Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 May 2022 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.       Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

And the joyful shout of  ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rises up all over the land. And although it’s a cloudy Friday morning, just the thought that the work week is on its last slippery legs, brings joy to the populace! Oh, how we look forward to our weekends so we can rest, party and be rejuvenated to go back out and do the same dreary, painstaking work the following week. And do we ever need a break from the drudgery of work, the same old, same old, at the end of the five days. 

And Cousin Sol puts it so nicely in his role as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, when he says: ‘Vanity of vanities (futility of futilities), saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity (futility). What profit hath a man of (from) all his labour which he taketh under the sun?  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.’ (Eccl. 1:2-4) And that’s no lie! While mankind comes and goes with a few changes, the earth goes on unchanged and undisturbed. 

And according to the scholars, ‘The implied answer to the rhetorical question in verse 3 is that there is no profit for man in his work. This supports the idea that “vanity” refers to a lack of profit, value, or worth. Under the sun is used 29 times in the book and denotes the sphere of Solomon’s observations.’ And please note that ‘vanity’ or futility ‘is never predicated of God, God’s work, God’s revelation, or man as man.’ 

Then, after commenting on the sameness of the sun, the winds, the rivers and seas through all generations, (vs. 5-7) Cousin Sol continues: ‘All things are full of labour (wearisome); man cannot utter (express) it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:8-9) And when we look at it from a worldly point of view, it’s the gospel truth! Nothing is really new, for from the beginning to the end, life is just a revolving cycle. 

Then he asks: ‘Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See this is new? it hath been already of old (ancient time), which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.’ (Eccl. 1:10-11) We can’t argue much with those statements, for as the scholars explain: ‘The ceaseless cycles of nature illustrate the futility of life. The amazing thing is that the earth goes on, but man, the height of God’s creation, passes into eternity with no remembrance (vs.11).’ 

Now, we all know that Cousin Sol undertook a study to find out what life’s all about and if it’s worth living at all. And throughout history there’s never been anyone better qualified to undertake such a study. As he says: ‘I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate (greatness), and have gotten more wisdom that all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge (I understood great wisdom). And I gave (set) my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit (a grasping of the wind). For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.’ (Eccl. 1:16-18) 

And in chapter 2, Cousin Sol, as the scholars outline, ‘pursued fulfillment through pleasure, wine, great works, wealth, aesthetic and artistic pleasures, and fame. All of these failed to bring lasting satisfaction to the wisest man of all time, yet people three thousand years later are still trying them in search of enduring fulfillment.’ Now, when we consider the awesome truth in the last statement, it brings forth a sad sigh, because we are still running behind the lusts and pleasures of the flesh that hold no lasting good. 

And, as per wisdom and folly, Cousin Sol found that wisdom was better than folly, ‘as far as light excelleth darkness.’ (Eccl. 2:13) However the same thing, death, happens to the wise as to the fool, so why be wise eh? That too was vanity (futile, worthless). However, wisdom is still the most attractive virtue since it brings inner peace: ‘a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness (sternness) of his face shall be changed.’ (Eccl. 8:1) 

There is also joy in labour, because it is from the hand of God. For although we brought nothing into the world and take nothing with us. ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils)  all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl. 5:18) 

And since we don’t have the time nor space to list all of Cousin Sol’s findings in his search for purpose in life, we’ll go straight to his conclusion. He puts it thus: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) 

So, despite the many problems and difficulties we might face in living this earthly life, we must remember that our first duty is always to reverence and worship our great God and be obedient to His holy will. That’s why we’ve been created and placed on this earth… for a true and sincere relationship with the God of our creation. And to uphold that relationship between us, He instituted the communication called prayer. Therefore, in wisdom and honour, let’s go to Him right now nuh through the medium of prayer, raising our Friday Chant to heaven, acknowledging our problems and asking for divine help. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we truly want positive answers to our prayer, then we must show that we are indeed faithful believers and set a good example as we’ve promised. Much LOVE!

