Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2018 Lamentations 3:21.

Lamentations 3:21.   This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.

Aye friends, yuh ever wake up in the morning and just feel tired, exasperated and frustrated with mankind? Well that’s the way I feel this morning. Before I begin writing the Bit, I usually take a gander at the news headlines to get some idea of what’s happening around the world…

And…oh Lord…it’s only strife, anger, war, resentment and hatred! Nothing uplifting! Unless the newsmongers don’t consider anything uplifting to be news! But it’s just so much confusion and ‘cantankerousness’ that it leaves the spirit longing for the day the Lord shuts it all down. 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and it’s the big-wigs who are causing all the heartache, but the workingman does have something to say that will bring a chuckle to the soul and lift the spirit some. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And though the summer finish and school start back, and the long holiday weekends done for now, we still going to have a good time on the weekends! 

Why? Because that’s the only time we have to have a good time! The rest of the week we labouring for massa for piddling, can’t make ends meet wages. So when we get the chance, come hell or high water, we certainly going to party for so, and say, ‘In yuh face massa! Stop we now nuh! But he can’t! That’s why we have to say Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, there’s a certain kind of earthiness in the workingman that you can’t beat. He just lays it out there bare, fair and square. Meanwhile we, the supposed intelligentsia, make such a fuss, have so many unnecessary hang-ups, that we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be. 

Yes, the workingman does tend to go too far out on the limb, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Hopefully, we believers are a li’l more cautious, but still capable of real and true emotion, and show it when it’s necessary. And right now is one of those times, as we declare our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song. 

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!’ 

Yes friends, our intentions are different from the workingman, but our enthusiasm for the things of Jesus should be just as great, if not greater! And I’m chuckling here mih people, because I don’t know where all of this is leading to, but the Lord must have a purpose for it all. Let’s see if we can find it…

Glory to God, I found it! I just opened the Good Book and it opened right to the page with these immortal words of Jeremiah in his soulful Lamentations. ‘He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: 

I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3:15-20) 

Ah mih breddren, Jeremiah did have a pretty rough time in trying to bring his people to the Lord. But yuh know what? In his reminiscence, he rightly and sagely concludes. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.’ (Lam.3:21-28) 

And Jeremiah did bear the Lord’s yoke in his youth, as did many of us believers. So friends, even though we might be going through a pretty difficult time, there’s no reason to get discouraged and give up, because as Jerry says, the Lord is good to those who seek Him and wait on Him. 

And later on he further declares: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men.’ (Lam.3:31-33) Yeh, friends, though our God is a God of justice, He is also a God of great mercy; He does not take delight in afflicting us. He will punish us for our sins, but nowhere near what we deserve. 

So please, I implore us this Friday morning, to not give up, even though you may not see a way out of your troubles. Remember that our God is the Creator of the universe and He ALWAYS finds a way. So put your trust and hope in Him, hang in there, and eventually, in His time and manner, He will lift the burdens from your soul. He has done it for countless other saints. He will do it for you too…just have faith and hang in there. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord gave His Son’s sinless life for our sinful souls…why would he withhold anything else from us eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2018 Isaiah 55:8.

Isaiah 55:8.   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Ah friends, when it’s not one thing, it’s always another eh? This morning I came down to write the Bit, already a tad late, to find that the bulb in the lamp over my desk had blown. But to complicate matters, when I tried removing the bulb, the glass part broke off from the metal part, leaving the latter in the socket. 

You can imagine my consternation, but with the Lord’s help and some mechanical ingenuity (smile) I finally extracted the metal part from the socket. But would you know that when I put in a new bulb, the lamp didn’t work. Steups! So I then had to go around the house looking for a lamp that could fit in the small space allotted for lamps over my computer desk. The old one was clamped to a bookcase over the desk. 

Obviously I had no more with clamps, so I have to make do with one sitting on top of the books, and the overhead room lamp, which itself isn’t very bright. I haven’t opened the Good Book as yet to see how I’m going to handle it, but yuh know what? I won’t let those li’l inconveniences steal my joy. I said it when I got up, and I’ll say it again: ‘This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!’ And I hope you will too. 

I know the workingman is surely doing that, because he’s been out early singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Another week of slave labour done! And now it’s the weekend…Glory be! It’s we time now! No more slave master constantly looking over we shoulder like we is li’l children and doh know how to do we work! Steups! Is we time now to party and do whatever we want to do, whenever we want do it! 

And yuh better believe that is exactly what we going to do, especially with the summer quickly coming to an end! As the man says in his song: ‘Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think…!’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! Mama Yo…Is party time! So let’s thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes and go out and enjoy we self!’ 

