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 2 September 2016 Hebrews 11:1.

Hebrews 11:1.   Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

So once again it’s Friday mih people and crazily swirling through the atmosphere are joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here at last… and the next two days belong to me and only me! And I’ll do exactly what I want with them! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

And we do have to thank our heavenly Father for Fridays and the weekends, but we can’t behave like leggo beasts when they roll around. We need to have some accountability, some sensible plan for our two days off; one filled with moderation and circumspection so that we don’t fall prey to the ever-lurking enemy. 

And our Friday Chant gives us some idea of how to use the weekend wisely. So let’s chant it nuh, chant it with sincerity and enthusiasm. 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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the general idea. Our weekend activities must allow us to come back out bright and beautiful on Monday morning. If they don’t, then we’ve not done it right. 

Now here is an interesting Trini quote from my Trini friend. ‘Wen last yuh went tuh ah funeral an de job was present eh???’ That’s generally said to someone who over works, constantly bringing work at home etc. thereby neglecting their home, family and health.’ 

So all you A type personalities beware, you don’t see work at funerals, meaning you need to slow down and smell the roses some. And our Trini friend also wishes us to ‘Have a great day, and…Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ 

All very true my brethren, so let’s be very careful about what we think, talk and do please, for in the long run, it will all affect our destiny. That brings us to our Bit, a very interesting and important passage of scripture. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ 

Yes mih people, faith, buoyed by hope is what keeps us keeping on in this cruel and evil world. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to withstand the trials and tribulations that beset us, that have us going like a roller coaster, round and round without any stopping. Only faith in Almighty God allows us to stand strong when the tempter comes calling. 

Listen to these verses after our Bit. ‘For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible). 

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.’ (Heb.11:2-4) 

Yuh see friends, it’s through faith that the elders, leaders of the church were considered of good repute. And it’s only through faith we can understand how our awesome God made the world by speaking it into existence from nothing. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon (was hovering over) the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’ (Gen.1:1-3) 

Now only through faith can we believe all of that, as well as the whole story of Jesus. And here is some interesting info from the scholars on the earlier passage about Abel. 

’11:4. Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain: In what way was his sacrifice better? Was it because his was animal and Cain’s vegetable? Or his a firstling and Cain’s not the firstfruit? Or his with blood and Cain’s without? Both Hebrews and Genesis (4:1-15) demonstrate that it was not the offering that made one acceptable and the other unacceptable. 

God accepts both grain and animal offerings according to their purposes. The character of the worshipper made one offering acceptable and the other not. Abel offered his by faith; Cain obviously did not. Genesis records that even before the rejection of Cain’s offering his heart was not right with God. (Gen.4:7).’ 

So faithful followers of Jesus, it all comes right back down to the state of our hearts, because that’s where God looks to discern our righteousness. 

And we’ll end this message on faith with the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Yes friends, it all begins with hope. And hope is only relevant when it comes to something that we can’t see or don’t have; then through faith, we persevere and wait expectantly for it to come to pass. 

Now let’s raise up our hope and faith so that we can go out into the ungodly world that surrounds us, strong, assured, and with conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour over all, and through the leading and guidance of His Holy Spirit we will prevail against the enemy. Much LOVE!

…without a right heart…without faith…we cannot please God…