…life might be rough…but our God is good…and His promises are sure… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2021 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.     Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Oh friends, it’s another bright and sunshiny morning with more springlike temps! And best of all, the Lord chose to wash the earth clean last evening with a glorious thunderstorm. So out there looks fresh and new now, and there’s a feeling of hope in the air! Yuh know how we usually feel clean and refreshed after a shower! Well that’s how the earth looks this morning! Glory be! 

And here’s some more good news. The ole fella now has a podcast on the Anchor website of WordPress, where our blog is displayed. Our God is certainly something else yes, great and mysterious. I’d been wondering about doing a podcast since it’s all the rage now, but thought it would be too complicated, however, a few days ago, when I was posting the blog, I noticed a sign that said turn your blog into a podcast. But that day I ignored it. 

The next day though, I ventured into the unknown and soon thereafter, without a whole lot of fuss our Scrip-Bits Podcast was born! Glory to God my people! So for those of you who prefer to hear me, rather than read me, (smile) you can go to this link https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8 and sign in to Spotify with whatever you choose. Now it’s just a simple podcast, so don’t look for fabulous sounds and sights, (smile) just my growly voice. 

And oh, here’s something else, I never told you about. If you want to hear my gravelly voice, well done, with music, then you can contact me at randyobrien50@hotmail.com to purchase a C.D, or rather a double C.D, titled ‘Some of My Favourite Script-Bits, Vol. 1’ which I recently put out. It’s not available on a website or streaming as yet. But you’ll get two for one: The spoken word with music behind them, and just music alone. And the music is quite eclectic, varied, so you’re sure to find several things you like. 

Believe me, producing that C.D has truly been what we call a labour of LOVE! It’s been about ten years in the making. Ah Lord, when I think about the process, I just have to shake my head and chuckle. I had the vocals all ready to go from the beginning, but couldn’t find anyone willing to write the music. Then, in the Lord’s time, He sent someone along to do it. And even then, there were roadblocks all along the way. But would you believe that’s in the height of the pandemic, He allowed me to complete it. 

Ah mih people, I keep telling us that the Lord surely moves in mysterious ways and His timing can be somewhat tough and overbearing, but when we wait on Him, He does good things when we least expect it. And today’s certainly a good news Friday, for here’s what the ordinary workingman has to say. His enthusiasm has certainly been raised a notch, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And though a whole lot hasn’t changed, there is at least a li’l light at the end of the tunnel. My boss called this week and said that we’d be able to go back to work in the next easing stage of the lockdown! Glory be! 

And since I’m one of the older employees, I’ll be amongst the first to go back. It’ll sure feel good to earn some money after such a long time! Let’s hope the next easing stage doesn’t take too long nuh, because then I’ll be so out of shape, I might not be able to do all the heavy lifting and physical stuff we need to do on the job. And with the vaccine being handed out, it’s the first sign of optimism I’ve felt in many a day. Ah Lord eh! Let’s hope that the foolish people out there don’t relax their caution either, now that there’s a vaccine and cause another corona wave to start nuh. So things looking up. Thank God oui!’ 

Oh mih bredrin, as Bruh Paul so rightly said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) And isn’t that the indisputable truth! 

And we on a roll here friends, for when I opened the Good Book just now, to look for some scripture to back up all that we’ve said, it opened at this interesting section of Ecclesiastes, where Cousin Sol proclaims: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18) Yes friends, enjoyment is a gift of God, and we ought to be excited and motivated to do just that, as our life is so short here on planet earth. Oh we can’t get away from troubles, but in our honest toil and labour with God beside us, we can certainly find joy. 

And Cousin Sol wraps up the Book of Ecclesiastes with these awesome words. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Our job is to obey God and do His will, but we will all answer for our actions or lack thereof come the judgement day. 

Now let’s go to God with that awesome privilege of prayer, through our Friday Chant, and empty our hearts, pour out our hopes and dreams before His holy throne. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we truly want the strife and sickness in our world to be lessened, then we have to keep our vow to God; be faithful believers, and handle the situation properly with true repentance and LOVE for Him and each other! Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us life…so that we could enjoy it…within His boundaries… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2015 Proverbs 9:10‏

Proverbs 9:10.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (One) is understanding.

