Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2019 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   ​Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.
 

Moving on…Moving on…! Yes friends, we’re moving on… onwards and upwards! As believers in Jesus Christ we’re supposed to be always moving onwards and upwards in our faith and Christ-likeness – even till the day our earthly breath expires, or Jesus comes back, whichever one happens first. But unfortunately too many of us believers tend to stop learning, stop moving up, stop growing when we most need to – that’s everyday! (smile) 

We can’t enjoy the abundant life Christ died for us to have and be cheerful because He’s overcome the world, unless we’re filled with His Word and His Spirit. The great spiritual writer C.S. Lewis puts it this way: ‘God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it’s not there!’ Yes my brethren, it’s only in God that we can find true peace and happiness, because that’s the only place it really exists! 

And the more peace and happiness we want, the deeper and higher we’ve got to get involved in God-like matters! Rejoice and exult in His goodness and mercy! Hear, read and study His Word, then entrench it deeply in our hearts, so that when the evil tempter comes a calling we can brush him aside with powerful words and actions from the Good Book! 

It’s all a part of growing up as Christians my people! Of becoming strong, steadfast and true! And that’s the ONLY way we can ever carry out Jesus’ directive: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus is not easy, but He does give us all the tools we need to do the job! What a directive eh! Like dumb, innocent sheep in a pack of hungry, angry wolves, but wise like the serpent and yet harmless like a dove! That’s certainly a hard row to hoe with all the contrariness and contrasts it entails. But as I said before, as true believers, we have everything we need to do it! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus further: After warning that we’d be unfairly persecuted, He calmly and sincerely directs us: ‘But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what (do not worry about what) ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ (Matt.10:19-20) 

Mamma Mia! What reassurance my brethren! Yuh see, our Lord and Saviour doesn’t leave anything to chance. He has a provision for each and every situation that we might find ourselves in. The Holy Spirit that dwells in us will prompt us what to say and do in every situation that we face! Glory to God! Give Him thanks and praise for being so attentive to the needs of us undeserving children! 

But here is the really rough part: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Now therein lies the heart of the story. Just for being believers in Christ, we’ll be persecuted. But those who endure; stand, strong, steadfast and true throughout the severe persecution WILL be saved! 

That’s Jesus’ faithful promise my fellow believers! And we all know that He doesn’t make idle promises. If He says it WILL be so, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it WILL be so! (smile) But we have to endure, and we can only do that by being shrouded in His Word and Will.

 Now hear these words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains to them the way of the believer. ‘But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (all sins are exposed by light). Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ (Eph.5:13-14) Yes my brethren, all we that are less than right with Christ need to turn from our sin and accept the promise of spiritual enlightenment that Christ offers! 

And furthermore: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise (watch carefully how you live), Redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity), because the days are evil (and are they ever). Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of Lord is.’ (Eph.5: 15-17) And the only way we can understand the Lord’s will is by having constant and excellent communication with Him and His Word! 

‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be (continually) filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

There you have it friends, Christianity 101: be filled with the Holy Spirit and not wine, which leads to moral intemperance. Learn God’s will, give continual thanks and praise in everything, and defer to others if it is in God’s will. End of sermon! (smile) And when we try to live like that, then our blessings will fall down like rain, as outlined in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them (spelled it right!) in loud voice with sincere hearts. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! AMEN!’ 

And that needs to be a big ‘AMEN’ my people because of the staggering proportions of blessings we undeservedly enjoy, and remember, are also called to share with the less fortunate.  Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus is not easy…but brother…are the rewards ever excellent…and certainly worth it all…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2018 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary, said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.
 
Ah mih people, a word of warning to the wise: if you’re walking with or working for Jesus, please be prepared for totally unexpected stressful and rather eventful situations to crop up at any time! (smile) Case in point: Yesterday afternoon I was here at home taking it nice and easy…no, that’s not completely true. In fact I was miserable and grumpy because the ole aches and pains were having a heyday in my ole body. 

Then around four o’clock I received this phone call from a lady in the MRI Department of St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto informing me of a scheduled appointment at two thirty this morning. I was quite surprised because both the hospital and the doctor who ordered the MRI had neglected to inform me of that appointment. 