Yeh friends, we have to thank God for EVERYTHING, including bad breaks and frustrating inconveniences, for it’s only with His help are we able to overcome them in a sane and sensible manner. And in all truth, the workingman has such simplicity of soul and spirit that you can’t help but admire his commitment to partying. 

But unfortunately, or fortunately, as followers of Jesus, we are not allowed to go that far out on the limb to pick the juicy, succulent fruit that we all wish we could pick and enjoy. Hn! But it’s all for our eventual benefit friends, so that we don’t indulge in the carnal and lustful things of the world and give that fallen fool Lucifer a chance to get under our skin, and thus end up in Hades with him, facing eternal damnation and separation from Almighty God. 

And all God’s children gave a mighty and grateful shout of ‘Thank You Lord!’ And that’s why our Friday Chant differs from that of the workingman, though mostly in not going to extremes and continuing diligence in God’s work. So let’s chant it now with enthusiasm and sincere anticipation. 

All together: ‘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.’ 

Yuh see mih people, we too need to frolic and have fun, but we need to do it in a more restrained way, with some circumspection, as we reboot and get ready for next week’s labours. 

And all I want to point out today, is that though the Lord made us know what is what in our Bit: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,’ He is still such a LOVING, kind hearted and compassionate Deity. 

After inviting everyone that’s thirsty to come to the waters and drink freely, and those without money to come and eat bread freely, and to stop spending our money on things that don’t satisfy us, (Is.55:1-2) He further promises. ‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is.55:12-13) 

Ah friends, what a wonderful God we serve! Who else would make such magnanimous promises eh…and keep them too? Nobody else! And in closing, I just want to remind us that He said His word would not return void (empty or unfruitful), but would accomplish the purpose for which it was sent. 

And for His great mercy and grace, we can all sincerely and loudly sing: ‘Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen!’ Have a blessed day my brethren in Christ! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can everlasting promises come true…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Ah friends, it’s a sad day when bodily aches and pains contrive and conspire to drive you out of your bed! But that’s what came against me this morning. I got up around 5.30 to go to the bathroom and found I could barely walk the few feet to it. And that’s after going to bed around two thirty in fairly good shape. Every joint was crying out in resistance. Then when I went back to bed I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get back to sleep. 

But with the Lord’s help I weathered it and did get some more spasmodic rest. However, the aches and pains in my back, both knees, both hips and both shoulders refused to go quietly into the sunrise, (smile) and I eventually got up somewhat earlier than I had planned. 

But brother, what an ordeal! And I’ve been taking the pain pills fairly regularly. So why this painful episode now eh? Steups! But yuh know what? The aches and pains won’t keep the ole fella down for long. He’ll rally and fight back. And with the Lord’s help we’ll win, because the Lord has promised that nothing that comes against us will conquer us. Glory be! 

And it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, Toronto’s big day in the worldwide spotlight, so you know the workingman will be out and about blaring his song to all and sundry! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Caribana Friday! A long weekend…and official time to play true leggo beast! 

Yuh going to see we out on the boulevard tomorrow in we pretty costume…with the music blasting…and we doing we thing, getting down and wining, showing off we bumbulum and having a rollicking good time! Oh people, oh people, is Caribana weekend, the summer soon done, time to get out and have some fun, and thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends, especially the long ones!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, we must give thanks for our days off from labour, but we don’t need to go that far out on the limb like the workingman, where the evil one can easily get a foothold in our affairs. But like Jeeves says, a modicum of circumspection is necessary. 

And it’s strange how life changes as one gets older. At one time Caribana was a big deal for me. Now I don’t even remember that it exists. That’s because I can’t handle all the walking and jammings again, as well as it has lost its flavour. It’s not as nice and authentic as it was before. 

I’m not even enthusiastic this year to go to the Steelband Competition, the only aspect I support these days. I haven’t even heard from my buddy Bas, who usually goes with me. But who knows what will happen. It’s still early times. And don’t tell me that I’m getting old and cold, because I’m not. (smile) 

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. 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 people, in Jesus organization, we don’t behave like the world, that’s ruled by the prince of darkness behaves. As Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘I have manifested (revealed) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…

And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:6, 9, 11-17) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important Jesus thought we were? He spent the whole of chapter 17, 26 verses praying for us. Even for the believers who’d come down through the ages (vs.20). He asked the Father not to take us out of the world, but to keep us filled with His joy and to set us apart from the world, so we don’t get too contaminated by it. 

Now we do have to be in the world, otherwise how would we bring the lost and suffering to Him eh? But we don’t have to be a part of the world, meaning doing the things the world does, or living the way it does. We’re special friends. And we need to know it and behave accordingly! 

