Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2018 2 John 7.

2 John 7.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

It’s glorious out there friends! Both the sun and the Son are shining forth in all their brilliant glory! That’s why we can joyfully acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Most definitely my brethren! We’d be foolish not to rejoice in the good things our generous God has so richly provided, for they do outweigh whatever adversity comes against us. 

And I know that a lot of people are facing serious adversity all over the world, like those in North Carolina facing the ravages of hurricane Florence. But what yuh going to do eh? Just sit and bemoan your misfortune? That’s not going to help any, just make you feel worse. We need to get up and do what we can to ease the situation ourselves, plus have a good attitude, while turning prayerfully to God, our Creator and Provider. 

Remember friends, it’s God who created us and allows whatever comes against us to do so, so it just makes good sense to turn to Him in times of need. Remember too that He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, so He won’t leave us in the lurch all on our lonesome. If he decides that we should battle through the adversity, then He will be in there battling with us. That’s for sure! 

And the workingman gives us a good example of facing adversity in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Glory be! It’s the weekend and no more labour, no more labour, no more labour for that  wicked man called massa! He can’t touch me now, so I’ll just do my own thing; eat and drink and party hearty! And when I go back Monday, if I go back, I’ll deal with that then! But right now it’s the weekend which spells, party time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, he is pushing a bit to the extreme, but he’s not allowing his unfortunate work predicament to spoil his overall attitude. And so should we, my fellow believers. That’s why we have our Friday Chant; to keep us level headed and aware of what’s happening. As followers of Jesus, we can’t behave like the workingman, we need some more circumspection in our faith walk, but that doesn’t preclude us from having fun, fun within certain boundaries. 

So let’s chant up a storm today nuh! In unison and with sincere sincerity: (smile) ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, it’s time to relax from our weekly labour, but not get so relaxed that we forget about Lucifer and his ever constant attacks against our immortal souls. For as John the Revelator tells us in our Bit: ‘For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’ 

And it is! For how else would we get a sinless body to atone for our sins eh? Anybody born of man and woman will always have a sinful nature and won’t qualify as propitiation, atonement or worthwhile sacrifice for the myriad of sins we commit against a most holy God. Thus John warns: ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for), but that we receive a full reward.’ (2 John 8) 

Now hear the scholars on that verse: ‘8. The first and third we should probably be “you” (plural) according to many ancient manuscripts. It is dangerous for any person, including a believer, to follow teachings contrary to Scripture.’ 

And so it is! ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9) And per that verse, the scholars advise: ‘9. John makes Christology the central doctrine of the faith.’ But what else could it be eh? If the basic doctrine of Christ is not the central theme in the study and advocacy of Christ, then the whole thing is false. 

So John continues his warning. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him (give him a greeting) Godspeed. For he that biddeth him (greets him) Godspeed is partaker of (shares in) his evil deeds.’ (2 John 10-11) 

And if you’re wondering why that is, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘10-11. In the early decades of Christianity, local churches were planted and sustained by itinerant preachers and teachers. For those workers to survive, it was necessary for believers to show hospitality. However, one had to be sure that he was not aiding and abetting false teachers, that is, those with unorthodox views of the person and work of Christ. 

To take such people in, John says, is to endorse their teaching. John’s command forbids true Christians to actively support the ministry of false teachers. It is not a prohibition against having non-Christians (e.g. unsaved family members or neighbours) into one’s home – unless, of course, they are spreading anti-Christian doctrine, and seeking to use one’s home as a base of operations.’ 

And you know what friends? All of that still holds true today, because there are even more false teachers and preachers out there than in John’s time. So please, let’s be careful as to whom and what we open ourselves to nuh in these trying and oh so deceitful end times. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe exactly what Jesus says about Jesus…then you’re not believing the truth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2018 Matthew 7:13.

Matthew 7:13.   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.

It’s beautiful, exquisite…exquisite and beautiful! Yes friends, that’s the quality of the morning in my area! The sun’s shining, everything seems peaceful and calm, no hint of anything negative whatsoever! And all I can say is ‘Thank You Lord for bringing me safely through the dark and demonic night, into the bright sunshine of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Thank You again Lord, for a good life!’ 

