday Chant says: ‘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 mih breddren, that’s the Christian way; we enjoy the time off, get some rest, relaxation and fellowship, so that we can handle the upcoming week with new energy and enthusiasm. 

If we don’t apply some limits to our life with some resuscitation along the way, we’ll just keep going downhill until we burn out completely, and worst of all, won’t be able to do a good job on Christ’s behalf, which is our major calling. 

So though we may feel to let it all hang out on the weekend, let’s hang in there, persevere with some circumspection, remembering that we are disciples of Christ, ambassadors for His kingdom and we can’t afford to behave like the world does. 

That’s why Bruh Paul was so emphatic to the church at Rome as our Bit declares: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

That’s only basic common sense friends, for the world does not recognize the things of God nor His kingdom. So if we want to be true followers of Christ we need to abstain from a lot of things which the world thinks is right, but which our heavenly Father totally abhors and detests. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’ 

And since most of us won’t go and read that verse, I will spoon-feed us. (smile) Peter in his call to Christian dedication, says: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.’ Meaning we should not go back to being the old kind of persons we were before we found Christ and put on the ‘new man.’ 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures which also admonish us to stay away from the evil, ungodly world. Listen to James: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of  (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) 

It’s that simple friends. As Jesus said: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (the world, material possessions).’ (Mat. 6:24) So you obviously can’t serve the One True God and also worship, or idolize, or run behind the material possessions of the world. 

And we’ll conclude with some of the most authoritative words on the subject from 1 John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’(1 John 4:15-17) 

Oh my fellow believers, it couldn’t be put any simpler and plainer than that. As Christians we ought to LOVE God and do His will first and foremost. 

Remember Jesus’ words to the hypocrite Pharisee who asked Him. ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus saith unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38). 

So friends, let’s go and do just that nuh, for it is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…that’s the Christian’s mandate…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2016 Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ecclesiastes 3:1.   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Summertime, Summertime, Summertime, Summertime! Thank God it’s Friday in the summertime! Mama yo! We leaving work early to beat the traffic, heading for the cottage to spend a marvellous weekend; eating, drinking, boating, swimming and fishing! Wow! The barbecues will be on fire, and the beer will be ice cold… Oh Lord, thank you for Fridays in the summertime!’ 

Yes friends, that’s the mantra of a lot of people on a Friday in the summertime, as they head for cottage country and their lakeside getaways. Consequently, many of them miss church and the wonderful fellowship and rejuvenation of spirit that comes with it. 

And then the boating accidents proliferate, because now they are drinking and driving on the water, just as they do on land. Every summer you hear of several mishaps on the water because of the brown girl in the bottle. Ah Lord eh! 

But for us few, who know how to spend a proper weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant, so that we can get the right perspective. As one 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 brethren, that’s more like the focus we should have for the weekend; a nice balance of rest, recreation and fellowship. And today I want to share an interesting and important quote attributed to Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope (1694-1773), 4th Earl of Chesterfield. I believe I’ve shared it before, but as they say, when it’s nice, you’ve got to play it at least twice. (smile) 

Lord Chesterfield is reputed to have said: ‘Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ 

And that my brethren is the god-awesome truth! We can’t afford to fool with, or waste time, because time waits on no one, it just goes along its own rollicking way, whether you decide to use it wisely or not. 

Remember the saying too that procrastination is the thief of time. More awesome truth! The more we put off, the less we get done and the less time we have left in our bank. Unfortunately we don’t know how much total time is in our account. 

So please, let’s learn to pay better and closer attention to our time because Almighty God has given us just enough to do whatever He desires, and if we waste it, we obviously won’t complete all that He has planned for us. End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit, the well-known verse of wisdom from Cousin Sol, writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ More indisputable truth my people, because as Christians, truth is all we ought to ever deal in. 

And after our Bit, Cousin Sol goes on to list a whole set of positive and negative things to which time have been apportioned. Like ‘a time to be born, a time to die… A time to weep, and a time to laugh…A time to LOVE, and a time to hate…’ Just read Ecclesiastes 3 and you’ll see how he has it all nicely laid out. 

