Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   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.

Ah friends, sorry the Bit is this late, but I had an early morning doctor’s appointment in the city which means everything had to be rearranged. Chuh!  If I say I’m not tired with doctor’s appointments now, I’d be lying. But they are for my benefit, so I just have to grin and bear them. And yesterday I planned to add a P.S. note about it, but I forgot. The old mind’s going. (smile) But as they say, better late than never. 

So here it is now, hot off the press. And by now most of you are at work, so your day is well advanced and you have already engaged the enemy in spiritual warfare. You might even be still suffering from the Monday blues, so it’s definitely not too late to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, our blues antidote. It’s also nice to have a li’l pick me up in the middle of the day. (smile) 

So as one great voice now, let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what a relief to feel the adrenaline course through our veins, to feel the Spirit of Christ just rise up to the forefront once more, and we become indefatigable (not tired) and invincible once again. Glory to our great God! 

Now yesterday we were talking about one of God’s many attributes, His compassion, and there is so much in the scriptures about it, that we’ll continue on that most worthwhile and awesome topic.  As our Bit so magnanimously states: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, without God’s compassion we’d be done like dinner long time, roasting in Hades with that fool Lucifer! (smile) But thanks to our God’s magnanimous compassion, we’re not. And what I especially like about His compassion, His mercy, is that they are brand new every day! 

Wow! Our God doesn’t give us any stale stuff. It’s like the fresh manna He gave the Israelites every day in the wilderness. Now how can we not appreciate and be grateful for that kind of treatment eh? Under those rather enviable circumstances, I don’t understand our strong desire to get rid of God from our society.  

But some of us are just wiser than others, so let’s turn to the scriptures now and check out some more of it that deals with God’s compassion. Yesterday we saw the most important aspect of it, where while we yet His enemies, the Father sent Christ to die for us. (Rom.5:6-9) Yuh can’t beat that friends! 

Now listen to Micah proclaim to the world, our God’s compassionate attribute. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea.’ (Mic.7:18-19)  

Oh my people, my people, what will it take for us to take the scriptures, the Word of God seriously eh? We’re behaving just like the Israelites did after the Lord brought them out of bondage in Egypt. The psalmist Asaph puts it nicely. Even after the Lord smote their stoutest men for their disobedience: ‘For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. 

Therefore their days did he consume in vanity (futility), and their years in trouble (sudden terror). When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early (sought diligently) after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. 

Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all their wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.’ (Ps.78:32-39). 

Yeh friends, that’s the same way we are taking advantage of God’s compassion and mercy, making believe that we have right hearts and pure motives. But please remember He does not judge by outward appearances, so no matter how much we flatter Him with the words of our mouths, He will look at out hearts to see if they are sincere or not, and at some stage give us our just desserts. 

A word of warning to the wise is supposedly sufficient. Let’s hope that we all accept that warning today. Much LOVE!

…although God’s compassion is boundless…it’s not wise…to try to play Him for a fool…



 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2017 Psalm 89:15.

Psalm 89:15.   Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

Ah mih people, the enemy is alive and well this Tuesday morning yes, and he’s in a foul mood too because of all the thanks and praise we offered up to our heavenly Father over this Thanksgiving weekend. 

Hear mih story: Some 45 minutes ago I came down to the kitchen to make a cup of java on my way down to write the Bit. Having made the coffee, I saw that there was some leftover food on the stove, so I decided to do a good deed and put it into the fridge. 

With that thought in mind, I opened the fridge and went to pick up a bottle of wine that was blocking some available space. Next thing yuh know, the wine flowing all over the duchess’ white tile floor with glass splinters near and far. Steups! 

I obviously wasn’t thrilled, and surprisingly no foul language emanated out of my mouth. I don’t know if that’s because my big daughter was in the kitchen with me. (smile) Anyway, I dutifully cleaned it up, breaking a sweat much earlier than I ever intended, and writing the Bit much later than planned. 

But it’s all good, the Lord is in His high heaven controlling things, and the enemy is still wearily traipsing to and fro across the land having little success in his evil endeavors. Glory to God! 

And since we’re running late, let’s go directly to our Bit. ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.’  

Those my friends are ever-truthful words from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. This Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite wrestles with God’s faithfulness to His promises, as Israel was going through some rough times. 

But we now know that our great God is ever-faithful and will NEVER renege on any of His promises. He won’t make the promise if He doesn’t intend to keep it. And the first section of the psalm, (vs.1-38) from which our Bit is taken, does indeed recount the goodness and mercy, strength and faithfulness of the Lord. 