Well Friends, the clock has run its race, gone around its course and brought us to another glorious autumn day called Wednesday! (smile) Just wish that we could all be as faithful in running our courses as clocks are; always steady and steadfast. 

Nonetheless, we are working on it with the help of God’s Spirit which dwells within us. And since it’s Wednesday, it means that it’s wailing time. So let’s wail out our Wednesday Wail with much sincerity and truth nuh! 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people what a joy it is when one is walking sincerely with Jesus Christ…Glory Hallelujah! It brings us such warmth, such security and comfort just knowing that He is not only dwelling in us, but is also walking, beside, behind and in front of us…Oh glory to God for the undeserved LOVING-kindness He’s shown us! 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster, which brings out our Christ –like nature of caring for and thinking about others. And it simply says: ‘Do for others with no desire of returned favours. We should all plant some trees that we’ll never sit under.’ 

And isn’t that indisputable truth? It surely is! It highlights the second great commandment that Jesus gave us: ‘LOVE your neighbours as yourself.’ In this case we are being very unselfish, planting something, either physically or metaphorically that we know we’ll never enjoy. 

If I remember rightly, somewhere in his Hour of Power Devotional, Gramps Schuller mentions that his father or someone else planted a tree when they were eighty years of age, knowing that they would never sit below it and enjoy it’s refreshing shade. 

Oh my people, that’s the unselfish, caring attitude that ought to run through all aspects of a believer’s life! 

Unfortunately though, we will never attain to such lofty heights until we have sincerely embraced the ideas contained in our Bit. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (One) is understanding.’ 

Yes Friends, then and only then, will the innate selfishness that permeates our natural selves be brought under control, and allow us to think about others more than ourselves, which is a foundation stone of our Christian heritage, as espoused by Christ through the ‘LOVE your neighbour as yourself,’ commandment. 

Oh what a truly wonderful world we’d have if we only practiced that commandment to the best of our ability! Sadly though, our natural selfishness, encouraged by the selfish attitude that is currently in ascendance in our world, is preventing us from doing so. 

Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us along paths of unselfishness, we are allowing the pressure of the enemy to take us down unrighteous paths. However, as we said earlier, to change that ‘undesirous’ pattern, we need to come to the true wisdom and knowledge of our great God. 

Now let’s hear some scripture that corroborate our Bit, beginning with the awesome words of Psalm 111 – Praise the Lord for His care. The psalmist ends his song thus: ‘The fear of the Lord (reverential awe), is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.’ (Ps.111:10) 

Yes my brethren, words of glorious truth! If only we could take them to heart. 

Meanwhile Cousin Sol offers us these two verses in Proverbs 15. ‘Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom (of discernment): but a man of understanding walketh uprightly…. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom: and before honour is humility.’ (Prov.15:21, 33) 

Oh Friends, the Good Book contains such a wealth of truth, and it has all been placed there for our benefit, for our enlightenment, so that we can walk a path of righteousness in this ungodly world. But until we read and study those truths and put them into practice in our lives, we’ll remain like lost sheep, foraging unsuccessfully in a sinful world. 

And we’ll end rather appropriately with words from Cousin Sol in his role as the Preacher. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Yes my fellow believers, those last two verses of Ecclesiastes puts it all into the proper perspective. Our duty is to LOVE and reverence God, and faithfully do His bidding, because at the judgement day, all our works will be brought to light, and we’ll be judged on them. 

So let’s be wise and do the right thing nuh, for as the Good Book says: ‘Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:17) 

Let’s all take that to heart today Friends and do right nuh. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is wont to say…the best way to live this life…is simply to obey God…and leave all the consequences to him…gospel truth that…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2015 Ecclesiastes 5:7‏

Ecclesiastes 5:7.   For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.

Ah Friends, it was Caribana Monday, so the ole fella had to celebrate, which meant a late night – early morning scenario! Well it wasn’t any real celebration, just doing my family thing a little later than usual.