Now here is some info from the scholars on that scripture. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v.5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v.8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’  

Yes friends, there’s no real time ever for the true sense of the word hating. It’s not supposed to exist in a Christian’s vocabulary. 

Now let’s look at a couple of other scriptures which deal with time in the life of man, starting with the words of Ethan the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame.   Selah.  

How long, Lord? Wilt thou hide thyself for ever? Shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain (for what futility hast thou made all men)? What man is he that liveth and shall not see (experience) death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand (power) of the grave?’ (Ps.89:44-48) 

Now listen to Moses from Psalm 90 – From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. ‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten (the span of our lives is seventy years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore (80) years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow (their boast only labour); for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps.90:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we know not how long our time on earth will be, so please let’s use whatever we have wisely nuh, meaning in the pursuit of the things of God and heaven, not those of the world and the evil one. Much LOVE!

…no one knows the time nor the hour…of their earthly demise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2016 Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And then it was a dry, warmer, sunshiny Tuesday! Glory to God! Yeh friends, Tuesday has dawned much better than Monday did, and let’s hope the remaining days of the week will do likewise. 

Oh, they are even forecasting temps up in the high teens for the latter part of the week. Let’s hope that the weather people are right, because we do need a break from this rather unseasonable weather. And all God’s people in the beleaguered northern climes shouted a loud ‘For sure!’ (smile) 

But my people, though the weather might be important to a certain extent, we cannot allow it to be a major focus in our lives. It’s not that important. Our focus must be concentrated on Jesus and doing His will here on earth. 

And to help us do that this Tuesday, spring-like morning, (smile) let’s declare, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra with a whole lot of enthusiasm and conviction. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen.’ 

And isn’t that the glorious truth my fellow believers? Indeed it is! We are not defined by whom this evil and adulterated world says we are. No! We are defined as God’s beloved children and all the wonderful things that entails! 

All praise and glory be to our heavenly Father for His mercy and LOVING-kindness, sending Jesus to die for us, then to become our friend and most trusted confidante! Oh what an honour that is! 

Consequently, we are duty bound to share the good news of His gospel and His unconditional LOVE with all we meet, wherever we might go, for we are today’s disciples, entrusted with the sacred duty and directive, aptly named ‘The Great Commission’: 

‘Go 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: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Oh friends and neighbours, are we fulfilling that mandate to the best of our ability? I don’t think so nuh, else the church of Jesus; His earthly body of followers would be much larger, more cohesive and Christ-like than it is today. The divisions and dissensions, the envy and jealousy and resentment would surely not be as great as they currently are. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars, termed the ‘Purpose of the Church.’ ’28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. 

The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. 

Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objective for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, are we upholding all the aspects of the Great Commission in our local churches, are we saturating our local communities with the gospel? I don’t think so nuh. At least not to the extent that we should. 

Are we evangelizing and training disciples in the knowledge of Christ? Not as we ought to. The church of Christ ought to be more forceful and proactive, not fearful and reactive and divisive as it is. Unless we’re all on the same page, nothing truly constructive will be done to further God’s glorious kingdom. 

And it all begins with us at the individual and local level my people; right down at the grass roots. The church needs a solid foundation at the bottom, just as any successful organization needs to have, if it is to grow strong and prosper for an enduring length of time, and in Christ’s case, forever. 

That finally brings us to our Bit, where Jesus laid down the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my precious people, to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to take up our cross, and follow Jesus. And please note that He emphasizes a ‘daily’ taking up of our cross, not sometimes, or when we feel like, but each and every day of our lives. 

Now listen to how Matthew characterizes it in his gospel. ‘He that LOVETH father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that LOVETH son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.10:37-39) 

Yeh friends, Jesus is supposed to be our NUMBER ONE LOVE! No ifs ands and buts about that! And if we LOVE anybody else or anything more than Him, then unfortunately we are not worthy of Him. 