Now listen to how it continues after our Bit. ‘In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense (Our shield belongs to the Lord); and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:16-18) 

And that my brethren was true back then for all those who believed, and still is true today for all who believe! Yeh friends, that’s why there was such joyful sounds and celebration over the past Thanksgiving weekend; because as believers, we’re walking in the light of God’s awesome presence. 

His light is shining all around us, and as we obey His commands, He allows us to become prosperous and exalted amongst the nations of the world. And as the psalmist proclaims earlier on: ‘For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ (Ps.89:6) 

And the obvious answer to those two questions is simply NO ONE! How could there be eh, when it is the Lord God Almighty who made the universe and all therein? How could the made be greater than the Maker? Impossible! 

That’s why the psalmist continues his proclamation: ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’(Ps.89:7)  And that’s exactly how it ought to be! 

But strangely enough, many of us fear man, the made, but don’t fear God, the Maker of man. We have it the wrong way friends. And Cousin Sol puts it directly to us in Ecclesiastes. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words, there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ (Eccl.5:7) 

And if you want it plainer than that, then listen to Jesus as He instructs His disciples. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) 

Oh my people, mankind can only kill our physical bodies but not our spiritual beings, so there is no reason to be deathly afraid of him. However, the Lord God Jehovah who made us, can kill both body and spirit and have us cast into Hades with Beelzebub. So in light of that, tell me now, of whom then shall we be afraid eh? 

That’s a question we all have to answer individually friends. But as for me, I am definitely going to fear the Lord, both in reverence, reverential awe, and in His potential power to cast me to spiritual death in Hades. Let’s hope we all make that wise decision. 

And in closing, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting all the world know, who and whose we are. With true sincerity and strength of purpose: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and do as we vowed, joyfully share that LOVE with all we meet. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE God…and to fear Him…are essential elements of a believer’s life…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2017 Psalm 49:20.

Psalm 49:20.   Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Well a bright and blessed morn to all you my fine, upstanding, Scrip-Bit friends, families and neighbours! May Almighty God shine down on all our lives this sunny Friday in July and cause us to walk in His righteousness. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Thanks and praise to our heavenly Father who meets all our earthly wants and needs from His abundant store of grace and mercy through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we indeed have to be thankful for all that our most generous God has blessed us with, since for whatever reason, He hasn’t done so to lots of others. And this has been a short workweek for North Americans, so they will either go to the cottage to rest, or to rack up the summer partying season that’s just begun. 

And the shout all over town will be something like: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! That means the weekend, the long awaited weekend is finally here and we can get into our cups with gay abandon! Wow! What a time we going to have this early summer weekend! Thank God for summer, for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And we’re all truly grateful for the summer weather and weekends, but we just celebrate them differently. The believer has a more subdued outlook, as stated in our Friday Chant, to lessen the possibility of his getting into all sorts of wrongdoing.  

Please declare it with me. ‘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.’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ 

Yes my people, the Lord made us in His image and gave us authority over all the other living things on earth. (Gen.1:26) He also gave us the power to get wisdom and understanding. And when we don’t use that power wisely, and don’t appreciate the gifts of God, we become just like the lowest beast of the field. 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it in his experiment in Ecclesiastes to ‘seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven.’ (Eccl.1:13) 

Now remember that Cousin Sol was rich and had the time and wherewithal to conduct such an experiment. He says: ‘And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do after the king? even that which hath been already done. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as the light excelleth darkness. 

The wise man’s eyes are in his head: but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event (death) happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity (futility). 

For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.’ (Eccl.2:12-16) 

Oh friends, as the scholars tell us: ‘2:12-16. Wisdom is better than folly (vs.12-14), but both are useless when one comes to death.’ 

However friends, I would like to add an addendum to that statement. (smile) In these end times, the wisdom of following Jesus Christ, of having Him as your Lord and Saviour when one comes to death, is clearly superior to the folly of not having a wonderful, life-saving relationship with Him. 

For therein lies the path your spirit will take after death; either eternal life with Christ in heaven, or everlasting separation from Almighty God with Lucifer in Hades. And I wouldn’t wish the latter on my worst enemy. 

Then Cousin Sol continues: ‘Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity (futility) and vexation of spirit (a grasping for the wind). Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken (toiled) under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 

And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity (futility) Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took (toiled) under the sun. (Eccl.2:17-20) 

And the scholars explain: ‘2:17-20. Part of the futility of trying to find fulfillment in material accomplishment is the fact that one must leave the fruit of his work to another who may well waste the accrued benefits. I hated life (v.17) is translated correctly and should not be misunderstood as “I hate life.” It is clearly the temporary conclusion about Solomon’s historical experiment.’ 