As one would expect, I was definitely in no mood to go into the city at that ungodly hour of the morning for an aggravating and annoying test that I thought I had seen the last of. And if I had had the implant as scheduled last week that would have been oh so true, because once you have metal in your body you can’t do them since they interact badly with the magnets that govern the procedure. So I cancelled the appointment. 

But after thoughtful consideration with the duchess, I called and reinstated it, figuring that might have been why the Lord in His infinite wisdom had the surgery cancelled last week. So lo and behold, at two thirty this morning, there I am, I’m lying on a narrow plastic board, ensconced in a tomb-like plastic structure, with a machine making this infernal racket in my head. But I’m accustomed to it now. I just pray when I get in there to mitigate the claustrophobic effects, then I’m fine. I’ve even been known to doze off in there. (smile) 

The one eventful and unexpected reaction though, was the one I had to the radioactive dye that they injected in to my blood stream. I’ve had it before, and all I’ve gotten was a bad, metallic sort of taste in my mouth. But brother, this morning, soon after they injected the stuff and pushed be back inside the machine, I had a physical reaction that I can’t properly describe; like I was heaving, my stomach was pumping up and down, and I just kept swallowing feverishly. I almost pressed the emergency button in my hand. 

I don’t even know whether I cried out to God or not, I was so surprised at the reaction. But after a couple of minutes the awful sensation passed and I finished the test without any further problems. Believe me though, that’s the last time they’ll ever inject that stuff knowingly in my body! 

I had fully intended to write the Bit when I got home, but at minutes after four, I decided to rest instead, then had to force myself to get up to go to the eight thirty service, then decided to rest when I got back, because I wasn’t fired up enough to write the fiery Bit I had planned to write. 

But as always, man’s plans go awry in the Lord’s eyes, for I could not find a comfortable position in the bed, and my mind was just spinning around with the things I wanted to write. So after half an hour of unsuccessful rest, I just decided to get up and come and write the Bit, come what may. And as you can see, it’s definitely not fiery…not even close! But that’s where I’ve been led by the higher powers. (smile) 

And since we’re lacking time and space to provide that fiery Bit, (smile) as we continue Mary’s faithful and steadfast story, let’s simply do what she did so long ago; ‘proclaim the Lord’s greatness with characteristic humility and grace,’ by singing what’s become known as ‘The Magnificat.’ The name comes from the first line of the Latin text: (“Magnificat anima mea Dominum”) Please sing with me, in loud voice and with sincere hearts, these memorable words of Jesus’ mother as she expresses her joy: 

‘My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name; And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him. 

He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.’ (Luke 1:46-55) 

Glory be mih people! What wonderful words and sentiments of praise and thanksgiving! Mary was an indeed an exemplary woman and believer for one of such tender age. But I guess when the Holy Spirit is moving in you, all things are possible regardless of age! 

Now here are a couple of interesting points from the Loyola Catholic web page. ‘After Mary gives her famous consent to becoming the Mother of God, — “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) — she goes “with haste” (1:39) to help Elizabeth, who is delighted to see her. Clearly Mary, in hastening to help her cousin, is focused on service to others. In this way she glorifies the Lord in reflecting (and “magnifying”) His goodness and LOVE. And, of course by becoming the Mother of God she will help Him redeem us for our salvation in His Passion!… 

Speaking of magnifying, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once referred to our Blessed Mother as being like “a magnifying glass that intensifies our LOVE of her Son.” Note that Mary’s joyful claim that “all generations shall call me blessed” in no way takes away from her humility. If she seems to boast here, it is much as St. Paul does later on in scripture when he says “whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17), that is to say, in God’s work being done through us.’ 

And we’ll end with these soul-seeking words: ‘How about you? Does your soul magnify the Lord? We may never be able to approach Him from Mary’s level of sanctity as the Mother of God. Still, we are all called to be saints nonetheless. Your good example, like our Blessed Mother’s, can help others in their spiritual growth. Do people see Christ’s LOVE and goodness in you? Are you letting God work within you to accomplish His will? Let Mary help give you the graces you need to follow her Son and His Church in praying the Magnificat.’ 

Oh friends, I can’t say it any better than that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let Mary’s soul be in us… to glorify the Lord…let her spirit be in us…that we may rejoice in God our Saviour… (St. Ambrose)

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but ti’s all for Christ…and ever so worthwhile! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2018 1 Chronicles 29:13.

