Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2019 Proverbs 16:9.

Proverbs 16:9.   A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
 

Well at long last it’s Friday, the day we’ve been waiting all week for! Consequently, many spirits are on the rise, just thinking about all the free time and fun time that’s on the horizon. And as I sit writing here at the desk in the Hyatt Regency hotel room, I have a varied set of images to engage my eyes. 

Right out in front of me is a lovely view of the Port of Spain seascape. Up close, the harbour is dotted with what looks like old. cargo ships. But then the expanse of sea extends right to the horizon, revealing different shades of blue under the somewhat cloudy early morning sky. Meanwhile to my left, is the port itself, with a jumble of different types, colours and shapes of ships, and the early morning buildup of the busy Port of Spain traffic down the Wrightson Road artery. 

And the fancy high rise building on my immediate left is the Parliament Building, where our leaders gather to supposedly discuss high matters of state, but too often end up behaving like a bunch of rowdies on the street corner! If that’s the example the supposed leaders set, what else can they expect from their constituents but the same unruly, disorderly behaviour eh? Unfortunately, that seems to be the modus operandi of most elected bodies all over the world! 

Anyway, I don’t have any set plans for the day, so we’ll just play it all by ear. I’m in T&T, so any number can play! (smile) And since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say in his song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Another week of back breaking work done, and I have a li’l time to mihself now! And believe me, I’m going to use it well; to eat drink, sleep and party, and make some plans for next weekend, which is Easter weekend! 

Might even go to Tobago, if I could get a ticket, and enjoy the many activities that happen over there at Easter time. Things like goat and crab race, boat races, and parties all over the place. Tobago is the place to go for Easter in these parts. But that is next weekend, still have to enjoy this weekend first…and believe me I’m going to do it, in style and fashion too. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, don’t know how I would survive otherwise nuh!’ 

Ah friends, we all would like to let it all hang out like the workingman, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have to toe a li’l tighter line, so that the enemy doesn’t have a chance to get inside our souls and work his evil, ungodly business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves too, just not as leggo beast as the workingman. So let’s chant our Friday Chant to show our thanks for Friday nuh. With strong voice 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, it’s not as boisterous as the workingman’s song, because we have to play it a li’l closer to the vest, but it’s still thankful and joyful and give us lots of leeway. (smile) Oh, the duchess is ready to go out for breakfast, so I’ll have to stop here for a while. Soon come! 

Well I’m back finally after some hearty local breakfast at the Breakfast Shed, just up the sidewalk from the hotel. It’s a group of about ten small businesses under one broad enclosure serving local food. And the food good, so they doing good business. And most importantly, the duchess enjoyed it, so I’m happy. (smile) 

And today I’ve been led once again to the wise words of Cousin Sol for our Bit. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ And is that ever so true my people. As the old people would say, ‘man plan, but God laugh!’ That’s because He knows who is the real guide of our footsteps – He himself! 

As the scholar’s explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ No doubt about that friends: the Creator of man is sovereign over him and can disrupt our best laid plans with a simple nod. And Cousin Sol says it this way later on: ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov.19:21) 

And I know that many of us can attest to that, for over the years we’ve made so many plans of our own only to see them sadly jettisoned by the Lord. Now hear how Jeremiah puts it. ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ (Jer.10:23) 

And if all of that is true, then we have to come back to Cousin Sol’s words and ruefully ask: ‘Man’s goings (steps) are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Prov.20:24) He obviously can’t because the Lord is controlling it all, and His ways and thoughts and plans are so much higher than ours. 

But let it be known that our great God never leaves us in a lurch, in a place where we are without hope, thus this great promise of His through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you and expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

How can you beat that promise eh friends? Only possibly with this one from Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) So friends, please don’t despair when our plans are thwarted by God, for He usually has something better in mind for us, and it will ALWAYS be for our good! Much LOVE!

…God’s promises are never idle…but are meant to lift our spirits…give us hope…and strengthen our faith…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2019 Matthew 13:8-9.

Matthew 13:8-9.   ​But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
 
Well at last it’s Friday! And many tired but grateful sighs emanate from many tired lungs and bodies, especially those who returned right at the last minute from the March Break and had no time to rest before heading back out to work on Monday. It’s a cruel world friends, a mighty cruel world, especially if you don’t have Jesus as your Lord and Leader. 

Yeh, Christians have it hard too, but they have the internal peace and LOVE that Jesus brings to the hearts and souls of His followers, and thus we are able to handle the cruel world with much more sense and sensibility (smile) than the unbeliever. So if you want to be able to handle this cruel world with greater confidence, then the answer is JESUS! Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise my fellow believers! 