Ah friends, it’s a tricky situation: we need to work and store up something for rainy days, but we cannot let that be the end all and be all of our existence, because we won’t have the time to enjoy our own lives, and then might leave our vast wealth to some wastrel who doesn’t appreciate it.

So the sensible thing is to find a balance between work, enjoyment and storing up, and that can only be done properly with the help and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. End of story! Much LOVE!

…all work and no play…makes Jack a dull boy…but all play and no work…sends the fool to hell…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2017 Ecclesiastes 5:4.

Ecclesiastes 5:4.   When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Oh friends, we’ve been granted the great privilege of seeing another of the first and best days of the week- Sunday! Glory to God! So let’s gather in sincere fellowship and worship Him in all truth, as we are supposed to on this special day nuh. And we’ll begin the celebrations, the sacrifices of praise by singing this popular Christian song, ‘I’ll Walk with God.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean and believe it my people, because God is looking at our hearts to see if what comes out of mouths is truly what’s buried there. Now with a great outpouring of LOVE, let’s raise the roof of heaven. 

‘I’ll Walk with God from this day on. His helping hand I’ll lean upon. This is my prayer, my humble plea, May the Lord be ever with me. There is no death, tho’ eyes grow dim. There is no fear when I’m near to Him. I’ll lean on Him forever And He’ll forsake me never. He will not fail me As long as my faith is strong, Whatever road I may walk along. 

I’ll Walk with God, I’ll take His hand. I’ll talk with God, He’ll understand. I’ll pray to Him, each day to Him And He’ll hear the words that I say. His hand will guide my throne and rod And I’ll never walk alone While I walk with God.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, that was magnificent! And God heard it in His high heaven and was immensely thrilled! 

However, let me remind us of what we just did there: we just made a promise, or rather several promises to Almighty God – to walk and talk with Him and hold His hand. So that means we cannot renege on those promises, for as the Preacher tells us in our Bit from Ecclesiastes. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’ 

And we have good authority for that from way back when in Numbers, when Moses gave the Israelites the law concerning vows. ‘If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond (binding himself by some agreement); he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.’ (Num.30:2) 

The same applied to women too, unless her father or husband heard her sware the vow and squashed it right then and there. (Num.30:3-8) Meanwhile, the same went of widows and divorcees, unless their vows were made when they were still with their husbands and they said nothing to the contrary. (Num.30.9-15) 

So you see friends, vows were taken rather seriously back in those days, and even until recently, with our sudden explosion of irresponsibility and fraudulent behaviour.  Therefore it’s not only to God that we shouldn’t make vows and not keep them, but to ALL people. It should be a general way of life amongst believers. 

And the keeping of vows was, and still is, so important that the writer of Ecclesiastes solemnly advised us. ‘Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not (do not let) thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel (messenger, priest), that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice (excuse), and destroy the work of thine hands.’ (Eccl.5:5-6) 

So friends, that just puts us in a beautiful bind; we just have to keep those promises now, and sincerely walk with the Lord. (smile) Believe me though friends, walking with God is not always easy, but the rewards are worth every ounce of pain and/or disappointment. And I am not talking from hearsay, but from personal testimony. 

Ah mih breddren, in the last little while I’ve been going through a whole set of medical problems, and though at times I was tired of the pain and uncertainty, I could always see the Lord’s grace and mercy and favour riding along with me. And even though I’m feeling somewhat better now, the fact is that none of my medical problems have been solved or corrected. But at least we know about them and are in the process of doing something about them. 

But even then, making things right will still take time, the Lord’s time, so all I can do is stay faithful and walk with God, because He has promised to work everything out for my eventual good. And I know from past experiences that He is ever faithful to His vows. He NEVER reneges on any of them. How yuh think I can write the Bit every day, despite my unfortunate circumstances eh?  So why should I get all worried and anxious eh? That’s not going to solve the problem(s), only make me feel worse. 

Now listen to the psalmist talk about vows, as he extols the great works of God in Psalm 66. ‘I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows (promised deeds), which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams: I will offer bullocks with goats.   Selah.’ (Ps.66:13-15) 

Yuh see friends, that is how we must behave as true believers in Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord and Saviour! Anything else will just place a serious blemish on His godly character. Remember we are His ambassadors down here on earth, and all that we do reflects on Him, for either good or bad. 

And we’ll close with another pearl of wisdom from the Preacher. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ (Eccl.5:7) 

That’s indeed the long and short of the story my people, so let’s pursue it diligently and sincerely nuh. Much LOVE!