As we said yesterday, we’re ambassadors of Christ, therefore we have to behave in a special way, a way that glorifies and exalts His Holy Name. And we definitely can’t do that by behaving the way the world behaves. So let’s up the ante nuh, let’s raise our level of excellence in doing Jesus’ work, otherwise we won’t be His fruitful and efficient ambassadors, like we’re supposed to be. Much LOVE!

…serving Jesus in this evil world… is not easy…but it sure is worthwhile…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2018 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.   How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

‘One more night…thank You Lord for one more night of breathing through my nose…’ 

You can chuckle all you want yes friends and family, but I know whereof I am thankful. You won’t realize how important breathing through your nostrils is, until you can’t do it for an extended period. And I’m so comfortable now that I can’t even get up in the mornings. (smile) 

And can you believe that today is already the first day of June, and summer is not officially due for another three weeks, but we’ve already been having serious summer like weather for the past two weeks. Hn! We’ll soon start complaining that it’s too hot. Can’t keep the human animal happy for long. (smile) 

But seriously though, that volcano on the Big Island in Hawaii is still acting up and apparently causing more problems that evacuation has been mandated for the area around it. It’s been playing a teasing game for the past month and who knows when it’s going to blast off big time. Better to be safe than sorry. Please keep them in our prayers. 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is happily singing his totally overboard song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and no more work for a couple days! It’s the weekend! Time to enjoy we self like we couldn’t do all week! And who don’t like it, too bad for them. 

Why yuh think the Lord give us a break from the slave master eh? Is to eat, drink and be merry today, cause tomorrow we might die. Look people, just lively up yuhselves and enjoy the fruit of your labour yes! Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And there is truth to the workingman’s contentions, but as always, he tends to go too far out on the limb of licentiousness, a place that we believers are not supposed to go. And that’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to his song. Let’s chant it now with enthusiasm and sincerity. 

‘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 friends, we are also entitled to enjoyment and fun, but not to take it to the extreme limit that the workingman does. We always have to be cognizant of the enemy’s movements and nip them in the bud, as well as keep working for Jesus; a twenty four/seven, lifetime job that has awesome benefits, both now and in the hereafter. And we’d indeed be foolish to throw them away for a little fleshly pleasure in the here and now that’s ever so fleeting. 

That’s why Bruh David could so assuredly declare in our Bit, from Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God: ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s the wisest and safest place to place our trust, for the Lord is both our Maker and Caretaker. And as Bruh David continues: ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh my brethren, what sincere and beautiful assurance of living and working for the Lord. And please note the superlatives of those promises: abundantly satisfied with all that He has to offer, and drink of the river of His pleasures. Wow! We’d be satiated with the Lord’s goodness! 

And the next verse is ever so true: ‘with thee is the fountain of life.’ It truly is, because it’s the Lord who breathed His breath of life into our lifeless bodies so that we could worship and fellowship with Him. And if our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, then it’s only logical that we, His followers shall not only see light, but be light too. 

And John puts it so nicely and simply in his first epistle. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not in (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

Yeh friends, God is light, holy and sinless, and if we want to walk with Him in the light, then we have to be free of the bondage of sin which keeps us in darkness. And the ONLY way to do that is to embrace Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, whose blood, shed on the cross of Calvary is the ONLY atonement for sin and the ONLY cleansing power from sin. 

So let’s be wise and walk in the light nuh mih breddren. We have so much to lose, and so much to gain! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Son sets free…is free indeed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 January 2018 Matthew 5:41.

Matthew 5:41.   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).

Aloha my beautiful brethren in Christ Jesus! Welcome to another day in the awesome service of our Lord and Saviour! The One who gave His sinless life on the cross so that we could be saved from eternal damnation! How good it is to do time with Him; to have Him lead and guide us on this confusing earthly journey. 

Remember, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so He must know more than us re handling life’s problems. (smile) And for those of us who wisely surrender our lives to Him, He tends us like a kind and LOVING shepherd does his sheep; meeting all their needs, keeping them safe from harm, then taking them home to live with Him for ever. 

Oh glory to God my people for the Prince of Peace, our High Priest and heavenly Advocate, Jesus Christ! 

And since we’re talking about life, let me share a quote on the subject, attributed to one Kyle Crichton. There are several Kyle Crichton’s around, but I believe this came from the one who lived between 1896 and 1960, a playwright, author and screenwriter in the U.S. 

And he said: ‘Life’s a pretty precious and wonderful thing. You can’t sit down and let it lap around you…you have to plunge into it, you have to dive through it.’ And that’s the awesome truth friends! We only have one life to live, and wisdom dictates that we enjoy it, even though it might be difficult. 