But since it’s Friday, the workingman is also waiting in the wings to sing his Friday song. So let’s hear what gems of wisdom on life, that he has to offer us today. And he shouts out his usual opening: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It’s been a busy week…but the weather’s not been bad! And yes, it’s finally spring! So we’ll soon be outside in shirtsleeves and such, barbecuing, lolling on the deck drinking something cold and waiting for the burgers and steaks to cook on the grill! 

Wow! Yuh believe it? Springtime is here once again…and then it will be summer! Chuh! Gway with this winter business yes! Time to get the children and them outa the house too, where they lock up whole winter playing foolish video games. Children suppose to be outside playing, be it rain, snow or shine! 

But sadly not these modern-day ones who have so much electronic gadgets to play with. Some of them don’t even know what outside looks like nuh!  But I not going to kill mihself over them nuh, I know what I like to do and I’m going to do it, especially when it comes to the weekend – party, party, party! Mama Yo! That’s my time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does make some good points in his weekly song, but it’s just that it’s usually too far over the edge, too far out on the limb for us believers in Jesus Christ! The boundary lines are set too wide apart, too much freedom to wander into the evil world, when Jesus desires His people to follow the narrow but safe path that leads to and through Him to eternal life. 

Consequently, our Friday Chant differs a lot from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant our Friday Chant now with just as much enthusiasm as the workingman had in his song nuh. (smile) 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 friends, believers are also entitled to fun, to a natural enjoyment in Christ, but we cannot let out guards down, for as soon as we do, the enemy will just jump in there and try to create havoc in our lives. Remember that’s his main aim; to disrupt our lives in Jesus! And we can’t afford to let him do that, otherwise we’ll lose all our joy and peace and become even more miserable than the unbeliever. And believe me, there’s nobody as miserable as a miserable believer! (smile) 

That’s why we need to remember Jesus’ parable about the sower and keep it first place in our minds. ‘Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 

And when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt.13:3-9) 

Yeh friends, he who has ears to hear let him hear! Let him hear the Word of the Lord, and let it be firmly planted and rooted in his soul, so that neither thorns, nor the sun nor the fowls of the air can uproot or scorch it, and thus it will bear much fruit in their lives. 

Oh how Jesus desires us to bear the fruit of the Spirit in our earthly lives so that we can teach others about Him, but more importantly live the life we preach, that we’re currently so good at talking about but unfortunately living it very hypocritically. 

Ah my fellow believers, if we’d only seriously read, study and meditate on God’s Word, so that it becomes deeply rooted in our hearts, then we’d be more likely to produce things like LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control), which make up the basic fruit of the Spirit! (Gal.6:22-23) 

Now that’s what the world needs to see from believers! Not the wishy-washy, compromising, fearful stuff we’re currently showing them! 

Remember though friends, that each of us will have to answer individually for our words and deeds come the judgement day, so please let’s try our best to do what is right, to run a worthy and worthwhile race, so that when that fateful day comes, the Lord will embrace us and joyfully say: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Friends, there are no better welcoming words than those, so let’s live the kind of life that will cause the Lord to eventually say them to us nuh. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…only with the Word…deeply rooted in our souls…can we produce…the fruit of the Spirit…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2019 Habakkuk 3:18.

Habakkuk 3:18.   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 
Oh friends, let me apologize right at the beginning for the late start to the Bit, but I went to bed late last night and then the early morning sleep was so sweet and satisfying that I just could not resist the tempting offer of it’s siren’s call: ‘Sleep one more round…just sleep one more round…before you get up!’ 

Yeh friends, the ole fella was a sucker for that appealing temptation! (smile) But remember he’s only human and can’t be expected to resist everything that comes against him. And I know that you’ll understand and forgive me, because you are also subject to just such temptations. Praise the Lord! (smile) 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is there chomping at the bit to declare (phew…wrong again) his clarion call, so let’s hear him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s looming large on the horizon! The March Break also finish, and everybody who went away packing up now to come back home to school and work! 

Steups! Don’t know why they make such a big to do over it nuh, because is just one lousy week, and as soon as yuh get where yuh going, yuh have to pack up and come back again! But it wasn’t a bad week here, the temp wasn’t that cold and I went out a few times with the children, so that kept them happy. 