…walking with God…is the ONLY path of wisdom in this crazy world…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2016 Ecclesiastes 6:1

Ecclesiastes 6:1.   There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.

Oh friends and fellow believers, today is a great day to be alive! And why is that you ask? Because today is not like any other day. It’s filled with wonderful promises and beautiful things to look forward to, like no work, since it’s Saturday… 

And I hear some of you ‘steupsing’ and grumbling in the background, for although there is no outside work to go to, there is a lot of stuff to be done around the house; stuff to clean up from the past week and more to get ready for next week. 

But that doesn’t mean we have to be sour and miserable. Just being alive is a great joy in itself, especially in our privileged circumstances. 

I wonder how we’d react if we didn’t have any money, a roof over our heads, food on our table, a job to go to and no decent clothes to wear? And believe me, there a great many people in our universe, and right in our own backyards too, who are undergoing such desperate and unfortunate circumstances. 

So please don’t bitch and complain because you have some cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping to do. Just stop for a moment and consider what your life would have been like if the good Lord in His mercy and LOVING-kindness had not smiled down on you with abundance and prosperity eh.   Selah. 

Now give Him some thanks and praise for your well-being and promise not to complain again – well at least not for today. (smile) 

And here are a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. They hit the nail on the head re the worldly lifestyle that’s so prevalent today.  The first quote is called ‘In The Mirror.’ And it tells us that: ‘Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone’s house will be bigger. Someone will drive a better car. Someone’s children will do better in school.’ 

And the sad part is that we know all of that, we know it’s gospel truth, but yet we still allow the flimsy, insubstantial and ungodly behaviour of the world to corrupt our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with its proud and lustful foolishness – the keeping up with Joneses nonsense!  

And hear the other hit the nail right on the head, rather appropriate quote from our friend Anselm. ‘Cherish…the virtues you possess. At the end of the day, there will always be trickery and dishonesty. But if you are standing on higher ground, and you believe in honesty and integrity, and all that is good, trying at all times to do your best and nothing less, you will surely reap the rewards of virtuous living.’ 

Oh my people that is Christianity 101! We ought to know that backwards and forwards! That’s why Jesus left His comfortable abode in heaven and came down here to earth and sacrificed His sinless life for us – so that we could be empowered to lead virtuous lives and reap its wonderful rewards – salvation and eternal life! 

But because of our inherent sinful nature, and the bright beckoning lights of the world, we continue to allow its worthless things and ways to hold too much sway over us. Please remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in this fraudulent and deceptive world! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.’ More truth friends on the vanity of riches, this time from Cousin Sol, in his capacity as the Preacher! 

And he continues in the next verse. ‘A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth (lacks) nothing for his soul (himself) of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity (futility),  and it is an evil disease (affliction).’ (Eccl.6:2) 

Yes friends, you can be rich as Cousin Sol himself and not be able to enjoy those riches. As the scholars declare: ‘6:1-2. Prosperity is not necessarily good. Accumulation of wealth does not always result in the use of it.’ 

And just look at how many wealthy people have departed this life without being able to enjoy their wealth nuh, while others, even strangers, who hadn’t laboured for it joyfully partake of it. Not only that, but the sad and sorrowful litigation that takes place when a wealthy person dies is so shameful, that it just sullies the name and reputation of the deceased. 

And look no further than the recent death of Prince in his wealthy prime, who left no will, and now so many people are coming out of the woodwork claiming to be entitled to some of the spoil. In the long run, perfect strangers, the lawyers might just end up getting the most of it. 

It’s a good thing that I don’t have anything for anybody to fight over – at least not yet, but it is possible, since my best days are still ahead of me. (smile) And as I’ve always told my children, the day I see them living like cat and dog, I’m going to come back and haunt them. 

Now listen to the Preacher again. ‘There is a sore (severe) evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners to their hurt. But those riches perish by evil travail (misfortune): and he that begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 

As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore (severe) evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 

All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl.5:13-18) 

And the scholars tell us this re those verses. ‘5:13-17. Wealth is easily lost and is therefore an unsure foundation for life.’ ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

Ah friends, Cousin Sol was the richest man in the world, and if he could declare that riches wasn’t the end all and be all, then who are we to say him nay eh? So please, let’s not run down riches, but if it does come, let’s enjoy it, though with a modicum of circumspection, for that’s wisdom at its heavenly best! Much LOVE!

…the only sure bet in this world is…JESUS CHRIST…

 

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…

 

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