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 8 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.    

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

And then it was Friday, the beginning of the March break, so I can imagine that all the airports are full and running over with the amount of people just dying to get away from the lengthy spell of cold weather that’s recently held us in its iron grip! 

Yeh, wish I was one of those crowding the airport terminals too, but my day will come, so I’m not worried, and I know too that whatever the Lord allows to come against me, He will give me the grace and strength to face it victoriously! Glory to our great and wonderful and generous and merciful, forgiving and magnanimous God my people! 

Now we have lots to cover today, so let’s get on with it; let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself today! And as always, he’s very vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui; March break Friday and the children and them don’t have no school for a whole week. Steups! That means they underfoot all blooming week. Got to see if I can’t send them by their uncle up in the North Country for at least a few days. 

It would be good if I could take some time off and go somewhere with them, but the slave driver only give we holidays in the summer when he place shut down to retool…plus I don’t have enough money to carry all of us overseas to the warm climates right now anyway! So we’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation right here in cold Toronto…Hn, hn, hn! 

And ah talking as if that ever stop we before! We still going to eat and drink and party hearty this weekend. So bring it on! Let the fun and games begin, as we get into another free from work weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes! Don’t know what I would have done without them to break up the monotony and harsh reality of work nuh!’ 

Yeh friends, plenty of us believers also fall into the same category as the workingman, can’t get time off and don’t have enough money to take the family on a holiday to a warm place, but we too will manage, because we have the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indwelling us, and He gives us the wherewithal to withstand anything that comes against us! Glory to God!

So let’s chant our weekend song, our Friday Chant, with the same, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song, since we have plenty more to be thankful for. 

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!’ 

That was good friends! We could feel that deep down in our souls and our God was happy to hear us rejoice and be thankful in our relationship with Him. (smile) Now let’s turn to our Bit, those stirring words that foreshadowed some of the awful stuff that our Saviour Christ Jesus suffered on our behalf. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t think that any of us would have made it successfully through forty days and nights of fasting then serious temptation by the evil one himself. But Jesus did. Give Him the glory! And today we’ll look at the third major temptation. 

The Good Book says: ‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence (away with you), Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt.4:8-11) 

Oh friends, the devil is very persistent, and we have to be very strong in our reproach and rebuke too. In this last temptation Jesus rebuked Satan with a combination of words from Deut.6:13, 10:20 and Josh.24:14.

We also need to know the proper scripture to rebuke the enemy when he comes a calling, which means we have to read and study and meditate on God’s Word. I can’t overstate the importance of knowing the Word to help us in ALL aspects of our lives! 

Now here is some pertinent info on the last temptation from the scholars. ‘4:8. The third temptation takes place on an exceeding high mountain. The mountain is clearly real in the text, though its exact location is unidentified. Despite the grandeur of the temptation, nothing in the passage itself indicates that these temptations were only in the mind of Christ.

Clearly, they are depicted as real experiences that actually occurred in the human life of the Messiah. That Satan, the usurper, would attempt to give the kingdoms of the world to Jesus, the Messiah, the rightful King, is the height of absurdity!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how boldface Satan is, offering us stuff that already belongs to us! How boldface can some people get eh! And then this other offering from the scholars. ‘4:9-11. For Christ to fall down and worship Satan would have been to acknowledge the Devil’s lordship over Him. 

In His direct rebuke Get thee hence, Satan, Jesus clearly asserts His lordship over the old serpent whose head He will soon crush. Matthew’s statement that Satan leaveth him shows that his order of temptations is the chronological one. (cf. Luke 4:1-13).’ (Luke has the mountain temptation second and the temple pinnacle last). 

Well that brings us to the end of today’s Bit, but please, please remember my people, that though Jesus rebuked Satan and crushed him, the ole devil is still out there roaring a toothless roar; (smile) he’s all bark and no bite, and has no power to overcome us, unless we fall for his deception and allow him into our lives!