So please, today, let’s take some time to truly ponder what position Jesus holds on the depth chart of our LOVE, and do whatever it takes nuh, with God’s help obviously, to make Him Number One, El Numero Uno! For that is true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…who is the Greatest…Jesus…who is Number One…Jesus…who is our Lord and Saviour…Jesus…who is our Advocate in heaven…Jesus…it’s ALL about Jesus… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness, but the ole fella’s life been sort of topsy turvy these last few days. Got to bring it into balance. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2016 John 15:12‏

John 15:12.   This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

And then it was Monday friends; time for laboring again; time to continue the daily grind and common task. And I know that some of you are ‘chuhing’ and ‘steupsing’ and complaining because you have to go to work, but by now we should all realize that it’s a part of life, and the sooner we get accustomed to it and accept it, the better off we will be. End of sermon. 

So to help us all, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great enthusiasm, in perfect harmony, as our conductor Jesus leads us in song. 

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!’  

Oh my people, that was only a mediocre rendition! Jesus wasn’t really displeased, but He certainly expected more from us. 

Anyway, having boosted our spirits, let’s go out this first Monday in Lent and do our bounden duty nuh as specified by our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s all about LOVE! If we live in LOVE, then all will be well! 

Listen to what the Good Book says on the subject. ‘Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not itself (doesn’t boast), is not puffed up (arrogant), Does not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); 

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (LOVE) never faileth….’ (1 Cor.13:4-8a) 

Oh my fellow believers, I must admit that according to Bruh Paul’s words, real LOVE is indeed a hard row to hoe, but hoe it we must, as true followers of Christ. Christ did it for us, and we are expected to do it for each other, as our Bit directs. 

Now something here amazes me; yesterday we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day supposedly of LOVE, now why can’t we just continue that attitude eh? Why do we have to revert to our less than LOVING selves eh? 

It certainly defies my understanding…unless what we show on Valentine’s Day is not real LOVE, just an outward show of gifts per the world, who treats it like just another big shopping day, a day to make money, to boost the economy. 

Oh I’m not that naïve to believe that we all share true LOVE on days like those, but even then why stop the generous giving afterwards? 

As Bruh Paul encourages us in Romans 12, when speaking about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another.’ (Rom.12:9-10) 

And as the scholars tell us: ‘12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others, LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

I certainly can’t argue with that friends! And as John tells us in his first epistle: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God, whom he hath not seen?’ (1 John 4:20) 

Now friends, that is the million-dollar question. We all claim to LOVE God, whom we’ve never seen, but yet hate our brethren, whom we have seen. It just doesn’t sound logical, but it’s a problem that we will all have to deal with, individually and as the church of Christ, as soon as possible, if we want to remain right with God. 

Now enough preaching for the day, (smile) you all will do whatever you want anyway. On a practical note, the duchess and I went to the Goat races yesterday in Buccoo. Yes you read right, ‘goat races!’ 

Usually it’s only held during the Easter weekend, but what with a new, good-looking facility, just built for goat racing, they need to have them more often, both to encourage the locals and to provide entertainment for the visitors. 

And believe you me, it’s organized just as a horse race; an approximately hundred yard running lane, with starting gates and jockeys, who don’t ride, but run behind the goats to guide them. 

The goats are equipped with numbers, the jockeys with whips, and they are divided into classes, with owners and trainers, and a commentator on the race, and no doubt betting on the sly. The only thing they lack is a camera at the finish line. Only in sweet Tobago! 

After watching about four races, we came home and rested, then later in the evening I took the duchess out for dinner to an exquisite, expensive restaurant she had been wanting to go to all along. I must say though that the food was good and the service excellent, so it was not a waste of time or money. 

And above all it kept the duchess happy. For remember, a happy wife, usually leads to a happy life. (smile) And on that note of wisdom, we’ll end for today. 

So friends, let’s try and boost the LOVE quotient in our lives nuh, for it is indeed the desire of Jesus, and the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…only genuine and consistent LOVE on our part…will boost Jesus’ LOVE Revolution…and eventually bring it to fruition…

 

 

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