1 Chronicles 29:13.   ​Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
 

And so it’s Thursday…Already? Yeh! That’s what happens when you spend the first two days of the week traipsing into the big city for medical appointments; you lose track of both the days and the time and nothing productive gets done at home. Yesterday was a rest day…not a lazy day. (smile) So let’s hope some productive stuff can be accomplished today…and yuh better believe there is a lot to be accomplished! (smile) 

And to help us get on the productive side, here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘There Are No Words.’ Please pray with me: ‘How can I put into words, my Lord The flooding, transforming power That sweeps my life because of You? 

How can I explain to anyone The soaring, surging peace That You alone can give? All the wonder-filled things in my life All the joyful, glorious things I owe to Your goodness, Your grace, Your LOVE. Nothing is ever the same since knowing You. And the longer I know You The deeper my LOVE!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what awesome words of truth are contained in that short poem! Every line is filled with gospel truth regarding our great God! Oh friends, once you get to know Him, NOTHING will ever be the same in your life! For when you begin to truly experience, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and above all His unconditional LOVE…

Oh Mama Mia! The change in your life will be so awesome and so magnificent that you’ll be left wondering what kind of life you lived before, and why didn’t you get to know the Lord before this? But it just wasn’t the right time! Have no fear, when He’s ready for you, He brings you into His fold in ways you cannot imagine, until they happen. 

But please note one thing friends; our God might be magnanimous and magnificent, but He’s no push over! He might have a soft heart for His wayward, disobedient children, but don’t think you can take advantage of His goodness, because if you ever feel His wrath…Hn! It can be just as great as His goodness and mercy and LOVE! 

So please try your best not to get on His wrong side, although when you come to know and LOVE Him, that’s sort of difficult to do. Why? Because you’ll be overflowing with such LOVE and desire to be obedient to His will, that mistakes will more likely be of ignorance than of purposeful disrespect. 

And to celebrate all that we’ve said, I don’t think there’s a more appropriate passage in scripture to describe it than Bruh David’s words of prayer and thanksgiving, when he was raising funds to build the Lord’s temple. Please read and pray with me: ‘Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our Father, for ever and ever. 

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 

But who am I, and what is thy people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners (temporary dwellers), as were all our fathers: our days on earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding (no hope for any).

O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee a house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.’ (1 Chr.29:10-16) 

What beautiful words of prayer and thanksgiving my brethren…and also of truth! Oh friends, until we recognize, and realize, and understand that everything we posses is God’s and comes from Him, we’ll never be able to truly appreciate all that we have, and give Him the kind of thanks and praise He deserves. 

That’s the basic difference between Bruh David’s time and ours. They seemed to know where there goodness came from, so they could afford to be generous toward the Lord. But in our time, generosity towards the Lord and His purpose…Hn! It’s like pulling teeth! Because we don’t truly recognize the source of all our goodness and grace and mercy. 

Anyway friends, let’s hope that all we’ve said and read today touches our hearts and souls and makes us more appreciative of what our heavenly Father does in our earthly lives when we truly come to know Him. So let’s go home now, shouting out loud and proud, the great blessings He’s showered down on us believers, as found in our Thursday Blessings. 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now, two things to remember; Blessings aren’t blessings until they are shared and declared over someone! So let’s go out and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart by doing those two things nuh! Much LOVE!

…truly knowing our great God is so amazing…that sometimes…without sincere faith… it’s hard to believe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2018 Ecclesiastes 3:22.

Ecclesiastes 3:22.   Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion (heritage): for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
 
Can you believe it people…another wet morning! Chuh! I’ve lost count now. But thankfully, it has been mostly drizzles and not pouring rain, else we would have certainly been flooded out by now. I thought it was only in the British Isles that you had that kind of weather! (smile) And despite the cold, rainy weather this Friday morning, like the post office delivers be it rain, sleet, or snow, the workingman is out there singing his song. 

‘TGIF!  Thank God is Friday oui! This week’s been a hard one; the massa really drive we plenty! Steups! He must be think we is oxen or something; the way he want to yoke we up and drive we. Chuh man! Ah sure he would beat we too, if he could get away with it. And all for the li’l pittance he pay we when the week done! 