Ah mih people, plenty thanks are in order for just being able to see another glorious day on God’s great earth, although there is so much negative stuff going on in it. And that’s one thing the ordinary workingman knows, as he always prefaces his song with: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! One more weekend to enjoy! And we going to enjoy this one down at the Ex! Check out all the fun and games, the rides and the food… And yuh know there’s always some way out food down at the Ex, some strange combinations! Brother! As the old people would say, if they don’t kill you, they’ll certainly make you strong! But we’re up to it. For nothing ventured…nothing gained! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, when you hear that the Ex, the Canadian National Exhibition is on, you know that the end of summer is near and back to school is in the offing. But as big boys and girl in Jesus’ society, we can handle ANYTHING that the world has to offer. 

So this beautiful Friday morning let’s chant our Friday Chant, to show the world where we’re coming from. Let them know our’s is a fun life too, just not to the extremes of the workingman, and we’d probably see them down at the Ex too…just not me. (smile) 

So, chanting 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!’ 

Ah mih loverlies in Christ, it’s not always an easy row we hoe, we always have to be on the lookout for the enemy, but it’s always interesting and rewarding. And once we seek to stay on the tried and true narrow path, our God will ALWAYS be with us, holding our hands, leading the way to safety and security, comfort and care, salvation and an eternal home in heaven with Him. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His grace and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And yuh better believe we need to be very thankful and exceedingly grateful for God’s mercy and grace, otherwise we’d be on our sure way to spending time in Hades with the arch criminal Lucifer. And believe me, that’s not a nice place to go, even for a look-see! (smile) 

That’s why Jesus warned in our Bit: ‘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.’ 

Ah friends, isn’t that that gospel truth? The way to Beelzebub’s den is wide and so easy to navigate that lots of people foolishly choose it. But as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘Because strait (so narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:14) 

Yes my brethren, unless you’re really looking for the way to life, it’s very difficult to find, and extremely narrow to pass through, if you do find it. But hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. 

Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (John 6:44).’ 

And just in case you don’t know or refuse to look up those two verses quoted above, here they are. Two of Jesus’ greatest pronouncements: He said unto doubting Thomas when he asked how they could know the way? ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And earlier on when He told some unbelieving Jews, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven,’ (John 6:41), they began to murmur amongst themselves re His earthly parents and His comment. But Jesus solemnly informed them: ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:44) 

Yeh friends, finding Jesus is difficult, nigh impossible, unless the Father tugs at our heartstrings and leads us in His direction. So those of us who have been led to Him and have found Him, let’s be everlastingly grateful for God’s mercy and go out and tell others about Him so that they too will be called to Him. Much LOVE!

…which path will you travel…the wide one…or the narrow one…wisdom dictates you follow the latter…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All together: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

…only in Christ…can everlasting promises come true…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2018 John 14:15.

John 14:15.   If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

And then it was Friday…already? Yes already. Remember, it was just a short workweek, what with the Caribana Monday holiday. Ah yes! I remember now! That means we into the weekend. Yes. We’re into the weekend. 

And does it ever warm the cockles of the workingman’s heart that he sings out with joyous abandon: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And we only work four days this week! Mama Yo! Ah don’t see why they can’t make it just a four day week all the time nuh. Then we’ll have so much more time to party. Party…Party…Party! 

Yeh, life is all about partying, about living it up, about eating and drinking and having a good time, wining down like we did this past Caribana weekend. What did Solomon, the wisest man ever say? Something like eat and drink today, for tomorrow you may die. Well that is exactly what we doing! So if we die tomorrow, we won’t have no regrets. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, that is how the world thinks, how the unwise adherents of the prince of darkness behave. But as followers of, and true believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Light, we cannot afford to think or behave like that. Our Crown Prince wants us to behave with a tad more restraint than the workingman. It’s not that we can’t enjoy ourselves, but not to the extent that the world does, in terms of lewdness and leggo beast behaviour. 

That difference shows up in our weekend song, our Friday Chant, a much more responsible ditty. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, in response to the workingman’s proclamation. 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.’ 