So this Lenten season, let’s get serious in our decision to get closer to God nuh, study His awesome Word and put it into practice in our lives! That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…God gave us His Word… as a guidebook for our earthly lives…let’s be wise and use it nuh…

 

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 1 February 2019 John 17:17.

John 17:17.   ​Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 

Can you believe it friends, it’s the first day of February already! Wow! The days are certainly slipping by quite quickly. It seems like just last week we were celebrating New Years, now Valentine’s Day is already upon us. (smile) And the iron grip of the deep freeze has been loosened a little, it’s only minus 18 in my neck of the woods today! Glory Be! 

And by Sunday we are promised temps just around freezing, even some rain. Hn, hn! What a weather cycle! But as I keep saying, we sincere believers in Jesus have all the parts to handle whatever comes against us, through His ever glorious strengthening! Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

Now since today is Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself nuh. And as always, he has plenty to say: ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday oui! But Brother! This past week been cold suh! It seems as though every time I step outside it want to freeze off my li’l nutsies! (smile)

But in this country yuh know yuh can’t stay home from work because it cold, else yuh get fired…and believe me, the slave driver at my place was just itching to fire somebody this week who claim that they was sick, when is the cold have them fraid to come out to work! 

But thank the Lord, the devil man didn’t get a chance to fire anybody, because everybody come out this week…and we was punctual too! Almost give the man a heart attack when he couldn’t fire nobody or deduct money because yuh late! But is the weekend time now, we time off, and time to party…

And believe me not even this cold weather going to stop we from enjoying we self! Yuh don’t have to go outside to enjoy yuhself. So we’ll be living it up large inside, this weekend. Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes mih people!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman is truly something else yes; he lays it all on the line, does whatever he feels inclined to do; loses himself in the bacchanalian manner of life without a care in the world. However, as followers of Christ, we cannot afford to be that free and easy. We have borders and boundaries to protect us from the constant attacks of the enemy. Thus our Friday Chant is different to the workingman’s song. Chant it with me now nuh, in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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, ours is a more sanctified, set apart lifestyle, since we don’t want the devil messing with our minds and lives. Remember where Jesus prayed for the disciples, and ultimately for us? ‘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. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one; as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah friends, yuh see how Jesus was right on the ball? He didn’t want us to be a part of the world, but knew that we could only bring the world to Him if we went to it. And He asked that we be sanctified, separated from the world by the Truth, God’s Word which is totally true! And just like the Father sent Jesus to earth to preach the gospel and bring sinners to the truth, Jesus has sent those who believe in Him out to do the same thing. 

Our purpose, the mission of Christ’s church is the same as His mission. And please note Christ’s prayerful plea, that we should ALL be one in spirit and purpose, for without spiritual unity our mission would fail miserably. Oh friends, sanctification of Christ’s people is oh so important if we want to do Christ’s work properly! 

Hear how Bruh Paul greets the church at Corinth: ‘Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.1:2-3) 

Ah mih people, we cannot be sanctified in Christ unless we have a right relationship with Almighty God. Hear how Jude puts it: ‘Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified (set apart) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and LOVE, be multiplied.’ (Jude 1:1-2) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses: ‘1: Sanctified and preserved are in the perfect tense: Christians are once and continually “set apart” and “kept.” They are kept for the return of Christ (see v.21).’ ‘2. Believers who have sought God’s mercy also receive peace (“inner assurance” and “stability”) and LOVE.’ Now doesn’t it make sense to be sanctified and seek God’s mercy? It certainly does! 

Ah friends, there are many other scriptures throughout the Good Book that deal with sanctification. I’d advise us to take some time and look them up, because sanctification is very important in the life of a true believer. Much LOVE!

…believers can only be sanctified…through the work of the Holy Spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2019 John 3:3.

John 3:3.   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 

‘Driving, driving…’ Yeh friends, the ole fella went driving himself in that nasty weather yesterday, for the first time in some five weeks, and it wasn’t bad. It was like sex and riding a bicycle…you never forget how to! (smile) And though the weather was gloomy, the roads weren’t too bad. And above all, I had my trusted sidekick Jesus, riding shotgun beside me, so there was no need to worry. Glory be! 