But these is new times, we learn sense, and we don’t put up with that kinda nonsense no more! But enough about the slave driver oui! This is we time to do as we please, to eat and drink and party like if there was no tomorrow…for who knows if we’ll see another day eh? 

So let the food…and the waters flow…and remember this is Remembrance Day weekend…so we have to remember all them good people that fight so that we could enjoy this good life. So lift them up…and doh forget to treat the ones that still alive right eh! So leh we thank God for Friday’s, weekends and Remembrance Day, that we not warring no more, and we still around to remember!’ 

Yeh friends, the workingman was really worked up this morning! (smile) But as usual, he got most of it right, except the limitless, boundary less partying, which only encourages the enemy to feast on our souls.

That’s why as believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ, we institute limitations on our natural, animalistic, carnal behaviour. And that’s why our Friday Chant is different to the workingman’s song. 

So please chant it now with me, bringing the same enthusiasm and effervescence that he brought to his praise offering. 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 fellow believers, we also have the right to enjoy life, because that’s one of the things Jesus came and died for; that we might have life, and even have it more abundantly, till it overflows. (John 10:10) We only have to be careful we don’t go overboard and keep Jesus first in all that we do. 

And there’s no better scripture for our Bit today than Cousin Sol’s immortal words on man’s destiny and heritage. As the richest and wisest man ever, in his search for fulfillment – and he had plenty time, money and opportunity to do so – he finally came to the conclusion: ‘I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest (test) them, and that they might see that they themselves are (like) beasts. 

For that which befalleth (happens to) the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence (advantage) above a beast: for all is vanity (futility).

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth (knows if) the spirit of man that goeth (goes) upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth (goes) downward to the earth?  

Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion (heritage): for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?’ 

Wise words indeed my brethren! As we saw above that’s one of the reasons Jesus came to earth; enjoying earthly life while we worked towards heavenly eternity. And He also answered one question of Cousin Sol’s; that regarding whether man’s spirit goes upward or not? 

And we can say with a joyful shout that the spirit of ALL true and sincere believers go UPWARD, to enjoy a rich and glorious life with the Triune God in heaven until time eternal! Glory to God my people! Give Him much thanks and praise for His wonderful goodness to us, for He undoubtedly deserves it! 

What would we be without God’s LOVE and the selfless sacrifice of Jesus eh? Absolutely nothing but dust and hell bound spirits! Thankfully now though, we’re still dust, but heaven bound spirits! Glory Hallelujah! So please friends, let’s remember all that we’ve spoken about today and work it into our earthly lives, so that we can enjoy eternity with God, for that’s our destiny! Much LOVE!

…a glorious heaven… patiently awaits…those who sincerely LOVE God…and who diligently and faithfully serve Him…down here on earth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2018 1 Peter 5:10.

​1 Peter 5:10.    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.

 

Oh friends, oh friends, a reprieve, a reprieve! Yes the ole fella’s been granted a reprieve! He’s not going home today as originally planned! Glory be! The good Lord looked down from His throne on high and apparently saw that I was not doing, recuperating as well or as fast as expected, and in His infinite wisdom and abundant goodness and LOVING-kindness granted me a few more days in this paradise called Jamdown (Jamaica)! 

Wow! Praise His holy name my people because He is such a wonderful deity who comes through for you when you least expect it. Ah friends, it’s like Jesus said, all you need is a grain of faith as small as a mustard seed and you’ll be able to move mighty mountains. (Matt.17:20) 

And  it was indeed a small seed that was planted. A few days ago the idea of extending our stay suddenly flitted into my thoughts and I shared it with the duchess. Then unbeknownst to me, she picked up the baton and ran with it. Between her and our two daughters they made it a reality.

Oh my people, the Lord’s been so good to me, how can I not LOVE Him with all my heart, mind and body, be eternally grateful, testify to His amazing faithfulness, help spread His Word and seek to maximize His LOVE Revolution?  I would be exceedingly ungrateful if I did anything less, and He would be quite right to cut me off. 

And if you’re wondering why and how come the Bit is so early today, as always, with the ole fella the answers are invariably simple. (smile) I got up around five to go to the bathroom, then went back to bed. However, after an unsuccessful half an hour of trying to find a comfortable position for back, knees and elbows to coexist so I could fall asleep again, I just decided to get up and begin the day earlier than expected. 