But the backbreaking work still continuing…the slave driver not letting up at all, especially since business picking up now. Brother! He just hungry and greedy and dying to get as much work done as possible! He even offering overtime on the weekends…

But that is his problem yes! I work hard enough during the week, the weekend is for me to party and spend li’l time with mih family. If the slave driver value money over his free time and family, then later for him yes! I’m going to thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth my people; many of us value money over spending time with our families and resting ourselves. But that’s not always wise because it breaks down everything; your family relationships as well as your own health.

So please, let’s not run down the dollars and cents, as so many of us are still doing, to the detriment of our families and ourselves. If the ordinary workingman can see and understand that principle, why can’t we believers, supposedly of wiser intellect see it too eh? 

But anyway let’s chant our reply to the workingman’s song, which wasn’t as far out on the limb today as it usually is. Our Friday Chant is still more conservative and sensible and in line with Jesus’ desires. So 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, we need to remember that we have certain borders and stop points that we ought not to go over unless we want the ever lurking enemy to get a foothold in our business and mess it up even more than it’s already messed up. (smile) We need to be always on our ‘p’s and q’s, because he is always on his. 

And he’s no more voracious than in this Lenten season when he knows that we’re all seeking spiritual upliftment with fasting and praying and meditating a bigger slice of our lives than normal. There’ nothing he would like better than to get us off course on our spiritual journey. That’s why my fellow believers we have to do like the prophet Habakkuk says in his song. Even though times are very rough and trying: ‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’  

Wow friends! A few simple but powerful words can make a lot of difference to our spiritual selves! And why was Habakkuk intent on being so joyful even though his situation might be less than satisfactory?

Because: ‘The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds (deer’s) feet, and will make me to walk upon mine high places.’ (Hab.3:19) And yes friends, that’s as good a reason as any, and better than many, to put one’s everlasting and sincere trust in the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel! 

 Hear how Isaiah puts it when he declares (wrong again – going to have to stop using it) his good tidings of salvation to Zion. ‘I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’ (Is.61:10-11) 

And friends, if you are indeed a true believer in Christ, you won’t need any other promise than that to convince you to stick with Jesus ALL THE WAY TO ETERNITY! No other supposed deity can even dream of making such a promise, much less of keeping it like Jesus will!

So let’s be courageous and steadfast and run the race that God has planned for us nuh. If we stick together and look to Him, we WILL WIN in the end! Much LOVE!

…though the storms of life billow around us…we’re sure of one thing…that Jesus is right in the middle of them with us…Praise His Holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2019 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   ​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.
 

No precipitation…and the sun is shining brightly…and my desktop seems to be working decently …Glory to God! Yeh friends it looks like it’s going to be a good day all around! And even if it isn’t, we’ll still declare with sincere faith and trust: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! And the Lord will supply ALL my needs through His riches in glory! Therefore me and my house will surely follow Him!’ 

And consequently; ‘Something good is going to happen to me today!’ As well as ‘Something good is going to happen through me today!’ Oh bless the Holy Name of our great and merciful God my believing brethren and forget not His benefits! Yeh mih people, the ole fella’s on a roll this Friday morning! (smile) 

But so is the workingman, as he sings his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Never wanted to see a Friday come as badly as this one nuh! Brother! Ah really tired this week after all the partying we do in that last long weekend, then having to go to work and slave for massa everyday! Steups! 

Couldn’t even take a day off sick, because he was just waiting there like a viper ready to fire anybody who book off sick after the long weekend. So ah really don’t know how much partying we can do this weekend nuh. Ah finally realizing that ah not as young as I used to be and can’t afford to burn the candle at both ends as ah use to do! 

As the ole people would say, after one time is really too yes! So we going to catch up on some rest this weekend, renew we energy, so that the partying could continue down the line! Wow! The body really tired and calling for sleep and rest! Hope the massa doh ketch me sleeping on the work today nuh…else crapaud smoke mih pipe! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes mih people!’ 

Yes mih bredden, our chickens usually come home to roost at some time or the other. The workingman is finally feeling the strain of overdoing his worldly pleasures. That’s why our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted boundaries and cut offs for His followers.

He knew full well that overdoing the pleasures of the world would only bring heartache and suffering. And that’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to the workingman’s bacchanalian offering. 

So let’s get into our chant now nuh, with strong voice and sincere 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 I know that our song is not as glamorous and party popping like the workingman’s, but it keeps us out of trouble with the enemy, and that’s all we need to ask of it. It gives us respect and circumspection as to how far to go and also what we need to do as followers of Jesus. 

So please don’t denigrate it because it’s not as snazzy and popular as the workingman’s, which only invites the enemy to gain footholds in our souls, which is also the worst thing we could ever do, thereby jeopardizing our salvation and eternal life with Jesus. Now who would ever want to do such a foolish thing eh? 