Now that’s more like it mih breddren! We still have fun and enjoy ourselves, but we just don’t take things to the extreme, we exhibit a li’l more care and concern, like Jesus desires of us. As He says so simply and explicitly in our Bit: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ 

It couldn’t get any plainer or simpler than that my people. If we LOVE Jesus we WILL keep His rules and regulations, for every organization has to have a stated, streamlined and orderly manner in which to carry out their business, if they want to grow and prosper. And that’s what Jesus definitely desires of His organization, the church! 

So if we want His church to grow and prosper, we must abide by His commands, toe the party line as it were, and not behave like the irresponsible workingman. Jesus said those words in our Bit to His disciples when He was preparing to go back to heaven. Obviously they were grieved and disappointed, but He solemnly promised. 

‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him.’ (John 14:16-21) 

Oh mih people, what marvellous and miraculous promises, all of which have been kept! And we especially talking about the promise of the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which came to earth on the Day of Pentecost and made mas in Jerusalem, with a rushing wind and cloven tongues like fire sitting on the followers of Jesus.

It caused them to speak in foreign languages, and they were so excited, behaving like the workingman I suppose,(smile) that the people of Jerusalem thought they were drunk at that early hour in the morning. And Peter preached one of the best sermons ever preached. You can read all about it in Acts 2. 

That’s when the Holy Ghost began to indwell ALL believers…and it still does today! Yes friends, that’s the Comforter Jesus promised, the Spirit of truth, and it certainly does all the things He promised it would. And the world still cannot see it because they don’t believe in and follow Jesus. 

And we’ll end with some reinforcements from John in his first epistle. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever (whosoever) is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Mama Mia! What indisputable truth! Only those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God can overcome this dark and evil world controlled by the fallen angel Lucifer! That’s it, plain and simple! So what shall your decision be eh? Do you want to overcome the world? I certainly hope so. Then you know what to do. Much LOVE!

…if you want to dwell in the light…and overcome the world…then you must accept Jesus as the Master of your life…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2018 Matthew 18:11.

Matthew 18:11.   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Oh friends, I had intended to begin with a light hearted opening about going to bed late and getting up late, because that’s what happened to me last night, and put forward some joyful stuff. But our world and our God moves in such mysterious ways that when I opened my e-mail a short while ago, I got some sad news, and now the Bit is now going to be turned into a remembrance for my dear departed friend and brother, Finbar Sebro. 

Oh yes, he was the closest thing I had to a practical brother while growing up in Darrell Spring, though we were not related. I remember him coming down from the country, Castara, and living with his bachelor uncle just down the street from me. My mother Molly cooked for him and he spent more time at our place than at his. 

I remember arguing with my mother about her treating him better than me sometimes. But she always said that was for me, like money in the bank, someday somebody would treat me well too. And it has certainly happened many times over the years. 

One interesting aspect of Finbar and my relationship is when we were prefects in the higher grades in Bishop’s High School, with authority over the lower classes, my mother packed lunch for us in a series of carriers, but neither of us wanted to carry it to school, through both laziness and pride. (smile) 

We already had our books to carry, and who wanted to be seen walking around in our exalted position as prefects, with a bag that everybody knew had food in it. But come lunchtime we couldn’t wait to dive into it. (smile) Taking it home after school was just as bad, especially when Finbar began walking home with his high school sweetheart and eventual wife, Joan. Sometimes we’d even intimidate some youngster living in our area to take it home for us. 

Finbar was always more studious than me, and when I’d be out and about gallivanting, he’d be at home studying. And that discipline certainly paid off as he eventually became the principal of our Alma Mater, Bishop’s High. What a way to go mih brother! 

The last time I saw him was the early part of 2016 when I was in Tobago. Like me, the Lord had called him to do His work and he had become a lay preacher in his Methodist faith. He read the Bit and couldn’t figure out how I could do it day after day. We laughed at the fact at what we were when we were young, compared to how the Lord was using us in our later years. 

Recently I heard that he’d been very ill, but I spoke to him on the phone some four or five weeks ago, and it seemed like he was getting better. Chuh! I expected to meet up with him when I went to Tobago next winter. However, the Lord was apparently ready to take him home. And that sometimes is a much better option to suffering here on earth. Rest in peace Finbar, mih brother! 