What a way we can feel safe when we know He’s always right there beside us eh, as well as dwelling within us through His Holy Spirit! Christians therefore have no reason to be afraid of life and whatever it brings. But unfortunately too many of us are still fearful of even our own shadows, much less the trials and tribulations of life. But we won’t get into that right now, because the workingman is waiting to sing us his weekend song. (smile) 

And he wails out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And yuh better believe the weekend is upon us! What would we do without the weekend end eh? I refuse to even think about it! All I know is that I’m going to be enjoying mihself, having a good time, eating, drinking and doing whatever I want over the next couple days, regardless of the weather and what anybody else thinks! And if they don’t like it, then yuh know what they can do…Go jump in the blooming cold lake and freeze their nutsies off, because this is my time, and I’ll do what I so and so want to do with it! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, sometimes it would be nice to be like the working man and just go about one’s life with such gay abandon, but that unfortunately leads to serious problems eventually. So please, let’s be thankful that we’re believers in Christ Jesus who don’t adhere to such unbridled behaviour! 

Jesus needs His followers to be more restrained in their exuberance, but that doesn’t mean forfeiting fun and laughter, just being more cognizant of the dangers that lie in wait when we let the horses run wild. And that’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat less rah rah and self-serving than the workingman’s song. So let’s belt it out now with the same fervour and even greater appreciation than the workingman did nuh. 

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 my brethren, we have some boundaries to stay within, because we don’t want to fall into the ever-waiting trap of the evil enemy and his evil cohorts. Consequently, we’re not allowed to behave like leggo beasts as the workingman can do, and certainly does. And I just espied this interesting list on one of the many bits of paper beside my computer. It tells us seven things we need to do to be a true follower of Jesus. I believe I got it from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley). 

Here they are: (1) Be born again. (2) Pray. (3) Listen to Him. (4) Believe Him. (5) Obey Him. (6) LOVE Him. (7) Suffer for Him. Now those are certainly ALL things true believers should do! We can’t leave out even one of them, else our faith walk will suffer serious negative repercussions! But the most important of them all is indeed the first one: ‘Be born again.’ That’s because if we’re not born again we can’t get into Christ’s organization and then the other things don’t matter. 

And that’s exactly what Jesus told the Pharisee elder, Nicodemus, who came to Him under cover of night to find out whom He really was. Now Nicodemus did admit: ‘Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles (signs) that thou doest, except God be with him.’ (John 3:2) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘3:2. By night: Probably he (Nicodemus) feared criticism. John refers several times to “fear of the Jews” (see 7:13; 9:22; 12:42-43; 19:38). Nicodemus accepted Jesus as a teacher and a rabbi from God who worked miracles, but Jesus was not impressed with the depth of Nicodemus’s belief or understanding. Many unbelievers still agree that Jesus was “a great man.’ 

And no doubt, He was, but He was also much more than that; He was the Son of God! Thus Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ That says it all right there my people! We have to be born of water and the Spirit to be a part of  Christ’s kingdom. There must be a new beginning in our lives! 

That’s why Bruh Paul emphasizes to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation); old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) Yeh friends, to get truly hooked up with Christ, we have to become new people, and change our old ways, which don’t sit right with Jesus’ philosophy. I guess a simple way to put it is, we have to stop singing the workingman’s song and belt out the Friday Chant instead. (smile) 

And finally, as Bruh Paul tells the Ephesians: ‘If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:21-25) 

Ah mih people, to get in with Jesus we have to become totally new people, be born again, change our old habits! And Bruh Paul lists some of the practical things we need to do when we become born again in Ephesians 4:25-32. It might be a very good idea to open our Bibles and read that list today. I’m sure it will give many of us cause to stop and ponder our lifestyle and ask God for help in whatever area in which we are deficient! That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…that which is born of the flesh…is flesh…that which is born of the Spirit…is spirit…

 

 

 

 

 

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… 

 

 

 

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