One thing is for sure, you can’t allow life to run you, otherwise it will take serious advantage of you. You have to run life, in concert with Jesus Christ of course! Life is a bully boy, and you know how bully boys behave if you allow them to control you. 

That’s why you have to admire the ordinary workingman when he declares his Friday song. ‘TGIF Thank God is Friday oui! Another week of slave labour done! And now the weekend is mine to do exactly as I please; behave drunk and disorderly or not, give way to my carnal desires or not. 

But it all depends on me, not on any chupid slave master. Granted the time short, but Glory to God, my time is mih own! Thank Him everlasting for the li’l weekends and them yes! Otherwise I don’t know how I’d manage nuh. The weekend’s here people, enjoy it to the last drop!’  

There is definitely enthusiasm for life in the workingman’s song! Although he is somewhat misguided, he doesn’t allow life to beat him down, he rises up against it, takes it by the scruff of the neck and uses it for his own purposes. That’s what we Christians are also called to do, but within certain boundaries laid down by our leader, Jesus Christ. 

So let’s sing our rebuttal song nuh, our Friday Chant, with much feeling and true sincerity. ‘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 are also to enjoy our weekend, but with a modicum of circumspection, renew our minds, bodies and souls, not give in to even more carnal living, so that come Monday, we’re just dragging and are too tired to perform our normal duties. For if we are too tired to do what we’re supposed to do, then how can we fulfill Jesus’ desire in our Bit eh? ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ 

Ah mih people, that’s just like our Jesus; always giving or doing more than is asked. And that’s how He wants us, His faithful followers to also behave. 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:41. In ancient times government agents were in a position to compel forced service upon a subjugated people. A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. 

The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I have to laugh yes! Do double duty in our society? Hn! We don’t even want to do single duty, much less double. This is an age where the word ‘responsibility’ has apparently been removed from our vocabulary. No one wants to do anything much, except enjoy the good life; a life of ease and sloth and gossip and run around aimlessly, like chickens with our heads cut off. 

But as Christians, we are supposed to be different my fellow believers. We have to take our responsibility seriously, which doesn’t mean not enjoying our everyday lives, but simply keeping our eyes and ears open and doing what needs to be done in Jesus’ name. 

When we do that, it makes us right with Him, and glorifies our heavenly Father. That’s the ultimate in wisdom and common sense my brethren! Much LOVE!

…faithfully serving Jesus in this life…is the wonderful recipe for spending eternity with Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Well friends, Friday is here, and another long weekend is in the offing! Glory Be! I think we should have Christmas and New Year’s falling on a Monday every year yes, that would give us two long weekends back to back. (smile) But we all know it’s not going to happen, so let’s just enjoy it while we have it. 

And meanwhile some of us are still tired after the Christmas celebrations, and the three days of work, but now we have to get ready for the big New Year’s Eve bash, where the bubbly flows like water and people don’t know their A from their E and are hugging and kissing everyone in sight, crying out ‘Happy New Year’ as though everything will change in that one day. 

But no such luck, because as soon as we sober up, we’ll go right back to our old, nasty, sinful ways, forgetting whatever resolutions we might have made. And there’s no better time to introduce Granny’s warning, because New Years is the time of the biggest drinking bash. 

So friends, please remember ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business,’ because when we overdo it, that’s when we get into serious trouble with Lucifer and subsequently our God, and sometimes the consequences of such error can be suffered for a lifetime. So please be careful, don’t give the devil any chance to break into our spiritual armour. 

And as always, the ordinary workingman is wearing his passion on his sleeve, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! We only work three days this week, and if yuh see the massa face when he have to pay us for the whole week…that was such a joy to behold… and next week going to be the same thing because New Year’s falling on the Monday. And is the party ever going to be rocking this New Year’s Eve? It surely is! 

Plenty nice women, good food in abundance, good music and enough waters to drown a heard of elephants. Mama Yo! And is not the cheap bubbly we drinking nuh, but the expensive one. Yuh have to go first class at New Year’s! So let’s get ball rolling from now nuh…Party! Party! Party! We going to mash up the place this New Year’s Eve! Thank God for Fridays and them long weekends yes!’ 

And believe me friends, a lot of what the workingman is saying there will unfortunately come to pass this New Year’s weekend and Beelzebub will be in his glee, since when we drink up the waters, too many of us turn stupid and do nonsense. But please, this weekend I implore us to stay sober and run our race properly, don’t give the enemy a chance to inveigle himself into our affairs. 

Anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a better perspective on how to spend the weekend. 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.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, whatever the celebration, we followers of Christ still have to keep our wits about us, keeping God first place in our hearts and souls. For if we don’t, we can seriously jeopardize our relationship with the Holy Trinity, and that’s not a very wise move. 

No wonder Jesus warned the disciples in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

And those are words of everlasting truth friends. Without Jesus we can do nothing! He is the one from whom we draw all our sustenance. Therefore, if we are not in Him and He in us, then we’re nowhere. Like the branches of a vine draw their power to produce fruit from the main vine, so do we draw our power to produce good fruit from our close and wonderful relationship with Jesus. 

And Jesus continues His analogy of the vine. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:5-8) 

There we have it friends, plain, simple and straightforward as Jesus is wont to put it. The only way to bear good fruit and glorify God is by being a disciple of Jesus. And that means letting Him live and work in you, so you can draw His life-giving power and carry out His wishes and duties. There’s no other way my brethren. 

So at the end of this tumultuous year of 2017, let’s sit down and ponder our relationship with Jesus nuh, see if He is truly in us, and we in Him, and if we’re bearing any good fruit. And whatever the answer might be, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and ask for His help to improve our witness, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…walking hand in hand with Jesus…is the only wise way to do this earthly life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2017 Psalm 55:16.

Psalm 55:16.   As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.

‘Alive! Still alive! Still alive and kicking! Give God the glory!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella is still alive and kicking! What an honour! 

That means God still has some plan for me to accomplish. And though I might not be kicking as healthily and actively as I’d like, once I’m alive, I have hope that things can get better. But if I’m not alive, things can’t get any better here on earth. (smile) 

So let’s praise our wonderful God and give Him much, much thanks for everyday we open our eyes to a bright new morning with Jesus the focus of our lives. Glory to God! 

So it’s Friday and the workingman is overjoyed at his short stint of upcoming freedom, and understandably shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! No more labour till Monday! We going to laugh and sing and party like there was no tomorrow…

For who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! So let’s party up a storm and enjoy the fruits of we labour nuh like Cousin Sol, the wisest man ever, advised. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’  

And Cousin Sol did advise that my friends, but I don’t think he meant for us to go overboard with it, as the workingman seems to advocate. I believe he would have liked to see some boundaries, boundaries that did not allow the enemy to get into our lives. 

He’d much prefer a statement along the lines of our Friday Chant, which advocates a tad more circumspection. So let’s give voice to our Friday Chant nuh…declare it like we truly mean it. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, I guess that’s what you’d call erring on the safe side (smile). But there is an enormous benefit to it; spending more time with God and less with the enemy! And anytime we can do that, we’re winning the battle of life. 

That brings us to our Bit; the proclamation of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – the cry against deceitful friends. In the midst of it all, he faithfully and boldly declares: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.’ 

What awesome faith my brethren! How many of us boldly make such declarations when the trials and tribulations of life are coming against us eh? Not as many as should, I’d dare to say. 

When times are good, we talk a good talk, but when they get rough, the exact time when we desperately need God, too many of us forget Him, give up hope and allow the ever-lurking enemy to confuffle us even further. That’s foolish, unproductive and ungodly behaviour my fellow believers, which severely detracts from our faith walk. 

Instead, we should be declaring powerful acclamations like Bruh David did after our Bit: ‘Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.’ (Psalm 55:17) Yeh precious people of God, when our prayers are constantly being floated up to heaven, we are assured of more assurance in our faith walk. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) And the scholars tell us that ‘the constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude (even) in the face of adversity.’ 

What more can we ask eh friends? Not a whole lot. To be grateful in the rough times is the mark of a true believer. And Bruh Paul also exhorted Timothy to prayer when he wrote. ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

So again we see that prayer should not only be constant, but it can be done anywhere, preferably ‘with a pure life without disputes.’ 

And we won’t forget to mention Jesus’ advice on the subject. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ’18:1. To faint means to “lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ Exactly the message I’ve been trying to covey my fellow believers. 

Now we’ll close with a powerful example of what we’re talking about. It’s about Daniel, when his enemies plotted against him and had the king sign a law that forbade anyone to ‘ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.’ (Dan.6:7b). 

They knew that the only way they could get to Daniel was through his God. But Daniel was not perturbed. The Good Book tells us: ‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing (written decree) was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a (that) day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (had been doing all along). 

Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.’ (Dan.6:10-11) 

And we all know the story how Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den but the Lord stopped them from harming him. 

Oh friends, examples like Daniel have been placed in the Word to encourage and uplift us, so that we too can take courage in the efficacy of prayer. Please, let’s use them productively nuh, like our caring and compassionate God intended. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and still yet to pray…that is the answer…

 

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