You’d think no sane and sensible believer would do that, but unfortunately there are many of us who are doing just that, nonchalantly disobeying the solemn and wise advice of 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.’ That’s the living truth friends! 

As John continues: ‘For all that is in the world is 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.’ (1 John 2:16) Ah mih people, our natural instinct is to sin; participate in evil desires and lustful pleasures which are not a part of God’s realm and we have to stop letting the enemy deceive us with the eye candy that the world values but the Lord does not. 

As James admonishes us: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to be) a friend of the world, is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) That’s it right there in a nutshell my fellow believers! 

And also as Bruh Paul put it so plainly to the church at Rome: ‘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.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, as believers we need to be aware of God’s plan for our lives which requires our sincere dedication, surrender and submission to His guidance. And we can only achieve that by reading His Word and meditating on it, as well as through prayer and fellowship with other believers. To be truly God’s, we have to delve into and revel in what is His, not what belongs to the world. 

And I know some of you are saying that we preached this sermon just recently, but this is one of those sermons that some of us need to hear everyday! (smile) For as John so sincerely reminds us: ‘And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:17) 

Oh friends, I’m sure we all want to abide for ever, so let’s pull up our socks and do better with God’s help nuh! Wisdom and common sense dictate that we do! Much LOVE!

…one cannot be both…a LOVER of God…and a LOVER of the world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   ​​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 

And then it was Friday…another gloomy winter’s day? Most likely! But who knows…and who cares eh? Not us believing Christians! We have Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour constantly looking over us, so we don’t let li’l things like the weather bother us, or keep us from doing His will! We get up and decide, whatever the weather or our circumstances: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Wow! What confidence we have in our Saviour! 

And if that doesn’t do the trick, then we continue: ‘The Lord will provide all my needs through His riches in glory!’ And furthermore: ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ Not a single soul! And since we are overcomers, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, through Christ who gives us the strength to do all that He calls us to do, then we can be steadfast and strong, and conclude that ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’ 

Oh friends, if you all didn’t need that li’l pick me up this morning, good for you, but the ole fella certainly needed it! But with the Lord’s help, we back on track now…praise His holy name! 

So let’s hear what the workingman has to say this gloomy Friday morning. And I just LOVE his undaunted enthusiasm! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…La la la la la la! It might be winter…and cold and miserable, but why should that make me miserable too eh? Especially when is Friday and the weekend upon me…when is my time to do as I please. I’d be real chupid to let a li’l bad weather stop me from enjoying the couple days off I have from the slave driver’s work yes! 

So who want to let that bother them or stop them from eating and drinking and partying, that is their business, but it not going to stop me, because I just live for the weekend and the li’l chance to karay mih body to some sweet music, and full mih belly with good food and drink, especially in them kinda cold weather here! I need strength, energy and enthusiasm to handle them oui! So thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is certainly off and running today. And I know that plenty of us supposed Christians think like him, and would like to behave leggo beast like him, but Jesus doesn’t like that kinda behaviour in His organization, so we cool it down, and instead chant we Friday Chant, a somewhat more controlled song, with narrower boundaries. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh! 

As one chanter: ‘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 breddren, a li’l restraint never hurt nobody yet nuh, but when you let it all hang out, yuh liable to get bite, as the long time calypso did say. (smile) And that’s all Jesus is trying to do yes with His narrow way; preventing us from getting bite! It’s all for our benefit, because yuh know how the enemy always lurking in the background ready to snap and bite at any chance we give him, so he could get a foothold in we souls and just spoil everything. 

Remember, it does only take one bad apple to spoil the whole basket! And Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us, that’s why He advocates the narrow, less travelled way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But we don’t even need Jesus us to tell us that, because logically speaking, the wider or broader your field of vision or your endeavours, the more problems you’re liable to have, just because so much more is involved. 

But getting back to Jesus, who wants to suffer destruction by being eternally separated from Him eh? Nobody in their right minds! So if we’re wise and sensible, although I know common sense isn’t in vogue these days (smile) we will choose the strait and narrow way which is through Jesus as He so sweetly and graciously enlightens us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) End of story friends! 

If you want to get to the Father, then you have to go through His Son Jesus! That’s all there is to it! It’s just like our earthly set up; to get to the boss, you have to go through His secretary. (smile) So just consider Jesus the Father’s Administrative Assistant, and if you don’t deal with Him, you won’t get a chance to deal with the Father! Clear as noonday my brethren! 