And as the tears well up in my eyes, and I can’t go to Tobago to wish you a last farewell because of my own medical problems, I know that one day we will meet again in the sweet bye and bye and will be able to reminisce, without any pain or sorrow about our good lives here on earth. Much LOVE my friend! 

And to you Joan, and his family, my deepest condolences, for you know how dear he was to me. And believe you me friends, I don’t feel like writing the workingman’s song this morning, so let’s just get to our Friday Chant, that hopefully will elevate my spirit some. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, though it hurts to see our friends and family go, it is indeed reassuring to know that they are going to a better life than this one, because of Jesus ‘ selfless work on our behalf. As He says in our Bit for yet another day: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ And is it ever true, and are we ever thankful! 

And Jesus made that clear on more than one occasion. Listen to Him as he rebuked the disciples who wanted to call down fire and brimstone on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome them. (Luke 9:51-54) ‘But He (Jesus) turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

He said the same thing when He went to have lunch at the tax collector Zaccheus’ house and everybody derided Him for eating with such a terrible sinner. But Zaccheus repented of his evil ways. ‘And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as a kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth of truths! We can’t save ourselves so we need somebody else to do it for us; His name is Jesus! 

And we’ll close today, most appropriately, with some of the most profound, if not the most important words in the Good Book: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ And so should we my people for His mercy, grace and forgiveness towards us a most sinful bunch of ingrates! Much LOVE!

…the lost cannot be saved…until they realize that they are lost…


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2018 Matthew 28:18.

Matthew 28:18.   ALL power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

‘One more day, one more day in the kingdom of God!’ Wow friends, nothing can be better than spending another day in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, our Redeemer and Friend, Jesus Christ! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful’ Praise the Lord! Yes my brethren He does deserve our praise for the wonderful things He’s done, is doing, and will continue to do in our lives. So much so, that despite all the vile and negative things that are happening in our world, we don’t need to worry about them, because He is in control. Please remember that. 

In any case we can’t do anything about those major problems, so why worry about them eh? Worry never solved anything yet. But we’re not to just sit around idly and do nothing. We must try to fix, with God’s help obviously, the things directly around us that need fixing. So please let’s keep trying to do our best, and go about God’s business like diligent worker bees nuh. (smile) 

And it’s a glorious Friday out there, which means the workingman is singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday… and the weekend is here! Glory be! No more work, just play! Play…play…play! We’re going to be playing in the summer time! No holds barred…no stones left unturned. It’s just going to be one helluva good time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes friends, we do have to thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from work, but we don’t need to go overboard in our thanksgiving like the workingman likes to do. (smile) As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to keep the lid on the boiling pot, not let it boil over. That’s why our Friday Chant is more restrained than the workingman’s song. So in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s enthusiastically chant it nuh, and show the world our style. 

‘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!’ 

And yes, our style might be too restrictive for a lot of people. They prefer the leggo beast attitude of the workingman, but friends, that attitude doesn’t get you anywhere in the long run. As they say, you’re giving up long-term gain for short-term pleasure. But unfortunately that’s the way of the world. We want it now! 

And too many of us supposed believers are falling for the enemy’s wiles; seeking whatever they can get now, and not paying sufficient attention to their eternal future. That’s a sad mistake my brethren, for this earthly life is short, compared to the eternity that’s to come after it. 

So it’s therefore necessary to make suitable provision for the hereafter, just like we make provision for today. And the wisest and most sensible provision we can make is committing our lives to Jesus Christ; for He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

As Jesus declared to His disciples in our Bit before He gave them the Great Commission: ‘ALL power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ And He could say that with great confidence because the Father hath indeed raised Him up for His selfless obedience and sacrifice of offering His sinless life to reconcile a bunch of no-good sinners like you and me. 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly wrote to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:5-11) 

Yes friends, Jesus, though God incarnate, He didn’t try to use His godly authority for personal aggrandizement, but humbled Himself under the Father’s tutelage and did His work without complaint, therefore the Father raised Him to the highest level possible. Likewise, as followers of Jesus, we ought to have the same attitude He had; be humble and obedient to the Father’s will, so that He can also raise us up to higher levels. That’s wisdom in spades. Much LOVE!

…Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) puts it so simply and clearly…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

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