Anyway, Caribana Monday did turn out to be a beautiful summer’s day after all! Glory to God! That means most of the festivities planned for the day were able to go ahead and the day wasn’t spoiled for the many out of town visitors and our residents who look forward so much to the weekend, and the Monday holiday in particular.

However, as the song says, ‘The party’s over my friends, time to call it a day,’ time to get up and go out and labour on this fine Tuesday morning that has been specially prepared for us with many new blessings, and mercies. Give God a shout of praise and thanks for His wonderful goodness to us undeserving children of men!

And all God’s children loudly declared: ‘All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God who makes a way for us when there seems to be no way, and who provides for our every need, when we come before Him in humble obedience! Amen.’

Now here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it ‘POSSIBILITIES UNLIMITED.’

And it goes like this: ‘I can count the seeds in an apple. But, Lord – you alone can count the apples in one seed! Some things are impossible, Lord! It’s impossible for me to see immeasurable, unlimited possibilities in one fertile idea. Praise the Lord. Amen.’

And that’s solid truth my people. We can see the small, finite stuff, but only Almighty God who created the heavens and earth, in His great wisdom and foresight, can see the unlimited possibilities in any given idea. Glory to God!

Consequently, we need to come before Him in sincere prayer and humble obedience for Him to point out the numerous possibilities in each fertile idea with which He has blessed us.

Oh, we can possibly envision a few in our own strength, but to get the real gist and gumption, (smile) of what He desires of us, we have to have serious communication with our heavenly Father.

In all of that though Friends, we still need to consider the wise words of our Bit. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ Everlasting truth that my people!

And the scholars explain this section about hasty vows thus. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis on the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows…’

And believe me Friends, we do make a lot of foolish vows to God, especially when we are caught up in the heat of a moment’s anguish and concern. But long, long ago, Moses exhorted the children of Israel with the Lord’s desires.

‘And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day, for thy good (benefit or welfare)?’ (Deut.10:12-13)

Yes my brethren, we need to ALWAYS remember that whatever our God commands, in the long run is for OUR benefit and welfare, not for His. I think we often lose sight of that most important fact, and thus murmur and complain unnecessarily when He asks us to do certain things.

Please remember that the Good Book is OUR lifeline to God, our guidebook, so that we can walk the straight and narrow path and eventually come to the throne of the Most High, reconciled and headed for salvation throughout eternity.

In His great and unconditional LOVE for us, He designed it so that we could find answers to whatever questions we might have down here on this frail and fallible earth. And many of us have problems we can’t solve because we don’t, we simply refuse to read that awesome Guidebook of Life!

But how can we know what God desires of us eh friends, if we don’t read His Word eh? We simply can’t. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on personal reading of the Bible. But as usual, too many of us are too proud, stubborn and arrogant to read it, preferring to decipher the whys and wherefores of life in our own strength.

However my people, that is undoubtedly a fool’s wisdom. What better way could there be to understand the ups and downs of life than through the words of the One who created life in the first place eh? None whatsoever!

And these words of Micah from times bygone, aptly paraphrase what the Lord expects of us. ‘He hath showed thee, O Man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?’ (Mic.6:8)

Yes Friends, it’s that simple; not rocket science or any other great mind exercise; do good and righteous deeds and walk in humble obedience before Him.

What’s so difficult to understand about that eh? It might not be always easy to put into action, but we do need to understand what is required of us before we can consider doing it. And I believe that’s where many of us fall down; we simply don’t understand, or refuse to understand God’s requirements for this pilgrim’s journey called earthly life.

And we’ll give the last word to Cousin Sol in his capacity as the Preacher. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14)

That says it all Friends! So please, let’s be wise nuh, and go out and do just that, so that we may glorify our Great God and lay up storehouses of treasures in heaven for us to enjoy at a later date. That is true and simple wisdom. Much LOVE!

……be not hasty…consider thy words and thy works…before a just, holy and righteous God…

P.S.  Would you believe that just when I was ready to send out the already late Bit, my trusty sidekick, my desktop computer froze on me, and I had to reboot it? Ah Lord eh! The trials and tribulations we have to endure in this life eh! (smile) Much LOVE!