So let’s take a few moments today and ponder which road we’re currently travelling on nuh, because it’s so easy to get sidetracked in this evil, ungodly world, that we need to constantly be on our p’s and q’s so we stay on the straight and narrow with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…only two options available…the strait and narrow with Jesus…and enjoy eternal life…or the broad and busy highway…and end up on the outside looking in…dead to Jesus…be wise…choose life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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 mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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 (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2018 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
Aye mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies, LOVE, forgiveness, blessings and all the other good things that our magnanimous and ever-LOVING God showers down on us each and every single day! Glory be! Give Him much thanks and praise for His enduring goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes friends, is our God ever good to us! 

And would you believe that with only four days – not four shopping days (smile) to Christmas that we have rain in our area and not the crazy white stuff called snow! I’m surely grateful for that, although the skiers and other snow people won’t be thrilled.

Sorry people, but the Controller of the universe apparently feels for rain right now, not snow, and consequently there’s nothing we can do about it! But have no fear, we will get our fair share of the white stuff…in God’s time, that is! 

And the workingman has not forgotten us in these most celebratory times. Hear him sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday – the weekend! And only four days till Christmas too! Oh how we going to make merry and celebrate Christmas…but I already doing that yes!

I eating mih home made bread with ham flavoured with chow chow an’ pepper sauce! Brother does that ever taste good! Nice heavy bread with substance, not them light fluffy chupidness they sell in the bakery an’ call them bread! 

Then ah washing it down with sweet sorrel or ginger beer…an’ black cake and ice cream for dessert. Yuh smell how the alco strong in the cake? If yuh eat too much it soon black yuh up yes! (smile) And all we doing is going round to other people’s houses, singing carols and sweet parang music, an’ eating and drinking up all their Christmas goodies! Oh Christmas is such a wonderful time! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas oui!’ 

Yeh friends, Christmas is indeed a wonderful time, and all the celebrating is good, but it should not be paramount in our lives. The birth of our Lord and Saviour is what should hold first place in our lives this Christmas season, for it’s the very reason for the season! Without the birth of Christ, there’d be no Christmas! 

So why have we allowed that fact to be obscured by the foolishness of the man made festivities eh, where shopping and other bacchanalian activities seem to be honoured above the birth of our Saviour? Yuh can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ to some people! All they want to hear is the foolishness bout ‘Happy Holidays!’ What holiday is it eh? CHRISTMAS! So say it loud and proud: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ 

And forget the nonsensical watering down of the time when our God gave us His greatest gift ever: that of the birth of His only Son Jesus Christ, so that He would grow and show us the Father, and eventually die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our heinous and abominable sins! Brother! How can we not celebrate and give oodles of sincere thanks for such wonderful occurrences eh? 

My Christian brethren, please let’s not fall into the enemy’s trap of considering Christmas as more of a worldly time than it is eh. It’s ALL ABOUT CHRIST! So please let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTMAS! Keep it first place, like we ought to keep God first place in our overall lives! End of sermon! (smile) 

And I’ve talked so much about keeping Christ in Christmas that I almost forgot about our Friday Chant. Hn! So please let’s chant it up now with the same enthusiasm that the workingman placed in his song. 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!’ 

Ah friends, it’s not as worldly as the workingman’s song, but it serves our purposes rather admirably; keeping us away from the excesses of the world, and more in line with the straight and narrow path that’s Christ desire for His people. That finally brings us to our Bit; a most wonderful piece of encouraging and reassuring scripture: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.’ 

And is that the gospel truth or what my faithful brethren! If it wasn’t for the Lord’s compassionate heart and intense care for us, we’d be long burnt up like the noonday sun burns up the dry grass! That’s why we need to take our Christian faith more seriously than many of us are doing. But hear how poor Jeremiah continues as he laments over his trials and tribulations nuh. 

‘They (the Lord’s mercies) 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.’ (Lam.3:23-26) 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of eternal wisdom! If we sincerely believe in God, then we have to HOPE and WAIT for His timing and dispensation! Nothing else makes any sense. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last section. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have expressed great grief of soul (Hab. 2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’ 

Yuh see friends, even though the great saints suffered trials and tribulations, and more than most of us do nowadays too, they all felt the assurance of hoping in and waiting for God. And I just looked up all those scriptures the scholars noted, and they are indeed interesting and inspiring stuff. So please look them up yourselves so that you too can be enthused and reassured! That’s the only sensible way to live this life my people! Much LOVE!

…ONLY because of Christ’s birth…is there Christmas…let’s remember that…and act accordingly…

 

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