Ah Lord eh friends! The things we are asked to go through in our later years! (smile) But I’ll gladly put up with them in return for the many blessings I’m currently enjoying. 

And my faithful brethren, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate Bit for today than these most reassuring words of Peter to the scattered diaspora of Christians in the early days of our faith. ‘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.’ 

What a wonderful God we serve my fellow believers! After allowing us to go through the fire, the flood and whatever adversity He might deem appropriate to move us from glory to glory, to mature us and make us more Christlike, He will eventually settle us down, strengthen and establish us. 

Mama Mia! Let’s hope that’s what He is doing with me right now yes, because I really don’t feel up to any more sickness and suffering at the present time. I need a break from it, so I can recuperate properly and thus be able to handle the next round with a good attitude. But I’m not really worried because I know the Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle, so whatever He allows to come against me, He will help me to overcome. 

Remember friends, we are covenant partners with the Lord, and whatever we can’t handle, He’ll step in and control. That’s the awesome benefit of partnering; what one can’t do the other will. But remember too that we first have to do OUR part, or the Lord will not step in to help. 

Now listen to these majestic and most reassuring words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians on the subject of grace and being called and confirmed by Christ. ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you), for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind (short) in no (spiritual) gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor.13-9) 

Oh my people, we are like those Corinthians; granted grace and peace through Christ, brought into and everlasting union with Him and strong communion with each other. So let us enjoy it all and work diligently and excellently to preserve and spread it nuh, so that at Jesus’ return we might be found blameless. For whatever God has promised to those who believe in His Son, He will fulfill. 

Now let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our exact position in Christ Jesus.  In true sincerity and strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

 And that’s a future we can’t even begin to imagine! Much LOVE!

…and am I ever glad…in fact ecstatic…to be alive…on this bright and sunny day…hope you are too…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2018 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Oh mercy, mercy me! Another medical journey into that confused, misguided and badly governed city of Toronto! Hence the early publication of the Bit. But it’s all to my benefit, so cheers! Let’s have a shot of caffeine to celebrate the occasion. (smile) 

Oh, this great adventure in sickness is drawing to a close…at least I think so, so hopefully it won’t be much longer before I stop having all these medical appointments. At least they will be much fewer and further between. That’s my prophetic declaration! (smile) 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that we all could use this fall morning. It’s titled ‘Fear Not.’ Please pray with me. ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear not.” Surely You would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would You command it so explicitly If You could not keep me from fearing. 

God, You have given me a Fear Not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You, You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my Father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’ 

And NO, God will NEVER turn away or be less kind to one of His very own children! That’s His ever-faithful promise! So we can be assured that whatever fear that’s troubling us, if we take it to God in prayer, we will receive relief and succour from it. 

But isn’t it somewhat troubling that despite all the assurances and commands of our heavenly Father, re not to fear, we’re still such a fearful people? ‘Fear not!’ was one of the most used phrases by Jesus in His earthly sojourn. And when He said, ‘O ye of little faith,’ meant that we were also fearful, because faith dispels fear. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 34: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Yeh friends, simple, but ever so life changing words! And those from a great man of God! 

That means, although we should not be always afraid, when those times arise, we should NEVER be afraid to call on our helpful and ever-faithful God for help. Note, Bruh David said, he called out in desperation, and the Lord heard and helped him. And He WILL do the same for each and every one who calls out to Him in all sincerity and truth! 

And this is how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:4-10) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and ever grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for his everlasting goodness to the children of men!’ Yes friends, we know it’s the truth, even though we don’t always follow it! 

And that ‘fear’ we’re talking about is not ‘fear’ in the sense of being physically afraid of God, though we should have a touch of that because of the awesome things He can do, but it’s a sense of reverence, of acknowledgement of His strength and power and goodness and LOVE towards us. 

And the scholars offer this interesting comment on ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm (Hebrew poem of which the lines begin with the successive letters of the alphabet) is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. (Bruh David flees to Gath from Saul’s many attempts to kill him.) It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed  (vs.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vs.11-22).’ 

Now let’s hear some of that seasoned instruction: ‘Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good: seek peace and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:11-14) 

That’s wise advice indeed from someone who experienced it! So let’s remember that today nuh, as we go home now declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we’re truly sincere, we’ll go out and share it all with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…between fear and faith…there’s Jesus…Glory be…

 

 

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